Basant Panchami marks the official beginning of Spring, and Vrindavan knows how to celebrate it with their beloved Thakurji.
For the Brajwasis, Basant Panchami is not just the day to worship Maa Saraswati. It is also a precursor to the 40-day long Phag Mahotsav, a festival that is so closely related to Krishna.
Keeping true to the spirit of Spring, the colour yellow sets the tone for the day. Marigolds in full bloom decorate the temple premises. Even the deities in many temples wear yellow dresses and garland. Just a walk through the meandering lanes of Vrindavan will mesmerise you with the brightness all around.
Spring weaves itself into every street of Vrindavan, making its way into the temples, and right into your heart.
It comes as little surprise that Krishna bhakts from far and wide choose this day to pay a visit to their beloved god. They usually begin their day with a dip in the holy Yamuna. The temples of Radha Raman, Radha Shyam Sundar, Banke Bihari, Radha Vallabh and Shahji Mandir welcome thousands of devotees on this day.
It is on this day that the Shahji temple opens its Basant Kamra, a room that is opened just twice a year—on Basant Panchami and during the month of Shravan. If you happen to be at this temple on this day, you can behold the myriad lights, the impressive chandeliers, the colourful glasses, and the enthralling roopa of Lord Radha Raman Lal in the gem-studded golden palanquin. Even the special chhappan bhog prepared on this day is yellow in colour. Devotees play with gulal, heralding the festival of Holi. However, the first gulal is applied on the Lord Himself in the temples of Braj.
In his ‘Story of Vasant Panchami’, Radhanath Swami says that in essence, all festivals are the same—an occasion to foster unity among ourselves so that together we can celebrate our love for the Supreme God. No matter what the festival is, the celebration is the same—participating in kirtans, discussing Krishna Katha, and having His prasadam. Basant Panchami is no exception.
If you have never been to Vrindavan before or even if you have, this is the perfect time to visit the Lord in His Land. Come, spend at least a week in Vrindavan. Express and experience your love for Krishna like never before.