Nashik: The city’s 191-year-old Muralidhar Mandir, one of the oldest temples in the city, began its annual celebrations of Krishna Janma (birth of Lord Krishna) on Thursday.

As per tradition, the custodians of the temple – the Sant Family – will decorate the idol of Lord Krishna in nine different avatars till August 27. On Thursday, the idol was presented as enjoying a ride on a swing.

“Muralidhar Mandir was established in 1825 by one of our ancestors Gundraj Maharaj Sant. The temple has an idol of Lord Krishna holding a flute. This idol was special for Nashik those days as it was the first idol carved from white stone brought to Nashik. Earlier, temples in Western Maharashtra used to have idols carved in black stones only,” said Sandesh Sandip Sant, a psychology graduate, and 15th inheritor of the founder of Muralidhar Mandir.

“On Friday, we will present Lord Krishna seated on eagle while on Saturday, he will ride on peacock. Sunday will see the Lord resting on moon. Susequently, he will be portrayed as King, as herdsman, and as Lord Shiva,” Sant added. Members of Sant family take time from their respective professions and stay at home during these nine days. Two of them are doctors; two are government servants and many teachers.