Sri Gokulam Goshala is a unique Goshala near the town of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. Built to protect Cows, Sri Gokulam Goshala lies inside the Premises of Vittal Rukmini Samsthan. What is unique here is that the Cows are from Brindavan, Dwarka and Govardhan. Hence these cows are the descendants of the Cows grazed by Lord Krishna himself!
Reaching Sri Gokulam, GovindapuramSri Gokulam is located at Dakshina Pandaripuram in Govindapuram near Kumbakonam. The nearest railway station is Kumbakonam, 6 Kms away. Kumbakonam is well connected by train to Chennai and Bangalore. The contact number for the Temple is Ph: +91-93451 54953.
As Kumbakonam is just 6 Kms away that can be the base for a trip to Govindapuram. There are several hotels and guest houses in Kumbakonam near the city centre. We had stayed in Hotel Raya which has clean rooms and can be contacted at 04352423270.
Sri Gokulam Goshala was established in 2007 when a set of 30 Cows were brought in to Govindapuram from Dwaraka. Today there are more than 700 cows. The cows trace their origins to Dwarka, Brindavan and Govardhan. They are provided with food, water, shelter, electricity and medical facilities. I was amazed to see each Cow had a dedicated Fan on top of the shelter for cooling!
The cowherds are all from Braj Bhumi, modern day Uttar Pradesh. It was funny to look at their stares when we spoke to them in Tamil. Here were a group of men in interior Tamilnadu who had come all the way from North India and knew only Braj Bhasha! Their love and affection for the animals was clearly evident and cows are really lucky to have them.
We came to know that it costs Rs 7000 per day to take care of the needs of all the cows and Rs 11000 to safely transport a Cow from Brindavan. Patrons are encouraged to donate towards their upkeep on any occasion like birthdays, wedding anniversaries or anniversaries of forefathers. You can even adopt a Cow for an entire year.
The machine used for cutting Hay for the Cows.
Gosamrakshanam or the protection of Cows, is supposed to ensure mankind’s prosperity, peace and harmony.
The temple of Vittal and Rukmini is a replica of the famed Vittala temple at Pandaripur in Maharashtra. It was established in 1998 by Brahmashri Vittaldas Jayakrishna Deekshitar. The purpose was to promote bhakti cult through namasankeerthanam, which is popularly considered as the ideal route to salvation in the modern age.
The sanctum sanctorum has Vittala with his hands on his hips just like in Pandaripur. However, instead of standing on the legendary brick, Vittala here is on 100 crore “Nama patras” sent by devotees. The Kumbabhisekam is planned for July15th, 2011. A 132 feet Gopuram is also under anvil. The Gopuram will be covered by a 18 feet tall Kalash. Once completed, it will be the tallest Vittal-Rukmini temple of the world.
Visit Govindapuram Goshala during Janmashtami Aug28th- Sep5th. Each day is celebrated with a different flavour of Lord Krishna. You can even take part in the exciting Uriyadi festival. Pots full of turmeric water are hung high on wooden frame decorated with balloons and flowers. You need to break it with a stick. The successful strike will leave you drenched in turmeric water! Other treats in the offing are Vana Bhojan and Bhajans for Sri Vittaldas Maharaj.
For experiential tours in India that will stimulate all the 5 senses, visit 5 Senses Tours where you can experience India on a motorcycle or a private car. The typical experience is about immersing with local culture, living in a home stay, and experiencing local cuisine.
For a travelogue on Melkote Temple where Sr Ramanuja Acharya went to Delhi and retrieve the Idol from daughter of Sultan of Delhi, visit Melkote.