15 Km. north of Mathura on the same bank of Yamuna, lies the celebrated town of Vrindavan, almost as closely associated with Krishna as Mathura itself. Indeed one hardly speak of Vrindavan alone to; the devout Hindu. Vrindavan is believed to have been the stage on which Krishna performed his famous romantic and sportive roles. Unlike busy Mathura, Vrindavan seems perpetually to be dreaming and imaginatively, re-living its romantic past. There are hundred of shrines in the town, as also numerous ghats and several sacred tanks, of which one called Brahama kund and another named Govinda kund are the most highly venerated. The most famous as well as the finest temple in Vrindavan is that of Govinda Deva, dating from 1590. It is a huge, Cruciform, vaulted building of red sandstone with a nave 30 m (100Ft.) in height and breadth the wall is 3 m (10 Ft.) thick on an average and is built in two stage. The upper being a regular triforium. Govinda Dev Temple
Places of Interest in Vrindavan
Built by Raja Man Singh of Jaipur in 1590, The temple is a testimony of the architectural splendour of medieval India. The temple walls average 10 ft. thickness. The upper state is regular triforium. Originally seven stories high, its upper four stories were destroyed during the reign of Aurangzeb. The Krishna idol was then removed to Jaipur.
It was constructed in the year 1860. It is a prominent temple of northern India. It is famous for it's explendid art architecture, sculpture and twelve single piece spiral colemns made up of marble approx 15'high. The world famous Basanti Kamra is situated in the eastern wing of this temple. This room has spectacular ancient chandelies and rare paintings are available.
Rang Ji Temple
Vrindavan 's longest temple, it was constructed in 1851 by Seth Govind Das ji & Seth Laxmi Chand Ji. All were disciples of Acharyavarya Rangdeshie Swami where as the main gate is in Rajput style, The temple follows South Indian architectural pattern. The outer wall measure 773 ft. and encompass a water tank, a garden and the actual temple. The "Dhweja Stambha ", 50 ft. tall , is believed to be gold plated .
Madan Mohan Temple
Situated near Kali ghat, it is believed to have been built by Kapur Ram Das of Multan. The original image of Madan Mohan was removed to Karauli during the regin of Aurangzeb.
Krishna Balram Mandir (Iskcon Vrindavan )
This is a International Spiritual Organisation having 400 centers around the world. This was founded by Sri A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada. Thousands of pilgrims and International tourists visited Vrindavan centre which is having beautiful temple of Lord Krishna.
Radha Ballabh Temple
Built in 1626 this temple is of special architectural interest as remnant of ancient hindu architecture. The Shrine was demolished in the 17th century and the huge structure only the plinth remains.
Gopi Nath Temple
Closely resembling the Madan Mohan mandir in style and dimension, it was built by Rai Shilji, a Sekhavat Rajput of Jaipur.
Its marvelous art of glass work dazzles the pilgrim's eyes.
Radhika's Kridasthali, the playground of Krishna's consort, it is a place of Hindu veneration. The image of Bihariji was discovered by Swami Haridas Ji.
Krishna's Vihar Bhoomi, it was sanctified for centuries ago by Radha Ballabhiya Samaradayachery Shri Goswami Hit Hari Vanshji.
One of the oldest temple, it was rebuilt in 1921 disciples of Haridas Swami who got the idol of Bankey Bihari from Nidhi Van.
26 Km from Mathura along the road to Deeg. It is named after the name of the "Goverdhan Hillock" which is said to have raised on the finger and was put in the condition to save the people from the incessant rain which fell constantly for seven days to destroy the people of Brij. The hillock is 7 miles in length. The temple of Har Deva Ji in Goverdhan town is 400 years old. The Mansi Ganga which is an artificial lake, was constructed by Man Singh of Jaipur. The dense shady trees the hill ranges and tranquil flow of Mansi Ganga all unite together and make a charming view which the visitor can never forget.
About two miles from the town, is the boarder of Radha Kund which have significant architectural group erected by T. Sing in honor of his father, Suraj Mal, the cenotaph of Suraj Mal which stand on Kusum Sarovar, present in a fine view.
On the opposite side of Mansi Ganga are two stately cenotaphs built to the memory of the Randhir Singh and Baldeo Singh, Rajas of Bharatpur State. The cenotaphs consist of a lofty and substantial square masonry terrace with corner and lateral alcoves. 5 km to the north of Goverdhan is Radha Kund, a village clustering around two small lake. It is said the Lord Krishna himself bathed here in self-purification. Between Goverdhan and Radhakund is seen the cenotaph of Raja Suraj Mal Bharatpur who was sacrificed in 1763. In front of the cenotaph is an artificial lake with an extensive garden behind.
Barsana, 50 km to the north-west of Mathura and 19 km north-west of Govardhan, is situated at the foot of a hill that is named after Brahma. Barsana was once the home of Radha-Rani, Krishna's beloved and consort. Temples dedicated to the divine couple ornament the four elevations of the hill. The main among them is the Radha-Rani Temple, more fondly referred to as the Ladliji Temple. The most beautiful temple at Barsana, it was built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo of Orchha in 1675. The new marble temple adjoining it is a later addition. The other three shrines are the Man Mandir, Dargah and Mor-Kutir temples. The area between the hill housing the Radha-Rani Temple and the adjoining one, is known as the Sankari-Khor. This is the venue of the annual fair held in the month of Bhadon (July-August). The birth anniversary of Radha-Rani is celebrated on the ninth day of the bright half of Bhadrapad (July-August) at the Mor-Kutir Temple which was built about 300 years ago. Women celebrate the occasion by giving laddus to the peacocks - to symbolize the serving of sweets by Radha to Lord Krishna. Some of the ancient tanks also survive which can be seen, the Prem Sarovar, Roop Sagar, Jal Mahal and the Bhanokhar Tank. Barsana is also famous for its 'Latthmar' Holi-celebration of the festival of colour that is unique to this town.
At the foot of a hill 51 km northeast of Mathura is situated the venerable village of Nandgaon. It is known as the home of Lord Krishna's foster father Nand, in whose memory a spacious temple stand on the brow of the hill. Probably built in the middle of the 12'th century by one Rup Singh. The other temples here are dedicated to Narsingha, Gophinath, Nritya Gopal, Girdhari, Nand Nandan and Yashoda Nandan which is located half way up the hill. A little beyond is the Pan Sarovar, a large lake with masonry ghats along its sides. Legend has it, that this was the place where Shri Krishna used to take his cows for water. Not far away is the Kadamb grove called Udhoji - Ka- Kyar.
About 15 km of the southeast of Mathura connected by a metalled road is Gokul, a suburb of the inland town of Mahavan on the bank of the river Yamuna. Gukul is a celebrated spot where Lord Krishna was reared in secrecy by his nurse. This place is very sacred and is visited by thousand of pilgrims particularly during the birth anniversary of the Lord Krishna in july-august and the time of Annakut festival. Gokul is also associated with the famous saint Vallabhacharya who lived here for many years. The most important temple is that of Gokul Nath Ji. The principal meals are Janma in Bhadon and Annkut on the day after the new Moon of kartik. The "Trinavat Mela" is also held on the fourth day of the dark half of kartik. Important sites worth visiting in Gokul include the Gokulnath Temple, Raja Thakur Temple, Gopal Lalji Temple and the Morwala Temple.
Lying on the left bank of Yamuna. Mahavan is 4 km from Gokul on the road to Sadabad. Lord Krishna is believed to have been craddled in this place. The largest and most sacred temple is that of Mathura Nath an edifice built of rock and plaster. Overhanging the Yamuna at Mahavan is an old building which is identified as the place of Nanda 9 km from Mahavan on the same route is Baldeo which is another place of pilgrimage. These places can be visited by taxi or auto. There is a bus service to Baldeo. It is famed for its Chaurasi Khambha (eighty four pillars) and the palace of Rohini, the mother of Baldeo is now the Chhathi-Palana Temple. Other important shrines include, the Shymlalji Temple, the Yogmaya Temple, Tranairatri Temple and the Mahamall Rai Ji's palace.
Baldeo is 20 km south-east of Mathura and 8.5 km south - east of Mahavan on the road to Sadabad. It derives its name from the famous temple dedicated to Balram, the elder brother of Lord Krishna. It was built by Shyam Das of Delhi 200 years ago. The main image in the sanctum is that the Baldeo or Balram with his spouse Revati. Near by is the brick lined tank, the Khir Sagar or Balbhadra Kund, from where the original image housed in the temple was found. Two annual fair are held at Baldeo. One on the Sixth day of the light half of Bhadon called Deo-Chhath other on the full moon of Aghan. There is not a single day in the course of the year in which the temple court are not occupied with Pilgrims.
Just 5 km north of Govardhan and 26 km west of Mathura, Radhakund is a large