Vrindavan, a religious site in India, is also the home of gods in Hindu mythology. As many people know, the status of Indian women is very low, and women are considered to be the accessories of their husbands. The women whose husbands died young are seen as “the cursed person” and “the person who brings misfortune” in India. They are not accepted by the society, and even they are forced out of their homes by their families and children.
The small town of Vrindavan became their sanctuary and is known as the “city of widows” Due to religion, culture and traditional customs, there are now nearly 10,000 widows living here. For them, this is like a fugitive. Escape to this holy place as a sign that he is willing to serve gods with devotion for life and cut off all contact with his family.
Vrindavan has become a gathering place for widows dating back more than 500 years, but no one can explain why it is so attractive to widows across India. The widows who came here are certainly no lacking devout pilgrims. They only want to devote the remaining years of their lives to Indian God.
Hinduism has made strict restrictions on the widow’s behavior. Despite the social development to this day, ancient customs have undergone a kindly change, no longer forcing women to die for their husbands, but a cruel tradition still remains, that is, widows have to live a simple life.
Widows living in this small town are not easy to live in. They rely almost exclusively on charity and pilgrim’s charity. There are four relief areas there, which also allow some widows to have a place to stay. However, many people have to rely on bankers to pay their rent. The locals are very crude with them and only those who come to pilgrimage are willing to give.
After coming to Vrindavan, these women will be forced to cut hair. This is considered to be a sign of widowhood, and their bracelets that symbolize women’s status will be ruthlessly broken. For the rest of their lives, they can only wear white sand and can’t wear colorful clothes. They can’t remarry and they need pious prayers every day. They can only make the simplest food with the begging grain, and can not use spices, because that will “get their inner desires”.
Maya is 80 years old. In her lifetime, her happiness ended when her husband died, and the curse came at that moment.
Pingla Marti married her 31-year-old man when she was 9 years old. However, after a few years, her husband died. She was forced out of the house by her family.
Atty. Mies was a widow at the age of 18 and she came to Vrindavan that year. Here is her refuge.