Twenty-four Mile (40 km) Govardhan Parikrama
There are several important places in the vicinity of Govardhan Hill, which are not visited on the normal parikrama. Many of these places are close to Govardhan Hill (within 5 km) and can be visited by taxi. The 40km (24 mile) parikrama visits many places that are not visited on the normal Govardhan parikrama.
The parikrama starts by taking bath in Manasi Ganga. One then takes darshan of Harideva, Manasi Devi and Brahma Kund. After leaving Manasi Ganga, you make a right and walk until the road ends. When you come to the T intersection (the road ends), on the left side of the road is Rinamochana Kund. Rinamochana Kund is near the Govardhan power station. Usually only after it rains will there be any water in this Kund. If one bathes in this Kund they are freed from all vices.
You then make a right at the T intersection. You then make a left onto the Mathura-Sonk Road after going about 50m. After about 50m, Papamochana Kund is on the left. It is said that anyone who bathes here has all his offenses removed.
You then return to the road to Mathura and then go in the direction of Mathura, passing the government bus stand on the right. You then come to a small hill on the right hand side. Next to this hill is a small pond known as Indra-dhwaja Tila. This is where the cowherd men would normally worship Indra.
You then go about another kilometre, and there is a turn off to the right going to the village of Jamanta. It is a good idea to ask the local residence where this turn off is located.
Parasauli (Muhammed Pura)
If you are doing parikrama you then walk through the fields for about 1½ km and you come to Parasauli. Today it is known as Muhammed Pura.
This is the place where Krishna would enjoy his spring rasa dance, according to Viswanath Chakravati. It is said that the area where this rasa dance took place is the same area as the 40km (24-mile) parikrama of Govardhan Hill. The gopis wandered from place to place eventually returning to Parasauli. Chandra Sarovara and Petha can be visited at the same time.
Chandra Sarovara is on the other side of the main road, which runs by Parasauli. This is where the Moon-god (Chandra) ceased all external consciousness (movements) while watching the rasa dance. This pastime is described in Caitanya Caritamrita and Ujjvala Nilamani, Nayika Prakara. Krishna rested here with the gopis after the spring rasa dance. It is said that Radha and Krishna would come to this Kund daily.
The Candra-bihari Temple is next to Chandra Sarovara, close to the road. In this temple are Deities of Krishna and Balarama. The entrance to this temple is next to the road, through a wooden door.
The samadhi and bhajana kutir of Sura Dasa, the great Vaishnava poet, is located next to Candra Sarovara. To get to his samadhi, if you are coming from the road, you go to the far left hand corner of Chandra Sarovara. His samadhi is about 60m from the bank of Chandra Sarovara, past a courtyard. Also here are the sitting places of Vallabha, Vittahalnath and Gokulanath.
Located here are the drums of Indra, which are two stones in the shape of drums that produce the sound of drums when struck.
Gandharava Kund is said to be where the Gandharvas became overwhelmed by Krishna’s singing. In Parasauli, there is the Rasa Mandala, Indra Dundubhi and Duvela Kund. Mohavana and Moha Kund are close by.
How To Get Here This place is about 1½ km from the town of Govardhan, on the road that goes from Govardhan to Sonk. Chandra Sarovara is on the right side of the road and it is a big Kund, so it is hard to miss. This place can also be reached from the town of Aniyora (Anaur) by going east, down a dirt road, for two kilometres.
From Chandra Sarovara you take the main road towards Sonk for about 3km and you come to Petha, where the Caturbhuja Narayana Temple is located. It is said that Krishna hid here in the bushes to observe the gopis mood of separation.
At this place, during the spring rasa dance, Krishna hid from the gopis. There is a temple here with a catur-bhuja (four armed) Deity of Krishna. This is a Deity of Krishna taking the form of Lord Narayana. This Deity is said to have been installed by Vajranabha. This place has the name Paitha because Krishna’s extra two arms merged (paitha) into His body. This pastimes is described in Ujjvala Nilamani by Rupa Gosvami.
Narayana Sarovara is next to the Caturbhuja Narayana temple. Laksmi Kup is on its eastern bank. It is said that once there was a kadamba tree here that Krishna sat under. It is also said that Krishna entered into a cave here, to get under Govardhan Hill, in order to lift it. There are also the Radha-Raman Mandir and the Mahadeva Mandir here.
How To Get Here Petha is about 5 km (ten minutes drive) from the town of Govardhan, on the road from Govardhan to Sonk. This place is about 4km east of Govinda Kund. Unless you are walking, the best way to get here is from the town of Govardhan.
The Caturbhuja Narayana Temple and Narayana Sarovara are on the outskirts of the village. They are on the right side of the road, about half a km from the road.
Krishna Assuming His Narayana Form
“During the season of springtime, when the rasa dance was going on, suddenly Krishna disappeared from the scene, indicating that He wanted to be alone with Srimati Radharani. Krishna was sitting in a solitary bush, waiting for Srimati Radharani to pass by. But while He was sitting, the gopis arrived there, like a phalanx of soldiers. ‘Just see!’ the gopis said, seeing Krishna from a distance place. ‘Here within a bush is Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja.’ As soon as Krishna saw all the gopis, He was struck with emotion. Thus He could not hide Himself, and out of fear became motionless.
“Krishna assumed His four-armed Narayana form and sat there. When all the gopis came, seeing Him they spoke as follows. ‘He is not Krishna! He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana.’ After saying this, they offered obeisances and the following respectful prayers. ‘O Lord Narayana, we offer our respectful obeisances unto You. Kindly be merciful to us. Give us the association of Krishna and thus vanquish our lamentation.’ After saying this and offering obeisances, all the gopis dispersed.
“Then Srimati Radharani came and appeared before Krishna. When Lord Krishna saw Radharani, He wanted to maintain the four-armed form to joke with Her. In front of Srimati Radharani, Sri Krishna tried His best to keep four arms, but He was completely unable to do so. The influence of Radharani’s pure ecstasy is so inconceivably great that it forced Krishna to come to His original two-armed form.”
Aniyora to Punchari
One then proceeds to the village of Aniyora and from there to Punchari. Then you go to Syama Dhak, which is about 1½ km west of Punchari.
This is a small forest where Krishna and the cowherd boys would play. Some of the leaves of the kadamba trees in this forest are shaped like cups. It is said that Krishna and His cowherd friends would use these leaf cups to drink buttermilk and eat yogurt. At this place is Gopi Sagara Kund, where Krishna is said to have enjoyed with the gopis. There are many kadamba trees here. Syama Dhak is a peaceful and secluded place.
How To Get Here This place is about 1½ km west of Apsara Kund and the village of Punchari. There is a fairly run-down road that comes to this place.
One then proceeds in the direction of Govardhan Hill. You then go to Jeti Pura and from there you proceed on a paved road that goes northwest toward the town of Gantholi.
Just before you reach Gantholi, on the left hand side of the road, is Gulala Kund. Krishna and the gopis would throw colors at this place. During the springtime, red colors can be seen in this Kund.
While playing Holi, Radharani and Krishna were sitting. The sakhis (cowherd girls) secretly tied their clothes together in a knot, like a couple does when they get married. When Radha and Krishna stood they found that their clothes were tied together. Gath means “knot.” They felt embarrassed and the sakhis all smiled. After throwing dyes on each other (playing Holi), the sakhis untied their clothes.
Lord Caitanya had the darshan of Gopala (Sri Nathaji) in the town of Gantholi.
Located in the area is Shai Temple, where Krishna is said to have rested.
How To Get Here This town is about 3km west of the town of Govardhan, on the road going to Dig. Gantholi is 1½ km northwest of Jatipura. The road going between Jatipura and Gantholi is not very good. Gulala Kund is about a quarter of a km from Gantholi, on the road that goes to Jatipura. It is a large Kund, but you cannot see it from the road because there are some buildings in front of it. It is about a 100m from the road.
Lord Caitanya’s Pastimes at Gantholi
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then went to the village of Ganthuli-grama and saw the Lord Gopala Deity. Overwhelmed by ecstatic love, He began to chant and dance. As soon as the Lord saw the beauty of the Gopala Deity, He was immediately overwhelmed by ecstatic love, and He recited the following verse. He then chanted and danced until the day ended. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “May the left arm of Sri Krishna whose eyes are like the petals of a lotus flower, always protect you. With His left arm He raised Govardhan Hill as if it were a toy.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw the Gopala Deity for three days. On the fourth day, the Deity returned to His own temple. Caitanya Mahaprabhu walked with the Deity of Gopala, and He chanted and danced. A large and jubilant crowd of people also chanted the transcendental name of Krishna, “Hari! Hari!” The Gopala Deity then returned to His own temple, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu remained at the bottom of the hill. Thus all the desires of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were satisfied by the Gopala Deity.
This is the way of Lord Gopala’s kind behavior to His devotees. Seeing this, the devotees were overwhelmed by ecstatic love. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very eager to see Gopala, but He did not want to climb Govardhan Hill. Therefore by some trick the Gopala Deity personally descended. In this way, giving some excuse, Gopala sometimes remains in the bushes of the forest, and sometimes He stays in a village. One who is a devotee comes to see the Deity.
Mainhadi Kund and Saunkhrai
You then get on the main road that goes to the town of Govardhan. You pass Vilachuvan on your right hand side. About a half km from Govardhan town, on the left hand side, is a run down Kund called Mainhadi Kund. It is said that Radharani washed her hands here and the henna on her hands turned this Kund yellow.
You then come to the village of Sakarwa, which used to be known as Saunkhrai. At this place there is the Giridhari temple, Gvala Kund and Sakra Kund.
You then go to the village of Sakhi Sthali. You then get on the road to Varsana and go about 2½ km to the town of Nimgram. It is said that Krishna rested here after lifting Govardhan Hill. This is the place that Nimbarka Acarya did bhajana for years.
Located here is the Sudarsana Kund. There is a Radha Krishna temple here managed by followers of Nimbarka Acarya. Nimbarka Acarya was the main acarya of the Kumara-sampradaya. The temple has Radha Krishna Deities, an image of Nimbarka, and Sri Hamsa Bhagavan. It was built in 1841.
How To Get Here This village is about 2½ km northwest of the town of Govardhan, on the road to Varsana.
Patalgram and Navagram
You then take the road that goes to Chata for about 2½ km to the town of Padal (Patalgram). It is said that Radharani would pick pinkish flowers here. Patal means “pink.” Near Patal Kund is the Banke Bihari Temple.
You then go east 2 km to Navagram. It is also known as Kunjara, because it marks the border of the kunjas (groves of Radha Kund). Nanda Maharaja is said to have stayed here when he was on his way to Nandagram. There is a Balarama temple and a small Kund here, called Nava-grama Kund. At this place, it is said that Radha and Krishna rode on an elephant, that was made up of the gopis, making themselves into the form of an elephant. There is a picture here of that pastime. This place is named after Kunjara Raja, the king of the elephants.
You then go east a few km to Surya Kund.
At this place, there is a temple dedicated to Surya Narayana. Surya Kund and Gopala Kund are here. The village is known as Bharna. The Surya Narayana temple is on the bank of Surya Kund.
Once Radharani placed Her mukut (golden crown) on a rock while she was bathing in Surya Kund. The rock melted and still there are the marks of Radha’s crown imprinted into the rock. This rock is located in the Gaura Nitai temple, near the samadhi of the Gaudiya sadhu Madhusudana Dasa Babaji, on the west bank of the Kund. The rock is embedded in the back wall.
The samadhi of Madhusudana Dasa Babaji, the guru of Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji, is here. Jagannatha Dasa Babaji did bhajana here for some time. The samadhi of Sri Bhagavat dasa Babaji, the sannyasa guru of Gaura Kishor Dasa Babaji, is also here.
Radha and Krishna would come here to enjoy their Surya-puja pastimes around 3 pm. This was one of the few places that Krishna and Srimati Radharani could meet safely. On Sunday, Radharani would come to this place and worship the sun god, Surya. This was the only place her mother-in-law would allow her to go. The pujaris in this temple were two respectable looking brahmacaris. One was the guru and the other was his disciple. Krishna was acting as the guru and Madhumangala was acting as His disciple. There is a full description of this story in Govinda-lilamrita and Krishna-bhavanamrita.
It is also said that Krishna would pick flowers here and make them into a garland for Radharani.
How To Get Here Surya Kund is near the village of Vasanti. It is on the 24 miles parikrama of Govardhan Hill. This place can be visited when going between Vrindavana and Radha Kund. It is about 7km off the road between Radha Kund and Chatikara.
To get here from Radha Kund you drive east on the road back to the town of Vrindavana, until just before the village of Ral. This is the first busy intersection on your left. You turn left at the asphalt road just before Ral. You then go about 7 km. The road winds through many fields. You may have to ask the local people directions to make sure you are going the right way. After driving about 5km, you come to the village of Konai. You go around this village and the village of Surya Kund is on your right, after 1½ km.
Konai to Magavera
You then keep going east 1½ to Konai (Konhai). This place used to be called Kennai and now it is called Konai. There is a Parvati temple, Gval Kund and Go Kund here. Krishna felt very impatient not being in the present of Srimati Radharani. Krishna asked Radha’s servant why she has not come (kenna ai).
You next come to Bhadayai (now called Badhal). This is the village of Bhadra Sakhi. There is the very old Bhadra Devi temple here.
From here you proceed to Magahera. This place is now known as Maghera. At this place are Krishna Kund and Gval Kund.
How To Get Here If you are driving from the road that goes between Chatikara and Radha Kund to Surya Kund, you pass the village of Konai on the way. Konai is about 5km from the road that goes between Radha Kund and Chatikara.
The next place to come to is Vasanti. It is also known as Vasoti or Basithi. Vrishabhanu Maharaja made his camp here after leaving Raval. At the same time Nanda Maharaja had his camp at Chatikara. Since both camps were so big they were right next to each other. Raj Kadamba is a tree, which has the impression of Radharani crown in it. There is also Lalita Kund, Vasant Kund and two Gopala temples here.
How To Get Here This place is 2km from Radha Kund, on the road between Radha Kund and Chatikara. You pass this village while you are going from Vrindavana to Radha Kund.
Mukharai is the village of Radharani’s maternal grandmother, Mukhara. There is the Mukhara Temple here on the bank of Krishna Kund. The deities in this temple are from left to right: Mukhara Devi, Srimati Radharani and Kirtidi Devi (Radharani’s mother). There are some stones here called bhajan shilas that Radharani (some say Krishna) played as musical instruments. The pujaris in this temple knows how to play them. The pujaris in this temple are very friendly.
How To Get Here This place is about 3km southeast of Radha Kund. To get here from Radha Kund you get on the road that goes to Vrindavana and you then go about 2km. You then turn right at the road, which is just after a small bridge. You go about a km and the road come to an end in the village of Mukharai. When the road ends, you turn left and the Mukhara temple and Krishna Kund are on your left, after about 50m.
Next you go to Radha Kund, Kusuma Sarovara, Narada Kund and Syama Kutir. You then go to Pailgram, which is the birthplace of Palita Sakhi.
Kilol Kund (Kelanvan) and End of Parikrama
You then proceed to Kilol Kund. This is a large Kund, which has nice bathing ghatas. The Kilol Bihari Temple is right next to this Kund. It is said that Radharani and the gopis would have water pastimes here. It is said that Krishna would play ball in the forest surrounding this Kund. This place is also known as Kandukaksetra. From here one proceeds to Manasi Ganga and then takes bath. This ends the parikrama. It is said that Nanda Maharaja stayed here for a few days.
How To Get Here This forest is close to the main road that goes from Radha Kund to Govardhan town. Kilol Kund is about 300 metres from Manasi Ganga.