When it comes to religious tourism, no two places attract more pilgrims all across the year as do the holy cities of Vrindavan and Braj. Vrindavan named after the holy bail plant is an ancient city highlighting the culture and tradition of ancient India. As much as the two pilgrimage centers are about gardens and ancient temples, there are a lot of folk tales associated with various aspects of the cities. Here are some interesting insights into the two pilgrimage cites to make your trip to Vrindavan and Braj more interesting
Vrindavan Govinda Deva temple- Lost and found
Vrindavan is home to the popular Govinda Deva temple that attracts thousands of devotees each day. Not many people however know that this ancient temple was lost and rediscovered only in 1515 by mystic Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He used his mystical abilities to find the ruins of an ancient location believed to be the true location of what is today the well-known Govinda Deva temple.
The secret of Nidhi Van
Nidhi Van known to be the famous area where the Lord adorns human avatar for Rasleela continues to enthrall devotes and locals of Vrindavan. Such is the legend that no humans are allowed inside the Nidhi Van after sunset. It is believed that Lord Krishna and consort Radha come and play their Rasleela at midnight. Locals have witnessed the sounds of ghungrus used in the Ras Leela amid the densely populated forest of Nidhi Van.
The Secrecy of Rang Mahal
It is believed by the locals and the legend that after their Ras Leela, the Lord and Radha rest in their adobe at the Rang Mahal. Beds are decorated for both during the evening with foods and Prasad left for the lord. In the morning the food is consumed and the essentials used to underline the presence of the Lord in the region post midnight. No persons are allowed to be in the vicinity of the Rang Mahal in the night. Some tales also suggest that no human has lived to tell the story of those who tried to sneak in to check who enters the Rang Mahal in the night. A true legend or just a matter of faith, the Rang Mahal is one of Vrindavan’s biggest standing mysteries.
Bankey Bihari temple
What’s a temple without a bell or a conch shell you may wonder, yet the Bankey Bihari temple is one of the rare temples in Vrindavan that offers no bells of conch shells. People chant the name of the Lord instead during the prayers and distribution of Prasad in the temple at dusk and dawn. The legend has it that the Lord in the form of Bankey Bihari did not like the sound of conch or shells.
Krishna at the Radha Damodar Temple
The Radha Damodar Temple is one of the biggest attractions in Vrindavan where a rock containing footprints of Lord Krishna stand tall till date. The lord is believed to come in human form to give darshan to a devotee named Jiva Goswami. Along with the footprints of the Lord there is also a hoof print of a cow highlighting the companionship of cows and Lord Krishna.