Shri Banke Bihari Mandir (Hindu temple) is one of the most famous temples in Vrindavan. Not only is the temple beautiful and enchanting, the story behind it is quite fascinating as well.
According to the legend, the temple was initially founded by Swami Haridas ji, who was born in 1478AD. at Haridaspur, near Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. Later he moved to Nidhivan (in Vrindavan), to practice music and meditation.
One day his disciples entered Kunj (where Haridas ji use to meditate), but instead of seeing anything, they were blinded by an intense bright light. When Swami Haridas ji heard about this, he went to the Kunj and prayed to the lord to appear in front of his disciples. Obliging his request, Lord Krishan appeared along with his wife, Radha.
The beauty of the couple was so enchanting that people present there, forgot to even blink their eyes! Upon seeing this, Swami Haridas ji requested the divine couple to take a single form and also requested them that he wanted his beloved lord to be always in front of his eyes. Granting him both his wishes, Lord Krishna and Radha turned themselves into one single black wooden idol, the same one that is present in the temple today.
The charm and beauty of Shri Banke Bihari ji is the only reason why the â€˜darshanâ€™ in the temple is never continuous but is broken by curtain drawn on him regularly. It is also believed that if one stares long enough into the eyes of the statue, the person would lose his self consciousness!
Due to this, no one is allowed to take the photographs of the statue and because of this; one can not shoot photographs/videos during darshan time. However in the afternoon the temple and door to the sanctum is closed for 5 hours, at this time, one can take special permission to shoot photographs inside the temple.
Here are few of the photographs I managed to click during my visit:
Getting there: Vrindavan is located 145kms from Delhi and you can take the following route to reach there: Delhi – Faridabad – Palwal – Kosi â€“ Vrindavan. There are plenty of tourist as well as local buses which play on this route. In case you wish to take a train, you would have to take one to Mathura and then take a bus to Vrindavan.
Temple timings during summer (effective, 2 days after holi):
Add one hour to the timing for winter time, which is applicable 2 days after Diwali.
Rajbhog Aarti and closing: 12:00PM
Subtract one hour from the timing for winter time, which is applicable 2 days after Diwali.
Shayan Bhog: 8:30-9:00PM
Shayan Aarti and closing: 9:30PM
Ps. No one is allowed to enter during any of the bhogs.