Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Uttara Pradesh State
Mathura, Uttara Pradesh
Mathura is a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 50 km north of Agra, and 145 km south-east of Delhi; about 11 kilometers from the town of Vrindavan and 22 kilometers from Govardhan. It is the administrative centre of Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh. During the ancient period, Mathura was an economic hub, located at the junction of important caravan routes. Today, it is a fast expanding city with over 2.5 million residents.
Mathura is the birthplace of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna at the centre of Braj or Brij-bhoomi, called Shri Krishna Janma-Bhoomi, literally: 'Lord Krishna's birthplace'. The Keshav Dev Temple was built in ancient times on the site of Krishna's legendary birthplace (an underground prison). According to the Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana epics, Mathura was the capital of the Surasena Kingdom, ruled by Kansa the maternal uncle of Shri Krishna.
Mathura has an ancient history. According to the Archeological Survey of India plaque at the Mathura Museum, the city is mentioned in the oldest Indian epic, the Ramayana. In the epic, the Ikshwaku prince Shatrughna slays a demon called Lavanasura and claims the land. Afterwards, the place came to be known as Madhuvan as it was thickly wooded, then Madhupura and later Mathura. The demon that Shatrughan killed in Ramayana, Lavanasura was the progeny of a devout king Madhu who gets Lord Shiva's Trident in a boon in the Puranas. The Puranas ascribe the founding of the city to Ayu, the son of Pururavas and the celestial nymph Urvashi. The city might also have got its name from a famous Yadav king Madhu who reigned around 1,600 BCE
In the 6th century BCE Mathura became the capital of the Surasena mahajanapada. The city was later ruled by the Maurya empire (4th to 2nd centuries BCE) and the Sunga dynasty (2nd century BCE). It may have come under the control of Indo-Greeks some time between 180 BCE and 100 BCE. It then reverted to local rule before being conquered by the Indo-Scythians during the 1st century BCE. Archaeological evidence seems to indicate that, by 100 BCE, there was a group of Jains living in Mathura ]
Mathuran art and culture reached its zenith under the Kushan dynasty which had Mathura as one of their capitals, the other being Purushapura (Peshawar). The dynasty had kings with the names of Kujula Kadphises, Kanishka, Huvishka and Vasudeva. All the Kushans were patrons of Buddhism except Vasudeo mentioned on coins as Bazodeo. Kanishka even hosted the third Buddhist council, the first two being hosted by Ajatshatru and Ashoka the Great. The headless statue of Kanishka is in the Mathura Museum.
Megasthenes, writing in the early 3rd century BCE, mentions Mathura as a great city under the name Μέθορα (Méthora).
The Indo-Scythians (aka Sakas or Shakas) conquered the area of Mathura over Indian kings around 60 BCE. One of their satraps was Hagamasha, who was in turn followed by the Saka Great Satrap Rajuvula.
The findings of ancient stone inscriptions in Maghera, a town 17 km from Mathura, provide historical artifacts giving more details on this era of Mathura. The opening of the 3 line text of these inscriptions are in Brahmi script and were translated as: "In the 116th year of the Greek kings..."
The Mathura lion capital, an Indo-Scythian sandstone capital in crude style, dated to the 1st century CE, describes in kharoshthi the gift of a stupa with a relic of the Buddha, by Queen Nadasi Kasa, the wife of the Indo-Scythian ruler of Mathura, Rajuvula. The capital also mentions the genealogy of several Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura.
Rajuvula apparently eliminated the last of the Indo-Greek kings, Strato II, around 10 CE, and took his capital city, Sagala ]
The Mathura Lion Capital inscriptions attest that Mathura fell under the control of the Sakas. The inscriptions contain references to Kharaosta Kamuio and Aiyasi Kamuia. Yuvaraja Kharostes (Kshatrapa) was the son of Arta, as is attested by his own coins.
Arta is stated to be brother of King Moga or Maues. Princess Aiyasi Kambojaka, also called Kambojika, was the chief queen of Shaka Mahakshatrapa Rajuvula. Kamboja presence in Mathura is also verified from some verses of the epic, the Mahabharata, which are believed to have been composed around this period This may suggest that Sakas and Kambojas may have jointly ruled over Mathura and Uttar Pradesh. It is revealing that the Mahabharata verses only attest the Kambojas and Yavanas as the inhabitants of Mathura, but do not make any reference to the Sakas
The Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura are sometimes called the "Northern Satraps", as opposed to the "Western Satraps" ruling in Gujarat and Malwa. After Rajuvula, several successors are known to have ruled as vassals to the Kushans, such as the "Great Satrap" Kharapallana and the "Satrap" Vanaspara, who are known from an inscription discovered in Sarnath, and dated to the 3rd year of Kanishka (c 130 CE), in which they were paying allegiance to the Kushans.
Mathura served as one of the Kushan Empire's two capitals from the first to the third centuries. The Mathura Museum has the largest collection of redstone sculptures in Asia, depicting many famous Buddha figurines.
Fa Xian mentions the city, as a centre of Buddhism about A.D. 400; while his successor Xuanzang, who visited the city in 634 CE, which he mentions as Mot'ulo, and said that it contained twenty Buddhist monasteries and five Brahmanical temples. Later, he went east to Thanesar, Jalandhar in the eastern Punjab, before climbing up to visit predominantly Theravada monasteries in the Kulu valley and turning southward again to Bairat and then Mathura, on the Yamuna river.
The city was sacked and many of its temples destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018 and again by Sikandar Lodhi, who ruled the Sultanate of Delhi from 1489 to 1517.
Sikander Lodhi earned the epithet of 'But Shikan', the 'Destroyer of Hindu deities'. The Keshav Dev Temple was partially destroyed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who built the city's Jami Masjid (Friday mosque) believed to be on the Kishnajanmabhoomi It was won over from the Mughals by the Jat kings of Bharatpur but subsequently the area was passed on to the Marathas who constructed a garbh-griha shrine sharing the wall of mosque. The garbh-griha mandir is a small underground temple which houses black moorti of Laddu-Gopal. The ambience of this Krishnajanmbhoomi mandir has been made to resemble that of Prison cell. A noteworthy fact about this garbh-griha is that the wall just behind Laddu-Gopal belongs to Mosque which was constructed by Aurangzeb after destroying the ancient Keshav Dev temple. The bigger Krishna shrine, better known as Dwarkadeesh temple is a few metres away from what is believed to be the actual birthplace of Krishna, was built in 1815 by Seth Gokuldas Parikh, Treasurer of Gwalior
Gokul is a town and a nagar panchayat in Mathura district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located 15 km south-east of Mathura. Hindus believe the god Krishna spent his childhood there.
Transportation to Mathura
RailMathura is well connected by train from major cities in India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Rewa, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi etc. City is served by four stations, Mathura Junction being the biggest one connecting to West, North and Southern India. Mathura Cantt connects to eastern Uttar Pradesh. Bhooteshwar serves for local trains for Delhi, Delhi NCR, Agra, Bharatpur and Alwar. Another station Krishnajanmabhoomi connects to Vrindavan via rail bus.
RoadMathura is well connected by road to the rest of Uttar Pradesh and India. NH 2 (Delhi-Howrah) Highway passes through the city and connects to National Highway 3 (to Mumbai), a part of which is known as Mathura Road. NH-11 (Agra to Bikaner) and NH-93 (Moradabad) are also prominent arterial highways. Yamuna Expressway also connects to Mathura.
The city is served by Upsrtc, JNNURAM, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, DTC, Chandigarh and Punjab state transportation bus companies. Mathura depot, run by upsrtc - the Uttar Pradesh state bus company - runs 120 buses. Direct buses are available to Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Haridwar, Rohtak and other Indian cities. An intercity JnNURM bus facility also exists.
AirAs of now the city does not have an airport. The civil aviation minister Ajit Singh suggested Mathura's name for the site of a new greenfield international airport to chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav. Mathura's name came into play when group of ministers terminated the planning of building Taj International Airport at Greater Noida. Land has been marked, and construction is in progress near the Yamuna Expressway, with plans to open in the next five years with regular flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Ujjain and Varanasi and some international routes in future
The city is also set to be served by Pawan Hans helicopter services. With the regular operational rides to Delhi and Agra. The expected tariff from Mathura to Delhi is said to be INR 3000.
TourismMathura is a holy city for Hinduism, the world's 3rd largest religion. There are many place of historic and religious importance in Mathura and its neighbouring towns. The major holy sites are listed below.
Major tourist sites
- Keshav Dev Temple (Shri Krishna Janma Bhoomi)
- Naam yog Sadhna Mandir (Baba Jai Gurudev Temple)
- Dwarikadheesh Temple
- Vishram Ghat (Bank of River Yamuna)
- Mathura Museum
- Birla Mandir
- Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi
Places of interest
CultureMathura has contributed a lot towards Indian Culture through its rich heritage. The ethos of Mathura, and in fact the whole of Braj mandal is centered on Krishna and his tales. Mathura sees heightened activities during the major festivities dedicated to Krishna.
The Braj culture has been expressed widely through various practices.
Sanjhee is the colourful art of decorating the ground with flowers.
Rasiya is a tradition that is integral to Mathura’s culture. It is the tradition of folk-songs that describe the love of the divine couple Radha and Krshnaji. It is an inseparable part of the Holi celebrations and all other festive occasions at Mathura. (Dhulendi – Holi with drums (dholak), colours, etc. originated from Braj region hundreds of millennia before today.)
Raaslilas of Mathura have become an integral part of Indian Folklore. According to popular belief, Krshnaji had danced the Raas with gopis on banks of Yamuna river.
Charkula is a traditional folk dance of the Braj. In this dance, a woman balances a column of deepikas on her head and dances to the accompaniment of Rasiya songs by the menfolk.
The language spoken in the Braj mandal is mainly Hindi which is spoken in a different dialect. This dialect is characteristic with the Braj region and known as Brajbhasha. Before Hindi and until past few centuries, Brajbhasha used to be the dominant language in literature.
Mathura is one of the seven most holy places for Hindus in India.
Ayodhyā Mathurā Māyā Kāsi Kāñchī Avantikā IPurī Dvārāvatī chaiva saptaitā moksadāyikāh II
- Garuḍa Purāṇa I XVI .14A Kṣetra is a sacred ground, a field of active power, a place where Moksha, final release can be obtained. The Garuda Purana enumerates seven cities as giver of Moksha, They are Ayodhya, Mathura, Māyā, Kāsi, Kāñchī, Avantikā, Puri and Dvārāvatī.
Radha Raman Temple, VrindavanSri Radha Raman Mandir or Sri Radha Raman Temple, is ancient Hindu temple in Vrindavan, dedicated to Lord Krishna as Radha Ramana. It was constructed at the request of Gopala Bhatta Goswami around 1542 is one most exquisitely crafted and revered temples of Vrindavan, especially by the Gaudiya Vaishnavism (Goswamis). It still houses the original saligram deity of Krishna, alongside Radharani.
HistoryRadha Raman means the lover (ramana) of his Radha. The temple was established over 500 years ago by Gopala Bhatta Goswami. At the age of thirty Gopala Bhatta Gosvami came to Vrindavana.
After Caitanya Mahaprabhu's disappearance Gopala Bhatta Gosvami felt intense separation from the Lord. To relieve his devotee, the Lord instructed Gopala Bhatta in a dream: "If you want my darsan then make a trip to Nepal".
In Nepal, Gopala Bhatta bathed in the famous Kali-Gandaki River. Upon dipping his waterpot in the river, he was surprised to see several Saligrama Silas enter his pot. He dropped the silas back into the river, but the silas re-entered his pot when he refilled it.
Gopala Bhatta Gosvami found twelve Shaligrama shilas. Its believed once a wealthy man came to Vrindavana and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothing and ornaments for his Shaligrams in charity. However, Gopala Bhatta couldn't use these for his round-shaped Shaligrams, so he advised the donor to give the Deity decorations to someone else. It's believed that donor refused to take them back and Gopala Bhatta kept the cloths and ornaments with his shilas.
On the Purnima (full moon) day of in the evening after offering to his Shalagram shilas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest, covering them with a wicker basket. Late in the night, Gopala Bhatta took a little rest and then, in the early morning went to take bath in the Yamuna river. Returning from his bath, he uncovered the Shalagramas in order to render the puja for them, and saw amongst them a Deity of Krishna playing the flute. There were now eleven shilas and this Deity. The "Damodara shila" had manifested as the beautiful three-fold bending form of tri-bhangananda-krishna. In this way Radha Raman emerged in a perfectly shaped deity form from a sacred fossilized salagrama stone. Devotees consider this image to be alive and that he grants a chosen family the privilege of assisting him in his daily schedule. ] In this way "the Lord has granted his wish and the stone was turned into the murti of Sri Krishna". As a narrative account of actualized Krishna-bhakti, Radharamana's appearance story highlights the divine-human relationship of love as the ontologically central category of ultimate reality
The Parshad for Shri Radha Raman Ji is prepared by the Goswami families gents member in the kitchen in Mandir and the fire lit from the start in early days is still continuing in present days. The Goswami families are allotted days colander in advance for their personal seva period in advance and they perform sewa in those days and invite their disciples during that period and celebrates like major family function and ceremony.
Near by in same complex samadhi of Gopal Bhat Goswami Ji sathal is also there. There Unag vastar of Shri Chetanya Mahaprabhu Ji is kept which is rarely available item of Mahaprabhi Ji.
Krishna Balaram Mandir, Vrindavan
Sri Krishna-Balaram Mandir is a Gaudiya Vaishnava temple in the holy city of Vrindavan. It is one of the main ISKCON temples in India and internationally. Hare Krishnas from all over the world can be seen here year-round, which adds color to this ancient ethnic holy city.
HistorySri Krishna-Balaram Mandir was built in 1975 on the orders of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Even today, it is regarded as one of the most popular temples in Vrindavan. Klaus Klostermaier in his book Hinduism: A Short History described it as, "a big and beautiful temple" and "one of the main sights of Vrindavan".
Near the temple, at the entrance to the complex is located samadhi shrine (mausoleum) of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, built of pure white marble.
- Mangala-Arati 4.30
- Darshan 7.15 - 11.00
- Raj bhoga - Arati - 12-12.30
- Evening Arati 16.00-20.30 in winter, summer - 16.30 - 20.45
Kathia Baba - Contemporary group named after the founder, ] and following the philosophy of Dvaitādvaita Vaishnava Vedanta.
IntroductionIn this line of Gurus the 34th Acharya was Sri Harivyas Devacharyaji, from his time the Sampradaya was divided into two parts. The main line of Gurus is continued with his elder disciple Sri Swabhuram Devacharyaji. In this Paramapara another Acharya (39th) Sri Nagaji Maharaj came and commenced the divine Vraja Parikrama (circumambulation of 84 Krosha Vraja Dham, the eternal playground of Lord Sri Krishna with His cowherds and Gopis) and was entitled as Vrajavidehi Mahanta (the saint always live Vrajadham and renouncing all of his earthly desires). Till today (last 530 years) this Parikrama is continuing by the Acharya of this sect. In this line of Gurus the 50th Acharya Swami Indra Dasji Kathia Baba has started the method of wearing a solid wooden belt in the waist. It helps the young sadhus to achieve sexual continence and austerity and this ritual has other spiritual values. Till then the saints of this sect are called “KATHIA BABA”. In this line of Gurus three immortal personalities come, namely Sri Swami Ram Das Kathia Baba, Swami Santa Das Kathia and Swami Dhananjoy Das Kathia Baba. The 54th Acharya Swami Ramdas Kathia Baba, the famous saint was awarded the title of Vaishnav Chatuh Sampradaya Sri Mahanta (Sri Nimbarka Sampradaya) by all the Mahantas and Sadhus of Vaishnav Samparadayas. Till the present days the Acharyas of this Sampradaya is entitled by Vrajavidehi Mahanta and Vaishnav Chatuh Sampradaya Sri Mahanta. Presently the revered Guru Maharaj H.H. Swami Rash Behari Das Kathia Babaji Maharaj are honored as the 57th Acharyas of this sect and has carried on all sacred responsibilities of Guruparampara handed by his Guru Maharaj H.H. Swami Dhananjoy Das Kathia Babaji Maharaj.
Dwaitadwita Baad (Doctrine Of Dualism-Non-Dualism)There are different interpretations of Brahma Sutra commonly known as Vedanta. These interpretations are nothing but the different ways of reaching the Brahman (the Supreme) and the relationship between Jiva-Jagat and Paramatman (Brahman). Adyacharya Bhagwan Nimbarkacharya is the founder of Dwaitadwita Siddhanta (the Doctrine of Dualism-Non-dualism). Acharyasree has made the first Bhasya (Interpretation) of Bramhasutra in his famous “Vedanta Parijata Sourabha”. His Bhasya is more primitive to the Bhasya of Adi Sankaracharya, Sri Ramanujacharya(the other famous interpreters of Bramha Sutra), etc. In his uncontroversial Bhasya no refutation is present. According to Nimbarka, Brahman (the Supreme, sat-chit-ananda) is infinite, limitless, inconceivable, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, holy, gracious, creator, ruler, destroyer, greatest, supreme power who endowed himself with all essential qualities and power. Acharyasri has explained Jiva as an eternal part (chit knowledge) of Brahman. The relation between Brahman and Jiva, according to Nimbarka is like tree and its branches. Branches have all qualities of the tree but the branches are not tree as a whole. Likewise Jiva is anu (small) having all qualities like Brahman(bibhu-large) but with limited extent. Brahman resides in the heart of Jiva, but Jiva has no realization due to Maya (illusion). This is the basic idea of Dwaitadwita Siddhanta.
Gurupasatti YogaAccording to Sri Nimbarka Jiva can attain Salvation (realize its proper form) only by obeying the advices of Guru. If one follows the instructions of his/her Guru in an unperturbed, indiscriminate, unopposed manner he/she can attain the Moksha (liberation from all bondages even births and deaths) without observing any other rituals.
Basudhaiba KutumbakamAs Jiva is the eternal part of Brahman, so all living beings is the relatives to each other. all should be treated as the children of the divine father. Anybody may appear enemy or friend to any one but it is all apparent. So do not be envious to anyone. Sri Nimbarka has showed the hidden harmony laid in the scriptures in his writings and advised his followers to regard everyone as closely related and be affectionate to all. Universal brotherhood or equality is his message to the world.
Sarve Bhabantu Sukhinah Sarba Santu NiramayahEveryone in this world may be happy and free from disease. Another aspect of this verse to enlighten people by the ray of spiritual light and give them taste of real sukh (the ultimate peace)and niramaoy (the liberation from all fears of mortal existence i.e. the Moksha) by spreading knowledge of Srimad Bhagabat, Srimadbhagabad Gita and other spiritual discourses.
Vishuddha Nishkam SevaH.H.Sri Ram Das Kathia Baba often advised his disciples “Bhajan ka ghar to bahut door abhi tu seba karta ja” i.e., it is not so easy to concentrate in meditation or japa, therefore prepare yourself by doing selfless service to Jivas.
Naramatram Tarayet Krishna NamaAccording to scriptures, in this Kaliyuga, the only way to emancipate people from stress is to chant the holy name of Lord Sri Krishna. According to Sri Swami Santa Das Kathia Baba if one recites the mantra initiated by Guru whole heartedly he/she must able to be free of all Earthly bondages and attain Salvation.
MottoThe aim of “Sri Nimbarka Movement” (all activities of Sri Kathia Baba Charitable Trust), has been put in nutshell in “Attain individual and social emancipation and Salvation through Selfless service, worshipping the lotus feet of “Shyama Shyam Yugalsarkar” and spreading the ambrosia of heavenly messages Sri Nimbarka Bhagwan(Sanatan Dharma)” articulated by our Purvacharyas (former Acharyas) and revered Guru Maharaj.
AshramsTo give the ideologies a perfect shape through several Sevashrams and Preaching Centers across India and abroad, Sri Kathia Baba Charitable Trust always serves humanity.
SevashramsSri Kathia Baba Sevashram Sridham Vrindavan (Head Quarter), Haridwar, Puri, Kolkata, Shillong, Siliguri, Gouhati, Tinsukia, Dwarka.
Preaching CentersDelhi, Mumbai, Allahabad
International Preaching CentersToronto (Canada), Birmingham (U.K.), Maryland (U.S.A.).
Services to MankindSocial Commitment without Politics: Being a spiritual organization aiming at the spiritual upliftment and social emancipation by regenerating moral values, humanity and affection to each other by flooding pure and unconditional love, Sri Kathia Baba Charitable Trust maintains its position above politics.
Truthfulness & Honesty: Sri Kathia Baba Charitable Trust is promised to maintain transparency in receiving and spending the funds, which come mostly from devotees across India and all over the world. With an expert audit committee presided by the Secretary of the Trust audit all the details regularly and make the report available to public.
Selfless Sacrifice: According to our Purvacharyas (Ancestors) selflessness, unconditional love, sacrifice and selfless service to the Jiva (the living being, the eternal part of Brahman) can change the human life to a divine one. The members has learned to merge their personal egos in the collective motivation of the Trust to raise the Nimbarka Vijoy Vaijayanti (the holy flag announcing the glory of divine name of Adyacharya Sri Nimbarka) high in the sky.
Kesava Deo Temple, Mathura
Krishna Janmasthan, Krishna Janambhoomi or Kesava Deo Temple is a temple in Mathura, India and is among the sacred of Hindu sites as it is birthplace of Lord Krishna.
HistoryIt was built in Mathura over the prison which was believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna. In contemporary memory, it was built by Raja Vir Sinh Bundela of Orchaa, in the reign of Jehangir. The Rajput prince enjoyed a special favour with the Mughal on account of his support to Jehangir in his succession.
The site has been a deeply religious one for the Hindus. It is said that the first temple here was constructed almost 5,000 years ago by Vajranabha, the great-grandson of Lord Krishna. The next big temple was constructed here during the time of the Gupta Emperor Chandragupta II around 400 AD. This temple was so grand that it was said that neither painting nor description could describe it. Mahmud of Ghazni destroyed the temple in 1017 AD along with several other Hindu and Buddhist temples in the holy city of Mathura.
Another temple was built here in 1150. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited this temple. It was destroyed in the 16th century during the reign of Sikander Lodi.
During the reign of Jahangir, Raja Veer Singh Bundela of Orchha constructed another temple about 75 m (250 ft) high at the cost of Rs 3.3 million.
Aurangzeb : Destruction of the Temple
The Dehra of Keshava Rai was demolished in the month of Ramzan, 1080 A.H. (13 January – 11 February 1670) by Aurangzeb’s order as noted by several Hindu historians
Present TempleDuring British rule in India, the area came under direct rule of British India. In 1815, the East India Company auctioned the area of Katra Keshavadeva, which was purchased by the then Raja Patnimal of Banaras. Although, the Raja of Benares wanted to build a temple there his wish remained unfulfilled and the family had fight several legal battle for ownership of land with Muslim community of Mathura, in which, the court finally ordered that the land belongs to present heirs of Raja of Benaras. In 1944, Madan Mohan Malviya was distressed at plight of the site and arranged for purchase of land from Raja Krishna Das of Benaras, who sold the land only at cost of Rs. 13,000/- recovering just the cost of fighting court battles. Meanwhile, Malviyaji without seeing the temple work begin. Then Jugal Kishore Birla of Birla group decided to take the leading role to fulfill the wishes of Malviyaji and formed a private trust in 1951 to which the rights of land were later transferred. Jaidayal Dalmia of Dalmia Group was another leading personality, who took untiring efforts and the temple was finally constructed over the site. The trust which runs the temple has a glorious list of Trustees besides Birla and Dalmia family members like Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, Anantashayanam Iyengar, Swami Akhandananda Saraswati, Swami Vamdevji Maharaj. The present head of temple is Mahant Nrityagopal Das The construction of the temple was completed in 1965 at a cost Rs 15 million.
Next to the temple, within the complex is a small room that looks like a prison cell, where it is said that Lord Krishna was born. The excavation of this site began in 1953 under the chairmanship of Swami Akhandanada, when the volunteers started clearing the debris and work continued for several decades later under supervision of Babulal Bajaj and Phool Chand Khandelwal, till the prison complex was completed in 1982
EvaluationThe objective behind the action of Aurangzeb in building a mosque near the birthplace of Lord Krishna seems to have been the need to weaken Hindu belief which was rising in the form of the Maratha Empire.
Other temples with similar namesThe name Kesava Deo Temple has been taken up by many other temples in and around Mathura.
- There is one temple beside the main Krishna Janmasthan complex which is gaining popularity among local people ever since the heavy security cover over the main Krishna Janmasthan complex.
- Keshav Dev Temple: Around the main Krishna Janmabhoomi complex there is another temple with the same name. Next to the Keshava Deo Temple is the room where it is said that Lord Krishna appeared.
- There is a temple near this one that claims to be the real appearance place of Krishna. It is about 250 m away, to the north of Potra Kunda. At this temple, there are deities of Vasudeva, Devaki, and four-armed Krishna. Darshan is from 8 am to 8 pm at this temple. This temple has gained popularity after the Krishna Janma Bhoomi complex was put under great security cover after incidents in Ayodhya 1990 and 1992.
Banke Bihari Temple, VrindavanBanke Bihari Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, in the holy city of Vrindavan in the Mathura district. Banke Bihari was originally worshiped at Nidhivana. Banke means “bent in three places” and bihari means “supreme enjoyer.” The image of Lord Krishna stands in the Tribhanga posture. Haridas Swami originally worshipped this devotional image under the name of Kunj-bihari ("Enjoyer of Lakes").
bānke means bent and bihāri or vihāri means enjoyer.
kṛṣṇa is well known as tir-bhangi, bent in three places.
Following is the description of Brahma.
Śrī Brahma-saḿhitā 5.31
śyāmaḿ tri-bhańga-lalitaḿ niyata-prakāśaḿ
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi
ālola — swinging; candraka — with a moon-locket; lasat — beautified; vana-mālya — a garland of flowers; vaḿśī — flute; ratna-ańgadam — adorned with jeweled ornaments; praṇaya — of love; keli-kalā — in pastimes; vilāsam — who always revels; śyāmam — Śyāmasundara; tri-bhańga — bending in three places; lalitam — graceful; niyata — eternally; prakāśam — manifest; govindam — Govinda; ādi-puruṣam — the original person; tam — Him; aham — I; bhajāmi — worship.
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with the moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jeweled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of love, whose graceful threefold-bending form of Śyāmasundara is eternally manifest
Just a small comment on one of the answerer who said bānke means ban ke:
the ā in bānke is long ā the a in ban ke is short a so bānke and ban ke are not the same, though it refers to kṛṣṇa bānke bihāri is the enjoyer who is bent ban ke bihāri is enjoyer of the forest.
HistoryThis Banke Bihari Temple was established by Swami Haridas, a guru of the famous singer Tansen,Lalita sakhi in the Dyapar Yuga.Once, during the Mughal conquest, a Hindu priest had a murti of Lord Krishna. Fearing that the murti could get into the hands of the Mughals and be destroyed, he buried the image. After some days, Swami Haridas, a great devotee of Lord Krishna, was passing by through the area where the image of Lord Krishna was buried. Becoming tired, he decided to rest there and soon fell asleep. In a dream, he saw Lord Krishna telling him that his image was buried near where he was sleeping and asked him to start digging. Upon waking, Swami Haridas dug the ground in the area Lord Krishna had indicated and found the image. He then enshrined the image in what is now the Banke Bihari Temple. Apart from the image treasured at the Banke Bihari Temple, the idol is half- body male and other half female that means the Right side is Krishna and the Left side is Radha. It is believed that Swami Shree Hari Dass je, by praising and singing hymns in the form of ragas called bhajans, asked God to be united and be present in the form of Banke Bihari in this yuga in Nidhivan in Vrindavan. The lines below are self descriptive. Kunj Bihari Shree Hari Dass Vitthal Vipul Biharan Dass Mohe mile Nidhivan Vaas
History of Bankey Bihari Ji
The image of Bihariji installed in the Shri Banke Bihari Mandir, is the one granted to Swami Haridas by the celestial couple Shyama-Shyam themselves. Submitting to the desire of devotees The Lord appeared in person with his divine consort and left back a black charming image before disappering.
Swami Haridas ji was born to Shri Ashudhir and his wife Smt Gangadevi on the day of Radha Ashtami i.e. eighth day of second (bright) fortnight of Bhadrapad month of the year 1535 Vikrami(1478 A.D.). He was born in a small village, now known as Haridaspur, near Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. The linage of the family can be traced back to Shri Gargacharya. Shri Gargachrya was the kulguru (family guru) of Yadavs and visited Brij secretly for conducting the Namkaran Samskar (naming ceremony) of young Krishna and Balram on request of Sri Vasudev. A branch of the family migrated to Multan (now in Pakistan), but some of them returned after a long time. Sri Ashudhir was one such migrant who after returning from Multan settled at the outskirts of Brij, near Aligarh.
Swami Haridas was the reincarnation of Lalita ‘sakhi’ (female friend), of the inner consortium of Lord Krishna. This easily explains the fact that even in his childhood, he was more into meditation and scriptures, while other children of his age were busy playing. He was married at the suitable age according to the time to Harimati. Even after his marriage, young Haridas stayed away from worldly pleasures and concentrated on meditation. Harimatiji was such a saintly soul herself that on realizing the inclination of her husband, she prayed intensely and was bodily transported to the heavenly abode of Lord by entering the flame of a small lamp in the presence of Haridas. No physical remains were left behind!
Soon after that Haridas left his village for Vrindavan, which was a dense forest at that time and chose a secluded spot, which is now known as Nidhivan, to practice his music and to enjoy eternal bliss of meditation. He constantly and continuously meditated on Nitya Ras and Nitya Bihar of Lord at Nitya Vrindavan. His way of Sadhna was to compose and sing songs in the praise of Lord. While on earth, living in a mortal state, he facilitated his regular unobstructed entry in the Nitya Bihar and always enjoyed the pleasure of closeness of Lord. He chose a secluded and densely forested area, Kunj, in Nidhivan as his gateway to the nirvana and was mostly sitting there, singing, meditating and surfing in the ocean of eternal bliss.
His disciples were curious about this place and one day with permission of Swamiji, they all entered the kunj. But instead of seeing anything they were almost blinded by bright, intense light, which seemed to fill the whole place. On knowing of their plight Swamiji himself went there, and then after his requests, lord appeared in person with his divine consort, pleasantly smiling and in a playful mood and casting a spell of charm on every living being present there. Those who witnessed this, were so spell bounded by the beauty of the Lord and his consort, that they couldn’t even blink their eyes, it seemed that all of them had turned into stone statues.
The legend as handed down to the generations of Goswamis, says that the beauty of the divine couple was such that no one wanted to loose the sight and proximity of divinity, but then what kind of divinity is it, which cannot make a mere mortal swoon and charmed enough to forget and give up the world and its luxuries? The beauty of the divine couple was so much that lesser mortals, like you and me, won’t be able to bear such a heavenly beauty. Sensing this Swami Haridasji requested both of them to take a single form, as the world won’t be able to bear their image. He requested them to take a single form like Ghan(cloud) and Damini(lightning) thus giving a perfect metaphor to the combined beauty of dark Lord and his fair consort, Radhaji.
Also he wanted his beloved lord to be in front of his eyes always. Granting him his both wishes, the couple turned itself into one single black charming idol, the same one that you see in the temple today. The charm and beauty of Shri Banke Bihariji is the only reason why the ‘darshan’ in the temple is never continuous but is broken by thel curtain drawn on him regularly. It is also said that if one stares long enough into the eyes of Shri Banke Bihariji, the person would lose his self consciousness.
Thus came into existence the physical form of Lord Banke Bihari, popularly know as Bihariji. The responsibility of Sewa of Bihariji was handed over to Goswami Jagannath by Swamiji himself. Goswami Jagannath was one of the principal disciple and younger brother of Swamiji. By tradition, the Sewa is performed by descendents of Jagannath Goswami till day.
Initially the deity was installed in a temple close to the first appearance in Nidhivan. A new temple befitting the glory of Bihariji was constructed in 1862 AD. Goswamis themselves mobilized resources for the construction. The temple is an architectural beauty in itself and follows the contemporary Rajasthani style.
The sewa of the Bihariji is unique in its own way. It is performed in three parts every day ie Shringar, Rajbhog and Shayan. While shringar (which includes bath, dressing and adornment with jewellery like crown and necklaces) and Rajbhog(feast) is offered in the forenoon, Shayan Sewa (shayan means sleep) is offered in the evening. The temple doesn’t have a tradition of Mangala (early morning) sewa. Swami Haridas did not favour Mangla Sewa as he wanted his child like Lord to take complete rest and did not want to disturb him out of deep slumber so early in the morning.
So, the temple today stands with its full glory, inside which the Lord himself resides. It is thronged by thousands of visitors everyday.
RitualsDuring Jhulan Yatra, the swing festival of Lord Krishna. There are a number of silver-plated and some solid silver ornamented swings, which are shown at this time. The main day of Jhulan Yatra is the third day of the waxing moon, at which time Banke Bihari is placed on a golden swing (hindola). The curtain before the Deities is not left open like at other temples. Every few minutes the curtain is pulled shut and then opened again. It is said that the brilliant eyes of Banke Bihari will make you unconscious if seen for too long a stretch. It is the only temple where loud temple bells are not used to wake Krishna in the morning. It is believed improper to wake a child with a start. He is woken gently. There are thus no bells even for Aarti, as it might disturb Him.
The Deities do not get up until 9 am, because it is believed that Banke Bihari has been up until late at night sporting. Mangala-arati is only one day a year in this temple, on Janmasthami. Only one day a year can the lotus feet of the Deity be seen, on Akshaya Tritiya (Chandan Darshan or Dolotsav), on the third day of the bright half of the month of Vaishaka (April–May). The autumn full moon day is the only day that the Deity holds a flute, and also on this day He wears a special mukut (crown). Banke Bihari comes off his altar and can be seen in full view on the last five days of the month of Phalguna, during the Holi festival. He can be seen with four gopis, who are seen just at this time.
- Summers: The temple opens around 7 am and aarti happens between 7:45 and 8:00am. Darshan is at 12 noon and in evening 5:30 to 9:30 pm.
- Winter: Darshan is 8:45 am to 1 pm, 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and all the time in your heart.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )