In Photos: The Life and Times of the Temple Town of Vrindavan
Glimpses from the Bihar Ghat where Lord Krishna is believed to have killed the <i>Kaliya </i>Nag.
Glimpses from the Bihar Ghat where Lord Krishna is believed to have killed the Kaliya Nag.(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint

In Photos: The Life and Times of the Temple Town of Vrindavan

The temple town of Vrindavan, one of the holiest places in the world, is situated at the heartland of Braj region in western Uttar Pradesh. Braj is not a geographical arena, but a cultural term collectively referring to Barsana, Gokul, Nandgaon, Mathura and Vrindavan.

The author visited the place during the festival of Holi that is celebrated for over a month in the Braj region. In this photo essay, the author has attempted to showcase the contributions of the ‘Benaras Gharana’ in the celebration of Holi and its practices revolving around Lord Krishna.

The author has taken the portraiture approach by showing the people, including foreigners who have left their countries, and early life to take up Hinduism and have settled in Vrindavan permanently.

 Vrindavan and the idea of Krishna worship attracts tourists and devotees  from all over the world.
Vrindavan and the idea of Krishna worship attracts tourists and devotees from all over the world.
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
In Vrindavan, people’s work life revolves around Krishna. The town attracts several tourists from all across the world which boosts the economy.&nbsp;
In Vrindavan, people’s work life revolves around Krishna. The town attracts several tourists from all across the world which boosts the economy. 
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
A blind saint outside the door of old Mira bai temple, where she stayed and worshiped Krishna in early 16th century. The doors of the temple remain shut permanently. The temple town draws a large number of visitors not just on account of religious importance but also on account of its historical eminence from the patronage it enjoys through medieval saints like Swami Haridas, Tansen, Kabir as well as Mira Bai.
A blind saint outside the door of old Mira bai temple, where she stayed and worshiped Krishna in early 16th century. The doors of the temple remain shut permanently. The temple town draws a large number of visitors not just on account of religious importance but also on account of its historical eminence from the patronage it enjoys through medieval saints like Swami Haridas, Tansen, Kabir as well as Mira Bai.
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
A local ‘Huranga’ celebration of Holi where all male members dress up as Krishna, Radha and Gopis to perform the Raas in local neighbourhood, just one night before Holi.&nbsp;
A local ‘Huranga’ celebration of Holi where all male members dress up as Krishna, Radha and Gopis to perform the Raas in local neighbourhood, just one night before Holi. 
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
From providing the option of stay in Ashrams to providing the most delicious Bedai Jalebi is what Vrindavan is really known for.
From providing the option of stay in Ashrams to providing the most delicious Bedai Jalebi is what Vrindavan is really known for.
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
The Grand ‘Holika Dahan’ outside being performed outside the Banke Bihari temple. This is the largest fire in the town from where people carry the fires to their houses, a night before Holi.
The Grand ‘Holika Dahan’ outside being performed outside the Banke Bihari temple. This is the largest fire in the town from where people carry the fires to their houses, a night before Holi.
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
Holi in Braj is not just about colours but is played beautifully with flowers, food, sticks and love for Krishna.
Holi in Braj is not just about colours but is played beautifully with flowers, food, sticks and love for Krishna.
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
The celebrations trace their way back to the 16th century CE Bhakti movement, which was about inclusion of people from all castes and communities into Krishna worship.
The celebrations trace their way back to the 16th century CE Bhakti movement, which was about inclusion of people from all castes and communities into Krishna worship.
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
The way Braj region celebrates the festival of Holi makes the visitor breathe colour in the air. &nbsp;
The way Braj region celebrates the festival of Holi makes the visitor breathe colour in the air.  
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
Vrindavan is also home to widows from Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Odisha and Bihar.&nbsp;
Vrindavan is also home to widows from Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Odisha and Bihar. 
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint
 A widow in the Ashram of Mohini Giri. Dejected by families and kin, the widows in the town have dedicated their survival to Lord Krishna.&nbsp;
A widow in the Ashram of Mohini Giri. Dejected by families and kin, the widows in the town have dedicated their survival to Lord Krishna. 
(Photo: Divyanshu Nijhara/The Quint

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