The Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan is undoubtedly one of the most famous and well-attended Krishna temples in India. Thousands of devotees, pilgrims, tourists and lofcal inhabitants visit this historic temple daily to receive darshan of the Supreme Lord in his tribhanga deity form. Any trip to Vrindavan is not complete without a visit to this amazing, holy site. Definitely Bankey Bihari temple is on the list of “must-see” places to visit in Vrindavan.
Vrindavan’s Banke Bihari
The main attraction in the Banke Bihari Temple is naturally the deity of Lord Krishna in his transcendental form as Banke Bihari, which means the Supreme Enjoyer (bihari), bent in three places (banke=tribhanga): at the neck, hips and knees.
With black complexion, dressed ornately, and adorned with jewels and fragrant flowers, this deity of Sri Krishna is adored by all.
Legend has it that a beautiful deity of Radha and Krishna appeared mystically before a pure devotee of the Lord, Swami Haridas nearly 500 years ago in Vrindavan. Upon Swamji’s intense desire to save others from the debilitating effects of witnessing the overwhelming beauty of Radha and Krishna, the divine couple merged themselves into a single form, the enchanting Banke Bihari deity that you see in the temple today.
Banke Bihari Temple History
Vrindavan history is amazing. Just like history of Banke Bihari is. The The deity first appeared to Swami Haridas in his secluded meditation spot in the dense forest of Nidhivan, a sacred grove where Radha and Krishna would spend the night together.
The Banke Bihari deity was later installed in its original temple at Nidhivan where it remained for several hundred years, until a glorious temple befitting the deity’s splendor was contructed in 1862. Built in contemporary Rajastani style of the 19th century, the Banke Bihari temple is an architectural masterpiece.
Darshan of Banke Bihari
To have darshan of the deity means to appear before the Lord and receive the divine mercy and blessings emanating from the deity itself. Taking darshan is a major part of devotees’ spiritual practice which they may perform several times a day before various deities in different temples.
To reciprocate to the Lord with feelings of loving devotion, it is customary to offer some sweets or flowers to the deity when going to a temple for darshan. There are numerous vendors waiting outside the Banke Bihari temple to sell you flower garlands and sweets to offer the Lord. After the pujaris (priests) have offered your items to the Lord, they will give you some of the remnants for a small donation.
Conclusion on Visiting Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan
Much more than a tourist destination, the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan is a holy site of inestimable spiritual significance. A visit to this temple will definitely provide you with a great opportunity to experience the real mood of Vrindavan.
If you are patient enough to gain entrance to this beautiful temple and appear in person before the transcendental form of the Lord, the sacred darshan of Banke Bihari may indeed prove to be the highlight of your visit to holy India. To get an idea of why this is a must-see place, here is a video.
On Video: Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan – famous of its holi festival.