Holi at Holy Place of Mathura-Vrindavan

Holi the festival of colors has been celebrated in India since childhood of Shri Krishna. One day when Shri Krishna was young, he cribbed to his mother about Radha being fair while Krishna himself was dark complexioned. Then Yashoda maa suggested Krishna to color Radha with colors in a playful manner.This marked the beginning of this colorful and fun filled festival, mainly celebrated in North part of India.

This festival being filled with so much fun and color have also attracted so many foreigners to India. Every year so many foreigners come to India just to celebrate holi in Mathura-Vrindavan and also to capture this beauty in their camera.

This year, by wish of Lord Krishna I got chance to celebrate Holi in “Shri Krishna ki Nagari(Lord Krishna Village)” Mathura. This was my first visit to Mathura-Vrindavan and that too on festive time of Holi,I was bit worried about Hotels, because of heavy rush in Mathura Vrindavan during Holi week, so I got it booked online with great discount, but still I was not sure that whether I should go there or not. Read so many article online before visit, and in most of them heard about crowd, some suggested not so good environment for girls to go at that time.

Even after not so good response from lots of people, I was very much curious to feel the environment in Mathura Vrindavan during Holi and so I decided to go.

Me and my brother took train on friday 10/03/2017 from Delhi to Mathura, my train got very late and we reached Mathura around 11:30 and actual arrival time was 8PM.

We ate dinner there at railway station and then took auto to our resort which was inside Vatsalyagram. Then on Saturday 11/03/2017, our actual visit started, after having breakfast at resort, and left for Shri Banke Bihari Temple, auto dropped us just before the main market for the temple started.

While going towards temple, it is so hard to resist tempting chole puri, lassi, jalebi, dhokla. If you go there in morning, these places serve such a delicious food, you can even cheat your stomach and eat much extra. Every single person who is going for darshan and returning after it was chanting “Radhe-Radhe”. Everyone was randomly throwing colors on each other in well behaved manner.

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Entrance of Shri Banke Bihariji Temple

When you will reach Temple, you can see people doing arti at Temple gate, as inside of Temple was quite crowded. Then everyone was entering inside through bit random queue, Priests were throwing colors on crowd, even everyone was throwing colors inside temple to show their happiness in celebrating holi with Lord Krishna, It’s an unbelievable experience to be a part of this event. When you are there you can’t see everything but just feel the blessing of that divine environment.

Holi at Shri Banke Bihariji Temple

After darshan at Shri Banke bihari ji Temple, one can take a guide to tour but we decided to go on our own.

Exit gate of Shri Banke Bihariji Temple

We then headed toward Isckon Temple, in Isckon temple you will find no Holi, even taking colours or any material inside temple is not allowed. But you can still enjoy Holi fun there as people were dancing on chants of “Hare Radha-Hare Krishna” and that was quite mesmerizing, it is recommended to sit there for few minutes and get yourself lost in memories of Lord Krishna.

Entrance of Isckon Temple

This itself is a kind of divine meditation. In Isckon you will find beautiful idol of Lord Krishna and also idol of founder of Isckon. In Isckon you will find foreigners all around, from priest to people chanting “Hare Radha-Hare Krishna”, all are foreigners there. Also Isckon is only Temple you will find in Mathura-Vrindavan where there is no restriction in clicking picture, even you can click picture of Lord Krishna Idol. Rest in most of them even caring Camera is not allowed, in few even if allowed you can’t click picture of Lord Krishna idol.

Lord Krishna-Isckon Temple

From Isckon we moved towards Prem Mandir, Prem Mandir is maintained by Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat. Premises of this temple is quite big and it also have many statues depicting events of Lord Krishna life.

Prem Mandir

Shesh Naag statue at Prem Mandir

It also have a big statue depicting Lord Krishna carrying Govardhan Parvat on his pinky finger. Main temple consist of 2 floors, on main entrance you will see idol of Radha-Krishna idol. On top floor you will see beautiful Ram-Sita Idol. This temple is full of lightning and also have water fountain. Though we visited there in Morning because of time constraint but is better to visit there in evening to fully enjoy the beauty.

Govardhan at Prem Mandir

Krishna Raas at Prem Mandir

After that we moved towards Vaishno devi Mandir, This temple is quite visible as you are approaching near it because of very big idol of Vaishno maa on Lion at head of Temple.In this temple, you need to take a free receipt, after providing your details and this slip will be used for depositing your belongings, shoes at counter and also to visit a cave inside Temple. Cave is a way to depict all the different forms of Vaishno Maa. This Temple will also look superb when visited in evening.

Vaishno Devi Temple

After that we went to a hotel near Banke Bihari temple to have lunch, and from there we went to resort to have some rest and also as we have to checkout at 3PM from there. Many of you must be wondering at my checkout time, actually we did check-in in our hotel at around 2AM in midnight as our train got delayed, so we requested at resort to extend our checkout time and we got extension till 3PM, otherwise actual check out time is 12PM.

Me after playing holi at Vrindavan

Due to time constraint I covered only few main and famous places, but there is much more to see and explore in Vrindavan. Such a great and divine place to visit and surely I can visit there any number of times.

In my one day visit, I covered both Vrindavan and Mathura. Firstly I covered Vrindavan and then Mathura as my train was from Mathura station. I have mentioned about Vrindavan visit here and will post rest of tour in next article.

  • Jatinder Sethi

    Anchal,,I have never been to to either Mathura or Varindavan.just drove through there ,but have visited Gokul. But your Holi experience seems to be really Holy with the whole environment painted colorful at that time .The way you described your visit in Supernatural atmosphere of the place, made us to plan pour visit there once the rains start..Cant wait till next Holi.
    Great write up.

    • Daya_behen

      You must visit there, I would recommend you to stay in any hotel/resort which is under any ashram, as there are many ashrams in Vrindavan. You will have very spiritual and peaceful experience in ashram. I stayed there in MMN resort which is under Vatsalygram. It is quite big with good rooms and facilities.
      Thank you for your appreciation regarding my write up.

  • I am from Brij , but hardly tried to visit Varindavan on Holi , Because it is over crowded.
    This time my many photographer friends from south came to Varindavan to cover all event. after reading you write-up ,I wish ,i would have join them ….

    • Daya_behen

      Hello Virag,
      Next time you should surely join them and be part of this beautiful experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Even me and my brother wanted to stay back more, but due to some time constraints we left early.

  • Patrick Jones

    Never been there at that time but seems your experiences were mild in comparison as you stayed close to holy places. May be you should try Nandgaon/Barsana.

    Good account, nevertheless.

    • Anchal Sarraf

      Hello Patrick,
      I would really like to visit much more places like Govardhan, Nandgaon, Barsana. As I mentioned I was visiting first time during holi and I was not sure how situation will be there, so visited Mathura Vrindavan only.

  • Pooja Kataria

    Hare Krishna Anchal, what a lovely write up about the most celebrated festival of Vrindavan and Mathura. You reminded me of my visit to Vrindavan during holi and the celebrations at Banke Bihari Ji.
    I believe you also tried the famous Aloo Tikkis served in the same restaurants where you find yummy lassi and other delicacies of vrindavan. if not, pls do try them on your next visit.
    You are right, one shoudl sit and chant Hare krishna mahamantra in teh ISKCON temple as it is a beautiful meditation which connects you directly to the Lord Himself.
    Prem Mandir looks big and inviting though i never got a chance to visit this temple due to time constraints.
    I also thank you that you mentioned about Vaishno Mandir and I happened to read it on the first day of Navratri.
    Truly a divine experience while reading your post.
    Radhe Radhe!

    • Anchal Sarraf

      Hare Krishna Poojaji, I am glad that you liked my post. Yes I have tried aloo tikki there. Actually I am quite a big fan of street food and tikki is always top on the list for me. Your valuable comment about your experience while reading my write up truly made my day.
      I will soon post my next part of this tour.

      • Pooja Kataria

        Good to know. Looking forward to your next post. Have a nice evening :)

  • Anchal, I can almost imagine the thrill and excitement you would have had.. Ofcourse, skepticism would have ruled your mind initially, no doubt! But the outcome, is just too tempting to make my trip to Mathura ASAP :) !
    Colors, food and the deity – you got to enjoy all of these.. Great post!

    • Anchal Sarraf

      Thank you for your appreciation :)