Dahi-handi - now a recognized sport in Maharashtra!!

.Dahi-hundi, Sri Krishna Jayanthi, India. shutterstock.com

Dahi-handi, Mahrashtra. oneindia.com

Dahi-handi, India. shutterstock.com

Dahi Handi, yet another another major attraction of Sri Krishna  Janmashtami, is normally held on the second day of the festival. A  popular  and exciting festival in Maharashtra  and other westerns states of India, Maharashtra has its own unique style of celebrating Gokulashtami.  Lots of youth and men take part in the event in which  on the festive  day, pots of yogurt (Dahi) are hung at a height which are to be broken by teams of youth  forming a human pyramid. The youths perform  what is called   the dahi-handi ritual, enacting child Krishna's prank of  stealing butter-milk- act of 'Maakhan Chori' or butter from his own home and those of others as well along with his friends. Lord Krishna was fond of butte-milk as well as butter when he was raised  in Gokulam by Nanda and Yeshoda. 

Dahi-handi, pot hanging from te pole .livemint.com

Dahi handi is a famous sporting event in many places in the north and the good news is on  August 18, 2022 (Thursday), Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde announced that ''Dahi Handi will now be recognized as an official sport in the state'. Citing the occasion of Janmashtami, he also said that ‘pro-dahi-handi’ competitions will be introduced in the state.  “Dahi-handi will be recognized under the sports category in the state and  Pro-Dahi-Handi will be introduced. The Govindas will get jobs under the sports category. We will provide insurance cover of Rs 10 lakhs for all Govindas”

Many sections of the society welcome it as it is an annual event associated with Krisna Jayanthi  and the demand  to officially recognize it as a sporting event had been pending for a longtime. Dahi- handi had been banned for two years in the past by the previous CM Uddhav Thackeray in view of Covid -19 Pandemic threats and health protocol taken by the then government. The court imposed certain restrictions on Dahi-handi with respect to height of the human pyramid -  up to 20 feet to avoid physical injury, etc, besides not allowing minors to participate in the event. 


In Mathura and Dwaraka, Krishna Jayanthi is a grand and colorful festival in which lots of people participate. The Dwarkadhish temple in Dwarka will be well illuminated and the lord will be adorned with beautiful jewelry. Children will dress up like Child Krishna and it is a common  sight in many places across south India. Mathura and Vrindavan come alive during this time and Raas Lila, based on episodes  from the Bhagwata Purana, is performed on stage. It is a night-long celebration.