The Adi Purana says, “In all the three planetary systems, this earth is especially fortunate for here stands the town of Vrindavana”. But why is it so? What is so special about Vrindavan? Srila Prabhupada offers an answer in the introduction to Srimad Bhagavatam, “Vrindavana dhäma is non-different from Krishna because the name, form, fame, and place where the Lord manifests – are all identical with the Lord as absolute knowledge. Therefore, Vrindavana dhäma is as worshipable as the Lord.”
There is magic in Vrindavan, a magic that has survived thousands of years and has made its way into the modern times. But to experience it, one must come to this blessed land, the land that had once witnessed Sri Krishna’s leelas, felt the touch of His feet, and watched Him kill many demons.
Isn’t it amazing that in Vrindavan, you can actually visit all those places that you have only read about in various mythological texts?
Here are five such mythical places in and around Vrindavan Dham that you should visit:
Bhandirvan: One of the Dwadasha Kanana (12 forests)
Legend has it that there were 12 forests in Braj in the Dwapara Yuga. Bhandirvan is one of the celebrated forests among all 12 because many important events in Sri Krishna’s life took place here. It was here that Krishna and Balaram killed the demons Vatsasura and Pralambhasura. It is also believed that Sri Krishna gathered with His friends under the Bhandirvata and had lunch every day.
The Bhandirvan also has the deities of Shri Shri Radha Bhandirbihari where Sri Krishna is seen putting sindoor (vermillion) on Radharani’s forehead. Legend has it that Sri Krishna married Radharani under the Bhandirvata. Lalitha and the other sakhis made all the arrangements and Brahma acted as the head priest.
Shringar Vat: The place where Sri Krishna adorned Radharani
During Raas Leelas, Sri Krishna danced with every gopi, but He also needed to be alone with Sri Radha for the leela to reach its supreme state. So, Radharani left the place and Sri Krishna followed her. Once alone, He adorned His beloved Radha with flowers and combed her hair at the Sringar Vat.
Years later, when Nityananda Prabhu visited Vrindavan, he chose the Sringar Vat as the place to meditate. Once there was a huge banyan tree at the spot, but now only its stump remains.
Raman Reti: The playground of Sri Krishna
A few kilometres away from Mathura stands Raman Reti, quietly narrating a story of the bygone days. It was here that Sri Krishna played with Balaram and other friends. The sands (reti) of this place stand testimony to the divine plays (raman) of Sri Krishna. It is also believed that Sri Krishna met Radharani at Raman Reti before visiting Vrindavan together.
Many saints chose Raman Reti to meditate and to perform austerities in order to please Sri Krishna. Today, there is a deer sanctuary, small temples, and the Karshni Ashram beside Raman Reti.
Kesi Ghat: Where Sri Krishna took a bath after killing demon Kesi
There is hardly a place in Vrindavan that is not touched by Sri Krishna’s miracles. The Kesi Ghat is no exception. It is believed that Kansa sent Kesi to kill Krishna. Kesi took the form of a fearful horse and started killing innocent Brajwasis. Krishna understood that it was He who could stop the demon. He forced His fist inside the horse’s mouth and killed it because Sri Krishna’s fist felt like a hot iron rod. After killing Kesi, Sri Krishna took a dip in the holy Yamuna at the Kesi Ghat.
Kadamba tree in Chir Ghat: Where Sri Krishna playfully stole the gopis’ clothes
It is believed that the gopis wanted Sri Krishna as their husband and prayed to Mother Katyayani to fulfil their desire. One day, when they were taking a bath in the Yamuna, Sri Krishna stole their clothes and brought it to the holy Kadamba tree that is still there at Chir Ghat.
Radhanath Swami explains the higher significance of Sri Krishna stealing the clothes of the gopis. He says that the act signifies the devotees’ complete surrender to the Supreme Being which necessitates the freedom from all attachments and mundane possessions symbolised by the clothes.
There are many such places in Vrindavana and the Braj that tells the tale of Krishna’s magic. Come, spend a blissful week in Vrindavan. Krishna Bhumi Holydays can make it happen. Radhe Radhe!