Saturday, 26 March 2016

Famous Prem mandir, Vishram ghat and Rangaji temple of Vrindavan

Mathura and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh  are major  centers of pilgrimage for Hindus  because it was here Lord Sri Krishna had spent his early childhood. Hence temples in Mathura have close links with the life of Sri Krishna and his exploits in his early days.

Vrindavan,  just at a distance of 15 km from  Mathura  has numerous temples. Places of veneration  such as Prem Mandir Rangaji temple and Vishram ghat are of particular interest.
  
Prem Mandir:

Prem Mandir, a religious and spiritual complex built 
on a 54-acre site on the outskirts of Vrindavan, Mathura  is one of the newest temples dedicated to
Gita Mandir, a bit  away from the  main town this temple has beautiful carvings and paintings and is being visited by  lots of visitors. The main attraction of this temple located on the Mathura - Vrindavan 
road, is the  inscription of the entire verses of  the Bhagavad Gita.

Prem Mandir from Main Gate. en.wikipedia.org
Prem MandirFront view of Prem Mandirwikimapia.org
The Vrindavan site was developed by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj himself whose main ashram was at Vrindavan and it was His Holiness, Fifth Jagadguru  built the Prem Mandir. Though the foundation work began in January, 2002, the temple was completed only in February 2012. A sum of more than 23 million dollars (150 crore rupees)  was spent on this temple of veneration.  The length of the temple is 185 feet and the width is 135 feet.

The presiding deities  are Shri Radha Govind (Radha Krishna) and Shri Sita Ram.  A  dome-shaped satsang hall  without pillars, covering  73,000 square feet, with a capacity to accommodate 25.000 people at a time is  under construction next to Prem Mandir.

The  unique features of  this temple  are  its entrance  in all directions and the pure white Italian marble stones, exhibiting a mix of modern and ancient temple architecture;  125 feet high and  122 long and 115 feet wide. The additions of water fountains and gardens enhance the beauty and majesty of this wonderful moden temple. It is believed to be the  biggest temple in entire Braj Mandal.

Vishram ghat:

Vishram Ghat ...c2w.com
It is the  sacred place where Lord Krishna is believed to have rested after slaying the demon king Kamsa. It is from the  Vishram Ghat  begins and ends  the traditional Parikrama - the pilgrimage in a Prathakshana  manner - visiting the  important religious and holy places in the city in a clock-wise manner.  There are 12 ghats of Yamuna to the north of Vishram Ghat  such as  Ganesh Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat with its Neelakantheshwar Temple,  Saraswati Sangam Ghat, Krishnaganga Ghat, Vaikuntha Ghat, etc., There are 11 ghats to the south  that  may include  the Guptatirth Ghat, Prayag Ghat marked by the Veni Madhav Temple, Shyam Ghat, Ram Ghat, Kankhal Ghat, the site of the Janmashtami and Jhula festivals, Ravan Koti Ghat and Buddha Ghat.etc.               

All along the Vishram Ghat one could find some of the important holy shrines and  among them  Radha-Damodar, Murli Manohar, Yamuna-Krishna, Langali Hanuman shrines are worthy of mention. Every evening  Aarthi is   held  with great religious fervor, it is quite fascinating to see innumerable  flickering oil lamps floating on the  quiet river casting radiance on the waters. People visiting Mathura will never fail to visit the Holy kunds - sacred ponds; once there were 159 kunds, of which only a few survived. These include Shiv Tal, Potara Kund associated closely with Lord Krishna,  besides the Balbhadra and Saraswati kunds. In addition to temples dedicated to Sri Krishna, there are many shrines dedicated to  Lord Shiva and the important ones include  Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple to the west of the town, the Gokarneshwar Temple in the north, the Rangeshwar Mahadev Temple to the south and the Pipaleshwar Mahadev Temple to the east.

Vishram Ghat, Mathura  www.panoramio.com
Rangaji Temple: This temple boasts of a traditional South Indian-style Gopuram and high walls. The main deity is Lord Ranganatha, a form of Lord Krishna. 
Rang-ji-temple.bharatdiscovery.org
This temple, as mentioned before,is dedicated to Sri Ranganatha (Lord Vishnu) and his consort   Lakshmi and is like the famous Sri Ranganatha and his consort Ranganayagi temple of Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, the largest temple complex in the world.  There are many  shrines  dedicated to the Alwars (Tamil Vaishnavite saints)  Periyazhvar, Namazhvar, Poigaiazhavar, Sri Andal, daughter of Periyazhvar, et al  are some the famous saints who dedicated their entire lives to Lord Vishnu. Here Lord Vishnu  is in  Ananta Sayanam posture on the recoiled serpent - Aadi Sesha Naaga. The other deities include Lord Narasimha, Sita-Rama and Lakshman, Venugopala and  Sri Ramanuja Charya, the great vainshnavite saint whose Samadhi is at the Srirangam temple complex, Srirangam. This  temple  is  built  in  Dravidian architecture.

This temple, that follows the south Indian tradition, was  built by Seth Radha Krishna and Seth Govinda Dasa of Chennai (Madras) in 1851 and a sum of 45 lakhs had been spent on the temple construction. This is the biggest temple in Vrindavan, outer wall  covering 231meters (770 ft) by 132 meters (440 ft). The  six-story tower - Gopuram is about 105 feet tall and there are features like temple tank, flagstaff (Dhuwaja stambam), as one will find in south Indian Hindu temples. The temple pooja protocol is based on the  age old system established by the great saint  Sri Ramanuja Charya and the priests are mainly south Indian Brahmins, following Vaishnava Sampradaya.

Ref:
http://mathuravisit.com/vrindavan/prem-mandir.html