Visit these top 5 Hindu pilgrimage sites with a Krishna Bhumi Holydays membership

Tirth-yatra or a journey to places of religious significance has always been an integral part of the Indian culture. While spiritual tourism has witnessed a resurgence in the recent past, India has always known and nurtured such a quest. If you feel inspired to take a journey that will lead to spiritual elevation, consider becoming a Krishnabhumi Holydays member which not only lets you spend 7 blissful days in Vrindavan but also gives you the opportunity to visit hundreds of pilgrimage sites through RCI exchange. You also get 35% discount on RCI Exchange fees when visiting pilgrimage locations in India.

Here is a list of five locations that hold a special significance among Hindus. Begin your journey by visiting these places that attract millions of devotees every year.

Ramanathaswamy temple, Rameswaram

ramanathaswamy-templeOn Rameswaram island in Tamil Nadu, stands the beautiful Ramanathaswamy temple, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples. Legend has it that the Shiva lingam of this temple was established and worshipped by Sri Ram. According to the ‘yudha kanda’ of Valmiki’s Ramayana, after the battle with Ravana, it was here that Sri Ram prayed to Shiva to absolve any sins that He might have committed during the war and especially the sin of Brahmahatya that He committed for killing Ravana. However, in order to worship Shiva, Sri Ram wanted a lingam and sent Hanuman to bring it from the Himalayas. However, since Hanuman was late, Ram’s wife Sita created a lingam with the sands of the shore. It is believed that it is this lingam that is still there in the inner sanctum of the temple.

Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri

Jagannath-TempleThis 11th-century temple is one of the char dhams, the four pilgrimage sites that many Hindus want to visit at least once during their lifetime. There are many stories regarding the origin of the temple. According to one story, Sri Jagannath manifested Himself in the form of Indranila Mani or the Blue Jewel. However, so dazzling was the ‘mani’ that it would grant instant ‘moksha’ to anyone who looked at it. Yama hid it. Later on, Lord Vishnu instructed King Indradyumna to establish the Jagannath Temple. Even today, many things happen surrounding the temple that science fails to explain. For example, the flag on the temple always flaps in the opposite direction to the wind, no bird or aeroplane flies above the temple, and the Sudarshan Chakra at the temple top always faces you, no matter from where you look at it.

Pushkar Lake, Ajmer

Pushkar-Lake-AjmerPushkar Lake finds several mentions in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and several other Puranic texts. Pushkar comes from the words ‘pushpa’ meaning ‘flower’ and ‘kar’ meaning ‘hand’. It refers to the story of Lord Brahma that is behind the origin of this lake. Legend has it that Lord Brahma killed the demon Vajranabha with His lotus and while doing so, three petals fell on three spots. These three places transformed into three lakes— the Pushkar Lake, the Madya Pushkar Lake, and the Kanishta Pushkar Lake. Fifty two bathing ghats surround the lake. It is believed that the water of the Pushkar Sarovar has healing powers. The lake, which is regarded as ‘Adi Tirtha’ in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, attracts devotees from all corners of the world because it is believed that a dip in the lake on Karthik Poornima equals the merit of performing yajnas for several centuries.

Har ki Pauri, Haridwar

Har-ki-PauriThe Ganga aarti at Har ki Pauri is a sight that will resonate within you for years to come. Every evening, thousands of devotees gather at the ghat to witness the mesmerising aradhana. The Ganga aarti is performed in what is considered to be the most sacred part of Har ki Pauri— the Brahmakund. It is believed that after samudra manthan, when Garud was carrying the pitcher full of amrit, a few drops fell on the Brahmakund.

Kedarnath Temple, Kedarnath

Kedarnath-TempleKedarnath is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites among the Hindus. It is the highest among the 12 jyotirlingams. According to mythology, after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas wanted to ask for forgiveness from Shiva and wanted to meet Him. However, Shiva was reluctant and took refuge at Kedarnath. He assumed the formed of a bull and dived headlong into the ground, with His hump as the only visible portion. The head of the bull appeared at present-day Nepal’s Pashupatinath Temple. One of the best ways to reach Kedarnath is from Rishikesh. You can even put up at an RCI-affiliated resort at Rishikesh and then take a taxi or a bus to reach Kedarnath.

India is a land of mythologies and legends, of temples and shrines, of pilgrimage sights and devout devotees. If you wish to explore all the beautiful places that the country has, become a Krishnabhumi Holydays member. With a Holydays membership, you will always have a home in any part of India and the world.

Radhe Radhe!

4 ways in which a Holydays membership will be one of the most relaxing experiences

Do you know why every year millions of devotees visit Vrindavan? They do so to seek Sri Krishna and to soak in the glory that pervades this holy dham. However, in order to be able to imbibe the blessed atmosphere, you need to feel at home. You need to relax and let the atmosphere seep inside you and create its own magic.

That is exactly what a Krishna Bhumi Holydays membership will help you do.

Rejuvenate yourself at Krishna Bhumi’s ayurvedic spa

Rejuvenate yourself at Krishna Bhumi’s ayurvedic spa

Krishna Bhumi has been conceived as a magnificent township complete with all facilities and amenities of modern living. Among a host of wonderful features, it also includes a premium wellness center with ayurvedic spa. As a Holydays member, you can rejuvenate yourself at this spa through relaxing massage sessions. Studies show that massage therapies are a good way to rebalance our body chakras. It is believed that chakras are nothing but energy forces that flow through our soul or spirit. Sometimes, the chakras need to be realigned or rebalanced, which help in the overall wellbeing. In fact, it also helps you connect better with your environment and to be ‘in the moment’. A massage at the Krishna Bhumi ayurvedic spa will help you prepare yourself to imbibe the spirit of Vrindavan even better.

 

Take a dip in the swimming pool to feel refreshed

Take a dip in the swimming pool to feel refreshed

There will be a beautiful swimming pool right within the gates of Krishna Bhumi. As a Holydays member, when you stay in your fully-furnished luxury apartment, you can walk to the swimming pool and take a refreshing dip in its cool waters. Studies show that swimming is a wonderful exercise not only for the body but also for the mind and the soul. While swimming, all you have to do is concentrate on your strokes and movements, which is a great way to remove all static thoughts. In fact, many believe that swimming can be as beneficial for the mind as meditation. In a way, it is like doing yoga in water. And once your mind and body feel relaxed, they are all the more prepared to soak in the blissful experience called Vrindavan.

Breathe in fresh air in the open green space

Breathe in fresh air in the open green space

Krishna Bhumi will be surrounded by acres of green space. You can walk in the beautiful greenery all around, meditate in the open spaces, and feel connected to nature at once. It is also believed that green is one of the most restful colours and produces harmonious feelings which in turn diffuse anxiety. And once your mind is calm, you can concentrate even more on feeling one with Krishna.

 

Be a part of kirtans and bhajans in the upcoming Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

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Krishna Bhumi is taking shape adjacent to the proposed Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir. There will be bhajans, kirtans, and spiritual discourses that you can be a part of. And what better way to experience Vrindavan than to immerse yourself in thoughts of Krishna?

 

A Holydays membership gives you ample opportunities to unwind your body so that your mind is ready to immerse itself in Bhakti bhava.

Radhe Radhe!

5 ways in which a Holydays membership will spiritually rejuvenate you

Just imagine that out of hundreds of countries in the world and thousands of big and small places, there are only a few that stay with us even long after we have visited them. Vrindavan is one such place that haunts you not just for months but for years after you have visited this small yet vibrant land of Sri Krishna. As the Adi Purana beautifully puts it— “In all the three planetary systems, this earth is especially fortunate for here stands the town of Vrindavana.”

What is so special about Vrindavan? Why is it that every time a Krishna devotee visits Vrindavan, he/ she comes back with one predominant desire—to go back to this beautiful place one more time?

The reason is quite simple. Vrindavan inspires us not only as Sri Krishna’s leelakshetra, but also with its divine ambience that is imbued in Sri Krishna’s love. There is magic in its air and miracle in its lanes. Because there is Sri Krishna wherever you go. As Srila Prabhupada beautifully explains it,

Vrindavana dhäma is non-different from Krishna because the name, form, fame, and place where the Lord manifests – are all identical with the Lord as absolute knowledge. Therefore, Vrindavana dhäma is as worshipable as the Lord.”

If you have ever wished to go back to Vrindavan year after year, if you have secretly dreamed of having a home in Vrindavan, if you have always wanted to stretch your Vrindavan visits by a few more hours, a Krishna Bhumi Holydays membership is for you.

Begin a journey of spiritual rejuvenation

Becoming a Krishna Bhumi Holydays member is the beginning of a spiritually elevating experience that will resonate with you for years to come. After all, how wonderful it is to spend a few days every year surrounded by the holiest 84 kos on earth! And a Holydays membership creates an atmosphere in which you can soak in the glory of the land and be one with Sri Krishna.

Here’s how:

Vrindavan chandrodaya mandir

Stay close to the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir: When you become a Krishna Bhumi Holydays member, you have a home in Krishna Bhumi, a beautiful township that is taking shape close to the upcoming Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir. Conceived as the world’s tallest Krishna temple, this awe-inspiring creation will be a sight to behold. Begin your mornings with pujas and aartis and fill your days with the holy chants of Sri Krishna Mahamantra. And in the evening when you look out of your balcony, be mesmerised by the imposing Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir that will stand right outside!

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Immerse yourself in kirtans and kathas, pravachans and bhajans: Apart from the daily pujas and aartis, the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir will also have regular bhajans, kirtans, and spiritual discourses. The Holy Yamuna is just 4.5km away. Reach the Kesi Ghat in just 10 minutes, take a boat ride in the Holy Yamuna and watch the enthralling evening aarti bidding adieu to the day.

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Meditate in the vast green area: What is the best way to serve Sri Krishna? To surrender your thoughts to Him. To think about Him undisturbed by anything around you. Your surrounding plays an important role in creating the appropriate environment. Krishna Bhumi is surrounded by acres of greenery where you can peacefully chant the Hari-naam and feel one with Sri Krishna.

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Perform all the pujas and parikramas you always wanted: A Holydays membership offers you a concierge service upon request that takes care of your entire itinerary. We will arrange all your pujas, parikramas, and darshans so that you can have a hassle-free Vrindavan experience, every single time.

dvadasha kanana-vrindavan

Get virtually transported to the Dwapara Yuga: Twelve forests of the Dwapara Yuga, also known as the Dvadasha Kanana, are being recreated adjacent to Krishna Bhumi. Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir will also feature light and sound shows and story-telling with Sri Krishna at their centre. The Vedic cosmology exhibit and the Goloka Vrindavan Darshan viewing gallery inside the proposed Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir will further revive you spiritually.

Vrindavan is waiting right here with its promise of peace and profundity. A Holydays membership will help you imbibe all the positivity in the air of this holy dham.

We look forward to having you as part of our Holydays family.

Radhe Radhe!

How Yashoda Became Sri Krishna’s Mother Twice

The relationship between Yashoda and Sri Krishna is one of the most celebrated mother-son relationships of all time. Yashoda’s unfathomable love for Krishna has inspired many works of art. She is an integral part of Krishna’s childhood lilas. Once, when sage Narada visited Nanda’s house, he was greeted with one of the most divine sights. Narada watched on as Mother Yashoda punished her mischievous little boy Krishna by tying him with a grinding stone. Seeing this, Narada said, “Enna Thavam Saidhanai, Yashoda” which translates as “What penance have You (Mother Yashoda) undertaken to be bestowed with the powers to punish the supreme (Narayana)”. Because here was the Supreme Godhead— “the beginning and the end and also the middle” who let Himself being chastised by a mere mortal!

So, why was Yashoda chosen to be Sri Krishna’s foster mother?

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Sri Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudeva. But as fate would have it, it was Yashoda and Nanda who brought Him up. So, it was not Devaki but Yashoda who could witness all the beautiful lilas of Sri Krishna as He turned into a magnificent youth who mesmerised everyone who came in contact with Him.

Legend has it that one day little Krishna was playing in the sand and put it into His mouth. Mother Yashoda was concerned and asked her son to open His mouth. However, she was not ready for what happened next. She saw the entire universe inside that little mouth. There were the seven oceans and also Narayana resting on Adishesha (the Divine Snake) with his consort Mahalakshmi.

It is believed that Yashoda and Nanda performed great penance in their previous birth. Lord Vishnu was happy with their prayers and appeared in front of them. He asked the couple what they wanted and the couple said that they wanted to treat Lord Vishnu as their son. Lord Vishnu was amused because He is the Creator of the whole universe. However, He never knew what a mother’s love is and that is why conceded to the request and granted them this boon. Hence when Lord Vishnu appeared on the earth in His Krishna avatar, it was Yashoda who brought him up despite not being the biological mother of Sri Krishna.

How did Yashoda become Sri Krishna’s mother for the second time?

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Yashoda did not meet Krishna ever since He left Mathura. However, when on her deathbed, Krishna came to meet His mother. She was happy but her only regret was that she could never see any of Krishna’s marriages. Sri Krishna understood His mother’s pain and said that her wish would be fulfilled in her next birth when He would be born as Venkateshwara and Mother Yashoda as Vakula Devi.

Mother Yashoda as Vakula Devi

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In the Kali Yuga, Lord Vishnu appeared as Lord Venkateswara. This time too, Yashoda was His foster mother. Her name was Vakula Devi. She played a crucial role in arranging His wedding with King Akasa Raja’s daughter Padmavati. And this time, Mother Yashoda as Vakula Devi, fulfilled her wishes to see her son’s marriage.

Roughly 300 years back, a temple dedicated to Vakula Devi was constructed on Perurubanda hillock surrounding the picturesque Perur village. The idol of Vakula Devi looks towards the Seven Hills, the abode of her son Lord Venkateswara.

The relationship between Yashoda and Sri Krishna is not just a bond between a mother and her son. In a way, Mother Yashoda is also one of the most ardent devotees of Sri Krishna. What begins as ‘Vatsalya Prem’ (love for her son) evolves into ‘Vatsalya Bhakti’ (devotion of a mother).

What better way to feel Yasoda’s love for Krishna than to be in the place where Krishna spent His time as a child and a youth. Visit Braj and soak in the divinity of the holiest 84 kos on earth. Experience Vrindavan like never before through a Krishna Bhumi Holydays membership.

The Beautiful Story Behind Phool Bangla

Every season has its special significance in Vrindavan, and summer is no exception. As the season arrives in holy Braj, juhi, bela, ratrani, motia and other summer flowers rise to the occasion of serving Bihariji and welcoming His devotees with the sweetest fragrance in the world. From Chaitra Shukla Ekadashi (March)to Shravan Krishna Amavasya (August), Bihariji enjoys the Phool Bangla, meaning the house of flowers.

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The Legend

It is believed that the tradition of Phool Bangla can be traced back to the gifted poet Surdas, a disciple of Shri Ballabhacharya. Although he was blind, Surdas could ‘see’ lord Srinathji. So deep was his devotion that Surdas could have divine darshans of the Lord. He composed many songs eulogizing the Lord’s beauty and grace. In fact, he used to sing compositions every day detailing Srinathji’s appearance. So vivid were his descriptions that everyone would be amazed. It is said that although Surdas could not see with his eyes, his mind’s eye was so powerful that he could even describe the colors of the Lord’s attire.

One day, with the intention of demonstrating Surdas’s divine power, his guru Ballabhacharya adorned the Lord with flowers only. On that day, Srinathji wore no clothes but only attire made out of flowers intertwined together. So dense was the flower weavings that no devotee could understand that the Lord was wearing only flowers. The only exception was Surdas. On that magical summer evening, the blind poet sand, “Aaj Hari dekhe nangam nanga” which translates as “Today I saw Hari naked”.

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Phool Bangla Decorations

Almost all the evenings of the four-and-a-half-month-long Phool Bangla festival witness enthralling flower decorations that in a way reflect the profound devotion with which the Goswamis have been doing this for ages. Thakurji comes to the Jagmohan where the phool bungalow is erected with wooden frames of various shapes and sizes. Next, the wooden frames are covered with strings of flowers woven so intricately that they resemble the ‘jali’ pattern that one usually witnesses in Rajasthani palaces. The decorated frames are then arranged in such a way that they give the impression of a house or bungalow. The panels create a main room, canopy, side rooms, staircases, and pinnacle.

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Thakurji’s attire during Phool Bangla

Flowers not only decorate the ambience but also Thakurji. Leaves, flowers, and buds are woven into beautiful bracelets, armlets, crowns, earrings, and garlands to adorn Thakurji. Apart from flowers and their buds, ornaments are also made with banyan leaves cut-outs.

Words can hardly capture the beauty of Phool Bangla. You need to be in Vrindavan during summer to soak in the beauty that’s all around. Becoming a Krishna Bhumi Holydays member will help you participate in all the Vrindavan festivals. You can stay in your luxury apartment in Krishna Bhumi, just a few minutes from Banke Bihari temple, and spend 7 magical days in Vrindavan every year.

Radhe Radhe!

How is Akshay Tritiya celebrated in Vrindavan? How is Sri Krishna related to Akshay Tritiya?

The holy town of Vrindavan is famous for its beautiful festivals and unique traditions. While Vrindavan’s holi is famous all over the world, did you know that Akshay Tritiya too is celebrated in a special way in Vrindavan? Let us read more about it but before that, let’s find out more about the significance of this auspicious day.

What is Akshay Tritiya?

Akshay Tritiya is an important day for both the Hindus and the Jains. It falls during the Shukla Pakshya Tritiya in the Baisakh month. ‘Akshay’ means ‘that which does not diminish.’ It is believed that whatever good deeds one performs on Akshay Tritiya multiples manifold. Many choose to invest in gold, begin an investment, and start a new venture on Akshay Tritiya. It is also a wonderful day for marriage. Each moment of this day is considered to be ‘shubh’ and fit for any auspicious beginning.

What happened on Akshay Tritiya?

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Performing an Akshay Tritiya pooja is very popular among Hindu households. However, the significance of this day dates back to centuries. This is one day when history seems to blend with mythology and sometimes form a mystifying blur.

Here are a few things that are believed to have happened on Akshay Tritiya:

Beginning of the Treta Yuga: The yuga that followed the Satya Yuga is believed to have begun on this day.

Scripting of the Mahabharata began: It is believed that Ved Vyas and Lord Ganesha started writing the great epic on this day.

The Ganges descended on the earth: The holy river Ganga descended to the earth on this day.

Goddess Annapurna was born: Goddess Annapurna, the goddess of food, was also born on this day. It was also on Akshay Tritiya that Annapurna fed Shiva disguised as a beggar.

Lord Parashuram was born: The sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu was born on this day.

Yudhishthira received the Akshay Patram: Pleased by Yudhishthira’s prayers, Surya or Sun God blessed him with the Akshay Patram that would supply them with an inexhaustible supply of food for the next 12 years.

Sri Krishna and Akshay Tritiya

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Draupadi: Legend has it that once when Sri Krishna visited the Pandavas along with His retinue, the exiled Pandav brothers received Him with all ceremony. However, Draupadi did not come out of her kitchen. Sensing that something was amiss, Sri Krishna entered the kitchen. Inside, a teary-eyed Draupadi showed Him an empty bowl and said that it was all that she had in her kitchen. Sri Krishna, on the other hand, asked His sister, if the bowl was truly empty because there was a single grain of rice stuck to it. Sri Krishna had this single grain and as soon as He did so, the hunger of the entire universe was satiated. This miraculous episode happened on Akshay Tritiya.

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Sudama: Krishna and Sudama were the best of friends during their childhood days. However, with time, the two friends parted ways. Sudama pursued the Vedas and Sri Krishna became the king of Dwarka. One day, when Sudama, then a poor Brahman, saw a peacock feather in his son’s hand, he was reminded of his friend Krishna. His wife suggested that he should visit Dwarka to meet his friend and to ask for financial help. Although reluctant at first, Sudama agreed to his wife’s proposal and started his journey to meet his long-lost friend. He carried with him flattened rice or poha since Krishna loved it as a child. When Krishna met Sudama, He was overjoyed. He extended warm hospitality towards His friend and asked Sudama what he had brought for Him. The poor Brahman was embarrassed to give the king of Dwarka the little poha that he was carrying. However, Krishna liked His friend’s thoughtful gift very much. Sudama could not ask for any monetary help and left for his home. However, Sri Krishna understood and blessed Sudama with riches. When Sudama reached home, he found that his humble hut had been replaced by a palatial building overnight! This happened on Akshay Tritiya.

Celebration of Akshay Tritiya in Vrindavan

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Chandan Yatra

On Akshay Tritiya, the idols in Vrindavan temples are smeared with sandalwood from head to toe. This is known as Chandan Yatra. Sandalwood is applied to offer the gods some relief from the rising temperature.

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Darshan of Bihariji’s feet

It is on Akshay Tritiya that devotees get a darshan of Bihariji’s feet. This is the only time during the whole year when that is possible. Devotees flock to Vrindavan on Akshay Tritiya for this auspicious sight.

Krishna Bhumi is just 10 minutes away from the Banke Bihari temple. When you become a member of Krishna Bhumi Holydays, you can stay in your home in Krishna Bhumi and immerse yourself in the glory of this holy land.

Radhe Radhe!