One of the most famous temples in Vrindavan is the Shri Bankey Bihari Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna.
In this temple, the principal deity stands in the tribhanga posture. This pose is tilted at three angles and hence refers to Lord Krishna by one of his names Banke. Originally the same idol of Lord Krishna was worshipped at Nidhivan and called Kunj-Bihari. It is a reference to Lord Krishna's place of worship in Vrindavan, which is known as kunj or groves.
Located in the holy city of Vrindavan, India, this temple is the manifestation of devotion to Sri Radhe-Krishna. The Lord's idol here represents the blessings of the Lord showered on his very dear devotee.
The Shri Bankey Bihari Ji Temple is one of the majestic temples of Vrindavan Dham. Upon entry, visitors are enveloped in the mysticism and legends of devotees being blessed by Thakur Ji in the most unexpected ways.
Once you enter the temple, you will experience spiritualism in every little aspect of worship and seva at the hands of the Almighty. The first thing that will catch your eye is the thronging lines of people waiting to pay their respects to Lord Thakur, who is wearing His most charming and magical form.
Swami Haridas ji is believed to be the reincarnation of Lalita Sakhi, one of the inner circles of Shri Radha-Krishna. Sitting in deep meditation the bhakti and devotion of Swami Haridas ji, Lord Krishna, and Shrimati Radharani appeared in front of him in Nidhivan.
Haridas ji's mortal worlds were struck by a sudden bout of spirituality that rendered them unable to properly process the essence of the divine couple. Upon realizing this, Haridas ji requested Shri Radhe-Krishna to take a more unified form like Ghan (cloud) and Damini (lightning). Observing this request, Shri Shyama-Shyam merged into a single black idol of Banke Bihari Ji. The image continues to be worshiped even today at the temple.
The responsibility of Seva of Bihari ji was handed over to Goswami Jagannath by Swami Haridas ji himself. This is done by tradition to this day, making the seva of Thakur ji performed in Goswami Jagannath's or his descendants' name.
After construction was completed in 1862, the deity was worshipped at a temple outside of Nidhivan. Then three years later after the completion of the new complex, it was decided to move the idol from where it previously resided in an old temple.
Shri Bankey Bihari Ji Temple is one of the most visited temples in Vrindavan. It's a representation of unwavering faith and devotion to the beloved Lord. Millions of devotees visit this century-old temple every day to worship Shri Bankey Bihari Ji who is fondly called "Bihari" and "Thakur" by Brajvasis.
A few of the key attributes of the temple which you can enjoy are as follows:
Shri Krishna Janmashtami is a Hindu holy day celebrated on the eighth day of the first fortnight of Bhadrapad month. On this day, Mangala Aarti is done in temples. Darshan opens at around 2 am and closes at 6 am, giving everyone enough time to visit with Lord Krishna.
On the holy occasion of Thakur Jee's birthday, devotees and believers alike gather at the Hariyali Teej festival to see their beloved guru in person. During this time, Bankey Bihari himself flits back and forth between his golden and silver swags that are portrayed in a courtyard nearby the building.
Celebrated with so much enthusiasm, the Indian festival of Holi lasts for several days. At Bankey Bihari Temple, Holi is celebrated with dignity and respect. Shri Banke Bihari "Lord of colors" himself occupies the site - sometimes referred to as the silver hut - where he offers even closer darshan to his devotees wearing a white robe. Priests will douse them in colored water before their prayer session along with an impressive sound system playing devotional songs that get everybody wet.
For a lot of Hindus, Holika Dahan is the day all of their sins are forgiven. After indulging in excess and reveling in colors and music, they follow it with the worshipping of Krishna. However, on this special holiday called Dhulandi, Bihari Ji does not play Holi as he watches over all the people, who are engaging in colorful festivities. On this special holiday called Lathmar Holi, devotees offer colors to Lord Hanuman through a sacred ritual.
Shrimati Radharani incarnated as the daughter of Shri Vrishnubhanu on the eighth day of the Bhadrapad month. Radha Rani's birthday is celebrated with great pomp and show at Bankey Bihari Temple, which is decked out beautifully for her celebration.
Bihari ji Prakatya Sthal (Appearance Place) has been highly revered by Vaishnavites for quite some time. It is believed to be the same place where Shri Radhe Krishna, the eternal form of God Vishnu, gave darshan to His devout devotee Swami Haridas ji and merged into the single majestic idol of Bihari ji.
The weather in Mathura and Vrindavan is extreme, with summer and winter months. The best time to visit Bankey Bihari Ji Temple during this time of the year is from February to April and from October to December. During these four months, the temperatures stay in a moderate range while visitors still enjoy a pleasant stay.
The doors to the Shri Bankey Bihari ji Temple are always open. You can visit any day of the week from 7:45 am to 1:30 pm, or from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
The Seva of Bihari Ji is a unique and traditional ceremony that takes place multiple times every day. The three phases of the ceremony are, Shringar, Rajbhog, and Shayan. The temple does not have a local tradition of Mangala Aarti, instead honoring Lord Krishna as a child and not disturbing him early in the morning. They also avoid ringing their bells to be considerate of their young Lord.
Uttar Pradesh's Yogi Government is concentrating on the Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan. On Tuesday (3 January), the survey work for the grand corridor, which will be built around the Banke Bihari Temple, one of the world's most famous and revered Krishna temples, began.
The corridor would be able to accommodate 5,000 devotees at a time. As a part of Yogi Adityanath's government's promise to ensure easy access from the Yamuna riverfront to Mathura's iconic Banke Bihari Temple, a dedicated corridor will be developed soon.
A committee of eight members was formed by the Yogi government to develop the proposed corridor on the 5 acres of land.
After the Allahabad High Court ordered the district administration to submit a development plan with estimated costs on 20 December 2022, the committee was formed.
During the conceptualization of the corridor, Yogi Adityanath made it clear that the core structure of the temple, as well as the beliefs and traditions of the people, would not be violated. During the planning and design of the project, the committee is said to have strictly adhered to the directives.
Under the committee formed to oversee the redevelopment project, the Banke Bihari Corridor will have a mix of traditional and modern amenities, with the temple's core preserved while the access roads and surrounding area will be expanded and developed.
The biggest problem right now is that the temple does not have enough space to accommodate the large number of worshippers that come for darshan. Those who don’t get a chance to enter the temple jam the area outside and the narrow alleys, refusing to move. As a result, there is chaos, crowding, and jostling around the temple site. Despite police barricades, devotees often push one another in a congested space.
Upon development of the proposed corridor, the sanctum sanctorum, which currently accommodates 800 devotees at a time, will be able to accommodate as many as 5,000 devotees.
There will be three entrances to the corridor, according to the proposed layout. From Jugal Ghat, the first approach will be from Vidyapeeth Square, and Banke Bihari Jadon parking area and the second approach will be from Banke Bihari Jadon.
Similarly, the road from Vidyapeeth Square to the entry will be widened to 7 meters, and the road leading to the Jadon parking area will be widened to 15 meters.
Moreover, the corridor will be two-storey. As well as shoe stands, luggage stands, drinking water, bathrooms, medical facilities, infant care facilities, VIP rooms, and waiting rooms will also be constructed. The lower level will be larger than the top level, with dimensions ranging from 5000 square meters to 650 square meters.
Additionally, a 900-square-meter parikrama route will be built around the sanctum sanctorum.
A total of 325 properties that will be acquired by the state for the Banke Bihari temple corridor will also be compensated by the government. A total compensation of Rs 200 crores has been recommended by the state government to the owners of these houses and shops, sources said.
A Greenfields Expressway connecting Vrindavan and the upcoming Heritage City along the Yamuna Expressway will be connected to the Banke Bihari Corridor.
As part of the Corridor project, three parking facilities will be constructed in Vrindavan. The Banke Bihari Bridge parking is set to feature on the opposite bank of the Yamuna and will stretch across a 37,000 square meter area - allowing 1,550 vehicles to be parked there.
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