Vrindavan | India
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Vrindavan, also spelled Brindavan, is a holy town in Uttar Pradesh.


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The town stands on the original forest of Vrindavana where the Hindu deity Krishna spent his childhood, on the banks of the Yamuna river. Numerous events are documented to have occurred here: this is where Krishna did the divine dance with Gopis (Maharaas), spread the message of divine love with his lover Radha, stole the clothes of the bathing maidens (gopis) who prayed for attaining him, and destroyed an entire succession of demons. Consequently, it is a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus, and features by some counts as many as 5000 temples. It is believed that the essence of Vrindavan was lost over time until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the year 1515, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, with purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendent pastimes. Lord Chaitanya wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavana in a spiritual trance of divine love. By His divine spiritual power, He was able locate all the important places of Lord Krishna's pastimes in and around Vrindavana. According to Vaishnavites and particularly Krishna devotees, Vrindavan on Earth is a manifestation of the original Goloka Vrindavan Dham of Lord Krishna. Rather than visiting Vrindavana as any other tourist spot, this place is best enjoyed when visited with the thoughts of Sri Krishna alone and when remembering him at every foot length of land. It will not be too inaccurate to say that all the great Hindu saints have visited Vrindavana in their lifetime atleast once. Even now most localites here always chant the names of Radha and Krishna during their day to day activities. This place is still being visited by devotees from different parts of India who are very spiritual and attracted to Lord Krishna. Vrindavan is also known as the Shelter City for Widows. By Hindu tradition, widows may not remarry but spend life towards spiritual liberation, and many of those abandon their families or having abandoned by their families on the death of their husband make their way here. In exchange for singing bhajan hymns for 7-8 hours in bhajanashrams, they are given a meal and a little money (around ₹10-₹20). This enables chanting of the Lord's name and also feeding of widows who have no other means of survival. Some of them also beg on the streets. However, some of the trusts that operate the ashrams are regularly accused of skimming off vast amounts from the donations. There are an estimated 20,000 widows, some of whom are very old having spent over 30 years there.


Top Attractions

Govinda Dev Temple Entry into all temples is free, but have some coins handy for the shoe handlers. Many temples prohibit photography inside, so enquire when in doubt. Bihariji. The best-known temple in Vrindavan, home to a Krishna idol known as Thakur-ji. The idol's eyes are said to be so powerful that it is kept hidden from view behind a curtain, which is opened and closed every few minutes.  Govinda Dev Mandir. Built by Raja Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur in 1590, this squat, bulky temple reportedly had four stories lopped off during Aurangzeb's reign of terror. These days it's just infested by monkeys. Jaigurudeo Temple (Also named "Naam Yog Sadhna Mandir"). It resembles the Tajmahal, built with white marble. It is a unique temple in that you are prohibited from donating if you are a non-vegetarian.    Krishna Balaram Mandir. Better known as the ISKCON Temple. A major draw for Hare Krishna (ISKCON) pilgrims to India, and uniquely among Vrindavan's temples well equipped to deal with foreign visitors. Free breakfast and lunch are available. Great restaurant. Comfortable guesthouse on the Temple grounds.  Kesi Ghat, by the Yamuna. According to the legend, this is where Krishna killed the demon Kesi and then bathed to celebrate. Aarti (prayer lamps) are offered to the Yamuna here every evening. Prem Mandir, Raman Reti, ☎ +91 88824 80000. The temple was constructed in 2012. There are fantastic light shows and designs. The light show closes at 7:30 pm in the winter days, and at 8:00 pm in the summer. (updated Oct 2018) Radharaman Mandir In Seva Kunj, see the Deity of Radharaman that self-manifested from a Shalagrama Shila (sacred stone). Radhavallabh Mandir. A very wellknown ancient temple of Vrindavan, founded by Shri Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu, Sri Radhavallabh Lal's idol resemble Sri Radha and Sri Krishna to be embodied in it together: "One soul and two bodies".  Rangji Mandir. The single largest temple in Vrindavan, built in 1851 in a South Indian style, complete with intricate seven-story gopuram (gateway) at the entrance. Inside is a 50-ft high wooden chariot, taken out yearly for festivals, and in the inner courtyard is the 50-ft high gold-plated pillar known as Dhwaja Stambha.  Seva Kunj. Planted with countless tulsi (holy basil) trees, this is the garden where gopis dance for Krishna at night, and where Krishna and his lover Radha spend the night locked in the Moti Mahal.