Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th September 2009, 17:59   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love

This log is about my trip to Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra in Uttar Pradesh. Visiting the most famous icon Taj Mahal was my biggest dream. So a plan was executed to do a two day trip to Agra via Mathura. The theme was love.

No. of days 2
Kilometers - 575Km
Car - Ford Fiesta Diesel (on hire).
Delhi - Vrindavan - Mathura - Agra - Delhi
September 11, 2009 and September 12, 2009


A teaser
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-taj-mahal.jpg

As a continuation of my monthly visits to one destination in India, this happened to be the 7th destination this year, immediately before my eigth, which was Leh.

The other travelogues can be read here.

The eighth destination Leh log update is already going on here.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...humbleh-d.html (HumbLeh’d)
Since it seems that the log is "taken over" and the tones changed, I took off some time to write this log. On date, another 13 more days have to be updated as seen through my eyes, but..

The Goa, Mangalore logs can be found here
Team-BHP - The Definitive Indian Car Community (Goa, Yaana, Jog, Murdeshwar, Maravanthe ...3000Km in 8 days)

The Munnar Kodai logs can be found here
Team-BHP - The Definitive Indian Car Community (Kodaikanal - Theni - Bodinayakkanur - Munnar)

The Coorg Travelogue can be read here.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...y-coorged.html

Last edited by laluks : 30th September 2009 at 18:02.
laluks is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2009, 18:28   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

My visits to Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra was mainly due to the history, hence I would be talking only about the historical importance. But with all due respects Mathura and Vrindavan are places of immense religious importance.

My car was a Ford Fiesta Duratorq on hire. It had already done 2 Lakh Kilometers before the trip. The handling of the car and interior comfort was excellent. I am fan of Fiesta already. I wanted to state this in my log as a token of appreciation to the driver and the car.

Annoyances in UP near these historical monuments were.

1) Every where the guides just surround you and getting away from them is quite a pain. But it is always possible with a firm and assertive NO than a brawl.
2) In my country for the first time I had to prove that I am a Resident Indian.. Here the categories are Indian, NRI and Foriegner, with ofcourse Indians paying paltry sums like Rs20 to enter monuments and other categories Rs750 ish.

Last edited by laluks : 30th September 2009 at 18:35.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2009, 18:55   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 180
Thanked: 68 Times
Default

Ah, sounds like this will be an interesting log. Will you also include Fatehpur Sikri? Haven't seen Mathura and Vrindavan and these places are on my pending hit list. Along with history, it would be nice if you could also talk about your experiences.
gostel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2009, 19:01   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gostel View Post
Ah, sounds like this will be an interesting log. Will you also include Fatehpur Sikri? Haven't seen Mathura and Vrindavan and these places are on my pending hit list. Along with history, it would be nice if you could also talk about your experiences.
Sure Gostel.

Fatehpur Sikhri is also included, though I had to rush to get back to Delhi that evening.
At Mathura temple, there was a restriction in photography. So I'll try my best to explain :(

Last edited by laluks : 30th September 2009 at 19:03.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2009, 19:14   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
khan_sultan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,663
Thanked: 3,186 Times
Default

So, do we see a picture of laluks at the Taj Mahal holding it with his finger tips :-)

Taj Mahal is something that one can never forget and one is just left spellbound by it's beauty. I would have visited it 'n' times and each time it feels like seeing it for the first time. I remember spending a moon lit evening there in the late 80's and in absence of tourists it looks even more beautiful.

However, in summers it can be a REAL pain to walk around in the Taj and other monuments.

Look forward to rest of the story.
khan_sultan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2009, 19:26   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
So, do we see a picture of laluks at the Taj Mahal holding it with his finger tips :-)

Taj Mahal is something that one can never forget and one is just left spellbound by it's beauty. I would have visited it 'n' times and each time it feels like seeing it for the first time. I remember spending a moon lit evening there in the late 80's and in absence of tourists it looks even more beautiful.

However, in summers it can be a REAL pain to walk around in the Taj and other monuments.

Look forward to rest of the story.
Unfortunately No. It was just me on this trip and hence I could not get myself photographed

I reached there early in the morning. Infact I was the first one to get inside the monument from the east gate. But by then from the west gate a lot of tourists have already entered and destroyed my dream of getting the monument photographed without people. Next time I'll sneak in the previous day and sleep over

The previous week, September 4th was a full moon. I missed it.

This time it just rained the previous three days and the weather was quite pleasant.
laluks is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2009, 21:14   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Day 01, September 11th 2009.
Delhi - Vrindavan - Mathura - Agra. (270kms)


I wanted to leave as early as 6AM along with my brother in law in his car. But that was not to be, my sisters kid was not well, and plans had to be changed. Crossing Delhi before traffic, lunch stop, etc. all went for a toss. You can make and have plans, insisting on it at all costs is immaturity. I have found that in my later trip, how it spoilt the days

But by 10.00Am things were pretty much under control. My brother in law knew my desire to watch the Taj, and my lack of time this year. He decided to stay back and got me his favourite cab and driver. I rolled out to Agra by 10.30AM on a Fiesta with a knowledgeable driver.

It was almost ages before I crossed Faridabad. After that roads were pretty free and we could do good speeds. This is the NH2. At certain places it was patchy, but manageable. Since the car was a yellow board, there was a toll of Rs 480/- to enter UP.

Some views from the NH2
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-dscn0025.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-dscn0026.jpg
Somebody wants to build another Taj. May be he becomes famous later on.
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-dscn0028.jpg

Mathura is roughly 150 Km from Delhi, and Vrindavan around 8Km before Mathura.

I reached Vrindavan ISKON (Krishna Balaram temple Complex) temple at 15:00PM.
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-dscn0036.jpg

I wanted to get in and have a feel of it. But it was not to be. Seeing the car there was already 5 or 6 guys including some priests in saffron clothes crowding near the windows fighting with each other who will take me inside the complex. I was shocked and asked my driver to move the car forward. That was my first impression about the place. Too bad. I was switched off.

The road further was a big mess with lots of trenches and irrate traffic. I finally decided to call Vrindavan off and got back to NH and continued to Mathura. At Mathura I saw another road going towards Vrindavan and went in that. In that road I could find Krishna temple and Gita temple. I searched in vain for the Vrindavan forests. I could not find any, so bad. Also the place is quite unclean.

I stopped in front of the Krishna temple in Vrindavan to click some pictures. Seems like a modern temple. There is a cave passage where there are tableaux depicting scenes from Krishnas life.

Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0001.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0003.jpg

And further drove back to Mathura. Before reaching Mathura I saw the Gita Temple. Again stopped to click some pictures and moved on. There is a red pillar in the garden of this temple which has the entire Gita written on it. But since the place was not very welcoming I just moved on.

Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0010.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0011.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0015.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0018.jpg

Reached Mathura by 16:15PM. Went directly to the Kesava Devo temple.

Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0021.jpg

Cameras are not allowed inside. Inside the temple one could see the prison where Krishnas parents were imprisoned and also the slab of rock on which Krishna was born. Prayed for the well being of my sisters kid, and later in the evening I was told that he was alright.

Behind this temple is the Katra Masjid - a small one, which was built by Aurangazeb. Thius is heavily guarded to prevent a second Ayodhya.

Elephant and cattle around the temple.
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0020.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0023.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0025.jpg

After this i visited the Potara kund, where baby Krishnas clothes were washed.

Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0026.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0028.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0030.jpg

While I was returning back by 17:00PM, I saw a procession from the temple to the streets. Waited there and clicked some photographs.

Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0043.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0050.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0051.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0052.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0056.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0057.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0060.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0062.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0065.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0066.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0067.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0068.jpg
Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra - A quick visit to the cities of love-img_0069.jpg

Left by 17:30 to reach the hotel in Agra by 18:45. The hotel booked was Taj Plaza - a no frills hotel through clear trip. The room was a deluxe double AC, which costs around Rs1500, which clear trip gave for Rs900/- This hotel is right next to the Oberoi Amar Vilas, and from the roof top restaurant you can see the Taj. I was indeed lucky to have been upgraded to one of the few rooms which had a Taj View. Had a good dinner and retired looking at the Taj far away.

This hotel is on the east side of the Taj, and is one of the least crowded places. Also East gate has the least queue to enter the Taj. West is horrible as all people from Agra fort enters through here. Its a good hotel for its price.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2009, 21:47   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

According to Lonely Planet, Braj Bhoomi - The land of eternal love and the name Mathura existed only in Hindu consciousness until it was discovered physically in 16th century in and around Mathura.

It was once a Buddhist centre, which ws levelled by Mahmud of Ghazni. Later in the 16th century Aurangazeb flattened Kesava Devo temple and built a mosque.

Mathura will be thronged by pilgrims during Janmashtami (Krishna's birthday). This year it was on August 14th.

Vrindavan is famous for its ISKON connection and Hare Krishna community.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2009, 23:52   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
ampere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15,605
Thanked: 8,600 Times
Default

Nostalgic ! Reminds me of my times in these places. Accept for Taj, I did not see any other snap? Did you go to any other place in Agra?
ampere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2009, 07:01   #10
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nostalgic ! Reminds me of my times in these places. Accept for Taj, I did not see any other snap? Did you go to any other place in Agra?
Taj was a teaser picture. I had been to many monuments in Agra.
The day 2 account will talk about Agra. I'll update the same by evening.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2009, 07:32   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Day 02, September 12th, 2009
Agra - Fatehpur Sikhri - Delhi
Taj Mahal - Taj Nature Walk - Agra Fort - Mehtab Bagh - Itimad-UD-Daulah - Akbar's Mausoleum (Sikhandra Fort) - Fatehpur Sikhri.


The Hotel TAJ plaza is on the east side of TAJ. Again this was booked with some purpose. The eastern gate normally sees fewer queues to enter TAJ. It is just 600M from the TAJ east gate. The TAJ is visible from its roof top restaurant and a few rooms. So while relaxing in the restaurant you could see the TAJ, in the last quarter of the remaining moon.

Some views from the restaurant.
Name:  IMG_0071.JPG
Views: 7358
Size:  22.7 KB
Name:  IMG_0076.JPG
Views: 7533
Size:  19.0 KB

Taj also has two other gates the south and west. South gate is the main gate and easiest to reach from Taj Ganj. West gate is crowded since people visiting Agra fort enters from this gate. Some items like ipod, mobile, food items etc are not allowed inside the monument. They have a locker - so nothing to worry. You can leave them there.

I got up before the sun rises and went to the TAJ. TAJ gates open at 6:00AM. Tickets to the Taj has to be taken from the parking lot which is near the hotel. After taking tickets its a 10 minutes walk to the east gate. You can either walk down, take a cycle rikshaw, or a horse cart. I was in the Taj for nearly 4 hours from 6:00Am to 10:00 AM. Crowd would be there, but less. After 09:30, once the Taj express train arrives from Delhi, you have to press the escape button. It becomes too crowded. Please note on Fridays the Taj is closed.

Continued.

Last edited by laluks : 1st October 2009 at 07:33.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2009, 07:41   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Hey Lalu, very descriptive account of Mathura. Even though I have stayed in Delhi for quite a long time, never visited Mathura. I'm now inspired to do so in the next visit.

Btw while in Agra, did you try the chat in the Mall Road?
Hey AB, thanks.
I was on a tight schedule and could not find any time to hang around for food. 5 star and Munch was the saving grace.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2009, 07:48   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
MileCruncher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,992
Thanked: 356 Times
Default

Hey Lalu, very descriptive account of Mathura. Even though I have stayed in Delhi for quite a long time, never visited Mathura. I'm now inspired to do so in the next visit.

Btw while in Agra, did you try the chat in the Mall Road?
MileCruncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2009, 08:30   #14
BHPian
 
avasekeh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangs
Posts: 57
Thanked: 7 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post

Somebody wants to build another Taj. May be he becomes famous later on.
Attachment 200133
Nice pics Laluji. Would be even better if you put some small note on top of each pic to say what it depicts/shows. Actually, if you wanted to see places in mathura/vrindavan, i could have told you umpteen number of temples
avasekeh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2009, 10:19   #15
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avasekeh View Post
Nice pics Laluji. Would be even better if you put some small note on top of each pic to say what it depicts/shows. Actually, if you wanted to see places in mathura/vrindavan, i could have told you umpteen number of temples
I have tried to keep the pictures after the description, hence the pictures below will be understood.

Lonely planet was my guide and had a mention to many temples. But as I mentioned the crowd and the guides ruined my patience and I fled the scene mostly. I know it was unfortunate.

How about we going together once ?
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Delhi - Mathura - Agra - Jaipur - Ajmer - Delhi : Route Queries ranjitp1 Route / Travel Queries 23 22nd December 2016 13:21
BHPians at VTV (Vrindavan Tech VIllage) on ORR - Bangalore Vik0728 The Team-BHP Meet Section 4 12th December 2011 10:19
Historical and Religious Trip (Delhi, Agra, Mathuya, Vrindavan) buntydey Travelogues 13 3rd December 2010 20:51
Gurgaon - Baanke Bihari - Mathura - Agra - Gurgaon gd1418 Travelogues 14 12th February 2009 19:07
Vrindavan land of lord krishna yogesh sarkar Travelogues 2 17th October 2006 14:37


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:34.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks