Vrindavan: Sacred Abode of Radha Krishna

Vrindavan: Sacred Abode of Radha Krishna

Vrindavan, nestled in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district, is steeped in Hindu lore as the childhood abode of Lord Krishna. Its location in the Braj Bhoomi region adds to its spiritual significance, drawing devotees from across the globe. The city boasts around 5,500 temples, each dedicated to Krishna and his beloved Radha, serving as sacred sites of worship and pilgrimage.

These temples, including the revered Banke Bihari Temple, resonate with devotional songs and chants, creating an atmosphere charged with spirituality. Visitors flock to Vrindavan to immerse themselves in its vibrant culture and mythology, seeking solace and enlightenment along the serene banks of the Yamuna River. In essence, Vrindavan stands as a timeless testament to the enduring legacy of Lord Krishna, inviting all to experience the divine presence and find peace amidst its sacred surroundings.


The old Sanskrit name for this place originates from its abundant groves of holy basil or tulasi (vrnda) and forests (vana).


Vrindavan sits on the western side of the Yamuna River, approximately 15 kilometers to the north of Mathura. The town’s average elevation stands at around 170 meters (or 557 feet) above sea level. The Yamuna River courses through Vrindavan, adding to its scenic charm. Positioned at a distance of 125 kilometers from Delhi and just 15 kilometers from Mathura City, Vrindavan offers a serene retreat with its tranquil surroundings and sacred sites.

Religious Heritage

Vrindavan holds a special place in the Vaisnavism tradition of Hinduism. It’s revered because it’s believed to be where Lord Krishna spent part of his childhood. Surrounding Vrindavan are other significant areas like Govardhana, Gokul, Nandgaon, Barsana, Mathura, and Bhandirvan, all central to the worship of Radha and Krishna. Every year, millions of devotees flock to Vrindavan and its nearby places to partake in various festivals. The people of the Braj region commonly greet each other with “Radhe Radhe,” associated with the goddess Radha, or “Hare Krishna,” associated with Krishna himself. Devotees strongly believe that Krishna visits Vrindavan every night to adore Radha.


Vrindavan holds a rich ancient history deeply rooted in Hindu culture and traditions. It was formally established during the 16th and 17th centuries through a significant treaty between Muslim rulers and Hindu Emperors. Since then, it has served as a crucial Hindu pilgrimage site, drawing devotees from far and wide.

One notable figure associated with Vrindavan is Vallabha Charya, who, at the tender age of eleven, visited the sacred town. Later in life, he embarked on three extensive pilgrimages across India, delivering discourses on the Bhagavad Gita at 84 specific locations. These places, collectively known as Pushtimarg Baithak, hold immense spiritual significance within the Pushtimarg tradition that Vallabha Charya founded. Despite his travels, Vallabha Charya would spend four months each year residing in Vrindavan, where the ambiance heavily influenced his spiritual teachings and the formation of Pushtimarg.

However, the essence of Vrindavan seemed to fade over time until the 16th century when it experienced a revival thanks to the efforts of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In 1515, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu embarked on a journey to Vrindavan with the specific aim of rediscovering and locating the sacred sites associated with Lord Krishna’s life.

Despite its spiritual significance, Vrindavan has faced challenges in recent centuries, particularly in the last 250 years. The once-extensive forests surrounding the town have gradually succumbed to urbanization, initially driven by local rulers and more recently by the proliferation of apartment complexes and modern development projects. This rapid urban expansion has led to the depletion of forest cover, leaving only a few small patches of greenery remaining. Additionally, the local wildlife, including peacocks, cows, monkeys, and various bird species, has suffered greatly, with many populations facing virtual elimination due to habitat loss and human encroachment.


Vrindavan, known as the sacred land of Radha Krishna, boasts around 5500 temples devoted to them, showcasing their divine love and pastimes. Some notable pilgrimage sites include:

Shri Radha Madan Mohan Temple: Situated near the Kalidah Ghat, this temple, one of the oldest in Vrindavan, was built by Kapur Ram Das of Multan. It holds significance in connection with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The original deity, Madan Gopal, was relocated to Karauli in Rajasthan for safekeeping during Aurangzeb’s reign. Presently, a replica of the original deity is worshipped at the temple.

Sri Radha Raman Mandir: Constructed at the behest of Gopala Bhatta Goswami, this temple houses a saligram deity of Krishna known as Radha Ramana, alongside Radha.

Banke Bihari Temple: Erected in 1862 after the discovery of the image of Banke-Bihari in Nidhivan by Swami Haridas.

Radha Vallabh Temple: Dating back to 1585 AD, this ancient temple, constructed with red sandstones, holds historical significance.

Radha Damodar Temple: A Gaudiya Vaishnavism temple dedicated to Radha Krishna, built in 1542 CE.

Sri Krishna-Balarama Temple: Established by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Raman-Reti, with principal deities being Krishna and Balaram, accompanied by Radha–Shyamasundar and Gaura-Nitai. Adjacent to the temple lies the samadhi of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada), the founder of ISKCON, crafted in pure white marble.

Prem Mandir: Situated on a 54-acre site on the outskirts of Vrindavan, this spiritual complex is dedicated to divine love and was established by spiritual guru Kripalu Maharaj. The main temple, constructed in marble, features figures of Krishna adorning its structure.

Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir: Housed in a modern geodesic structure with a traditional gopuram influenced by Khajuraho architecture, this temple is being built by one of the ISKCON factions from Bangalore. Upon completion, it will be the tallest temple globally, with an estimated cost of ₹300 crore (US$38 million).

Shri Rambag Mandir, Vrindavan: A Ramanandi Sampradaya temple, it is the first and oldest Shri Ram Mandir in Vrindavan. Made of white sandstones and dedicated to Shri Ram Darbara, the temple was constructed in 1930.

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