:: Vraj ::

Vraj Yatra

 

There is great importance to the divine nature while travelling in Vraj. It is alleged that travelling in Vraj is started by Sri Thakurji HIMSELF.

At one time, Sri Krishna had killed a demon who was causing havoc in the form of bull. Then the companions said : "You have killed a member of cow. So you have to do penance. So we will not play with you". Sri Krishna went to Radha. Sri Radha said : "You have to put up with the offence of killing a member of a cow. I will not touch you. Don't come to my Nikunja".

Sri Krishna has tried to explain the reason for killing a bull - as it was in fact a demon - to all.

Sri Radhaji said : "What you say is absolutely right. But you have to undergo penances for the act otherwise people will follow your acts in kaliyug". Then Sri Thakurji said : "All right! tell me what I should do ?" Sri Radhaji said " "All of you go out for a yatra of all tirtha sthans. Take Bath in all holy rivers with respect. Then only the sin can be washed". Sri Krishna said : "Well! I will go out for tirtha yatras". Then all the devotees said : "We will not be able to bear the separation". Sri Radhaji commanded "Call all the tirthas to Vraj and bath within them". All took a tour of Vraj visited all the tirthas there only and took bath. They gave donation to Brahmans.

When the routine dips were over Sri Thakurji asked all holy places and rivers to go back to their original places. All the tirthas folded their hands and urged HIM. "We have no intention to go back leaving your lotus like feet. You have bathed in us we are all sanctified by the touch. Now that we are here many more devotees will visit Vraj. We will be doubly purified by their contact.

Sri Thakurji has allowed them all to stay in Vraj. Since Sri Thakurji had performed this holy yatra in the month of "Bhadarva", it has turned out into a tradition to make yatras in Vraj in this month. During this period rainfall will be very less. all the water reservoirs will be full to the brim. You will see greenary all around. The fields will be full with the waving heads of crop. The whole atmosphere will be ripe with electrifying freshness. With all this resurgence of nature and with all the holy places resplendent with the divine glory, varily a tour of Vraj during this period will be vigourating experience.

 
 

Sri Thakurji had returned to HIS heavenly abode from the area of "Prabhas Putan" (where he was hit by an arrow of a hunter). His great grand son had returned to Vraj along with the sixteen thousand wives of Sri Thakurji to make a tour. At that time Udharji was in Vraj. All of them together made the tour.

It is Sri Mahaprabhuji who had ressurected the tradition of making a tour of Vraj. He had toured through the 12 forests for six times. In a similar manner Sri Gosainji also tour throughout Vraj. Sri Mahaprabhuji used to cover the 12 forests in seven days by foot. Sri Gosainji made the tour for four times. He used to vover the place in 10 to 11 days every time.

There was a Vaishnav recluse who lived in Vraj. His name was "Chatura Naga". He used to start his day with the darshan of Mangla Arali at Sri Govinda Devji in Brindavan. He then would have a darshan of Keshav devaji at sringar in Mathura. Therefore he would go to Nandagaon to have a darshan of Raja Bhoga. Then taking a round around Radha Kunda at Govardhan would return to Brindavan in the night.

After the year of 1628, many Vaishnav sampradaies tried to find out the lila sthans of Vraj like Gadhavan, etc. Then they had made roads pliable for traffic. In old times people used to cover the "Parikrama" (or round) in 18 to 20 days. During the reign of Auranzeb these tours had to be curtailed. But in the year 1805, Sri Purushottamlalji, who resided in Mathura, once again started the tradition of "Parikrama". From that time onwards the tradition of "Parikrama" is carried out till today. In those days this "Parikrama" took 45 to 50 days. There are 25 to 26 places to visit in Parikrama. Now a days, with mode facilities one can cover the tour within 25 days.

It is not only Pusti Margiya Vaishnavas, but also people of other systems of religion go round the "Vraj Parikrama" (When you start from a particular place and end at the same place going round a certain area it is called as Parikrama).

If any one is physically incapable to make a full "Parikrama", he can go and visit some important places and have the fortune having darshan there some people also make the tour of the parikrama in the month of Phagun. The "Parikrama" that takes place in the month of Bhadarva is known as "Lili Parikrama". The Parikrama conducted in the month of Maha and Phagun is called "Suki Parikrama" (Lili means green; Suki means dry).

The "Parikrama" starts from Mathura. At a place called "Visram Ghat" the vows for taking the Parikrama" will be taken the next day they will take round of the city of Mathura. This is known as "Autar grihs Parikrama". From here the yatra will begin. The first step will be Madhuvan. The last stop would be Gokul. From Gokul the yatra will return to Mathura. Again you have to visit Vishram Ghat to break the vow. Once again you have to go through the movements of doing the turns of "Antar Grahi".

Any yatra round Vraj should be taken with some or other of a Goswami Balak. Under the auspecies of the Goswami Maharaj a committed for the yatra will be convened. It will be the responsibility of this committed to see to every detail of the tour. They have to pitch tents, whereever they go. All those who can manage to make the yatra physically should go on foot. Others can move in vehicles. You need medical outfit, post office, Bank etc to move along with the entourage. Temporary stops, tea stalls, electrical supervisors, security, trucks to carry loads are managed by the comitte.

At all places of lila, the rasa dhari mandali performs the episodes from puranas. The Goswamies give lectures explaining the importance of Lilas to Vaishnavas. Many Vaishnavas come from even foreign countries. Every Vaishnava aspires to make a tour of Vraj at least ones in his lifetime.

What are the vows to be taken at the time of Vraj Yatra ?

When you enmark on the Parikrama of Vraj, Your Gaur (the chaturvedi community Brahman) will make you to take vows before Sri Yamunaji which look some what like the following :

1. Speak Truth. 2. Observe celebacy. 3. Will sleep on floor. 4. Will not get angry. 5. Do not be avarices. 6. Forgive others offenses. 7. Will not swear on others. 8. Will protect all kinds of living things. 9. Will not pluck flowers, fruits, leaves, and branches from trees. 10. Wash the clothes once again after receiving from washerman. 11. Never use soap during Yatra. 12. Do not apply oil to body. 13. Do not avow to fast. 15. Do not shave or cut hair. 16. Have fortitude in all kinds of suffering. 17. Bear with difficulties. 18. Just do not try to survive on "Chana" and water. 19. Only take water from any kund (water tanks) for achamana (a process of worship). Do not drink. 20. Respect the commands of the leader of the yatra. 21. If you do not understand any matter ask for his advice. 22. Do not leave the company of your "Gaur". Don't travel alone. 23. At every kund, according to your capacity donate freely. 24. Fold your hands and ask for blessings. 25. Try to avoid the six flaws known as kama or desire, krodha or anger, lobah or avarice, Moha or uncertainity, Mada or conceit, Matsar or envy. 26. Observe pure conduct and good behaviour. 27. Have bhakti of the feet of Guru. 28. Recite artha Akshara Mantras all the time. 29. Do not blame any one for any faults.

After taking all the above vows, the traveler should fold his hands and pray to Sri Yamunaji : "Bless me that I will be able to observe all these vows. I have taken your shelter. Kindly allow the yatra conducted without any hurdles".

Observance of all the four Ashrams :

Our Sanatana Dharma has prescribed for us four forms of "Ashramas" (Observance of orders of life is known as "Ashramas").
1. Observing celebacy before marriage. 2. After marriage observe the life style of a householder. 3. When you reach ripe age observe the system known as "Vana prastha" (It is an order where you go and stay in hermitages and lead a life of righteousness without any family bonds hindering your satvic activities). 4. When all attachments were cut of take the orders of an ascetic.

During Vraj Yatra you will get an occasion to observe all the four Ashrams.

Brahmacharyashram (Order of celebacy)

The celebate has to take a vow that he will not cut the nails and hair of the body. He should sleep on floor only. Keep himself away from the company of women. Should walk barefoot. Should not cut green trees. Should talk only truth. Eat satvic food. All these rules are essential for a celebate to observe. Particularly when you are on a yatra of Vraj you should observe all these rules.

Gruhasthashram (House-holders order)

A householder should respect a guest when on tours of holy places he should give grants and donations. Must take a vow to protect all living things. Even during a tour of Vraj these rules must be observed by all.

Vanaprasthashram (Order of secluded life)

It is a prescribed order under Hindu Dharma for all old couple (husband and wife) to go to some secluded places away from home, and live there. It can be a holy place. Even when you live a satvic life. Have control over oneself. Think of divine being. Keep the mind involved in religious thoughts only. When you are undergoing yatras then also you have to observe these rules.

Sanyasara, (Order of Ascetic life)

There is a condition under this order that an ascetic cannot stay at any one place for long. Cannot utilize the means of enjoyment. Cannot get angry. Must be free from vices like Kama, Krodha, etc. Observe all these rules in Vraj Yatra also.

x x x

In this way to undergo Vraj Yatra is a kind of Tapa or Penance of the system of Pusti. Even if you look at it from the point of view of adhibhauticata it is good for your health. Look at this. you walk daily five to six miles (one mile is equal to 1.6 kilometers) on foot. You set up early morning. Enjoy fresh breeze by wandering in forests. Drink pure milk, curds, ghee and satvic diet at village level. Pay visits to the lila sthans and tirthas. Have the company of righteous people. Leave aside all worldly thoughts and wanderings. All these acts cooperate in maintaining a sound body and a peaceful mind.

This yatra will also help in finding spiritual benefits. our eyes will get used to seeing all the lila sthanas of divine being. Ears get used to listening to the sounds of praise of the qualities of Sri Thakurji. Our delicacies and reciting the name of divine being. By coming in contact with the dust of Vraj our inner self and outer body will turn pure and sanctified. Your mind will gradually get entangled in Sri Thakurji. A change of nature ensures.

There is this supernatural benefit also we adopt these means with a sense of humality and utter helplessness. What we do is done with faith and a pure sentiment. Our urge to have a glimpse of divine being is backed with the feeling of being separated from HIM. Ultimately, when HE grants HIS divine compassion, someday we too could have a glimpse of the supernatural lilas. we can be able to place our mind in Sri Thakurji entirely.

Sir Dayarambhai praising the result-orientedness of Vraj Parikrama of 84 kosas, has composed the following poem :

Chaurasi Kosani Parikrama Kidhi
Tenae Chaurasi Na Bhamau
Van Upwan joi anand avae
Tenae Hari Sangae Tharyu Ramavan

Sri Govardhan Sri Maharani
Yene Preme Dharimae Pujyan
Yenee Ikotaera Sata Pidhi Tranee
Tenae Harinan Charana Sujyan

Seva Smarya Jenae Sri Nandanvan
Sri Gokul Vasa Vaseanae
"Daya" No preetam tenae Preme
Potano Karae Hatha Grasenae

Precautions to be taken when going to Vraj.

Our mind and intellect attempt in a general way to find faults in others. When we come across a situation of some experiences of a person, we will at once find faults in it and would begin to abuse him. There is a possibility of this happening during a Vraj yatra with what we see with these eyes all around we should not bring into our mind any ill thoughts. What we see with these eyes is the physical aspect of Vraj. Inherent in this Vraj is a transcendental form. Vraj indeed has a divine form. So if you cast aspirations at Vraj you will be also including Sri Thakurji in the abuse. do not try to find faults with Vraj. See what is beautiful in it. Have a glimpse of it only.

Keep your mind at peace and do not try to quarrel with the Vraj vasies of the place and others. Do not argue. If you can afford give away what they ask. Otherwise close your hands in salutation and move away from them. But never use a language that will hurt the feelings.

To the best of your ability offer whatever little you can at all the places of Lila of Sri Thakurji. Try to listen to the important episodes of those places from local people. Sing the praises of divine being through kirtans. think of him as much as possible. don't waste your time. Simply in drinking and eating.

Various places of Vraj :

Twelve Vanas or forests of Vraj :
1. Madhuvan, 2. Talava, 3. Kumudvan, 4. Bahutavan, 5. Kamavan, 6. Khidarvan, 7. Brindavan, 8. Bhadravan, 9. Bhandrivan, 10. Belavan, 11. Lohavan, 12. Mahavan.

Twenty four sub-Vanas of Vraj :

1. Gokul, 2. Govardhan, 3. Barasana, 4. Nandagaon, 5. Sanketa, 6. Paramandara, 7. Ading, 8. Sesasaya, 9. Mak, 10. Unchogam, 11. Belavan, 12. Sri Kunk, 13. Gandharva van, 14. Parasoli, 15. Bichuvan, 16. Bachcha van, 17. AdiBhadari, 18. Karahala, 19. Anjnokhar, 20. Pisayo, 21. Kokilavan, 22. Dadhivan, 23. Kolivan, 24. Rawal.

The chief "Dhams" of Vraj :

There are 34 chief "Dhamas" in Vraj Mandal : 1. Mathura, 2. Madhuvan, 3. Kumudavan, 4. Santana Kund, 5. Ading, 6. Kusumokhar, 7. Chandra sarovar, 8. Sri Giriraj, 9. Gutul Kund, 10. Bahaj, 11. Para Mandara, 12. Ghara, 13. Kamavan, 14. Barasana, 15. Sanketavan, 16. Nandagaon, 17. Karahala, 18. Kotavan, 19. Kosi, 20. Seshasai, 21. Java, 22. Bathaena, 24. Kamar, 25. Chiraghat, 26. Bachavan, 27. Shergadh, 28. Nari Se Mari, 29. Garuda Govinda, 30. Brindavan, 31. Lohavan, 32. Dauji, 33. Gokul, 34. Rawal.

Important places of Vraj :

It is one of the seven famous puries : Of these 3 1/2 are known as Vishnu puries. Mathura is included in them. In padma purana the divine being HIMSELF has stated that : This stands for my own form. Those with evil intentions cannot understand about this ancient and beautiful city.

In ancient times the surroundings of Mathura city was known as Madhuvan. The reason for this was : One demon king called Madhu used to rule the place. He expanded his kingdom here and named its capital Madhupuri. Later on it was called Madhura and getting twisted it remained "Mathura".

The city of Mathura is situated on the southern banks of Sri Yamunaji, between Delhi and Agra. Here Sri Krishna has manifested in the prison of "Kamsa". Even today on this very place there stands a gorgeous construction co-memorasing the birth of Sri Krishna. It is worth seeing.

Here on the banks of Sri Yamunaji there are 12 ghats (a ghat is a place where the yatries ( travelers) can perform relegeous rites sitting on) of these Vishram ghat is a very important place. It is alleged that after killing their uncle king Kamsa, both Sri Krishna and his elder brother Baladeva had taken rest for some time at Vishram ghat. Hence this place is called so. If you bath at this place and also drink its water there it has great sanctifying effects. Since this place assumed a great importance of piety, people from all over the country and abroad come to Mathura on "Bhaibeej" day to take a bath in the river Sri Yamuna along with their sisters. it is also beloved that person can be freed from the tortures of yama, by drinking her water.

All around we find many mandirs raising their head loftily. out of these there is one Pusti Margiya Mandir, named Sri Rajadhiraj Mandir, otherwise known as Sri Dwarakadhish Mandir. It is an important landmark on the banks of Sri Yamunaji. In addition, we have Sri Dauji's Mandir, Sri Madan Mohanji Mandir, SriNathji's Mandir, and Sri Govardhan Nathji's Mandir.

This was the same place where Sri Gosainji had lived along with his seven sons for a long time. This house is well known as "SatGhara". SriNathji has visited the place and remained for some months in the house. Hence they have a "charana Chowki" in that place, (A charana chowki is a footrest). Sri Mahaprabhuji's Baithak is situated at Visram Ghat.

The other places of importance in Mathura are : Sri Krishna Jamna Sthana, Potara Kund, Sali Burj, The Killa or fort of Kamsa, and the museum of Archaeological department.

2. Gokul :

Gokul is about 8 1.2 miles away from Mathura. It has a metalled road. It is also situated on the banks of Sri Yamunaji. The surrounding areas of this town were at one time known as "Mahavan". In this place Sri Krishna has manifested in the palace of Sri Nanda Raiji and Sri Yasodamai. Here the famous "Nanda Mahotsav" was celebrated. Sri Krishna had spent his childhood here. his pranks played in this place are known as "Bala Lila".

On the banks of Sri Yamunaji here, we have 12 ghat (a ghat is an open constituted area where pilgrims can go down the steps, take a sip of water or bath at convenience). The important ones of them are Govindghat and Thakurani Ghat. If you take a sip of water and bath at these places you are considered sanctified. On this very Govindghat, Sri Thakurji had appeared before Sri Mahaprabhuji, cousenated him into Brahma Sambandha directly, thereafter Sri Yamunaji also had appeared before him. This is the place where Sri Mahaprabhuji had sung in praise of Sri Yamunaji which was later came to be known as "Sri Yamunastakam". Here we have the Baithakjies of both SriNathji and Sri Mahaprabhuji. In addition you will find "Badi Baithak", "Baithakji of sayga Mandir" (sleeping chamber) and the Baithekji where Damodardas Harsani was cousenated into Brahma Sambandha - in Gokul. Further you will come across the Baithakjies of Sri Gosainji and his seven Laljies (sons) and Sri Hariraijies and Damodar Harsanies Baithak are also here only.

At one time there were as many as 24 Pusti Margiya Mandirs in this place. A few mandirs left behind are 1. Sri Gokulnathji's Mandir, 2. Sri Raja Thakur's Mandir, 3. Sri Bala Krishna Lalji's Mandir belonging to Jamnagarwalas, 4. Sri Dwarakadhis Mandir of Kankroli, 5. Sri Chintamani Madhav Mandir etc.

You will find many worth seeing places in and around Gokul. Of them : 1. Potara Kund, 2. Rasa Khan's samadhi (tomb), 3. Ali Khan's Samadhi, 4. Hillocks of (Tilas) Govinda Swami and Raja Asakaranji, 5. Ramana Reti, 6. Gopa kuva etc.

As said before, Mahavan is very near to Gokul. Here we have a place called "Nandalaya" with 84 black pillars. This construction is at present known as Mandirs. If you go a little ahead we have the abode of Sri Dauji who is well known as "Baladera" - He has his mandir here called Sri Dauji's Mandir. A little away from here we have "Brahmananda Kunda" - remind us the place where Sri Thakurji is alleged to have eaten dirt (Mati).

On the way to Gokul from Mathura you will come across two places "Lohavan" and "Rawal". Sri Radhikaji's ancient mandir is in "Rawal" where she has manifested.

3. Brindavan :

This place is eight miles away from Mathura. Brindavan is famous as a city of Mandirs. There are many beautiful and gorgeous Mandirs. This too is a place on the banks of Sri Yamunaji. This is the place where Sri Thakurji had sported the most famous "Rasa Lila" in the Kalpa (age) of "Sveta Varaha" (The existance of the whole universe is divided into Kalpa's rules by Manu) with HIS Vraj Bhaktas.

"Kaliya Nag's" abode was somewhere very near where Rasa Lila took place. The four Baithakjies of 1. Sri Mahaprabhuji, 2. Sri Gosainji, 3. Sri Gokul Nathji and 4. Damodardas Harsani and Pusti Margiya Mandir of Sri Madan Mohanji are also here.

Of other Krishna Mandirs the famous ones are : Iscons modern Mandir, Sri Bakae Bihariji's Mandir, Sri Rangaji Mandir, Sri Govind Devji's Mandir, Mirabai's Mandir, Sri Shahji's Mandir, etc.

In addition, the worth visiting places are : 1. Seva Kunj, 2. Nidhivan, 3. The ghat of Sri Yamunaji, 4. Bansi Ghat, 5. Tulsi Kunj, etc.

While talking about the literature in Vraj language Brindavan stands as a mile stone.

4. Jati pura :

The village of "Jati pura" is situated on the plains of the mountain Sri Girirajji. It is 70 miles away from Mathura. We have metalled road to travel to Jati pura. On the way lay the three important inhabitations called (a) Ading, (b) Santana kund and (c) Govardhan.

The Gosainji's eldest son, Sri Giridharji was famous as a "Yati". It is believed that the name of "Jati pura" is arrived at from his name "Yati". The "Mukharavinda (a manifestation of lotus like face) of Sri Thakurji is here. In front of this we have Sri Mahaprabhuji's Baithakji. The ancient Mandir of SriNathji is situated on Sri Girirajji. People gather here (Vaishnavas) to have a glimpse of Sri Girirajji, to offer seva to HIM, and to start on their "Parikrama". People offer mounds of milk to Sri Girirajji and also dishes made out of milk are offered. Devotees take vows to make a parikrama of five kosas, or seven kosas, or nine kosas of Sri Girirajji. Those anticipating returns also come here and open their hearts before Sri Girirajji asking boons. Some make the rounds with milking streaming from a perforated vessel - thus welting the land. They also carry increase (Dhoop). Recluses and saintly vaishnavas take the parikrama of 108 0r 1008 "dandavati parikrama" of Sri Girirajji (a dandivati parikrama is a variation you lie on the earth in a prostrate state with your arms held straight in front of you. Where our dandivati end, you place a stone to count. you get up and repeat the same for 108 or 1008 times. This is difficult procedure and also time consuming).

There are many kinds of trees on the side of the path to the parikrama, some known and some unknown. Other important places we come across are : 1. the village of Govardhan, 2. Radha-Krishna kund, 32. Udder kund, 4. Kusum sarovar, 5. Narad kund and Killol kund, 6. Manasinganga, 7. Dana Ghats, 8. Chandra sarovar, 9. Anyor, 10. Govind kund, 11. Puchari na Lota / Tota, 12. Navala kund and Apasara kund. 13. Surabhi kund and Harji kund, 14. Govind swami's kandamba khandi and the "Tulsi Kyares of Goswami balaks. A few steps away from the Mukharavinda you have "Dandavati sila" (a stone projection before which one prostrates. To take permission for the parikrama. You bow to Girirajji here and ask for forgiveness to your offences.

We said that the Baithakjies of Sri Mahaprabhuji is situated before "Mukharavinda", next to it is Sri Mattuji's Baithakji. The Mathuranathji's Mandir was before Dandavati Sila at one time. The Baithakjies of Sri Gosainji and Sri Giridharji were in it. A little ahead of this is Baithakji is still there. In the open square we find one mandir of Sri Madan Mohanji and that of Sri Govardhan Nathji.

The Vaishnavas hesitate to tread on Sri Girirajji because they are aware that it is not different from the very form of divine being to visit the Mandir of SriNathji. Many vaishnavas take the permission of Sri Goswami Balaks and go there to have a glimpse of Sri Thakurji at least once in a lifetime. There is a secret Baithakji of Sri Mahaprabhuji somewhere inside the Mandir. SriNathji's charana chowki is in the mandir. Seva is done to this chowki.

Every year Sri Gokul Nathji used to visit this place to celebrate the festival of "Annakut" and Govardhan Puja on the New Year day. He used to make the journey from Gokul.

On the way to "Parikrama" we have the Baithekjies of Sri Mahaprabhuji, Sri Gosainji, Sri Gokul Nathji in Radha Krishna Kund only two Baithakjies i.e., that of Sri Mahaprabhuji and Sri Gosainji are present in Mansiganga.

On Chandra Sarovar there are number of Baithakjies held in a state of Vipra Yoga (being pained by separation from Sri Thakurji) of Sri Mahaprabhuji, Sri Gosainji, Sri Giridharji, Sri Gokul Nathji; We have also one Baithakji of Sri Dauji Maharaj. Sri Suradasji too had a place amongst them.

When you go to Anyor you will find the Baithakji of Sri Mahaprabhuji in the house of Saddu Pandya.

Vaishnavas visits the Mukharavanda on Sri Girirajji. Observe certain festivals and wash HIM first with water, then the milk and again with water. The water is brought from Mainsiganga. After drying they offer "Attar" i.e., scent, put on dhoti and uprna, offer flower garland, place a tilak, and offer dishes of milk. The quality depends on the monetary state of the Vaishnava.

There is a great importance in rolling in the sands of "Taleti" of Sri Girirajji. The eight places of importance in Sri Girirajji stand as the portrats to HIS eight companions.

It is believed that in "Sarasvata Kalpa" the Vraj vasis of Vraj had performed the puja of Sri Girirajji and offered "Annakuta Bhog".

In Sarasvata Kalpa Sri Thakurji had played the sport known as the "Great Rasa Lila" on chandra sarovar. This place was considered as the "former Brindavan". Veda Vyasji manifested here only.

5. Barasana :

The mountain at Barasana is considered as a representing form of Brahmaji. In Sanskrit it was known as "Brahma Sanu" or some thing like it. "Barasana" is a changed name.

Sri Vrusabhanji is the father of Sri Radhikaji. He was the king of Barasana. Barasana was a big city. Half of the kingdom was inhabited on the mountain while the rest was situated in the Taleti. There is a metalled road from Jati pura to Barasana. Even the road that takes you to Barasana from Mathura is metalled. The distance is 31 miles from Mathura and 14 to 15 miles from Jati pura.

On the top of the mountain we have a very gorgeous and beautiful mandir of Sri Radhikaji. There we have a "Yugala Kishore swarupa". Just on its side is another Mandir of Sri Radhikaji constructed by Maharana of Jaipur. It is also worth seeing.

You can climb the mountain by Barasana by means of steps. There is a full pathway to reach the top, which is motorable.

In the taleti of Barasana we have Gaharvan. There are some beautiful sports like Morakuti, Sri Mahaprabhuji's Baithak, Dana Ghati etc. here to look at.

Very near to them, on the peaks of the mountain, you can see Danagadh, Managadh and Vilasgadh. There is a "Pokhar" (Lake) which has yellow coloured water. The Holi of Barasana is very famous.

6. Nanda Gaon :

Nandagaon is 26 miles away from Mathura. This village is also situated on the mountain. This part of the mountain is considered as a divine form of Mahaprabhuji. When Sri Nanda Raiji had left Gokul he went and settled here only. A beautiful Mandir of Sri Krishna is situated on top of the Mountain while half of it is spread in the taleti. Pana Sarovar is in the taleti. On its bank we have the Baithakji of Sri Mahaprabhuji. You will find many places of Lilas of Sri Krishna in and around here.

On the way from Barasana to Nanda gaon, we come across Sanketavan and Prema Sarovar. These are worth seeing places. Sri Gosainji's Baithakji is in Prem Sarovar. The Baithakji's of Sri Mahaprabhuji and Sri Gosainji can be seen on Sanketavan.

7. Kamavan :

Kamavan is a huge city situated in the taleti of the mountain. At one time it is allegedly had 84 tanks (kund) in this place. Vimal kund is a very famous kund. Here we have the mandirs of Sri Gokul chandra maki and Sri Madan Mohanji. A little away from the town, on Krishna kund, you will find the Baithakjies of : 1. Sri Mahaprabhuji, 2. Sri Gosainji, 3. Sri Girirajji and 4. Sri Gokul Nathji.

All around Kamavan you will find many spots of Lila of Sri Thakurji. At a place called "Charana Pahadi", you will find the imprints of Lotus like feet of Sri Thakurji. You will also find the shape of a "Thali" (a dish used for placing eatables) on the spot where Sri Thakurji had his food.

Kamavan is 36 miles away from Mathura.

Apart from these there are many spots worth visiting during a Vraj Yatra. Of these a few are mentioned here : 1. Madhuvan, 2. Kumudvan, 3. Bahutavan, 4. Adi Badari, 5. Paramandara, 6. Rithaura, 7. Karahata, 8. Bathaim, 9. Kotavan, 10. Sesha sai, 11. Sergadh, 12. Chiraghat, 13. Bachavan.

Conclusion :

There is no doubt that "Vraj Dham" has supernatural aspects. That is why great saints and composers like Chitaswamy, Rasakhan and Paramanadadasa had always desired to stay in Vraj only. even Suradasaji exclaimed that it is far better to live in Vraj. We do not find the same kind of joy and happiness in any other place.

Dayarambhai has stated at one place that he would not prefer to live even in Vaikuntha (the abode of Vishnu) leaving Vraj, which is so dear to him.

Even Nagaridasa has said in one of his poems of devotion that he does not find any relishment even in Vaikuntha as much as he finds in Vraj.

How much could I describe about the greatness of Vraj land ? Suradasji has expressed his opinion about it so nicely. "If the whole prithvi is converted into a paper - if the celestial tree - Kalpa Vriksha - is turned into a pen even then goddess Saraswati will express he inability to describe the greatness of Vraj !