Mathura, 2011.08.11 (DJ): à¤°The succession of holidays over the weekend — Jhulan Purnima, Raksha Bandhan, Sunday, and India’s Independence Day on August 15, was like a three-day cocktail that brought record numbers of visitors to the Braj-Vrindavan area. From Govardhan to Gokul, from Kokilavan to Vrindavan, the roads were jammed with cars and other vehicles trying to make their way to one destination or another. Highways leading in and out of the cities were practically motionless — the trip from Delhi to Vrindavan taking up to seven hours, according to some reports. Hotels, guesthouses and dharm shalas were packed.
Heavy traffic on the NH2 began on Friday evening and continued unabated in both directions through Sunday. On Saturday, the Shani temple in Kokilavan was the first stop from many, special center of attraction from which they made their way to other destinations in Braj Mandal. The biggest crowds were in Vrindavan and Govardhan, but the effects were felt on the roads and byways in Mathura city also. Barsana, Nandagaon and Baldeo were other popular destinations.
Starting on Saturday, cars and buses clogged the Parikrama Marg around Govardhan. Traffic moved at a crawl through the Govardhan highway crossroads for throughout the day on Sunday, from morning to evening. The same situation prevailed on the NH2 from Rajeev Academy in Mathura up to Chattikara Road until about four in the afternoon when things finally started to clear up. An accident on the Chattikara Road leading to Vrindavan seems to have contributed to the difficulties there.
In Mathura, the same situation prevailed at the Sri Krishna Janma Sthan and Bhuteshwar and many other spots in the city. Visitors’ cars were parking anywhere they could find space, often increasing the problems with traffic flow, especially in the vicinity of hotels and other places of lodging. And once people were out of their cars, they joined the crowds of pedestrians flooding the market places, Yamuna ghats and temple precincts.
Apparently all facilities for accommodation were fully booked in Vrindavan, Govardhan and Mathura. Sheetal Regency Hotel owner Amit Jain said that he was fully booked through to August 15 with visitors primarily from Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Another three-day holiday will be coming up this Friday when the long weekend includes Krishna Janmashtami. Even more visitors, if that is possible, this time from an even wider area, are expected for that occasion. This is because the Saturday is the second Saturday of the month, which is a special day of the month at Kokilavan Shani temple.
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