With the name of Vrindavan! What comes to your mind? Natkhat Kahana, Laddu Gopal, Radhe Radhe, Banke Bihari, Narrow Streets, The Yamuna River, Radha Krishan Ki Rasleela and so many things which are full of miracles in Vrindavan.
RADHE RADHE JAI SHRI KRISHANA Chant of Vrindavan
If you are a religious or spiritual person, you must be aware of this divine and magnificent place. Vrindavan is a place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood and set many examples of the way of living as a human being in the name of the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Hinduism’s sacred text, Vrindavan is one of the most sacred places in India. It is especially important to the Gaudiya sect of Vaishnavism and is a major pilgrimage site. This place was filled with calmness and spirituality. We instantly got to grasp that we were in an exceedingly very divine and religiously stabilized place. Urbanization has reached the Vrindavan, but unable to consume its old divine vibes and we continued to feel the vibes of Lord Krishna who roamed in these narrow allies of Vrindavan.
Vrindavan is a holy city in Uttar Pradesh. Even though it does not connect by train directly, the nearest railway station is the Mathura Railway Station. You’ve got to board a train to Mathura Railway Station and then you have two options, either a shared auto-rickshaw or a bus from the Railway Station to Vrindavan. Let’s take a ride with us on the budgeted road trip to Vrindavan via Agra.
DAY ONE IN AGRA & VRINDAVAN
It was an uncertain plan and a long weekend of Republic Day was ahead of us. So I and Abhay decided to travel to Vrindavan together with our Guruji Mukul and his friend Nikhil. Vrindavan is 190 KM far away from Delhi. We decided to travel to Vrindavan through a Road Trip via Agra. Through this thrilling action, we also added a little spice to our trip and headed towards Agra: the City of Love which is 240 KM from Delhi and Vrindavan from Agra is 80 KM. We obliged to Yamuna Express National Highway. As soon as we hit the highway we started playing party songs and chatting about day-to-day life.
A ROAD TRIP TO AGRA
The trip officially started from Pitampura in the early chilled morning. There was a lot to cover on this short road trip so there was no option rather than starting early in the chilled morning. As soon as we hit the National Highway we started playing party rock and soothing music and talked about the aspects of life. What are you expecting from A gang of Boys? We were all stuck in our corporate life and did not get much time to talk daily with each other. We did not want to lose this opportunity in the form of a Road Trip to spend time with each other and fully utilize this point in time. The perspective view on each side was fabulous and meaningful. It was a memorable trip that can’t be easily forgotten.
We were cruising at a speed of 120 km/hr and travelling with Guruji Mukul so Abhay was not full of a surprise but I was afraid of it some time. In a short time, we had hit half of the distance. It was high time to take a short refreshing break and stop on the side of the Yamuna Expressway to stretch our legs and also had some photo-shoot. After a 4-hour drive, we reached Agra: The City of Love and immediately headed towards the Taj Mahal: A Symbol of Love.
TAJ MAHAL: WAAH TAJ!!!
Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It is one of the seven modern wonders of the world and is famous for its Islamic ivory white marble architecture and structure. We parked our so-called Truck TUV 300 in the parking slot and from there. Our first attraction was roughly one KM away and headed towards the Taj Mahal: A Symbol of Love. Several street vendors were there on both sides of the road towards The Taj Mahal. When we started walking towards the Taj Mahal we did not surprise when street vendors approached us. It was an amazing way of keeping the arena of The Taj Mahal neat and clean. Meanwhile, we found many local artefacts, gifts, and traditional goods shops. Several shops were selling the world-famous Agra-ka-Petha.
After a while, we reached the Taj Mahal and bought the entry ticket from the ticket counter and followed the security check. We entered the adjacent garden area and could see the Taj Mahal standing huge carrying its marvellous and Mughal style of architecture. We found an elegant stone carving on each wall of the complex. On the back of the Yamuna River and at the front well-managed garden with the Taj Mahal: A Symbol of Love in between gives a reason for a traveller to spend more time in the complex and many iconic scenes for capturing the trending snaps. After spending some quality time at the Taj Mahal, we had our lunch nearby Dhaba at the Taj Mahal. After capturing some unforgettable moments and decided to leave.
ARRIVAL IN VRINDAVAN
We were running short on time and had a lot to cover and headed towards our main destination – Vrindavan. In the meanwhile, some mesmerizing moments of the Taj Mahal: A Symbol of Love was distracting us a lot. After a half hour’s drive, we reached our homestay at Vrindavan and checked into it and freshen up. We were in Vrindavan so there is a way of Greetings either RADHE RADHE or JAI SHRI KRISHAN. We quickly without wasting much time travelled to our religious trip at Vrindavan.
NIDHIVAN: RASLEELA OF LORD KRISHNA WITH HIS FRIENDS
The first destination, we covered was Nidhivan. We listened to a lot of stories about unnatural things beyond our imagination. Nidhivan is a small magical park in Vrindavan where Lord Krishna performs Ras (Dance) with Radha and her Shaki (friends). Although waiting for a while, you know Lord Krishna still comes to Nidhivan along with Radha to perform Ras (Dance) Don’t you? It was amazing to listen to Lord Krishna come and perform his Rasleela with Radha & all Sakhi every night.
It is a belief that the trees in Nidhivan are Gopiya’s (Krishan’s friends) and Lord Krishan turns into a human every night. So, None allowed to stay in Nidhivan after 7 PM, not even the birds and monkeys don’t stay in Nidhivan after that point of time. It is something called God’s magic even science can’t explain this thing. It is also a belief that if a person stays to see Lord Krishna and his Rasleela. That person even gets blind or gets mentally unstable and doesn’t remain in a sense to tell the tale. The trees and bushes look like humans and you won’t find this type of vegetation in the whole Vrindavan. If you are in Vrindavan, so beware of monkeys as they are known as snatchers of this divine place.
We were shocked when we got to know that Nidhivan has one restroom reserved for Lord Krishan. In the evening, the priest even puts embellishments and sweets for the Lord, but when the gates open in the morning, all things found are used which proves that Lord Krishan still comes to this unnatural majestic place.
KESHI GHAT & ISKCON TEMPLE
After being full of surprise and magic, it was time to move to peaceful Keshi Ghat to enjoy boating in the tributary of the Yamuna River. During sunset, boating was so relaxing and peaceful on this holy river. We enjoyed this calm ride while sitting on the boat. Believe me, this 15-minute ride was so relaxing and peaceful even though I forgot about all my problems and just feel the aura. After getting relaxed and peaceful boating we headed towards the ISKCON Temple.
Our next destination was ISKCON Temple stands for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada established a chain of Lord Krishan temples (known as ISKCON) all over the world. We can observe an ISKCON Temple in every popular city around the globe. The devotees of Lord Krishan continuously chant Bhajans and mantras in the temple. Believe us, If you visit any ISKCON temple, it has the power to absorb negativity and teach a person how to live. It was a pilgrimage trip and was so relaxing, a negative energy absorber and peaceful. After spending some time and decided to visit our next destination Prem Mandir.
PREM MANDIR: THE LARGEST TEMPLE OF VRINDAVAN
Prem Mandir is devoted to the deity Lord Krishan along with Lord Ram – The seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu & Devi Sita. Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat manages this temple. It is the largest temple in Vrindavan in terms of area. It was enlightened with LED Lights at night, which is its main attraction. These lights were changing their colour after every minute. We enjoyed the light and fountain show of Prem Mandir, which was fabulous. The life span of Lord Krishan is also beautifully depicted in Prem Mandir in the form of tableaus. It was astonishing to see Prem Mandir using modern technology to enlighten the world’s oldest religion. After hanging out for the whole day, it was time to have dinner. After having a delicious dinner, we went back to our Homestay. We did not chat so much and went directly to sleep.
We forget to tell you one amazing fact about Vrindavan. Do you know no use honking horns in this divine place? You must be wondering what they use instead of a honking horn. They chant Radhe Radhe loudly to clear the road. Isn’t it interesting?
DAY TWO IN VRINDAVAN
BANKE BIHARI TEMPLE: THE MOST RELIGIOUS TEMPLE
We woke up early and freshened up quickly. Vrindavan is full of miracles and a lot of places to visit. We all were excited to notice these miracles of Vrindavan. Our first destination was Banke Bihari Temple, which was the main temple of Vrindavan and the home of Lord Krishna in his childhood incarnate. It is a belief that if someone is pious and makes eye contact with the idol of Lord Krishna with full devotion, the lord goes with that person.
According to local stories, this has been observed many times to avoid it, the priest was continuously covering the idol with a curtain to break eye contact. We reached the temple by 6 PM but we were unknown to the fact that the temple opens at 7:30 AM. There was a question in our mind why it is so? The locals replied, “It is a belief, Lord Krishna performed raas all night and also in his childhood avatar he was here in this temple so he gets up late in the morning.” That’s why the doors of this temple open late compared to other temples. We were surprised to listen to the rasleela of Lord Krishan and remind us about Nidhivan.
DARSHAN OF LORD BANKE BIHARI
When the door opened and finally got a chance to worship Banke Bihari. Banke Bihari was looking so beautiful and charming. Believe me, I could not break my eye contact with them. After having a glance at Banke Bihari, we got to know why the priest needs to put the curtain on every minute. We were full of surprises as we felt that Banke Bihari himself was standing there but it was a statue. We got astonished by his way of attraction and spent a lot of time standing in one spot glancing at Banke Bihari. The temple was full of rush and devotees who came from miles away.
After an astonishing glance at Banke Bihari, the famous Chole Tikki and Lassi was waiting for us. It is a traditional dish of Vrindavan and the taste was fabulous. After having a delicious breakfast, we headed towards Govardhan Parvat Yatra.
GOVARDHAN PARVAT YATRA
According to Hindu Mythology, Govardhan Parvat plays a significant role in the life of locals. When ferocious Lord Indra tried to submerge Vrindavan with his power of rainfall. Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Parvat on his index finger to protect the locals of Vrindavan. Lord Indra got offended because the people of Vrindavan stopped his worship on the proposal of Lord Krishan. God Krishan asked the locals to worship Govardhan Parvat as a tribute because Govardhan Parvat provided livelihood to the locals.
We asked our homestay manager to arrange an auto for Govardhan parvat for us. As we want to travel through a trusted source. We obliged our homestay manager that arranged an Auto Driver for this Yatra.
The first destination was Shri Priyakant Ju Temple which is managed by Shri Devaki Nandan Ji. It is in the shape of a lotus. This temple was also filled with positivity and peaceful vibes and also has a small man-made cave below the temple which meticulously showcases the lifespan of Lord Krishan.
MAA VAISHNO DEVI TEMPLE
The next stop was the Maa Vaishnodevi Temple which was also rewarded by the Limca Book of Records for the tallest statue of Maa Vaishnodevi at Vrindavan in Asia. There were no electronics, mobile phones, or even wallets allowed in this temple. There was no need to worry; we kept our belongings in the locker room facility available at the entry gate of the temple. This was the best way to make people concentrate on the worship of God, feel the positive vibes, and avoid photoshoots at each point. This temple has a man-made cave and a home of all nine incarnate of Goddess Shakti (Parvati) and Bhero Baba. Those caves are filled with the cold breeze and relaxing aura.
After having a glance at the caves and the magnificent statue of Maa Vaishnodevi we headed towards Govardhan Parvat Yatra. It was approximately 40 minutes ride and covering 23 KM we had to reach the starting point from where yatra was started. We deboard the auto and board into an E- rickshaw.
It is a belief that someone needs to make one round (Parikarma) around the whole hill of Govardhan. Govardhan Yatra consists of the main places to visit like Daan-Ghati Mandir, Radha Kunda, Mansi Ganga Kunda, Kusum Sarovar, and Mukharvind of ShreeNathji at Jatipura. We covered all the above-mentioned places and visited them one by one during Govardhan Parvat Yatra. Don’t forget to try Jalebi and Lassi which was yummy in taste at Mukharvind and is also famous all over India.
Do you know that Govardhan Parvat is cursed? Yes, you heard it right. We were also surprised by this only. It is a belief as time passes it will reduce to the size of mustard seed one day. It is also reducing in size very steadily every day. You could also cover this Yatra on foot as it all depends on your faith and belief. It is not mandatory to do it barefoot. Numerous people were distributing Halwa Puri and other stuff. Beware of thug Pandits at this Govardhan Parvat Yatra!
HOMECOMING FROM VRINDAVAN
After completing the Govardhan Parvat Yatra, good things always come to an end and so this trip also ends. We headed back to Vrindavan and had our delicious lunch. If you have gone to Vrindavan and don’t get the famous sweets known as Pede, so your trip was incomplete. We also purchased some sweets to take home. We obliged the famous monkeys of Vrindavan; they snatched it from our hands and went away. There is a phrase in Hindi, “Ab paschat hoye kya jab chidiya chug gayi khet”. We were left with no option of staring at those monkeys.
After having a lot of memorable memories and fun, It was time to come back to our hometown. We packed our bags, got in the car, and headed towards home. We did not want to go back to the hustle-bustle of the city. It is a saying here, “Kaafir Manzil se to Safar Suhana hota hai”. This trip also changes our way of thinking and perception towards lifelike Nainital: An Unplanned Trip. You will always find a reason to visit Vrindavan again and again. So this is how Vrindavan: A Road Trip via Agra came to an end after leaving tons of memories in our minds.
Cost of the Trip: INR 2000 per head.
Thanks for Reading!!!
Written By: Mayank Aggarwal