The BankeyBihari temple located in Vrindavan is amongst the holiest and famous Hindu temples in India. Dedicated to the supreme Lord Krishna, this temple is one of the most visited temples in India. Not only is the temple beautiful and enchanting, the story behind it is quite fascinating as well.Bankeymeans ‘bent in three places’ and Bihari means ‘supreme enjoyer’.
The significance of this Hindu temple lies in the belief that the image of Bihariji placed in the temple was granted to Swami Haridas by the heavenly couple Shyama-Shyam. It is also believed that Lord Krishna accepted the wish of the devotees and appeared there in person with his divine consort, leaving behind a black charming image before disappearing.
Legend has it…
According to the legend, the Hindu temple was initially founded by Swami Haridasji, who was born in 1478AD. He eventually moved to Nidhivan, to practice music and meditation.
One day his disciples entered Kunj, where they were blinded by an intense bright light. Hearing about this, Swami Haridasji went to Kunj and prayed to the lord to appear in front of his disciples. Accepting his request, Lord Krishna appeared along with his wife, Radha.
The beauty of the couple standing together was so enchanting that people present there, forgot to even blink their eyes.Beholding this, Swami Haridasji requested the divine couple to take a single form and also requested them to be always in front of his eyes. Granting him both his wishes, Lord Krishna and Radha turned themselves into one single black wooden idol, the same one that is present in the temple today.
Following the contemporary Rajasthani style of architecture, the new temple befitting the glory of Bihariji was constructed in 1862 AD. It is said that Goswamis themselves mobilised resources to complete the temple.
During JhulanYatra, the swing festival of Lord Krishna, there are a number of silver-plated and some solid silver ornamented swings, which are shown at this time. On the third day of JhulanYatra,ShriBankeyBihari is placed on a golden swing and the curtain is pulled shut and then opened again, every few minutes. It is said that the brilliant eyes of ShriBankeyBihari will make one unconscious if seen for too long a stretch. It is the only Hindu temple where loud bells are not used to wake Krishna in the morning as it might disturb him.
Timings and Religious Practices
The temple is open all days of the week from 7:45 a.m. till noon time, and closes for a short recess and reopens at 5:30 in the evening, and remains open till 9:30 in the night during summers.
During winters, the temple opens from 8:45 a.m. till 1:00 p.m., and closes for a short recess and reopens at 4:30 in the evening, and remains open till 8:30 in the night.
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