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Showing posts with label Uttar Pradesh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uttar Pradesh. Show all posts

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Prem Mandir: Magic in one minute

The iconic Prem Mandir made in Italian marble, is bathed in vibrant colors every evening. And trust me, it is a sight to behold! From soothing green and bubbly blue to glittering gold and soft pink, the colors enhance the beauty of the temple. Watch the magic unfold in 1 minute.

This is a daily practice in Prem Mandir after sunset.





Prem Mandir is in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh which was opened to public in 2012. See and know more about this stunning temple here in my blog

P.S- The post made to the list of popular posts on Indiblogger website.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sweets for living

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A peda wala in Mathura, selling pedas for daily living. Peda is a soft milk based sweet, traditionally made with khoya, sugar and flavored spices. The brown ones are pure khoya which have shelf life of 2 weeks and the white ones (covered) have punch of cloves and they last for 2 months. Pedas from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh are the best in North India. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sri Krishna Janmbhoomi Temple - Mathura diaries

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Day 2: Sri Krishna Janmbhoomi Temple





So what if Mathura has bad roads and a serious traffic problem; that could not dampen my spirits to see the holy town. Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, holds high significance in the books of History and Mythology, drawing lot of tourists and devotees every day. The first of my three day trip comprised visit to Govardhan Temple, Sri Krishna Janmbhoomi and market hopping.

Read my post on Govardhan Temple here. I utilized the second half of the day in Sri Krishna Janambhoomi Temple. 


The main entrance gate 
Sri Krishna Janambhoomi is the very spot where Lord Krishna was born to Vasudev and Devaki in Kansa’s captivity.  The temple has parts of that historical jail, open for visitors. The huge temple premises is on a raised platform, which you can reach via a long flight of stairs.


Heavily guarded by CISF, the temple has a mosque in its close proximity. The main shrine of the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The walls have beautiful paintings depicting the life of Krishna and his various avataars. Everything inside is extravagantly pretty and outstanding. Even the roof walls caught my attention where Krishna Leela was painted in vibrant colors. You can spend time meditating or singing bhajans at the main shrine. The first level of the temple has a prayer hall where the ISKON group sing and dance to Krishna Bhajans. The rhythm of the mridang and manjeera takes you to trans! You end up feeling elated and full of positive energy.

The market within the temple complex boasts of sweets, colourful gifts, idols of God and lovely embroidery work on accessories.

The most interesting and visit worthy place in the temple is the artificial cave that exhibits Krishna Leela at different stages of his life. The dark cave echoes with a combination of sound and light effects to compliment the atmos.
Entry Fees for cave- Rs 5 per person

Tips for first time visitors
-Photography and carrying bags is prohibited inside. Cloak rooms outside the premises charge Rs 2 per item to deposit your bags, cams and mobiles.
-You would be frisked by security personnel twice. You cannot cheat them by hiding your mobile phones in your clothes.
-Though the temple has not mentioned any dress code, it would be wise to dress modestly covering your bare legs at least.
-Footwear is deposited at the shoe stand on ground floor for free.
-Monkeys and dogs are found in large number. Do not bother them, they would not bother you. Do not feed any animal inside.
-Temple opens at 6 am and shuts at 12 noon. Reopens at 4:30 pm till 8:30 pm. Plan your visit accordingly.

Outside the temple, do visit the local market. It turned out to be my best experience here.
Needless to mention, my eternal bond with sweets, brought me here to have the best Peda of North India. 





The little brown sinfully indulgent pedas which melt in mouth make me feel they were made for me. Infact every third shop I saw was named Brijwasi, one of the oldest sweet shop in Mathura. Leveraging the legacy, even the local vendors have renamed their shops to the same. 







Stroll in the market for the best chaat and tikki. We had a plate of golgappa and dahi vada each at Rs 20 from Paras Chaat Bhandar. The gentleman is the most humble vendor I ever met. Do give his stall a try when around Krishna Janambhoomi. 




The best dahi vada plate


Our dinner was from a small eating joint named New Madrasi where we had rawa masala dosa at modest price of Rs 60 each. I ended up complimenting the owner how much I liked the dosa.


Around 8pm, we walked back from Sri Krishna Janambhoomi premises to our hotel (Ganpati Palace), which was less than one kilometer, and the streets had started to bear a deserted look. It is advisable to head back to to your hotel and avoid strolling on roads after 9 pm.  


How to reach Mathura from Delhi- 
By Road:
Mathura and Delhi are 180 km apart. Take Noida Expressway for a smooth uninterrupted journey. The highway is good with thankfully no potholes or repair work.

An alternate route via Palwal is a shorter distance but the journey would be uncomfortable and bumpy due to pathetic road condition.



Trains:

Trains are also available from various stations of Delhi till Mathura Junction and Mathura Cant.
Check the website for trains’ schedule:
http://www.indianrail.gov.in/enquiry/TBIS/TrainBetweenImportantStations.html?locale=en



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Weekend getaway from Delhi: Govardhan Temple, Mathura

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Day 1: Govardhan Temple

Long weekends are like a drop of rain on barren lands, for the time pressed, working professionals dwelling in urban spaces. So husband and I planned a three day sightseeing of Mathura, Vrindavan and Bharatpur during the Republic Day holiday. 

Nothing much has changed in the birth place of Lord Krishna. The old town is pretty much the same, with narrow lanes, peda shops, cows, monkeys and lots of tourists.  

The day we reached Mathura, the hotel manager rather surprised us with the info that all temples close at twelve noon and reopen at four in the evening. I did not remember this practice from my previous visit in 2005. A little baffled and disappointed, since we had less time in hand, we proceeded towards the farthest temple- Daan Ghati Govardhan Temple. 






Where- 12 km from Hotel Ganpati Palace or IOC Petrol Pump. You can expect heavy traffic on the narrow roads any day. 

Road Condition- Not bad, not very good either. Unmarked speed breakers are a huge turn off.  The narrow and half constructed roads don't need speed breakers any way! Needless to mention abrupt potholes. The road passes through little village settlements and vibrant farm lands, ending in a crammed up spot near the temple premises.



The temple- When Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Parvat on his little finger to protect the villagers from the flood havoc caused by Indra, Lord of thunder and rain. Daan Ghati temple is said to be built at the exact spot. The entire region is known for 21 km parikrama which starts from the temple, passes through Govardhan hills and kunds (lakes), several temples and ends at Daan Ghati. There are shorter routes for parikrama as well. You may not see any hilly region here. Perhaps the parvat or hill vanished with time or never existed.



The temple is quite old, straight from the books of legends. You’d find Lord Krishna, Ram, Sita, and Lord Shiva idols inside the temple premises. Photography inside is prohibited. It is the exterior that tells the story. I managed a few shots in spite of heavy traffic outside the temple.





Commercialization of the area is evident from the shops and establishments around.
 We ended our Govardhan darshan with rasmalai and rabri from a sweet shop nearby.



Mathura special- Rabri and rasmalai

Tips for first time visitors-
  • You can keep your footwear in any sweet shop opposite the temple in exchange for a prasad box at a nominal cost.  
  • Stay alert- Pickpockets and monkeys swarm the place.
  • Temple Timing- 5:30 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 10 pm. Though you can do parikrama any time of the day. 
  • Parking- Private parking is available in few places at Rs. 100. (I found this is more expensive than parking rate of malls in NCR). If you don't want your car to be scratched or damaged, pay hundred bucks and park it. Do not park on roadside, lest your car should get dents or create traffic mess.  
  • Rs 10 coins are not accepted in Mathura/Vrindavan fearing counterfeit/fake currency.   

 Mathura is barely 185 km from Delhi (via Taj Expressway) and the proximity makes it one of the easiest places near NCR to reach. Known for religious/spiritual tourism, Mathura, the birth place of Lord Krishna sees a large number of tourists footfall everyday. The spirit of searching for God is strongly manifested in people. As a believer of Lord Krishna or even as a non believer, you ought to go in a state of trans in Mathura, imbibing the positive vibes and beauty of life. 

The second half of the day we spent in Sri Krishna Janmbhoomi Temple, the place where Krishna was born. The surrounding place has exciting eating joints that give you a slice of UP life. Stay tuned to know more.   




How to reach Mathura from Delhi:
By Road: Take Noida Expressway for a smooth uninterrupted journey. The highway is good with thankfully no potholes or repair work.

An alternate route via Palwal is a shorter distance but the journey would be uncomfortable and bumpy due to pathetic road condition.


Trains are also available from various stations of Delhi till Mathura Junction and Mathura Cant.

Check the website for trains’ schedule: