India Today




In order to relish India’s sacred geography, one must perhaps try and find joy in folklore before looking for logic. The story of Tansen’s guru, Swami Haridas, is a case in point. Surrounded by devotees in Vrindavan, the poet-musician was once singing a couplet in praise of Radha and Krishna. Impressed by his fervour, the couple is said to have appeared in front of him and granted him a boon. Haridas said he wanted to see them as one. The divine bodies merged to create the black idol of Bankey Bihari.

Rituals at this temple are both odd and endearing. The brilliant eyes of Bankey Bihari, it is believed, can leave his devotees unconsciou­s, so the curtain before him is open and shut intermitte­ntly. You won’t hear temple bells in the morning as priests think it rude to wake up their boyish god with a start.

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