City of Widows
Location in Uttar Pradesh, India
|• Type||Municipal Corporation|
|• Body||Vrindavan Municipal Council|
|Elevation||170 m (560 ft)|
|• Native||Braj Bhasha dialect|
|Time zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
Vrindavan (pronunciation (help·info); IAST: Vṛndāvana), also spelt Vrindaban and Brindaban, is a historical city in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the most sacred places in Vaishnavism. It is located in the Braj Bhoomi region, and is where, according to Hinduism, Krishna spent most of his childhood days. The city is about 11 km from Mathura, Krishna's birthplace on the Agra–Delhi National Highway as NH-44. The town hosts many temples dedicated to the worship of Radha and Krishna.
The ancient Sanskrit name of the city, वृन्दावन (Vṛndāvana), comes from its groves of vṛndā (Holy basil) and vana (a grove or forest).
Vrindavan is located at citation needed]. It has an average elevation of 170 metres (557 feet).[
As of 2011 Indian Census, Vrindavan had a total population of 63,005, of which 34,769 were males and 28,236 were females. Population within the age group of 0 to 6 years was 7,818. The total number of literates in Vrindavan was 42,917, which constituted 68.11% of the population with male literacy of 73.7% and female literacy of 61.2%. The effective literacy rate of 7+ population of Vrindavan was 77.8%, of which male literacy rate was 83.7% and female literacy rate was 70.3%. The sex ratio is 812 females per 1000 males. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population was 6,294 and 18, respectively. Vrindavan had 11,637 households in 2011.
Vrindavan lies in the cultural region of Braj.
Vrindavan is considered to be a sacred place for Vaisnavism tradition of Hinduism. The other prominent areas surrounding Vrindavan are Govardhana, Gokul, Nandgaon, Barsana, Mathura and Bhandirvan. Along with Vrindavan, all these places are considered to be the center of Radha and Krishna worship. Millions of devotees of Radha Krishna visit Vrindavan and it's nearby areas every year to participate in number of festivals. The common salutation or greetings used in Braj region by its residents is Radhe Radhe which is associated with the Goddess Radha.
Vrindavan has an ancient past, associated with Hindu culture and history, and was established in the 16th and 17th centuries as a result of an explicit treaty between Muslims and Hindu Emperors, and is an important Hindu pilgrimage site since long.
Of the contemporary times, Vallabhacharya, aged eleven visited Vrindavan. Later on, he performed three pilgrimages of India, barefoot giving discourses on Bhagavad Gita at 84 places. These 84 places are known as Pushtimarg Baithak and since then are the places of pilgrimage. Yet, he stayed in Vrindavan for four months each year. Vrindavan thus heavily influenced his formation of Pushtimarg.
The essence of Vrindavan was lost over time until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the year 1515, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, with the purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Krishna's life.
In the last 250 years, the extensive forests of Vrindavan have been subjected to urbanisation, first by local Rajas and in recent decades by apartment developers. The forest cover has been whittled away to only a few remaining spots, and the local wildlife, including peacocks, cows, monkeys and a variety of bird species has been virtually eliminated. Only a few peacocks are left in the city but monkeys and cows can be seen almost everywhere.
Vrindavan, the land of Radharani and the city of temples (mandirs), has more than 1000 or 5000 temples to showcase the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Some of the important pilgrim sites are -
Vrindavan is also known as the "city of widows" due to the large number of widows who move into the town and surrounding area after losing their husbands. There are an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 widows. The widows come from states of west Bengal, Assam and Odisha. Many spend time singing bhajan hymns at bhajanashrams. An organisation called Guild of Service was formed to assist these deprived women and children. According to a survey report prepared by the government, several homes run by the government and different NGOs for widows.
Vrindavan is well connected by roads and is connected to Delhi by National Highway (NH) 44 of the Golden Quadrilateral network. Earlier it was NH 2.
The center of Krishna-worship has been for a long time Brajbhumi, the district of Mathura that embraces also Vrindavana, Govardhana, and Gokula, associated with Krishna from the time immemorial. Many millions of Krishna bhaktas visit these places every year and participate in the numerous festivals that re-enact divine scenes from Krishna's life on Earth, of which were spent in those very placesVrinda means Tulsi (A sacred species of flora) and van as forest, therefore Vrindavan is a holy forest of Tulsi. Vijaypal Baghel, known as GreenMan is promoting, planting and farming Tulsi in mass around the Vrindavan.