While in the past, Vrindavan was the most beautiful of forests in the whole of India (Kalidas) in the last 250 years it has been subjected to urbanization first by local Rajas and in recent decades by apartment developers. At present the number of trees in the area are meagre and the local wildlife, including peacocks, cows, monkeys and a variety of bird species have mostly been eliminated or are close to it. A few peacocks and monkeys are freely found but cows are now mostly found in the gosalas of the Major Ashrams of Vrindavan.
river.]] The ancient name of the city, 'Brindaban' is after its ancient groves of 'Brinda' Ocimum tenuiflorum or Tulsi with ban meaning a grove or a forest . Two small groves still exist Nidhivan and Seva kunj
Vrindavan has always remained as a part of the Hindu folklore, and an important Hindu pigrimage, in 1901 it had a population of 22,717 and one of its oldest surviving temples is the Govind Deo temple, built in 1590, the modern town is said to have been founded earlier, in the same century .
Шаблон:Main Vrindavan is often considered to be a holy place by all traditions of Hinduism. The major tradition followed in this place is Vaisnavisisim; and is a center of learning with many Ashrams functioning from Vrindavan. Its a center of Krishna worship and the area is including places like Govardhana and Gokul that are associated with Krishna from the time immemorial. Many millions of bhaktas or devotees of Radha Krishna visit these paces of pilgrimage every year and participate in a number of festivals that relate to the scenes from Krishna's life on Earth.
According to tradition and recorded evidence, Krishna was raised in the cowherding village of Gokul by his foster parents Nanda Maharaj and Yasoda. The Bhagavata Purana describes Krishna's early childhood pastimes in Vrindavan forest wherein he, his brother Balarama, and his cowherd friends stole butter, engaged in childhood pranks and fought with demons. Along with these activities, Krishna is also described as meeting and dancing with the local girls of Vrindavan village (and especially Radharani) who were known as gopis. These pastimes were the source of inspiration for the famous Sanskrit poem, Gita Govinda, by the Orissan poet, Jayadeva (c. 1200 AD).
-Madan Mohan in Vrindavan, today]]
The most popular temples include:
- The Madan Mohan Temple located near the Kali Ghat which was built by Kapur Ram Das of Multan. This is the oldest existent temple in Vrindavan today. The temple is closely associated with the saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is the incarnation of the same supreme lord Krishna in the iron age of Kaliyuga and he spread the Congregational chanting of the Holy names Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare! Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare !! which is the prescribed way for perfection of life in Kaliyuga as stated in the Kali Santarana Upanishad(Harer Nama Harer Nama Harer Nameve Kevalam! Kalau Nasthi eva Nasthi eva Nasthi eva Gathir Anyatha!!). The original image of Lord Madan Gopal was shifted from the shrine to Karauli in Rajasthan for safe keeping during Aurangzeb's rule. Today, a replica of the image is worshiped at the temple.
- The Banke Bihari Temple, built in 1862 is the most popular shrine at Vrindavan. The image of Banke-Bihari was discovered in Nidhi Vana by Swami Haridas, the great Krishna devotee, belonging to the Nimbarka sampradaya.
- The famous Radha Vallabh Temple set up by the Radha-Vallabh sampradaya, through Sri Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu, has the crown of Radharani placed next to the Shri Krishna image in the sanctum.
- The Jaipur Temple which was built by Sawai Madho Singh II, the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1917, is a richly embellished and opulent temple. The fine hand - carved sandstone is of unparalleled workmanship. The temple is dedicated to Shri Radha Madhava.
- Sri Radha Raman Mandir constructed at the request of Gopala Bhatta Goswami around 1542 is one most exquisitely crafted and revered temples of Vrindavan, especially by the Goswamis. It still houses the original saligram deity of Krishna, alongside Radharani.
- The Shahji Temple, another popular temple at Vrindavan, was designed and built in 1876 by a wealthy jeweller, Shah Kundan Lal of Lucknow. The deities (images) at the temple are popularly known as the Chhote Radha Raman. Noted for its magnificent architecture and beautiful marble sculpture, the temple has twelve spiral columns each 15 feet high. The `Basanti Kamra' - the darbar hall is famed for its Belgian glass chandeliers and fine paintings.
- The Rangaji Temple, built in 1851 is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha or Rangaji depicted as Lord Vishnu in his sheshashayi pose, resting on the coils of the sacred Sesha Naga. The temple built in the Dravidian style (as a replica of Srivilliputhur) has a tall gopuram (gateway), of six storeys and a gold - plated Dhwaja stambha, 50 feet high. A water tank and a picturesque garden lie within the temple enclosure. The annual festival of Jal Vihar of the presiding deity is performed with great pomp and splendour at the tank. The temple is also famous for its `Brahmotsdav' celebration in March-April, more popularly known as the `Rath ka Mela'. The ten day long celebrations are marked by the pulling of the rath (the chariot car) by the devotees from the temple to the adjoining gardens. The prayers within the temple are performed, following in the style of Andal, one of the twelve Vaishnava Saints of South India.
- The Govind Deo (Govindaji) Temple was once a magnificent seven storeyed structure built in the form of a Greek cross. It is said that the Emperor Akbar donated some of the red sandstone that had been brought for the Red Fort at Agra, for the construction of this temple. Built at the astronomical cost of one crore rupees in 1590 by his general Raja Man Singh, the temple combines western, Hindu and Muslim architectural elements in its structure. It was destroyed by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb.
- The Sri Krishna-Balrama Temple built by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in a location known as 'Raman-Reti', is one of the most beautiful temples in Vrindavan today. The principal deities of this temple are Krishna & Balaram, with Radha-Shyamasundar and Gaura-Nitai alongside. Adjoining the temple is the samadhi of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, built in pure white marble.
- The Radha Damodar Mandir Located at Seva Kunj, the Mandir was established in 1542 by Srila Jiva Goswami. The deities Sri Sri Radha Damodar are here. The bhajan kutir of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is also situated at the Mandir.
Other sacred sites
and Tansen visit Swami Haridas.]] Other places of interest include Seva Kunj, Kesi Ghat, Sriji Temple, Jugal Kishore Temple, Lal Babu Temple, Raj Ghat, Kusuma Sarovar, Meera-Bai Temple, Imli Tal, Kaliya Ghat, Raman Reti, Varaha Ghat and Chira Ghat, and across the river, a short boat-ride away is the samadhi shrine of Devraha Baba, a revered saint of the last century.
The Seva Kunj is where Lord Krishna once performed the Raaslila with Radha-Rani and the gopis and Nidhi Van where the divine couple rested. The samadhi of Swami Haridas, the guru of Tansen, is situated here. Every year, in his honour, Swami Haridas Sammelan is organized, in which all renowned musicians of India take part.
Another famous temple of Sri Vrindavan is Sri Kathia Baba Ka Sthan" at Gurukul Road , the mahanta of which is entitled as "brajobidehi mahanta" and the acharya of Swabhuram Dwara of Nimbarka sect, Sri Swami Rash Behari Das Kathia Babaji Maharaj.
Vrindavan is located at . It has an average elevation of 170 metres (557 feet).
Шаблон:As of India census, Vrindavan had a population of 56,618. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. Vrindavan has an average literacy rate of 65%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 73%, and female literacy is 55%. In Vrindavan, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. The number of females is 24,200 including 13% who are under 6 years of age.
Vrindavan is also known as the City of Widows due to the large number of widows who move into the town and surrounding area after losing their husbands. According to some Hindu traditions, upper-caste widows may not remarry, so many of those abandoned by their families on the death of their husband make their way here. There are an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 widows living on the streets, many of whom have spent over 30 years there. In exchange for singing bhajan hymns for 7-8 hours in bhajanashrams, women are given a cup of rice and a pittance of money (around Rs.10), which they try to supplement by begging on the streets or in some instances, even through prostitution. An organization called Guild of Service was formed to assist these deprived women and children. In 2000 the organization opened Amar Bari (My Home), a refuge for 120 Vrindavan widows, and a second shelter for 500 widows is expected to open.
- Six Goswamis of Vrindavan
- Hare Krishna
- Govardhan hill
- Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji
- Svayam bhagavan
- Radha Krishna
- Vrindavandham.com : Connect with the spirit of Braj
- Sri Vrindavan-dham
- Food for Life Vrindavan
- Friends of Vrindavan
- Mathura & Vrindavan
- Guide tour to Vrindavan and its allied temples
- Vrindavan mapAlso shows parikrama marg