Our first stop enroute to Vrindavan from Mathura is Raman Reti or Raman Van in Old Gokul, a few kms. off and approximately 45 minutes away from Mathura. The first thing that catches our eye here is a deer sanctuary. People flock around to catch a glimpse of the innocent and friendly creatures and the best thing is that these deer’s are quite willing to oblige.
A stones throw from this sanctuary is the Raman Reti compound. True to its name, it is filled with sand (reti) and is reminiscent of the past when Lord Krishna would frequent here along with His brother Balarama and cowherd friends to indulge in leisurely plays (raman). It is also the place where He would meet His love, Radha before leaving for Vrindavan together.
Raman Reti compound
In the precincts is a beautiful Radha Krishna Temple, the environment of which is very much similar to Govind Devji temple of Jaipur but it is much smaller in size and grandeur.
The Beautiful deity of Radha and Krishna in the temple
A group singing devotional hymn to the Lord
Shiva Temple to the left of the picture and the Balarama Temple to the right
The Shivling inside the Shiva temple
Besides the temples, there is a residential area for ascetics and sages. The entire setting has a rural village feel with cottages and trees and the peace this place exuded was remarkable.
People relaxing in the 'Ret (divine sand)' at the Raman Reti compound
Next to it is an Annapurna Bhandar or a Kitchen where food is cooked for the Lord and the tenants.
Right next to Raman Reti is the Rangbihariji temple located in the famous Karshni ashram dedicated to the great saint Gyandasji of the 18th century. However, we had to miss this place due to lack of time.
Shree Udasin Karshini Ashram