‘Govinda Alla Re’ during Dahi Handi in Mumbai

Mumbai is a land of several festivals, which are celebrated all around the city with much fervor and zeal. In the long list of festivals that are celebrated in the commercial capital of India, Dahi Handi is one of the most popular ones. Organized on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, Dahi Handi in Mumbai is a major crowd puller. Also known as Gopalkala, it is celebrated on the second day of Janmashtami festivities. 

Inspiration and belief
Dahi Handi celebrations started in Mumbai way back in the 18th century. This ceremony is inspired and is actually an enactment of Lord Krishna’s efforts, during his childhood to steal Maakhan (butter) from Matka (earthen pot), that used to be tied up from the ceiling. Although it is celebrated at a number locations in the northern region of India like Dwarka and Vrindavan as well, but in Mumbai it is celebrated on a very large scale with highest price money being in Lakhs. The devotees of the Lord have a belief that the broken pieces of the pot are going to keep at bay all the negative energies from their homes. These celebrations also enjoy enormous support from rich groups, political parties and Bollywood as well as TV celebrities, who also become part of the celebrations.

The real action

During Dahi Handi in Mumbai, an earthen pot containing a mix of dry fruits, milk, ghee and curd is suspended from a rope, around 25-30 feet  high in the air with a nariyal (coconut) on top, a symbol of purity. A group of excited young men (and at some places women), called Govindas, form a human pyramid by standing one on the top of another. People standing and watching this ceremony being performed throw buckets filled with colored water on them in the form of a challenge. The person reaches up till the pot by climbing this pyramid and breaks the pot, with the nariyal kept on the top. The group, who breaks the pot of buttermilk, gets the hefty prize money. These groups of youngsters travel all around the city for breaking as many handis as possible. Even heavy rains do not stop them. Thane, Worli, Dadar, Lower Parel, Mazgaon and Lalbaug are the best locations in Mumbai where you can spot some breathtaking action at the time of the ceremony. This ceremony is widely covered by news and several TV channels.

Where to stay in Mumbai
If you are planning to visit Mumbai, during the Govinda sport (Dahi Handi), then there is no need for you to worry about accommodations. There are innumerable hotels in Mumbai, falling into various categories, according to the prices they charge and personalized services they offer.  In case you want to enjoy the best of Dahi Handi celebrations, you may opt for a stay in:

Hotels in WorliHotel Four Seasons, Hotel Hilltop
Hotels near Thane - Hotel Grand Sarovar Premiere, Hotel Renaissance
Hotels in Dadar- Hotel Amigo, Hotel Shantidoot, Hotel Parkway


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