BRIJ CHOURAASI KOS KE KOI CHAAR GAAM NIJ DHAAM
VRINDAVAN AUR MADHUPURI, BARSANO NAND GAMM
The 84 kos of brij bhoomi starting from kosi to Agra, Aligarh to Bharat pur is considered to be the nitya dhaam of sri krishna. The purans make a mention that even during mahapralye this portion of the land on the earth does not drown. This part of the earth may look ordinary, but the fact it is even more dear to Krishna than vaikunth, saket or Golok. It is a replica of Golok.Even today the brij leela continous here although we cannot see it. Only pure hearted people can witness this leela in Vrindavan. Every year there is a particular time when arrangements are made and devotees visit all the important places of brij. The most imprtant places are vrindavan, Mathura, Gokul, nand gaon, Barsana, Goverdhan and Baldev. The important temples, vana’s, kunds, hills, ghats all are in the parikarma of brij 84 kos yatra.
IMPORTANT TEMPLES OF VRINDAVAN
Vrindavan is the most sacred and favourite place of sri krishna.It is fullof greenery all around. The trees, the vines, the creepers and bushes of Vrindavan are so beauitiful that one would give ll the possions of the world to stay there for ever.The place is so enchanting and there is some unseen vibrations and magical srenity in the air which makes one feel that Krishna is there, looking at you lovingly, smilingly and enchantingly.The fresh scent of the air is so pleasing that one really feels the prsence of Kanha with his cows and his sakha’s who are always in a playful mood with him. The sakhi’s are so much blessed to be a part of Kanha’s leelas or pastimes that they feel vaikunta is no where near the diviny that can be experienced here. It is on this land where kanha walked bare footed because his dear cows also walked bare footed. The marks of Kanha’s lotus feet have made this part of the land so auspicious as well as pure. Great poets have written beautiful discriptions of Vrindavan’s beauty. Jaidev was one of them who had written Geet Govind. Although there are more than 5000 temples in Vrindavan some of the important ones need a special mention. Some of the deities are self menifested. They have appeared either by the love of bhakts or some deities were dug in the ground due to yavan attacks reappeared in the dreams of devotees and saints.The most important ones are described below.
1. BANKE BIHARI TEMPLE
2. RADHA DAMODAR TEMPLE
3. SRI SHAH JI’S TEMPLE
4. SRI RANGA NATH TEMPLE
5. SRI RADHA GOVIND TEMPLE
6. SRI VANKHANDI MAHADEV JI’S TEMPLE
7. SRI GOPALJI’S MANDIR
8. SRI SRIRADHA GOPINATH TEMPLE
9. SRI GODAVIHAR TEMPLE
10. SRI RADHA RAMAN TEMPLE
11. SRI RADHA MADHAV TEMPLE
12. SRI RADHA VALLABH TEMPLE
13. SRI JANVAI VINOD TEMPLE.
14. SRI PAGAL BABA’S TEMPLE.
15. SRI LOTAN KUNJ
16. SRI KANCH TEMPLE
17. SRI ANANDMAI TEMPLE
18. SRI RADHA MADHAVE TEMPLE.
19. SRI RAM KRISHAN PARAMHANS TEMPLE (ISKCON)
20. SRI JANKI VALLABH TEMPLE
21. SRI ASHT SAKHI TEMPLE
22. SRI GAUR MAHAPRABHU TEMPLE.
23. SRI MADAN MOHANJI’S TEMPLE
24. SRI GOPESHWAR MAHADEVJI’S TEMPLE
25. SRI SWAMI AKHANDANANDJI’S TEMPLE
Thursday, January 6, 2011
BRIJ CHOURAASI KOS KE KOI CHAAR GAAM NIJ DHAAM
Keshighat—The ghat where krishna had killed, the demon keshi who was sent by the king of Mathura kanms, the maternal uncle of krishna who eager to kill krishna.
Sri cheer ghat--- This was the place where the gopi’s were bathing during the month of kartik to please katianidevi. While they were bathing, krishna stole their clothes.He wanted them to know that they should not bath naked in the river,as it is against the principles of our shastra’s.
Sri bhramar ghat---On this ghat there are many branches of flowers due to which one finds a lot of bumble bees here and it is named bhramar ghat.
Dhir sameer ghat--- Calm winds blow in this ghat.It seems the yamuna river wants to serve the divine couple, hence the wind blowing on this ghat is very soothing as well as full of lovely scent.Jaidev in his famous poetry geet govind has described this enchanting ghat where Radha Krishna have performed their kel pastimes. It is believed that Jaidev could visualise Radha govind engrossed in their keli leela at this place.
Adi badari ghat---This ghat is towards the southern side of vrindavan. The gopis were keen to have darshan of badri ji, krishna gave them darshan on this ghat.
Sri Raj ghat--- Just near adi badri ghat, there is another ghat. Once Radhji with her sakhi’s wanted to croaa river yamuna. Krishna disguised himself as a boatsman and came with a boat and offered to take them across for an amount for which a lot of bargaing was made.When radha ji objected on such a high rate by the boatman, he came right in the middle of the river and refused to go further without emptyng their pots of curd and butter which they were to sell on the other side of the river.
Sri Kalia daman ghat---- The kadam tree from where krishna had jumpedin the yamuna to kill kalia naag is still there on this ghat.
Gopal ghat----Mother yashoda fainted when she came to knw that her Kanha had jumped in yamunaji to kill Kalia because he had poisned the waterof yamuna.When he came out of yamna Nand Baba gave cows to brahmans in charity. The ghat was named as gopal ghat.
Surya ghat---- Close to Gopal ghat there is nother ghat just below sri madan mohan temple.When krishna came out of the yamuna after setting kalia naag right,the devta’s also were very pleased. Since Krishna was felling very old for being in the yamuna,the sun god gave him heat. The sweat that came from krishna due to this heat purified yamunaji from kalia naags poison.
Sri yugal ghat---- Both Radha Krishna used to take bath on this ghat everday. It is believed that who so ever takes a bath on this ghat he can see Radha Krishna eye to eye.
Bihar ghat--- There is a temple of yugal Bihariji on this ghat.That is why it is called Bihar ghat.
Govind ghat----Once while raas was goin on Radha ji suddenly disapeared. Krishna became desperate for her darshan and acted as though he was radhaji and finnaly he met Radhaji there.
Shringaar vat ghat----On this ghat Krishna had done shringaar (makeup)like Radha ji. Hence this name.
Imlitala ghat--- This ghat is near sri Nitai gaur and Radha Damodar temple.When Krishna was unable to find Radha ji anywhere, he sat under this tamrind tree and did japa. In kali yuga sri chetaniya mahaprabhu wanted to experience radha ji’s bhava and did the japa again in the same way as Krishna had done during the dwapur yua. Hence this ghat was named after gurang and is also called gourng ghat.
Sri Ram ghat---It was this temple here Tulsi came and had darshan of sriramji. Some people had challenged him that Ram was his isht, then how he was bowing before Krishna. Tulsi das requested Krishna to change in to Ram’s swaroop, which he did.Hence the name was given asRam ghat as this temple is near the banks of yamuna ji.
Sri varha ghat----This is located on thesouth western side of the yamuna bank. There is a beautiful temple of varaha bhagwaan, It is one of the temple where f a prson has darshan he gets a lot of punyas.
Sri Jaganath ghat---It is believed that jagannath ji came in a saints dream that he is desperate to come to Vrindavan.This saint went to Orissa and told about his dream to the pujari of the Jaganath temple.He told him that this is not within his permission so the king of Orissa who was the rightful person was approached. The king said he will send Jaganathji only if he came to tell him also in a dream. The next night Jaganathji ame in his dream and instructed him to take the deities to Vrindavan. A huge temple has been constructed on the banks of yamunaji.and that is how theghat got thename.
Sri Andhera ghat-----On this ghat Krishna used toplay hide ans seek with the gopi’s
Sri Radha bagh ghat----- This ghat is near Radha bagh. It is a ery enchanting place where one can see many peacocks and othe birds singing the glories of Radha krishna.
Sri jeev ghat
Vrindavan so van nahi, gokul jaiso gaaon, Radhe jaisi gopi nahi sri krishna jaiso naam. Some 60 years ago Vrindavan was a very deep forest. There were many wild animals also. In vrindavan itself there were quite a number of vana’s but 12 of them are very significant for some leela or the other of radha krishna.
1. NIDHI VAN-----This is near Sri Radharaman and shahj’s temple. This is the place from where Banke Bihari made his appearance. It was the main bhajan sthali of sriharidasji. Now w can have darshan of his samaadhi.also. No one can stay here in the night bcause even today the raas leela of radha krishna continues here.One great devotee of Radha Bihariji used to sweep this plce and he found Radhaji’s nupur here.
2Nikunjvan----- This van is also known as seva kunj. It is located near Radha Damodar temple. In the sevakunj there is a remple of Radha krishna. It is believed that even today the leels are performed by the duo here and no one can stay there in the late hours of night.
3sri ghahvar van----This van is towards the southern side of river yamuna, it is very beautiful place.
\4sri pparha van---This van is near adi badrinath ghat where srikrshna showed the gopi’s the darshan of adibadriji.
5sri Gopal van. This van is near the Gopal ghat where baba nand and yashoda had donated cows when Krishna safely came out from the clutches of kalia naag.
6Kalia daman van-----This was once a van from where Krishna had jumped in the river to kill kalia as had polluted the yamuna river by immiting poison in it.
7------Viharvan--- This is on the vrindavan parikarma marg. The devotees chant Radhe Radhe very loudly here because it is believed that they always remain there.
8.--Sri Atal van---In this van there is the temple of Atalbihariji. The story is that once his sakha’s served him food and asked him how did he like the food offered to him by them.Krishna replied atal which means fully satisfied. Hence the temple came to be known as Atalbihari temple.
9---Kevaari van---- This van is situated near Atal van.The day Krishna had sent Kalia naag away from rivr yamuna, he and the brijvassi’s had stayed the night in this van. In the night,the demons of kams were looking for such a great chance to kill Krishna and lit a fire al around them, but krishna saved everyone by his magical power.
10.Sri jhoolan van----Near Radha bagh there is a very harming place where Radha Krishna had played on the swing and sung melodious songs. This leela till goes on.So the true bhagats have experienced some viberating incidents in this place.
11sri gocharan van-----This van is near the vraha bhagwan’s temple and Gautam muni’s ashram.It is also alled virahavan.
12Sri Kishore van----This is near sewa kunj.This is the place where sri hariram Vyasji used to do bhajn and japa. Sri Radha yugal kishore thakur had given hi darshan in this van. Hence ithas been named sri kishore van.
IMPORTANT KUNDA’S OF VRINDAVAN
1. Lalita kund---It is situated in seva kunj.
2 Vishakha kund----It is in nidhi van.
3sri braham kund ---It is in rangnath ji temple.
4sri gajraj kund----It is in rangnath temple.
5sri Govind kund---It is near sri Ram Krishna temple.
6sri davanal kund----It is also near sri Ram Krishna temple.
Swam Sri Haridasji the guru of Tansen the famous musician of the court of emporor Akbar, was the incarnation of Lalita sakhi, who was the most intimate sakhi of Bihari, Bihariniji in the nitya leela. Swamiji used to go in a deep cave like kunj every day and when he came out of it he ould prostrate before it many times.His disciples were curious to know where and why guru ji went there. One day swamiji made a jestre to his devotees to follo him. Inside the kunj the devotees were astonished to see Bihariji and Bihariniji siting on a beautiful throne decorated with beautiful scented flowers. They were surrounded by hundreds of sakhi’s. They also saw their guruji as Lalita sakhi who was doing their sewa. Swamiji indiated two of the disciples to lift up both of them and bring them out of the rang mahal or nikunj mahal. Outside there was a big crowd of musicians from all parts of the country. Both the divine couple were placed near the rang mahal. The blessed the gathering and then Sri Hridasji requested them to remain there so that the people of kali yuga can have their direct darshan. Bihariji agreed, but swamiji thought that the people of kali yga will not be able to see sch an iluminated vigraha of Bihariniji , so asked her to merge with Bihariji. We can have only the gaadi darshan of Biharinij. Bihariji is hence both the divine couple. That is why the shringaar is a mixture of both.Bihariji was the darling son of sriharidasji. Haridasji used to do his sewa very devotedly. Bihariji has shown many miracals to his devotees. The temple is always overcrowed but on special days like Bihari panchami, krishan janamastmi, akshay teej, haryali teej, shard poornima, radha ashtmi which coincides with sriharidasji’s appearance also there is no end to the crowd. During the summer season starting rom March to hariyali teej Bihariji is placed outside the garb graha and is decorated with flowers in a palace made with bamboo stickes covered with mogra flowers. These are called phool bangla’s.
SRI RADHA RAMAN TEMPLE-----SriGopal bhat ji was a great devotee of Krishna. He devotedly was engrossed in the sewa of his thakurji Shaligram. One day a rich seth came to Vrindavan and wanted to donate some dresses and ornaments to the deities of some of the temples. He felt oh! If my Thakurji was a little bigger in size and if he had had arms and legs he would have loved to make him wear a lovely paushaak.When he woke up in the morning he was flabbergasred to see ,his shaligramji had grown and also had legs and arms. The shaligram part was his back. Today Radha Raman ji ‘s temple is near nidhi van and his swaroop is fantastic.
SRI SHAH JI-----This temple is near nidhivan. It is a very big temple made of marble flooring and has crooked pillars. It was constructed by a rich seth of Lucknow who has made a trust for its permanent sewa of Thakuri.
SRIRANGNATH TEMPLE----This temple is of south Indian style. It is very palacial.It is believed that there was a devotee of sri rang nathji whose name was sri Godaambaa who had read about Rangnathji in the scriptures. She hadthree desires. First to get married to rang nathji, Second to offer the bhog of pysam in 1000 earthn pots and third she wanted to stay inVrindavan with sri Rang nathji..In the south Indian literature her uppasana was praisworthy. Her father was incharge of the flower garland sewa of srirangnathji. Godaambaa used to help her father in selecting the best flowers available and used to make the garland herself and then she used to put on the mala and then it was offered to srirangnathji. One day the priest noiticed a hair on the garland and got very angry at her father. He called for him but he was unaware as to how the hair came in the mala. This sewa was taken away from him. He asked his daughter Godaambaa and she told him that she used to wear the mala to se how it will look on sriranganathji. Her father got furious when he heard this. Now a new mala was offered to sriranganathji, but he refused to accept it and said that he will accept mala ofonly Godaambaa. Later he got married to Godaambaa. The second wish of Godaambaa was fulfiled by sriramanujacharya who made arrangement of offering 1000 pots of pysum as prasad to sriranganathji.The third wish that srirangnathji should come and stay in Vrindavan was fulfiled by sriranganathji himself. He gave indications that his dieties should be taken to Vrindavan. Seth Lakshmi chandra was selected to do this sewa for sriranganathji.. Today Godaambaaji is also present with sriranganthji in srirannatha temple.
There is a very big kund in the premises of this temple where the gajaa graha moksh leela is played on every sawan poornima on the day of raksha bandhan. Another unique feature of the mandir is the stupa made out of gold known as garuda stambh on which prasad is servd to 33 crore devi devta’s. The yemple has other deities such as Vishnuji in a lying pose on the shesh naag, sritirupati balaji’s temple, Ram darbaar, golden paalki’s of the lord, shish mahal.
The most striking feature is the rath made out of sandal wood. There are many jhanki’s of krishna which move with eletronic devices such as meerabai and krishna, makhan chori leela etc. The temple has carvings of south Indian style.
SRI RADHA VALLABHA TEMPLE---The thakurji of this temple appeared from nidhivan by swami sriharivansh. The chhavi of Radh vallabha is so wonderful that one will liketo go on looking at it withot a blink of the eye. The sewa of this deity is also very delicate. Like banke bihariji, this thakurji is also bent from three places and has lovely eyes that are always stealing the hearts of the devotees.Srimahaprabhu hith harivansh came to Vrindavan when he had a dream where Radhaji instructed him to go there. She also told him that a brahamin willoffer you to get married to two of his daughters and he should not refuse this offer. The same brahamin has a vigraha of thakurji which he should take from him and go to Vrindavan. Harivansh took both the sisters with him along with thakurji and reached Vrindavan. He came to the yamuna bank and placed thakurji on a high elevation, near the madan temple. The brijvasi’s started respecting him and he was donated some land in that area. Later thakurji was taken to sewa kunj. The sewa of sriji is gaadhi seva.
Sri krishna Balram temple------ This temple is also called ISKCON or thetemple of english people because sri Bhakti Vetant sril Prabhu Paad ji had gone to the west and propgated krishna bhakti there. Therefore many foreigners visit this temple dressed in the ancient Indian style.There are three vigrahas namely srigaur Nitayee, Balram krishna and Sri Radha Krishna along with sakhi’s Lalita and vishakha. There is also the samaadhi of this great acharya srilPrabhu padji. The temple is fullof beautifulpaintings of krishna leela on the walls of the temple. It is made of marble flooring and cleanliness is always maintained.The shrinaar of the deites is breath taking.
SRI RADHA SHYAM SUNDAR TEMPLE----- This temple is in loee bazar. Its vigraha is very beautiful.The shringaar is also very magificant. There is a special attraction of this temple on akshay tritya
ASHAT SAKHI TEMPLE----This temple is near sri Madanmohan temple. It was built by emperor Ram ranjan of district Virbhum. Sri RadhaRasvihari is surrounded by the eight intimate sakhis of Radha Krishna
SHIRI AKHANDANAND JI’S TEMPLE----It is situated on the chhatikara vrindavan road. It is a very big temple. The staues of sri Hanumanji and Ganesh ji can be seen from a distance as they are very big in size. The temple is newly constructed with marble all over. The deities of Radha Krishna, Sita Ram darbar and durga are very attractive.
SRI RADHA DAMODR TEMPLE----This temple is near sewa kunj and jhadu mandle near vanshivat. There are four pairs of radha krishna deities. First is the deity of sri Radhavrindavan chandra worshipped by sri Krishnadas kaviraj goswami, Second is of sri Radha Damodar worshipped by sri jeev goswami, third is of sri RadhaMadhav worshipped by sri Jaidev goswami and the fourth is of sri Radha chhail chikinia worshipped by sri Bhugharbh swami. There is also a shila of goverdhan in this temple and there is a brief story about it that ever day swami paad sanatan goswami used to circumbate around goverdhan, and then only he would break his fast by eating. When he grew very old Govrdhanji gave him darshan and told him to stop such tough penance as he had become too weak, but he refused saying he can not leave his niyam. Goverdhan ji then took a stone or shilla and stood on it and playing the flute. His right foot dug in the shilla which got melted, a small calf came dancing on the shilla and he kept is flut and lakuti which got stuck on it. He then told goswamiji to cirumbate four times around this shilla and it will be counted as a full circumbation of goverdhan. For the people of kaliyuga this shilla is a great boon. Hundredsof devotees do parikrama of this shilla and are benifited as though they have walked the 21 kilo meters parikarma of Goverdhani.
SRI GOPINATH JI TEMPLE---- This temple is near Sri Radha Raman temple. Gopinathji appeared for the sake of devotion ofsri paramanand Bhattacharyaji. After that the sewa went to a pandit whose name was sri Madhu. A devotee named Janhavi came to Vrindavan and came for his darshan. It occurred to her that sri Radhaji was quite short in size compared to Krishna. When she went to sleep that night Gopinath ji came in her dream and asked her to make arrangements to bring Radha ji according to his size. It is believed that Jahnvi maa herself menifested a deity of Radhaji and entered that vigraha. She the told hr devotees to place this vigraha next toThakurji.Hence sh was placd on the left side of Thakurji. The original deities were taken to Jaipur and new ones have been installed in this temple.
SRI GOVIND DEVJI TEMPLE----This temple has also been shifted to Jaipur due to yavan’s attackon all popular temples of Vrindavan. The importance of this temple is that sri Roop goswamiji maharaj who was a great disciple of sri mahaprabhu Chaitanya was responsible for its appearance. Govind devji told him in a dream that he would like to taken out from the goma teela where every day a cow used to come and do his abhishekam every day with the flow of her milk. Swamiji himself saw this happening every day and with the helpof king Man singh the vigraha was taken out and a temple was built where Govind dev ji was placed. The chhavo of Govinddev ji is breath taking and is still attracting millions of devotees who go for its darshan ti Jaipur.
SRI VANKHANDI MAHADEV TEMPLE------Sri Snatan goswamiji used to visit sri Gopeshwar temple every day which was quite far from where he was staying..He used to loose his way very often.One night sri Gopeshwar nath ji came in his dream and told him to have his darshan at vankhandi. Now he stared going there every day for Mahadevji’s darshan.
SRI GODA VIHAR TEMPLE---- This templeis close to Ranganathji temple.It consists of more than 300 deities of different gods, demigods, rishi’s and maharishi’s. In the front side of the temple near the entry there is a beautiful temple of veda’s. There is also a vaikunta duwaar, navgraha , the sun chariot, shiv lok, brahma lok and the ten avtaars of incarnations of vishnu.
VANSHI VAT-----Kanha used to play his flute here. The gopi’s used to come running here leaving all their household duties such as preparing food for the family, looking after children and elderly members of the faminly. On reaching vanshivat they were stunned to see the moon spreading its light rays all over making the place most blissful and enchanting.
SRI GOPESHWAR MAHADEV-----When Krishna appeared in the dwapur yuga,Siva who was in deep meditation in his abode at Mt Kailash suddenly saw that his ishta has come to Vrindavan.He too wanted to experience the raas leela of Krishna, but only women were allowed an entry in to the raas mandal so he dressed up in the attire of a gopi and went to the raas mandal.While dancing he was so much engrossed that he did’nt realise that his chunari had fallen off his head and he could be recognised as shiva.Radhaji got angry at this behaviour ,but Krishna pacified her by telling her , that Shiva had given up his male form and become a gopi and gave him the title of Gopeshwar. This temple was laatter built by Krishna’ great grand son Brij nabh.
TATIA STHAAN------This place is the most beautiful place of Vrindavan. Since it is situated near the thuta or bank of yamunaji and it is surrounded be bamboo sticks it got this name.The saints of this place are of Sriharidas sampradya. The first saint who took charge as the mahant of this place was Sri Lalitkishoridevji. The main temple here is of Mohan bihariji. This murti was also self menifested and appeared from Deeg.Once nidhi van got flooded by the yamuna river and hence Mohan bihariji was brought to this place.The natural environment of this place is breath taking with many ancient trees, creepers and bushes. This is the only place where till today there is no elctricity and no one is allowed to take any radio tape recorder etc to this place. The saints are always doing japa.They smear brij raj all over their body and have nothing to do with the worldly activities. The smaj, that is chanting and singingof the dhruva paddas of kelmal as well as other padas of the saints of this guru shishya parampara are sung on occasions of Sri Radha ashtmi which coincides with the birth day of swami Sri haridasji also, krishna janamashtmi and sharad poornima.
SRI AKRUR THIRATH------On the Mathura Vrindavan road there is a place near the river yamunaji where Akrurji had taken a dip in the yamuna when he had come to take away Balram Krishna on the command of Kanmsa, the king of Mathura as well as the had thematernal uncle of Krishna. It was at this place where Akrurji asked Krishna if he could have a dip. As Balramji and Krishna were waiting, Akrurji took a dip in the yamuna and was surprised to find both the brothers also bathing there.On coming out of yamunaji, he saw them sitting comfortably on the chariot where he had left them. He took another dip and saw them again in the yamuna.He did this several times and saw they were sitting on the chariot only. When he came back to the chariot, Krishna pretended and asked him, uncle what is the matter? Why are you looking so shocked. Akrurji who knew that Krishna was an incarnation of Naryana was blessed by such darshan. Any one who bathes in this place will be free from the cycle of birth and death.
SRI MATHURADHISH MANDIR----This temple is in between sribhuteshwar Mahadevji’s temple andKrishna janambhoomi.The deities are magificant. Any person ho has darshan of this deity becomes free from the bondage of death and birth cycle.
SRI BHUTESHWAR MAHADEV MANDIR---- There is a shiva lingam in this temple. Nearby there is also a temple of sri Paataal devi.It is called the dwaraarpaal of Mathura. 84 kos yatra begins from here.
SRI DAWARKA DHEESH TEMPLE---- This temple is near sri Assighat. Thakurji’s pooja is done in accordance to pushti marg.The architecture of the temple is very beautiful.In the garab garaha sri Dwarkadheesh ji mahraj ji is standing majistically next to Rukmaniji.
SRI VARAHDEVJI’S TEMPLE—This is a temple of Varaha baghwan one of the avtaars of Vishnu brought by Shatrughan from Ayodhya as it was gifted to him by sri Ramji.Till today the pooja is done as started by Sri Shatrughanji maharaj.
SRI KESHAV DEVJI’S TEMPLE---- This temple is located to the south of Krishna janam bhoomi.There is a beautiful vigraha of Krishna.Any one who does parikarma of Keshavdev ji will be rewared the boon of washing away of all is sins.
SRI DAAUJI’STEMPLE----Krishna used to call hislder brother Balramji as Daau meaning elder brother..This temple along with the temple of Madan mohan and Sri Gokul nath ji is placed on the banks of river yamunaji.
BIRLA MANDIR---This temple is situated on the Mathra- Vrindavan road. There are deities of Vishnu.Sri Ram, and Sri Krishna etc.
SRI DIGRA VISHNU TEMPLEe----This temple ji is of bhagwan Vishnu who is popular as Digra Vishnu in ths area.
Beside these temples there are many more temples such as Vittalnathji’s mandir, Gokaran, Chaamundadevi, Neelkanteshwar, Mahalaxmi, Govindev, Dewki Vasudev mandir, Mahavidya mandir etc.
IMPORTANT GHATS OF MATHURA
VISHRAAM GHAT-----It is the most important ghat where Krishna had taken rest after killing Kamsa.Having a dip on this ghat fulfils the Vishramtirtha.
Ganesh ghat----Vighanraj tirath
sarswati ghat---The dharapatan tirath
Pryaag ghat---Pryaag tiratha
Bhddha ghaat---bodhi tirtha
Dhruv ghat-----Dhruv tiratha
Suraj ghat-----Surya tiratha
Gaoo ghat-----som thiratha
Daau ji ghat--- Daauji pushti marg
There are five important vanas in Mathura. Each has a story of Krishna with these vana’s.They as as follows:-
MADHU VAN----- This vana is very attractive and the vibrations are like those of a tapo bhumi. This is the place where Dhruv ,a five year old child had done penance to have darshan of Vishnu, because he was hurt by his step mother’s remarks that he would have had access to sit on maharaj uttanpada’s lap only if he had been born from her womb. This is the place where Krishna had killed Madhuketab demon. Krishna used love comig to this place with his cowherd friends and cows. While the cows grazed, krishna used to play in this vana with the gaala’s and have food with them.
TAAL VANA-----This van was full of juicy fruits.The gawalas told Krishna,that he wanted to eat some fruits which had spread their fragrance all over the place. Kamsa wanted to get krishna killed so he sent Dhenukasur who had come in the form of an ass However Balramji caught his two legs at the back and threw him so hard that he fell on the trees.Each tree was making the other trees fall and ultimarely he died.
KUMUD VANA-----This is another place where Krishna used to play with his cowherd friends. There is a kund here which is full of lotus flowers. Kumud means lotus flower. Hence this was named as kumudvana.The dadhi kand leela of Krishna was the main leela which took place here. The gwala bals used to snatch dhadhi fromeach other along wit Balram and Krishna.
AMBIKA VANA-----This is the place where an arconda snake caught nand baba Krishna’s father. The gawal’s tried to kill it with sticks but still it did not let nand baba go ,so they called Krishna who came running to save his father from the ajgaar. As soon as it touched Krishna,the snake became a demi god whose name was Sudarshana. He had been cursed by Angira rishi because he was very proud of his good looks. There is a temple of Sri Ambika devi as well as Gokarna and Mahadev in this place also.
BAHULA VAN-----This is the place where a lion was attacking a cow whose name was Bahula. The cow requested the lion to give her a short break so that she could feed her calf soe milkfor the last time. The lion at first did not agree but when she assured him that she will definitely come back he let her go but had all the doubts that she will not come back. When the cow returned back he was impressed by her honesty and set er free to go.
SOME IMPORTANT PLACES OF MATHRA
SRI YAMUNAJI-----Sri yamuna ji is one of the eight patrani’s of Krishna. Krishna loved bathing in yamunaji and is worshipped by all his devoteeswith geat devotion. Once in the month of Kartik on the second day after diwali her brothe Yamraj , the lord of death came to meet her.She was overjoyed and offered him food and put tilak on his forehead. In returned he gave a boon to his sister that on this day of yama dwityia if any brother and sister take a dip in the yamuna together will not face the tortures of yama for their sins.
SOM TIRTHA,KRISHNA GANGA GHAT AND GAOO GHAT ----It is mentioed in the purans that any person who takes a ip in these ghats, he will get moksha. Such a person will be given a place in Vaikunta dham of Vishnji.
KAMSA KILLA----This was the palace of Kamsa who was the maternal uncle of sri Krishna. This is evident by the archelogical statues found from this place.
SRI RANGESHWAR MAHADEV----It is believed that there are four security guards on all the four directions. This is the guard which looks after the southern part of Mathura.On the west is Bhuteshwar Mahadev. In the east is Sri Pipleshwarji and in the northern side is Sri Gokaran Mahadevji.
MAHAVAN-------This is the placewhere Krishna was brought by Vasudev ji.The temple has 84 pillars representing 84 lakhs of species living beings have gone through. The ceiling of this place is original and still ears the blackmarks of the soot. The pillars are still shinng as though they had been touched by Kanaha’s hands smeared with makkhan.There are deitiesof Nand Yashodha, Balramji and Kanha. On Janam ashtmi there is a special function.
LOHAH VAN-------This van was a good place for pasture where Kanha used to bring his cows for grazing along with the calves and other gawala’s. In the scorching heat of the summers thy used to sit under the shade of the trees which were spreading all over the place.Kaha used to enjoy jokin and playing wit these fortunate cowherd boys who were his intimate friends. In fact they were rishies and munies in their past births and had done a lot of tapas, that is why they had the freedom to say what ever they liked to krishna. At present there is a temple of Gopinathhji and a cave kown as Lohasur guffa.( cave )
ANANDI BANDI-----There were two gopi’s. They used to pick up the cow dung from Krishna’s house. They had great love for Kanha.Like other gopi’s they were deeply engrossed in devotion for Kanaha and while they did their household chores they would constantly sing the leela’sand glories of sri Krishna. Great bhakats and devotees of Krishna such as Ras khan and Udhav were so much impressed by the bhakti of these gopi’s that they wanted that in the next birth they should become grass so that the pure and holy feet of these gopi’s should touch them and they too can have the pleasure to be so intimate to Krishna. In the name of these two gopi’s there is a kund in this place.
RAMAN RETI-----This is a beautiful place where Kahana used to play with the gawalas .There is a beautuful temple of Shri Raman Bihari in this place.This looks like an ashram which became popular due to a great saint called Shri Karshiniji. Even today the saint in charge belongs to sri Karshini sampradya. There are beautiful simple huts in a neat row on all sides where saints stay. There is a very big gaoo shalla.Every day there is a langer or free food for any prson who visits this place durin meal times.The food prasad is made of pure ghee of the cows which are in the gaoo shalla .The devotees roll them selves in the sand in this place. There is a couplet regarding the importance of the sand in this place. ‘Raman reti lotyo nahi, kyo naa yamuna pann, re nar tene samjho nahi , brij ko tatva mahaan.’ It means if a person has not rolled in the sand of raman reti and not drunk water of yamunaji he has failed to understand the importance and greatness of brij bhoomi.
RAS KHAN TEELA-----Raskhan was a resident of Afghanistan. Once h happened to see a picture of Kanaha and instantly fell in love with him. He enquired about him and was told that this is a god of the hindus and he stays in Vrindavan.He came all the way rom Kabul and reached brij bhoomiin a few months. On reaching his destination he was not allowed entry in the temple because in those days non hindus were not allowed to enter the temple.He was very dissappointed and took a wow that he will not eat or drink anything till Kahna himself comes to give him darshan and kept sitting out side the temple for many days. Kanha could not see his devotee dying and came personally to take the dry fruits which he had brought for him from Kabul. He had also brought a pattaani suit and a tuledaar topi. The next morning when the temple opened for darshan Kanha was wearing that suit and topi.Ras khan was singing in brij language. The mere touch of Kanha made hima great composer of poetry which is a part of syllabi in schools and colleges today.This is the place of his samaadhi.
TAAJ CHATRI---- This is another instance of a muslim queen who was going to macca madina. From Agra.The first halt was at Mathura. In the evening her ears were enchanted by the ghanta’s and bells that chime during sandhya aarti. She was so much attracted that she wanted to go to the temple but was not allowed being a muslim.Her devotional urge was so intense that Kanaha had to come out of the temple to fulfil her desire and gave her darshan. She stopped her further jouney to macca madina saying she had met her allaha in Mathura only.
BRAHMAAND GHAAT------This was the place where Kana had eaten braj raja that is mud of brij. The gawalla’s went and reported the matter to Yashoda mai who went to scold him for eating mud which is not good for children. At first Kanha denied that he are it but when Yashoda mai asked him to open his mouth, she got the shock of her life to see the whole universe in Kanha’s mouth. There is a beautiful temple of Brhamaand Bihari on this ghat. It is great fun and blissful to have a bath at this ghat.
TEMPLE OF DAAU JI (BALRAMJI)------This temle is about 10-12 kilo meters away from Brahmaand ghat. The place is really very charming and beautiful.The vibrations emmiting from here are very enchanting to the soul. The temple is very beautiful. There are deities f Sri Balramji with his wife Rewatiji in black stone.This temple was also in tha hit list of emperor Aurangzeb for distruction but a very marvolous incident happened due to which it was saved. The story goes that whenever the mougal army made an attempt to destroy the deities, the soldoers were blinded by the miracle of Daauji. The whole night they wanted to attack but went on looking for the templ but could not find it. It is one of the most loved deity of the brijvassi’s.
RAWAL------On the way to Gokul is a small village called Rawal.Radha ji was born at this place. She was the most intimate and beloved sakhi of Kanha. It is believed that n the month of Bhadra Sri Vrishbhanu went as usual to bring lotus flowers from theVrishbhanu sarovar (lake) and to his astonishment he found a very sweet and cute little baby girl on a lotus flower. He brought her home and named her Radha.
KARNAVAL----This is the village where the karna chhedan of Krishna Balram ji took place. There is a beautiful temple of Sri Madan Mohan as well as Sri Madhav rai ji in this place.
When Inder came to now that the brijvassi’s have changed their loyalty towards goverdhanji he became very furious and ordered his clouds to cause so much rain that the whole place should become flooded. Now all the brivassi’s came to Krishna for help as teir homes were filled with water. He lifted the govrdhan hill on his little finger and gave shelter to all the brijvassi’s for 7 days. When Inder saw this he was ashamed of his deed and appologised to Krishna, because he recognised who Krishna was. Then all the items were first offered to Giriji and hen distributed to all the brijwasi’s. That was one day after deepawali. Till today this practise continues and giriraj ji is worshipped. The 7 kos equal to 21 kilo meter circumfrance is done as parikarma of goverdhan by devotees starting from ekadash to full moon day that is pooran mashi.
There are many temples, kunds and villages in goverdhan , but only a few important ones will be discussed. They are as follows.
RADHA KUND----- There is a village known as Aarit gaon A rich merchant had a dream in which Krishna instructed him to to go to this village and make a kund and name it Radha kund.The merchant felt blessed and immediately took action. There were five trees in hat area which had to be cut down. Yudhishter theeldest Pandav brother came in the dream of Sri Raghu das ji and reqested him to save these five trees as they were the five pandavas who wanted brij vaas and were doing tapas.Hence these trees were not cut off. Radha kund is a very vibrating place where one can really feel the prsence of Radhe Shyam.
SRI KRISHNA KUND------Just next to Radha kund is Krishna kund.It is believed that Radhaji takes bath in this kund every day.
KUSUM SAROVAR-------This is another enchanting place where Krishna’s great grand son Brijnabh had arranged for a bhagwat katha. This lake used to have lots of flowers which the sakhi’s used to pluck for making vaini for Sri Radhaji.
NARAD KUND------ Just opposite to Kusum sarovar is narad kund.Narad muni had done very tough tapas here.He was not allowed to enter the raas mandal because no male can enter there. He was very sad and was desperate to see the raas leela of Krishna ith his gopi’s. He requested Vanadevi whotold him to bathe in kusum sarovar to become a gopi.Narad ji gladly did that and became a male and was allowed to enter the raas leela.
SRI GOPAL KUND------While herding his cows with the gwaal sakha’s Krishna used to play pranks lke odinary boys of his age. There used to be teasing, taunting, snatching and also fighting among the gwaalas including Krishna. Once Madhumangal, one of the intimate friends of Kanaha were joking with each other. Suddenly Balram ji saw a pack of clothes in a bundle in Madhu mangle’s arms. He asked him where he ot it from. When he told him he got it from surya kund , Balramji snatched it from him and said why don’t you share I with others. This place remnds us of many such childish pranks played by Kanha with his loving friends in brij.
MANSI GANGA------When Krishna killed Vatsasur demon who came in the guise of a calf, his friends refused to play with him and accused him of killing a cows son. They told him to bathe in the ganga to free himself from this grave sin commited by him. Kanha with is mana made mansi ganga appear befoe him and got fred from that sin.
BRAHAM KUND-----At this place Brahma ji with other demi gods performed abhishekam of Krishna.Even if a person thinks he would like to donate any thing here it is considered as real daan withou actually giving anything
SRI CHAKARESHWAR MAHADEV-----This is a Shiva temple.It was earlier known as chara tirath.It was this place where the lord had instructed his sudarshan chara to stop the seepage of the rain water any where near the goverdhan hill. For seven continious days it was pouring heavily when lord Inder was pouring rain all over brij, and causing floods every where.In ancient times here was a shiva temple here that is why this place was named as chaleshwar mahadev . It was this place where giri raj maharaj gave darshan to sri paad Sanatandas goswami when he was too old to do parikarma of the goverdhan hill. Goverdahan maharaj came in the form of a small brijwasi boy an gave him a shilla on which were the marks of krishn’a right foot, flute, stick and the marks of the hoove of a calf. He told santan goswami if any one does four parikarm’a of this shilla he will get the same benefit as I he has done the 21 km parikarma of the goverdhan hill.This sill can be seen in the Radha damodar mandir in Vrindavan The most imporant festival time in this temple is during srishiva chaturdashi.ie shivraatri.
DAAN GHATI------At this place Kanaha used to ask for daan of curd from the gopi’s.
The gopi’s used to have fun with Kanha and used to refuse givin him any daan of their curd or butter. Once a gopi was passing bt at this place all alone and krishna asked her to donate her curd that she was carrying.When she refused he forcfully took some but whenthe other sakhi,s joined her,they all jointly made he gwalla’s run away. Ther is a famous rasia ie a brij song on this , ekli gheri shayam tene keisi tanni re, shyam mohe vrindavan jano, loat kar Barsaane jaano, agar hoi gai aber, lade gi nand gettani re…………This is a vey good way to be totally engrosed in krishna bhakti by remembering his pastimes or leela’s.
POOCHHARI VILLAGE------The ariel view of the goverdhan hill is like the shape of a cow. Radha kund and shyam kund are projected as the two eyes of the cow, this village known as poochhari gaon is in the southern part of the hill and projects the tail of the cow. There is temple of Poochhari ka lottha.There is a story associated with this temple.Sri Lottha was a friend of Krishna whom Krishna offered to go with to Dwarka but sri lottha refused saying that e has no desire to leave Brij and he will continue staying on he goverdhan hil til krishna comes back and till then he will not eat or drink any thing
Since that day till today, he is believed to be waiting or krishna to come backto Brij and is doing constant jappa. Therefor his temple is known as Poochhari ka Lottha.
POPULR KUNDAS ON GOVERDHAN HILL----- Surbhi kund, Eraavat kund, Maand und Villchhu kund, govind kund, neep kund, sankarshan kund gauri kund gandharva kund are some of the important kunds in and around govrdhan hill.
GREAT SAINTS OF GOVARDHAN HILL-This place was the mediatation place
and a bhajan sthali of many great vairaagi saints who renounced the pleasues of the mundane world and spent their whole life in mediation of the almighty. Some of them need aspecial mention are sri man mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya ji, Sri Sanatan Goswamiji, Sidh Sri Krishna das baba,Sri Shattakopmuni maharaj of Ramanuj sampradya, Sri Pandit Gaya Prasadji, Sri Surdasji, Goswami Vittalnat ji of pushti marg, Sri Nand das ji, Sri Chaturbhuj das ji, Sri Govind swami ji etc………………..
This village is located on the Brahamahill.Many temples, sarovars and kunds in this place
are worth visting. Some of the important places have been described as under.
Sri Radha Krishna temple----- It is situated on the exact place which was the main mahal of king vrish bhabnuji. The deitiesare small in size but once a person climbes the stairsand reaches the main temple,he ceases to forget the huff and puff of climbin so many stair up the hill. It is believed that Radhji her self had requested Shyam sundar ji to be with her in her father’s kingdom. Krishna agreed and today the devotees have the darshn of the yugal pair in this most ancienct temple.
GEHWAR VAN-----The word gehwar means thick forest. It is a beautiful enchantig place full of lots of trees, creeper, bushes and grooves and surrounded by peacocks, koels and other enchanting birds. The true devotees can experience the tinkle of bells of the payjebs of the sakhi’s who are always roaming there along with Radhaji as well as Shyam Sundarji. There are many experiences of bhakts in this place where they have actually witnessed the keli of the divine couple. Just next to this main temple there is another temple which is equally important which was built by the king of Jaipur.
MAYUR KUTI------- Once Radha ji was waiting for the peacocks, but thatday no peacock came there , hence Radhaji was upset. Suddenly she saw Sri Shayam Sunderji dancin just like a peacock. His steps were just like a peacock that Radha ji tookhim for a real peacock. Raha ji got so excited that she out of excitement uttered mor mor which in brij language also means mine. On seeing radhaji uttering mor mor, Shaym Sundarji said, yes Radhe you will always be mine.There is a small temple here as a mark of his incident.Both Shyama Shyam are dessed up in the attire of a peacock here.
MAAN GARH------Once Krishna did not keep his promise of meeting Radha ji.She had waited for so long that she got annoyed with him and refused to talk to him inspite of so much pleadings and apologies. On the suggestion of other sakhi’s Shyam Sundarji disguised himself in the attire of a samwari sakhi. On the mere touch of the samwari sakhi, Radha ji’s anger disappeard. This place was named Maan garh thereafter. There is a beautiful temple known as maan mandir where the nectral flow of brij geet flow during holias well as Radhashtmi.
KAMOI VAN----This is the praakatya or appearane place of Vishaakha sakhi. There is a beautiful tmple of the asht sakhi’s here.
KARHALLA-----This placeis famous for dadhi daan by Lalita sakhi who belonged to ti place. It is believed that the raas of brij tarted from this place started by sri Ghamanddevji. Who was a bhakt who had come fromRajasthan at a very early age under the guru sri haridevji. Once he was roaming these places when a mahatma inspired him to enact the pastimes of krishna. Hence he selected some brahmin boys below 11 years and started raas leela which became very popular in brij latter.
SARIKA VAN-------The trees, creeper, wineyards as wellas the birds of brij bhoomi were blessed souls who were there to help the divine jori in their keli leela. Sarika is a bird which used to send messages from Radhaji to Shyamsundarji.On one ocassion Krishna took a sarika in his hand and made it repeat th name of Radha jiagain and again.At the same time Radha ji made the sarika repeat the name of krishna again and again. The sarika got confused and started chanting radh krishna radha krishna while sitting on the branch of a kadamb tree. Hence it got this name.
HINDOLA VAN----Hindola means a swing. It is a practie that during the monsoons specially during the month of saawan all the brij ladies like to swing during the rainy season.This was a great pleasure to the sakhi’s who had the opprtunity to swing with Shyama Shyam. Once Radha ji was annoyed with Kanha and was not talking to him, so he came in the disgise of a sambwari sakhi and along with other sakhi’s waited for his turn on the swing.Radhji doubted on this sakhi and asked her to be on the swing. The sakhi’s went on givingswings and suddenly the sari of Shyam sundarji was untied and all the sakhi’s had a good laughter seeing his embarresed face. Ha ha what fun it must have been.
SANKET VAN------Sanket means give directions to the person in such a ay that others who arepresent there are not able to see. Radha Krishna used to meet like this very often. The meeting place of the divine jor is known as sanket van.
KOTVAN----Krishna had played holiin this placewith his friends. There is a very ancient tmple of Hanman ji as well as sri mahadevji.
CHARAN PAHAARI--------There is a smaal hill near bettain where krishna was playing with his sakha’s. He played his flute and the the hill started melting. The marks of foot prints of krishna, his sakha’s, cows etc can be seen even today.
CHOUMUHHAA-------This a the place where Krishna and his bal sakha’s were having their mid day meal when they realised that their calves were not be seen any where so Krishna with a morsle of dahi bhaat in his hands went to look for them shouting out their names, but when he came back ,he found the sakha’s had also disapeared. At first he was surprised what had happened to the calves as well as the boys but when he closed his eyes and contemplated for a while he discovered the truth, that Brahmaji was testing him because Brahmaji could not imagine that his almighty will eat the left overs of the gawalas.Now Krishna himself manifested himself as the gawalas as well as the calves and went back home wearing the same clothes each sakha was wearing and each belongings they had and went to their respective homes. All the mothers of brij that day had the opportunity to love krishna as he went to each house in the shape of their sons . Even the cows were blessed to feed thir milk directly to Kanha. This leela went on for a whole year which is only one moment for Brahmaji. When he came to see what krishna will do without the sakha’s and calves he saw thm all together. He went o the cave where he had put them to yog nidra and found them still sleeping there. He came back and again saw all the calves and sakha’s eating food together. He rubbed his eyes and what he saw was a mystry. He saw krishna every where. On every leaf, dust paricle, animal, living being, non lving beings he saw krishna smilng at him. He felt ashamed that he had doubted his god and looked all around with his four faces all around him with his eyes wide open. He el at Krishna’s feet and begged him o forgiv him. This stuti or prayer of Brahaji is very auspicious and fruitful. That is how this place which is located on the Matura road highway near Chhata got this name.
There are so many more placeswhich have their own interesting story behind it but the most important ones have been covered. Evn if a person spends his whole lifewriting and reading them, he will not be able to cover all of them. With this I complete my brij 84 kos yatra here. I hope it will benefit all the readers. Hari Om!!!!!!!!!!Jai Sri Radhe Radhe,Jai sri Krishna!!!!!!!!!!!!!!