Vrindavan and its colorful secret

A friend calls me up and asks if I would like to come to Vrindavan for Holi. Well for an experience and to see the Holi in Vrindavan, I said Yes. What he says next might make you laugh. “Bhai, tatkal book karde 4 logoka. Tera naseeb accha hai na”
Hmm

How to reach Vrindavan:
Mathura Jn is the nearest and major railway station for Vrindavan. There are many trains from Mumbai to Mathura Jn everyday including Rajdhani Express. Depending on your budget and time feasibility, book any train. 12903 is a good train to go

It is very necessary to book the train tickets well in advance during Holi period. If you plan to go, book the tickets in January
From Mathura you can take an auto or arrange for a taxi through your hotel to Vrindavan

Airport:
Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Airport, Agra is the nearest airport to Vrindavan. IGI, Delhi is a better option and then a train to Mathura

My plan is…. well nothing. We have 2 days here and we have no idea what to do and where to go. We will ask the auto driver and hotel manager for suggestions

Before I move to more details on what we did. Below is some important information
> Holi celebrations in Vrindavan start 7-8 days before the Holi day
> If Holi falls on Thursday, you must be in Vrindavan on previous Sunday to capture all days celebrations
> If you cannot manage 7 days, at least 2 days before is a must. Holi celebration does not take place in the temples on the last day (day after Holika is burnt). Temple Holi is what you need, not the last-day-Holi that people play on the road
> Book train tickets early
> Book Hotel early and book a hotel which is somewhat near to Bankey Bihari Temple
> Beware of your glasses / sun glasses / caps (generally anything on your head). Trained monkeys will snatch it from you in a blink of an eye. There is literally nothing you can do until you pay money to the Con Artist Kids. This is a setup by the joint association of human kids and trained monkeys
> Use of camera inside Bankey Bihari temple is prohibited. I have no idea why. As a workaround, you can pay 500 for each 15 minutes, go to the top floor in the temple and click some. When I say camera, it includes all devices capable to shoot and not just DSLR
> At any point of time near the temple it is completely fine to shout Radhe-Radhe 😀

Security: (Specially females)
> There is no way you can take your wallet in the crowded(read as: pushing your way out using elbows) zones. It might disappear in a moment. Carry cash in pockets. 200 each pocket per person is more than enough for one visit to Bankey Bihari temple
> As you have no idea when you might get struck with a bucket of water, carry the cash in plastic
> Don’t flaunt your expensive mobiles in the crowd
> For females, this is “not” the place where you go Solo or as a only female group
> Stick to your group at all times, no matter how crowded the street and temple is
> DO NOT go here with tour groups. It is very necessary to travel with a trusted group of friends who know each other very well and will keep an eye on each other
> Best is to wear dark colored clothes which are old and for females – in the best of your interest; do not wear skin tight clothes
> There is no way you can escape the colors and water and anything thrown at you. Females are more targeted
> More the crowd, more the security. Avoid less crowded streets. You never know when your bad day is. Men on bikes have been known to cause troubles and there is literally nothing you can do about it
> Some female went Solo and came back Safe should not be a motivation for you to travel Solo. She was just lucky

Day 1:
We have reached here at our hotel by an auto. We had Californian Salted Almonds on the way. I know this is unnecessary information
The fun starts after when we leave the hotel
We walk and walk and walk and finally we reach Bankey Bihari Temple
Once inside the Bankey Bihari temple, it seems like a grand movie set. Pink and Yellow color particles flying around make the premises look like a little girl’s castle. And once amongst all people inside, you would come out printed by a color printer

This was our first time in Vrindavan and we were taken aback by the celebrations that are performed here. People from various states of India and countries around the world participate in this holy Holi festival. It was amazing and a colorful experience worth having

Its evening and now comes an interesting part. Bhang! There are many Govt. authorized shops here which will sell Bhang balls. They will only sell the balls. You have to make the drink. Be very careful on the intake quantity and life will get extremely colorful and happy after 30 mins of consumption. Though it sounds like getting drugged in a Desi way, I think you must have this experience along with your friends. Make sure there is one who won’t consume 😉

We literally have no idea how many parathas we ate for dinner. The effect was too strong to have any body sense working correctly
As far as I remember, I ate gulab jamuns, parathas, drank milk and ate pan and slept like a baby

Day 2:
In the morning, we went to Bankey Bihari temple again (with a heavy head). The riot of colors continued. Total fun. Things were in focus after we ate the Chila
Just a little outside the temple street is a small place to eat. They serve moong-daal Butter Chila. This is a deadliest vegetarian dish man-kind can prepare. If I go here again, this Chila is the first thing I will eat. Thinking about it I feel like going there again
If you are looking for non-vegetarian food with drinks, an auto rickshaw driver or the Hotel staff is the right person to ask. Just don’t offend some random people in Vrindavan by asking them

There are multiple temples here. We spent the day visiting many of them and walking the small alleys and having street food. A paradise for food lovers. I am sure DreamCarpel would be dying for a trip here

There is this colorful blog you might want to read: sid-thewanderer : Holi Date Details

If you had no idea about the dates of Holi in Vrindavan, you are surely right now “Holi kab hai!! Kab Hai Holi!!”
Its just active and passive voice, still a famous dialogue. Rest all is Radhe!! Radhe!!


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