Chandan Yatra is one of the most beautiful festivals in Vrindavan. Deities are covered in Sandalwood paste to protect them of the scorching heat. Each temple has developed its own style, some are simply amazing.
Vrindavan’s temples have started preparing for the Akshay Tritiya festival celebrated during the bright lunar fortnight (shukla paksha) in the Vaishakh month as per the Hindu calendar.
The main ritual followed on that day is the Chandan Yatra, in which the Deities are covered from head to foot with sandalwood paste. Since Akshaya Sewayats (servants of Lord) in various temples have already stared preparing sandalwood for their respective deities.
The Sri Vigraha in all seven main temples of Vrindavan, viz. Thakur Radha Damodar, Radha Raman, Radha Gopinath, Radha Govind, Radha Madan Mohan, Radha Gokulanand, Radha Shyam Sundar along with Thakur Bankey Bihari Ji and Radha Vallabh are completely covered with sandalwood one time in a year.
Kanika Goswami and Krishna Goswami of the Radha Damodar temple told that sandalwood paste is applied on the body of Thakur Ji to protect him from the scorching heat of Akshay Tritiya. This year, Akshay Tritiya will be celebrated on May 9th from which date most of the other temples will also organize phool bangla for the pleasure of the Lord.
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In the Krishna Balaram temple, devotees have been grinding sandalwood paste since April 25 in preparation, with several devotees gathering under the tamal tree at Krishna Balaram temple every day from 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM and 04:30 – 07:00 PM. Copious amounts of chandan are needed to cover all the Sri Vigrahas completely.
Charan Darshan of Thakur Bankey Bihari during Chandan Yatra
World famous Thakur Bankey Bihari Ji, Rasik Bihari temple of Haridas community and Mohini Bihari temple are also preparing for the Charan Darshan of Thakur Ji, which happens once in a year, during Akshay Tritiya. Out of these temple, most visitors from across the globe are expected at the Thakur Bankey Bihari temple.
Pandit Manish Shukla of Thakur Bankey Bihari Temple told the importance of the charan darshan of Thakur Ji is mentioned in almost all the vedic sculptures including Narad Puran and Matasya Puran. He also said that this day is very auspicious and has a lot of significant on Hindu mythology. People generally make a lot of donations on the day of Akshay Tritiya.