One of the most famous forests of Vrindavan to be recreated at Krishna Bhumi, is Khandiravana. One among the twelve principal forest of Braj Khandiravan was where Lord Krishna, Balaramji and all the other Gopas came often to herd their cows and perform their playful pastimes. It is also the same forest where Lord Krishna as a child killed the giant duck demon Bakasura.
Khadiravana is home to Sangam Kunda, also known as Madhurya Kunda. It is here that Lord Krishna would come with the womenfolk or Gopis of Vrindavan and perform His famous Rasa Leela and many other extraordinary pastimes. Nearby at the Kadamb grove, it is said that Lord Krishna, Shri Balram would come every year with all the other friends when the dates ripened, to herd their cows and enjoy ripe dates.
Also in Khadiravana, Lord Krishna performed the famous Lila of killing the demon Bakasura. It is said that Kamsa, Lord Krishna’s evil uncle had sent Bakasura, the giant crane form demon to kill him. When it appeared it had its colossal beaks open with the lower beak touching ground and the upper beak reaching up to the sky. As soon as it caught the child Krishna it had swallowed Him up, much to the fright of His friends. But soon it was forced to vomit Him out as the intense heat of Krishna’s effulgence was burning its throat. After Krishna came out of Bakasura’s beak, He fought with it and killed it. He stepped on its lower beak and caught hold of its upper beak and tore them apart along with its face just like tearing a piece of straw apart. His friends were overjoyed seeing this and joyfully cried out, “Khayo re, khayo re,” which became Khayro, the current name of the village in Khandiravana where Lord Krishna actually is said to have performed this Lila.
Khadiravana owes its name to the Khadira trees growing here, the extract of which is used for making pan. The forest is also called Khadedvan or Khadirvan, because while killing Bakasura, Krishna had to chase it and the words ‘to chase’ is also called ‘Khadedna’ in Hindi.