Brindavan mein radhe radhe
Sunrak gaon mein radhe radhe
Kalideh per radhe radhe
Adyedapat mein radhe radhe
Taan gali mein radhe radhe
Maan gali mein radhe radhe
O’man gali mein radhe radhe
Gokunj gali mein radhe radhe
Siva kunj mein radhe radhe
Prem gali mein radhe radhe
Shringar bat mein radhe radhe
Cheer ghat mein radhe radhe
O radhe radhe radhe, barsaane wali radhe.
It’s not just a bhajan or a group of verses; it’s the truth brought from the narrow lanes of Vrindavan where everyone greets, addresses or calls you by two simple yet strong words, “Radhe, Radhe”.
A month back, we visited Vrindavan – the house of gods and the monkeys. It was, by all means, a soul stirring journey. No one needs to tell you that it’s a religious shrine. You pretty much gather that since you hear chants and verses every minute, see temples at every nook and corner, smell flowers and pedas every second & experience the saintly Radhe radhe in the air, all the time.
House of Gods and Monkeys:
Vrindavan is home to thousands of temples tucked away in the narrow, dingy lanes of the town. The oldest and most famous ones like Banke Bihari Mandir, Radha Vallabh & Radha Damodar mandir are situated inside the city. It’s better if you walk you way towards these temples & breathe in the place.
They don’t allow you to film the God. In 70% of the temples and places, photography is prohibited. And the places where it is not, the monkeys won’t let you do that. The monkeys have spread a menace in the place. They snatch food, wallets, goggles, glasses & mobiles from your hands. It’s practically impossible to click a pic or catch a glimpse of the deities with so much of monkeying around.
Walk down the lanes of Vrindavan:
It’s almost surreal to walk down the lanes of Vrindavan in the midst of Krishna bhajans & Radha Krishna idols staring at you. It’s fascinating to wade through the crowds of devotees, cows & monkeys. It’s tempting to walk to the temples when there are mouth-watering kachori – sabji on the left & cold, soothing lassi on the right.
Offer prayers, love, pedas and butter to the Gods:
When you visit the temple, you will offer bhog to Krishna. In some temples, you offer mathura ke pede & in some you offer makhan mishri (butter with sugar).
Along with the bhog, offer your love and prayers to the god. They are bound to listen. They will reciprocate your love in spite of your faith, religious preference. Whether you are an atheist, theist or agnostic, ask for something from the god. They will fulfil it. God promise! 🙂
Things to do in Vrindavan:
You must eat Kachori Sabji. You ought to visit the temples. You must feed bananas to the cows. You should visit the Nidhi Van. You should book a guide.
1. Wear lenses or learn to see without glasses. If you dare to wear your glasses or try to be smart about them, let me tell you that nothing would work. Monkeys would snatch them.
2. Keep a lot of change – notes of INR 10 & coins of 5. They come handy in temple deposits & paying fees to the shoe keeping places.
3. Wear comfortable shoes – you will have to do a lot of walking. So, wear your most comfortable pair of shoes. Sandals/ heels are a big no-no.
4. Carry a water bottle with you – walking makes you thirsty. Keeping a water bottle handy will do you good.
5. Carry a back pack – and nothing more than that. Bag pack is easy to carry and manage. If needed, you may deposit it some place too. If at all you plan to buy somethings, you can easily stuff it in your bag pack. Oh, you can’t carry it. Remember, the monkeys?
I would love to know of your Vrindavan story . Do share it in comments. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.