Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

Vrindavan, a garden city, plays a very important role in deciphering Indian history and mythology through chronological timelines. Born in Mathura, and raised in Gokula, it was in Vrindavan that Lord Krishna, the central figure of Hindu scriptures and religious worship, spent most of his times growing up as a cowherd, playing the flute for his numerous devotees.

The true essence of Vrindavan which was thickly forested at one time was almost lost till the arrival of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one of his greatest disciples and ardent followers. It is only in Vrindavan where a substantial count of animals are found to co-exist with human populace peacefully and signage of Lord Krishna’s legacy. Still today, cows, monkeys, and peacocks are found to occupy public spaces tread by humans, fearlessly and strut about in elegance. Vrindavan apart from its historical and archaeological importance for its numerous architectural wonders and monuments of marvel is also very significant, as it is the birthplace of that central figure of Hindu religion who has been mentioned in scriptures and doctrines much earlier preceding His birth.

Vrindavan is as much a mystical city as much as it is a treasure trove of 16th century architectural temples and monuments of amazement. It is here that the Yamuna River, the second largest tributary of the Ganges, once proud and mighty flowed with all vigour and strength nurturing lives and encouraging settlement. A trip to the much famed Keshi Ghat often brings back memories from a time that has been forgotten and lost. This is the same place where scriptures record Krishna to have taken a bath after slaying a demon Keshi. In recent times, philanthropic efforts by many prominent personalities have been instrumental in resurrecting and acknowledging the rich culture of this place in context of Indian history and literature. A lot of forested areas have been lost out to massive temples built by Birla and Iskcon all dedicated to the Lord Krishna. Vrindavan is still acknowledged as the place for transcendental pastimes of Lord Krishna, the personality of Godhead. Hence places such as Nidhivan retain an aura of mystery when it closes after sunset and prohibits any form of encroachment, owing to isolate the space for Lord Krishna and his spiritual pastimes.

During daytime, Nidhivan is open to the public for visiting and people come to pay oblations and offer prayers to the temple where Lord Krishna and his consort Radha Rani's memorial are worshipped. Lord Krishna’s footprint is still imprinted and worshipped in the temple premises. The entire area is dotted with stunted trees, all of which have not grown beyond a stipulated height protected and guarded by an army of monkeys. It is rumoured at night when Sri Krishna is indulging in his eternal pastimes in the premises, the trees reform to become his devotees and the monkeys protect his privacy.

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