Festival: Gokulashtami or Dahi Handi, 2014

 Good day ppl !

Dahi Handi at RCF Chembur. Human pyramid to break the curd filled pot at height
Check my post for Janmashtami, 2011 I had such different views about the festival 3 years ago.

Gokulashtami/Janmashtami or Dahi handi as in popularly called in Maharashtra this year was on 18th Aug 2014, Monday.
Lot of people having a holiday on Friday 15th Aug & Monday 18th Aug were delighted with the loong weekend.

Gokulashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated the earlier day & night. At 12am, everywhere people celebrate the birth of the Kanha. There are all night jaagrans & hymn singing sessions in temples.
The next day, is Dahi handi. This is to depict the curd stealing by Lord Krishna or Nandan as he is called with so many names. Krishna could enthral & captivate people with his smile, guileless behaviour, endear himself to all, tease the gopika's who couldn't resist his charm, make mischief with his friends by stealing butter.

Handi at Chembur naka. One of the highest prize money handi in Chembur
The Dahi handi festival is celebrated as a person who is Govinda or a group of people called Govinda pathak, form a human pyramid to reach a pot filled with Dahi (curd) hung very high & break it. These govinda's are drenched by people with water to foil their attempts. Any pathak can try their hand at breaking the handi. The winning team gets the prize money. So these pathak's are seen touring the city from early morning till late at night. There are now all-women pathak, who are encouraged.

The govinda pathak's touring the city, at Mahim

This festival is more popular in Maharashtra & Mumbai. Now it is getting more mileage due to participation & support from political parties.

The Govinda pathak practise for this day months in advance. The height of the Handi is increasing day by day & also the prize money.

Some are friendly & having fun. Seeing me with camera, waved !

The hooliganism on this day reaches a high. Youngsters part of these Govinda pathak's travelling by trucks,bikes harass, tease ladies & girls. Most of them are drunk.
How they think they can be Kanha's teasing the gopika's is beyond sane imagination?

The pyramid has many layers.Children are made to be at the top of the pyramid as they are light & nimble. When the pyramid crashes, lot of people get hurt.

The high court had passed a ruling, not to let people below 18 years be part of the pyramids. Days before the festival the Supreme court made changes by lowering the age limit to 12 years.

Hope the festival doesnt turn more ugly as its getting these days.

More Indian festival posts:
Gudi Padva
Divyachi Amavasya
Janmashtami, 2011
Ashadi Ekadashi

Bye. Take care.


  1. Hi, I am sorry for the late comment. Just got to check out the post fully. Nice pics and write up. I agree about the lack of safety, eve teasing and drinking. It's really sad. Hope all that changes soon :)


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