Uttar Pradesh

Vrindavan – Jai Shri Radhe

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Despite the grandeur of ISKON Temple, the Banke Bihari Temple, built in 1864 is still the most revered and vibrant shrine in Vrindavan. The temple was originally established by Swami Haridas, a great Krishna devotee, known for his soulful devotional bhajans (was also the guru of the famous musician Tansen). He discovered the sacred deity of Banke Bihari (also popularly known as Thakur ji) at Nidhivana, where Banke Bihari was originally worshipped.
The deity was moved to Vrindavan on completion of the temple in 1864. The most interesting thing about this temple is that, unlike most of the other temples, the curtain is not left open. The curtain is put shut every few seconds and drawn back with a great chanting of Thakur ji. This is probably done with a view to shroud the icon for a moment. It is believed that the brilliance of eyes of Thakur ji can make a person unconscious, if seen for too long a stretch. Another notable feature is that the lotus feet of the deity can be seen only once a year, on Akshaya Tritiya, which falls sometimes in April / May.

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Road Review : Delhi-Kanpur-Lucknow

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Having completed the big road drive (Delhi – Jaisalmer- Jodhpur – Delhi in 4 days) on previous weekend, we were high on driving!

The distance from Delhi to Lucknow is approximately 500 km by road. The standard route is Delhi – Hapur – Moradabad – Rampur- Bareilly – Shahjahanpur- Sitapur – Lucknow. Another new route that is becoming popular is the Delhi – Kanpur – Lucknow route. Some of my friends tried this route few months back and said that it is fast as it’s a 4 lane road but longer than the standard route by about 50 km. We decided to take the longer and the faster one.

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Delhi Nainital Road Review

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NH 24 – Delhi, Ghazibad, Hapur, Garh Mukteshwar (NHAI)
NH 24 – Simbhavli, Gajraula, Moradabad, Rampur (NHAI)
NH 87 – Rampur, Bilaspur, Rudrapur (mostly UP)
NH 87 – Rudrapur, Haldwani, Nainital/Bhimtal (Uttrakhand)

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Hotel Gomti in Lucknow

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We just checked out the restaurant and it was quite an old-world dark and dingy place. Somehow most of the state run hotels have this dingy darkness probably because of ill-designed interiors or just plain apathy…Room Service is quite dismal and it took them as much as 1 hour to get you a cup of tea and much more to get breakfast. To top it all, the flask was broken and the waiter was in bathroom slippers…

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