Mathura, Vrindavan and Gokul are very important destinations for pilgrimages in India for the devotees of Lord Krishna. These places have many temples depicting the religious significance, stories and teachings of Lord Krishna. I recently visited these holy places with my grandparents on a one day trip from Agra and here I have jotted down an itinerary including all the important places to visit in Mathura Vrindavan and Gokul you should not missing out on.
Our trip’s onset was from Gokul which is a small town where Lord Krishna had spent his childhood days and from where all his playful stories originate.
We hired a tourist cab from a local tour operator in Agra to cover all the important pilgrim spots in Gokul, Mathura and Vrindavan. We left Agra at around 10:15 AM after having a scrumptious breakfast at DoubleTree by Hilton and reached Gokul at 12 PM. Gokul is located at about 55 Kms from Agra.
We were greeted by two local guides near the temples, so we hired one of them to help us visit all the temples and know more about this pious pilgrim site. Gokul has many small houses painted yellow, temples around narrow lanes and a very peaceful atmosphere. We also bought some nut snacks on the way to feed the cows and monkeys there. You can visit the temples in Gokul at any time between 7 AM to 8:00 PM.
At 12:15 PM we reached the Brahmand Ghat which is a temple overlooking River Yamuna. There is a story behind this temple according to which Lord Krishna had swallowed some mud particles here and then showed the entire universe to his foster mother Yashoda in his mouth. We spent some time here at the bank of River Yamuna feeding the fishes and also sprinkled some drops on ourselves from this divine river.
At 12:45 PM we visited the temple of Goddess Yogmaya who was the daughter of Yashoda and was taken to Lord Krishna’s birth mother Devki. This temple was the birth place of Goddess Yogmaya.
Shri Nand Bhawan Temple:
Then we proceeded to Shri Nand Bhawan Temple which was built about 6000 years ago by Vishwakarma who is considered as the Hindu God of Architecture. At this temple you can swing the idol of Lord Krishna chanting mantras and prayers with the help of the priests. They will also ask you to make donations in the name of God and for the service of the temple. I would only say if you wish to then go ahead or else there is no such need to make any donations.
Further, we visited the temple of Vasudev, the father of Lord Krishna. Here there is an idol of Vasudev where you can offer your prayers. Here also they will ask you to make some donations and as I have mentioned before, it’s totally your choice.
We left Gokul at 1:45 PM and headed towards next destination Mathura.
Mathura is about 30 Kms from Gokul and it took us about half an hour to reach there. The temples in Mathura are open from 5 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM.
We took a halt in Mathura at Bansilwala restaurant for lunch. This restaurant is located near Krishna Janambhoomi temple which was our next spot to visit. We ordered Thali which consisted of choley (chickpeas curry), daal tadka (boiled lentils), aloo sabji (potato curry), papaddam, salad, rotis (bread) and rice. The food was good and the restaurant had a really busy ambiance.
Shri Krishna Janambhoomi:
Next we headed to the Krishna Janambhoomi temple which was at a 5 minutes stroll from the restaurant. This temple is the most significant pilgrim site since it is the place where Lord Krishna was born to Vasudev and Devki. This magnificient holy place is constructed on a huge site comprising of caves depicting the stories of Lord Krishna, devotional areas and temples having beautiful idols of Lord Krishna and Radha.
We spent about two hours at Krishna Janambhoomi and then proceeded towards Vrindavan to visit the Bankey Bihari Temple.
Vrindavan is located at a distance of 12 Kms from Mathura. There we visited the Bankey Bihari Temple, ISKCON Temple and Prem Mandir. When we reached Vrindavan, our taxi was parked at the outer lane leading to the Bankey Bihari Ji Temple. We then took a rickshaw to reach the temple through the narrow lane at about 6 PM.
Bankey Bihari Ji Temple:
The Bankey Bihari Ji temple is the most renowned and holiest temple. The beautiful idol of Lord Krishna is very mesmerizing, you can just not describe it in words. With the hope of wish fulfillments, this temple is visited by millions of devotees every year to get the glimpse and blessings of the divine idol of Lord Krishna.
After visiting this temple, we bought some pedas (sweets), had some delicious kulhad lassi and chaats from the shops across the lanes. Then again took a rickshaw to get to our cab and left for the ISKCON temple.
The beautiful ISKCON temple is a very well maintained and cleanest temple. The environment of the temple is very soothing and mesmerizing with the chants of “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”. You will see the devotees soulfully dancing and chanting on the holy mantras of Lord Krishna. The evening aarti which takes place at 7 PM is the best time to visit the temple. There are many facilities within the temple premises for the visitors. You can buy a religious book, gifts, souvenirs, have food or visit the holy museum located upstairs in the temple.
Next we headed towards Prem Mandir which is located at 10 minutes distance from the ISKCON temple by cab.
The spectacular Prem Mandir has the most amazing visual lightings, fascinating architecture and sculptures depicting the tales of Lord Krishna. We knew that the most worthy time to visit this temple will be during evening, so we had saved the best for last. We reached there at about 8 PM and got to witness the grandeur of this spectacularly built temple. The statue of Lord Krishna carrying Goverdhan Parbat on one finger was notably stunning.
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Have you been to Mathura, Vrindavan and Gokul? Do let me know you experiences in the comment box below.
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