Vrindavan, one of the most ancient cities in India that doubles up as a major pilgrimage spot, is a must-visit if you’re a keen traveller interested in religious history. Deriving its name from an ancient forest that existed here, Vrindavan finds extensive mention in the holy Hindu scriptures. Along with Mathura, Vrindavan is described as the twin holy cities; these are the places where Lord Krishna was said to have spent most of his childhood. Here are the top attractions:

Bankey Bihari Temple

Built by the great Indian music guru Swami Haridas in the year 1862, the temple houses an idol of Lord Krishna in his quintessential ‘carefree’ posture. The temple was built in an effort to keep the idol from getting into the hands of the Mughal invaders.

Keshi Ghat

What’s a pilgrimage spot in India without its ghats. Located on the banks of Yamuna, Keshi Ghat is to Vrindavan what Dashashwamedh Ghat is to Varanasi. The magnificent Madanmohan Temple is the ghat’s prime attraction, and commands a visit when you are there. Legend goes that, Keshi Ghat was where Lord Krishna took a bath after he slew demon Keshi and since then it acquired a revered pilgrimage status.

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Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple

A temple by ISKCON in Vrindavan, the Hare Rama Hare Krishna temple is one of the most peaceful places to visit. The best time to visit it is during the festival of Janmashtami.

Ranganathaji Temple

Built in a distinctive Dravidian style of architecture in the year 1851, the temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganath alias Lord Vishnu. The temple sports a majestic gopuram – a monumental entrance tower – that can be seen from afar. The temple has a particularly delightful temple complex and fine architectural aesthetics.

It takes about 3.5 hours/ 182km to reach Vrindavan from Delhi by road.