The deities of Syamananda Pandita in Vrindavana, Sri Sri Radha Syamasundara, are among my favourite deities in Vraja. This deity is said to be manifested from Srimati Radharanis own heart. Krsna has the most enchanting smile and He is always, always beautifully and opulently adorned.
The last time I was in Vrindavana during Kartik I would make a trip everyday to this temple after the morning program at the Krsna-Balarama mandir ended. Here I would spend an hour or two chanting extra rounds or reading, before heading off to the Radha-Damodara temple just a short walk away.
It's special being there on any ordinary day, but during Kartik, its extra-special. Radha-Shyamasundara, specifically Shyamasundara, is dressed according to His different pastimes - one day He is dressed as a female bangle seller, fully equipped with a basket of sparkly bangles on His head, another day He is dressed as a mendicant devotee of Shiva, with snakes around His neck and arms, and yet another He is disguised as a gopi or demigoddess. There were some days when I wasn't sure what the pastime was exactly (my understanding of Hindi is sketchy at best), but still, it was sweet to have Their darshan.
The devotees have done a great job with the temple website , where you can read about the history of the deities and have Their darshan. Below is a photo of Shyamasundara taken during Candana yatra.
"Dear Lord, when You appear in Your different incarnations, You take different names and forms according to different situations. Lord Krsna is Your name because You are all attractive; You are called Syamasundara because of Your transcendental beauty. Syama means blackish, yet they say that You are more beautiful than thousands of Cupids. Kandarpa-koti-kamaniya. Although You appear in a color which is compared to the blackish cloud, because You are transcendental Absolute, Your beauty is many many times more attractive than the delicate body of Cupid"
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