Places to visit in Vrindavan, the playground of Lord Shree Krishna
Vrindavan is a place where Lord Shree Krishna spent his childhood, stole clothes of Gopis, who were taking bath, did Rashleela with Gopis and displayed the power of divine love. The town of Vrindavan is located in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, at a distance of about 150 kilometers from Delhi, 50 kilometers from Agra and 12 kilometers from Mathura. It is one of the most important spiritual destination in North India. Vrindavan presently has more than 5000 temples and thousands of devotees and travelers visits here each month to behold the serenity of this holy land. Vrindavan in English means The forest of holy basil (Tulsi). The place was originally a forest situated on the bank of river Yamuna and was rediscovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the sixteenth century. The place is also known as “city of widows” as there are thousands of widows who spend their life in this holy land, doing bhajan and kirtan (hymn) in praise of Lord Krishna and Radha.
Being an ancient place, the town is not planned and roads are congested. Getting around can be bit tedious, as there are no signboards. The best way to explore Vrindavan is by foot or by cycle Rickshaw. The place is best enjoyed when you know about the stories of Lord Shree Krishna. You may reach Vrindavan by road or railway. Yamuna expressway connects you from Delhi by road and the nearest railway station is Mathura. By air, you can visit the national capital, Delhi and from there you can hire a private cab for Vrindavan. You will require 2 days to explore the major temples on this holy land, but you should beware of monkeys, pickpocket, and temple scams during your stay here. Some monkeys are trained here to pull your camera, mobile or anything in your hand. Temple guides can be bit manipulative, they will ask you for thousands of rupees for engraving your name inside the temple or to become a life member of the temple in order to get Janamastami (Birthday of Krishna) Prasad. Below is the list of most important places to visit in Vrindavan. Bookmark this post, as it will prove to be handy on your trip to Vrindavan. If you want to see my personal experience with this place, you can see my post on one day trip to Agra, Mathura, and Vrindavan.
Krishna Balaram ISKCON
Established in 1976 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, this International Society for Krishna Consciousness is one of the major ISKCON around the world. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Balaram. The temple is located in the outskirts of the main town of Vrindavan. The construction of the temple looks marvellous and the marble structure appears amazing.
Bankey Bihari Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shree Krishna, Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan is the house of Krishna in Tribhanga posture. It was founded by Swami Haridas, the Guru of Tansen (famous musician in Akbar’s court). It is the most significant temple in Vrindavan. You should definitely visit this temple and behold the serene idol of Shree Krishna in black.
Radharamana temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna in an appearance of a lover who gives pleasure to Radha. It is another ancient temple located near Nidhivan. The idol in the temple is one of the few original left in Vrindavan. Majority of the idols are shifted, because of the invasion by Mughals.
Madan Mohan temple
The temple is located near Kali Ghat and is believed to be the oldest temple in Vrindavan town. The temple was built by Kapur Ram Das and is closely linked with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The temple is dedicated to Lord Madan Mohan (God of love). The original deity is however shifted to Karauli, due to the invasion of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
Sri Ranganathan temple
Ranganathan temple in Vrindavan is dedicated to Lord Vishnu where the idol of Lord Vishnu is resting on Sheesh Nag. The temple is built in south Indian style. It is the largest temple in Vrindavan. The best time to visit here is in March-April during Brahmotsav festival. The devotees pull the temple car during Brahmotsav celebration.
Shahji temple was built by Shah Kundan Lal in 1876. The temple has a beauty architecture and is one of the most popular temple in the holy land of Vrindavan. The temple has 12 spiral columns and beautiful Chandeliers in the hall. Located near Nidhivan, you should visit this temple in order to behold the serenity of this place.
Prem Mandir is a newly built temple and was inaugurated in 2012. The temple complex is well maintained and has a beautiful garden and delightful structures from stories of Lord Shree Krishna. You should definitely visit it if you are Krishna lover. Prem Mandir is the most delightful temple of Vrindavan, spread in an area of about 54 acres.
Nidhivan, popularly known as Madhuvan is one of the major attractions in Vrindavan. It is said to be the same place where Lord Shree Krishna had Rashleela with Gopis. It is believed that they still come here and dance and sing, therefore Nidhivan remains locked during the night in order to respect their solitude.
The town of Vrindavan should be in every traveler’s list who wants to explore divine destinations of India. Visit to Vrindavan has its own religious importance. As I have already mentioned that the place has more than 5000 temples and each temple has its own story and religious as well as historical significance. I have picked the top 10 places to visit in Vrindavan, which according to me are the must-visit landmarks and attractions of this holy town. You shouldn’t visit Vrindavan just as another tourist spot, rather visit it with a pure mind and spirit. The knowledge of Hindu mythology and Indian Medieval History will make your trip more interesting. Have you been to Vrindavan before! Did you hear about any of the sacred temples mentioned in the list of Places to visit in Vrindavan? Share your experiences in comments. If you are planning to visit Vrindavan, don’t forget to bring back Prasad for your friends and families back home.