Neha Kirpal is the author of "Wanderlust for the Soul," a collection of short stories based on travel in different parts of the world. She lives and works in India. Her hobbies include books, travel, films, and music.
Published August 18th 2014
A convenient 150 km drive from Delhi brings you to the enchanting little religious town of Vrindavan. Located on the banks of the holy river Yamuna, the town has several temples dedicated to the worship of Radha and Krishna, making it an important Hindu pilgrimage site.
Some of the important temples one can do on a day trip here are:
1. Banke Bihari temple: Built in 1862, it is the most important shrine in Vrindavan.
2. Nidhivan: Another popular temple in Vrindavan, Nidhivan has a number of interesting stories. It is surrounded by small trees, all of which grow solely on water from the rains. The temple is home to several monkeys but if any of them grab you, all you need to say is "Radhey, Radhey!" and the monkey will magically leave you alone!
It is believed that no human or animal is ever seen at the temple premises after the evening aarti at 8 pm. This is because Radha and Krishna are believed to come here every evening and perform ras lila, and if anyone if present during the time they will become blind, deaf, dumb, or may even die.
It is also said that a priest puts two toothbrushes, holy water in a jug with four sweets, and a ready bed after the aarti every night, and every morning it appears as if someone has used it.
3. Nand mahal: This is the temple where Lord Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood.
Nand mahal temple flickriver.com
4. Katyayani peeth: Legend believes that when Lord Vishnu saw mass destruction all around, he tried to normalize Lord Shiva and cut the burning body of Sati into pieces. It is said that the various spots where parts of Devi Sati fell became Shakti Peeth sthans all around the country. It is stated that the hair of Goddess Sati fell in Brij and the spot is today known as Katyayani peeth.
The gopis of Vrindavan worshiped Goddess Katyayani on the banks of the Yamuna at the Peeth sthan to get her blessings for having Lord Krishna as their consort. Goddess Katyayani blessed them and they attained the supreme state of devotion and performed "maharaas" (Krishna consciousness).
All in all, a visit to Vrindavan is all about spirituality, history, and culture rolled into one!