Whether you are on a pilgrimage, a volunteer program or just on a tourist stop, you may have some trouble deciding which places to visit in Vrindavan. We have made a list of main Vrindavan attractions and must-see places in Vrindavan. You might be interested to know Vrindavan temple list and Places to Visit in Mathura as well.
There are so many important temples, historical sacred sites, ashrams, marketplaces and shops in this mystical medieval town. It is a good idea to refer to the following “must-see places in Vrindavan” guide in order to have an unforgettable experience in Vrindavan. If you want to read more about the history of Vrindavan, look at our article on History of Vrindavan.
After all, Mathura and Vrindavan are respectively the birthplace and childhood abode of Lord Krishna, the most famous and beloved supreme personality of Hindu tradition. In this town, bustling with pilgrims, sadhus, merchants and sacred cows, you are sure to lose a piece of your heart, mind and soul.
This happens because of the so many spiritually-charged encounters with divinity in so many diverse and distinctive forms.
This passage by Mark Twain certainly evokes the allure of Vrindavan,
“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand- mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”
Temples to visit in Vrindavan
Meandering through the narrow winding streets and alleyways of Vrindavan, you will soon understand why this place is known as the city of 5000 temples.
Some of the most ancient places to visit in Vrindavan is the Sri Gopeshwar Mahadev temple, honoring Lord Shiva as the topmost devotee of Lord Krishna, were built around sites where Lord Krishna performed his pastimes 5000 years ago when He was incarnate on this planet.
One of the most famous and well -attended Krishna temples in the world, Banke Bihari Mandir is a must-see, if you don’t mind getting up close and personal with the locals, as you jostle your way among the huge crowd vying to get a glimpse of the altar. Make sure that this temple remains on your list of places to see in Vrindavan.
Another temple of great historical and spiritual significance that you should not miss is the nearly 500 year-old Govinda Dev Temple, home to the 5000 year-old deity Govinda ji.
Of course there are many other beautiful temples worth visiting on a whim whose, beauty, majesty and spiritual energy will leave you awestruck.
Vrindavan Krishna versus Mathura Krishna
In the course of visiting the sacred sites and temples in the twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan, we soon become familiarized with the ancient and legendary history of Lord Krishna’s appearance in this world and his subsequent childhood pastimes.
The birth story of Krishna in Mathura evokes within the devotee a deep reverence and adulation for the all-powerful, impervious nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who evades the wrathful designs of his demonic Uncle Kamsa.
This mood of awe and reverence is in contrast with the tender and loving feelings we harbor when hearing about the young mischievous cowherd boy who steals the hearts of all the inhabitants of Vrindavan with his playful acts of affection and intimacy.
The supremely sweet, flute-playing Krishna, who is protector of the cows and enchanter of the milk maidens is attractive to everyone, but especially to his dearly beloved sweetheart, Srimati Radharani. The intimate pastimes of the divine couple, Radha and Krishna in the pleasure groves of Vrindavan are the source of unparalleled ecstasy in both the material and spiritual worlds.
Vrindavan attractions: Radhey Radhey!
One of the sweetest of all Vrindavan attractions is the ubiquitous greeting “Radhe Radhe!” Those echoes throughout the entire town of Vrindavan day and night reminds the visitor of the significance of Krishna’s beloved Srimati Radharani.
Known as Sri Radha, the vocative form Radhe (pronounced Rad-hey) is used to call out to her as Krishna does in His ecstatic loving mood. So when we greet people with “Radhe Radhe” we are reminding them and ourselves that the highest, most desirable love we can express is found in the divine love of Radha and Krishna.
Tourist Attractions in Vrindavan
If you go to Vrindavan looking for typical tourist attractions like shopping plazas, beaches, bars or nightclubs, you will be terribly disappointed. Better off staying in Delhi, Mumbai or perhaps New York if you wish to enjoy the worldly delights of consumerism, entertainment and fashion.
Vrindavan is a truly a spiritual center where one seeks to transcend attachments to material existence by connecting with the mystical divine energy eternally emanating from Radha and Krishna.
The tourist attractions in Vrindavan are the ancient temples inhabited by the most famous celebrities of the universe, such as Govinda ji, Radha Raman, Damodhar, Radha Madan Mohan and countless other deity forms of the divine couple. Of course the sacred Yamuna River majestically adorned on her banks by the Keshi Ghat is a must-see place as well. Here you can read more on our efforts to save Yamuna river.
But before you venture to this famous landmark, you had better heed the warning of one of Vrindavan’s holiest persons, the 16th century Bengali Vaishnava Saint Srila Rupa Goswami who half- jokingly forbids worldly men from visiting Kesi Ghat,
“If you have even a slight desire to enjoy life with your wife, sons, relatives and friends, then listen to my advice. Never go to Keshi Ghat in Vrindavan, even by mistake. There, Shri Govindaji is standing in His charming threefold-bending form, smiling. A person who even once beholds this deity of Govinda never returns to his home, and his household life is ruined.”
In other words, just being in the presence of Govindaji at Keshi Ghat, one is freed from all material attachments and becomes mad after Him like all the residents of Vraja.
Visiting Places in Mathura
Once in Vrindavan, one need not travel far to visit the birthplace of Krishna, the sacred city of Mathura, which is considered one the holiest places in India, and home to many ancient temples and truly spiritual sites.
Must-see places in Mathura include Sri Krishna Janmabhumi Temple, built on the actual birthsite of Lord Krishna; the very popular Dwarkadhish Temple, located in the center of town; the very opulent Gita Mandir, as its name implies, containing the entire text of the ancient Indian scripture Bhagavad Gita inscribed in its premises.
You should not miss the Vishram Ghat situated on the Yamuna River where you can partake in the special evening aarti (ritual of offerings) during which thousands of small ghee lamps are launched onto the water, creating a dazzling spectacle of glistening lights reflecting on the gently flowing river.
Like Vrindavan, nearly everything in Mathura has to do with Radha and Krishna, so if you have developed a fondness for boy Krishna and his consort you may want to visit one of the many shopping streets to collect some images, statues or other religious items pertaining to the Lord.
Conclusion about Places to visit in Vrindavan
After hearing about the all the wonderful places to visit in Vrindavan and Mathura, if you are not yet convinced that this is one of the most alluring spiritual centers in the world, then here are some more good reasons to visit Vrindavan.
The colorful and enthusiastic Brajavasis, residents of Vrindavan, eagerly await you in their sacred temples and shrines to share their culture and spiritual traditions with you. After all, it is the loving spirit of the people that makes wonderful places great to visit.
And finally, it is important to understand one of the most important conclusions of Vaishnava (branch of Hinduism pertaining to Vishnu) philosophy: the divine love displayed by Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan is the original source of all the love that exists in the universe. So if you believe that love makes the world go round, then why not come to the center, the source and drink from the eternal nectar of divine love: please visit Vrindavan!