Pilgrimage guide for Vrindavan

Some important recommendations for visiting Vrindavan


to Sri Vrindavan Dham,
the transcendental place of Sri Krishnas Lila.

VRINDA, the Vrindavan Institute for Vaisnava Culture and Studies has prepared this guide for you.

This guide will help you to see Vrindavan and understand the meaning and history of the most important places to visit.
Let us first pray for the mercy of Sri Guru and Gouranga, who have revealed Vrindavan to the eyes of the world, and to all the Vaisnavas who follow the true tradition of transcendental Vrindavan.
This guide will show you the best places to meditate and to meet real Vaisnavas, who can help you to make your pilgrimage a success.
It is stated in the Garga Samhita Mathura Khanda 25.27
"Simply by walking in Vrindavan one reaches the benefits of a great pilgrimage at every step."

VRINDA can also help you to plan your stay in Vrindavan and in Braj Mandal with the help of experienced Brijbasis.
If you have come with a little group or with a large group we can help you to get transport and optional guided tours to all places.
Talk with our secretary at the Vrinda Bookstores.
We have our Pilgrimage tour assistance center in the entrance of the Mungir Mandir on the Mathura
road. Another Vrinda Bookstore and Information center is situated on the Seva Kunja road closed to the Radha Syamasundara Mandir.
Our pilgrim guides are themselves practicing Vaisnavas and they consider their service to you, a devotional service for the pleasure of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.
You have come a long way to purify yourselves in the holy place. This process has been recommended and glorified in the holy Vedic scriptures. But without the help of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his Sampradaya, it is possible to get confused, due to the modern influence on many parts of Vrindavans ecological and sociological situation.
This guide is very basic and you should try to read full books on Vrindavan, the meaning and history of this unique place.
Vrindavan is the most important holy place for all devotees of Lord Krishna, who come here from all over the world.
Krishna temples exist all around the world by the thousands, especially due to the mercy of my spiritual master Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
He served the Dham, like no one else, and his contribution has only begun, since his followers are trying to serve the Dham and all the pilgrims with the real spirit of Vrindavan.
Vrindavan is really a state of Consciousness.
This Consciousness is also called Krishna Consciousness.
I humbly beg you, please stay in Vrindavan Consciousness forever. Uttana Ekadasi 1995. Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti

PS. Please keep your heart in the mood of Bhajan
Stay with devotees in a devotional place and try to listen every day to some lecture on the Krishna Katha and Vaisnava history and philosophy. To only take a bath in a holy place is not the real purpose.
Always chant the Maha Mantra:

Now we can start our tour:
All the numbers in this guide correspond to the numbers on the VRINDA map.

1. Yamuna darshan at the Keshi Ghat.

( on the map) LET us start our pilgrimage at the Yamuna. Situated on the bank of the Yamuna is the Keshi Ghat, the previous entrance to Vrindavan and the most beautiful Ghat at the Yamuna. You reach here easily in a Riksa. The Parikrama path goes by here.
Many pilgrims go at early morning and walk around Vrindavan for two to tree hours. This is called Pancha Krosi Parikrama.
We will first take our bath in the Yamuna.
It was here that Sri Krishna killed the Keshi demon and saved his friends.
Build by the King of Bharatpur the imposing landmark gives us a clear idea, how beautiful all Vrindavan was, after the followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu attracted people from all over India, including their Kings, to establish pilgrim centers for the devotees of different regions.
When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavan it was a big jungle and only some older Village people remembered the places connected with different pastimes of Krishna has they had received it from their family tradition.
His followers established the worship of KRISHNA in the most impressive way like the Radha Madan Mohan temple and the Radha Govindaji temple. Innumerable places were revealed and the Braj Mandal is getting pilgrims to visit regularly in small groups , or in large Braj Mandal Parikrama, organized by different Vaisnava missions.
2.) Sri Gopesvara Mahadeva, the protector of the Dham.

You can easily walk to the next temple. Now we will go to get the mercy of Sri Gopesvara Mahadeva. He has been posted as the gatekeeper of the Rasa dance and to protect the Dham.
Next to the oldest temple of Vrindavan, the Gopesvara Mahadeva Mandir, you can find Vamsi Kunja and around the corner the Vrinda Kunja, the headquarters of the Vrindavan Institute for Vaisnava Culture and Studies founded especially to provide Vaisnavas from all over the world with a special Seva connection to the holy Dham.
Gopesvara Mahadeva is Lord Shiva, who came to Vrindavan to become a Gopi of Krishna. By the mercy of Vrinda devi he was given entrance into the highest lila of Lord Krishna, after he abandoned his male vanity and was offered by Lord Krishna the service of guardian of the Rasa Lila , by posting him in the entrance. Ever since, all aspiring Vaisnavas pray first for his mercy to be able to become a servant of the servant of the Gopis.
Here we can witness the cause-less mercy. All great devotees follow in the path of the Gopis and great devotees like Sanatana Goswami and come here to receive permission to visit Krishnas sacred places of pastimes.
3. Vamsi Vata.

From the Gopesvara Mahadeva temple we walk a few steps to the entrance of the Vamsi Vata temple.
Before we reach there, we will come to VRINDA'S Gopal Mandir. Here is the information center of the WVA World Vaisnava Association also known as the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha. Here you can get information about the activities of the joined forum of the Gaudiya Sampradaya and all their different missions.
Entering the door to the Vamsi Vata tree and Mandir is our destination now.
Situated in Vrindavan is a beautiful place called Seva Kunja. After uniting the Gopis under the Vansivata tree by the call of his enchanting flute, Lord Krishna takes his beloved Gopis along with him . They pass the bank of the Yamuna and the famous Keshi tirtha(1), which is situated next to the Yoga pith of Sri Sri Radha Govindaji.(5)
4. VRINDA'S Vrinda Kunja.

From the Vamsi Vata temple you walk back passing again the Gopesvara temple and turn left on the small Bhut Gali.
On the next turn is the entrance to the Vrinda Kunja. This sacred garden of Vrinda devi is a true forest of Vrinda trees. Vrinda Kunja is also the place where Vrinda devi blessed Lord Shiva to enter the Rasa dance of Lord Krishna. Vrinda Kunja is the home of VRINDA, the Vrindavan Institute for Vaisnava Culture and Studies. Devotees from all over the world come here to study and to learn how to take care of Tulasi devi. The importance of cultivating the Tulasi plant along with the chanting of the holy names of Krishna is taught here. You can become a member and also receive free Tulasi seeds for cultivating her at your home to receive the blessings of devotion from her Vrinda forest. In the middle of Vrinda Kunja is a lovely small temple constructed by the Queen of Manipur for the Lord.
5. Sri Sri Radha Govindaji Mandir.

From Vrinda Kunja we will walk to the Radha Govindaji Mandir.
On the way is also the magnificent Ranganath Mandir(16) and Brahma Kunda. Lord Vishnu also came to Vrindavan in the form of the Ranganath deity to witness the sweetness of Lord Krishnas pastimes here.
Govindaji Mandir is the place which was constructed for the deities of Srila Rupa Goswami. Originally installed by Sri Vajranabha, the great grandson of Krishna together with several other deities, Srila Rupa Goswami discovered the deity in the Yoga pith left to the temple. The original Vrinda devi deity was installed in the same temple in the right wing of the temple. Partially destroyed by Muslim ruler Aurangzeb, the Govindaji Mandir is the most impressive construction in Vrindavan. Behind the temple you can also find a new Govindaji Mandir.
Actually the devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu go first to the Temple of Sri Radha Madan Mohan (9), because Sanatana Goswami the founder taught the Sambanda jnana, the knowledge of the transcendental relationship of our soul with the supreme. Then comes the temple of Srila Rupa Goswami, who taught Abhideya jnana, or the way how to reach the end of devotion to the supreme, protected by Sri Govindaji, and finally we reach Sri Radha Gopinath (6)the Lord of Raghunath Goswami who revealed the Prayojana jnana, the knowledge of the ultimate divine loving reality.
For the sake of making your travel easy from one destination to the other we follow a different route today.
6. Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir.

From Govindaji Mandir you can walk to the Gopinath Mandir going through Gopinath Bazaar. Turn to the left in direction to the Radha Raman temple and you will pass by the entrance to the Gopinath Mandir. Magnificent construction tells us of a glorious past.
Founded by Sri Madhu Pandit Goswami this temple has also a deity of Janava Ma, the wife of Lord Nityananda who is the original spiritual master.
7. Sri Sri Radha Raman Mandir.

After performing Kirtan and hearing the description of the temple from a true devotee we will continue to the self manifest Sri Radha Raman deity of Srila Gopal Bhatta das Goswami. Here, next to the Yamuna, everything is very close to each other, telling us the story how intimate those great Acaryas were with each other. Otherwise in Braj Mandal great distances have to be covered in between of different holy sites. The worship of the deity of Radha Raman is on a very high standard.
8. Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda Mandir.

From here you can visit the next temple of Srila Lokanath Goswami by walking down the street towards Keshi Ghat for a few meters. A very sweet and small temple not to by missed. This is the Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda temple.
In the compound you will visit the Samadhi of Srila Lokanath Goswami, Srila Narrottama das Thakur, his only disciple and of Viswanath Cakravarty Thakur. Inside the temple are also the deities if Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. The last two saints did enormous work to restore the happiness in Braj after the Muslim attacks had taken place.
9. Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan Mandir.

The next stop is a little further. You can take a Riksa, or walk if you feel well. We are going to the wonderful old Ghat where Sanatana Goswami was sitting with the Madan Mohan deity. There it was that a merchant donated to make an impressive temple for the Lord.
Srila Sanatana Goswamis Samadhi is little hidden behind the new Radha Madan Mohan temple. Since many of the original deities were moved to Rajesthan during the invasion, we have to go the Karauli today to take the darshan of the original deity, but we can get the mercy as well by the darshan of their expansions.
Now we will return to the center of Vrindavan to the holy Seva Kunja. You can take a Riksa or walk. In the middle of the way is the
popular Bankebihari temple.
10. Seva Kunja.

Coming from Vansi Vat ,after a short Krishna and the Gopis reach the Rasa Stali, which is the wonderful area of Srimati Radharanis Seva Kunja. The garden of Seva Kunja surrounds the temple of Srimati Radharani and also Lalita Kunda is situated here. At night it is prohibited to come here.
Today this place is surrounded by the most holy temples. Srila Jiva Goswamis Radha Damodar Temple is there(12). Srila Syamananda Goswamis Radha Syamasundara temple(13) is there and also Srila Krishna das Kaviraj Goswamis Radha Vrindavan Chandra Temple used to be there. Not far away from the modern Loi Bazaar, the Seva Kunja and all these temples can be visited easily by walking down the Seva Kunja road. The unlimited stories of the surrounding temples and their holy devotee founders, and the unlimited rasa stories of this area find no end.
Walking down from Seva Kunja to the bank of the Yamuna through one of the narrow galis we come to different Gaudiya Math's. Man Gali takes you to the back entrance of the Yamuna Kunja of the Vrinda community. This old Ghat is VRINDAS ashram in the Seva Kunja situated next to the most important Imli Tala tree, where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifested.
11. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus Imlitala

Prem Gali takes you to the holiest of all places in Vrindavan town, the sacred Imli Tala.
Here Srila Sanatan Goswami established the worship of Sri Sri Goura Nitai. Situated next to the Sringar vat, which was visited by Lord Nityananda, Imli Tala is the place where Lord Chaitanya came daily from Akrura Ghat to retire and to sit under the Imli Tala at the Yamuna. Today a very nice deity of Lord Chaitanya is installed under this tree. Lord Chaitanya has a very special relationship with this place. Originally when Radha and Krishna had a meeting under the same Imli Tala tree, there was a moment, when something very special took place. While the divine couple was embracing , the feelings became so intense, that they became so absorbed in each other, that they forgot their own identity. This moment is historical for the whole world. Srimati Radharanis love inundated the heart of Krishna and they merged into the personality of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus the sweetness of madhurya rasa transformed into the magnanimity of unconditional mercy distribution of the Vrindavan mellows, trough the Samkirtan lila and the audharya mood of the Yuga Avatar for the present Age.
Who could describe the glories of the Imli Tala and the sweetness of the divine couple and their mercy incarnation? Who could conceive these topics, except when listening about them from the lips of a pure devotee. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada declared: "I am living eternally at Imli Tala. He visited this place with his Vrindavan Parikrama party. At that time the temple was under the management of the Radha Madan Mohan Mandir, and was in a neglected state. He requested his disciples to get the permission to continue the Seva Puja at this temple, but the Goswamis refused. Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was preaching strongly against using holy places as a means for income, and other abuses such as the claim of the seminal Guru succession made by the Goswami families.
Years later, one of the dear disciples of Srila Prabhupada BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI., Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj had a vision in a dream. His Guru appeared and said: "Nobody is taking care of my Imli Tala."
Awoken from this dream, Goswami Maharaj went to Vrindavan and made all the necessary arrangements to get the service of the Imli Tala. After approaching the Goswamis of the Radha Madan Mohan trust again with great humility, the Imli Tala was transferred to the Gaudiya Sangha, one of the many branches of the Chaitanya tree, rising from the horizon of the Gaudiya math.
This Imli Tala Desire Tree has been a place of pilgrimage for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Great devotees like Krishna das Babaji Maharaj, the god brother of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada used to chant 24 hours here every ekadasi. Beautiful Slokas were compiled by my Sannyas Guru Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj to glorify the Imli Tala, which were placed on the wall next to the deities. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami wrote his wonderful Srimad Bhagavatam commentaries around the corner in the Radha Damodar temple(12) and came very frequently to the Imli Tala.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is giving his mercy here. There is the first deity of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and the
Samadhi of Srila Goswami Maharaj. The beautiful deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishna bless all pilgrims with their smiles. The famous Kalpa Vriksa tree is circled by all devotees and requested for success in their spiritual lives. Personally I have witnessed the power of the mercy of this tirtha. The unity of the divine couple is giving hope to the fallen souls. Taken over by the mercy of Srimati Radharani, Lord Krishna appears as the devotee incarnation to distribute the mercy of Bhakti and Sraddha, both characteristics of his beloved Radharani. From here the world of Kali Yuga takes a new turn, and all of us get the highest hope. Let us for ever glorify the magnanimity of this tirtha.
The Imli Tala temple can also be reached from the Parikrama path as you walk around Vrindavan. First, when you see the Yamuna to your left, on the right side you will see the Yugal Ghat and the VRINDAS Yamuna Kunja. Two buildings further is the entrance to the Imli Tala. and two temples of the Devananda Gaudiya Math are nearby.
Who wants to stay in this area for some deep prayer should contact Sripad Paramahamsa Maharaj at Vrinda Kunja, who is the coordinator of the Guest facility at Yamuna Kunja. Families can also stay at Vamsi Kunja. Bigger groups can stay at the Radha Mohan Munger temple.
12. Sri Sri Radha Damodara and Radha Syamasundara Mandir.
The way from Imli Tala to the Sri Sri Radha Damodara Mandir is very close. This is the temple of Srila Jiva Goswami, the compiler of the sat sandarbhas and founder of the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha. Here we can visit the deities of several Goswamis and the Samadhi of Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Krishna das Kaviraj Goswami and of many other Vaisnavas. And it was here that my Guru Maharaj Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada compiled the Srimad Bhagavatam in English before starting his world saving journey to America. Today you can visit his Bhajan Kutir and kitchen and even take some of his remnants, if you are lucky.
Leaving the temple and going towards the temple of Srila Syamananda Goswami, the Radha Shyamasundara Mandir you will see to your left side the VRINDA Vaisnava Bookstore.
13. Vaisnava literature. The VRINDA Vaisnava Bookstore is the only shop in Vrindavan where you can get all the Vaisnava literature in print in the different Vaisnava missions. You can also get extensive guides for pilgrims in different languages. You can get Vaisnava Bhajan music and several transcendental art objects.
14. Nidhu Ban. From this location you can easily walk to Nidhu Ban. Like Seva Kunja, Nidhu Ban is a mystical garden of Krishnas pastimes. here is the famous mirror temple and the entrance is closed to the Sahaji Mandir.
15. Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir.
In the area of Raman Reti, reachable by Riksa, you can visit the Samadhi of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada and his Bhajan Kutir. There is also his famous Krishna Balaram temple and Iskcon's Gurukula.
16.) Sri Sri Radha Mohan Mandir.

On the entrance to Vrindavan coming from Mathura is the Sri Sri Radha Mohan Munger Mandir, built by the King of Munger. This impressive Mandir offers a big pilgrim information center.

VRINDA organizes classes in different languages every day, and all needs of the arriving pilgrims can be served.
Just contact us for information and for booking our services ahead of time 0565-443064

There are off cause many other important places in Vrindavan.
To keep this booklet short we refer to full books to give more details.
But there is no end to the nectar. Just try to make sure that you listen to some real resident of the Dham, who practices, what he teaches, in order to get the most from your visit to this holiest of places.

If you walk around by yourself, please avoid to fight with any resident. Fix all prices, before you receive any service. This book gives information on the important places of Vrindavan. Many people may try to mislead you and to give you anxiety. You can avoid that is you take the help of our Vrinda pilgrim guide service.

Ten offenses to be avoided when visiting the holy Dham

To blaspheme or to not respect the spiritual master who has revealed the holy Dham.

To think that the holy Dham is temporary.

To commit violence against any resident of the holy Dhama or visitor or the Dhama, or to consider them ordinary people.

To earn money through the worship of the deity or through the chanting of the holy name.

To think that the holy Dham is part of any mundane province or country, such as UP etc., or to consider the holy Dham like other places of pilgrimage related to some demigods, or to try to measure the holy Dham.

To commit sinful activities while you are in the holy Dhama.

To consider Vrindavan Dham to be different from Navadvipa Dham.

To blaspheme against the scriptures, which glorify the holy Dham.

To not have faith and to think that the glories of the holy Dham are an imagination.

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada revealed
Sri Vrindavan Dham to the whole World.

His disciple Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti
founded VRINDA,
which has expanded to more then 60 Ashrams worldwide.