Vrindavan City Guide
Vrindavan is about 15 km from Mathura, 65 kilometers from Agra, is also a major place of pilgrimage. It is famous and noted for its numerous temples numbering more than five thousand. Vrindavan is a maze of small streets, local bazars and everywhere you walk there are temples.
Vrindavan was the actual place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood so there is no spot at all in Vrindavan which is not related to the pas times of Radha and Krishna. How to reach Vrindavan
The Govindaji and Ranganath temples are in the eastern part of Vrindavan. In the middle of the downtown area is Loi Bazaar, a main shopping bazaar to get devotional items and clothing. There is a downtown area, which is made up of fairly thin streets unorganized streets. There are two main roads coming from the downtown, one going towards Mathura and the other going towards the main Agra Delhi road. Most of the old temples are located in the main downtown area. Most people either walk or take a bicycle rickshaw to get around. There is no real main area in town.
During the summer the temperature is between 22°C and 45°. The winter has a low of 4°C and a high of 25°C. The rainy season is from the end of June to September. During the summer months of May and June, Vrindavan is one of the hottest places in India. It can be very cold in the winter, from the end of November to mid-February. During the winter you need warm woolen clothing in the morning, but the weather is usually pleasant during the day. The weather is near perfect from early October to mid-November, during the month of Kartika. Also the climate in the the month of March and the first half of April is good. Kartika is the most likely to best time to come.
Best time to visit Vrindavan
Most likely the best time to come is in the month of Kartika. The weather is perfect, it is an auspicious time to come, and the town of Vrindavan is in a festive mood.
Krishna Janmastami and Srimati Radharani’s appearance day in August September are major festival days in Vrindavan. This is at the end of the rainy season. Tourist rush is at its peak during this time. The temperature in May and June is virtually unbearable and unless you really have to come to Vrindavana at this time, it is highly suggested that you come at another time. How to reach Vrindavan
There are many fairly large and important temples in Vrindavana. There are seven main temples in Vrindavan which are the oldest and most famous temples. These temples were established by the six Gosvamis or their contemporaries. The devotees who established these temples were all followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Govindaji temple is at one end of Vrindavana and Madan Mohan temple is at the other. To visit all seven temples at one time you could go first to Madana Mohan and then in order to: Radha Damodara, Radha Syamasundara, Radha Gokulananda, Radha-Raman, Radha Gopinatha and ending at the Govindaji temple. You could also go in the reverse order.
Seven Temples & their Founders
1. Sri Govindaji – Rupa Gosvami
2. Sri Madana-Mohan – Sanatana Gosvami
3. Sri Gopinatha – Madhu Pandita Gosvami
4. Sri Radha-Raman – Gopala Bhatta Gosvami
5. Sri Radha Damodara – Jiva Gosvami
6. Sri Gokulananda – Lokanatha Gosvami
7. Sri Syamasundara – Syamananda Gosvami
Most of the temples in Vrindavan are dedicated to Krishna and Radha and are open for Darshan in the morning between 8 and 12 or 12.30 pm. Most temples are closed in the afternoon. They reopen in the late afternoon from about 4 or 5 pm to 8 or 9 pm. During the daytime there are several aartis a day and food offerings ( prasad).
Often during the food offerings the doors of the altar are closed in a temple. The best time to visit the temples in Vrindavana are in the morning from 9 am to 12 noon and from 6 to 8 pm. Most of the temples will be open at these times. Many Siva temples are open all day for darshan, only closing at night.
Braja Mandala Parikrama
Many different groups organize parikramas of the Braja Mandala area. Ten of thousands of people do this parikrama each year. It is traditional to do this walk in bare feet, although shoes are permitted. Every year in Kartika (Oct/Nov) ISKCON puts on a Braja Mandala parikrama. It is a one-month walking tour that goes to all 12 forests in Vrindavana. The parikrama visits most of the major places in the Braja area including Mathura, Radha Kunda, Varsana, Nandagram, Gokula, Vrindavana, and Govardhana Hill.
Yamuna River Ghats
Many ghats were built along the Yamuna, but over a period of many years the Yamuna has changed course, and many ghats that originally used to be on the bank of the Yamuna are now situated a good distance from the Yamuna river. This is true of Kaliya Ghata, Imli Tala, Akrura Ghata, etc. During the 17th and 18th centuries the Rajput kings built many ghatas along the Yamuna River out of red sandstone. The first ghat was built in the 16th century.
Suggested Day Outings Starting in Vrindavan
It takes about half an hour to get to Radha Kunda. To put some water from Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda on your head and to visit a few places can be done in another one hour. So a quick trip to Radha Kunda could take two to three hours.
Radha Kunda, Govardhana and Kusuma Sarovara
You could first visit Radha Kunda, and then go see Govardhana Hill, which would take about 45 minutes. You could then go to Kusuma Sarovara for a half hour. If you wanted to see the places in the town of Govardhana, for instance Mana Sarovara, the Harideva temple and Sanatana Gosvami bhajana kutir, this could take another hour.
If you walk around Govardhana Hill without stopping anywhere it usually takes five to eight hours, depending on how fast you walk. If you stop at several places you could add another hour and a half. Nandagram and Varsana tour
It takes about an hour to go to Nandagram or Varsana. If you just visit the main temple it will take about half an hour. Nandagram and Varsana are about a half hour apart. If you want to visit several other places of interest there it will easily consune three hours. It then takes about an hour to return to Vrindavan. This trip can take anywhere from four to seven hours.
Gokula, Raval and Dauji
It takes about an hour to get to Raval. There is only one temple here, so it is covered quickly. From Raval it takes about half an hour to go to Gokul. You could see most of the places at Gokula in an hours time. If you want to take a bath in the Yamuna at Brahmand Ghat, you can add another half hour or more. From Gokul you can go towards Dauji, which takes another half hour. There is the Dauji Temple and Ksir Sagar Kund to visit here, which can be visited in less than a half hour. It then takes about an hour and a half to return to Vrindavan from this place. Going at a fast pace you can visit all these places in about six seven hours.