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Hindola Utsav

Every year, during the monsoon months of Ashadh and Shravan (July - August) the mandirs in India and abroad are awash with devotion. The arrival of the Hindola Utsav during these months usher a new breeze of bhakti and festivity in the mandirs of India. For one whole month, the chal (mobile) murti of the Lord is placed in a hindola and pulled to and fro with a string. The sadhus and devotees sing the hindola bhajans with the accompaniment of the mrudang and cymbals. The mandir ambience is charged with the sound and fragrance of bhakti.

The festival finds its origin in the streets of Vrundavan 5000 years ago where the Gopis rocked Lord Krishna on a decorated swing. Ever since, to experience the divine joy of rocking the mighty Lord in a small swing, the hindola festival became the focus of devotion.

Even Lord was revered and entertained by the devotees through their devotion. Once in Vartal, a decorative hindolo was tied to a couple of mango trees, and the devotees rocked the Lord to and fro. In response to their devotion, the Lord, while standing in the hindola, appeared in twelve divine forms and blessed the devotees. History also reveals that Lord often sat on a swing tied between two tamarind trees at Laxmivadi in Gadhada.

Today, in memory of the Lord's divine sports, the hindola festival is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm at all mandirs. It is an aesthetic experience of devotion to the Lord, requiring meticulous preparation by sadhus and devotees to produce hindolas of a variety of colors, shapes and forms. The hindolas are made of vegetables,leaves, flowers, earthen pots, fruits, dry fruits, beans, rakhis, chocolates, steel dishes and cups, etc.

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