Saturday morning we plan a visit to the Mayur Vihar temple nearly 25 kms from our place, the call to Lord Krishna was answered after a whole year and by 9 am we were ready. But our spirits were dampened as hubby received a urgent work to be finalized within an hour. He is free just around 11.15am by then the temple is closed. Hence we plan the 2nd trip of the day, touch down our friend in Gr Noida.
As we sit and talk of the world, news, past trips and more someone suddenly chirps in "Shall we make a short trip somewhere". Well it repurcates into action immediately, phone calls are made to the nearby resorts in Faridabad and Haryana, which prove either too expensive for a 8 member family or are simply not available. Ultimately within an hour the outing is unanimously pointing to Mathura, Hotel Wingston gives us a deal and I sit confused "No clothes, no change, no toiletries how do we manage?
"Travelers should just travel, and seize the moment". I dont know who said this but it was true, although I was more of a devotee than a traveller here. We set out - Yamuna Expressway is a bliss to drive and the distance of 126 kms to Mathura took nearly 2.5 hours. Hotel Wingston is a good place to stay and when we arrived the place was buzzing with activity. We leave the kids in the hotel, and hire an auto to Holi gate to shop for clothes and basic essentials. We manage to find shops, after much enquiry manage to buy a pair of night clothes as well as a change over the next morning to visit temples and also buy the other utilities.
The next morning we are ready by 6.00am to visit Dwarakadeesh temple. The temple is more than 150 years old and was constructed by a devotee Marwadi. We hire autos to take us there, narrow bylanes which permits just a auto to pass we meander through the sleepy streets to reach Dwarakadeesh temple. There we see people thronging to enter the temple, before it closes at 7.30am for bhog. The temple was crowded and packed and we had to virtually float to the front to get a darshan of the deity. It was my first visit and thanked the makhan chor profusely for bringing me here, after dissapointing me yesterday. As the saying goes - Whatever happens, its for good. After a fulfilling darshan we had tea from the corner stall which was one of the best tea to have on a hungry stomach.
View of Dwarakadeesh temple in Mathura
We then walk down to Vishram ghat where the Lord rested after killing Kamsa. The Yamuna river is very calm as it flows by. There are a few temples on the bank. The water is too dirty to follow the others who consider it too holy to have a sip of the Yamuna river.
Vishram ghat in Mathura
Walked a bit back to hire an auto to the hotel and had breakfast. We then checked out and went to see the Janamsthal of Lord Krishna. No photoraphy allowed inside. All bags , camera , mobile phones needs to be deposited at the cloak room. High security area as it shares a wall with a mosque. Guides are available and charges are negotiable for Rs 100 but actually its not required as everything is well marked and explained. As we enter we see Lord Krishna as a boy of 12 years, the left side is a cave inside the life of Krishna is depicted in a tableau.
Further we are guided to Govardhan shila, a temple of Yogmaya comes next and then we enter the cellar where Lord Krishna was born. It is recreated as a prison and a small slab depicts the place of birth. As we exit we see the mosque on the other side of the wall with police personnel on duty. Next we take a flight of steps to Bhagwad bhavan which is a recent building. Buy prasad from here to take back home. There are many small shops in and around which sells toys, idols of gods, books, cds and more. The constant chanting of "Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe" by Jagjit Singh was so alluring that I too get myself a copy of the CD from the stall. We then see the cave on the insistence of the kids but it was well depicted and worth watching. Around an hour spent here we set out for Gokul. Mathura and Gokul are located on either sides of River Yamuna. Vrindavan is 12 kms from Mathura and Goverdhan is around 10 kms from Mathura. We give Govardhan and Vrindavan a miss due to lack of time for a next tour.
Sri Krishna Janamsthal in Mathura
Our next stop is Gokul, since we dont know the way we hire a boy who volunteers to show us the way to Gokul. He is just the navigator who helps us in parking the car and showing the way, the rest a Pandit jee takes over. He takes us to numerous small temples, lists its importance, tell us stories of each and every bylane. Let the pics speak further.
Mano kamna sthal in Gokul
Makhan chor gali in Gokul
Yogmaya temple in Gokul
Krishna dwar in Gokul
Nand bhavan in Gokul
Let me add this too - Narrow guage train between Mathura & Vrindavan. This train will stop any where, is just like a bus. Hop in - Hop Out .
After seeing Gokul we take the Expressway back home.