Vrindavan, situated on the banks of Yamuna River about 150 km to the south of Delhi, is a major pilgrimage center for the Hindus. Considered one of the oldest cities in the country, Vrindavan is believed to be the city where Lord Krishna grew up.
The city’s name is derived from the words vrinda meaning tulsi (or basil) and van meaning grove and most likely refers to the two small groves at Nidhivan and Seva Kunj. While Seva Kunj is believed to be the place where Krishna performed Raaslila with Radha and the Gopis, Nidhi Van is said to be the place where the divine couple rested.
Even though Vrindavan was once surrounded by thick forests but urbanization and building projects have slowly taken a toll on the vast forests that are depleting fast.
Vrindavan has been a big center of learning and Krishna worship for a long time. With several temples all over the town, the Bankey Bihari temple is the best-known in the city. The idol here is kept hidden from view behind a curtain that is opened and closed every few minutes. Built with white marble the Jaigurudeo Temple resembles the Taj Mahal and doesn’t accept donations from non-vegetarians. Remember that entry to the temples is free but make sure you carry a little spare change for the shoe handlers.
The Brahmotsava Festival that is celebrated for 10 days after Holi in the months of February-March is one that brings in the most number of visitors. Ratha Ka Mela, which is the main day of the festival, sees a giant wooden chariot pulled by devotees bring dragged from the Rangji temple to its gardens and back.
Vrindavan is considered a sacred place and a large number of people come here to renounce worldly life permanently. Generally, seniors seek to become sanyasis (or hermits) here. The town is dotted with several Vidhwa Ashrams (or home for destitute widows). They spend their lives in complete seclusion performing severe austerities.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN VRINDAVAN
Temples being the major tourist attractions, all the accommodation options, though very few, are located around them. Tourists prefer to stay at Mathura and make a day’s trip to Vrindavan. The few hotels in the town and the guest house at ISKCON temple are good options to stay.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN VRINDAVAN
The Govindas Restaurant in the premise of Krishna-Balaram Mandir (ISKCON) offers very good vegetarian food. It serves many cuisines including Indian, Italian, Chinese and South Indian. Do try the delicious lassi and jal jeera, both specialties of the region and can be found at every street corner. Vrindavan and neighboring regions are known for delicious savories and sweets. Mathura Pedas popular throughout the country are also readily available here.
BEST TIME TO VISIT VRINDAVAN
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Vrindavan is as given below. The best time to visit Vrindavan is also specified.