Varanasi witnesses traditional 'Nag Nathaiya' festival

Thousands of devotees gathered on the riverbanks in Varanasi to witness centuries-old traditional festival named 'Nag Nathaiya' meaning dance on the hood of a cobra, the mythical Kalia. According to Hindu legend, the serpent, Kalia dwelt in the River Yamuna that flows past northern Mathura and used to trouble the locals. It is said that Lord Krishna, who spent his childhood in the vicinity of Mathura, tamed this evil by dancing on its hood and freed the locals from the serpent's scare. 'Nag Nathaiya' is an enactment of this episode from the life of Lord Krishna. Young boy dressed as Lord Krishna with a flute in hands, peacock feathers on his head and standing on 'Kalia' performed the act of taming of the serpent.