Mathura is an important city in India and it is one of the holiest city in Hinduism. The city is regarded as the birthplace of Lord Krishna and it is one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism. According to Hindu Mythology and sacred books of Hinduism not only Lord Krishna was born here but also he spent his childhood and most of his adulthood. Therefore the entire city of Mathura hosts many temples dedicated to various life events of Lord Krishna. Raman Reti or the Raman Van is one such important place in Mathura where Lord Krishna spent his childhood playing with his cowherd friends. Raman Reti is also important in the life of Lord Krishna because it is the place where he killed many demons and found the love of his life i.e. Goddess Radha. Raman Reti is situated in Old Gokul and is approximately 10Km from the city of Mathura. In this article we would inform our readers the importance of Raman Reti in the life of Lord Krishna and Hinduism, what sites to visit in Raman Reti and nearby places to visit in Mathura.
How to Reach Raman Reti
As mentioned above Raman Reti is 10 Km away from the main city of Mathura and 2 Km from Gokul. It takes approximately 25-30 minutes to reach here from the main city. The roads are well constructed and after crossing Gokul Barrage 10 minutes of further drive is required.
Why to Visit Raman Reti
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The word Raman means to play and Reti means sand. Raman Reti is the place where in his childhood Lord Krishna used to come every day to play with his brother Lord Balram and his cowherd friends. Bhagavata Purana mentions many childhood stories of Lord Krishna like the story of Kaliya Naag. Lord Krishna performed many miracles in his childhood and Raman Reti witnessed most of them therefore the site plays an important role in the life of Lord Krishna.
Another reason why the place is important because during his days spent in Raman Reti Lord Krishna found the love of his life and Goddess Radha. Here he met Radha and the bonding between them grew so strong that as of today it sets an example of true love.
Places to Visit in Raman Reti
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There are many beautiful sites in Raman Reti and all are situated close to each other so a lot of travelling is not required once you reach here. As soon as you reach Raman Reti you would be welcomed by Deer and Bird Sanctuary. One can see many Deer, Swans and Emus eating, playing and taking rest under the tree shades. The whole compound is filled with sand and a small pond lies within it for swans. It depicts the importance of animals in Hinduism.
Famous Shri Udaseen Karshni ashram is situated adjacent to the animal sanctuary and the ashram has a large pool for bathing and recreational purposes. The path between the entrance of Ashram and the pool hosts various sculptures related to Hinduism, Buddhism and life of Lord Krishna. The Karshni Ashram also hosts the Raman Bihariji Temple. The old temple had deteriorated with time and a new temple was constructed and the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha are moved to new temple. Krishna Balrama Temple is another important site to visit in Raman Reti and there is also Radha Krishna Temple and Lord Shiva Temple in the same premises.
There is a small shrine which was established by Saint Gayandas Ji Maharaj and he used to perform prayers and various rituals here. It is also believed that Raman Reti was founded by him. Besides temples, Raman Reti also hosts residential area constructed especially for Sages. The entire area is constructed in a form of village and even houses are in the form of rural hut.
According to locals prior to 1978 the whole area was filled with sand and it hosted various Peepal and Kadamb Trees. Locals also mention that in past Saint Aatmanand Giri visited Raman Reti and Lord Krishna himself appeared in the dream of Saint Aatmananda Giri.
Just 4.5 Km form Raman Reti there is place called Mahavan where famous Muslim Poet Raskhan is buried. Raskhan was born Muslim but his devotion for Lord Krishna was beyond comparison. Entomb of Raskhan is situated in Mahavan and it is also a place to visit while visiting Raman Reti.
Other Places to Visit in Mathura
As mentioned earlier the city of Mathura is full of temples dedicated to Lord Krishna therefore almost in every part of the city there is a religious shrine dedicated to him. There may be more than 100 major temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and from a traveler’s point of view it is difficult to cover them all. Therefore we have classified the important temples of Mathura that one should visit while planning a trip to Mathura.
All the important temples situated in Mathura can be divided into following groups.
Vrindavan Vrindavan is the most important place and it hosts many old and new temples related to Lord Krishna. Major temples situated in Vrindavan includes Prem Mandir, Sri Banke Bihari Temple, ISKON Temple also called Krishna Balaram Mandir, Mata Vaishnov Devi Temple and Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir (Under Construction).
Temples Situated in Gokul Gokul is another important religious place in Mathura as Lord Krishna spent his childhood here. Temples in Gokul are smaller in size and several in number and they are dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Balram. Gokul Barrage is constructed on river Yamuna and there are many ghats from the times of Lord Krishna. An important thing about Gokul is that Non-Veg food is strictly prohibited here.
Temples Situated in Mathura City: Mathura City hosts two important temples associated with Lord Krishna. These temples are Dwarkadheesh Temple and Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi. Both these temples have very high place in Hinduism.
Temples Situated in Govardhan and Govardhan Pilgrimage Govardhan town is situated nearly 25Km from Vrindavan and 30 Km from Gokul. Govardhan is famous for Goverdhan Hill and devotees come here to perform 21km long Parikrama (circumambulation) around the Goverdhan Hill. The end of Parikrama is marked by a close-ended lake called Mansi Ganga. Important place of worship in Goverdhan include Shri Haridev ji Temple, Mukharbind Temple and Radha Kund.