Trip to Mathura-Vrindavan-Nainital and Almora

People say that old habits never leave. When I was in school we use to have 2 months summer holidays. My father use to promise me that if I complete my Holiday homework he will plan a vacation. Sometimes I was successful and sometimes I wasn’t. But when I grew older and started working, I promised myself that I no matter what happened I will take a week’s holiday and plan a vacation with my family. When I got married in Nov 2011 I told my wife about this habit of mine and she was happy to know that I am a “GHUMAKKAR”. So we started planning for summer 2012 and after a week of discussion, agreement and disagreement we finally managed to plan an itinerary . This included Kaila Devi Mandir in Karoli- Rajasthan (Dad’s Choice), Mathura, Vridavan (Mom’s Choice), Nainital (Sister’s Choice) and Almora (Me & Wife’s Choice). Soon we came to know that the idol of Kaila Devi is not in temple as the King of Karoli has taken the idol for ganga snan, this happens once in every three years. So now the list was shortened. We booked an innova from a local taxi dealer and started our journey from Delhi.

Day 1: Delhi to Mathura (approx. 150 kms.)

We started our journey at 10 am in the morning from Delhi to Mathura. We took the old route that is via Faridabad. It took us more than more than 3 hrs. to reach Mathura. After checking in to our hotel and taking lunch we took a rest for 2 hrs.

Mathura

Mathura

We got ready by 05:30 pm and went to Krishan janambhoomi . This place is like a police cantonment, security is very tight here and an extensive checking is performed before entering the premises. The premises contain very beautiful pictorial depiction of lord Krishna childhood. It also has the cell where Devki and Vasudev were kept as prisoners by Kans. It also has small museum the ticket costs Rs 3.

Then we went to Vrindavan , here we visited Iscon temple and Bankebihari Temple. In Iscon temple we may find foreigners enchanting shlokas in sanskrit and singing bhajans. Most of these people are between the age of 25-35 years. The idols of Krishna , Radha and Balram are very beautiful.

Radha Krishan at Iscon Temple -Vrindavan

Radha Krishan at Iscon Temple -Vrindavan

Krishan Balram at Iscon Temple -Vrindavan

Krishan Balram at Iscon Temple -Vrindavan

Next we went to Bankebihari Mandir. This is the main temple in Vrindavan. The ambiance of this temple is amazing whole temple is covered with Mogra flowers and people enchanting Mantras, shlokas and bhajans. You won’t feel like leaving the place at once.

We ended our day with come classical music program organised by All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Sanskritik Programme at Vrindavan

Sanskritik Programme at Vrindavan

Day 2:

We went to Dwarkadhish Temple. This situated right on the banks of river Yamuna. You will find many pujaris following you to get the pooja done but beware as most of them are thugs.

Yamuna Behind Dwarkadhish Temple Mathura

Yamuna Behind Dwarkadhish Temple Mathura

After offering the pooja at Dwarkadhish Temple we left for Nainital. This is 358 kms long drive which takes close to 6-7 hrs. We reached Nainital at 7 pm and went to circuit house, after settling down we went for dinner at restaurant at mall road. We slept early this day as we were too tired.

Day3:

This day we went to visit various points
Zoo: This is the funniest zoo I have ever came across. It’s the smallest and you can complete the trip in 20 mins . the worst part is that you have a steep uphill walk of 15-20 mins to reach there.
Naini Peak: You will find people waiting for you with the telescope and will show you The Great Himalayan Range and so called China. Well there is no way you can figure out whether they are showing china or not.
Naini lake : This is the best part I liked about nainital, boating in naini lake. This is a great stress buster as the environment is really nice and a cool breeze flowing. No matter how much time the person take to cover one round you will always find it less.
Mall road: At around 6 mall road is closed for vehicles making road safe for pedestrians. The mall road runs around naini lake making the weather pleasant to stroll around with your loved ones the streets are full of snacks items like momos, chat pakodas and dilli wale gol gappe, also there are various restaurants for dinner. You can purchase wooden handicrafts from such place to decorate your home or to gift someone. Roaming on this road is the best way to finish the day after a heavy dinner.

View from Circut House Nainital

View from Circut House Nainital

Lake View at Nainital

Lake View at Nainital

Nainital City View

Nainital City View

Boating at Naini Lake

Boating at Naini Lake

Day4:
After being charged up by the naini lake we were all sent to visit another lake which is Bheemtal. This is a man-made lake with an aquarium in middle of the lake. On visiting this lake we found that it was very disappointing. Unlike naini lake it was not well kept there was not around it to visit or to see so we left the place quickly for Almora which is 62 kms away. This journey is close to 2 hrs.

Almora is not a very tourist friendly place they do have budget hotels and the luxury hotels but you have to search for them. This day we just had a glimpse of the market and purchased Bal Mithai. My father is in All India radio so he took us to AIR office in Almora. It was a lazy day.

Day 5:
We started our Day by visiting Jageshwar Temple. It is 36 kms away from the Almora. It is a very beautiful place. This is not a jyotirlinga but it is almost equivalent to that. The building of this temple is like any other Lord Shiva Temple. But it was not that crowded.

Jageshwar Temple

Jageshwar Temple

Jageshwar Temple

Jageshwar Temple

After Jageshwar we went to the most interesting place of our trip. It was Golu Devta Mandir. Golu devta is considered as the lord of justice. IF you have done something wrong and you want to confess or someone has cheated you and you need justice you just need to write it on a piece of paper and tie it with a bell on the ceiling of the temple once you prayers are heard then you need to visit the temple again to remove the bell and paper. You can find lakhs of applications on the ceiling of the temple most of the letter are proper disputes of court matter and the application is on a stamp paper. Most people confuse Golu Devta with Chaitai Golu Devta. Golu Devta is uncle of Chaitai Golu and it is said that legacy of Golu Devta was carried forward by Chaiti Golu devta and both the temples are different but second temple is not visited by most of the people.

Golu Temple

Golu Temple

One of the letters at Temple

One of the letters at Temple

Mannat poori hone par log Ghanti baandhte hain

Mannat poori hone par log Ghanti baandhte hain

Ek Aisa Mandir jahan likh kar mannat maangte hain

Ek Aisa Mandir jahan likh kar mannat maangte hain

Bandaroon Ka Aatank at Golu Mandir

Bandaroon Ka Aatank at Golu Mandir

The last point of our trip was Kasar Devi Temple. This temple is situated on top of a hill and there is a very steep walk from the parking lot to the temple. The temple was built by King Rudrak. This place has amazing view of the evening as it is one of the top most point in Almora and you can feel the cool breeze, which indeed is very refreshing.

This is Naughty Pandit signing off with a promise to come back with a new story of 2013.

14 Comments

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    Good post and photos. Interested to know how much Pandit charge at Yamunaji. I was in Varanasi and paid only Rs. 10 for puja. Thanks

  • Nice, short & sweet post.
    Pictures of Radha Krishna are excellent.
    We wanted to visit Golu Devta, as we the priest in Jageshwar had suggested. However, due to time constraints, we couldn’t visit the temple – so it’s due for our next trip to Kumaon Hills.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Can you please elaborate what kind of thugs the pujaris at Mathura are? How much amount of yours they had looted? Where did they performed robbery with you?

    I along with my family keep on visiting at various spiritual and sacred places in different parts of India including Mathura and Vrindavan but we never felt like pujaris are thug and they are looting us. Yes, I accept sometimes they insist us for pooja nad abhishek etc. but when we strictly deny, they silently take their way.

    Please don’t dishonor the saviors of Sanatan Dharm. It is completely up to you whether you want to get the pooja / abhishek done or not, they never oblige you to do so …

    Thanks.

  • Mukesh Ji my intentions are not to dishonor any religion and especially mine. I am a Pandit myself and it hurts when something like this happens. They were not the pandit of the temple but the local youngster sits ourside the dwarkadheeh temple and will follow you till the gate and yamuna river. They will brag about there connection with the god and once you tell them that you dont need a pandit they will then warn you about the concequenses you may face for saying no to a brahmin. This acctually happened with me. My stories are always short but my idea about writing these types of blog is not only to tell people how much enjoyed but to tell them what is good and what to avoid. You might be lucky that never happened with ya but there are people who face such things. When I was is Haridwar at Har Ki Paudi I asked a pandit to keep my one bag under his unbrella and just to see no body takes it. He told me he will charge Rs. 100 /

  • Niharika Sharma says:

    Mukesh ji, i completely respect ur views and appreciate dat u shared ur thoughts.. however its how we take it.. it might have happened wid the writer and I agree coz it happened to us as well.. there was a long queue for darshan, one of the pandit’s offered pooja and abhishek to us and we agreed.. also said we dnt have to wait in the queue and he just got some pooja done within five minutes.. asked us to wait in the queue and took money saying he’s getting some special VIP passes for us and then DISAPPEARED.. now wen we share this incident doesnt mean we are DIS-RESPECTING the Pandas…
    Its just to make people aware of what things MAY happen.

    Thanks & Regards.

  • Mukesh Ji my intentions are not to dishonor any religion and especially mine. I am a Pandit myself and it hurts when something like this happens. They were not the pandit of the temple but the local youngster sits ourside the dwarkadheeh temple and will follow you till the gate and yamuna river. They will brag about there connection with the god and once you tell them that you dont need a pandit they will then warn you about the concequenses you may face for saying no to a brahmin. This acctually happened with me. My stories are always short but my idea about writing these types of blog is not only to tell people how much enjoyed but to tell them what is good and what to avoid. You might be lucky that never happened with ya but there are people who face such things. When I was is Haridwar at Har Ki Paudi I asked a pandit to keep my one bag under his umbrella and just to see no body takes it. He told me he will charge Rs. 100 /

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    @ Anupam & Niharika,
    I do agree that such incidents may have happened with some people, but by the grace of God it didn’t happened with me so far, the interesting fact is that since last 7-8 years we (My Family) are consistently visiting various religious places in India at least twice a year.

    So, I regret if my comment have hurt you.

    Thanks.

  • We are not offended by your comments. Its just that it never happened with you but we came across such thing. My main intention was to warn people about it so that they dont fall prey to these fake pujaris. I had my intention to blame my religion. So peace :)

  • Saurabh Gupta says:

    Again you have completed 5 days in a single post. Great work, great post.

    Situation is not too good at religious places due to few pujaries/pandas…….. It totaly depends on personal experiences as I also don’t have good experience at few places but it is not everywhere.

    You have explained your experience in a very short way. really glad to know about golu devta mandir.
    Thanks.

  • Sachin Gagare says:

    Well I hv been to these places and I have to admit that even thou these places are not very hi-tech or lack cleanliness, the air is filled with spirituality! One will definetly find peace and tranquility! -Sachin gagare.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Anupam,

    Nice post!

    Iscon temple is indeed beautiful. Golu Devta temple is a find. Something similar exists in Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi where people leave written petitions for the Djinns.

    From personal experience everybody wants his pound off you – govt officials, lawyers, doctors, police, politicians; so why should the religious places be different.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    That was a Shatabadi express :-). Taking a week off with the entire family in itself a celebration, all the travel is a bonus.

    I stay away from Pandas/Pujaris, as for Puja, a simple naman with eyes closed works for me. The situation at most of the places is pretty poor with innocent pilgrims queueing up for their share of Puja. I am sure God doesn’t want us to go through any moderators. To each his own Anupam :-)

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