Krishna lived here from the age of seven to ten. Nanda Maharaja built his house on top of the large hill here to protect Krishna from the demons sent by King Kamsa. Nanda Maharaja and the other cowherd men decided to move from Gokula to here because of the disturbances caused by demons trying to kill Krishna.
The hill that the main temple is on is called Nandisvara Hill. Lord Siva prayed to Krishna to be allowed to witness his transcendental pastimes. After Lord Siva performed penances for many centuries Lord Krishna asked him what he wanted. He told Krishna that he wanted to be a mountain in Vrindavana so that the gopis would step on him and they would leave the dust of their feet on him. Krishna granted him this boon and Lord Siva became this hill. Nandagram is built upon him.
Parjanya Maharaja, the grandfather of Krishna, was instructed by Narada Muni to come to Nandisvara Hill. He performed austerities here for many years. After this, Parjanya stayed here with his family. Nanda Maharaja and his community lived in Nandagram before Krishna appeared. There was a meeting of the residents led by Upananda, the elder brother of Nanda Maharaja, and they decided to go to Gokula. After Krishna became seven years old the family moved back to here.
When Krishna and Balarama came to Nandagram this was the first time they took out the cows for grazing. Before coming to Nandagram they only took out the calves for grazing. Most of the gopis got married in Nandagram, Varsana or Javat. At one time there were many kunds in the area of Nandagram, but many of the kunds have disappeared.
On Rangili Holi, on the 10th day of the bright half of Phalguna, the day after Holi is celebrated in Varsana, Holi is celebrated here. It is an exciting, popular festival.
How To Get Here Nandagram is 48km (29 miles) northwest of Vrindavana. The name of the town at Nandagram is Nandgaon. The easiest way to get here is to take a taxi, which takes about an hour. To get here by public transportation from Vrindavana you first take a public bus to the town of Kosi (40 km) and from there you take a tempo to Nandgaon, which is 8km away. The Braja Darsana bus comes here after stopping in Varsana. This bus departs at 8 am from the Vrindavana bus stand and also stops near the front of the ISKCON temple.
The Nandagram temple is on top of the main hill (which is called Nandisvara hill) here. The village that is on and surrounding the hill is called Nandgaon. Pavana Sarovara is north of the hill. Further north is Moti Kund.
Directly south of the hill is the main village area. The Narasimhadeva temple and Yasoda’s yogurt pot are in this area. Further south, in the outskirts of the village, is Yasoda Kund and Nanda Kund. To the east of the Nandisvara hill, just across the road next to the hill, is Lalita Kund. A little south of Lalita Kund is Uddhava Kyari. East of Nandagram, about 1½ km into the fields, is Ter Kadamba, which is a fairly difficult place to get to. Charan Pahari, where the footprints of Krishna are enshrined, is west and a little south of Nandisvara hill.
About a kilometre west of Nandagram is Vrinda Kund, which is located in a secluded place.
Sri Caitanya and Nandagram
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Nandisvara. While there, He was overwhelmed with ecstatic love. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed in all the celebrated lakes, beginning with Lake Pavana. Thereafter He climbed a hill and spoke to the people. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, “Are there any deities on top of this hill?” The local people replied, There are deities on this hill, but they located within a cave. There are a father and mother with well-built bodies, and between them is a very beautiful child who is curved in three place.”
Hearing this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became very happy. After excavating the cave, He saw three deities. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered His respects to Nanda Maharaja and mother Yasoda, and with great ecstatic love He touched the body of Lord Krishna. Every day the Lord chanted and danced in ecstatic love. (Caitanya Caritamrita)
Nanda Bhavan or Nandagram Temple
There are two black marble Deities of Krishna and Balarama in this temple. They are both in three-fold bending forms, holding flutes. On Their left and right are two tall deities of Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. Next to the deity of Mother Yasoda is a deity of Srimati Radharani, a small deity of Rohini (the mother of Lord Balarama) and Revati, Balarama’s wife. Next to Nanda Maharaja are two of Krishna’s friends, Sudama (maybe Sridama) and Madhumangala. The Deities in this temple were originally installed by Vajranabha. It is believed that the Deities in this temple were found by Sanatana Gosvami in a cave on the hill. This temple was built in the beginning of the 19th century by Rupa Singh.
On the ceiling of the inner dome of this temple are many paintings depicting Krishna’s pastimes. This temple is on top of the Nandisvara hill. Many people visit this temple.
How To Get Here This temple is on top of the hill and you can see it clearly from the road.
On the side altar of the Nandagram Temple there is a Siva-linga called Nandisvara (Nandisvara), who is said to have been installed by Vajranabha. This linga of Lord Siva resides eternally in Nandagram performing bhajan (worship) to Sri Krishna. This is one of the five presiding Siva-lingas of Braja. These Siva-lingas protect the holy dhama from any disturbing elements.
Once Lord Siva came to the house of Nanda and Yasoda and asked to see child Krishna. When Yasoda saw his frightening appearance (Lord Siva has ashes, snakes and bones on him) she would not allow him to enter. He tried to persuade her to see Krishna, but she would not agree. Lord Siva then left and went to the forest to meditate on Krishna.
In the house, child Krishna started to cry and no one could stop Him. Mother Yasoda realized that maybe because she did not receive a guest properly there was some reaction. She then sent everyone to go find the tantric yogi who had come to her house earlier. After a short while they returned with Lord Siva.
When Lord Siva came before Krishna, He immediately stopped crying and smiled brilliantly. Mother Yasoda then said to Lord Siva “My son has finally stopped crying, what can I do for you.” Lord Siva replied that he just wanted to be able to see child Krishna and to be able to eat the remnants of His food. Even today the priests of the Nandagram temple offer the remnants of what was offered to Lord Krishna to the Nandisvara-linga in this temple.
How To Get Here This temple of Lord Siva is in the same enclosure as the main Nandagram Temple on top of the hill.
This lake is located at the bottom of Nandisvara Hill. Mother Yasoda used to bathe Lord Krishna here. This is said to be one of Lord Krishna’s favorite lakes. Nanda Maharaja and the male members of the family would take bath here. Krishna would come here after the cows would return from grazing and give the cows a bath and drink this water. Pavana means “something that purifies.” In the Mathura Mahatmya it is said, “one who bathes in Pavana Lake by Nandisvara Hill will see Krishna there along with Nanda and Yasoda and all his desires will be fulfilled.”
Radharani would come to cook for Krishna every morning on the bank of this Kund. There is a well here from which Srimati Radharani drew water from, when She would cook for Krishna. Because She had received a benediction from Durvasa Muni that whoever ate Her cooking would never become ill, mother Yasoda would always try to arrange that Srimati Radharani would cook for her son.
The bhajan kutir of Sanatana Gosvami is near the bank of this Kund. This place is near the Pavana-bihari Temple. It is said that Krishna came to Sanatana Gosvami and told him that in a cave on Nandisvara hill there were deities of Nanda Maharaja, Mother Yasoda, Krishna and Balarama. Sanatana Gosvami had these deities installed in a temple on top of Nandisvara hill.
There is also the puspa-samadhi of Akincina Krishnadas Babaji, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja, next to this Kund. He pasted away at Nandagram. There is also the sitting place of Vallabha Acharya here.
How To Get Here This Kund is across the road, north of the Nandagram temple. Everyone knows where it is located.
To get to Sanatana Gosvami’s bhajana kutir, if you are going toward Vrinda Kund, there is road that bears off to the right from the main road. Just where this road bears to the right, near the water pump, is a small path that leads to Pavana Sarovara. You take this path about 12m ( 40 ft) and then enter the first door on the left. There is no sign over this door.
This is the place where Sri Krishna made a field of pearls. There is a small temple here with Radha Krishna Deities. Moti means “pearl.”
The story of this place given in the Garga-samhita is that Vrishabhanu sent Nanda Maharaja a golden tray full of pearls in order to test the wealth of Nanda before confirming the marriage of Radha and Krishna. Nanda Maharaja could not match the gift in return, so Krishna planted many pearls in the fields here. Trees full of pearls grew and Nanda Maharaja was able to offer a gift to Vrishabhanu in an equally lavish way.
It is also said that this is the place where Krishna grew his field of pearls, in order to outdo the gopis. This story is mentioned in the Malyahari Kund section of the Radha Kund ter of this book This pastime is described by Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami in his Sri Mukta Charita.
How To Get Here This place is on the same side of the Nandisvara Hill as Pavana Sarovara. If you just came down the steps from the Nandagram temple, you keep going straight down the road, passing Pavana Sarovara on the left. This Kund is about half a km down the road, on the right.
The place where Parjanya Maharaja performed austerities is near Ksunnahar Kund. This place is close to Pavana Sarovara. This Kund is about 300m down the road, on the right. It is difficult to tell exactly where this Kund is located.
Narasimha and Varaha Temple
At the bottom of the hill, on the opposite side from Pavana Sarovara, is a Narasimhadeva temple. Nanda Maharaja worshiped the Narasimha and Varaha Deities that are seen in this temple. Nanda Maharaja was advised by Garga Muni to worship Lord Narasimha because so many demons were disturbing the residences of Vrindavana. Lord Narasimha is the Deity in the center of the altar. To the left of Lord Narasimha is a Deity of Sad Bhuja, the six-armed form of Lord Caitanya. The Sad Bhuja form of the Lord has two arms holding a bow and arrow (Lord Rama), two arms playing a flute (Lord Krishna) and two arms holding a danda and waterpot (Lord Caitanya). On the far left side of the altar is Maharaja Nanda’s Deity of Lord Varaha. On the right side of the altar are Deities of Lord Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda.
Nanda Maharaja’s Lord Narayana Deity is also here, but this Deity is not on the altar or worshiped because it is disfigured. This Deity is located to the left of the altar.
How To Get Here This temple is on the opposite side of Nandisvara Hill from Pavana Sarovara. The Deities are worshiped in a small house-like temple in the village. If you are coming from the Nandagram temple on top of the hill, you come down the steps and walk about 250m. This temple will be on your left hand side, set back from the road. It is down a lane, about 50m from the road.
From Yasoda Kund, you walk towards the main temple on top of Nandisvara Hill. The Narasimha temple is 300m away, on the right hand side.
Yasoda’s Yogurt Pot
Close to the Narasimha temple is a pot used by mother Yasoda to make yogurt. It is sunk into the ground, in a broken down stone hut. It is 1½ m (4½ ft) across and 1.7m (5 ft) deep. You can get inside this large yogurt pot.
How To Get Here From the Narasimha temple you make a right onto the road. You then walk about 150m, taking the left fork in the road. You cross the road and walk 12m (40 ft) and the yogurt pot is located in a stone hut, which is about 15m (50 ft) from the road, in a small yard. It is not far from the steps that go up Nandisvara Hill to the Nandagram temple, on the other side of the hill (south side) from Pavana Sarovara.
Three hundred metres from the Narasimha temple is Yasoda Kund. Mother Yasoda would bathe Krishna here. Near here, off the same road that Yasoda Kund is located on, is Nanda Kund.
How To Get Here This Kund is about a half a km from Nandisvara Hill, on the same side of the hill as the Narasimhadeva temple. If you are coming from Varsana, you turn left down a dirt side road, about half a km before the main Nandagram Temple, to get to this Kund. This Kund is then about a half a km away, on the left side of the road.
To get here from the Narasimha temple you make a left and walk away from Nandisvara hill (south). The road forks in two directions. If you take the main left road, after about 300m, at the intersection you make a right and go about 50m (150 ft). Yasoda Kund is on your left about 50m (150 ft) from the road. If you take the right fork in the road, the road ends with this Kund in front of you. From the road it is hard to see this Kund.
Once Krishna was playing and he forgot about eating or bathing. Mother Yasoda sent Mother Rohini to go get Krishna and Balarama, but they would not come. Mother Yasoda then went to get the boys herself, but they just ran away from her. Mother Yasoda then told them to be careful of the bogeyman or in Hindi “hau” and she described him. She said that he has a huge mouth, sharp pointy teeth, long ears, fire coming from his nose, and horrible red eyes. She said the bogeyman is coming to put us in a sack and eat us for supper. She then cried in fear and started to run away. Krishna and Balarama then became scared and came running home as fast as they could.
There are four stone Hau statues here, which are about 70cm (2 ft) tall and 1m (3 ft) long.
How To Get Here The place where the stone Haus are located is next to Yasoda Kund, off the road. If you just came from the road and are standing next to Yasoda Kund, the stone Haus are to your right, behind some trees. You can get to this place by turning right, just before entering the enclosure for Yasoda Kund. You then walk about 30m (100 ft) and make a left, and the Haus are about 15m (50 feet) away.
Nanda Baithak (Baithana) and Nanda Kund
Nanda Baithak means “the place where Nanda Maharaja would call for an assembly.” Baithak means “a conference or sitting place.” The leaders of the community would come here to discuss any danger or difficulties. Before Krishna was born, they discussed the fact that Nanda and Yasoda did not have a child and how they could have a child.
Whenever there was a problem concerning Krishna, Nanda Maharaja, Upananda and the other senior Brajabasis would meet here to solve the difficulties. Because the cowherd men would sit here, the place is known as Baithana.
This place is in the same enclosure as Nanda Kund. Nanda Kund is where Nanda Maharaja would take bath There is a temple here. Sanatana Gosvami stayed here for a few days at the request of the local villagers.
How To Get Here This place is on the same road as Yasoda Kund, about a quarter km away. Most people know it as Nanda Baithak and not Nanda Kund (so ask for Nanda Baithak). Nanda Baithak is in the same compound as Nanda Kund. You have to go through a gate to get to these places from the road.
There is the impression of Krishna’s feet here. Charan Pahari is on the southwest side of Nandagram, close to the road that goes to Kamyavana. This place is about a 1km from Pavana Sarovara.
How To Get Here From Pavana Sarovara, you head in the direction of the turn-off to Vrinda Kund. From Pavana Sarovara it is about a km away, on the left hand side of the road, about 35m (100 feet) from the road. There is a 2m (6 ft) high structure over the footprint. Everyone in the area knows where this place is located.
If you go west from the Narasimha temple or Yasoda Kund (you turn left after leaving Yasoda Kund) you will come to this place after about ¾ km. It is a little hard to find going this way, because the dirt roads here go in several different directions.
Vrinda Kund and Gupta Kund
Vrinda Kund is where Srimati Vrinda Devi is said to contemplate how she will arrange the daily pastimes of Radharani and Krishna. Next to Vrinda Kund is Gupta Kund, which is where Radharani is said to secretly meet Krishna. There is a beautiful deity of Vrinda Devi in the temple here. She has a yellow parrot on her left hand. This parrot is said to fly around Vrindavana and on returning tells Vrinda Devi what is happening in Vrindavana. The parrot is named Daksa and is said to have one lakh (100,000) disciples. Vrinda Devi arranges the pastimes in Vrindavana. Tulasi is an expansion of Vrinda Devi. Paurnamasi is the guru of Vrinda Devi.
Gupta Kund is considered to be one of the most important kunds in the Braja area. It is said to be one of the three yoga-pithas in Braja. The other two are at Radha Kund and near the Govindaji temple in Vrindavana. A yoga-pitha is an eternal center of the Lord’s pastimes. It is said that Radha and Krishna meet in the morning at Gupta Kund, during the mid-day at Radha Kund and near the Radha Gopal Temple in Vrindavana at night.
There is an ancient Radha Krishna murti here, carved out of stone, that is said to have been established by Vajranabha, the great grandson of Krishna. This murti has been desecrated by the Muslims, so worship is no longer done to this murti. Every Monday the local villagers come and pour milk over this murti of Radha and Krishna.
Vrinda Kund, Gupta Kund and the small temple here are now in the care of ISKCON. Vrinda Kund is about one km from the village of Nandgaon (Nandagram), not far from Pavana Sarovara. There is a good view of the Nandagram temple from Vrinda Kund. The living facilities are very basic at the temple here, as there is no electricity. You can contact the mail out department at the ISKCON Vrindavana Temple to get more information about Vrinda Kund.
How To Get Here Vrinda Kund is one km from Nandagram. To get to Vrinda Kund you can take a taxi and stop at Varsana and Nandagram on the way. To get here from Vrindavana by public transportation you first take a public bus to the town of Kosi and from there you take a tempo to Nandgaon and then walk the remaining km from there.
If you are at Nandagram and are on the road facing Pavana Sarovara you make a left and go about half a km. There is a road here that goes only to the right and there is a sign here that says Vrinda Kund, which points to the right. You make a right here and go about a km. Vrinda Kund will be on your left. There is a small temple here and kunds on both sides of the temple.
At this place, Lalita Devi would arrange secret meetings between Krishna and Srimati Radharani. It is also said that Lalita Devi swung on a swing here with Krishna.
Next to this Kund, there is a temple with Deities of Krishna, Radha (on the right), and Lalita (on the far right). It seems that you can have darshan of the Deities in this temple at any time during the day. There is a large concrete swing platform here, about 30m (100 feet) from Lalita Kund.
Next to this Kund is the old road to Mathura. This is the road that Akrura took to come to Nandagram from Mathura.
The pastime of this place is that Krishna warned Radharani that she should be careful about associating too closely with Narada Muni, because he is expert at instigating disputes between people. Radharani did not take his warning seriously. One day Narada Muni came to Braja hoping to be fortunate enough to see some of the Lord’s pastimes. Krishna, hearing the sweet singing of Narada, granted him a wish. Narada told Krishna that his only request was to see Lalita and Him sitting side-by-side swinging together.
One day Radha was late in meeting with Krishna, so Krishna decided to fulfill the desire of Narada and swing with Lalita. Lalita did not want to do this, but Krishna insisted. Krishna then sat next to Lalita and they were swung together. Narada Muni saw them swinging together. He immediately went to he house of Srimati Radharani and told her that Lalita Devi was swinging with Krishna. He told her to go to Lalita Kund and see what was happening.
She immediately ran there and seeing Lalita and Krishna swinging together, she became very angry and ran away. Krishna then tried to pacify her, but she did not want to hear anything He had to say. He then told her that Narada Muni had requested Him to swing with Lalita, and that Narada was so expert at causing quarrels that he had fooled even her. He told her that He hoped that in the future She would not trust Narada again.
How To Get Here This Kund is just off the road that goes from Nandagram to Varsana, not far from Uddhava Kyari. It is directly east of the Nanda Maharaja temple, on the other side of the road.
Nanda Maharaja’s Bagichi (Garden)
This is the garden of Nanda Maharaja. All the fruits, flowers and vegetables in this garden were used for Balarama and Krishna.
How To Get Here This place is between Nandagram and Ter Kadamba.
Ter Kadamba (Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Bhajana Kutir)
Ter Kadamba is a small forest close to Nandagram. It is said that Krishna would sit here and play His flute, attracting the cows. Krishna would take the cows grazing here. It is said that Krishna would sit here and count the cows when they came back from grazing. It is also said that Radharani would walk by this place from Javat, when She would come to cook for Krishna at Pavana Sarovara. Very few people visit this place. The person who looks after this place does not speak English, but is very knowledgeable about the places in the area. He is also a very nice devotee.
The bhajana-kutir of Rupa Gosvami is located here. He lived here for a while. There is a Ter Kadamba tree here that Rupa Gosvami is said to have sat under, when he wrote.
How To Get Here This place is 1½ km east of Nandagram, off a dirt road, in the middle of some fields, completely by itself. It is between Nandagram and Javat. If you just came from Pavana Sarovara and made a right onto the road to Varsana, the road that goes to this place is the first dirt road on the left. Ter Kadamba is 1½ km (1 mile) down this road, on the left hand side. It is possible to drive to this place, but for the first 150m the road is pretty bad. To get here, you can ask for the Asesvara Mahadeva Temple, which is across the dirt road and down about 300m from this place. The place that marks where the bhajana kutir of Sanatana Gosvami is located is a 7m (21 ft) high brick building.
It is said that Mother Yasoda would churn yogurt here and from that yogurt she would extract ghee. Whatever was left was called chaj. There was so much milk and butter in those days that the chaj would be thrown into this Kund.