|Brother and Sister selling Diyas decorated with flowers and waiting for customers to offer to Yamuna River at Vrindavan as part of prayer.|
As a Hindu born confused atheist, I from the childhood had been to Vrindavan many times, home of Krishna. When I was kid I use to come here with my parents and grandparents, we use to stay here for couple of days, use to visit and offer prayers in many beautiful temples which are in Vrindavan. Everyone was friendly and spiritual in their own way lost in search of Krishna & Radha. Population or Crowd or Visitors were limited not much, there was space to breath for everyone. There were no hotels there at that time but there were many Ashrams for stay and that was a nice and cheap accommodation. The city, Yamuna Ghats (River side) and Yamuna River were clean and beautiful. I even remember bathing in Yamuna River few times and it was a wonderful experience. Didn’t remember how and when those few days trips turned in to flying visits. In last decade I had been to Vrindavan many times but just went there offered prayer at Banke Bihari Mandir (the main temple of Vrindavan of lord Krishna) and headed back to Jaipur or some other destination.
Few days back I panned a 3 days trip to Vrindavan with my Wife, Kid and Inlaws. With old memories in mind I thought it will be a nice start to New year. I searched the accommodation on net and found that now there are many Hotels and Resorts available with every kind of price range. I booked the Hare Krishna Orchid Resort which had good rating on tripadvisor but it was bit far from main market and Banke Bihari Mandir. It was a 4hr drive from Jaipur and we reached to our resort comfortably with the help of Google Maps. I was bit shocked to see that It was a nice and big resort with 100 rooms. Anyhow after we dropped the luggage in our rooms we headed for Banke Bihari Mandir. Instead of our own car I preferred a Auto (Tuk Tuk) to go there so that we can get a feel of place. It took us 30min to cover 4km because of traffic and broken roads. This gave me a time to look around and I found that now there are hundreds of hotels which are bloomed like mushrooms in a very small city with no planning or the support of basic infrastructure. It was a long queue at the entrance of temple and temple was jam-packed even the streets were jam-packed with devotees. After visit of Banke Bihari Mandir my wife and inlaws opted out from visiting any more temples in the city. They went back to the resort but I decided to explore the city with the help of my memory lane. . . . . . . Anyhow after the 3day trip I can say that this is not the same Vrindavan with was in my memory. It is highly populated, there is no proper waste management with no space to breath; I will say if you want to murder someone who is a patient of claustrophobia bring him here. I thought that might be I will get some peace and fresh air at the riverbank of Yamuna but Yamuna and its banks were in the worst condition then the city. Now the River Yamuna is just like a flowing sewer, all the sewage lines of city are opened on the banks of River Yamuna. Leave alone the bathing I was even afraid to touch the water. The locals are still helpful and friendly but you have to save yourself from con artists born because of commercialization. On the whole if you are Krishna devotee then no one can stop you from going there but if you are tourist then avoid Vrindavan there are much better places in India then this.
|Maha Aarti at the ghats of Yamuna river, Vrindavan.|
|Decorated Diya, Agarbatti and Boat man with his Boat at the ghats of Yamuna river, Vrindavan.|
|Kesi ghat of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|
|Bank of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|
|My Rikshaw driver who brought me to bank of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|
|Foggy Morning at bank of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|
|Foggy Morning and Lost at bank of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|
|My Boat Wala at bank of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|
|Foggy Morning and lots of Birds with a Boat at bank of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|
|Sadhu on his way at bank of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|
|Heading back from bank of Yamuna River, Vrindavan.|