#SSUTRAVELS | Vrindavan Trip Experience In Detail (Temples, Street Food, Hotel, Tips and Pictures)

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - VrindavanTrip Experience In Detail (Temples, Street Food, Hotel, Tips and Pictures)

Someone living in Delhi-NCR, who has a long weekend (or just a weekend) and in the mood to travel not too far, still wants to revive the whole being, must choose Vrindavan. Whether they're a theist or atheist, it will tickle both genres of humans. Redolent of Vaishnavism, chantings, meditation and eternal bliss, Vrindavan could be a gastronomy driven vacation too. Jump ahead to know why!

WHY WE DECIDED TO GO TO VRINDAVAN?

A very close friend had planned this trip twice in the past few months that I cancelled to finally cave-in this time. It felt like the right time to go. The reason to go this short trip was also the fact that I was a little stressed about a meeting of #metoo sorts at my work and I was seeking divine guidance. And after reading a lot about energies and Law of Attraction, I have understood that we need to cleanse the energy we are trapped in from time to time, and travelling places is one of the best ways to do that. My goal was to journey in a short time but come back with a lot of memories. Did I achieve this goal?

DELHI/NCR-VRINDAVAN ROUTE AND TIME TAKE

We took Taj-Agra Express Way and it took us 2 and a half hours to reach Vrindavan. No traffic on our way until we entered the city. Sandwiches, tea, chips and biscuits saved us time and hangry moments. A flask full of tea is my mother's idea for years to make a trip complete and this trip was nothing different. The ginger-tea in my Milton flask on this trip was enjoyed to every bit till the last drop. We saw a small complex where we have restaurants, conveniences etc. as Taj-Agra Express expands in front of us and Dhabas in the outskirts of Vrindavan before we enter the main city.

FIRST GLIMPSE OF VRINDAVAN

Simplicity and complexity both can be seen in Vrindavan! You see old infrastructure complimenting the modern infrastructure, Indian devotees of town gelling well with International devotees. The view is stunning! I am from Banaras city, one of the oldest and alive ancient places and a pilgrimage like Vrindavan, I could relate with the reflections of the city. But the experience I took home was different from my Banaras. After all it is Krishna's city!


PARKING, CLOSED ROADS, BEST CONVEYANCE IN VRINDAVAN!

 There was a small moment of frustration and disappointment in us when we found the road was closed that took us to the hotel highly recommended by my friend's father who frequent the city quite often. It was the same road as ISKCON, Banke Bihari Temple, Prem Mandir etc. are on. Police force and people at the closed entrance of the roads misled us about the timings by informing that the roads would remain closed and would reopen the next day which was not the truth. 

The roads are often closed between 8.30AM to 12.00PM. The timing could vary a little as we found the roads open the other day till 9.30AM. Please mind it that roads will open and you will be able to take your vehicle. My advice- Don't. Take E-rickshaw to commute which would be hassle-free, and easy on pockets too.

One of the best things of Vrindavan - big and reachable parking spots. We found the same parking cost across Vrindavan parking places - Rs.50 for 4 hours.

WHERE TO STAY IN VRINDAVAN?

The Prem-Mandir road is wide, and a number of hotels and Dharmshalas lay across the road. Don't stray, stick to this road and find the one that suits you. Hotels and Dharmshalas on Prem Mandir road would save you time, money and sanity.

We were not looking for too fancy hotels with a swimming pool, wi-fi and other facilities so we chose Shri Radha Krishna Dham. If your priorities involve having a swimming pool, wi-fi in your room, coffee machine etc. they are available too. Here are some of the Best Hotels in Vrindavan.


Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping Self-Help Blog - Shri Radha Krishna Dham Hotel in Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping Self-Help Blog - Shri Radha Krishna Dham Hotel and Its Parking Spot

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping Self-Help Blog - Shri Radha Krishna Dham Hotel and Its small park with swings and slides

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping Self-Help Blog - Shri Radha Krishna Dham Hotel and Its small park with swings and slides

Shopping, Style and Us, India's Best SHopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Shri Radha Krishna Dham Hotel and Its small park with swings and slides

Shri Radha-Krishna Dham had clean rooms, beds, AC, geyser and food. But we opted to eat out! Our hotel also had a small park with swings and slide for kids, space for parking, a tea-stall outside in case you are a tea-person like me. Find a picture ahead of me with the tea ahead!


FIRST TIME VISITORS SHOULD NOT MISS-

 

ISKCON

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - ISKCON Temple, Vrindavan


The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation. ISKCON was founded in 1966 in New York City by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada known to his followers as Guru and spiritual master. (wikipedia)
The archetype of the ISKCON has spanned all over the world after being founded in the USA. It doesn't tell about a religion. It tells about a movement, a conscious movement that slowly houses in your subconscious.


Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - ISKCON Temple, Vrindavan


ISKCON is open from 4AM, closes at 12PM and reopens at 4PM with an evening aarti, chants and puja  only close the doors to tourists at 9.30PM. There is one aarti that is offered to Lord Krishna at 4AM and is said to be filled with divine and distinctive experiences. Not that other aartis are different but it could be the timing when the sun is rising and birds are chirping.

TIP: Please use Gate No. 2 which is in the adjacent lane of ISKCON's main gate in case main gate is closed and tourists are asked to revisit later. We did the same after 9.30 PM when we were not allowed to enter the temple. Thanks to the gentleman/guard who was guarding the gate that day!

How did listening to chanting effect me?
The nighttime chanting when the temple was left only with its devotees, we sneaked into the temple and I have no regrets. In life, everything is happening at the right time- there is a reason we had to be directed to the 2nd gate of ISKCON only to witness hallucinatory chanting and it was a divine sign that we were about to discover the mystical and enticing experience of my life time.


Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Courtyard of ISKCON Temple, Vrindavan


The chanting "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna; HareRama, HareRama" slow, soft and full of devotion had filled the courtyard with a sense of stillness and I wanted to capture the moment. It felt like I was guided to do that because the first thing I did was close my eyes and lost myself to the infinity. The only way to capture the moment and experience was to make a video or capture the sound. I did make a video! You can watch it on  YouTube and listen to the chanting here!


More stories about Vrindavan's ISKCON temple!
It is told that Lord Krishna and his brother Balarama play in this courtyard at night. This is why they never made a roof over it.


Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Courtyard of ISKCON Temple where Lord Krishna and Balarama play, Vrindavan


I am not sure it's the truth or just a story- but I want to believe it. There are many things we believe which is not serving us, so better believing something that fills us with a euphoria!

PREM MANDIR

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Prem Mandir, Vrindavan
Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Kaliya Naag and Lord Krishna in Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Lord Krishna in Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Kaliya Nag and Lord Krishna in Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Govardhan Parvat in Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Timing and Schedules of Prem Mandir, Vrindavan


Our Hotel was on the same road as Prem Mandir and at walking distance. It was easy for us to spend our morning in ISKCON, come back to the hotel, take rest and visit Prem Mandir the same evening.

A beautiful, elegant white temple spread across 54 acres of field, is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Sita-Ram. You can read more about Prem Mandir here. Based on our experience, some points to be noted about Prem Mandir are:

1. Prem Mandir is open in the evening only when you can enjoy the temples showered with colourful lights and the entry is free.
2. Save yourself a minimum 1 hour so you can see the beauty of the temples including the installed statues.
3. Do not miss Govardhan Parvat and Lord Krishna dancing on Kaliya Naag.
4. It might be crowded so don't wear jewellery, and take care of your wallet and goods.
5. You can skip going upstairs if it is too crowded because coming down might cause a little discomfort.
6. You are allowed to take pictures here so feel free to pose with Krishna and Radha.

BANKE BIHARI MANDIR

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - A short route to take for Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan

We scheduled Banke Bihari Temple visit for the next day morning which was a great decision because we had taken rest, slept like a child and felt fresh to face the crowd, the shopkeepers and pujaris in Banke Bihari Lane as well as Banke Bihari Temple. Read about the history of Banke Bihari Temple and enlighten yourself. Continue further to know about my experience!

We parked our car at Banke Bihari Parking Place and took narrow lanes to reach the temple. On our way, we passed many kids who were giving tikkas with the names like Radhe, Krishna, Swastika etc. I was so excited to get one! We gave them Rs.10 or 20 as a token of thanks for those tikkas.


Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Steps Near Near Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan

It took us 15-20 minutes from the closest lane to the entrance of the temple because it was closest of all.  We took stairs that led us to the the main temple on our right hand through a hallway and straight to an open space where people took off their footwear and lit lamps/diyas. If you want you can buy flowers, pedas and diyas here before you enter the hallway. We bought only pedas to offer Banke Bihari Ji.

How and why I got stuck in Banke Bihari Mandir?
I got stuck right in front of Banke Bihari in the courtyard and before taking the final steps to reach the statue of Banke Bihari Ji. The crowd was going berserk. Although it seemed like the destination for everyone was the same i.e. Banke Bihari Ji for darshan, crowd was headed in every direction causing chaos and making me suffocated and stuck.

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Crowded lane of Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan

To my surprise, the Banke Bihari temple is a well-planned temple with a big entrance, courtyard and exit doors on each side of the temple. The crowd could have been managed really well, in case there were queues and more people to manage them. But this wasn't the case, pujaris (priest) were busy tricking pilgrims for Dakshinas (a fee, gift or donations to Brahmans) Anyway! I managed to get out of the temple after having an eyeful view of Lord.

Why Pujaris close the curtains of Banke Bihari?
When you in the temple, you would find Pujaris closing the curtains of Banke Bihari every 1-2 minutes only to re-open it after 15 seconds or so. There is an interesting story behind this!

It is said that the Lord in this temple is in His child form. He is young, innocent and the love of His devotees can influence him, eventually making Him leave the temple and go with His devotees.

I don't know about the reality, but I would want to believe it and just bask in the possibilities of it.

Remember these tips before you go to Banke Bihari Temple!
1. Go early in the morning and before 12PM.
2. Be safe and cautious if kids are with you. Don't leave their hand and carry them in lap or on your shoulder if possible.

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog -Carry Kids on shoulder or in lap when in Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan
3. Avoid holidays, weekends etc if you can. We went to Vrindavan in Kartik month that has attracted more pilgrims than other months.
4. Be prepared to face the crowd.
5. Carry a shopping bag because Banke Bihari Lane is full of shopping items, souvenirs etc. and you should not stop yourself from buying some.
 
What should you buy in Banke Bihari Lane?
Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Shopping for souvenirs in Banke Bihari Lane

1. Tikka stamps, incense, dhoops, Lord Krishna's jhoolas, clothes and accessories.
2. Ittars
3. Paintings
4. Pedas, honey etc.
5. Krishna Keyrings.

NIDHIVAN

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Help Blog - Nidhivan, one of the most talked about places of Vrindavan. Read inside to know why!

Before visiting Vrindavan, Nidhivan was the only place on my travel-list because of its interesting stories and history (of Nidhivan). We reached Nidhivan after Banke Bihari Temple without losing any time as it closes at 6PM sharp. It took us 10 minutes ride from Banke Bihari Temple to Nidhivan in E-rickshaw through a very easy and convenient ride. 

Nidhivan is basically a small but dense garden full of Tulsi (Basil) tree and Kareel trees. These trees are interestingly twisted with each other. The paths took us to a small kund (pond), and a temple of Radha and Krishna where you offer flowers, lamps etc. You can sit inside the temple and enjoy the prayer and local devotional songs that pilgrims are singing.

This place is full of monkeys that are expert in snatching eye-glasses. Please don't wear spectacles when you're inside Nidhivan or around, or carry a pack of Frooti if you must. Offer them Frooti to take your  glasses back. Not bad! huh?

The story of Rasleela in Nidhivan is not a surprise any more. It is said that Lord Krishna and Radha manifest in Nidhivan during the night, the trees of Tulsi and Kareel become Gopiya and they dance throughout the night. The temple is closed with offerings like Paan (beetle leaf), Laddoos etc. The next morning, Paan is found chewed on, Laddoos are found eaten claiming that Lord Krishna and his troop were there.

Again, I want to believe and just enjoy the imagination Lord Krishna dancing and being his divine self!

STREET FOOD WE ENJOYED IN VRINDAVAN!


A North Indian palate was injected in every dish we had in Vrindavan and we couldn't complain. After all, this is what we have had throughout our life (While Deep and Kirti spent their childhood in Lucknow, Varun has been brought-up in NCR and I belong to Banaras.)

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Self-Help Blog - Morning tea froma tea-stall nearest to our hotel.

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Dahi-Golgappe on the streets of Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Hot milk on the streets of Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Delicious, creamy lassi in Banke Bihari Lane

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Aloo-Poori in Banke Bihari Lane

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Aloo-Poori, Kachodi in Banke Bihari Lane

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Aloo-Chaat on the streets of Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Fresh green salad in front of ISKCON


Eating Joints Where You Can Enjoy Delicious Food?

Two very popular eating joints are Brijwasi and Bharti Foods (Right in front of Brijwasi Restaurant). We had our lunch in Brijwasi and dinner in Bharti Foods. And we had a clear winner where we would recommend you too to have your meals, hands down i.e.  Bharti Foods.




Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Deluxe North Indian Thali in Bharti Foods

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best SHopping and Selfhelp Blog- Special North Indian Thali in Bharti Foods


Where to buy incense sticks, dhoop and ittars?

There is a shop called Sugandh Sarita in the Banke Bihari lane which is a treasure house for fragrance, wide collection of incense, dhoops and customer service. I bought a few things from Sugandh Sarita and I have mixed feelings about the products and will soon cover on my YouTube channel.



📍Last two days were spent in #Vrindawan and #Mathura , and I reached a mini heaven of #ittar , #incensesticks and #dhoops . 🌟We went inside for just a particular incense stick that I had been looking for sometime now and I came out with incense and dhoop sticks for friends and family including room and car feshener, ittars and more. . 🎥 I’ve decided to make a video and upload on YouTube because It will take over 50 pics and more than an hour of typing to share my experience. . . . . —— #️⃣ #ittar #attar #attarcollection #organicfollowers #perfumes #nicheperfume #picoftheday #instafashion #love #photooftheday #instagood #instalike #instabeauty #instadaily #tbt #designerperfumes #bestperfume #instashop #instaperfume #fragranceoils #perfumelovers #perfume #musk #scentoftheday #scentofthenight #travel
A post shared by Jiya Mishra Saklani (@shoppingstyleandus) on


Shop Name: Sugandh Sarita
Shop Address: 174, Gautam para, Behind Bihari Ji Police Chowki, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh 281121
Website: http://vrindavanincenses.com/
Contact Number: 098974 70027

How To Go Frugal in Vrindavan?

Here are some tips for those who want to save money but have maximum fun.

1. Dharmshalas are the best to stay in Vrindavan where you are given Prasadam morning and evening. You can save on your two meals if you like.
2. Instead of your own car, take E-rickshaw to commute. Some places are close-by that you can walk as well.
3. Don't stray from Prem Mandir road for accomodation where you will find all temples and major highlights of the city within 3 KMs.
4. Alwasy carry big shopping bag with a zip instead of smaller bags. This will help you holding multiple bags with food, shopping items etc.
5. Wear a comfotable footwear with no socks and without laces. A pair of floaters, flip-flops or simple flat shoes will do.
6. If you are from Delhi-NCR, 24 hrs of trip will be sufficient unless you want to go to other near by places.

What To Wear in Vrindavan?

Females: Suit-salwar, Jeans-tops with full-sleeves, simple lehenga-choli like Gujratis/Rajasthanis
Males: Jeans-TShirt, Jeans-Shirt, Kurta-Payjama
Kids: Jeans-Tshirt, Frocks, Kurta-Payjamas etc.

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - CLothes We Wore in Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - CLothes We Wore in Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - CLothes We Wore in Vrindavan


Add woollens in case of cooler weather.

SHOPPING in VRINDAVAN

 Here comes our favourite topic- shopping. You can buy anything or everything you want but there are few things which will be called true souvenirs like-

Tikka stamps, key rings, pedas, honey, dhoop, incense sticks, ittars, books, statues of Kanha, clothes and accessories of Kanha, Lehenga-Choli, Jhoolas/Cradles for Krishna, Flutes, paintings etc.

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Shopping for Souvenirs in Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Tikka STamps,  Shopping for Souvenirs in Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Kanha's jhoola, clothes and accessories,  Shopping for Souvenirs in Vrindavan

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Key Rings,  Shopping for Souvenirs in Vrindavan


How To Make The Most Of Your Visit to Vrindavan?

Try and sit or a while in temples you visit. Soak in the aroma, the sound, the entire essence of this place by not indulging in mobile phones. There are many temples of great significance (Lotus Temple, Pagal Baba Temple etc.) very close to the main ones (ISKCON, Banke Bihari etc)- try to cover them too.

Instead of eating in flashy Restaurants, try street food, Brijwasi restaurant or Bharti Foods. Amazing quality and food.

Was Vrindavan City Clean?

It was clean as compared to Mathura. There were garbage bins on the road and I found Municipality people cleaning the roads in the morning.

One Word That Would Connect To You With All Vrindavan?

Radhe-Radhe!

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Radhe-Radhe - One word that connects you with whole Vrindavan

This is they every communication in Vrindavan starts. If you are an outsider, you might feel a little hesitant at first. But speak it with an open heart and feel the affection and essence of Krishna in this word.

Don't Forget To Do This Before You Leave Hotel?

1. Check the entire room, drawers, under the bed, washroom etc.
2. Give a feedback to the manager.
3. Ask for the card and keep it safe. It might be useful later.
4. Share your card if you have one!
5. Donate some money for the hotel staff to carry out Bhandaras/free food for all events.

Other Places TO GO After Leaving Vrindavan?

1. Gokul for ghats (bank of the River Yamuna), other places that carry a great significance in Lord Krishna's life.
2. Barsana- where Radha Rani was born.
3. Mathura- Krishna Janmbhumi, Vrindavan temple etc.

An Interesting Garden to See On The Way Of Mathura and Delhi!

Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Shri Vaishno Devi Dham/Garden On Mathura-NOIDA road!

Shri Vaishno Devi Dham which is basically a garden with a big statue of Durga Maa. They have a man-made cave in which all 9 avatars of Durga Maa is placed. You will have great fun in 30-45 minutes. Ticket is free for all, and gentry was decent when we went there.

Our Last Meal and End of Vrindavan Trip!

Our last meal was in Noida at Badami Restaurant. It was good place in a shopping complex. In case you are tired of driving, sitting or just want to take a halt- choose this place. 



Shopping, Style and Us: India's Best Shopping and Self-Improvement Blog - Our last meal of the trip was at Badami Restaurant!

Not only this trip was a refreshing and a peaceful break from our mundane life, but it was euphoric despite the fact that it was the simplest trip we have ever been on. 

As my husband says, there is something about such places. They tend to leave an impressions and pull us away from material life in a good way. You can sense the mystery of the stories you've been listening to for years, and being ONE with those stories. You'd know if you could feel me or else-

head to Vrindavan with an open heart!

Radhe-Radhe!




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"A BCP/IT DR Manager during day time, blogger during night and full-time mom --- this is what girl behind this blog is. She thrives to make SSU a link between your Fashion and Beauty needs mixed with Life Lessons to make this place a little more fun."
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