A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

This Holi (2024), 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 foot in the holy land of Vrindavan. This place 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 Mathura district some 185 km. from Delhi.

Planning a trip on Holi in Vrindavan 2024 is sure to be a divine experience. There are old temples, new temples and simply more temples so spirituality is what attracts Indian as well as foreign tourists here. Do read till the last to know the important Vrindavan Holi dates.

List of Contents

Some of the must-visit temples and holy spots here are:

Banke Bihari Temple:

360px-Bankebihari_temple_main_gate_Vrindavan

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The temple is one of the oldest in the town. A large number of believers visit this temple 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 of 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 who sees the idol continuously can get captivated by the charm of it and so the intervals are kept.

Sevakunj & Nidhivan:

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This is quite an intriguing place with 16000 trees growing in around 2.5 acres of land. It has only a particular kind of Tulsi (Bhusal). All the trees have double shoots growing from the ground that are intertwined from above. As per the locals, these are not mere trees but the 16000 gopis of Lord Krishna. 

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

As per the locals, even the monkeys prevalent in Vrindavan leave this place at night. The next morning it is said that as the doors of this particular room are open 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 has been physically impaired or has 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-Mardan1

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It is believed that at Kaliya Ghat 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 so Krishna jumped from the kadamba (Burflower) 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. During your visit to Vrindavan for Holi, this place is a must-see.

Radha-Vallabh Temple:

hariyali

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Another old temple in Vrindavan. The temple has an idol of  Krishna in the “sixteen-Kala” avatar. In place of Radha’s idol, only a crown is placed to symbolise her presence. Also, this temple is the prime temple for the Radha-Vallabh sect of 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?

Vrindavan widow_Holi celebration 2021
Colourful 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 of colouring Radha with colours so they would have the same colour. Krishna implemented this and since then the festival of Holi has been 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. Here is the list of important dates for celebrating and witnessing the festival celebration in Vrindavan.

Important Vrindavan Holi Dates Calendar 2024

DatesPlacesEvents
March 17 (Sunday)Ladliji Temple, Barsana (43 Kms. from Vrindavan)Laddoo Holi (sweet Holi) & Phag Invitational Festival
March 18 (Monday)Shri Radha Rani Temple, Barsana (43 Kms. from Vrindavan)Lathmar Holi (stick Holi)
March 19 (Tuesday)Nandgaon (55 Kms. from Vrindavan)Lathmar Holi (stick Holi)
March 20 (Wednesday)Banke Bihari Temple, VrindavanPhoolon wali Holi (flower Holi)
March 20 (Wednesday)Mathura (15 Kms. from Vrindavan)Vibrant celebrations at Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple
March 21 (Thursday)Gokul (27 Kms. from Vrindavan)Chhadi Mar Holi (a simpler version of Lathmar Holi)
March 23 (Saturday)Gopinath Temple grounds, VrindavanWidows’ Holi
March 24 (Sunday)All over IndiaHolika Dahan
March 25 (Monday)All over IndiaMain Holi celebration with colours
March 26 (Tuesday)Dauji Temple, Baldeo (33 Kms. from Vrindavan)Huranga Holi

..and as I refer ‘Living God’ of Vrindavan this place and time are apt for one to feel their presence. Visit Vrindavan this Holi!

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

(14) Comments

  1. Loved the stories retold here…

    Arvind Passey
    http://www.passey.info

    1. Thanks 🙂

  2. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna says:

    you post has filled me with an amazing spiritual spirit. my parents have visited vrindavan and had a great time. I would also love to visit this holi place when come India next time.

  3. Wow, Judy. I relived my Vrindavan experience. It is so mesmerising even if you do not follow the religion.. I had gone with the times group so we had access to the inner sanctum sanatoriums and special meals were made for us at the temples.

  4. Banke Bihari Temple is the most famous place in vrindavan. The blog has rightly stated that holi is linked back to briij area.

  5. alpanadeo says:

    Heard so much about Vrindavan but never got a chance to visit. Raas Leela is famous from ages and we never get bored of listening to these stories.

  6. We had planned to celebrate Holi in vrindavan some 3 years ago, just before the pandemic hit us and it was a magical experience Judy. I could feel the moments we had spent there reading the post.

  7. Vrindavan is the perfect place to celebrate Holi festival. The place has magical aura and vibes around this time. I have visited there once

  8. This was an interesting read. The most enchanting one was the seva kunj and nidhivan stories about the tutsi and the room.

  9. Holi is the festival which is so close to my heart and Mathura holi is one which is unforgettable, loved the post!!

  10. Holi and the importance of Vrindavan and the details and history is quite fascinating. Loved the nidhivan stories about the Tootsi the most

  11. Brindavan is a magical place. Thanks for sharing some history which I wasn’t aware of. This is really an interesting place

  12. Vrindavan is beaming with positivity and chant Radhe Radhe. I could get flash of all the places reading your post, but I avoid being in unknown city during Holi festival.

  13. Wow I just loved reading this. Got all the holy spirit in me….. my kids are all geared up for the festival and after reading this I for sure want to plan one holiday trip to vrandavan in the future.

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