Vrindavan, the town where Lord Krishna spent his childhood was only 2 hours away from Delhi. I heard that this was the best place to celebrate Holi in India. As usual, my friend Joy agreed to with me. But it was not just Holi in Vrindavan we had on the menu but also a trek in Chail.
Our Train was at 7am and we had to wake up by 6 to make it to the station in Time. But our lazy bottoms woke up only with 20min to 6am. After a hastened fresh-up we ran outside of my hostel and tried to jump the wall. My Hostel Udaigiri is at the edge of the IIT Delhi campus and the road was just beyond the wall. I used to jump the wall many times in broad daylight to save time. But this time, We got caught by the security guard and had to waste 10 minutes to exit via the gates. We had to take an auto all the way to the Railway station to be on time.
We Met a guy on train who advised us on where and how to go for the Traditional holi experience. The journey turned lively when some village people started singing folk songs. Reaching the station, we took a share auto to vrindavan, it was all calm and except for the occasional one or two kids, Holi seemed to not have touched the hearts of the people here. But it all changed when just a few minutes after we left the station premises. The auto was under attack from both sides.
Water mixed with colours were thrown into the auto mercilessly, some used loose packets of powder. I was in the middle and so, I was quite safe. Half an hour and at-least 15 wave of attacks, i walked out and into the glittering street of Vrindavan. After a quick breakfast of Kachodi & Jilaebis we armed ourself with some colour powder and into the battlefield we went. Battlefield is what i would call the first half of my journey because I met with the local sadistic ruffians who tried to pinch off people. One attempted to snatch my colours, and in retaliation i snapped back at him. Out of the blue his partner pulled down my shorts from behind. I have been even in worse situation before and so I turned back and smirked at him. He left with a puzzled look on his face.
As we made our way towards the Bihari-ji’s Temple, the crowd became more friendly. People applied colour or hugged each other randomly whilst greeting “Happy Holi” or praising Lord Krishna’s eternal love Radha. It was not just because of holi, Radha was worshipped here. It was evident from the chants of the people “Radhe Radhe” and writings on the wall and trees. Our Celebration of Holi in Vrindavan just got memorable.
Bihari-ji’s temple was totally crowded, not an inch to spare. The cover photo of this post is what i saw at first. Skilfully maneuvering though small gaps, we managed to reach pretty close and swayed to the crowd’s praises of the God.
People kept throwing colours into the air and the floor felt mushy with the settled colour powders. After we had our Darshan of the Bihari-ji, we made our exit and walked towards our next stop – Prem Mandir. It was huge but relatively a new temple and did not carry any historic significance. We could not get in as the darshan timings passed by the time we got there.
Afterwards, we had a visit to Holi Gate in Mathura and finally ended the journey by visiting Janm-Bhoomi, the place where Lord Krishna was born. Electronics were not allowed inside and hence the absence of photos. The Birth-place is marked by a small puja room with photos of Krishna adorning the walls of the room. For the new generation devotees, a winding cave has been built inside which there are depictions of Krishna engaged in his act of Valour. Personally, I think this cave was a joke. My watched beeped the hourly chime and i realized, we have to leave now to Delhi so that we can get our connecting train to Chail and so, we waved goodbye to the colourful town of Vrindavan
How much we spent
We spent around 700 Rs each that included the two-way train fare from Delhi (150Rs) and share auto charges (180Rs for around 7 trips).