Banke Bihari Temple, one of the many temples at Vrindavan
, in Mathura
, Uttar Pradesh
, was founded by the Hindu saint Haridas of the Nimbarka sampradaya, who was a contemporary of the six Gosvamis. Banke means 'bent in three places' and bihari means 'supreme enjoyer.' The idol of Banke Bihari was discovered by him at Nidhivana in the 16th century, where it was originally worshiped and moved here when this temple was constructed in 1864. Earlier, Banke Bihariji was worshiped alone and a small deity of Radharani was added later. The curtain before the Deities is not always left open. Often, the curtain is pulled shut and then opened again.
In the month of Shravana (July-August), a swing festival of Lord Krishna called Jhulan Yatra is held. During this festival, a number of silver-plated and solid silver swings are shown. The main day of Jhulan Yatra is the third day of the waxing moon. At this time, Banke Bihari is placed on a golden swing (hindola).
Once in a year mangala-arati is held in the temple. The lotus feet of the deity can be seen only on one day a year, on Akhyaya Tritiya. The priests of the temple belong to the Nimbarka-sampradaya.
The temple is open for worship from 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 6 pm to 9 pm.