Morning at birthplace of Radha in Barsana, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Experience The Magic Of Braj At Nidhivan Sarovar Portico In Vrindavan

Room,Building,Interior design,House,Restaurant

Live music, sattvic cuisine, massages, and facials, that’s what a stay at this cosy and colourful hotel in Vrindavan has to offer. While the 68-room hotel is located quite close to the city’s main temples, it is still a haven for the area is not crowded. There’s gym, light, fresh food, strong Wi-Fi, and live music on the weekends during dinner. There’s also a shop selling handicrafts and books in the lobby area. I even saw a meeting room on the same floor as the spa and salon.  I lazed around on the soft bed enjoying the movies on the cable and catching up on work. The view from the window was all green fields. There is a table for work too in the room. The room service is quick, and I did enjoy the cookies and green tea.

Dish,Food,Cuisine,Meal,Ingredient,Brunch,Lunch,Produce,Breakfast,Vegetarian food

Besides the famous Braj cuisine sans onion and garlic, the Chinese here is quite delicious. The breakfast is normally a buffet with a healthy mix of bread, jam, butter, utthapams, dosas, fresh fruits, poori-bhaji, and more. The special Braj Ki Thali is only available for lunch. This is quite a big meal with three veggies, dal, and kheer. You might like to walk around a lot in the morning before digging into this. If you are there on the weekend, then the live music makes dinner a peppy affair. The staff is young and helpful. Should you like to hire a guide, the hotel has tie-ups. Ashu Sharma, who comes from a generation of priests and takes guests on a guided tour, told me that his group has a site ( But a chat with the General Manager Ratnesh will also be helpful in getting to know the city since he’s been living there for three years. What you can’t miss: Kumkumadi facial and a massage of your choice. You don’t come back with just a glow in your soul, but also on your face. Debi from Meghalaya does a good job in making you look radiant. It’s best to take an appointment though. Room rate:  INR 3,800 (in season) inclusive of breakfast and taxes.

Temple,Hawker,Tourism,Indian cuisine

What to see and do: Among the most visited is the Banke Bihari temple in the heart of the city. In this area, you can hog on kachoris, poori bhajis, the famous pedas, lassis, but do keep a lookout for the monkeys, they love sunglasses and gadgets, besides the food.  Prem Mandir is built of pure Italian marble and the showstopper here is the musical and colourful fountain which is alive only around 7 pm. You might like to go a little further to Barsana to enjoy a spectacular sunrise and sunset on the hill where the temple is located. And you can get your hands and feet decked up with mehndi.  Oh, and you can even drive down to Bansivat to see the ages-old Banyan tree. It is said that Krishna sat on this tree and played his flute every evening to call the nine lakh cows that he herded. Perhaps a place where you could go photo crazy is the evening aarti at Kesi Ghat. I even got a chance to interact with Brij Mohan Sharma who makes the clothes for the gods residing in Iskcon. While he began his career as a karigar almost 30 years back, he now employs eight people who work close to 12 hours a day to make those pretty clothes we see Radha and Krishna wearing. His clothes go to the Iskcon temples abroad, including the one in Hungary where he was also invited for a stay. Of course, there’s a lot more you can see such as Nidhivan, Krishna Janma Bhoomi, and do the parikramas at Govardhan and Vrindavan,

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