MATHURA – The town of Mathura has a sacred character to it. One of the seven holy pilgrimage centers (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism, this district in the state of Uttar Pradesh is located 182.9 km away from Delhi. It is accessible via train but people in Delhi and NCR prefer to take road trips. It takes 3 hours to reach Mathura via Taj Express Highway/Yamuna Expressway.
This post will acquaint you with some of the revered places around Vrindavan, Gokul, Govardhan and Barsana in the Mathura district. We all know that this pious city is home to many celebrated and sacred temples dedicated to Lord Krishna but what we don’t know is that there are many serene and surreal locations too which are equally important and depict multiple personality traits of the Lord and capture beautiful anecdotes from Krishna’s growing up days. In my recent visit to Vraja dhama, I got an opportunity to unearth these notable places of pilgrimage unlike before. I also came back with a plethora of stories around Lord Krishna’s birth, childhood, youth and his divine association with Radha ji.
Interesting facts and mythologies that do rounds in Mathura!
- There are more than 5000 temples around the route called ‘Parikrama Marg’ in Vrindavan.
- According to the legend, Bankey Bihari (Lord Krishna) was immensely mesmerized with one of his devotees so he followed her to her house. God had to be convinced to return to the temple (Banke Bihari) and ever since that incident, there stands a parda between the Lord and his worshippers.
- Mangla arti at Nidhi van takes place at 8:30 a.m. because it is believed that Lord Krishna leaves his abode every night at 12 and returns at 4 in the morning. During these four hours, he decks up Radha ji and dances with the Gopis. And then he returns to rest for some time.
- Swami Haridas, the guru of Tansen used to chant most melodious songs of Lord Krishna. It is said that once Lord himself emerged from the ground of the forest in Vrindavan to bless him.
- Radha Kund is considered to be one of the holiest places in Brahma’s creation and it is believed to be located in the center of the whole of Universe.
- Once, Lord Krishna killed a demon in the form of a calf. When he was expected to purify himself in the Ganges, he meditated and convinced Ganges to come to Govardhan. Mansi Ganga, as the name says was created by the mind of Krishna.
The glories of God and his stories from his birth city are more than we can even fathom.
15 Must-Visit Places
Some travels must be done to rejuvenate the mind and body while some must be undertaken to appease our soul and spiritual quests. Here is a list of 15 Places in and around Vrindavan that immersed me in spiritual emotions and will also whet your appetite for spiritually stimulating trips. Let us all be blessed with eternal peace and salvation.
Madan Mohan Temple, Vrindavan
This is one of the oldest temples in Vrindavan and is associated with the saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who visited Vrindavan in 1514 during the rule of Sikandar Lodhi.
Prachin Kaalia Temple, Vrindavan
This is the temple where Lord Krishna defeated the venomous snake Kaalia and danced on his hood. One can still find the tree on which he had climbed to take support.
Nidhi Van, Vrindavan
This forest area is quite a mysterious place. It is said to come alive at night when Krishna and Radhaji meet and spend time together. No one is allowed to go in the forest area after 5 p.m.
Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir, Vrindavan
It is the world’s tallest temple which is under construction by ISKCON Bangalore. A smaller form of it exists for now. In the same campus, one can also find the Akshay Patra kitchen which serves 1 lakh, 20 thousand children every day.
Raman Reti, Gokul
This is one of the most pious and peaceful places of attraction. Stories go that here young Krishna used to roll, walk and play with sand and it was made as soft as it could be.
Deer Park, Gokul
Just across the road from Raman Reti exists this deer park. It is quite an attraction for kids. One can also buy some grains and feed the beautiful antelopes. There are cranes and emu too.
Ukhal Bandhan Ashram, Gokul
This is a small ashram famous for the story of Yashoda Mata tying Lord Krishna with the ukhal because he was always on a hunt for makhan (butter).
Bramhaand Ghat, Gokul
This is the ghat where Bal Gopal (Krishna as a boy), opened his mouth to show that he had not eaten any mud and Mata Yashoda was amused to see the whole universe in his mouth.
Raadha Rani Temple, Barsana
Barsana is the place where Radha ji grew up and this temple is dedicated to her life, her friends (Gopis) and her prowess of being the favorite one of Shri Krishna.
Sudama Kutir, Barsana
This is where Lord Krishna’s best friend lived. This place also has a temple now.
Prem Saagar, Barsana
This small lake is also considered to be one of the places where Krishna and Radha would meet.
Radha Kund and Shyam Kund, Govardhan
These are two holy kunds which represent the eyes of Govardhan. They were bathing places as well as one of the most important places where Krishna and Radha met.
Kusum Sarovar, Govardhan
A very beautiful building with lake and gardens. It is undergoing renovation. In the past, this used to be the place where the gopis would pick flowers (kusum in Hindi) for Krishna.
Naarad Kund, Govardhan
A few meters from Kusum Sarovar, there is a road that takes you to a kund and temple dedicated to Naarad Muni.
Manasi Ganga Temple, Govardhan
Manasi Ganga Kunda and its temple are considered to be the start and end point of the circumambulation of Govardhana Hill.
Places To Stay!
So now that you know that there is so much to explore in Vrindavan and Mathura, you must not hurry through these places when you visit them next time. Plan accordingly and allocate some extra time in hand to know and unearth the fascinating stories and facets of this place. As far as stay is considered, there are many budget properties available. For food, you must have an eye and appetite for kachoris, garam dhudh, samosas, dhoklas, etc. Don’t forget to explore the street around Banke Bihari temple.