Vrindavan, also known as The City of Temples, is a major Hindu pilgrimage site among the many north Indian pilgrimage places. Around 15 km from Mathura, it is on the banks of the river Yamuna. Being one of the holy pilgrimage sites in India, it draws about 5 lakhs pilgrims every year, as it is famous for its temples of both old and modern architecture. It is a small town linked with the innocent mirth and child like playfulness of Shri Krishna. Temples, big and small are there in every nook and corner of the town. It is one of the holy places of worship in India for Krishna devotees.
Vrindavan is 135 km south of Delhi and 55 km north of Agra, off the Delhi-Agra Road. A 12 km or a 25-minute auto-rickshaw ride, from Mathura will take you to Vrindavan. It is a small town with narrow streets and fresh atmosphere as there is not much motor traffic. There are said to be over 5000 temples in Vrindavan.
Vrindavan is located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh around 151 km south of Delhi. Being just 10 km off Mathura, it is the place where Lord Krishna is said to have spent his childhood. The river Yamuna, flows through Vrindavan and Mathura and was linked to Lord Krishna's pastimes. Bathing in the Yamuna, is said to purify all sinful reactions and attain love of Godhead.
The name 'Vrindavan' was derived from the word 'Vrinda' another name for the sacred tulsi (basil) plant. According to a myth the entire place was a tulsi grove at one time. Another legendary tradition suggests that it was named after Vrinda Devi, who was one of Krishna's playmates. The earliest known shrine in Vrindavan is said to have been built by the local gosains in a large garden called Nidhiba, later known as Seva Kunj. Another tell tale is that Emperor Akbar was blindfolded and taken inside the grove where he had some kind of a spiritual experience. As a result, he considered the place to be holy.
There are four temples that were built in honour of Emperor Akbar's visit to the place. These include Govind Deva, Madan Mohan, Gopinath, and Jugal Kishore. Built in red sandstone, the first is a huge temple of excellent architecture and is one of the finest in North India.
Apart from its history, Vrindavan, in India is always alive in the imagination of people with its rich legend and mythology. Vrindavan is considered the place where Lord Krishna spent his early childhood. It was here; Krishna indulged in adolescent pranks with the gopis (milkmaids) in the forests and stealing their clothes while they bathed in the river.