Characterized by lofty gopurams or gateways, a tall shikhara or crown and impressive gold plated ornamentations stands Rangaji Temple, one of the finest examples of temple architecture in Vrindavan. Vrindavan is home to as many as 4000 temples and it is very difficult for anyone to cover all of them in a single trip. However when on sight seeing Tours in Vrindavan make sure that you do not miss out on the Rangaji Temple.
History of the Rangaji Temple Vrindavan :
Seth Radha Krishna and Seth Govinda dasa are credited with the construction of this temple. It cost them a whopping sum of 45 lakhs in the nineteenth century. Construction of the temple started in 1845 and took six years for completion.
Description of the Rangaji Temple Vrindavan :
The Rangaji Temple is an admirable amalgamation of different architectural styles. The entrance gate of the temple makes one reminiscent of Rajput architecture, the gopuram is sure to bring to one's mind South Indian style of temple architecture whereas the colonnade has a distinct Italian touch. Consequently apart from those with a religious bent of mind the temple is also well worth a visit by those who are fond admirers of art and architecture. The temple beautifully coalesce different kinds of architecture.
Distinguished as the largest temple in Vrindavan, it has an outer wall that measures 770 feet by 440 feet. There are as many as eight gopurams. Of these, one of them is six storied and totally covered with beautiful carvings.
Before setting your foot into the precincts of the temples through the western gate which is the main gate of the temple, watch the two electronic puppet shows at the entrance. They depict scenes from the two Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. As for the interiors of the temple, they are beautifully decorated. However what will attract your attention the most is the 15 m gold plated pillar in the central enclosure of the temple. This dhwaja stambha is indeed stupendous. Also within the premise of the temple are a nice tank and a lovely garden.
Lord Ranganatha or Rangaji to which the temple is dedicated is depicted here as Lord Vishnu. He is shown in the sheshashayi pose resting on the coils of the divine serpent or the sacred Shesha nag. Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu is also worshipped in this temple.
In the summers, the Rangaji Temple in Uttar Pradesh, India remains open from 6 to 11 in the morning and 4 to 9 at night whereas in the winter season the timings change to remain open from 6 to 12 and 3 to 9. The ambience of the temple is filled all the more with mirth and cheer when the Brahmotsava Festival is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (March-April) and when the dramatic performance of Gajendra Moksha is put up on the full moon day in the month of Asada (June-July). If you can plan a visit at these times of the year, then there can be nothing like it, however if that is not possible at least do ascertain that you visit what is one of the foremost Holy Places in Vrindavan.
Opening - Closing Timings - The temple remains open throughout the year.
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to this temple.
Best Time to Visit - The best time to visit Rangji Mandir is the winter season (October to March).
In March and April, a 10-day annual festival 'Brahmotsav' also called “Rath ka Mela'' is hosted here. During 'Brahmotsav', the idol is taken on a huge chariot in a daily procession, to the sprawling gardens near the Katyayani Mandir. Several devotees from nearby towns and villages arrive here to watch the illuminations, pandals, and arches erected around the temple.
Prem Mandir - The impressive temple in Vrindavan is at a short distance from Rangji Mandir. The sacred shrine is known as the "Temple of God's Love". It is dedicated to Radha Krishna as well as Sita Ram. The majestic marble architecture, pious ambiance, and serene statues make it a place to not miss out on.
How to Reach
Rangji Mandir is located in Vrindavan and can be easily reached by tourists in the town.
By Air: The closest airport is Agra Airport around 42 kilometers. However, those coming from far off parts of the country can reach Agra through Delhi Airport. Delhi offers good connectivity with domestic as well as international flights. From the airport you can take a cab or board a train to Mathura and then proceed to Vrindavan.
By Rail: The closest railway station is in Mathura. It is connected with frequent trains from Delhi and other cities of India. The railway station is 9 km (approx.) and can be reached by a taxi or cab.
By Road: Vrindavan is well-connected with roads from cities all over India. Devotees can reach easily through Yamuna Expressway. Also, frequent buses ply on the route from Delhi and other cities.