Day 4 – Wed 14th Nov.
Govardhan Parikrama – 24 kms
Had breakfast at 6.30am and left for Manasi Ganga Temple. After paying obeisance to the deity, we started the parikrama on foot on the Parikrama Marg. There is a dedicated road for this purpose. All the devotees started the parikrama at their own pace. We (me and my spouse) were covering about 5kms per hour. We were told to assemble at “Radha Kund”. So when we reached Radha Kund, we had covered 16 kms. It is said that a dip in Radha Kund is the ultimate purification. Legend has it that Krishna brought the waters of all the holy rivers in this “Kund”.
|Govardhan Hill Parikrama in progress|
My spouse decided to take the plunge assisted by other devotees. There is a certain ritual to be followed. Surprisingly, the water was quite clean. The steps in the “kund” are quite slippery – one has to tread with care with the help of the iron chain which is provided for that purpose. As per the ritual, one has to take three dips (fully submerged). After the first dip, he was literally shivering (the water was apparently very cold). However, the following two dips were quite smooth sailing! He had to follow the same procedure in the “Shyam Kund” and back again to “Radha Kund” – in all we had to dip ourselves nine times.
Then, it was my turn for the dip. Initially, I was a little skeptical but after seeing my hubby emerging unscathed, I took the courage and also encouraged and assisted by other devotees, I took my first dip. Since I knew what to expect, it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I finally completed all the remaining dips too. For changing clothes, a small partition is provided for women only. I hurriedly changed into dry clothes which we had carried with us so that I can assist other devotees with their dips. This was a unique experience and I feel one should do this at least once in their lifetime.
We were then asked to assemble in the ashram for the lunch prasadam. As soon as we had our fill, we proceeded to complete the remaining 8kms of the parikrama.
On the way, we visited the scenic Kusum Sarowar. Legend has it that this is the place where gopis used to pick flowers for Krishna and hence the name Kusum Sarowar.
On completion of the parikrama, we were told to pay obeisance to the deity of Manasi Ganga Mandir (the same place from where we started the parikrama) and then proceed to our respective buses.
|End of Parikrama|
Day 5 – Thu 15th Nov.
We visited the following temples:
Daoji (Balaram ) Temple in Gokul. It is said that this is the place where the naming ceremony of Krishna and Balaram were performed by Garg Muni.
Brahmmand Ghat – place on the banks of river Yamuna. It is believed that toddler Krishna ate mud at this place and when mother Yashoda asked him to open his mouth; she saw the whole universe in his mouth hence the name Brahmand (universe) Ghat.
Rawal – Birthplace of Radharani. There is a small temple here but unfortunately it was closed when we reached there.
Also visited the other important temples - Radha Shyamsunder temple, Bankebihari Temple and Iskcon – Krishna Balaram Temple
Day 6 – Fri 16th Nov.
Mathura – Krishna Janmasthan (birthplace) – This temple is heavily guarded and for security reasons we were asked not to carry our mobiles or cameras and hence I do not have any pictures to show.
After the temple visit, we were taken to Loi Bazar for shopping – where one can shop for clothes, handicrafts, japamalas, idols of gods and goddesses, incense etc.
After the shopping, we came back to the guest house for our lunch. The afternoon was left free for us to rest and pack. The group left that night for Bangalore while we stayed on and left the next morning for Mumbai. Our memorable Vrindavan Yatra thus came to an end.