We are losing the natural beauty of Braja and the Govardhan parikrama experience

31 05 2010

Jai Nitai!

We are all more or less aware of the destruction and insanity that it currently taking place in Brindavan in the name of “development.” Instead of trying to maintain the spiritual and cultural heritage which is the real wealth of India,  the current government is instead simply  interested  in quick money by  exploiting  India’s sacred areas and resources in their rush to fatten their purses and attain  first-world status which they  will never achieve by such careless and destructive behavior.

Jagat Ji informed me yesterday that on the 29th of May bulldozers were sent to Anyour, which is a small village  about four  kilometres south of the town of Govardhan on the parikrama marg and asked if I could get some photos. Grateful for the opportunity to do some seva I packed my camera, jumped on my bicycle, and wondered what I was going to encounter. Before actually arriving in Anyour I saw some buildings destroyed. I was a little confused because what they tore down with the bulldozers didn’t seem to follow any pattern. It looked random to me…as if they just picked and chose whatever they felt like destroying as they went.

The Government wants to install stone walkways on both sides of the marg and from what I have gathered,  anything within 21 meters of the center of the road will be cleared out so the road can be widened and the stone pathways can be installed. It appears that soon you will no longer be able to walk on the natural surface of the sandy ground when doing parikrama. Let’s all hope and pray that they leave the inner margs untouched.

So far the damage from the bulldozers is somewhat minimal, but that is soon about to change. There are literally hundreds of trees that have  the  red and white stripes painted on them which I was told by some managers of Brij Vasundhara luxury cottages means that they are to be cut down. I spoke with one man and his son who lost their entire house which included a puja room for a large Govardhan sila they worshiped. The  walls and ceiling of the puja room were smashed and collapsing. Giriraj was covered in dust and surrounded by broken chips of bricks and cement. The man was squatting on a little section of the roof of his house that was still standing with his chin in his hands contemplating what he should do.  I saw several Shiva-linga shrines, a mandir of Durga Ma, and many other sacred places that will soon be crushed by the bulldozers.

Yesterday they began pouring concrete on parikrama marg from the road leading to the south side of Manasi Ganga heading towards town. The road that runs along with the parikrama marg will all be widened and covered with concrete and both sides of the marg will have those three-sided interlocking stones covering the natural dirt pathways we all so much enjoyed traversing.  Nearly the entire road from Govardhan to Radhakund has been chopped up in preparation for the concrete that will eventually (probably soon)   be  poured and like everywhere else I saw, they are preparing for the stone walking paths to be laid.

I will post some photos that will give an idea what is happening on the parikrama  marg  now from beyond the town of Govardhan up to the area of Govinda Kunda. I hope to return tomorrow when the bulldozers are scheduled to come back and take more photos.


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6 responses

1 06 2010
Visakha Dasi

I think I speak for most videshis when I say I like Vrindavan just the way it is, with its thousands of funky little Shrines to Hanumanji and Mahadev and Devi at every corner, the abnormally arranged housing and buildings. And I especially love the way the extremely narrow roads bring traffic to a near standstill. Driving fast is a good way for someone to get hurt. Gopal Ma, whom I blogged about recently, was hit by a car while doing parikrama several years ago and was bedridden for 3-4 months.

Many of the trees that will be cut down are centuries old. You cannot just cut them down and “replace” them with new ones. That is like killing an elderly, advanced and merciful sadhu and “replacing” him with a green teenaged brahmachari. It will take years and years and years for new trees to grow tall enough to provide shade and shelter for others. Meanwhile, Goverdhan becomes more and more like a desert.

My heart goes out to the Brajabasis who lost their homes. The legality of those structures aside, who ever told the trees not to grow where they grew? I firmly believe nobody has the power to kill a wish-fulfilling tree of Vraja without its permission. We only offend them and lose their kripa. In our ignorance, we lose the opportunity to take shelter of them.

Jai Radhe!
Jai Ma Paurnamasi!
Jai Vrindavan Dham!

3 06 2010
Kanishka Mehta

This is heinous; No one has any right to do this; We need to join hands to oppose this; Time is very short, we need to do this quickly;

28 07 2010
vishad

jai shri krishna
jai shri vallabh
Some day they will pay for this….these politicians are stupid people….they will fill der pockets…n not think of anything else……

2 08 2010
Visakha Dasi

The ancient architecture and natural beauty is what would be most attractive to tourists from around the world. The mad rush to pave over everything is not going to improve business. In the end, nobody wins. :(

28 08 2010
The Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance » Blog Archive » Losing the Govardhan Parikrama Experience

[…] We are losing the natural beauty of Braja and the Govardhan Parikrama experience. From Sakhi Charan Dasji’s Living in Radha Kund blog. More pictures can be found there. We are all more or less aware of the destruction and insanity that it currently taking place in Brindavan in the name of “development.” Instead of trying to maintain the spiritual and cultural heritage which is the real wealth of India, the current government is instead simply interested in quick money by exploiting India’s sacred areas and resources in their rush to fatten their purses and attain first-world status which they will never achieve by such careless and destructive behavior. […]

1 09 2010
Losing the Govardhan Parikrama Experience

[…] We are losing the natural beauty of Braja and the Govardhan Parikrama experience. From Sakhi Charan Dasji’s Living in Radha Kund blog. More pictures can be found there. We are all more or less aware of the destruction and insanity that it currently taking place in Brindavan in the name of “development.” Instead of trying to maintain the spiritual and cultural heritage which is the real wealth of India, the current government is instead simply interested in quick money by exploiting India’s sacred areas and resources in their rush to fatten their purses and attain first-world status which they will never achieve by such careless and destructive behavior. […]

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