Vrindaban, 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. Vrindaban
is synonymous with the innocent mirth and child like playfulness
of Shri Krishna. Vrindaban, the dusty little town is known for its
temples, big and small, famous and remote strewn all over the place.
Vrindabana 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 Vrindabana.
The name 'Vrindaban' 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 Vrindaban 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 Vrindaban alive in
the popular imagination of the people is its rich legend and mythology.
Vrindaban 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 the river.
Banke Bihari Temple
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 Vrindabana, 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 Vrindabana.
The parikarma visits most of major place in the Braja area including
Mathura, Radha Kund, Varsana, Nandagrama, Gokula, Vrindabana, 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 Vrindabana 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
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 Vrindabana. 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 Vrindabana. Worshiped along with Madana Mohana are Radharani
and Lalita, who were sent to Vrindabana 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.
This temple was founded by Jiva Goswami. The main Deities are Sri
Radha-Damodara. Other Deities worshiped here are the Radha-Vrindabana
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 Vrindabana by Vajranabha,
the great grandson of Krishna. When the Muslims raided Vrindabana,
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 Vrindabana. 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
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 Vrindabana. 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 Deities.
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.
The nearest airport is Agra around 67 km away from Vrindaban. 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 major airlines.
Though Vrindaban 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 Vrindaban.
Vrindaban 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 Vrindaban from Mathura is very easy as there are
frequent buses, shared tempos, and taxis available throughout the
Summer : 48 - 22 degrees Celsius
Winter : 26- 6 degrees Celsius
Rainfall : 65 Cms (June to September)
General Information & Accomdation info on Vrindaban city of Uttar Pradesh - India