Shri Krishna

Shri Krishna and Radha

Radha, the beloved milkmaid and consort of the Hindu god Krishna, is in many ways the embodiment of love and longing for divinity and enlightenment. In fact, it is said that she did not open her eyes after birth until Krishna appeared in front of her. She is considered a goddess in her own right, an avatar of Lakshmi. And her birth anniversary or Janmashtami is celebrated by many, just 15 days after Krishna Janmashtami. The festival, called Radha Ashtami, Radhashtami or simply Radha Jayanti, is best witnessed at the few places across India where the eternal bond of love between Krishna and Radha is captured, shown and worshiped. If you are curious about the festival and its celebrations and rituals, here are the best places in India to visit to experience it all. ALSO READ: Radha Ashtami 2017 Puja and Celebration in India Also Read - ‘I am Done With Politics,’ Says BJP MP Hema Malini as She Wants More Time For Family

Braj, Uttar Pradesh

Madan Mohan Temple, Vrindavan

Madan Mohan Temple, Vrindavan

The region of Braj, also called Brij or Brijbhoomi, is a culturally important part of Uttar Pradesh. The region is said to be where Krishna was born, brought up and had his early adventures. It consists of around 1,300 villages and the iconic towns of Mathura and Vrindavan, and it has several temples dedicated to the god and goddess. The region is also associated with the tales and legends of Krishna and Radha, and their love for one another. Also Read - Mathura: Man Sets Own Car Ablaze, Fires Gunshots; Arrested For Triggering Panic

Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

Govardhan Sarovar in Mathura

At the center of Braj lies the town of Mathura, the place where Krishna, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, was born. The city’s history dates back to several millennia, with many points of interest that reflect its culture and heritage. Its temples are the main attractions, with the incredible legends and history associated with them and their features that showcase the ingenuity of ancient Indian architecture. The Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in particular celebrates Krishna and Radha Ashtami with pomp and fervor. Also Read - Unfortunate That Some Get Alarmed on Hearing 'Om', 'Cow': PM Modi

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

Devotees in Vrindavan

Located close to Mathura, Vrindavan is where Krishna is said to have spent his childhood years, performing feats of wonder and defeating demons sent out by his evil uncle, Kansa. The two towns are just 11 km apart, and Krishna would go on to travel back to the land of his birth to free his parents and defeat the tyranical Kansa. Vrindavan is also mentioned in the Mahabharata, and its Sri Radha Raman Mandir venerates the bond between Krishna and Radha. Do not miss the Radha Ashtami rituals and celebrations of this temple. CHECK OUT: Janmashtami Celebration in India: How Janmashtami is celebrated in Maharashtra, Vrindavan, Mathura and Manipur

Barsana, Uttar Pradesh

Holi in Barsana

Holi in Barsana

While Mathura is where Krishna lived as a child, Barsana is the town associated with Radha’s childhood. Like others in this list, Barsana is also tied to several stories associated with the divine couple. It is especially important for those who worship the goddess as an embodiment of Shakti. The town’s Radha Ashtami celebrations are famous, as is its Lath Mar Holi festival.