Category Archives: Koladvipa

Praudha Maya and Vriddha (Kshetra-pala) Siva

Kshetra-pala Siva

Vriddha Siva and his consort Praudha Maya are the eternal protectors of the holy dhama. Praudha Maya was originally worshiped on the eastern bank of the Ganga. When a good part of Mayapur was covered by the Ganga, some people crossed the Ganga and came to Kuliya (on the western side) and began to worship Praudha Maya at this place. Therefore it became known as Praudhama-tala (Porama Tala). Praudha Maya is Yoga-maya. She covers the holy dhama and does not allow non-devotees to enter. Even though certain people’s bodies are allowed to arrive in the dhama, they are unable to understand the glories of the dhama. When Lord Krishna appeared in Vraja, Yoga-maya also appeared with Him. In Vraja she is known as Paurnamasi and in Navadvipa she is Praudha Maya. She also resides in Simantadvipa in another form, as Parvati. Previously Praudha Maya and Vriddha Siva were worshiped in Mayapur between the ISKCON temple and Yoga-pitha. But because of the shifting of the Ganga, the residents of Kuliya (present-day Navadvipa town) moved them to the other side of the Ganga.

The Temple Praudha Mayi is situated within the huge Banyan tree in the Papodamatala bazaar. At the Temple Deities of Prauddha maya and Vriddha Shiva are installed. To see 

Prauddha Maya is very difficult due to the small size of the Altar and sometimes due to much red flowers which are offered to Her. Vriddha Shiva is huge linga in the hall, he is the protector of Sri Navadvipa Dhama. Sometimes back these Deities were residing at the Temple in Antardwipa in between yoga Pitha and ISKCON Temple in Mayapur but due to flood Temple was destroyed and Deities were moved here.

Prauddha Maya

Prauddha Maya

In Vrindavan Yogamaya – internal energy of the Lord takes form of Paurnamasi. By her influence close associates of Krishna forget about that Krishna is God, and consider Him as their Friend, Child, or Lover. In Navadvipa the same role is done by Prauddha Maya.

Her other mission is to reveal the secret of the Dham to the Devotees and cover it from atheists. Under Her influences conditioned souls, whose vision is covered by false ego will see only the material sides of the dham – dirt, poverty, tiny streets, homeless dogs…But those who get mercy of Prauddha Maya take chance to see the real Holy Dham of Lord Gauranga, which is described by acharias: “The place where Lord Gaura does His youth lilas, Sri Mayapur, where the ground is soft, where birds are singing wonderful songs and where wonderful animals are, where grow trees and lianas – my life and souls…All glories to the forests of Koladwipa!” (Srila Prabodhananda Saraswati, “Navadwipa-shataka”, 6,7) 

Vriddha Siva

Darsana times: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Directions: Go to Hulor Ghat and take a boat across to Navadvipa. There, after passing through the tollgate, you can either take a rickshaw to Porama Tala or walk about five minutes until you reach a T-junction. Turn left and follow the road as it makes a right turn. Turn left again at the end of this road and then take the first road on the right hand side. This road will take you to Porama Tala market which is marked by a huge banyan tree. The temple is inside the banyan tree, which is the center of the market.

Presiding deity: Vriddha Siva, the eternal protector of Navadvipa-dhama, and Praudha Maya who reveals the dhama to the devotees.

Dhamesvara Temple (Mahaprabhu Bari)

Mahaprabhu Bari

The deity of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this temple is said to have been worshiped by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s wife, Srimati Vishnupriya, after the Lord took sannyasa. This deity of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has His arms extended out lovingly towards His devotees. Vishnupriya was sixteen years old when Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa and she disappeared from this material world at the age of ninety-six, so she worshiped this deity for eighty years. Wooden shoes are kept in this temple which are said to have been worn by Lord Caitanya. After Vishnupriya-devi’s disappearance her cousin took the deity to his house. At that time he was living on the eastern side of the Ganga. Later on when his house was washed away by the Ganga he moved to Kuliya-grama on the western side of the Ganga. This Kuliya-grama is known today as the town of Navadvipa. As Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu was the son-in-law of this family, they still to this day worship the deity as their son-in-law.

Lord Chaitanya and Vishnupriya Mata

Wooden shoes of Lord

Darsana times: 5.00 a.m.-12.00 and 1.00-9.00 p.m.

Directions from the market banyan tree: Go down the Porama Tala market road (going towards the ghata) and take the second left. There is a jewellery shop on the corner. It is on the right side of the road after going past some other temples. Above the entrance to this temple is a sign which reads “Dhamesvara Sri Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu”. This temple is approximately a five-minute walk away from Porama Tala.

Presiding deity: Dhamesvara Mahaprabhu

Aparadha-bhanjana Kuliya

Koladvipa is also called Aparadha-bhanjana Kuliya, or “Kuliya, the place where offences are destroyed”. After taking sannyasa, Sriman Mahaprabhu went to Sri Puri-dhama. He travelled for some time in South India and then returned to Puri. Later He travelled again, this time to take darsana of Sridhama Vrindavana. Thousands of people accompanied Him as He passed through places such as Panihati, Kumarahatta and Kancanapalli, until He finally arrived at Vidya-vacaspati’s house in Vidyanagara. The crowds were so great that for seven days Mahaprabhu stayed in Madhava dasa’s house in Kuliya. While He was here, He delivered Gopala Capala, a resident of Kuliya, who was an offender to both the Vaishnavas and the holy name, and Devananda Pandita, who also offended the Vaishnavas. Gopala Cakravarti was a government tax collector who worked under Sri Hiranya and Govardhana Majumdara, the well-known residents of Saptagrama. He was highly scholarly and very beautiful. One day the royal priest, Balarama Pandita, went with Srila Haridasa Thakura to the royal court of Sri Hiranya and Govardhana. Srila Haridasa Thakura proceeded to glorify the holy name saying, “What to speak of uttering one pure name, the utterance of a mere semblance of the holy name – spoken to indicate something else (sanketa), jokingly (parihasa), disrespectfully  (avahela), derisively (stobhaavajna) or inattentively (upeksha) – can easily bestow liberation. Pure chanting of the holy name awards krishna-prema by which one attains Vaikuntha or above that, Sri Goloka-dhama.” Haridasa Thakura’s statements greatly angered Gopala, who contemptuously insulted him: “Liberation is attained only by jnana; it can never be attained by harinama. If one can attain liberation by chanting the holy name, then let my nose rot and fall off, otherwise, if Haridasa’s statement is wrong, let his nose rot and fall off.” A tumult broke out in the assembly. Balarama Pandita said, “You have offended the exalted Vaishnava Haridasa Thakura. There will never be any auspiciousness for you. You have guaranteed your own destruction due to your terrible offence to a Vaishnava.” After this incident Govardhana dasa dismissed Gopala Cakravarti from his service. And although the maha-bhagavata Srila Haridasa Thakura, the personification of forgiveness and tolerance, did not accept Gopala’s offence, Gopala became afflicted by leprosy three days after the incident. His beautiful campaka-flower-like nose, his fingers and his toes rotted away. After many days Sriman Mahaprabhu came to Kuliya-grama and Gopala Cakravarti went to see Him. Weeping, he surrendered to the supremely merciful Mahaprabhu and begged forgiveness for his vaishnava-aparadha. Caitanya Mahaprabhu forgave this nama-aparadhi brahmana and instructed him to continuously chant the holy name. Gopala Cakravarti did so and his leprosy soon  disappeared leaving him beautiful as before. Now, he was Bhagavan’s devotee, highly dedicated to the holy name, and a servant of the Vaishnavas. 

Another resident of Navadvipa named Gopala Capala was a depraved brahmana. He became so envious of Srivasa Pandita that he could not tolerate the sankirtana at Srivasa’s house and tried to disturb him in different ways. At night he placed at Srivasa’s door many items used in the worship of the goddess Durga, such as a wine pot and vermilion, to show that Srivasa was only externally posing as a Vaishnava. Srivasa Pandita had them removed and purified the place by smearing it with cow dung. Due to this great offence Gopala Capala soon became afflicted with leprosy. When, after accepting sannyasa, Sriman Mahaprabhu came to Kuliya, Gopala Capala came to Him and falling at His feet, began to weep. Mahaprabhu told him to beg forgiveness from Srivasa Pandita. He fell weeping at Srivasa Pandita’s feet and by the mercy of Mahaprabhu, his health returned.

At that time in Navadvipa, Devananda Pandita was considered a great teacher of Srimad-Bhagavatam and he instructed many students in his home in Kuliya-nagara on the Ganga’s western bank. Once, the maha-bhagavata Srivasa Pandita passed by Devananda Pandita’s house and heard Srimad-Bhagavatam being recited. He went in and sat down to listen. As Devananda Pandita described Krishna’s pastimes, Srivasa Pandita was unable to remain calm. He wept loudly and rolled on the ground. Devananda Pandita’s students, who were devoid of bhava- bhakti, could not understand Srivasa Pandita’s ashta-sattvika bhavas. Considering him a disturbance to their studies, they threw him out of the house. Devananda Pandita remained silent, doing nothing to stop them. When news of this incident came to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu He angrily said, “Devananda does not understand a single letter of the Bhagavatam, which is Sri Krishna personified and completely transcendental, so what can he teach! Srimad-Bhagavatam can not even remain near him. He is an offender of both Vaishnavas and the Bhagavatam. I will tear up his false Bhagavatam and throw it away.” Some time later, Devananda Pandita met Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, one of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s associates. Vidyanidhi mercifully gave him lucid instructions on philosophical knowledge about the devotees, Bhagavatam and the Supreme Lord. He revealed to Devananda Pandita many confidential truths about Sriman Mahaprabhu and Srivasa Pandita. Remembering his previous behaviour Devananda Pandita became filled with remorse. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Kuliya after accepting sannyasa, Devananda Pandita came before Him and in great humility, repeatedly begged forgiveness for his offence. Sriman Mahaprabhu told him to beg pardon from Srivasa Pandita directly. Devananda approached Srivasa Pandita, an incarnation of Naradaji, the personification of mercy. Srivasa forgave all his offences and requested Mahaprabhu to show Devananda Pandita mercy. This He did, and thus made him qualified to attain love of God.

When the teacher Nimai Pandita was living in Sri Navadvipadhama, the prominent professors and students there opposed Him and ridiculed His devotional mood. For the welfare of these ignorant people bereft of bhakti, Nimai Pandita left Navadvipa and took sannyasa. Now, having understood His glory, the teachers and students repented. When Nimai Pandita returned as Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Kuliya-nagara (after accepting sannyasa), they all came to Madhava dasa’s house to see him. Weeping they begged forgiveness at His feet,and the supremely merciful Mahaprabhu pardoned them. From that time, they all became  devotees. 

Because these pastimes took place here, Kuliya-grama is known as Aparadha-bhanjana-pata, “the place where offences are destroyed”.

The appearance of Lord Varahadeva in Navadvipa


On the western bank of the Ganga there is some raised land, like a small mountain, known as Kuliya-pahada. This mountain is no longer visible and has been described in scripture as Koladvipa. In Satya-yuga a brahmana named Vasudeva was living here. He was a great devotee of Lord Varahadeva and would worship the deity of Sri Varahadeva, sincerely offering his prayers. He would pray to the Lord, “Oh, my dear Lord! Please be merciful upon me and give me Your darsana so that my eyes may become purified and my life perfected.” Speaking in this manner, the brahmana collapsed and rolled around on the ground in frustration. He thought, “My Lord is not giving me His darsana, therefore my life is useless.” After some days, Sri Varahadeva mercifully bestowed His darsana to Vasudeva Vipra in the form of a kola (boar). His body was decorated with many varieties of jewellery. The Lord’s lotus feet, neck, nose, face, and eyes were especially attractive and His body was as tall as a mountain. When Vasudeva Vipra saw this wondrous form of the Lord he felt blessed. He offered obeisances to the Lord, falling at His feet, and began crying with great ecstasy while rolling on the ground. Upon seeing the great devotion of Vasudeva Vipra the Lord said in a sweet voice, “Oh, Vasudeva! You are My great devotee and have pleased Me by your fixed devotion. Please listen to Me. When Kali-yuga comes, My manifested pastimes will take place in this Navadvipa. There is no place in the three worlds equal to Navadvipadhama. This is My dearest dhama and has been kept very secret. The scriptures describe that all the holy places, including Brahmavarta, exist here. This most pious land is where I appeared from the fire sacrifice of Lord Brahma and killed the demon Hiranyaksha by piercing him with My teeth.

Lord Varaha Deva

Whoever resides in Navadvipa will attain the results of residing in all other tirthas.You are very fortunate to serve Me in this Navadvipa-dhama. You will again take birth here during My manifested pastimes. You will see the most beautiful form of Gauranga and His great sankirtana pastimes.” Having spoken these words, Sri Varahadeva vanished. After hearing this daiva-vani, the vipra tried to understand the subject. By analyzing all the scriptures the greatly learned Vasudeva understood that“Lord Sri Gauranga will manifest His pastimes in Nadia during the Vaivasvata-manvantara, at the beginning of Kali-yuga. All the rishis kept this information hidden, only hinting at the truth, so that only the most intelligent could understand it. The glory of these pastimes will spread when the Lord manifests Himself in Nadia. Now this truth is being kept secret but I can understand the hidden truths by the glimpse I have seen.” With great jubilation the vipra started to chant the holy name. He was chanting Gaura’s name constantly within his mind. When the brahmana Vasudeva saw the mountain-like body of Koladeva or Varahadeva, he thought, “This place must be the Koladvipa mountain.” Since then this name has been used. This mountain is non-different from Giri Govardhana in Vrindavana. Bahulavana is situated towards the north of this Kuliyapahada. In Navadvipa the twelve forests are not situated in the same sequence as in Vrindavana. This discrepancy can only be due to the desire of the Lord and He alone knows the reason.