If you love Lord Krishna then you must visit his birth place Mathura situated about 140 km from Delhi and Vrindavan which is about 15 km from Mathura and has about 5,000 temples.Mathura is also known as Brajabhumi and has towns like Gokul, Mahavan, Baldeo, Mat, Bajna, Vrindavan, Govardhan, Kusum Sarovar,Barsana and Nandgaon.You can travel by rail from Delhi to Mathura and then travel by taxi to all these places especially Vrindavan or you can travel by road via Faridabad or newly constructed Yamuna Expressway and would reach there in about two hours. You can also go by Air to Agra from Delhi and then travel by a Taxi to Mathura and Vrindavan.In every October/November ISKCON puts a Braja Mandala parikrama which is a one-month walking tour which goes to all 12 forests in Vrindavan and visits most of major places in the Braja area. It has often been said that it is easier to count the number of dust particles on the surface of the earth than to count the number of holy places in Mathura. The main temples to visit in Mathura are Dwarkadish Temple,Kesavadeva Temple Jami and Katra Mosques.
Vrindavan is known as the city of temples and attracts about 500 000 pilgrims every year as Lord Krishna spent his childhood over there. Elderly women who have been left by their families in old age beg there to feed themselves. The main temples in Vrindavan are Madan Mohan Temple, Govinda Dev Temple , Jugal Kisore Temple , Banke Bihari Temple, Radharamana Temple , Radha Damodara Temple , Sri Radha Gokulananda Temple , Radha Vallabha Temple , Radha-Syamasundara , Sri Gopesvara Mahadeva Temple, Krishna Balarama Temple,ISCKON Temple.To travel around Vrindavan you need a auto rickshaw and they don’t blow horns but just say” RADHEY RADHEY” which is the nick name of Lord Krishna.There is a parikrama path that goes around the town as it is customary for devotees to walk around the town of Vrindavan which is one street over from the ISKCON temple. It takes about two or three hours to go around the town.ISKCON Temple has a Guesthouse where most of the foreigners stay when they visit Vrindavan and there are other good Hotels as well. You must also visit the ISKCON temple as it is in the starting of Vrindavan . The main Temple in Vrindavan is The Bankey Bihari Temple where people throng through out the year in big numbers. Best times to visit Vrindavan is a week before the Indian festival Holi during March and during Lord Krishna’s Birthday in July/August. When you visit The Bankey Bihari temple in Holi there is a little bit of colour all around,in the air, on your clothes as it is a festival of colours and If you visit Vrindavan during Janmashtami then the whole of Vrindavan is illuminated with lights. After visiting The Bankey Bihari Temple you can also taste the delicacies of Vrindavan. There is a drink called Lassi which is made of Curd and there is Rabri which is made from Milk. I have been there often and have seen foreigners wearing simple clothes and eating simple food over there. Hare Krishna followers from around the world often visit Vrindavan to lift themselves up spiritually.
Now we discuss a place called New Vrindavan which serves as an international living community for Hare Krishna followers.It is an unincorporated community and ISKCON (Hare Krishna) international community located in Marshall County near Moundsville, West Virginia. The town consists of several building complexes, homes, apartment buildings, and businesses including the Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra Temple (RVC Temple) and the Palace of Gold. New Vrindaban was home to almost 400 permanent community members of all ages, though currently only 100 reside. The Palace of Gold is America’s answer to India’s Tajmahal. An estimated $600,000 worth of materials ranging from marble, onyx, teak, and 22-karat gold leaf were formed into the Palace as it has terraces,turrets,landscaped gardens ,lake and exquisite stained glass work. The visitors who come all the year round have interest in its mirrored ceilings, polished mosaic floors, and beautiful vistas. The structure is a memorial in the name of Hare Krishna’s spiritual leader,Srila Prabhupada as he wanted to make a replica of Indian Vrindavan in America. You can visit Vrindavan by being in America as the place gives you a feeling of a visit to India because of the statues of Elephants,Lions and sacred cows. It is an attraction for pilgrims. But, I want to say one thing that if you are a true follower of Lord Krishna then you must visit The Indian Vrindavan as the life there is simple and you will gain a lot spiritually. Being simple counts the most in life. You can make Vrindavan anywhere in the world but what about the religious beliefs of the people over there , the simplicity of life over there,the way Lord Krishna is worshipped over there and lastly the purity of the place. Lord Krishna is spread over every nook and corner of Vrindavan and Mathura.
About the author : The above article was written by Jitin Dhawan.