Friday, August 1, 2008

Braj Bhoomi Mohini: Shri Nandgaon The Abode of Eternal Bliss

Nandgram is the village of Shri Nandraiji who dwelt here. Highly revered by Vaishnavas, the place invokes their devotional service. The Bhagavata posits Lord Krishna as the paragon of sweetness and gives him epithets such as ‘madhukarya’ or ‘madhupati’. Loving tenderness, lyrical softness, innocent pranks, beautiful adornments such as the vanamala, serene sensuality, passionate but not lustful all add up to the madhurya of Lord Krishna which defines his love, richly shared with the Braj Gopis. His magic captivates the gopis and the realm of devotees as they long for a glimpse of him, finding some excuse to venture to this land abounding with his love escapades. A sakhi once motivated her friends to head towards Nadgaon for a sight of the Lord.

On entering its lanes, they instantly beheld Shyam Sunder awaiting them beneath a shady tree; the yellow sash dangling from his left shoulder embraced his feet and lay on the earth, with a flute in his hands, a diadem of peacock feathers adorned his head; he had a lopsided smile which revealed a row of gleaming teeth. Mesmerized by his attractive persona, amidst the sound of tinkling anklets the gopis scurried on the scattered pebbles. Let us venture with highly revered Usha Bahenji towards Nandgaon, enchanted by this ethereal longing

Nandgram has been the abode of Shri Nandraiji. His ancestors resided here earlier but for some reason settled in Gokul (Mahavan) when Shri Krishna was incarnated. Shri Nandraiji terrified of the demons’ atrocities came to picturesque Vrindavan situated on Yamunaji’s banks along with his pampered Krishna, cowherds and wealth of cows. But the evil exploits of Kansa’s demonic forces continued unabated and it was but natural to think of inhabiting some safer place. Scared, Yashodaji gathered the senior cowherds discussing the possibilities, greatly concerned about her son’s safety. Nandraiji tried to dispel her doubts, reminding her of Shri Gargacharyaji’s assurance but it was in vain.

Shri Nandraiji
The Vedas and Puranas have unanimously cited Nandgaon as the place where Shri Nandraiji lived. The Rig Veda opines that it is Braj where the cows grazed on its green pastures.Gokul has been focused as the abode of God where cows and animals dwell. Godhan or the wealth of cows was the chief means of existence for Nandraiji and his cowherds. Thus employing the name of his cherished occupation, Shri Nandraiji honoured his residential site with the word Gokul. The abode of Shri Nandraiji, an ideal for all gopas, has been named after him as Nandgram.

The Shrimad Bhagavat refers to Gokul and Braj as the site of Nandraiji’s residence or Shri Nandgaon. In the Harivansh Purana,the gosht (cow-pen) of Shri Nandaraiji has been acclaimed as Braj. Hence Braj, Gokul, Gosht and Nandgram have been mentioned off and on to indicate the place where Shri Nandraiji dwelt.

In the Shrimad Bhagavat, Braj has been distinctly divided into two sections, Vrihadvan and Vrindavan. Bhadravan, Madhuvan, Talvan, Kamodvan etcetera fall within the bounds of Vrihadvan. Shri Giriraj, Vrishbhanupur, Shri Nandgram and other distant sites come under Vrindavan.

Nandgram, the abode of Shri Nandraiji, with its charming sites, dense foliage, lovely kunds and green pastures enrapture everyone. The Aadi Purana describes it as a glimmering settlement at a distance, nestled amidst imposing buildings. The bhavan of Shri Nandraiji perched on a mountain peak, greenery encompassing the lowlands, pristinely clear sarovars shaded by fragrant kadamba trees, creepers embracing tree trunks, and nikunkas on its banks have transformed it into an idyllic landscape for the romantic dalliances of Lord Krishna. The passionate singing of birds, peacocks dancing in ecstasy and the playful swiftness of hares attract us to its environs.

Lord Krishna Playing the Flute in Nandgram
Herds of cows in search of food and hordes of cowherds delightfully prancing around are all eager for a glimpse of their Lord and the play of his flute. The ambience provides a perfect setting for the love of Krishna, where madhurya or sweet love unfolds. This is Nandgram abounding with the spirited antics or baal leelas of the Lord. The playing of his flute predominates, the breath of love, a call to eternity, it attracts the cows and draws the gopis, enchanting his devotees.

Krishna’s life is filled with both dangers and delights. Having killed the demonic forces which continually attack the area, defeating Devraj Indra, now the Lord in Shri Nandraiji’s Bhavan delights his parents, gopas and gopis by his divine play. Shri Krishna’s youthful career was spent in the guise of a cowherd among the simple people in the region of Braj. For grazing cows, the wealth of his small village, he goes to the forest and spreads joy among the gopas with his spirited antics, at times captivating the devoted sakhis with his infinite delight.

Krishna Returning at the Hour of Cowdust
On returning from the forest in the evening at the hour of cowdust, he mischievously provokes the sakhis who are on fire with desire for Krishna. Soon after, embracing them he breaks into the amorous play which is their delight.

An excerpt from the text ‘Braj Vaibhav Ki Apurv Shri Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji’ describes the splendour of Lord Krishna, the focus of the ardour of the gopis, with enthused exultation.
Once a gopika warned the Lord that he seemed like a child but in reality romantically dallied with doe-eyed gopis in the caverns of Shri Goverdhan and it should be reported to his mother. Instantly the Lord pretended to suck his thumb and snuggling in his cradle went off to sleep.

Human and divine at the same time, purifying the world, he is the protector of several religions simultaneously. Kanhaiya now grows up and enters adulthood. Shri Bilav Mangalji Maharaj describes Krishna’s persona which encapsulates the innocence of childhood, striking features of an adult and the vigilance of youth. As of now, at times he thieves butter from neighbouring houses and sometimes creates a furore on the forest path regarding dadhi daan. Once he stopped a sakhi in the isolated forest path, requesting her for butter and curd. As she strived to move on, he held her arm broke her necklace and mussed up her clothes but still she was captivated by his madhurya. Surdasji has beautifully expressed the romantic nuances of Lord Krishna in his compositions.

Krishna Sporting with Sakhas
In the forest he plays several sports with his sakhas thus delighting them. At times he calls out to the cows by their respective names and they scamper towards him, as he wraps his arms around them, showering his love.

And now it is dusk, time to return to the village along wih his cows and gopas merrily prancing along. Sitting in their balconies, the gopis longing for his return after the day long absence indulge in silly charades. The Lord looks adoringly at one, hurls a bunch of flowers at another, going close to some he incites them and the gopis are lost in a world of passion. Back home his mother awaits him with aarti, as she relieves his laborious day, inviting him for the evening meal. More often than not making an excuse he takes his beloved Shri Radha along with sakhis, Vishaka and Lalita and is lost in amorous frolics.

Madhusudan Kund is at the back portion of the village where the idol of Shri Madhusudan is resplendent. A dark-hued stone idol of coquetry and Shri Lalita Kund are close to Shri Yashoda Kund. Near by are Mohan Kund, Dohni Kund, Dugdh Kund and Dadhi Kund. In the front portion of the village is Pavan Sarovar with Shri Yashoda Koop in its centre. The forest of Kadamba Khandi is quite near. Shri Yashoda Dadhi Manthan Sthal (Place where she churned the curd) is in the central part of the village. Close to it is a Maha Rudra idol named Shri Nandishwar. On top of Shri Rudra Mount is Shri Nandraiji’s Temple and Bhavan, where we can sight the idols of Shri Nandraiji, Shri Yashodaji, Shri Krishna and Shri Balramji. Next to it are the twin icons of Shri Yashoda Nandan.

Braj Bhoomi is truly divine and most fortunate because the Lord whose feet Lord Shankar and Laxmiji worship, lives here in the garb of a human. Braj is considered superior to even Vaikuntha because it is here that the lord expresses his love and decked with the vanamala, plays the flute with Balramji, grazes cows and engages in playful dalliances, spreading joy all around.

Shri Nand, Yashoda, Balram and Shri Radha-Krishna Darshan:
Shri Nandishwar dwells as a mount to sight Shri Krishna and savour his playfull dalliance in Nandgram.

Nandrai ji Temple
The idols of Shri Nandraiji, Yashodaji, and the two brothers Shri Krishna-Balram are resplendent (A few years back the idol oif Shri Radha has also been installed). The palace of Shri Nandraiji along with his temple is highly revered by the Vaishnavas. A haze of memories now remind us of Lord Krishna’s amusing antics with his sakhas and now as a youth of his amorous frolics with sakhis, delighting everyone at the same time.

The ancestors of present day Goswamis resided in Kharot Village. They grazed cows and looked after the fields. Once Shri Anandghan’s father was tending cows; one cow went to a cavern in the mountains and offered her milk. On knowing of this incidence he dug up the shrub nearby and it is believed that Shri Krishna and Balramji were manifest from this site. When Shri Manmahaprabhu Vallabharyachji came here he was ecstatic on sighting Shri Nandishwar. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabu danced in spiritual madness when he saw Shri Krishna-Balram resplendent amidst Shri Nandraiji and Yashodaji.

Nand Bhavan
The site is renowned as Nand Bhavan.

Pavan Sarovar:

The Pavan Sarovar
The lake, a trove of qualities as the name suggests, is very dear to Lord Krishna.

Dark-Hued Krishna Relaxing with His Sakhas
Loitering with his group of sakhas, after a bath here he spends hours amusing them with his games of chak-dori (top), chakri-pareta (bobbin) and wrestling to spread delight. The sakhas at times swim in the water, run to catch each other, play ball and enthrall the Braj denizens by their escapades. The Braj maidens occasionally venture here to satiate their longing and are enraptured by construing his passionate acts from a distance. A witness to the child play of Shri Krishna, the Pavan Sarovar is a revered site till date.

The Bhajan Site of Shri Sanatanji:
All Vaishnavas are aware of Shri Sanatanji, one of the prime followers of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji. Residing at the Pawan Sarovar, apart from chanting Shri Krishna’s name and meditating he was not bothered even about food. Once the Lord himself offered him milk in a bowl and vanished. Thrilled, tears streamed down his cheeks in joy. Secretly Shri Krishna imparted divine knowledge and got a hut built for him by Brajwasis.The persona of Sanatanji was very unique, immersed in the loving tenderness of Shri Radha-Krishna he was least aware of the mundane world. Yahsoda Koop is in the centre of this sarovar. A person who drinks its water is blessed with a son equivalent to Lord Krishna. The kadamba khandi is close by.

Kadamba Khandi:

Kadamba Khandi
The ethereal beauty of the cluster of kadamba trees on the banks of the Pavan Sarovar is breathtaking.The pond recounts the sports of Shri Krishna and his sakhas coupled with the tales of his romantic escapades with Shri Radha and Brajbalas. The kadamba trees form a sort of canopy beneath which Shri Radha-Krishna fix their tryst.Their fragrance tickles the sakhis’ heart strings as they enter the forest. Duping the sakhas with his clever talk, the Lord miraculously appears in the grove; while looking for him they proceed to Nandbhavan. The great merit of the kadamba flowers is unique.

Their pride on becoming the shangar of the Lord’s mukut, beautifully adorning his ears, serene sensuality on being strung in his vanamala makes their joy know no bounds. When they grace Shri Radha’s neck, the Lord is jealous of their closeness with his beloved. Caressing their bodies, these kadamba flowers make the sakis experience the playful dalliances. At times the Lord enters the Pawan Sarovar with his sakhis for water sports. The drenched flowers exude a fragrance making water play all the more charming. Kadamba Khandi on the banks of Pawan Sarovar, a site of several rasiks’ experiences, is very dear to all Vaishnavas.

Tarhaag Teerth:
Devmeerh Muni had two wives. His first Kshatriya wife gave birth to Shoor and the second Vaishya wife had Shri Parjanya as her son. Shri Vasudevji and others were Kshatriyas and Shri Parjanya was engaged in agriculture and tending cows. He had no children. Once Shri Naradji came to Nandiswar and showed him the path of attaining a son on recitation of the Shri Laxmi-Narayan Mantra. Shri Parjanya came to Tarhaag Teerth, purified it and began chanting the guru mantra with dedication. A divine forecast blessed him, affirming he would have five sons.

Krishna, the Son of Nanda
The middle son will be Nandrai and in his house Lord Krishna will be incarnated as NandNandan to spread joy amongst all Brajwasis. Shri Parjanya was delighted and stayed on at Nandishwar but later went to Gokul Mahavan where child Krishna spread his delight. The site blesses us with the Shunahar Sarovar close by.

Nandishwar Mahadev:
On Shri Yashodaji’s request Shri Nandishwar became resplendent in the form of a lingam (in which form Lord Shiva is worshipped) in Braj. Delighted on her wish being fulfilled; Shri Rudra made an entreaty to her that since he was a mount here, now she, Nandraiji and their sons Shri Krishna-Balram should adorn his back and bless him by the touch of their feet. This is precisely what happened the idols were enshrined here. Earlier (Mukhya Mandir) the water of Shri Krishna’s bath would flow over Nandishwar (Mahadev) but now a new set up has changed its course.

Dhoyani Kund:
Washing the utensil of dadhi (a ritual of curd mixed with turmeric thrown on Sri Krishna on his birthday) and emptying its water in this direction led to the pond’s name, Dhoyani Kund. It is situated to the north-east of Nandgram.

Shri Krishna Kund (Kadamba Khandi):
The kadamba tree is extremely dear to Shri Krishna. The kadambas seem to have done austere penance to adorn the Lord in his shangar and attain the happiness of his mysterious escapades. The natural environs of Braj are not just the root but rather instrumental in providing the perfect landscape where his madhurya or loving tenderness unfolds.Lord Krishna resides in the sap that animates the trees and creepers as he spreads joy. A group of sakhis enter the dense foliage of this khandi or cluster as they praise the vanamala of kadambas adorning the Lord, the kadamba kundals dangling from his ears and flowers decking his curls. Very dear to his heart, the Krishna Kund is embellished with his playful dalliances.

Ter Kadamba:
Standing beneath the Ter Kadamba, Shri Krishna would call out to the cows by their respective names. Till date the Goswamis of Nandgram celebrate this utsav on Gopashtami.

The Bhajan Site of Shri Roop Goswami:

Shri Roop Goswami
He was the younger brother of Shri Sanatanji. With Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabuji’s permission he came to Braj, did bhajan near Nandishwar Village, lost in reciting the Lord’s name and meditation.One day he ventured to Pawan Sarovar to meet Sanatanji. He wanted to cook kheer for him by roasting rice in ghee but did not have the ingredients. A ravishing beauty appeared all of a sudden with rice and ghee, asking him to cook the kheer and serve Thakurji and his brother. Sanatanji had never tasted anything so delicious and Roopji related the incidence.

Later Shri Radha came in his dreams and revealed that it was she who had helped, making him ecstatic by her benevolence.Once on remembering the separation of Shri Radha-Krishna he was deeply pained. When by chance his breath touched a person, all of a sudden blisters erupted all over his body. No one can possibly describe Roop Goswami’s mental agony arising from the anguish of separation from the Lord.

Shri Lalita Kund:

Lalita Sakhi
Establised by Shri Lalita this great teerth is tough to attain even by deities.Shri Lalita, an intimate close sakhi of the the prime ashtasakhi.(essence of an inner meditation which makes us gradually develop prema or love for Krishna) Though all sakhis strive for the Lord’s joy, she is very tender and sharp-witted, having an entry to every romantic dalliance of Shri Radha-Krishna. Adept at interpreting each gesture of the Lord, she takes action accordingly; her only concern is to see Shri Radha-Krishna united and joyous in love.

Figuring out the Lord’s mindset she got Shri Radha to him in this lovely foliage. The two were soon engrossed in their amorous frolics with Lalitaji captivated by their madhurya or sweet love. The group of sakhis gathered here, enchanted by the scenario. Situated to the east of Nandgram it has the Surya Kund nearby where the Sun God was ecstatic on sighting Lord Krishna.

Shri Vishaka Kund:

Vishaka Sakhi
She is the most learned of Lord Krishna’s ashtasakhis. Vishakaji is very sharp in giving advice on various amorous frolics. Her judgement is inevitably correct because of which she is very dear to the Lord. Wise in getting Shri Radha from wherever she may be when Lord Krishna desires, she works towards their joyous union which is her reward.The Kund is to the south-east of Shri Lalita Kund.

Puranmasi Kund:
She is worshipped by all Brajwasis and all of them consult Puranmasi at times. The incarnation of Bhagwati Leela Shakti Yogmaya she was manifest by Shri Naradji’s blessings. Since Shri Krishna’s Era she lives in an ascetic’s apparel in Braj. Proceeding to the Nand Bhavan daily to sight the Lord, Puranmasi gives blessings apart from supporting Shri Radha-Krishna dalliances.

Nandimukhi Sthal:
Nandimukhi devoted to the glories of Radha-Madhav was infatuated and overwhelmed to desert Avantipuri and live in Braj Bhoomi. The site enlightens us on the madhurya of Shri Radha-Krishna and is thus highly revered.

Shri Yashoda Kund:

Yashoda Kund
Mother Yashoda comes here to bathe and both the brothers along with their sakhas accompany her. Sometimes delighted to inhale the fragrance of the kadamba trees they do shangar with its flowers, flaunting it to their mother. The other sakhas often climb the trees as they scramble to catch each other, in this manner delighting the vatsalya prem or maternal love of Yashodaji. After a bath when she leaves, the two brothers scamper alongside to NandBhavan. A person having a dip in this kund is blessed with wealth and prosperity and finally proceeds to Vaikuntha.

Hau Vilau:
How does a mother’s heart flowing with maternal tenderness accept the supreme Lord,the divine incarnate whose one move ruins or creates the world; whose glories Lord Brahma is also incapacitated in singing? God may exhibit divine majesty for deites, Brahma, munnis and ascetics but for Yashodaji he is infant Kanhaiya and she never tires of warding off evil spirits and dangers which lurk around. The quintessential mother she is aware of how Narayan Bhagwan has protected her lad from the atrocities of demonic forces continually attacking Gokul and Vrindavan.

Once when Krishna insisted on stepping out, she coaxed him not to go too far as Hau had infested the forest. Kanhaiya snuggled up to her warmth, pretending to be scared. The site is close to Yashoda Kund. The Karhora Kund and forest are near by, from wherein Shri Krishna observes the beautiful forest. Close to it is Parvat Khand which has the ancient footprints of the Lord.

The Cave close to Yashoda Kund:
There is an ancient cave near the kund where many ascetics did austere penance and attained divine bliss. Some time back a great mahatma resided here; the entire day he spent in meditaion and only in the evening went for madhukari (alms given in the form of cooked food). A black dog ventured here daily and ate the leftovers. Once all of a sudden the mahatma had to go to Shri Radha Kund and when he returned the black dog uttered something in a man’s voice. The mahatma was eager to know his life story. The dog confirmed he was a ghost and by his grace existed on the food offered. Inquiring about Lord Krishna’s whereabouts when the dog disclosed all he knew, instantly the mahatma headed to the said site and sat waiting impatiently for the Lord. The night passed and so did the day but he sat with eyes wide open for a glimpse of the divine.

When the cows were returning at dusk he caught hold of a boy dressed filthily and wouldn’t let go. If the mahatma was hungry for insistent divinity, God was hungry too for the food of sacrifice.Ultimately bound by his devotee’s restlessness the Lord had to manifest himself, a divine glow suffused the environs and the ascetic was blessed. The bhajan site of several great mahatmas it motivates the spectrum of ascetics till date.The Raas Mandala is close by.

Dadhi Bhajan Sthal (large earthern vessels):
Two huge earthern vessels in which Shri Yashodaji churned curd have been preserved till date. It is believed that they were placed in front of Nand Bhavan.

Shri Nand Baithak:
Close to Yashoda Kund, it is believed that Shri Krishna-Balram sat here when they went to graze cows in the forest. An enchanting place, it is closely related with the memories of great saints.

The Karhora Van is near Yashoda Kund and has the samadhi of the recent, famed mahatma Shri Nityanandasji. He was a great rasik (person moved by passionate religious devotion towards Lord Krishna) engrossed in the divine play of Shri Radha-Krishna with great respect for Brajwasis and lived by begging for alms.He always wanted his last rites to be performed by abusing him. It somehow happened that when he passed away, the surging crowds didn’t let the people come close to his body and from a distance they put the dry dung cakes in to the funeral pyre amidst affectionate abuses.

Madhusudan Kund:
Famous by Lord Krishna’s epithet ‘Madhusudan’, the kund is celestial with the delicate fragrance of a nearby garden decked with blossoms. Bees humming all over sing the songs of its sweetness. Amidst these flowers Shri Radha-Krishna are enchanted in their playful frolics. The site resounds with these escapades.

Panihari Kund:

Shri Krishna & Balaram Share Their Midday Meal with the Sakhas

Shri Krishna ventures every day to graze the cows, taking his chak (midday meal) along. The sakhas and he relish these delicacies cooked by mother Yashodaji, after which they quench their thirst by its sweet water. On the other hand Vrindadevi figuring out a strategy gets Shri Radha to meet her Lord and the two of them proceed to a dense nikunja near by. Eager for a glimpse of their love sport, the sakhis gather here and are lost in Shri Radha-Krishna’s passionate escapades. A relaxing place for the afternoon siesta, the site is blessed with the cycle of labour and rest. Its enchanting beauty is enhanced by the dense foliage shading the kund. The Vrindadevi Kund is close by.

Vrinda Devi:

Vrinda Devi
Absorbed in prem rasa, at every step she plans the Lord’s leela or divine play, adorning each new nikunja with fragrant flowers, surrounded by the group of sakhis. I worship the same Vrindadevi whose Kund is situated here.

The Path of Gaucharan Round:
The Path of Gaucharan
As of now it the time of grazing cows and in the garb of Natwar, Lord Krishna ventures from Nandgaon to the forest, spotting some isolated site on the banks of the Yamuna where green pastures, pristine water, dense foliage abound with the passionate singing of birds. Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji observed this scenario and was ecstatic. An excerpt from her observations is revealing. In this joyous mood both Sri Krishna-Balram along with the gopas venture for grazing cows daily. Their mother decks them splendidly, packing chak for their meal, restless by the very thought of their day long absence; she accompanies them off and on.

In the garb of a cowherd with a flute in one hand and the lakutiya (small club) in the other, Lord Krishna walks like an intoxicated elephant at times. The rustling breeze sometimes ruffles his curls caressing his face. Cows eager to glimpse their Lord’s loving tenderness turn to have a look. He casts a glance hither and thither and on the pretext of fixing his sash gives some indication, delighting all Brajwasis with his acts and gestures. Till date the site recounts the divine play of the Lord’s forest journey. The Dadhi Manthan Sthal is close by along with the Sahsi Kund where he played on the swings with sakhis.

Kadamba Van:
There is no lack of grandeur in Shri Nandraiji’s Bhavan where Lord Krishna is manifest, with his fame celebrated all around. Both Shri Krishna-Balram have their own private gardens and they often visit each other. Today Shri Krishna came to his brother’s domain and along with his gang of sakhas teased him. Balramji was a bit vexed but soon appeased on absorbing the Lord’s winsome manners.

Dark-hued Krishna Pressing Balram's Feet
He laid down to rest and instantly Shri Krishna taking his feet in his lap pressed them. Delighted to see his brother in deep sleep, the Lord headed towards Shri Radha surrounded by her sakhis, amusing them with his spirited antics.

Mukta Kund:
Braj Dham is a place of delightful pranks and merriment, essential quotients of Lord Krishna’s divine play.Once the gopas were bursting with pride as they narrated the valiant deeds of their Lord. On the other hand sakhis enchanted by the majestic demeanour of Shri Radha, their svamini, were ecstatic. The sakhas requested Shri Krishna to sow muktas (pearls) and he fulfilled their wish miraculously. The poor sakhas were busy in gathering heaps of muktas while the Lord sneaked away along with Shri Radha and sakhis, coming elsewhere to savour the romantic dalliance which now took place.The site resounds with these amusing anecdotes of the Lord till date.

The Site of Shri Krishna’s Footprints:
The metaphorical search of the impassioned soul for union with god is centred within earthly Vrindavan, the celestial region or perhaps that region in the heart where God is ultimately found. Shri Nandraiji’s village, the gopas and foliage are the most fortunate because they blossom with flowers to adorn Krishna. The nikunjas are blessed because the Lord playfully frolics on its banks.The forests, groves, banks, nikunjas, mountain peaks, NandBhavan, lanes and alleys all have been trod upon by Shri Krishna who had vowed that his feet would touch each place of the ethereal Braj Bhoomi.

Probably the Lord descended in the garb of a human to quench his longing to savour Braj’s heart. Shri Akroorji ecstatic on sighting the foot-marks of the Lord applied their dust to his forehead, restless to dedicate his entire life to them. On the east of the village, the site is glorified by its memories.

Girhiya (Gendukhar):
Everyday the Lord is engrossed in new sports with his sakhas and respects their friendly nature. Playing ball today, he imparts delight to the gopas. The site is forever drenched with the merriment and lovable reproaches of ball sport. Situated in the windy region of Nandgram, it has Gupt Kund to its west and Gend Kund to its north-east.

Do Mil Van:
Close to the Puranmasi Cave there is dense foliage by the name of Do Mil Van. Creepers embrace the tree trunks as they seek refuge. The site indicates the mutual love of Shri Krishna and his sakhis. Till date memories of sentimental devotees sighting leelas is confirmed by several Vaishnavas. Truly a miraculous site; the Government came up with several projects to modernize the place but they were shelved for some reason. Demarcated as a cow grazing site, it has been spared of late. Shri Krishna Das, an eminent saint on knowing the reason of his restless mind from Shri Jai Krishan Das Baba, came and resided here. He experienced the benevolence of Shri Radha initially at this site and later went to Chakleshwar.

Yogiya Sthan:
After putting an end to several demonic forces Lord Krishna ruled over Mathura. A haze of memories of his pampered cows, parents, sakhas and Brajbalas haunted him day in and day out. Bound by madhur worship he is always close to his devotees so the question of absence does not arise but the nature of love certainly demands more. One day he sent a message through dear friend Uddhavaji, to Shri Nandraiji’s village where he was received lovingly. The lives of Brajwasis centre upon Shri Krishna, his divine play is their heart, and the whole lot of them lose track as they exalt his glories.

Enchanted by the sweetness of Braj, the beauty of its groves, the serene peaceful flow of the Yamuna, Shri Udhavaji lived here for some time assuring Shri Nandraiji that the Lord always remembered the Brajwasis’ lovable qualities. The folk were already close to the reality of Lord Krishna by recounting tales of his grazing cows, playing the flute and lifting Mount Govardhan. Endowed with the knowledgeable revelation of Shri Udhavaji but always unaffected, this site is famed as Yogiya.

Uddhava Kyari:

Uddhava Kyari
After Lord Krishna settled in Mathura the gopis were very distressed. On Shri Udhavaji’s arrival, gopis, considered the ideal of love, were ecstatic on assurance of their union with the Lord. His absence had made them aware that Lord Krishna existed extensively in their hearts when they sang his praise and dwelt in their longing for him. Complete absorbtion in the joy of Lord Krishna did not require his physical presence. Seeing the state of the Brajbalas, Udhavaji forgot his preachings. The zenith of spiritual awareness helped the gopis to realize who they really were in the spiritual realm which can be defined as prema or love for Krishna. As of now Udhavaji began raving about their transcendental love of the highest order which is far superior to knowledge, theory and action.

On returning to Lord Krishna he exalted the gopis’ love, keen to stay in Braj for a touch of their feet’s dust. Enlightened Udhavaji learnt that in reality there is no difference between Lord Krishna and the gopis. They are one, very much like the waves and water. Udhavaji’s knowledgeable discourse, gopis lovable complaints, his acceptance of love's superiority and gratitude towards gopis made this site renowned as Udhaya Kyari. About fifty years back Lord Krishna gave darshan to his extremely dear devotee beneath a kadamba tree to the north of Udhavaji’s Baithak and Raas Sthali.

The neighbouring sites of Nandgram:

Mahrana (Mohini Van):
Created by Lord Vishnu, Mohini Van is the moh or delusion form of the three worlds. It is the cow-pen of Shri Abhinand Gopa and the place of Shri Krishna’s maternal grandparents.

Having finished her household chores, Yashodaji lay down but had to narrate a story to a persistent Krishna even though she was very sleepy.She said there was a valiant, religious and truthful king Dashratha during the Treta Era and Ayodhya was his capital. His eldest son Shri Ram along with his wife Sita accepted exile in the forest as his step mother Kakai had wished.

Ravana Abducting Sita in the Treta Yuga
By deceit the demon Ravana abducted Sita. Hearing this instantly Kanhaiya was outraged asked Laxman to get his arrow for slaying Ravana.

Yashodaji was petrified but the Lord soon calmed her. Surdasji has given a moving account in his composition of this incidence. Kanhaiya is resplendent here in the Rama form with mother Yashodaji.The temple of Narsingh Bhagwan adorns the south of the village.On its east is the footprint of the cow’s hooves.Mayur Kuti is to its north-east. The marks of Krishna’s child play are visible to its east. The festivities of Holi and Janamashtami are particularly worth watching.

Javat (Yav Village):

Shri Radha, Krishna's Blissful Energy
Shri Radha is Shri Krishna’s hladini shakti or blissful energy. As Shri Krishna is the source of all manifestations of God, Shri Radha, his consort, is the source of all shaktis. They are in essence a single entity who manifest as two distinct individuals for the sake of interpersonal romantic exchange. The supreme deity Shri Radha who controls Krishna with her love is always engrossed in Krishna Bhava.

Lord Krishna is compared to the moon and Shri Radha to the moonbeams.Both exist simultaneously with one coming from the other because the moon has no meaning without its beams, each equally important for the existence of the other. The Lord resides with his sakhis as the moon with its countless stars.The enchanting tale is woven around Javat Village. Further on is Yav Vat, and Raas Mandala.The footprints of Shri Radha and other sakhis are higher up.

Krishna Doing the Shangar of Shri Radha
Shri Radha-Krishna are the embodiments of shangar or adornment. She arranges her hair, is decked with flowers, darkens her eyes with lampblack, experiments with sandal and saffron, stains her feet with mahavara (scarlet dye used by married women) to enchant Lord Krishna with the fusion of her beauty and loving tenderness. Once thus bedecked in all her finery Shri Radha entered a nikunja and all of a sudden Shri Krishna also came.The sakhis went to pluck flowers while the two of them were lost in romantic dalliance, admiring each other’s beauty.This clever site imprinted the mahavar of her feet on its heart making it renowned as Jav-Vat.

The site of Shri Abhimanyu Gopa married to Shri Radha according to the Kalpa Theory. Shri Vrasbhanu Baba had arranged this marriage on the advice of priestess Puranmasi. By the power of Yogmaya, Abhimanyu couldn’t touch even Radha's shadow as he was forever busy with his cow-pen and gopas.Jatila his mother and Kutila his sister were involved with household chores. Now the sakhis would skillfully arrange for a tryst of Shri Radha with Shri Krishna.Radha’s selfless devotion; expressed through her status as parakiya or a woman married to another but yet in love with Krishna free from the constraints of marriage and social pressures. Rasiks have accepted this state of the parakiya bhava because devotion to Lord Krishna is to be experienced in the union of the lover and the beloved. Otherwise Shri Radha is the foremost of the gopis, Lord Krishna’s hladini shakti or blissful energy and his beloved.

The Sites of Leelas or Divine Play: (Radha Kund)
Shr Radha Kund is the emblem of Shri Radhika and Shri Lalita, a site of Lord Krishna’s playful frolics. In the midst of lighthearted teasing with their sakhis, Shri Radha-Krishna inevitably find an opportune time to be alone. This longing for privacy and intimate romantic dalliance is expressed in water sports and in the secluded nikunjas caressed by its creepers. The kund is a witness to several mysteries of their water escapades.

Raas Mandala:
Shri Radha along with the entire group of sakhis has enacted several Raas Leelas with the seven year old Kanhaiya who is a young boy. The site is blessed with the divine play of the Lord.

The Site of Padmavati’s Marriage:
Shri Nandnandan gives exclusive joy to Shri Radha but she feels her love for Krishna can expand to greater heights and therefore manifests herself as the many gopis of Braj; her kaya-vyuhas or replications to fulfill Krishna’s desire of a loving relationship in a variety of ways. She wants them to savour the passionate love which is eternal for her.The sakhis, can taste the Lord’ madhurya because of Shri Radha’s inspiration. Shri Krishna is captivated by the romantic dalliance with Sakhi Padmavati thus fulfilling her heart’s desire.

The sakhis decorate the bedstead while Padmavati’s heart misses a beat. Shri Radha’s nearness gives her the confidence to go ahead and dally with Shri Krishna who resplendently awaits her. Both of them are lost in love as the sakhis sing auspicious songs. The site is blessed with this celestial incidence, exuding its fragrance till date. A fortunate place it blesses us with the love of Shri Krishna.

The Path which Shri Radhika took:
Lord of the entire universe, Shri Krishna on being incarnated indulged in divine play for the delight of mankind. His most beloved Shri Radha also respects and worships the Sun God. Hiding amidst the grove of kadamba trees the Lord is captivated by her persona as she treads on this path going to pray. At times he adores her flower-like face, and sometimes is enchanted on seeing her disentangle her clothes from a branch. She tries to break a bunch of flowers from a tree and fails the second time round when the creeper swings back from her hand. Seeing this sight Shyam Sunder laughs in amusement and the sakhis also giggle. Shocked to see him, Shri Radha pleads that he should not pester her because she is alone.

Shri Krishna Kund:

Surrounded by dense foliage, the Krishna Kund is the secret rendezvous of several playfull dalliances of the Lord. Once Shri Radha-Krishna came here to swing.He said he would create it himself since the group of sakhis were a bit late.

Shri Radha-Krishna on A Swing
Having made a beautiful swing he asked his beloved to sit on it but it was a bit high. Gathering her in his arms to lift her, they were soon lost in a romantic dalliance. Striding in from the back entrance, the giggling sakhis were captivated by the scenario. Located in the south of the village the site enthralls us till date. The Mukta Kund is adjacent wherein the sakhis decked Shri Radha-Krishna with muktas or pearls. Pavan Kund is near by amidst the windy region of the village.

Larhli Kund:
Shri Lalitaji arranges for the union of Shri Radha-Krishna here to see them united and joyous in love. It is on the western side of the Pawan Kund.

Site of Attaining a Husband:
Once all of a sudden Shri Radha came here and met Shri Naradji. He blessed her with ‘Amrit Hasta’.Though a trove of talents herself she gives full respect to her devotees. Shri Radhakant Temple is to the west of the village. Kishore Kund is to the north-east and Sidh Kund is to the south-east. The south of the village has Kuntal Kund. Dahar Van.Vihval Kund, Panihari Kund, Paral Ganga, the neighbouring sites are worth a visit.
A coral tree planted close by blossoms in the month of Vaishakh. It is believed that Shri Radha planted it herself.

Kokila Van:
Embellished with the virtues of Kinnar (a Hindu caste whose occupation is singing and dancing), the Kokila Van resounds with the music of the black cuckoo. A visit here during the Swati Nakshatra of Bhadra Shukla Rishi Panchami is of special significance. Today early in the morning Shri Shyam Sunder came to this forest and merging his voice with the song of the cuckoo made the environs echo with this sound. Shri Radha heard the call and knew it was her lover but how could she venture here alone. Shri Vishakhaji cleverly came up with a strategem and accompanied her to the place. The sakhis on the other hand longing for their Lord also arrived; treading on the path of love their feet never stray and inevitably lead them to him. Kokila Van was blessed with this divine play.

Ratnakar Kund:
Ratnakar Sarovar, a repository of several gems, arose from the milk got by sakhis. Destroying all sins, a giver of prosperity it blesses us with infinite love of Shri Radha-Krishna.

Raas Mandala:
Embellished with Raas or the rapturous dance is this ethereal site, beautified with the loitering of gopis. I make obeisance to you.

Motivated by Kansa, Shri Akroorji came to Braj for taking Shri Krishna-Balramji to Mathura. Mounting the chariot both the brothers were ready to leave.

The Brajwasis just couldn't bear the separation and they surrounded the ratha with the sakhas deeply pained. Though Lord Krishna is always close to his devotees, the time of parting made it seem as if lightning had struck the Braj denizens. Tears streamed down the gopis cheeks with pangs of separation tugging at their heart strings. That very moment because of Yogmaya (creative power of the supreme spirit) who was aware of the Lord’s wish, a streak of lighting struck the earth. Scared the Brajwasis ran helter skelter. The site is about one and a half miles from Nandgram.

Shri Krishna-Balram were romantically dallying with sakhis of their respective zones. On a moonlit night with blossoming flowers and a soft breeze all were lost in passionate delight. Shankhchur, a follower of Kuber abducted some gopis and was about to flee along with them. Leaving Balramji with the gopis, Shri Krishna chased him and with one punch severed his head adorned with the chudamani, from his body. He got the mani and presented it to his elder brother. Since Balramji was present at this site it is also known as ‘Ramtala’, situated about two miles from Sahar.

Chatra Van:
The divine play of Shri Krishna, the supreme lover, can not be described. Where love is stripped of lust, the pure romantic dalliance of the Lord begins. Giving up all wordly desires one can savour the passion of Shri Krishna which is in fact pristine and awash with the selfless devotional love of the gopis.Shri Radha-Krishna and their kaya-vyuha sakhis are forever enchanted by their love escapades.

Sakha Madhumangal
Once the Lord ordered his friend Madhumangal to find out who thieved flowers from the garden, harming trees in the process. It was a new concept of his amorous frolic to delight all around him. Now he presents his madhurya or sweet love to us and now exhibits divine majesty.The gopas proclaimed him the great king,‘Maharaj Chatrapati Nander Kumar’ which led to this site being named Chatra Van. Surya Kund is to the north east and Chandra Kund is to the south-west. The Umrav Village is close by.

The news of Shri Krishna becoming Chatrapati spread like wild fire in Braj and reached the sakhis. Shri Lalitaji and others were stunned, the garden fell under the domain of their svamini Shri Radha who rules the world of love and enchants Shri Krishna with just a glance. Who could dare equate her in majestic grandeur.The sakhis had to present him in front of their svamini. Madhumangal was caught to be punished. Kishoriji assumed he was a Brahman when he wanted to relish some ladoos and released him. Getting the news, Shri Krishna hurried with him to the nikunja which baffled Shri Radha. Making the Lord sit towards her south on the pedestal, Madhumangal enlightened her.

Now she could deploy her supremacy over him and if he gave her a moment's delight she could savour it as her property. Symbolic of love, Shri Radha became one with the Lord.The sakhis delightedly absorbed this unique love scenario and Madhumangal left soon after. Both the Rajkumars discussed their supremacy in the love grove. Because of Shri Radha’s form of Umrav or Rajkumar this site got its name.The Kishori Kund and the bhajan site of Loknath Goswami is situated here. .Shri Radha Vinod Thakurji was manifest at this place though later his idol was taken to Jaipur. .Shri Loknath Goswami spent his entire life in austere penance beneath a tree. Dhanishta Sakhi’s Dhanshinga Village is close by.

Kosi (Kush Stahli):
Its present name is Kosi. Shri Krishna made Nandbaba sight Vaikuntha here. The treasury of Nandbaba, it is considered as Dwarkapuri of the Braj region. Ratnakar Sagar, Mayakund, Vishakha Kund and Gomti Kund to the west of the village are worth seeing.

Nari Semri:
A symbol of Nari-Narayan, the forest has been acclaimed as Narayan Van. Offence has its own significane in love frolics and lovers know the intense pleasure of belonging after separation. Once Shri Radha sulked and all plans of Shri Krishna to appease her failed. Shri Lalitaji suggested that he should go disguised as a sakhi and sing for her. With a vina in his hand, in the guise of Shyamla Sakhi he went and sang melodiously. Enamoured by her, Shri Radha asked about her whereabouts.

The sakhi revealed that she was a singer from heaven and her guru was even more beautiful. Soon they struck up a close friendship with Shri Radha keen to present a gem necklace to her. The sakhi asked her to discard her anger which made Shri Radha figure out that it was Lord Krishna who had come to placate her. Both the sakhis are worshipped in the form of Braj Devi. The site has Sankarshan Kund, Kishori Kund and Baldevji is resplendent.

About 125 years ago Shri Krishan Prasad Chattopadhya came from east Bengal, renowned as Baba Shri Krishna Das later. He used to live in Ranbarhi Village and came to Braj at a tender age.Once keen to journey he suddenly thought of visiting Dwarka. Shri Radhika warned in his dreams not to venture there but assuming it was an illusion he went ahead.

Shri Krishna with Satyabhama
Attracted to the place he stayed on, acquiring the tapt-mudra. His desire to journey subdued soon enough, he returned to Braj. Appearing in his dreams Shri Radha flared that he had accepted the superiority of Satyabhamaji because of his tapt-mudra and not fit for Braj he must go back to Dwarka. Worhipping in the same bhava he should attain Shri Krishna, which distressed him.

Soon enough he visited great Baba Krishan Dasji of Goverdhan, who along with other ascetics advised him to return to Ranbarhi. Disappointed he did the same. The separation from Shri Radha and his own resolution resulted in great pain.The fire raging within erupted as blisters all over his body for three months at a stretch. His earthly body was reduced to cinders within three days. Tirobhav Diwas (the day when he disappeared miraculously by divine power) is celebrated on the amavasya of the Paush month by Brajwasis.

Khayaro (Khidir Van):
The seventh renowned forest in the world is Khidir Van and visiting it leads one to Vaikuntha. A site for grazing cows, Shri Krishna comes here and climbing trees at times and with water sport imparts delight to his sakhas. Mother Yashodaji packs their midday meal which they share and relish, resulting in its other name ‘Neo Chak’. Born to parents who were old in age Shri Krishna had to wear borrowed clothes.

Sangam Kund:
There is dense foliage of kadamba trees nearby which has the Sangam Kund. Shri Krishna’s day long absence with cowherds makes the Braj Gopikas eagerly desirous to meet him. They often venture here on the pretext of selling milk or filling water. All of a sudden they sight the Lord who delights them with his love escapades.The eternal rendezvous has divine tales woven around it and is renowned as Sangam Kund.


Shri Krishna along with Balramji and gopas was grazing calves. Thirsty, he drank water and quenched the thirst of the calves as well. Everyone was petrified to see a huge crane who was in reality demon Bakasur deputed by Kansa to harm Lord Krishna.The bird leapt towards Krishna and swallowed him.Because of the Lord’s divine play he had a severe burning sensation, threw up the Lord and attacked him with his sharp beak. In seconds Lord Krishna caught him by the beak and ripped him from the centre into two. The gopas heaved a sigh of relief and were certain now that Krishna was Lord Vishnu Incarnate. The elders on hearing of this incidence remembered Shri Gargacharyaji’s prediction and were grateful to him.

Bhadavli (Bhandagor):
Shri Krishna affirms that Bhandagor is his secret place.There is a kund here shaded by creepers. A person who fasts and does japa at night, bathing in the kund in the morning goes to Vidyaghar Loka and savours all joys. The twenty fourth ekadashi of the year is of special significance.

Bathains Big and Small:
The site of gopas’ mutual discussion and reflection came to be known as Bathian where the cowherds came up with ideas regarding their cattle.Balramji had valiantly killed Dhenukasur and Lord Krishna had put an end to several demonic forces. The gopas savoured delicious fruits and returned to Braj. Yashodaji and Rohiniji were relieved and pampered the two brothers with cooked delicacies. The Lord naughtily joked that Balramji performed a great feat of killing an ass today. The sarcasm in his tone offended Balramji.Yashodaji tried to appease him but Balramji was calmed only when it was decided that he and Shri Krishna will take their respective cows for grazing to separate sites.

Balramji took his cattle to the big Bathain and Lord Krishna to the small one.There was another reason underlying this sarcasm. The next day the Lord had to kill Kaliya Naag and since Balramji is the incarnation of Shesh Bhagwan it was not possible in his presence. Shri Sanatan Goswami lived here. His renunciation and worship is famed amongst the Vaishnavas.

Krishna Kund:
The Kund is to the sout-east of Bathain. The kadamba forest enhances the environs with its fragrance. Lord Krishna’s extremely dear Krishna Kund is resplendent in the centre. The swaying branches of trees, creepers embracing tree trunks and the passionate chirping of birds make the site celestial. The clever skills of Shri Krishna were manifest here. Herein the Lord exacts tribute from the gopis as they venture to the market for selling milk. The site is well-versed with such escapades and attracts us.

Kuntal Kund:
Savouring the madhurya or loving tenderness of Lord Krishna the Brajbalas are entranced. He leaves the NandBhavan fully adorned but the labour of tending cows dishevels his hair. The Lord combed his hair here and taking flowers from Shri Radha, the sakhis decked his curly locks with them.

Charan Pahari:

Lord Krishna's Footprints
Lord Krishna came to this site with his sakhas for grazing cows who wandered away for grass. He came up with an idea. Going to Charan Pahari the Lord stood in the tribhang mudra (angular posture, Krishna is depicted playing the flute with bent legs, hips and neck) and played the Barbari Raga on his flute. All the of nature were enchanted by this mellifluous sound. So much so that even the mount melted. The cowherds and cows were drawn towards him and.that very moment he stopped the melody.The footprints of climbing the mount were imprinted.

An obvious question perturbs us. The footprints are of ascending the mount and not of descending. Rasiks interpreted that when the cattle and gopas came on his playing the flute, the mountain peak had melted and their foot marks were printed. When he stopped his music, the peak returned to its original form. Therefore when the gopas and cows returned their feet did not leave any marks.

Close to Bathain it is a site of Shri Radha-Krishna’s romantic dalliances. Imparting delight to the sakhis in Kunj Bhavan Lord Krishna was engrossed in love, longing for more and more of its joy. Now Shri Radha was also enchanted by the madhurya of the Lord. A distinctive trait was prevalent in their episode today; there seemed a competition between the earnestness of his pleasure and the patience of hers. Soon enough the Lord became conscious and the two were captivated by divine love, with the sakhis delighted in absorbing the scenario. This nikunja decked with flowers paid respect to the duo and became known as Bharhokar.

Haroyal Village:

Shri Radha-Krishna Playing Chess
Shri Radha-Krishna’s amorous escapade of today began with gambling and dice. Both were experts at the game but the Lord was not lucky as of now and soon lost his patka, vanshi and lakuti. Unnverved, he told Shri Lalitaji that he would now put himself at stake and certainly win. It seemed he wouldn’t even after employing unfair means. Lalitaji asserted that their innocent svamini Shri Radha would win and she did. Even on losing, the Lord accompanied Shri Radha and both were lost in their love play. The incidence of victory and defeat is woven aroung this site known as Haroyal.

Pai Village:
Today the Lord pointed out a new rendezvous to the Brajbalas and left with his sakhas for grazing cattle. Sneaking away from his friends, he soon came upon a fresh nikunja amidst the dense forest, blossoming with flowers. The sakhis had not yet arrived, the nightingale sang its song and for fun sake he hid in the thicket. Soon enough the site echoed with tinkling anklets, indicating that Shri Radha had arrived with her sakhis. The gopis looked around and were baffled not to find him. A mynah perched nearby informed that he hid in a bower to the east.

On being spotted by Shri Radha he burst out laughing and the group of sakhis gathered around. Lord Krishna asked Shri Radha to relax on the bed of blossoms and steeped in their romantic dalliance, the duo delighted the sakhis. This place where Shri Radha found Shri Krishna in hiding became famous as Pai Village.The rock which had been decked with flowers was blessed as Chalan Shila.

Once Lord Krishna longed passionately to meet Shri Radha and waited impatiently for her. On playing the mellifluous flute, she was drawn irresistably along with Shri Lalitaji and Shri Vishakhaji to him. Both of them captivated by their love sport, delighted all the sakhis. The sakhis figured out a prank and hid his embroidered waistband which he had got from Barsana. Soon enough he searched for his band which was very dear to him. Surdasji has expressed this incident beautifully in his composition. Lord Krishna complains to his mother that when he went searching for the cows who had wandered away, one of the sakhis stole his waistband.

One of them says she has seen it floating in the Yamuna, another says the Surbhi Cow has eaten it, while yet another asks me to dance and she will get one for me.They are all teasing me, he whined with eyes welling up with tears. His mother cuddled him instantly with affection. Because of calling out ‘Kamar Kamar’ (waistband) this place became renowned as Kamar. The sites worth a visit are Mohan Kund, Durvasa Kund, Kamri Kund, Kadamb Chauk, Swaminiji’s Baithak and Gopi Kund.

Vishveshwar Kund:
Arising from Shri Krishna’s bath the kund gives boons to all the three worlds, apart from immense happiness.

Vichorh (Vismaran Van):
Belonging and longing are wiles of Shri Radha-Krishna. Their parting does not fall under the anguish of separation but rather enhances the pleasure of belonging. Even on meeting everyday it seems as they have never met. Dissatisfaction, a distinctive trait of love, is its ornament. The lover and his beloved can not even dream of separation but sometimes to add bliss to their divine play they pretend to part.At night they walk snuggled in each other’s arms in this forest.

Soon the silence of the night was broken with nature ringing in the dawn. The first rays of the sun kissed the two and they parted for the day, heading for their homes, lost in a haze of lovable memories of their dalliance. The site of their mutual separation, Vichorh recounts their love escapades. About ten miles from Kosi it is in the south-west angle.

Shangar Vat:

Shangar Vat
Further on is Shangar Vat which has two temples. The Shangar temple is to the south and Shaiyya temple is to its left. Initiating a new idea, Lord Krishna thought of doing shangara with flowers to deck his beloved Shri Radha. He arranged for an array of tender jasmine flowers. She already knew of this scheme but came fully decked with her sakhis. Holding her hand in his, he raved that her beauty was incomparable. “The sakhis are the most fortunate since they always dress you up while I am merely enchanted by your appearance.”

He made her wear a garland of flowers, loose bracelets weaved with flowers, braided her hair with blossoms, slid a girdle of flowers around the waist, and flower anklets on her feet with kundals of flowers, attaching a bunch to her light blue bodice. As he was captivated by her loveliness the sakhis took them to the appointed nikunja, making them recline on the decorated bed of tender shoots. Shri Radha-Krishna beautiful as the moon and their transcendental intimacy was truly a divine sight which delighted all the sakhis. Located about six miles from Kosi, Shringhar Vat imparts joy to us all.

Vasoli (Vasosi):

Lord Krishna, the repository of sweetness with his madhurya or sweet love can enrapture anyone.His loving tenderness, lyrical softness, fragrant limbs, the melodious sound of his flute, innocent pranks, evocative clothes, beautiful adornments, charming and sensitive, passionate but not lustful all add up to his madhurya that defines his love. The deer are enchanted by the fragrance of his limbs, bees dance around lotus pollen and crowds are enthralled by him in the idyllic landscape of Braj. His love unfolds in its environs, the river banks, site of his flute playing and in the nikunjas.The Lord resides not only in the hearts of the gopis but also in the sap that animates the birds and bees, trees and creepers of Braj. His limbs are fragrant as it is and they are further enhanced by sandalwood paste, attar, scented oil and saffron.

The Festival of Holi
Red and other coloured powders thrown on each other in Phaag during the spring festival of Holi turn ethereal on touching his limbs. The same sweet fragrance has nurtured this site or one can say that enveloped by a clowd of gulal the Lord’s limbs have accepted the shangar offered by Braj, its environs and people.

Pay Village:
The Lord goes to graze cows with his sakhas. Yashodaji packs chak or the midday meal which they all share happily. Today at an untimely hour they felt hungry again. Lord Krishna milked a number of cows and fed his various sakhas with milk thus imparting joy. A symbol of the lovable act, the Pay Saroyar is worth visiting.

Shri Nagaji (Clever Chintamani):
He was borin as a Gaurh Brahman in Pay Village. Inclined towards renunciation he stayed away from his house beneath a kadamba tree. Religiously he did the Braj Parikrama and was ranked as one of the top mahatmas of that time. Shri Radha-Krishna were very gracious towards him. It is believed that Shri Krishna ordered him to have milk in Braj which he wouldn’t otherwise knowing that it was very dear to Brajwasis. The Thakurji revered by him is enshrined in the temple of Bharatpur Fort with his quilt and necklace preserved there. During his last days he stayed at Vihar Ghat of Vrindavan.

Kotvan (Kotar Van):
The Lord has performed several leelas, coming here with his sakhas to graze cattle.He amused them by playing hide and seek plus the blind man’s buff. Gosain Vithalnathji’s Baithak and Sheetal Kund are worth a visit.

Chameli Van:
At a distance one can sight the tall dense foliage with the fragrance of kadamba trees enhancing the charm of nature by its green environs. It seems as if in anticipation of Shri Radha-Krishna’s arrival, the Chameli Van’s joy and abundance has created a tender bedstead for them.Once enchanted by the rustling breeze Shri Krishna came to this forest and Shri Radha along with Lalitaji and Vishakaji headed for this site.To express the divine couple’s intimacy and union the sakhis gathered flowers with which the Lord adorned Shri Radha.

He decked the tresses of her hair with tiny scented flowers, darkened her eyes with collyrium, put loose bracelets of flowers around her hands, a garland to embrace her neck, thrilled at his good fortune. The sakhis had already made some floral ornaments with which Shri Radha adorned the Lord, a diadem of flowers, kundals in his ears, vanamala around his neck and kangans on his wrists. Making them resplendent on a bed of tender grass the sakhis absorbed the madhurya of Shri Radha-Krishna. The secluded Chameli Van a little before the forest is ethereal during the rainy season.


Listening to the daily pouring complaints about Krishna, Yashodaji is vexed at times. Till now she had just heard about his thieving milk and curd but today she was shocked to hear the criticism doing the rounds in the village. One of them says he provokes Brajbalas; he teases some, laughs at others and flirts with yet others. The gullible mother can not imagine such frivolous behaviour from her pampered Lalla. She is enamoured by his child play where cuddling in her lap he demands butter and raw sugar. He may be Divine Incarnate for learned men, having put an end to several demonic forces, though at times she recollects Shri Gargacharyaji Maharaji’s sentences.

Once she insisted on seeing the Raas or divine play of the Lord which makes him both human and divine at the same time and becomes him most of all. Soon enough he climbed the kadamba tree and playing the flute gathered the gopis.Delighting in a romantic dalliance he endeared himself and brought joy to his mother. Hearing the mellifluous sound of his flute animals and birds are dumbfounded, does are drawn to him, the goddesses of heaven are entranced so it is but natural that these Brajbalas are on fire with desire for Lord Krishna.

Dadhi Village:
The same site where Lord Krishna had looted dadhi-doodh.(Tribute of curd and milk as paid by the herdgirls to Krishna).The gopis are forever longing for this regime of the Lord extorting curd and milk.Once a gopi reached NandBhavan early in the morning, explaining to his mother that yesterday she had seen his face which led to dairy products being sold fast and a good income. Spotting him, his flirtatious glance told that they meet at a certain rendezvous where he soon followed. Enchanted by his magical smile, she was lost in his sweet love. Several tales related to this site led to its name Dadhi Village. The Dadhi Kund, Dadhihari Devi, Braj Bhushan Temple and the ‘Mukut Ka Chinh’ on a tree are worth seeing.


Shri Vallabhacharyaji Maharaj came to Sheshshayi Teerth where Lord Krisna performed the Sheshshayi Leela for Braj devotees. In the Sheersagar( mythological, ocean of milk) Baldevji became Shesh Bhagwan (name of a thousand- headed snake, regarded as the symbol of eternity, on which Lord Vishnu sleeps throughout periods of dissolution of the world) while Shri Krishna reclined on him in the Narayan form. A lotus sprang from his navel with Shri Brahmaji manifest in its centre. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji came here and danced in divine frenzy, tears of joy streaming down his cheeks.

Once Shri Krishna adopting the Vishnu form reclined on the Shesh Shaiya and Shri Balramji in his Shesh form was present in the Sheersagar. When Shri Radha arrived, he at once transformed in to the Krishna incarnation becase the majestic Vishnu form could not hold out in front of her. Shri Krishna gave rise to several teerts in Braj and the Sheshshayi Teerth was summoned, enhancing the grandeur of Braj.

Mahodadhi Kund:
Embellished with panchamrit (nectar of the gods conferring immortality) the Mahodadhi Kund is manifest for the sake of Shri Laxmiji. Bathing here leads one to salvation and Vaishnava Bhakti.

Khami and Banchari Villages:
Shri Krishna-Balram came to Khami and Banchari village to graze cows and imparted delight to their sakhas. It is known that Vajranabhji got pillars erected here to imply the Braj boundary and they are worth seeing.

Close to Yamunaji is the Kharot Village, a site for grazing cattle where Balramji showered his affection on the sakhas.The Goswamis serving in the big temple of Shri Nandgaon reside here. Their ancestor Shri Ghananandji began sewa in Nandgaon

Ujani Village:
The mellifluous song of Lord Krishna’s flute intoxicates the Brajbalas who though involved in their household chores are in a state of constant and deep longing for the sight and touch of their beloved Krishna. So much so that even nature’s environs, forest animals and deer are enchanted by its melody with the trees showering flowers in joyous abandon.

Dark-hued Krishna Frolicking in Water with Gopis
Shri Yamunjaji is a close sakhi of the Lord and now flowing in the river form it is entranced by his joy. The waves numbed by the flute’s breath of love, made the river flow as if in a trance, leading to its name Ujani Village. Abour four miles from Pay Village it is on its north-east.

Falen (Faren):
This village is very famous for the festival of Holi where one member of a particular family lives as a brahmacharya through out his life.At the time of burning Holika when the fire is in full swing the panda (Brahman)bathes in the kund, treads on burning coals from one end to the other. The fire does not singe him. Making obeisance to Shri Prahladji, immersed in this bhava, the panda crosses the fire in front of thousands of spectators.


krishnadaasi said...

I have no words to express the bliss that i experienced in reading about these wunderful leelasthalis of braj n all the enchanting leelas of sri sriradhakrishna....god bless the writer n bless u with true love for SriKrishna....JAI JAI SRIRADHARAMAN...JAI SRIKRISHNA....!!!

radhika said...

I have no words to express the bliss that i experienced in reading about these wunderful leelasthalis of braj n all the enchanting leelas of sri sriradhakrishna....god bless the writer n bless u with true love for SriKrishna....JAI JAI SRIRADHARAMAN...JAI SRIKRISHNA....!!!