(Last Updated on : 18-02-2015)
Uttar Pradesh Temple Festivals attract thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Holi and Deepavali being the prominent festivals of this state, the people of Uttar Pradesh follow these festivals according to its traditional rituals.
Holi heralds the beginning of spring and is probably celebrated in the grandest manner in Uttar Pradesh. Other than color celebrations, Holi actually starts with offerings in the temple, commemorating the legend of Hiranya Kashyapa the demon who ruled over 'Sapta Deep' believed himself to be more powerful than God. He contemplated killing his youngest son Prahlad, an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu after he refused to worship him as God Holika, the demon's sister possessed a divine, garment to protect her from fire and agreed to enter the burning pyre with Prahlad in her lap but got diminished into fire. The festival of Holi thus signifies the victory of good over evil and is marked by grand festivities all over India and particularly in the Braj area where it is celebrated with great gaiety and fervour.
Barsana Holi is another Uttar Pradesh Temple Festival, dedicated to Lord Krishna and is celebrated at Barsana. This festival is also known as the famous "Latthmaar Holi" of Braj. Tradition states that Krishna use to come to Barsana to play Holi from Nandgaon with Radha along with his Gopi friends. The Gopis after jollity chased away the Gopas of Nandgaon by beating them with "lathis". So it came to be known as the 'Latthmar Holi' of Barsana. The main celebrations take place at the Ladliji temple, dedicated to Sri Radha Rani.
Kampil Fair is a religious festival amongst the Uttar Pradesh Temple Festivals. The Bateshwar Fair of Agra has reached a status of religious significance and the temple of Bateshwar is an important spiritual and cultural centre. There are 108 temples dedicated to Bateshwar Mahadeo of the Hindu pantheon. During the months of October and November, a large fair is organized from Shashthi of Kartik month to Panchami of Agrahayan month. Devotees gather here in large numbers to worship Lord Shiva and take holy dips in river Yamuna. A livestock fair is also organized and traders and buyers transact serious business combined with the cheerfulness of a market place. All class of people enjoys Uttar Pradesh Temple Festivals.
Deva Mela and Kailash Fair are the two religious fairs celebrated within the temple premises of Uttar Pradesh. Srila Sanatana Gosvami established Krishna Balrama Mandir and Madan Mohan Temple of Mathura. These temples of Vrindavana are sacred sites in the state and site for some regular Uttar Pradesh Temple Festivals. These festivals retain the Krishna culture of the state till date.