Bhog seva means cooking for Krishna and distributing his prasada to everyone.
Banke Bihari temple is among the best known places in Vrindavan, Mathura. Vrindavan is just a 2-hour drive from Delhi, off NH 2 to Agra.
Banke Bihari ji appeared in this deity form for Swami Haridas, a Saraswat Brahmin devotee who performed Raga seva as his sadhna or devotion for Sri Radha Krishna in Nidhivan, Vrindavan. Tansen, Akbar's court musician was Swami Haridas's disciple in classical Indian music.
Silver crafted door to the temple premises of Sri Banke Bihari ji Maharaj
One of the entrance gateways to Sri Banke Bihari temple, Vrindavan
A painting records Akbar's visit to Swami Haridas in Vrindavan
Akbar was so impressed by Tansen's musical caliber that he came to Vrindavan to pay his respects to Tansen's guru, Swami Haridas.
A glimpse of Banke Bihari ji, Vrindavan
A Goswami in the temple premises
Goswamis are traditional priests. Banke Bihari's Goswamis assist visitors with temple worship.
Lamps of devotion
Visitors place there offering of ghee lamps on this stand, far from the milling crowds, but bang opposite Bihariji :-)
A devotee with prasad of candied-butter, Bihari ji's bal bhog which is served in the morning
Raga seva, Sringar seva and Bhog seva are prescribed for sadhna in bhakti, or increasing devotion to Krishna. Swami Haridas performed Raga seva. Temple worship practice has all 3 sevas – Raga, Sringar and Bhog. Raga seva means singing to the Lord. Sringar seva means decorating the Lord and his surroundings. Bhog seva means cooking for Krishna and distributing his prasada to everyone.
Banke Bihari temple courtyard
A busy place :-)
Shops in Bihari ji's courtyard
Girdhari Kanhai paintings
This shop opposite Sri Banke Bihari temple is an art gallery of Kanhai paintings. These paintings are made by a Goswami family, using gold and gems for decoration – Tanjore style.
Shops in entrance lane to Bihari ji's temple
Bihari ji's gali is resplendent with colour…
Flower garlands and ghee lamps
This is Bihari ji's tailor's shop, or one of his tailor's shops :-) The specialty here is dresses made from peacock plumes. Incredibly beautiful!
(Left to Right) Rabri, Malpua, Barfi, Peda, Safed barfi, Ladoo, and more laddoos… sweets for Bihari ji and visitors :-)
Aloo tikki and matar chat sizzling on the large round griddle for a delicious chaat preparation…
Dahi bhalla, khasta-matar, dhokla, samosa, jalebi all ready to be eaten at this popular eatery in Vrindavan's Banke Bihari bazaar.
More on Banke Bihari
More on Vrindavan
Vrindavan location: Map
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Distance to Vrindavan
144 km: Delhi - Faridabad - Palwal - Kosi – Vrindavan (on NH2 that further connects with Agra)
More: Glimpses of Vrindavan and Bhajans from Vrindavan (Braj sahitya)