It is said that the month of Kartik is the most auspicious month in the Hindu lunar calendar. It is the festival of offering lamps to Lord Krishna. This year Kartik month began on 14th Nov and will end on 13th Dec 2012.
We were delighted when we were informed months in advance by Krishnashreya (ISKCON) group about the Vrindavan Yatra during the Kartik month. We (me and my spouse) seized this opportunity to enroll ourselves in this tour. The tour was for a week and our stay was booked in Akshay Patra guest house in Vrindavan. We later found out that 70 devotees enrolled for this “yatra”. Thus began our Vrindavan Yatra.
Most of the group left by train on Friday the 9th of Nov 2012 and some took the flight. We (me and my better half) took the morning flight to
Delhi on Sat the 10th
Nov 2012. We reached Delhi
around 3.30 pm and from the airport, we were picked up by the cab driver
arranged through Akshaya Patra Guest House.
Then began our journey by road to the guest house in Vrindavan. This took us almost 31/2 hours due to traffic and reached the guest house at 7.45pm with a short break on the way for tea (actually the driver needed it badly) at “Hari Om” Dhaba.
After the usual check-in formality at the guest house, we were given the key to our room. The room looked very cozy and comfortable – with all the usual necessities.
We had a quick wash as we were told that the aarti starts at 8.00 pm. We rushed to the temple.
Entrance to the temple
On the way to the temple, we were awed by the beauty of the huge campus, its’ well kept lawn, lots of greenery, the calm water of the pond with the reflection of the temple in it and the chanting of “Hare Krishna” echoing - we felt we were transferred into the spiritual world. And once, inside the temple we were enchanted by the sheer beauty of the deities elegantly dressed in all their fineries. It was awesome and the aarti that followed was simply breath-taking. The whole place was lit with tiny diyas. The atmosphere during the aarti was simply soul-stirring.
|Radha-Vrindavan Chandra - Akshay Patra - This lovely image of the deity,|
I took it from the net. Cameras are not allowed inside
Taken from the entrance of the temple during Sunrise
The Open Air Theatre
Just couldn't resist taking a picture of this squirrel in the garden
After the aarti, we had our dinner at the restaurant – lovely ambience, good service and equally good food.
The next day Sun the 11th Nov. 2012 all the other devotees including the organizers arrived in three buses. They were asked to quickly change and be in the buses for visiting the temples in Vrindavan.
Day 1 - Sun 11th Nov. – visited all the seven Goswami temples.
Day 2 - Mon 12th Nov. – We started for the Vrindavan "Parikrama" (i.e. circumambulating a sacred place on foot) which is about 9km and on the way visited many temples. Some of them are:
Kaliya Ghat - It is said that at this very place Lord Krishna jumped into the Yamuna river to kill the huge snake Kaliya
It is believed that Lord Krishna jumped from the this Kadamba tree to kill Kaliya, the snake.
|Madan Mohan Temple - The oldest Temple in Vrindavan|
While in Vrindavan, please make sure you do not wear spectacles (keep it safely in your handbag) as these will be promptly snatched by the monkeys. We were warned about this beforehand. Two of the devotees from our group lost their spectacles to the monkeys. Luckily, one had a spare one; as for the other, she managed to get it back with the help of a local guy.
More to follow in my next post..........