Bankey Bihari Temple is the prime attraction and the highly revered shrine of Vrindavan. In Uttar Pradesh, Vrindavan is a small town that is celebrated for this holy shrine of Lord Krishna. Banke Bihari Mandir is the popular temple amongst the Vaishnavites of India. The present temple was built by Swami Haridas in 1864. Here, Lord Krishna is observed in his phase of childhood. The services offered to the Lord are made in such style, as if, nurturing a small child.
In the phrase Bankey Bihari, the term 'Bankey' suggests 'bent at three
places' and 'Bihari refers 'the Supreme enjoyer'. Thus, Bankey Bihari is
the benefactor of bliss and pleasure. Lord Bankey Bihari is also known
Thakurji, the owner of everything. The black wooden idol of Bankey
Bihariji was brought in this temple from Nidhivan by Swami Haridas. The
services made to deity is regarded as the 'sewa' of the deity. At that
time, Swami Haridas tendered the 'sewa' of Bihariji to Goswami
Ever since, the 'sewa' of Bihariji is performed by the descendants of
Goswami. Unlike other temples of the Hindus, this temple doesn't observe
the 'Mangal Aarti' that is a kind of wishing good morning to the Lord
because the child sleeps till late in the morning. Bihariji is
worshipped in a different way, classifying the services into three
parts, Shringar, Rajbhog and Shayan respectively. During Shringar, the
lord is bathed, dressed and decorated with jewelry.
In the forenoon, Thakurji is offered Rajbhog, which is a feast including
the best delicacies to satisfy the taste buds of the child. The third
sewa is known as 'Shayan' and in this service; Bankey Bihari is made to
sleep. This temple opens late in the morning because it is considered
that the lord plays at night and gets up late. The divine aura of the
shrine makes one to forget all his/her miseries and bestows the eternal
Another attraction of this temple is that the deity is clothed and
offered food as per the season and occasion. During the months of
'Saawan' (monsoons), the temple is decorated with flowers and lights.
This decoration of temple is called as 'Bangla' that suggests bungalow
of the Lord. The temple doesn't comprise any bell or conch because the
sound disturbs Bihariji.
The temple has many features that are unique in their own way. Bankey
Bihari has a kind of magnetic appeal in his eyes and to prevent the
attraction, a curtain is made after every 1 minute. The charisma of the
Lord is really strong and it is believed that, if one stares into the
eyes the God for a long time, the individual would lose his
The only thing that is common throughout the temple is the chant of
'radhe radhe'. The Lord loves the name of 'Radha' that is why the shrine
is always reverberated with the chant. The structure of the temple is
imbibed from the Rajasthani style of architecture. Even after 150 years,
the temple has not lost its charm. In fact, thousands of devotees come
to visit this temple everyday.
The festival of 'Janmashtami' (Birthday of Lord Krishna) is celebrated
here with full gusto and fervor. The whole temple is festooned with
flowers and lights. For the day, the 'darshan' of the deity is not
allowed as the Lord is said to be in the womb of her mother. The
'darshan' is allowed only when the clock strikes 12 in the night. During
months of Sawan and Phagun, the altar of the Lord is brought out of the
main shrine, so that devotees can get the 'darshan' of Bihariji.
Even in the month of Phagun, the temple observes much celebration. On
Holi, Bankey Bihari is supposed to play Holi and the whole town of
Vrindavan gets submerged in colors. Bankey Bihari Temple is also one of
the richest temples of India. People donate huge amounts of money and
gifts for the services of the Lord. Bankey Bihari is truly the epitome
of devotion, dedication and is a 'must-visit'.