Vrindavan Dham Yatra
On this earth, the place known as Vrndavan in the district of Mathura, ninety miles southeast of Delhi, is a replica of that supreme Goloka Vrndavana in the spiritual sky. In all of India, that eighty-four-square-mile tract of land is considered to be the most sacred place of pilgrimage because Krishna sported in it, and many devotees still linger there in ecstasy in search of Krishna and His childhood associates. Srila Prabhupada has explained that “It is not that such devotees meet Krishna face to face in that tract of land, but a devotee’s eagerly searching after Krishna is as good as his seeing Him personally. How this is so cannot be explained, but it is factually realized by those who are pure devotees of the Lord.” Because Krishna, His name, form, pastimes and remembrance are all on the absolute plane, to search for Him at Vrindavan in pure God consciousness gives more pleasure to the devotee than seeing Him face to face.” The Brahma-samhita (5.38) confirms that those devotees whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love always see the eternal form of Shyamasundar within their hearts.
In Vrndavana the effulgent ground is fashioned with many very wonderful colourful cintamani jewels, the trees and vines are full of blissful spiritual fruits and flowers, the birds make a great tumult by reciting the hymns of the Sama Veda, and the lakes and streams are filled with transcendental nectar. May my heart meditate on Vrndavana in this way.
Beautiful Vrindavan is filled with cintamani gems and many jewel palaces and temples. Many regal swans play in the waters of the Yamuna, and in those waters a splendid golden lotus flower grows.
In Vrndavan the kadamba trees offer obeisances, their flowering branches reverently touching the ground. Bumble bees enjoy pastimes in Vrndavan, which is filled with a very sweet fragrance.
Radha and Krisna stay in the place where They enjoy pastimes. How beautiful They are. Their bodies are decorated with jewel ornaments, and They are wealthy with many gem mines of intelligence and wit.
Vrindavan, around 15 km from Mathura, is a little town and a major place of pilgrimage on the banks of Yamuna. Attracting about 500 000 pilgrims every year, mainly during major festivals like Janmashtami, Holi and Radhashtami, it is noted for its numerous temples, both old and modern, big and small (allegedly 5000 altogether). Vrindavan is synonymous with the childhood pastimes of Sri Krishna.
Vrindavan is also the center for various Vaishava groups. In a centuries-old tradition Hindu widows have been coming to live out the rest of their lives in Vrindavan. They are expected to shed all physical adornments, including long hair, wear only white cotton saris and lead an austere lifestyle. In Vrindavan there are thousands of widows coming mostly from Bengal. They begin their day by bathing in the Yamuna and congregate at ashrams to sing bhajans (devotional songs). In return, they get a daily ration of rice and pulses and some cash. Subsisting on charitable donations made by wealthy traders, the widows pass their life in devotion to Krishna, the Supreme Lord.
The name ‘Vrindavan’ is derived from ‘Vrinda’, another name for the sacred tulsi (basil) plant. It is said that the entire place was a tulsi grove at one time. According to another tradition, it was named after Vrinda Devi, one of Krishna’s consorts. The earliest known shrine in Vrindavan is said to have been built by the local Gosvamis in a large garden called Nidhiban. According to tradition, Mughal Emperor Akbar was taken blindfolded inside the grove where he had some kind of a spiritual experience. As a result, he acknowledged the spot as being holy ground.
The four temples that were built in honor of his visit are Madan Mohan, Govinda Deva, Gopinath, and Jugal Kishore.
Main Sight Seeing:
Madan Mohan Temple
Govinda Dev Temple
Jugal Kisore Temple
Sri Ranganatha (Rangaji) Temple
Banke Bihari Temple
Radha Damodara Temple
Sri Radha Gokulananda Mandir
Radha Vallabha Temple
Sri Gopesvara Mahadeva Mandir
Krishna Balarama Mandir
Pagal Baba Mandir
Vrindavan does not have high quality hotels. However, it has nearly 200 dharamsalas (simple accommodation for pilgrims) that are clean and affordable. ISKCON Guesthouse and MVT are the main and best accommodation places provided by ISKCON and there are appearing new accommodations of hotel type all over Vrindavan every year.