Vrindavan, around 15 km from Mathura, is a major place of pilgrimage,
on the banks of Yamuna Attracting about 5 lakhs pilgrims every
year, it is noted for its numerous temples- both old and modern.
Vrindavan is synonymous with the innocent mirth and child like
playfulness of Shri Krishna. Vrindavan, the dusty little town
is known for its temples, big and small, famous and remote strewn
all over the place.
Vrindavana is 135 km south of Delhi and 55 km north of Agra,
just off the Delhi-Agra Road. It is 12 km or a 25-minute auto-rickshaw
ride from Mathura. It has a small-town type atmosphere with
narrow streets and not much motor traffic. There are said to
be over 5000 temples in Vrindavana.
The name 'Vrindavan' is derived from 'Vrinda', another name
for the sacred tulsi (basil) plant. A legend has it that the
entire place was a tulsi grove at one time. According to another
tradition, it was named after Vrinda Devi, one of Krishna's
playmates. The earliest known shrine in Vrindavan is said to
have been built by the local gosains in a large garden called
Nidhiban, later named Seva Kunj. According to tradition, Emperor
Akbar was taken blindfolded inside the grove where he had some
kind of a spiritual experience. As a result, he acknowledged
the spot as being holy ground.
The four temples that were built in honour of his visit are
Govind Deva, Madan Mohan, Gopinath, and Jugal Kishore. The first
is an impressive edifice built in red sandstone. Architecturally
this temple is one of the finest in North India.
However, apart from its history, what keeps Vrindavan alive
in the popular imagination of the people is its rich legend
and mythology. Vrindavan is considered the place where Lord
Krishna spent his early childhood. It was here that Krishna
indulged in adolescent pranks with the gopis (milkmaids) in
the forests and stealing their clothes while they bathed in
Location Right Bank River Alaknanda
Altitude 3,133 mt Above Sea-Level
Dedicated To : Lord Krishna
Built In : 8th Century A.D.
Vrindavan is situated in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh
around 151 km south of Delhi. It extends latitude 27?33? in
the North to longitude 77?44? in the East. The place is just
10 km off Mathura, the place where Lord Krishna is said to have
spent his childhood. Vrindavan is situated on the New Delhi-Chennai
and New Delhi-Mumbai main railway line. A meter-gauge line connects
Vrindavan to Mathura. There are quite a good number of passenger
trains plying between these two places
Air : The nearest airport is Agra around 67
km away from Vrindavan. There are regular flights to other important
tourist destinations of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi,
and Khajuraho. The nearest international airport is Delhi, which
is connected to almost every important city in the world with
Rail : Though Vrindavan itself is a railway
station, the major railway station nearby is Mathura on the
Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai main line. Several express trains
connect Mathura from other major cities of India like Delhi,
Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Calcutta, and Agra. Three local
trains leave Mathura Junction each day (6.30 am, 3.40 pm &
7.40 pm) for the station in the south of Vrindavan.
Road : Vrindavan is connected to Mathura and
all other places of interest in Braj by bus services and is
on direct road link from Delhi and Agra. Getting to Vrindavan
from Mathura is very easy as there are frequent buses, shared
tempos, and taxis available throughout the day.
Pilgrimage Attraction of Vrindavan
Banke Bihari Templee
This temple was established by Haridas Swami, a contemporary
of the six Goswami's. He discovered the Banke Bihari Deity at
Nidhivana, where Banke Bihari was originally worshiped. Banke
Bihari was moved here when this temple was constructed in 1864.
This is the most popular temple in Vrindavana, especially in
the month of Sravana, during Jhulan Yatra. The curtain before
the Deities is not left open like at other temples. Every few
minutes the curtain is pulled shut and then opened again. The
Dieties do not get up until 9 am. The temple has mangala-arati
only one day a year. Only one day a year can the lotus feet
of the Deity be seen, on Akhyaya Tritiya. .
HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA, this name is probably amongst the
first things that spring to a westerner's mind when one thinks
of India or the spirituality connected to it. A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada (also known as Srila Prabhupada) established
the movement officially known as the International Society for
Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1966. The society has since
developed into a worldwide confederation of 6,000 temple devotees
and 190,000 congregational devotees. It comprises of more than
350 centres, 60 rural communities, 50 schools and 60 restaurants
spread all across the globe. The aim of the society is to "promote
the well being of society by teaching the science of Krishna
consciousness according to the Bhagavad-Gita and other ancient
Vedic scriptures of India."
Braja Mandala Parikrama
Every year in Kartika (Oct/Nov) ISKCON puts on a Braja Mandala
parikrama. It is a one-month walking tour that goes to all 12
forests in Vrindavana. The parikarma visits most of major place
in the Braja area including Mathura, Radha Kund, Varsana, Nandagrama,
Gokula, Vrindavana, and Govardhana Hill. It is traditional to
do this walk in bare feet, although shoes are permitted.
Krishna Balarama Mandir
This beautiful temple has Deities of Gaura-Nitai (left altar),
Krishna Balarama (middle altar), and Radha-Shyama-sundara (Radha-Krishna
on right altar). In front of the temple is the Samadhi Mandir
of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the
Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
(ISKCON). This is where his body was laid to rest after he left
this world and returned to the spiritual world.
This is the most sacred river in Indian. The main reason it
is so sacred is because it flows through Vrindavana and Mathura,
and was thus intimately connected to Lord Krishna's pastimes.
One who bathes in the Yamuna can be purified of all sinful reactions
and attain love of Godhead.
Lord Krishna killed the Kesi demon here. Kesi Ghat is on the
bank of the Yamuna. If you bath here you get the benediction
of bathing in all off the holy places. There is an arati performed
here every day at sunset.
This temple was built in 1590 and took several thousand men
five full years to build. The original Govindaji Deity was found
about 450 years ago by Rupa Goswami. Govindaji was removed from
this temple when the Muslim emperor Aurangzeb tried to destroy
it. The original Deity is now in Jaipur, in a temple right outside
the King of Jaipur's palace
This temple was originally seven stories high, with an altar
of marble, silver and gold. A sculptured lotus flower weighing
several tons decorates the main hall. On meeting Rupa Goswami,
Man Singh from Jaipur, a general in Emperor Akbar's army, built
this magnificent temple. Aurangzeb and his army later destroyed
part of the temple. When few stories remained, all of a sudden
the ground began to shake violently and Aurangzeb's men were
terrified and ran for their lives, never to return.
The Deities on the altar in this temple are Govindaji in the
middle, to His left is Lord Caitanya, and to His right is Lord
Nityananda. Below are small Radha and Krishna Deities. Below
them are Lord Jagannath and a Govardhana-shila.
Madana Mohana Temple
The original Deity of Madana Mohana was discovered at the
base of an old vat tree by Adaita Acharya, when visited Vrindavana.
He entrusted the worship of Madana Mohana to His disciple, Purusottama
Chaube, who then gave the Deity to Sanatana Goswami. Sanatana
Goswami spend 43 years in Vrindavana. Worshiped along with Madana
Mohana are Radharani and Lalita, who were sent to Vrindavana
by Purusottama Jena, the son of Maharaja Prataparudra.
This 60 foot high temple was opened in 1580 on a 50-foot hill
called Aditya Tila, next to the Yamuna. Ram Das Kapoor paid
to build the temple. One day a ship he owned, loaded with merchandise,
went aground in the Yamuna. He was advised by Sanatana Goswami
to pray to Madana Mohana for help. The ship came free and the
owner of the ship made a big profit, which he used to build
This temple was founded by Jiva Goswami. The main Deities
are Sri Radha-Damodara. Other Deities worshiped here are the
Radha-Vrindavana Candra Deities of Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami,
the Radha-Madhava Deities of Jayadeva Goswami, and the Radha-Chalacikana
Deities of Bhugarbha Goswami. The original Deities were all
moved to Jaipur. When the original Deities are moved, the replacement
Deity is called a pratibhu-murti and is considered as good as
the original Deity.
The Deity of Gopinath was discovered at VamShivat by Paramananda
Bhattacarya, who entrusted the Deity's worship to Madhu Pandita.
On the altar are deities of Srimati Radharani and Her sister,
Ananga Manjari, Madhu Pandita's samadhi is next to the temple.
Gopinathji was originally installed in Vrindavana by Vajranabha,
the great grandson of Krishna. When the Muslims raided Vrindavana,
the original Gopinath Deity was taken to Jaipur. The Gopinath
Deity in Jaipur and Lord Krishna are said to exactly resemble
each other from Their shoulders down to the waist.
Radha- Raman Temple
Gopal Bhatta Goswami established this temple. The Deity of
Sri Radha-Raman was manifested from one of Gopal Bhatta Goswami's
shalagram-shilas on the full moon day of Vaisakha (April/ May)
in 1542. This event is celebrated every year (May) by bathing
the Deity with 100 litres of milk and other auspicious items.
The remnants of this abhiseka (bathing) are like nectar. Gopal
Bhatta Goswami's other shalagram-shilas are worshiped on the
altar here. The appearance place of the Sri Radha-Raman Deity
is next to the temple. Radha-Ramanji is one of the few original
Deities of the Goswami's still in Vrindavana. The standard of
worship in this temple is very high.
Seva Kunja (Nikunjavan)
Krishna would massage Radharan's feet and decorate Her hair
with flowers here. Once Krishna pushed His flute into the ground
here and created a small kund, called Lalita Kund, to satisfy
Lalita Sakhi's thirst. No one is allowed within the enclosure
at night. The numerous monkeys that are there during the day
also leave at night.
Sona Gauranga Temple
These were the Deities worshiped by Jagannath Dasa Babaji.
They are located in a person's house next to Prema Talkies cinema
in the lane opposite the Radha Gopinath Temple.
Gopiswara Mahadeva Temple
The Shiva-linga in this temple was installed by Vajranabha,
the great grandson of Krishna. Every morning from 4 am to noon,
thousands of people pour Yamuna water over the linga. It is
said that the big pipal tree here is a kalpavriksya tree and
will fulfil all desires. This temple is in the VamShivata area.
Krishna rested here after killing the Kesi demon. Lord Caitanya
also rested here. Some people say that the Gopis' clothes were
stolen here by Krishna and other say that this pastime happened
14 km up the river.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would come daily to Imli Tala to chant
japa, when He was living in Vrindavana. Imli Tala means the
shade of the tamarind tree. Imli means 'tamarind' and tala mean
'tree'. There is a small temple here with Gaura-Nitai and Radha-Krishna
It is customary for devotees to walk around the town of Vrindhavana.
There is a parikrama path that goes around the town. This path
is one street over from the ISKCON temple. It takes two or three
hours to go around the town.