Vrindavan & Mathura – A photo story


I am almost an atheist, but that didn’t prevent me from making a trip to Vrindavan and Mathura, the holiest of holy places for Hindus all over the world. While idol worship and mantra chanting are not my cup of tea, the curiosity of the great Indian mythology, the Mahabharata is too powerful to resist. With Janmasthami (the birth event of Lord Krishna) just around the corner, I made a trip to these twin-towns , hoping to experience and capture the mega conglomeration of almost one million people that gather here every year.

Click on the image to view my photography site

Shops sell gulal (color powder) for taking inside the temple

For a place that can barely handle a hundred thousand people, this event is completely overwhelming for all local authorities, especially the police and civic bodies. Truckloads, busloads, cartloads and jeep loads of people from small town India offload themselves here purely driven by faith, hoping to witness the events recreated around the birth of Lord Krishna and his playful childhood.

Mathura boasts a mind boggling 4000 (i.e. four thousand in words) temples, most of them devoted to Krishna, the most famous ones being Banke Bihari and Ranga ji. Banke Bihari is situated in the midst of incredibly narrow lanes, that carrying oxygen cylinders is not a bad idea, should you get asphyxiated due to the thronging crowds.

Here is a series of pictures I captured over two days at this place.

Click on image to view my photography site

Horse carts are still the preferred means of commuting in Mathura and Vrindavan, especially during festive season when no vehicle entry inside the town

Click on image to view my photography site

Beggars on the narrow streets of Vrindavan and Mathura are very common, as tourists prefer to give them money during religious festivals

Click on image to view my photography site

Women folk wash and dry clothes on the steps of the kund (man made water tank) in front of Janmabhoomi mandir in Mathura

Click on image to view my photography site

The place gets overcrowded during Janmasthami and all tourists gather in open areas

Click on image to view my photography site

Entrance to a house in Vrindavan, probably leading to Lord Krishna

Click on image to view my photography site

Haggling is very common on Indian streets, It brings immense joy to the buyer and probably secret satisfaction to the seller too

Click on image to view my photography site

Just short of creating a stampede, the narrow streets of Vrindavan and Mathura require highly skilled maneuvers to make progress. This is the lane leading to Banke Bihari temple

Click on image to view my photography site

Flags of various colors are on display by tourists, probably showcasing their affiliation to different deities

Click on image to view my photography site

Pilgrims spread themselves out on the road to cook food and sleep for the night. Either most accommodations are full or the poor can't afford the rates.

Click on image to view my photography site

Buses are multi-purpose modes of transport in India, not just when they are moving, but even when stationary.

Click on image to view my photography site

While the temples brim with pilgrims, life for some locals is as-usual. A man walks through the vegetable market in Mathrua while vendors set up their stalls

Click on image to view a photography site

Sitting and doing nothing is a good pass-time probably

Click on image to view my photography site

Especially when you are seating opposite a similar row of women

Click on image to view my photography site

Dwarkadheesh temple, one of the several famous temples in Mathrua and Vrindavan. Most of them have complex timings when the God is asleep or feeding. In over a couple of visits, I have never been able to make it into any of the temples, they are either closed or too crowded.

Click on image to view my photography site

A man sets up temple offerings outside his shop

Click on image to view my photography site

A sadhu enjoys time off as he sits on the bank of the flooded Yamuna. He deftly converted to this pose as he noticed my camera come out, otherwise he had a big hukka (~cigar) in hand.

Click on image to view my photography site

A man takes bath in the flooded Yamuna on the occasion of Janmasthami in Mathura & Vrindavan

Click on image to view my photography site

A sadhu reads his scriptures on the occasion of Janmasthami in Mathura

Click on image to view my photography site

A man sits on the banks of Yamuna, lost in thought. Yes, life is difficult for everyone:(

Click on image to view my photography site

Catching up with each other after a holy dip in Yamuna

Click on image to view my photography site

A woman dries her saree on the steps of a water-tank in Mathura

Click on image to view my photography site

A group of young me take off their clothes to take a dip in the holy waters of the tank outside Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura

Click on image to view my photography site

A view of the holy water tank outside Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura

Click on image to view my photography site

The spirit of these boys was definitely uplifting my spirit amidst the massive crowds outside the temple

Click on image to view my photography site

A boy prepares tea in his street stall, my last cuppa in Vrindavan before leaving for Delhi

Click on image to view my photography site

And he gave me company even as he agreed to get clicked.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Vrindavan & Mathura – A photo story

  1. I have my engagemnet coming up on 9th May. It will be held in Mathura and i belong from Mumbai. So I wanted to know the rates for a day and other details.

    • hi Neha,

      Thanks for inquiring about my wedding photography services. It’s best to speak on the phone so that I can provide you with a custom quote for your function. Pls feel free to call me on 9818263014.

      Regards
      Bhaven

Thanks for reading my post. I'd love to hear what you think about it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s