History of Vrindavan
Vrindavan the birth place of Lord Krishna is referred as 'Lila Bhumi', orthe place where he revealed himself. It is here that Lord Krishna used toindulge in Raslila, the dance with Gopis, or milkmaids. Among the numeroustemples in Vrindavan, the most impressive is the Govind Dev Temple, whichwas built by Raja Man Singh of Amber in 1590. Another important templesituated here is the Rangaji Temple whose architecture is a mixture ofRajput, South Indian and Italian style.
Other temples in Vrindavan are the Krishna Balaram Temple, the RadhaBallabh Temple and the Madan Mohan Temple. The best time to visit the city of Vrindavan is from November till March.
About the places to visit near Vrindavan:-
Pagal Baba Temple
Many roads into Vrindavan, one of these takes the traveler past the towering temple of Pagal Baba . This gleaming white temple has eleven stories in all and is one of the more modern pieces of architecture. The temple's creator, Pagal Baba, died only a few years ago. His infectious spirit lingers on in the playfulness of his disciples who are ready to welcome one into the temple interior.
Bankey Bihari Temple
One of the most important and vibrant temples is the Bankey Bihari, reached down an alleyway where one can expect to see devotees engaged in simple acts of worship such as ecstatically clashing small cymbals together as they move in time to ancient rhythms.
One of the most impressive temples is another new construction, the ISKON temple, which was built with funds coming from devotees overseas. It owes its existence to Swami Prabhupada, a Hindu devotee born in Bengal in 1896. Today, ISKON is a worldwide movement with followers from many different ethnic backgrounds.
Madan Mohan Temple
Madan Mohan Temple on the riverside is the oldest structure in Vrindavan. This famous temple was established by Srila Sanatana Gosvami and was the first Gosvami temple built in Vrindavan, which at that time was just a forest. The original Deity of Madana Mohana was discovered at the base of an old vat (banyan) tree by Advaita Acarya, when He visited Vrindavan.
Jugal Kisore Temple
Jugal Kisore Temple (Kesi ghata temple) is one of the oldest temples of Vrindavan, completed in 1627. After Akbar's visit to Vrindavan in the year 1570, he gave permission for four temples to be built by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, which were Madana-mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha and Jugal Kisore. It is sometimes called the Kesi ghata temple, as it is located next to this ghata.
Rangaji Temple Opposite from the Govinda Dev Temple is an imposing south-Indian temple called Sri Ranganatha (Rangaji) Temple . It is 30 meters high with three gopurams (gateways), a tall shikhara (crown) and gold-plated decorations. This South Indian style temple was built by the wealthy Seth family of Mathura in 1851 and is dedicated to Lord Sri Ranganatha or Rangaji, a form of Lord Vishnu lying down on the Sesa Naga (divine serpent).
Banke Bihari Temple
One of the most popular in Vrindavan and famous all over India is the Banke Bihari Temple , built in 1864. There are curtains in front of the richly decorated murti. After the main prayers the curtains are drawn apart to give darsan (viewing) to a long line of devotees. The curtain before the Deities is not left open like at other temples but every few minutes it is pulled shut and then opened again.
The famous temple of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami . Radharamana means "one who gives pleasure to Radha". It is one of the many names of Lord Krishna. The seva puja of Radharamana was established in 1542, after the Deity self-manifested from a salagram-sila on the full moon day of Vaisakha (April/May). This event is celebrated every year by bathing the Deity with 100 liters of milk and other auspicious items. The remnants of this abhiseka (bathing) are like nectar.
Radha Damodara Temple
Radha Damodara Temple is one of the most important temples in Vrindavan. The original Deity was hand carved by Rupa Gosvami and given as a gift to his beloved disciple, Jiva Gosvami, who later built a temple. Formerly this spot was in the middle of Seva-kunja and it was the bhajan place (where he performed his devotional activities) of Rupa Gosvami.
Radha Vallabha Temple
Radha Vallabha Temple is another very popular temple of Vrindavan which was founded by Harivamsa Gosvami, who started the Radha Vallabha sampradaya emphasizing devotion to Radharani. In this temple, there is no Deity of Radharani, but a crown has been placed next to Krishna to signify her presence. The original temple of Radha Vallabha was destroyed by the Muslims in 1670 and a new temple was built beside the old one.
Radha-Syamasundara are the Deities of Syamananda Prabhu. Darsan is from 8.30 to 11 am and 5 to 8 pm . It is one of the seven major temples in Vrindavan. Syamananda's samadhi is across the street and down from the entrance of the temple.
Sri Gopesvara Mahadeva Mandir
Sri Gopesvara Mahadeva Mandir is the oldest temple in Vrindavan. Gopesvara Mahadeva is Lord Siva, who came to Vrindavan to become a gopi of Krishna . Here Vrinda Devi blessed him and allowed him to enter the rasa dance of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna then offered Lord Siva the guardianship of the Rasa mandala and placed him at its entrance. Ever since, all Vaisnavas pray first for his mercy to become a servant of the servant of the gopis.
One of Vrindavan's most opulent temples, was built by the Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Madhav, in 1917 after 30 years of labor. The fine hand-carved sandstone is of unparalleled workmanship, the huge pillars that hold up the roof are each carved from one solid rock, and the intricately fashioned marble on the altar is reminiscent of the Mughal period.
Another popular temple at Vrindavan, was designed and built in 1876 by a wealthy jeweler, Shah Kundan Lal of Lucknow . The Deities at the temple are popularly known as the Chhote Radha Raman. Noted for its magnificent architecture and beautiful marble sculpture, the temple has twelve spiral columns each 15 feet high. The `Basanti Kamra' - the darbar hall is famed for its Belgian glass chandeliers and fine paintings.
Seva Kunja and Nidhuban
The Seva Kunj is where Lord Krishna performed the Rasalila with Radharani decorating her hair with flowers and her lotus feet. Radha and Krishna would sometimes spend the night here, dancing with the gopis and enjoying transcendental pastimes.
Yamuna river flows through Vrindavan and Mathura . It is the most sacred river in India as it is so intimately connected with Krishna 's pastimes. Situated on the bank of the Yamuna is the Kesi Ghat, where Krishna killed the Kesi demon and saved His friends. One who bathes here gets the benediction of bathing in all of the holy places, can be purified of all sinful reactions and attain love of Godhead. This is also very famous bathing place in Vrindavan. An arati (prayer with offering of lamps) to Yamuna Devi is held here every day at sunset.
It is customary for devotees to walk around the town of Vrindavan , especially on Ekadasi. 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.
About the places of Excursions in Vrindavan Yatra Packages:-
The Rainy month of Bhadon, the month when the Lord Krishna was born, is a time of colourful celebrations. The famous Braj Parikrama - a pilgrimage of all the places in Braj that associated with Shri Krishna, is undertaken. Traditionally, the Chaurasi kos (84 kos) pilgrimage of Braj Mandal, with its 12 vanas (forests). 24 upvanas (groves), sacred hill Govardhan, divine River Yamuna and numerous holy places along its banks, is undertaken annually by lakhs of devotees from all over the country. The Yatra extends to Kotban to the north of Mathura , to Nandgaon, Barsana and the Govardhan Hill to the west and South-west of the city and to the a banks of the Yamuna to the east, where the Baldeo Temple is located. Colourful melas and performances of the Raaslila (a depiction of the exploits of Shri Krishna) are distinctive to this festive period.
The most celebrated of Shri Krishna's abode, Gokul lies to the west of Sadabad, 1.6 km from Mahavan and 15 km south-east of Mathura, on the Mathura - Etah metalled road. It was here that Lord Krishna was brought up in secrecy by Yashoda, in the pastoral beauty of this village on the banks of the Yamuna. The celebration of Janmashtami in August is unparalleled for its gaiety and melas are constant attraction here. Other festivities celebrated with traditional fervour include the Janmotsav in Bhadon, the Annakut festival and Trinavat Mela held on the fourth day of the dark half of Kartik month. Important sites worth visiting in Gokul include the Gokulnath Temple , Raja Thakur Temple , Gopal Lalji Temple and the Morwala Temple .
Around 33 km from Vrindavan, lying on the left bank of the River Yamuna, is the large shrine of Mathuranath. It is famed for its Chaurasi Khambha (eighty four pillars). The palace of Rohini , the mother of Baldeo is now the Chhathi-Palana Temple . Other important shrines include, the Shymlalji Temple , the Yogmaya Temple , Tranairatri Temple and the Mahamall Rai Ji's palace.
Baldeo is 35 km south-east of Vrindavan and 8.5 km south - east of Mahavan on the road to Sadabad. It derives its name from the famous temple dedicated to Balram, the elder brother of Lord Krishna. It was built by Shyam Das of Delhi 200 years ago. The main image in the sanctum is that the Baldeo or Balram with his spouse Revati. Near by is the brick lined tank, the Khir Sagar or Balbhadra Kund, from where the original image housed in the temple was found.
Govardhan is situated west of Mathura on the state highway to Deeg. A famous place of Hindu pilgrimage, Govardhan is located on a narrow sandstone hill known as Giriraj which is about 8 km in length. The young Lord Krishna is said to have held Giriraj up on the tip of a finger for 7 days and nights to shield the people of Braj from the deluge of rain sent down by Lord Indra.
Barsana, is situated at the foot of a hill that is named after Brahma. Barsana was once the home of Radha-Rani, Krishna 's beloved and consort. Temples dedicated to the divine couple ornament the four elevations of the hill. The main among them is the Radha-Rani Temple , more fondly referred to as the Ladliji Temple . The most beautiful temple at Barsana, it was built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo of Orchha in 1675. The new marble temple adjoining it is a later addition. The other three shrines are the Man Mandir, Dargah and Mor-Kutir temples. The area between the hill housing the Radha-Rani Temple and the adjoining one, is known as the Sankari-Khor. This is the venue of the annual fair held in the month of Bhadon (July-August). The birth anniversary of Radha-Rani is celebrated on the ninth day of the bright half of Bhadrapad (July-August) at the Mor-Kutir Temple which was built about 300 years ago. Women celebrate the occasion by giving laddus to the peacocks - to symbolize the serving of sweets by Radha to Lord Krishna. Barsana is also famous for its 'Latthmar' Holi-celebration of the festival of colour that is unique to this town.
Nadgaon lies 8.5 km north of Barsana on the metalled road to Mathura (56 km). According to tradition, it was the home of Shri Krishna's foster father, Nand. On the top of the hill is the spacious temple of Nand Rai , built by the Jat ruler Roop Singh. The other temples here are dedicated to Narsingha, Gophinath, Nritya Gopal, Girdhari, Nand Nandan and Yashoda Nandan which is located half way up the hill. A little beyond is the Pan Sarovar, a large lake with masonry ghats along its sides. Legend has it, that this was the place where Shri Krishna used to take his cows for water. Not far away is the Kadamb grove called Udhoji - Ka- Kyar.
Valley of flowers is also world widely famous for its trek that’s begun from Josimath, above from the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga, through the mountain slope. In way you can visit some beautiful shrines these are Vasudeva temple and Narsimhadeva temple devoted to God Vishnu, Nav durga temple, Shankracharya Math and Rudraprayag (devoted to God Shiva). Then after trek to Govindghat, this place is conflux of River Bhyundar and Alaknanda. You can voyage a beautiful Gurudwara which name after Guru Govind Singh and there is also a shrine devoted Laxman brother of Lord Ram. Then you have to take the all necessary things from the local bazaar like Porters and Mules there for trekking to the Valley of flowers.Just 5 km north of Govardhan and 26 km west of Mathura , Radhakund is a large lake, where Shri Krishna is said to have killed Arista - the bull demon. To commemorate this event, every year on the 8th day of the dark half of the month of Kartik (Oct./Nov.), a large fair is held here.
Travel Information :
By Air :
The closest International airport is in Delhi (150km, 3½ hr).
By Rail :
Vrindavan has no long-distance rail station. So, if you are planningyour Vrindavan Tour via the rail route, you would need to use theclosest major rail head at Mathura. The rail station at Mathura isabout 14 kms from Vrindavan. You may take a half-hour taxi ride forthis distance. Tourists wondering about How to Reach Vrindavan via railwould do well to remember that a passenger train runs between Mathuraand Vrindavan.
By Road :
For Reaching Vrindavan, you can also take the road. There are a smallnumber of direct buses that ply between Delhi and Vrindavan. However,several buses go to Mathura and the frequency is also good. Every halfan hour, you would get a bus to Mathura. So, you can board the Mathurabus, get down at Chatikara Road and then take a motor-rickshaw or atempo to reach Vrindavan. Private taxis can be hired too from Delhi toreach Vrindavan. Vrindavan is also well connected via road to Haridwar,Agra, Jaipur and other key cities of India.