Monday, April 3, 2017

Road Trip Saga: Delhi-Vrindavan-Mathura-Delhi

No matter where you go, there you are!
- Confucius  
Another first this year: a road trip down the Yamuna Expressway to explore a city they all lovingly call God’s birthplace – Mathura/Vrindavan! This was one plan which was made impromptu and, therefore, all the fun it contained came as a pleasant surprise. Having set out at around 7:30 in the morning in our serviced Enfields, we could comfortably grasp the pleasure early morning rides fill you with. Around an hour’s ride from Delhi on the Expressway and all that passes you by are passages of agricultural fields occasionally habited by grazing animals like cows, buffaloes or even camels. The rising sun just adds to the charm rarely encountered in mundane routine. The nip in the air associated with early mornings makes you want to spread your arms wanting to greet the universe a very good morning! I surely have fallen in love with the openness and space riding bikes benefits you with.

Inching closer to the Blissland!

Eyes on the highway!
We stopped at our resort in Vrindavan (Kadamb) at around 10:45 AM, almost three hours after we started moving. Everything about the property – ambience, aura, facilities, décor and service – had a beautiful touch of comfort, sprinkled over with a glimmer of luxury. Our one-day stay here was akin to a much-needed therapy.  Moreover, the food served here at their restaurant was enough in quantity, tasty and totally upscale. The ambience and the view from the top-floor-situated restaurant mesmerizes you, leaving you wanting for more.

Us, at the resort!
Our journey of checking Vrindavan out began with our first stop being Prem Mandir. What an architectural wonder this temple is! Read more about this temple here if you really want to get acquainted with the facts that really are the foundation of the truth we see there. For a spectator, this temple is a treat for the eyes. The intricate work you see on the walls and everywhere else, the etchings on the marble, the extravagant décor, which also included opulent chandeliers, the representations of the scenes from the life of Lord Krishna and the light show in the evening, all add up to the creation of nothing less than a world-class wonder. A must visit if you’re here!
Prem Mandir 
Truly an architectural wonder!
The 'satsang' hall, which is currently under-construction.
Beautiful tableaus depicting scenes from Lord Krishna's life could be seen all around the main temple.
Moving on, we visited Banke Bihari temple and it is this place where I was actually able to connect with the superpower. Relatively old and untouched construction, this temple is surrounded with narrow bylanes which are mostly thronged by vendors, hawkers and beggars. You get great street food here; we had samosa, kachori, rabdi, carambola, but the star of the show was “kulhar wala kada hua doodh” (thickened milk). This place, indeed, demands one cheer for its gastronomic delights.  
  
The next day, we visited ISKCON, Vrindavan. This place seemed like a tiny foreign land to me, for the sheer number of non-Indians I saw there, all chanting ‘Hare Rama, Hare Krishna’ and dancing in the trance. We also had tasty ‘prasad’ there, which apparently was our first meal of the day. Our last stop here in Vrindavan was Nidhi Van, which is a mysterious place and makes you want to believe in God and his ways. Here on, we also visited an ashram where more than 2000 widows or single women were staying, calling themselves ‘Meerabai’!

ISKCON, Vrindavan
The next stop hereon was Mathura where we visited Yamuna Ghat, Dwarkadheesh temple and, lastly, Shree Kishna Janmabhoomi.  The trip ended with us giving ourselves ample rest before we embarked on our drive back home.

Yamuna Ghat
Once back in Delhi, we could feel the essence of divinity almost everywhere around us, as if we have carried it along. We could see the signs of Radha-Krishna practically everywhere around us or maybe it was easy for us to feel the divinity blending into our aura. Magical, indeed!
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