Vrindavan, just 15 km from Mathura, is another major place of pilgrimage. It is noted for its numerous temples - both old and modern. The name Vrindavan evokes the playfulness and lovable characteristics of Shri Krishna. This is the wood where he frolicked with the gopis and tenderly wooed Radha.
The Rangaji Temple, built in 1851, is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha or Rangaji depicted as Lord Vishnu in his Sheshashayi pose, resting on the coils of the sacred Shesha-nag. The temple built in the Dravidian style has a tall gopuram (gateway) of six storeys and a gold plated Dhwaja Stambha, 50 feet high. A water tank and a picturesque garden lie within the temple enclosure. The annual festival of Jal Vihar of the presiding deity is performed with great pomp and splendour at the tank. The temple is also famous for its 'Brahmotsav' celebration in March-April, more popularly known as the 'Rath ka Mela'. The ten day long celebrations are marked by the pulling of the rath (the chariot car) by the devotees from the temple to the adjoining gardens.
The Shri Krishna-Balram Temple built by the International Society for Shri Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), is one the most beautiful temples in Vrindavan today. The principal deities of this temple are Shri Krishna - Balram and Shri Radha - Shyam Sundar. Adjoining the temple is the samadhi of Shri Prabhupada, the founder of the ISKCON sect, built in pure white marble.
The Govind Deo Temple was once a magnificent seven storeyed structure built in the form of a Greek cross. It is said that the Emperor Akbar donated some of the red sandstone that had been brought for the Red Fort at Agra, for the construction of this temple. Built at the astronomical cost of one Crore rupees in 1590 by his general Man Singh, the temple combines western, Hindu and Muslim architectural elements in its structure.Related to:
- Religious Travel
Mathura/Birth place of Lord Krishna
Today, Mathura is a city of temples and shrines abustle with the thousands of devotees who come to visit the city of Lord Krishna. A splendid temple at the Katra Keshav Dev marks the spot that is believed to be the Shri Krishna Janmasthan - the birthplace of the Lord, by his devotees. Another beautiful shrine, the Gita Mandir, located on the Mathura -Vrindavan Road has a fine image of Shri Krishna in its sanctum. The whole of the Bhagwad Gita is inscribed on the walls of this temple.
The most popular shrine at Mathura is the Dwarikadhish Temple to the north of the town, dedicated to Shri Krishna. This was built in 1815 by a staunch and wealthy devotee, Seth Gokuldas Parikh, Treasurer of the State of Gwalior.
There are about 25 ghats in Mathura today, of which the most important is the Vishram Ghat. Where according to legend, Shri Krishna took his rest after killing Kansa.
It is at Vishram Ghat that the traditional parikrama (circumbulation of all the important religious and cultural places of the city) starts and ends. The 12 ghats to the north of Vishram Ghat include the Ganesh Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat with its Neelakantheshwar Temple, Saraswati Sangam Ghat, Chakratirtha Ghat, Krishnaganga Ghat, Somatirth or Swami Ghat, Ghantagharan Ghat, Dharapattan Ghat, Vaikuntha Ghat, Navtirtha or Varahkshetra Ghat, Asikunda ghat and Manikarnika Ghat. To the south, there are 11 ghats - the Guptatirth Ghat, Prayag Ghat marked by the Veni Madhav Temple, Shyam Ghat, Ram Ghat, Kankhal Ghat, the site of the Janmashtami and Jhula festivals, Dhruva ghat, Saptrishi Ghat, Mokshatirth Ghat, Surya Ghat, Ravan Koti Ghat and Buddha Ghat.
The Vishram Ghat is lined with elegant temples and some of Mathura's most important shrines are found here - the Mukut Temple, Radha-Damodar, Murli Manohar, Neelkantheshwar, Yamuna-Krishna, Langali Hanuman and Narasimha temples. The baithak of the great Vaishnava Saint, Shri Chaitanya, is also near by.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Bara Imambara/Bhoolbhooliyan Lucknow
Also known as the Bara Imambara, it was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 and is one of the architectural highlights of the era. The central hall is said to be the largest vaulted chamber in the world. Except for the galleries in the interior, there is no woodwork used in the structure. A staircase from outside leads to a series of labyrinths which visitors are advised to visit only with authorized guides. Within the compound of the Imambara is a grand Asafi mosque.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
Wild Life at Dudhwa National Park
Dudhwa Situated on the Indo-Nepal border in District Lakhimpur-Kheri of Uttar Pradesh, the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve with an area of 614 sq. Km is one of the finest, of the few remaining examples of the exceedingly diverse and productive tarai eco-systems. The northern edge of the reserve lies along the Indo-Nepal border and the southern boundary is marked by the river Suheli. It is home to a large number of rare and endangered species which includes Tiger, Leopard, Swamp deer, Hispid hare, Bengal Florican, etc.
The Reserve has a range of fascinating wildlife. Included the are sloth bear, ratel, civet, jackal, the lesser cats like the leopard cat, fishing cat and jungle cats; varieties of deer - the beautiful spotted deer or chital, hog deer and barking deer. The hispid hare, a dark brown animal.Related to:
- National/State Park
Birds Watching in Dudhwa National Park
A bird watchers’ haven, Dudhwa is also noted for its wide variety-about 400 species. Its swamps and several lakes attracts varieties of waters fowl. Being close to the Himalayan foothills, Dudhwa also gets its regular winter visitors - the migratory water birds. The Banke Tal is perhaps the most popular spot for bird watchers. There are egrets, cormorants, heron and several species of duck, geese and teal.
Noted for the variety of storks that make their home here, Dudhwa has the crane-elegant in its grey and red livery, black necked storks, white-necked storks, painted storks, open billed storks and adjutant storks. Raptors like the grey headed fishing eagle, Pallas fishing eagle and marsh harriers can be seen circling over the lakes in search of prey - creating pandemonium among the water fowl as they swoop low.
An extraordinary range of owls are also to be found at the Reserve. These include the great Indian horned owl, the brown fish owl, the dusky horned owl, scoops owl, jungle owlet, the brown wood owl and tawny fish owl. Colourful birds - varieties of woodpeckers,barbets, minivets, bulbuls, kingfishers, bee eaters, orioles, drongos and hornbills are all part of its rich bird life.Related to:
Agra Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal. Sheer poetry in marble. Majesty and magnificence, unrivalled. The Taj Mahal, the one and only one of its kind across the world. The monumental labour of love of a great ruler for his beloved queen. The ultimate realisation of Emperor Shahjahan's dream. One of the wonders of the world. From 1631 A.D., it took 22 years in the making. An estimated 20,000 people worked to complete the enchanting mausoleum, on the banks of the Yamuna. For a breathtaking beautiful view of the Taj Mahal, see it by moonlight.
Open : 6 days a week (Closed on Friday's), Sunrise to SunsetRelated to:
- Family Travel
Hussainabad/Chhota Imambara Lucknow
Near the Rumi Darwaza, this structure houses the tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah, its builder, and of his mother. Built between 1837 and 1842, it is also called the Chhota Imambara. It is approached through a fine garden. The Imambara has a white dome and numerous turrets and minarets. The walls of the mausoleum are decorated with verses in Arabic. Chandeliers, gilded mirrors, colorful stucco, the King's throne and ornate tazia or replicas of the tombs at Karbala adorn the interiorRelated to:
- Castles and Palaces
I don't think anyone comes to India without the Taj being top of the list. I was here for about 4 days and I had to visit every day and at a different time of day as the Taj changes colour with the time of day. Dawn was definately the best as it was also the quietest.
Friday is not a good day to visit as it is packed because it is a Muslim holiday.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Agra is the most popular touristic site in India, and in the world. Go and admire the large marble structure and inlaid work on its building. You can also visit Agra Fort and few other site in and around the town.
See Agra page for more info.Related to:
- Historical Travel
The lake is fed by the glaciers and is very beautiful.The total silence enhances the beauty of the place.
Jai-Guru Dav Temple
I have seen this temple is more white then the Taj Mahal.This hindu temple is made from marbel.There is no an entrance charg .You have to leave your shoes at the entrance.Related to:
- Religious Travel
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