SITUATE along the Yamuna, Brindavan (“Forest of Fragrant Basil”) is an important pilgrim centre for devout Hindus who believe that the young Krishna once lived here as a humble cowherd and romanced the beautiful milkmaid Radha. Their love is widely celebrated in dance, art and literature. Brindavan’s numerous temples, ashrams and ghats were mainly built by Hindu kings and rich merchants. Many Hindu widows, clad in white with their heads shaven, live in ashrams here, devoting their lives to the worship of Krishna. At the edge of the town is the historic Govindeohe Temple built in 1590 by Raja Man Singh I of Amber. Across is the 19th-century Sri Ranganathhe Temple with a gold-plated ritual pillar and an interesting museum of temple treasures.
Amidst the narrow streets of the old town are the sacred walled groves of Seva Kunj, associated with the traditional Raslila dance which narrates the life of Krishna. Other notable temples in Brindavan include the red sandstone Madan Mohan Temple, built in 1580, which stands on a hill next to the river, the popular Banke Biharl Temple, near the main bazaar, and the 16th-century Jugal Kishore Temple. The ISKCON Temple, on the outskirts of the town, is a more recent addition to Brindavan.