Sri Radha Damodar TempleOne of the oldest holy places in Vrindavan, Sri Radha Damodar temple was built in the year 1524 by Srila Jiva Goswami. Aesthetic in design and impressive architect is very stunning and spiritual in look. People from all across India to see this temple and take blessing of lord Krishna.
Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada, the guru, presented the deities which are placed in this great temple to Srila Jiva Goswami. For sometime, these original deities were removed from this temple and sent to Jaipur to protect them. During Aurangzeb rule, when he was derogatorily destroying all temples in Vrindavan, Srila Jiva Goswami took original deities and placed pratibhu-murti in place. Again in 1739, all deities replaced with original and pratibhu-murti are now placed in Jaipur temple. These pratibhu-murti are slightly smaller in size than original deity.
History of the TempleSome followers feel that the deities of Radhadamodar in the Radhadamodar Temple in Vrindavan are not the original deities of Srila Jiva Goswami. However, this is not a fact. When Aurangzeb invaded Vrindavan and destroyed several temples and idols, the deities were moved to a safe place in Jaipur and kept there under the protection of the Rajput Kings. Like the otehr deities of Gopinatha, Madan Mohan and Givindadeva, the idol of Radhadamodar was too kept in Jaipur. They were later shifted back to Vrindavan and worshipped since. The deieties which temporarily replaced the orginal ones were known as pratibhu murtis and were worshipped by the gooswamis in place of the original ones. It is important to note that the idol of Damordarji in Jaipur is smaller than that in Vrindavan thus confirming that the deity of Vrindavan is currently worshipped in the original one.
Before the disappearance of Sri Jiva in 1596, he left his deities in the care of Sri Krishna Dasa, his successor, the head pujari. The present sevaites are directly coming in line from his descendants.
In this highly spirited temple, there is Govardhan Sila which was provided by Lord Krishna to Srila Sanatan Goswami and he bought this Sila to Vrindavan and placed in this great Sri Radha Damodar temple. Many devotees visit this temple to do parikrama everyday to take blessing. During Kartik season, just the day after Diwali, is celebrated as Annakut Mahotsav in which Giriraj Sila is placed out from the main alter (Garbh Graha) for devotees Darshan.
Inside this temple premise, there are situated the samadhis of various prominent people who contributed exclusively in this temple and Vrindavan and devoted their entire life in services of lord. Srila Jiva Goswami, Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami, Srila Rupa Goswami and Bhugarbha Goswami's samadhis are built here. It also include samadhis the Bhajan Kutir of Srila Rupa Goswami and many others.
In this temple, Lord Krishna is offered bhog five times a day and various seva is performed. Most prominent among them are: Mangla Seva, Dhoop Aarti Baalbhog Seva, Sringar Seva, Raajbhog Seva, Sandhya Dhoop Seva, Sandhya Aarti Seva, Shayan Seva, Abhishek Seva, Poshak Seva, 56 Bhog Seva, Bhool Bangla Seva, Mukut Sringar Seva, Sadhu Vaishnav Seva, Gau (cow) Seva, Hari Naam Sankirtan Seva including others. In Mangla Seva, Makhan-Mishri, Kheersa (in clay pot), Ghee and others are offered, Dhop Aarti Baalbhog Seva in which fruits, Makhan, Mishri, dry fruits, Kheechadi Seva and other sweets are offered. Sringar Seva is performed with offering garlands made of fresh flower of season, decorative ornaments and aarti.
Raajbhog Seva is offered with rice, chapati, sweet rice, daal, ghee for aarti and other delicious food. In Sandhya Dhoop Seva, fruits, Mishri, Makhan, dry fruits, kheechadi seva and other sweets including ghee for aarti is offered. Sandhya aarti Seva is performed with aarti. Shayan Seva is performed by offering Puri Chapati, two types of delicious sabji, halwa, sweets, perfume seva and ghee for aarti. During Abhishek Seva, sevak or main priest bath deities with cow milk, curd, ghee, sugar powder, honey and later this is distributed among devotees as Charnamrit. Poshak Seva is performed by offering regular dress, festival dress and night dress to deities. In Sadhu Vaishnav Seva, services are offered to Sadhu or saints and Bhandara for devotees. Aarti is performed seven times a day throughout the year in this temple.
Many festivals are celebrated with enthusiasm and devotion. Some of them are Kathik, Sharad Purnima, Govardhan Puja, Srila Prabhuapad Tirobhav, Gopaastami, Devotthan Ekadasi, Sri Radharani Charan Darshan, Kartik Maharaas Purnima, Vanjuli Mahadwadasi, Srila Jiva Goswami Tirobhav Mahotsav, Sri Radha Damodar Praakatya Utsav, Acharya Sri Gaurachand Goswami Avirbhao, Holi, Sri Gaur Purnima, Chandan Yatra and many other.
How to Reach Sri Radha Damodar Temple in Vrindavan
It is situated at Loi Bazaar in Vrindavan. From Chatikara, head towards Bhaktivedanta Swami Marg and turn left to Parikrama Marg and there is Sri Radha Damodar. There is easy connectivity through autos, rickshaw and other public transport. Rickshaw fare is Rs 10 which is affordable and convenient.
Address: Sri Radha Damodar Mandir, Vrindavan, UP – 281121
Timings: Mangala Aarti 4.30 am; Summer darshan 6.30 am to 12.30 pm, 5.00 pm to 9.30 pm; Winter darshan 7.30 am to 1.00 pm, 4.15 pm to 8.45 pm