MATHURA VRINDAVAN CITIES
Location : North-Western UP
Also Known As : Braj Bhumi, Land of Krishna
Famous Temples : Krishna Balarama Mandir, Madana Mohana, Banke Bihari Mandir
What To Do : Enjoy Festivities, Visit Temples, Vegetarian Buffet at ISKCON Temple
Krishna Temple, Mathura
'Simply by residing for one day in Mathura, one will
attain Hari-bhakti, devotion to Hari (Vishnu)'
-- Padma Purana
May be the beautiful Taj symbolizes the epitome of mortal love, but the air of Braj reverberates with strong gushes of unconditional love, a symphony that touches the heart of every tourist en masse. This is Krishna's country, the land associated with the life and legends of India's favorite god. Braj Bhoomi is as old as the mountains, born 2 million years ago, when the Himalayas eruct out of the Tethys Sea and rose, towering with an invincible desire to touch the sky. It is on these pristine sands that Krishna was born, lived through his childhood pranks and youthful frolics with Radha and her companion 'gopis' (milkmaids), and fought his first battles against the forces of evil. Today, not just Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, or Gokul, where he grew up, or Vrindavan, where Mirabai spend her time, but all other towns and villages associated with his legend are important centers on this pilgrimage circuit. Experience a divine love floating on the hearts of the people, enjoy a holiday on a land that has everything to offer...
Iskcon Temple, Mathura
It is customary for devotees to walk around the town of
Vrindavana. There is a 'parikrama' path that goes around the town. This
path is one street over from the ISKCON Temple and it takes 2-3 hours to
go around the town. Start your religious itinerary from the famous Krishna
Balarama Mandir (ISKCON Temple). Nestling in a peaceful area called Raman
Reti, about a 15 minute bicycle rickshaw ride from the main downtown area.
Enjoy your journey through the winding streets of Loi Bazaar, the main
shopping area bustling with myriad devotional items. Inside the sanctum of
the temple, you can see beautiful effigies of Gaur-Nitai (left altar),
Krishna-Balarama (middle altar) and Radha-Shyamasundara (Radha-Krishna on
right altar). Don't miss a lunch at the temple restaurant and thereafter
you can visit the traditional 'gurukula' (school of the guru), but take a
prior permission to avoid last-minute hassles. Students here are trained
in an ashram ambiance, who get both spiritual and material education. The
temple is open from 7:15 am till 8:45 pm with a break from 12:30 pm-4:30
pm for 'bhoga'.
Get a rickshaw from outside the temple for Banke Bihari Mandir. There is, however, a very interesting way to greet strangers in Vrindavan. Unlike 'Hello' or typical Indian way of saying 'Namaste', people in Vrindavana greet one another sweetly with 'Jai Radhe'. As you will pass through the colourful stalls lined with curious artifact's, you can see a different bygone world swelling around you. This 60 foot high temple was opened in 1580 on a 50-foot hill called Aditya Tila, on the pristine banks of Yamuna, with the original deity of Madana Mohana discovered by Advaita Acharya. However, the deity was later moved to Jaipur when Aurangazeb attacked Vrindavana in 1670. On the side of the temple is the 'bhajana' kutir (meditation place) of Sanatana Goswami, the revered devotee who spent 43 years in Vrindavana. Spare out some time to visit the famous Radha Raman Temple. If you happen to be there in March-April, you can be a part of the extravagant 'Shalgram-shilas' festival when the deity is washed with 100 liters of milk and other auspicious items. You will be amazed to know that the fires for cooking in the temple kitchen have been burning continuously for over 435 years, since the deity was installed.
Perhaps the most visited temple in Krishna's Vrindavana is the Banke Bihari Temple, nestling in a close quarter to Nidhivana. There is an interesting feature associated with the temple that makes it stand apart from other temples in the precincts. The curtain before the deities is not left open like at other temples, instead, it is pulled shut and opened again every few minutes. This particular ceremony is known as 'Jhalak Darshan' and is quite popular among the tourists.
Travelling to Vrindavana is not a problem from any
northern state of India. The closest airport is in Delhi and takes around
4 hours to reach there. There is no long-distance train station in
Vrindavana. The closest major railhead is in Mathura, about 14 km away.
There is also a passenger trains between Mathura and Vrindavana. No doubt,
the best way to reach Krishna's playground is by bus. There are buses to
delhi that you can get in front of the ISKCON Temple or at the Vrindavana
Bus Stand. If you get the bus in front of the temple, there is a good
chance you will not get a seat. It's better to get a rickshaw to the
Vrindavana Bus Stand and guarantee yourself a seat.
Buses to Vrindavana or Mathura from Delhi depart from either the Interstate Bus Terminus near Kashmere gate, in Old Delhi, or from the Ashram Bus Stop in the southeast part of Delhi. There are a few direct buses to Vrindavana, bust most of the buses go to Mathura. If you take the Mathura bus, get down at Chatikara Road, and from there get a motor-rickshaw or a tempo to reach the ISKCON Temple. You could ask the conductor of the bus to inform you when you reach Chatikara Road, or ask a few passengers to help you get off at the correct place.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Mathura And Vrindavan
A Tour To The Pages of Mythology
The Incredible ISKCON Temple
Amazing Rituals At Madana Mohana
Bewitching Banka Bihari
The Divine Destinations of Braj
Pilgrimage Spiritual Tour
» Splendrous Taj Mahal
Glorious Golden Triangles (I & II)
Delhi : Capital of Hearts
Jaipur : The
Power and Valor of Rajputs
Pradesh : Ecstasy in Hills
Chandigarh : Tradition