Vrindavan

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Vrindavan (About this sound pronunciation ) is a town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the main locations in the Braj Bhoomi region, and is also where, according to Hinduism, Lord Krishna spent his childhood days. [1] The town is about 11 km away from Mathura, Krishna's birthplace on the Agra-Delhi highway (NH 2).[2][3] The town hosts many temples dedicated to the worship of Radha and Krishna and is considered sacred by Vaishnavism.[4]

Etymology[edit]

File:KesiGhat River.JPG
Kesi Ghat on banks of the Yamuna river

The ancient Sanskrit name of the city, Vṛndāvana, comes from its groves of vṛndā Tulasi (tulsi, Holy Basil) Ocimum tenuiflorum with vana meaning a grove or a forest.[5]

Geography[edit]

Vrindavan is located at Lua error: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found..[6] It has an average elevation of 170 metres (557 feet).

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[7] Vrindavan had a population of 56,618. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. Vrindavan has an average literacy rate of 65%, lower than the national average of 74.04%.[8] In Vrindavan, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. The number of females is 24,200 including 13% who are under 6 years of age.

Religious heritage[edit]

File:Swiatyniamadanmohan.jpg
The 17th century Madan Mohan Temple was built by Raja Gopal Singhji of Karauli dynasty
File:Vrindavan, India (20566547434).jpg
Rangaji Temple of Vrindavan

Vrindavan is considered to be a holy place for Vaisnavism tradition of Hinduism. It is a center of Krishna worship and the area includes places like Govardhana and Gokul that are associated with Krishna. Millions of devotees of Radha Krishna visit these places of pilgrimage every year and participate in a number of festivals.[9]

History[edit]

Vrindavan has an ancient past, associated with Hindu culture and history, and is an important Hindu pilgrimage site since long.

Of the contemporary times, Vallabhacharya, aged eleven visited Vrindavan. Later on, he performed three pilgrimages of India, barefoot giving discourses on Bhagavad Gita at 84 places. These 84 places are known as Chaurāsi Baithak and since then are the places of pilgrimage. Yet, he stayed in Vrindavan for four months each year. Vrindavan thus heavily influenced his formation of Pushtimarg

The essence of Vrindavan was lost over time until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the year 1515, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, with the purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental pastimes. Chaitanya wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavan in a spiritual trance of divine love. It was believed that by His divine spiritual power, He was able to locate all the important places of Krishna's pastimes in and around Vrindavan.[10]

Mira Bai left the kingdom of Mewar and went on pilgrimages. In her last 14 years, Meera lived in a temple called Pracheen Meerabai in Vrindavan. Meera Bai is the most famous female Hindu spiritual poet, whose compositions are still popular throughout North India.

In the last 250 years, the extensive forests of Vrindavan have been subjected to urbanization, first by local Rajas and in recent decades by apartment developers. The forest cover has been whittled away to only a few remaining spots, and the local wildlife, including peacocks, cows, monkeys and a variety of bird species has been virtually eliminated. A few peacocks are left in the city but monkeys and cows can be seen almost everywhere.

Temples[edit]

Vrindavan, the land of Radha Rani, the City of Temples has more than 5000 temples to showcase the pastimes of Radha and Krishna.[11] Seven temples, Thakurs of Vrindavan, the gems of those that have survived to this day are[12] -

  • Sri Radha Madana Mohana Temple
  • Sri Radha Govinda Temple (Govind Dev Temple)
  • Sri Radha Damodar Temple
  • Sri Radha Shyamasundara Temple
  • Sri Radha Ramana Temple
  • Sri Radha Gokulananda Temple
  • Sri Radha Gopinatha Temple
  • Sri Radha Bankey Bihari Temple
  • Sri Radha Vallabh Temple
  • Sri Radha Vamshidhar-Jaganmohan Temple
  • Sri Katyayani Temple
  • Ranganath Temple
  • Gopehswar Mahadev
  • ISKCON Vrindavan
  • Prem Mandir (Love Temple)
  • Jagannath Temple
  • Nidhivan
  • Shah Ji Temple
  • Radha Sneh Bihari Ji Temple


And Vrindavan continues to be a venue of numerous temples and ashrams that are being regularly built, some of which are architectural masterpieces.

  • Madan Mohan Temple, located near the Kali Ghat was built by Kapur Ram Das of Multan. One of the oldest temples in Vrindavan, it is closely associated with the Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The original deity of Lord Madan Gopal was shifted from the shrine to Karauli in Rajasthan for safekeeping during Aurangzeb's rule. Today, a replica of the original (deity) is worshipped at the temple
  • Govind Dev Temple (Sri Radha Govinda Temple) was a seven storeyed structure built by Raja Man Singh with red sandstone donated by Akbar in 1590. It was destroyed by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb.[13]. See Also, Govind Dev Ji Temple, Jaipur city Palace complex
  • New Radha Govinda Temple was built by Sri Krishna Balaram Swamiji and was completed in 2004 is based on a historic temple built about 500 years ago by Srila Rupa Goswami, a direct Sanyasi disciple of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.[14]
  • Sri Radha Raman Mandir, constructed at the request of Gopala Bhatta Goswami and houses a saligram deity of Krishna as Radha Ramana, alongside Radha.[15]
  • Radha Damodar Mandir, located at Seva Kunj was established in 1542 by Six Gosvamis of Vrindavan. The main deities are Radha–Damodar.
  • Radha Vallabh Temple, set up by Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu has a crown of Radharani placed next to the Krishna in the sanctum.[16]
  • Shahji Temple, designed and built in 1876 by Shah Kundan Lal of Lucknow. Noted for its magnificent architecture and beautiful marble sculptures, the temple has twelve spiral columns each 15 feet high and a hall with Belgian glass chandeliers and paintings.
  • Meera Bai Temple, located at the southern side of Shahji temple near Nidhivan and is dedicated to Meera. Some hagiography state she miraculously disappeared by merging into a deity of Krishna at Dwarika in 1547.[17] While miracles are contested by scholars for the lack of historical evidence, it is widely acknowledged that Meera dedicated her life to Hindu deity Krishna, composing songs of devotion and was one of the most important poet-Sant of the Bhakti movement period.[18][19]
  • Banke Bihari Temple, built in 1862[20] after the image of Banke-Bihari was discovered in Nidhi Vana by Swami Haridas.
  • Prem Mandir is a spiritual complex situated on a 54-acre site on the outskirts of Vrindavan dedicated to divine love. The temple structure was established by spiritual guru Kripalu Maharaj.[21] The main structure built in marble and figures of Krishna cover the main temple.[22]
  • Sri Krishna-Balarama Temple was built by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Raman-Reti.[23] The principal deities of this temple are Krishna and Balaram, with Radha–Shyamasundar and Gaura-Nitai alongside. Adjoining the temple is the samadhi of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, built in pure white marble.
  • Rangaji Temple, built in 1851 is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha or Rangaji depicted as Lord Vishnu in his sheshashayi pose, resting on the coils of the sacred Sesha Naga. The temple built in the Dravidian style has a gopuram of six storeys and a gold-plated Dhwaja stambha, 50 feet high. The 'Brahmotsdav' celebration in March–April is marked by the pulling of the Temple car car by the devotees from the temple to the adjoining gardens.
  • Sneh Bihari Mandir, Vrindavan - This temple located in the heart of Vrindavan is based on Haridasiya Sampradhay. About 250 years ago there existed a small temple established by Shri Snehi Lal Goswami, the 10th generation Goswami of Swami Shri Haridas. This complex was well expanded and renovated in 2003 by Bhagwat Mission under the leadership Guru Ji Goswami Shri Mridul Krishna ji Maharaj. Built across 1000 square yards, it is the result of the dedication of over 1500 workers. Made up of exclusive white and red marble, it is elegantly designed with traditional carvings. There are over 80 beautifully designed columns that give the temple a touch of royalty.[24]
  • Jaipur Temple, built by Sawai Madho Singh II, the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1917 dedicated to RadhaMadhava.[25]
  • Pagal Baba Temple, Liladham, Vrindavan - Temple is beautifully designed with white marble stone. There are seven temples, one on top of another. All temples have beautiful deities. Presently this is the tallest temple in Vrindavan. The temple is famous for its puppet exhibition. Liland Thakur was a Justice in the High court of Calcutta, and after resigning from the post he came to Vrindavan in search of truth and Lord Krishna. He was wandering here like a madman so people were calling him Pagal Baba only to later realise his powers.[26]
  • Neeb (Neem) Karori Baba Samadhi Temple, Gaushala Nagar - Maharajji's beautiful Vrindavan ashram is the likely the most propitious of the ashrams and temples of Maharajji Neem Karoli Baba who is renowned world over with ashrams and temples built in over one hundred places in his name. The first temple was inaugurated in 1967. It was in Vrindaban that Maharajji chose to leave His body in 1973. The temple at the cremation place of Maharajji's last known body is called Samadhi Sthal. This is the site of Maharaj Ji's Mahasamadhi Bhandara in September each year.[27]
  • Vrinda Kunja, Goda Vihar - this 200-year-old ashram and temple originally built by the queen of Manipur, renovated in 1989 by Paramadvaiti Swamiji is now a majestic building.[28]
  • Mandir Sri Dham Goda Vihar, Goda Vihar is located close to Vrinda kunja.[29]
  • Jagannatha Mandir, Goda Vihar, Vrindavana - Shri Haridas Ji Maharaj, a Vaishnav saint of Vrindavan brought idols of Shri Jagannath Ji, Shri Balram ji and Subhadra Devi from Puri Jagannath Mandir and installed here. The temple is one of the most famous and old temples of Vrindavan, built about five centuries ago.[30]
File:Vrindavan, India (21000860650).jpg
Numerous temples dot Vrindavan landscape
  • Maa Katyayani Mandir is situated in Radha Bagh, near Rangnath mandir. This is one of suddh Shakti Peetha of Shakti, established in 1923 by a Kriya Yogi, Sri Yogiraj Swami Keshavananda Brahmachari.
  • Tekari Rani Temple, Goda Vihar - located close to Tekri Rani Ghat on the banks of River Yamuna along Mathura road, this vast Tekari Rani Temple built in Rajasthani architecture is one of the finest monuments in Vrindavan. About two hundred years ago the queen of Tekri while visiting Vrindavan was hounded by dacoits. Queen with her beloved deity of Lord Gopal managed to escape from them safely. Later on a temple complex was built here in. There is also a small palace built in this place.[31]
  • Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple, a shrine believed to be a Shakti Peetha where ringlets of hair of Sati Devi is believed to have fallen.[32][33]
  • Garud Govind Temple is located on the turn of NH-2 to Vrindavan in Chhatikara village.[34]
  • Chintaharan Hanuman Mandir, temple of Lord Hanuman is situated near Atalvan
  • Radha Ras Bihari Ashta Sakhi Temple, dedicated to the divine couple Radha-Krishna and their Ashta Sakhis (eight companions).
  • Maa Vaishno Devi Dham, Chhatikara - this recently constructed Maa Vaishno Devi Dham near Vrindavan hosts an array of statues, articles, and abodes which are awe-inspiring. Maa Vaishno's Murti is the star attraction of the Dham. This statue is a colossal neoclassical sculpture measuring 141 ft tall from the ground level and weighing 1700 ton.[35]
  • Priyakantju Mandir, Allhepur - Vishwa Shanti Sewa Charitable Trust built this temple in 2009. This unique lotus shaped temple complex spreading over a land of 2.5 acres was built at around the cost of about 40 crores.[36]
  • Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandiris housed in a modern geodesic structure with a traditional gopuram based on khajuraho style of architecture. It is being built by one of the ISKCON factions based in Bangalore.[37] At cost of 300 crore (US$47 million) it will be the tallest temple in world on completion.
File:Keshighat Vrindavan.JPG
Yamuna river is considered sacred in Hinduism on the banks of which Vrindavan is situated
  • Bhajan kutir Ashram was established by Golokbasi 1008 Bhagawat Sharan Maharaj Ji who was originally from Nepal. This ashram has been a long lasting symbol of Nepal and India Friendship at peoples level. Several thousands of Nepalese devotees, students, saints has been part of this almost 150 yrs old ashrams and contributed for the Shri Vrindavandham's diverse heritage.[38]

Other sacred sites[edit]

Other places of interest include Sriji Temple, Jugal Kishore Temple, Lal Babu Temple, Kesi Ghat, Seva Kunj, Raj Ghat, Imli Tal, Kaliya Ghat, Raman Reti, Varaha Ghat, Chira Ghat, samadhi of Swami Haridas and samadhi of Devraha Baba

In honor of Swami Haridas, annual meeting is organized in which renowned musicians take part.

City of Widows[edit]

Vrindavan is also known as the "city of widows"[39] due to the large number of widows who move into the town and surrounding area after losing their husbands. There are an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 widows[40][41] who spend time singing bhajan hymns for in bhajanashrams. An organization called Guild of Service was formed to assist these deprived women and children.[39][41] According to a survey report prepared by the government, several homes run by the government and different NGOs for widows.[42]

In India, equal inheritance rights are protected by law, but customs can override rights of widows.[43]


  • In my past there is Krishna. In my dreams I dream of recreating a huge college of flutists, a veritable Vrindaban in which students will arrive to learn and study with satchels full of flutes, live in mud huts, eat at a common langar. A modern Vrindaban from which a thousand flutes will ring out each day. For what else is there? When my breath is gone and I can not play anymore what do I leave behind? Some dedicated students! When you leave nothing behind, you cry at the point of death, but I still dream, I dare to dream that through my students my flute will be left behind as the memory of Krishna.
  • The results of travelling to all the pilgrimages in the three worlds is achieved simply by touching the holy land of Vrindavana.
    • Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu by Srila Rupa Goswami
  • If a person who has not seen Vrindavana has a keen desire to see Vrindavana, he will be reborn in Vrindavana no matter where he dies.
    • Mathura Mahatmya of Srila Rupa Gosvam
  • O friend, Vrindavana is spreading the glories of the earth, having obtained the treasure of the lotus feet of Krishna, the son of Devaki. The peacocks dance madly when they hear Govinda's flute, and when other creatures see them from the hilltops, they all become stunned.
    • Srimad Bhagavatam (10.21.10)
  • The Hindu Bethlehem now lay utterly prostrate before the invaders. Early at dawn on 1st March the AfghAn cavalry burst into the unwalled and unsuspecting city of MathurA, and neither by their master's orders nor from the severe handling they received in yesterday's fight, were they in a mood to show mercy. For four hours there was an indiscriminate massacre and rape of the unresisting Hindu population - all of them non-combatants and many of them priests' 'Idols were broken and kicked about like polo-balls by the Islamic heroes.... Issuing from the ruins of MathurA, JahAn Khan roamed the country round, and plundering everywhere as directed. VrindAvan, seven miles north of MathurA could not escape, as its wealth was indicated by its many temples. Here another general massacre was practised upon the inoffensive monks of the most pacific order of Vishnu's worshippers (c. 6th March). As the same Muhammadan diarist records after a visit to VrindAvan: 'Wherever you gazed you beheld heaps of the slain; you could only pick your way with difficulty, owing to the quantity of bodies lying about and the amount of blood spilt. At one place that we reached we saw about two hundred dead children lying in a heap. Not one of the dead bodies had a head' The stench and effluvium in the air were such that it was painful to open your mouth or even to draw breath.'...
    • About Ahmed Shah Durrani in Vrindavan: Jadunath Sarkar, Fall of the Mughal Empire, Volume II, Fourth Edition, New Delhi, 1991, p.70-71


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. "UP gets first officially designated 'teerth sthals' in Vrindavan and Barsana". Times of India. 27 October 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named route
  3. Keene, Henry George (1899). "Bindrabun". A Handbook for Visitors to Agra and Its Neighbourhood. Thacker, Spink & Co. pp. 98–106.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam (ed.). India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 176.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Brindaban". The Imperial Gazetteer of India. 1909.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Vrindavan".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Jayant Pandurang Nayaka, Syed Nurullah (1974). A students' history of education in India (1800–1973) (6 ed.). Macmillan.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Klaus Klostermaier (2007). A Survey of Hinduism. State University of New York Press; 3 edition. p. 204. ISBN 0-7914-7081-4. The center of Krishna-worship has been for a long time Brajbhumi, the district of Mathura that embraces also Vrindavana, Govardhana, and Gokula, associated with Krishna from the time immemorial. Many millions of Krishna bhaktas visit these places every year and participate in the numerous festivals that re-enact divine scenes from Krishna's life on Earth, of which were spent in those very places<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Vrinda means Tulsi (A sacred species of flora) and van as forest, therefore Vrindavan is a holy forest of Tulsi. Vijaypal Baghel, known as GreenMan is promoting, planting and farming Tulsi in mass around the Vrindavan.
  10. "Discovery of Vrindavan by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. http://news.vrindavantoday.org/2016/06/seven-main-temples-of-vrindavan
  12. http://www.gopinatha.net/
  13. http://uptourism.gov.in/pages/top/explore/top-explore-mathura---vrindavan/govind-dev-temple
  14. "Red Stone Temple".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "The history of Sri Radha Raman Temple".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Radhavallabh Temple website".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Usha Nilsson (1997), Mira Bai, Sahitya Akademi, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 978-8126004119, pages 1-15
  18. Usha Nilsson (1997), Mira bai, Sahitya Akademi, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 978-8126004119, pages 16-17
  19. John S Hawley (2005), Three Bhakti Voices: Mirabai, Surdas and Kabir in Their Times and Ours, Oxford University Press, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 978-0195670851, pages 128-130
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  22. "Kripaluji Maharaj's Prem Mandir will be inaugurated on 17 February". Aaj Ki Khabar. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. http://www.iskconvrindavan.com
  24. http://www.bhagwatmission.org
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  28. http://vrindakunja.org
  29. http://godavihar.blogspot.in
  30. http://srijagannathmandir.in/Vrindavan.php
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  33. (Translator), F. Max Muller (26 July 2004). The Upanishads Part II: The Sacred Books of the East Part Fifteen. Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 1-4179-3016-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. http://www.brajdarshan.in/garud-gobind
  35. http://www.maavaishno.org
  36. http://www.vssct.com
  37. "ISKCON to build world's tallest temple at Mathura from today".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. http://bhajankutirashram.se
  39. 39.0 39.1 "India's widows live out sentence of shame, poverty". Archived from the original on 29 November 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "Catalyst Magazine: Moksha: the widows of Vrindavan". Retrieved 25 March 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. 41.0 41.1 "Shunned from society, widows flock to city to die". CNN. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. "Sulabh dons mantle".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. Cynthia Gorney (February 2017). "Life after loss". National Geographic Society. Retrieved April 8, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links[edit]

16x16px [[voy:Vrindavan#Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 1014: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).|Vrindavan]] travel guide from Wikivoyage

Template:Mathura district