About: Nidhivan

Nidhivan is next to Shah Ji Temple. During the Vrindavan tour, I with Ram Krishna – a friend, and a guide, visited Shri Nidhivan Raj Nij Mahal also known as Nidhivan. Photography is strictly not allowed inside but yes, at the entrance a display-board talks about five important locations within Nidhivan:

  • Lalita Kund
  • Shri Banke Bihari’s appearance place
  • Rang Mahal
  • Bansi Chori Radha-Rani
  • Swami Haridas temple

Timings:

Summer: 5:00 am – 8:00 pm

Winter: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm

Timing is very important especially at this very location because nobody stays inside the area after evening hours – said Ram Krishna.

We will talk later about the same when we will reach Rang Mahal currently at Lalita Kund. It is said Lalita – the Sakhi (friend) of Lord Krishna during Dvapara Yug was re-born as Swami Haridas in Kalyug. Swami Haridas was born at Haridaspura near Aligarh. He left his village and first came to Radha-Kund, Shyam Kund near Govardhan, and built a Kutiya (hut) to stay and sing bhajan. After that, he visited Vrindavan and selected this very location known as Nidhivan for his meditation, prayers, and singing. He took Mahasamadhi in Vikram Samvat 1535. It is said the earth split only two times – one for Sita and for Swami Haridas.

Ram Krishna said – One day Swami Haridas felt thirst. It is said and believed Lord Krishna with his flute dig the place to quench the thirst of Swami Haridas thus the location is named Lalita Kund.

(If you remember I narrated almost similar history while visiting Seva Kunj)

And I inquire about the name of the bushes spread all over the place. Pilu – The name is also named Vrindavan Tulsi. I saw devotees with utmost devotion sweeping the ground. The natural presence and vibes can be felt while we walk bending our back within bushes.

Shri Banke Bihari Prakatya Sthal i.e., place of appearance – The location where Swami Haridas meditated and Lord Krishna appeared in person presented his image to Swami ji currently installed at Shri Banke Bihari Mandir.

And close to Shri Banke Bihari Prakatya Sthal is Rang Mahal. It is said and believed Vikram Samvat 1515 Lord Krishna himself appear in person and presented his image to Swami Haridas. Swami ji installed the image at this very location which is known as Rang Mahal. 266 years the image was present at this very location till it was installed at Shri Banke Bihari Mandir.

The temple of Shri Banke Bihari was constructed with the efforts of Seth Harbulal and Goswamis.

At 7 evening hours Phool (flowers), Itra (scent), Paan, Daatun, Shringar, Suhag Pitari (suhag box) are offered to Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna. The gates of Rang Mahal and Nidhivan are closed. 5:30 morning hours when gates are opened for Mangla Aarti(morning prayers) devotees find Daatun is broken, Paan is chewed, and Shringar is used. It is believed Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha visit Rang Mahal daily at night thus nobody is allowed to stay within the area. Even animals leave the location it is said.

Remember: There are many monkeys within the area.

Those days Rang Mahal was constructed while using cow dunk by Swami Haridas till it was renovated by devotees later.

108 pad said by Swami Haridas is written within the walls of Rang Mahal.

Dashrath Ji was narrating all said history and I listened silently. No words what to say. Devotion, Prayers, and we walk further.

Raas-Mandal – This is constructed by devotees Ram Krishna said. Sharad Purnima – The day Raas-Leela is organized at this very location between 5-7 evening hours for devotees to sing bhajan.

Bansi Chori Radha-Rani – a temple dedicated to Radha. At this temple, one can see Radha playing Bansi i.e., flute. It is said Radha once stole the bansi (flute) of Lord Krishna which is shown at this very temple. The temple was constructed by Seth Harbulal.

One-by-one we visited each said location and finally, we reached Samadhi:

Swami Haridas

Goswami Jagannath (younger brother of Swami Haridas)

Vithal Vipul Dev

We sat for a few minutes for prayers. And I was told by Ram Krishna even Mughal Emperor Akbar visited Nidhivan along with Tansen to meet Swami Haridas. Jai Ho – said I and we walk further towards Sri Sri Radha Damodar temple.

Mohini Bihari ji (Tatiya Sthan) – The Ashram of Swami Haridas (Guru of Tansen and Baiju Bawra)

And we towards Tatiya Sthan, the ashram of Swami Haridas (Guru of Tansen and Baiju Bawra).

Swami Haridas stayed at this location but for bhajan, he used to visit Nidhi Van or the banks of the holy river Jamuna. We all know the image of Bihariji (Lord Krishna) present within Shri Banke Bihari Ji mandir is the one that was presented by Lord Krishna to Swami Haridas at Nidhi Van. Mughal Emperor visited Vrindavan to listen to Swami Shri Haridas.

The ashram is full of white sand, trees, monkey, parrots, and no electricity. Photography is not allowed inside but yes one can but outside only. I left slippers at the side and a walk over white sand – Excellent to walk. Pure natural – no doubt and monkeys passing by.

Neem, Kadam, Jamun, Papri, Peepal, and Khajur all such trees resemble Thakur Ji i.e., Lord Krishna if utmost pure devotion is present within a person. One such example is shown by a devotee – The hanging branches known as Jhula of Lord Krishna and many such that inspire devotion and surrender towards God. Most important nobody is allowed to do any such activity that harms trees, or plants. Even fallen leaves, and branches are not burnt but dumped inside a deep well present within the ashram area.

Radha Bihari Das – Swami Ji was present. It was evening hours and we along with a few more devotees sat in front of him to listen to bhajan. Holi days were not too far few lines were remembered from the bhajan as Ram Krishna helped to remember the words.

Rang Ras Ghori, Preeti Ras Jori, Rasikan Das Kheluhan Hori

few more…

And a strange at least I never saw that. A devotee called with a loud voice for evening Aarti for the people living outside the ashram area and within minutes ashram was packed with devotees ready to be present for aarti i.e., prayers. Old days when there were no loudspeakers I guess this was the only way to send messages. Impressive. History was present at least I felt the same.

Rasik Sakhi Dampati Aarti Sukh

Few aarti lines I remember but what I till-date remember is the ambiance, the location never experienced before. Devotees residing within the ashram area covered their faces with sandalwood paste and applied Braj Raj (Vrindavan dust) as well. No electricity within the ashram. No materialistic world inside. Devotees, Trees, Animals, Sand, and Lord – That’s it.

A must-visit ashram if you are visiting Vrindavan. Will visit again for sure – said I.

Mohini Bihari ji Mandir, Vrindavan is also known as Mohini Nikunj.

How to Get to Rishikesh from Haridwar Railway Station?

Haridwar Railway Station, Uttarakhand

Haridwar to Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh distance is 32 km approx.

Auto charges are somewhere between Rs. 300 – 400 (you have to bargain) for the entire auto booking because if morning hours there are very less passengers. Otherwise, if daytime autos are available on sharing basis at a lesser amount may be Rs. 40 per person if I am correct. Autos are available outside Haridwar Railway station or *Chandi More (approx. one km).

Bus charges are Rs. 22 per person from Haridwar to Rishikesh. Either you can walk to Haridwar Bus Depot which is towards right side approx. 100 meters or wait outside Haridwar Railway Station. Uttarakhand Transport Buses coming from Delhi for Rishikesh pass outside Haridwar Railway Station. You have to wave for them to stop. The bus will drop you at Rishikesh city. If you wish to go to Ram Jhula or Laxman Jhula you have to catch an auto either from Rishikesh Bus Stand or walk a little towards Chandrabhaga Bridge, Rishikesh. Auto charges Rs. 10 per person.

There are few passenger trains daily from Haridwar to Rishikesh early morning hours. One such passenger train is at 5:20 am.

There are a few more passenger trains coming from Delhi reaching Haridwar at 2:50 am and departure for Rishikesh at 3:35 am.

Another one JammunTavi – Rishikesh arrives at Haridwar at 6:40 am, departing for Rishikesh at 6:50 am also known as Hemkund Express.

All passenger trains also stop at Raiwala, Veerbhadra stations a few km before Rishikesh station.

Train the cheapest.

Update

October 2013

* for Chandi More nowadays battery-operated three-wheeler available outside Haridwar Railway Station. Charges Rs. 15/person or Rs. 60 for the entire booking.

Rangnath Temple – Also Known as Sri Rangji Mandir Constructed in the Year 1851

Friends you all know by previous posts Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra was over but the visit to various temples before the yatra and sharing history isn’t over yet. Today will share about one such temple I visited – Rang Nath Temple also known as Sri Rangji Mandir.

Ram Krishna – the friend – The guide. We enter the temple area from the western gate (market-area) but one more Eastern side gate – He said.

The main temple is covered by high-raised walls from all sides and us walking outside the wall area.

These are Tirumali and he pointed towards left-hand side structures.

Tirumali ??? – I question.

Yes, Tirumali i.e., Home. They are 108 in numbers but only for Southern Indian Brahmans take care of the temple. Each one has one water-well.

(A thought – must be some reason for sure in olden days and till-date continuing)

The temple is built in South Indian style but the entrance is in Rajasthani style. The temple area is the largest within Vrindavan having an endowment of 12 villages from surrounding areas – He said.

And we reached A pond (visible within below shown picture). Rakshabandhan day and an old story about Elephant and Crocodile fight held years ago at Sonepur, Bihar is displayed through various art forms within the pond.

A garden inside the temple area. It is believed Goddess Goda visited the garden to pluck flowers to offer garland to Lord.

Barahdwari i.e., twelve poles platforms beautiful architecture, and few devotees resting. Few ceremonies are also celebrated.

A gold plated 50 feet high Garud Stambha and walk inside the temple – Prayers & Parikrama and a visit towards Vahan Ghar i.e., place where all divine gold/silver vahans (conveyance) displayed used during Brahmotsav held in Chaitra (March/April).

And not to forget huge old days maybe handmade padlocks just outside the main temple door for closing doors.

Ram Krishna said: 60 kg the padlock weight and very old. Yes, for sure, why not – said I. Never seen before.

Sandalwood for Lord – Ram Krishna showing the pious location and Yagyashala and Vaikunth Dwar and many more…Thank you, Thank you, Thank you – said I. The journey continues…

General Health Checkup in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

As per personal experience Brij Health Care & Research Centre, Mathura-Vrindavan Road, Vrindavan is one such hospital for a general health checkups. During ‘Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra’ one of the known persons was not well and was admitted to the emergency ward. Even I was not well and had to consult a hospital doctor for a general health checkup. Finally, both were in good health after a few days.

Rs. 10/- was the registration fee. The card was provided to visit the doctor for consultation and medicine shop inside the hospital.

Thanks to the doctor and hospital. Wishing good health to everyone.

And one more hospital I would like to mention and i.e., Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama nearby.

Bhakt Shiromani Shree Meerabai Temple – Mirabai Stayed at this very Location for 15 Years

As said in the last post we selected Vrindavan City to continue Braj Chaurasi Kos Yatra and we arrive at Bhakth Shiromani Shri Meerabai mandir. Swami Pradyumn Pratap Singh was present. He is from the side of the Maternal Grand Father of Meerabai and currently takes care of the temple as a priest. Approx. 500 years back Meerabai visited Brajmandal along with her baba due to her utmost devotion towards Shri Giridhar Gopal (Mere to Girdhar Gopal {Lord Krishna} Dusra Na Koi) and stayed at this very location for 15 years. Later she proceeds towards Dwarka, Gujarat, and spent the rest of her life inside Ranchod temple and was later not seen by anyone. She was 25 years old when she visited Vrindavan. Meerabai’s husband was a highly respected person from the Rana family who died in the war against Mughal Emperor Akbar. After her husband’s death, her brother-in-law objected to her devotion to Lord Krishna. He once sent a snake inside a flower basket to bite Meerabai but is said believed the snake turned into Shaligram. That Shaligram is currently present within the temple. One can see eyes, nose, ears, and lips present within the same worshiped as Lord Krishna.

( Shaligram is a pious stone found generally within Gandaki River in Nepal )

Pradyumn Pratap ji while narrating the history chanted a beautiful verse:

Jaki Rahi Bhawna Jaisi, Prabhu Murat Dekhi Tin Taisi

1842 i.e., Vikram Samwat 1898 the temple was built by Thakur Ram Narain Bhatti – Rajdiwan of Bikaner.

15th and 16th century many great saints were born within India – Surdas, Kabirdas, Tulsidas, and Meerabai. It is said Lalita – gopi of Lord Krishna was re-born as Meerabai but few say Radha was reborn as Meera. Anyways, and another verse:

Radha Ka Bhi Shyam Ho To Meera Ka Bhi Shyam

The temple opens for devotees at 7:30 morning hours, and closes at 12 afternoons. Again 5 in the evening it opens and closes for the night at 8. It is sure visiting the temple prepares a person towards utmost devotion with surrender towards God. The temple of Meerabai is close to Nidhi Van.

Meerabai’s name was given by her baba only and he only requested Meerabai to visit Vrindavan.

Rupa Goswami Ji another great saint regarded Meerabai as equal to their mother.

Prayers!!! The journey continues…