A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

This Holi, Celebrate with the Living Gods of Vrindavan!

Radha – Krishna ki yeh nagari hai

aur woh ‘Radha’ hi hai jo Krishna ko sabhi gopiyon main sabse priya hai

isliye bolo Radhe Radhe..

This is the verse that one gets to hear quite often as one sets his foot in the holy land of Vrindavan which was known as Braj in olden times.  Every breath one takes in this small town fills you with an unparalleled serenity as if the air is determined to quench the soul with peace. Truly there is something divine about this small town in Mathua district some 185 kms. from Delhi.

There are old temples, new temples and simply more temples and so spirituality is what attracts Indian as well as foreign tourists here.

Some of the must visit temple and holy spots here are:

  • Banke Bihari Temple:

360px-Bankebihari_temple_main_gate_VrindavanSource:

The temple is one of the oldest in the town and has a large number of believers visiting each day. It is best to go early in the morning to avoid the rush and have a good darshan of the deity. One noticeable aspect about this place is that the idol of Banke Bihari (Lord Krishna) is not on display for devotees continuously but is shown in intervals. It is believed that the idol of Shri Banke Bihariji is such that a true believer if sees the idol continuously can get captivated by the charm of it and so the intervals are kept.

  • Sevakunj & NidhiVan:

14-02-15-06-37-05-0Source:

This is quite an intriguing place with 16000 trees growing in around two and a half acres of land that too only of a certain kind of Tulsi (Bhusal). All the trees have double shoots arising from the ground and which later on get intertwined. As per the locals, these are not mere trees but the 16000 gopis of Lord Krishna. 

Another mysterious ting about this place is that it is said that in the midnight Lord Krishna and his soulmate, ‘Radha’ descend here and perform Raas-leela even today. There is a separate room made for them to rest after the raas-leela where till today bed is prepared, food kept for both and cosmetics kept for Radha. The door is sealed before 8 P.M. in evening and nobody is allowed on this place after that.

As per the locals, even the monkeys which are prevalent in the whole Vrindavan leave from this place at night. The next morning it is said that as the doors of this particular room are opened all the things are seen to be used by someone. It is also believed that whoever has dared to stay back or tried to witness Lord Krishna and Radha here at midnight have been physically impaired or have died. Few samadhis (tombs) of such people can be seen in the same spot with names and details. Quite intriguing isn’t it? After all it is incredible India and as they say Chamatkaar ko Namaskaar hai!

  • Witness Kaliya Ghat and the Kadamba tree alive from Lord Krishna’s era:

Kaliya-Mardan1Source:

It is believed that Kaliya Ghat is the place where Lord Krishna defeated the serpent Kaliya. According to Hindu scriptures, it is said that this serpent was a menace to the people and environment of Vrindavan and so Krishna had jumped from the kadamba tree situated near the ghat and landed on the serpent hood where he danced and finally defeated the serpent to protect his people. One can see the almost immoral kadamba tree even today.

  • Radha-Vallabh Temple:

hariyaliSource:

Anothe old temple in Vrindavan. The temple has an idol of  Krishna in “sixteen-kala” avatar. In place of Radha’s idol, there is only a crown placed to mark her presence. Also, this temple is the prime temple for Radha-Vallabh sect in Hindus who place Radha highly than Lord Krishna.

Some other famous and elaborately decorated new temples worth visiting are Prem Mandir and Iskcon Temple.

Why celebrate Holi in Vrindavan?

B_Id_370121_Vrindavan_widows_Holi

Colorful Holi Celebration of Widows in Vrindavan..

Source:

Simply because the festival of Holi traces back its roots of origin around these narrow lanes of Vrindavan which is a part of the Braj area. It is believed that Lord Krishna as a small child always used to compare his and Radha’s complexion and complain about his dark complexion to his mother. His mother gave him the idea about colouring Radha with colours so that both of them would be of the same colour. Krishna implemented this and since then the festival of Holi is celebrated.

In present day each year Holi, is not just a festival here but is a spectacular celebration with colours and flowers. Hundreds and thousands of people come from around the globe to witness it. However, monkeys and cows also share the roads with you and one is quite susceptible to attacks by any of these.

Important Holi Calendar 

Source: www.holidify.com
Important Occasions
Lathmaar Holi at Barsana
Lathmaar Holi at Nandgaon
Holi in Mathura
Holi at Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan
Holi celebration in Gokul
Dwarkadish Temple in Mathura
Holi celebration at Temples & streets of Vrindavan
Actual Holi celebration
..and as I refer ‘Living God’ of Vrindavan where better than this place to be one with them and feel their presence. Visit Vrindavan this Holi!

Feature Image Source: http://ercotravels.com/blog/holi-enjoy-the-festival-of-colors

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