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A short family trip to Mayapur, the birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Have you visited Mayapur, the birthplace of Chaitanyadev, the father-figure of the First Bengali renaissance? If not, during your next Kolkata trip, go to this beautiful place. The author has provided the details in this article. Read to know.

In the summer of 2012, while visiting Kolkata, my wife and myself decided to visit Mayapur. Mayapur is the birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the harbinger of the first Bengal renaissance. This place was brought into limelight by Shri Prabhupad AC Bhaktivedanata Swami, who also founded ISKCON. It is located at a distance of 132 kilometer from Kolkata in the district of Nadia.

The next morning, we (my wife, my daughter and myself) started quite early. We planned to take a train to Krishnanagar, and from Krishnanagar, we planned to go to Mayapur crossing the Jalangi river. We took Krishnanagar Local and within three hours reached Krishnanagar, the district headquarter of Nadia district. From Krishnanagar railway station, we took an auto-rickshaw, reached the ferry-ghat, crossed Jalangi river and very soon reached Mayapur.

Reaching the ISKCON Chandrodaya Temple Complex, we checked in at the Gada Bhavan and enjoyed a very lavish vegetarian lunch at a surprisingly low price. Thereafter, we enjoyed the general religious ambiance of the Temple Complex, witnessed the '''sandhya-arati'' (evening worship) and came out of the complex. On that evening and next day, we visited the Ballal Dhipi (mound) [a historical place of the time of Sen dynasty), the tomb of Chand Kazi (who used to harass Shri Chaitanya but later became his disciple), Yoga Peeth. We visited Sri Chaitanya Math which was founded by the Acharya of the Gaudiya Math named Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja. The Math is dedicated to Shri Radha Govinda and has four altars dedicated to the Vaishnava acharyas namely Sri Nimbarka, Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Ramanujacarya and Sri Visnuswami. Sri Devananda Gaudiya Math is another important religious place of Mayapur. It is located at Champahatti earlier known as Koladvipa. It was established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja. It is the home to Lord Gaura and Gadadhara.

We also went to Ghurni, a place at the outskirt of Krishnanagar city internationally famous for clay potteries, and purchased some clay items.

The next morning, we witnessed the morning arati, visited the gaushala maintained by the ISKCON Temple management committee, had an enjoyable breakfast and came to Krishnanagar station. We took another train and returned to Kolkata after rejuvenating ourselves at Mayapur.

A note for the visitors

Mayapur can be reached from Kolkata by road and by train. If the visitor takes the train from Howrah station, he has to get down at Nabadwip and from Nabadwip, he can go to Mayapur by bus or by crossing the Ganga. From Sealdah station, the traveler will have to go to Krishnanagar, and from Krishnanagar he can go to Mayapur by bus or by crossing Jalangi river. The visitors can also avail ISKCON-run bus in the morning from Kolkata to Mayapur.

In Mayapur, excellent accommodations of different categories (which are budget-friendly also) are available at the ISKCON Bhavans (there are four Bhavans, Sankha Bhavan, Chakra Bhavan, Padma Bhavan and Gada Bhavan) within the Temple complex. High-quality, hygienic, low-cost vegetarian foods are available in the Temple all the time. The different 'aratis' in the Chandrodaya Temple are simply great and beyond description.

From Mayapur, the tourists can also visit Krishnanagar (a historical place), neighbouring Nabadwip (a centre of Bengali Vaishnavs) and Bethuadahari Forest.

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