Category Archives: Govardhan



O Govardhana, O king of mountains, O hill whose nectarian name the best of Hari’s servants flows from the moonlike mouth of Sri Radha,O hill that the Vedas declare to be the tilaka marking of Vraja, please grant me a residence near to you.

Govardhana Hill is acknowledged throughout the Vedic scripture’s as the most sacred mountain not only in the whole of India, but in all the three worlds. It is therefore no wonder that when Govardhana Hill appeared, all the great mountains of the universe came and worshiped him as their king. They also declared that Govardhana had descended from Goloka Vrndavana in the spiritual world and is the crown jewel of Vraja.

The Vedas also inform us that Govardhana Hill is understood in two different ways. First, as the greatest devotee of Lord Krsna, and second as being non-different from Lord Krsna Himself.

Before the beautiful gopis of Vrndavana, Srimati Radharani praised Govardhana Hill as the very best servant (Haridasa-varya) of Lord Krsna in the following words:
Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krsna and Balarama, along with their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities – water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord.Being touched by the lotus feet of Krsna and Balarama,Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.18: As the best servant, Govardhana Hill provides Krsna, Balarama and the inhabitants of Vrndavana with all the necessities of life. Cool fragrant drinking water from its many waterfalls, pure honey, mango juice and pilu juice, wonderful varieties of herbs, roots, fruits, creepers and fresh flowers. Govardhana also provides various minerals and precious gems that the cowherd boys use to decorate Krsna, Balarama alongwith themselves.

This sacred hill also provides deep caves where Krsna and Balarama rest and take shelter against the rain and the scorching sun. Krsna also enjoys many intimate loving pastimes with Srimati Radharani in these same caves.

Govardhana Hill also provides a special kind of soft, fragrant grass that makes the cows strong and healthy. This grass also helps increase the cow’s milk production, which is used to make pure ghee for the sacrificial fire and cooking. The milk is also turned into butter, yogurt, cheese and an amazing variety of milksweets.


Considering that milk is the economic backbone of the inhabitants of Vrndavana, it is no wonder that Lord Krsna advised the Vrajavasis to stop the sacrifice to Lord Indra and worship Govardhana Hill instead.

Govardhana Hill also provides Lord Krsna with a stage to perform His innumerable transcendental loving pastimes with the beautiful damsels of Vraja and with His many cowherd boyfriends.

The Vedas also say that Govardhana Hill is non-different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna Himself. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vraja in the year 1515, He refused to climb Govardhana Hill because He saw that Govardhana was non-different from Lord Krsna. At the time of the annakuta ceremony, Krsna declared that He was non-different from Govardhana Hill:

Krsna then assumed an unprecedented huge form to instill faith in the cowherd men declaring, `I am Govardhana Mountain!’ He ate the abundant offerings. Together with the people of Vraja, the Lord bowed down to Govardhana Hill, thus in effect offering obeisances to Himself Then He said, ” Just see how this hill has appeared in person and bestowed mercy upon us!

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.24.35-6 Because Govardhana Hill is non-different from Krsna Himself, the rocks from Govardhana are worshipable just like a Deity of Krsna, In fact, the stones known as Govardhana-silas do not even need to be installed as they are already considered to be worshipable. Many great devotees have worshiped these silas from Govardhana Hill. These devotees include Sanatana Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, as well as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.

Govardhana Hill should be envisioned to be in the shape of a peacock resting with its head tucked into its side. The peacocks face is considered to be the beautiful Kusuma-sarovara, its neck is Manasi ganga, its mouth Mukharavinda. In Govinda lilamrita Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami says its two eyes are Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda it’s ears Gvala Pokhara, the beginning of its tail is Balarama Sthali, and the end of its tail is Punchari-kunda (Naval-kunda).

Lord Krishna’s father Nanda Maharaja once enquired from his brother Upananda how Govardhana hill had appeared in the sacred land of Vrindavana. Upananda replied that King Pandu, father of the Pandavas, had asked this very question to Grandfather Bhishma, was had narrates the following story from the Garga Samhita:

One day in Goloka Vrindavana Lord Krishna informed Srimati Radharani that She should now appear on earth as it was time for Them to perform Their transcendental pastimes within the material world. Radharani replied that unless Vraja Dhama, the Yamuna and Govardhana Hill were present there, She would not be very happy. Krsna then told Radharani that She need not worry as Vraja Dhama, along with the Yamuna and Govardhana Hill had already appeared on earth.

Many years before this incident, in the land of Shalmali dvipa, the wife of the great mountain Dronacal gave birth to a son named Govardhana. At the time of Govardhana’s birth all the demigods appeared in the sky and showered flowers upon him. The great mountains, led by the Himalayas and Sumeru, came there to offer their respects. They then performed parikrama of Govardhana and accepted him as their king. They offered very nice prayers praising Govardhana for having descended from Goloka Vrindavana, describing him as the “crown jewel of Vraja.”

Some years later, at the beginning of Satya-yuga, the great sage Pulastya Muni paid a visit to Shalmali dvipa. Upon seeing the beautiful Govardhana Hill covered with many lovely creepers, flowers, rivers, caves and chirping birds, the sage felt that this hill was capable of giving liberation. He then went to meet Dronacal, who immediately offered his respects and inquired from the sage what service he could render.

Pulastya Muni informed Dronacal that he was from Kashi (Benares) and was on pilgrimage to all the Holy places. And he said that even though the sacred river Ganges flows through Kashi, there is no beautiful hill. He then asked Dronacal to give Govardhana to him so that he could perform his austerities sitting on top of the hill.

On hearing the sage’s request, Dronacal, who was not willing to part with his son, started to shed tears in thought of separation from his beloved Govardhana. Not wanting to see Pulastya Muni become angry and curse his father, Govardhana asked the sage how he would carry him all the way to Kashi. The sage replied that he would carry him in his right hand. Govardhana then agreed to go with the sage on one condition that if the sage put him down anywhere during the course of the journey, he would not be able to lift him again. Pulastya Muni agreed. Carrying Govardhana in his right hand he left for Kashi.

By the will of providence Pulastya Muni passed through Vraja on his way to Kashi. On arriving in Vraja, Govardhana thought that now he was here he should remain in the Holy dhama. By his mystic power he was able to influence Pulastya Muni to attend to the call of nature. Unmindful, the sage put Govardhana down and went off to answer the call. But when he returned he was unable to lift Govardhana again. Trying with all his might, using both hands, he could not lift Govardhana even slightly.

In great anger Pulastya Muni then became angry and cursed Govardhana to sink into the ground by the measurement of one mustard seed every day. When Govardhana first came to Vraja in the beginning of Satya-yuga, it is said that Govardhana at that time was 115 km (64 miles) long, 72 km (40 miles) wide and 29 km (16 miles) high. Now the hill is only 80 feet high at its highest point. It is said that after ten thousand years of the Kali-yuga Govardhana will have completely disappeared. It is said by Acaryas that Govardhana is decreasing in size because of separation from Lord Krishna.

After narrating the wonderful story of Govardhana’s appearance, Sunanda informed Nanda Maharaja that as long as Govardhana Hill and the river Yamuna remained manifest, Kali-yuga would not take its full effect. Sunanda also said that anyone who is fortunate enough to hear the description of the appearance of Govardhana Hill would be freed from all sins.

Another story about Govardhana dill is that the monkey army of Lord Rama was carrying different stones to construct a bridge to Lanka. This happened in Treta Yuga, when Lord Rama was getting ready to attack Lanka. Hanuman was carrying Govardhana from the Himalayas to help built the bridge. This was on the fifth day of construction. As Hanuman was carrying Govardhana over Braja, Nala and Neela, who were in charge of building the bridge declared that it was completed and no more stones were needed. When Hanuman heard this, he was in Braja Mandala and he placed Govardhana there. Govardhana then starting crying that he was lost in two ways. Now he was taken away from being close to Lord Siva, who lives in the Himalayas and he would not be able to be used in the service of Lord Rama and therefore, be able to see Him. Rama heard about Govardhana crying and said that in Dwapara Yuga he would be born as Sri Krishna and would hold Govardhana up for seven days and nights to save the residents of Braja.


Govardhana Puja Story

During Dwapara Yuga, Lord Krishna convinced the cowherd men to worship Govardhana, instead of doing a sacrifice to please lord Indra, the king of heaven, who is charge of the rain. Krishna told the cowherd men that Govardhana Hill was supplying so many necessities and should be worshiped instead.



“His reasons for discouraging the sacrifice performed to please Indra were twofold. First, as stated in the Bhagavad gita there is no need to worship the demigods for any material advancement; all results derived from worshiping the demigods are simply temporary, and only those who are less intelligent are interested with temporary results. Secondly, whatever temporary result one derives from worshiping the demigods is actually granted by the permission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


“Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Krishna is worshipable, so His land, Vrindavana and Govardhana Hill, are also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Krishna said that Govardhana Puja is as good as worship of Him. From that day, Govardhana Puja has been going on, and is known as Annakuta. In all the temples of Vrindavan or outside of Vrindavana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. “The .cowherd men headed by Nanda Maharaja performed Govardhana worship and circumambulation of the hill. Nanda Maharaja and the cowherd men consulted learned brahmanas and began to worship Govardhana Hill by chanting Vedic hymns and offering prasadam. The inhabitants of Vrindavana assembled together, decorated their cows and gave them grass. Keeping the cows in front, they began to circumambulate Govardhana Hill. The gopis also dressed themselves very luxuriantly and sat in bull-driven carts.




Assembled there to act as priests for Govardhana Puja, the brahmanas offered their blessing to the cowherd men and their wives, the gopis. When everything was complete, Krishna assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vrindavana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Krishna Himself are identical. Then Krishna began to eat all the food offered there. The identity of Krishna and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Krishna in the temples. Devotees therefore collect small rocks or pebbles from Govardhana Hill and worship them at home, because this worship is as good as Deity worship. The form of Krishna who began to eat the offering was separately constituted, and Krishna Himself along, with other inhabitants of Vrindavana began to offer obeisances to the Deity as well as Govardhana Hill.”


After the cowherd men worshiped Govardhana Hill, Lord Indra became angry that he was not worshiped. He then sent torrents of rain upon Vrindavana. The residents of Vrindavana then approached Lord Krishna for help. Krishna then lifted Govardhana Hill and held it over the residents of Vrindavana like an umbrella. “The inhabitants of Vrindavana and their animals remained there for one week without being disturbed by hunger, thirst or any other discomforts. They were simply astonished to see how Krishna was holding up the mountain with the little finger of His left hand. Seeing the extraordinary mystic power of Krishna, Indra, the King of heaven, was thunderstruck and baffled in his determination. He immediately called for all the clouds and asked them to desist.”



After this, Indra came along with a Surabhi cow and offered prayers to Lord Krishna and then worshiped Him.

Lord Caitanya at Govardhana Hill (From Caitanya Caritamrita)

From Caitanya Caritamrita


When Lord Caitanya saw Govardhana Hill, He immediately offered obeisances, falling down on the ground like a rod. He embraced one piece of rock from Govardhana Hill and became mad.

Just by seeing Govardhana Hill, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became ecstatic with love of Krishna. While dancing and dancing and dancing, He recited the following verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam:

“Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O My friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama as well as Their calves, cows and cowherd friends with all kinds of necessities water for drinking, very soft grass, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respect to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.”

Lord Caitanya first bathed in Manasi Ganga and then took darshan of Harideva before doing Govardhana parikrama.

Lord Caitanya instructed: “One should remain in Vrindavana for only a short time and then return here as soon as possible. Also, do not climb Govardhana Hill to see the Gopala Deity.”

Govardhana Shilas: Devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Krishna in the temple. This worship is as good as Deity worship. Lord Krishna has appeared as Govardhana-shila (a stone from the hill), so that His devotees may render service to Him. It is important that not just anyone takes a rock from Govardhana Hill. The right to worship Govardhana-shila should be given only by the guru (spiritual master). So his permission should be taken before beginning worship.

Reaching Govardhana Hill

Govardhana Hill is 26 km (14 miles) west of Mathura. By car it takes about forty-five minutes to get to Govardhana Hill from Vrindavana. As Govardhana Hill and Radha Kunda are right next to each other, both can easily be visited on the same trip.

Getting To Govardhana Hill

It is the form of worship to walk around Govardhana hill.


To the west of Mathura, at a distance of two yojanas, is Govardhana, the topmost Holy place. Anyone who performs its parikrama will never have to take birth in this world again. – Varaha Purana. Rupa Goswami stated in his Mathura mahatmya that one should first bathe in Manasi Ganga and then take darshan of Harideva before starting parikrama.

Instructions for Performing Parikrama
In Vraja bhakti the following instructions are found regarding parikrama of Govardhana Hill.
1. One should offer proper respect to all the Deities, cows, brahmanas, trees, creepers, rocks and kundas one sees.
2. One should not offend any living entity, moving or non-moving otherwise one will lose the benefits of his parikrama.
3. While performing parikrama one should not wear shoes or leather items and one’s cloth should be freshly washed.
4. One must observe brahmacarya and take bath as well as clean teeth before starting parikrama.
5. One should not perform parikrama at night.
6. While performing parikrama one should move carefully so as not to kill any living entities on the path.
7. If one becomes sick during parikrama one should stop and take rest, parikrama should be continued after health is regained.
8. One should not leave his parikrama uncompleted.
9. Women should not perform parikrama during their menstrual period.
10. One should not strain himself while performing parikrama.

The parikrama route around Govardhana hill is 25km. There is also a 40 km outer parikrama path. Sanatana Gosvami would do the outer parikrama while he was staying at Govardhana hill. The average person goes around Govardhana hill in six or seven hours.

1. Manasi Ganga
Mana means “mind” and Ganga is another name for the Ganges. Manasi Ganga kunda is traditionally the starting and ending point of the circumambulation of Govardhana Hill. Vraja-vilasa-stava text 64 by Raghunatha dasa Gosvami says “Manasi-ganga intensely enjoys the pleasurable taste of the boating pastimes of Gandharvika and Mura vimardana. With her plentiful waves, she pushes about piles of effulgent rocks from Govardhana Hill. May this lake give me protection”.

The beautiful celestial lake known as Manasi-ganga is the largest of all the sacred kundas found in the Vraja area. Situated right in the heart of Govardhana town, this lake was formerly much larger than it is today. Just as Govardhana Hill is shrinking in size every day, so is Manasi ganga. Manasi-ganga is considered to be nondifferent from the river Ganges. In fac, it is considered to be even better. One who bathes in the river Ganges is purified of all his sins, but one who bathes in Manasi-ganga is not only purified of his sins but will also achieve prema- bhakti, the highest platform of loving devotion to Sri Krsna.

The Appearance of Mansi Ganga
One day Krsna and Balarama, along with Their cowherd boyfriends, were tending the cows in the pasture grounds near Govardhana Hill. A demon of the name Vatsasura came there in the disguised form of a calf and with the evil intention of killing Krsna, mingled with the other calves. Krsna however, was aware that this demon was hiding amongst the calves, and He warned Balarama. The transcendental brothers then sneaked up behind the demon calf and Krsna grabbed him by his back legs, whipped him around with great force and threw him up into a nearby tree. The demon immediately gave up his life air and his dead body fell to the ground. On seeing this cowherd boys enthusiastically congratulated Krsna. Because Krsna had killed a demon in the shape of a calf, the cowherd boys asked Him to take His bath in the river Ganges in order to purify Himself. Not wanting to leave Vraja, Krsna informed the cowherd boys that He would call the river Ganges to appear in Vraja. Krsna then meditated and from within His mind the river Ganges manifested before Him in the form of Manasi-ganga. In other words, the Ganga manifested from the mind of Krsna. Krsna then took his bath to the great delight of all the cowherd boys.


On another occasion Nanda Maharaja, mother Yasoda and the residents of Vrndavana heard a wonderful story about the glories of the river Ganges. They heard that Garuda, the carrier of Lord Visnu, had once captured a large snake near the banks of the Ganges. While he was flying away with the snake in his claws, the tail of the snake accidentally touched the water of the Ganges. Immediately the snake changed into a four-armed form like the residents of Vaikuntha. Amazed, Garuda placed the four-armed personality on his back and carried him all the way to Vaikuntha. Hearing about this wonderful story and the potency of bathing in the Ganges, all the residents of Vraja decided that they would make a pilgrimage to the river Ganges and take bath. Seeing the arrangements being made for the journey, Krsna informed Nanda and Yasoda that there was no need to go out of Vraja to take bath in the Ganges, as the Ganges was present in Vraja itself. However, Nanda Maharaja and the other Vrajavasis thought that as Krsna was just a small child and did not fully understand the matter. But Krsna kept insisting and finally Nanda Baba relented. Accompanied by all the inhabitants of Vrndavana, he followed Krsna to the middle of Govardhana Hill. When Krsna arrived at the shore of Manasi-ganga, Ganga Mata, the river Ganga personified, suddenly appeared from the water and offered prayers to the Lord. When all the inhabitants of Vrndavana saw Ganga Mata they offered their obeisances to her. Then, led by Nanda Maharaja, they all took their holy bath in the Manasi-ganga.

Pastimes in Manasi Ganga
Boat Pastime at Manasi Ganga: Srimati Radharani and the gopis came to the bank of Manasi Ganga and wanted to take a boat across. Manasi Ganga used to be a large lake, but has gotten much smaller over the years. They were carrying their yoghurt pots and other milk preparations. Unfortunately only one very old boat was available and the boatman was just a young boy dressed in a large cloak, with a peacock feather on his head. He agreed to ride them and they bargained for a while over the price. They settled that the price would be some sweets and butter.


He rowed for a while and then just stopped. Srimati Radharani and the gopis asked Him why he had stopped. He told then that He was tired and hungry and He could not go any further unless they did not feed Him. In an angry mood the gopis refused, but when they saw he was not going to move, they relented and fed him milk sweets. He ate everything. He then told them that he would take a nap and that they should massage His arms and legs. They told Him if He did not keep rowing they would throw Him overboard. He then started rowing again. He then stopped again and the gopis asked Him why He had stopped. Pointing to the floor of the boat he told the gopis that his old boat was filling up with water and slowly sinking due to the heavy weight. The boatman also said that unless they threw all their heavy pots overboard, the boat would surely sink. Shocked to hear the words of the boatman, the gopis immediately threw their pots of yogurt and butter into the water. Then the boatman told them that the boat was still too heavy and that they should now throw all their jewellery into the water. Reluctantly, the gopis took off their beautiful jewellery and threw it into the water. The boatmen then told them that the boat was still too heavy and that they should take off all their clothing and throw that into the water as well. Infuriated at this latest suggestion, the gopis angrily informed the boatman that they would throw him into the water and that this would certainly solve the weight problem. Hearing this, the boatman again started rowing, but before he could get further, a storm appeared over the lake. Dark clouds covered the sky and a strong wind started to blow and the waves on the water became agitated. The boatman could see that Radharani and the gopis were looking very frightened that they might all drown. In order to diminish their fears, the boatman started to rock his boat back and forth to show its sturdiness. At that moment, terrified that She might fall into the water, Radharani leapt forward and thrust Her arms around the boatman for safety. As soon as She put Her arms around the boatman, She realized that He was none other than Her beloved Krsna in disguise. Suddenly the clouds cleared, the wind died down, the waves became calm, and the moon suddenly appeared in the evening sky. When all the cowherd girls saw Radharani embracing the boatman they inquired about the meaning of Her behavior. In answer to their inquiry, Radharani pulled Krsna’s flute from under His cloak. The gopis then realized that the boatman was actually the transcendental prankster Sri Krsna in disguise. Krsna then took Radharani and the gopis on a wonderful boat ride around all the different islands in the Manasi-ganga lake.


This pastime is described by Jiva Goswami in Gopal champu.

Manasi Ganga Area
There are several important places on the banks of Manasi Ganga or nearby. Close by is the Harideva temple, Manasi Devi temple, Brahma kunda and Chakra Tirtha.

Manasi Devi Temple
The Manasi Devi Temple is on the bank of Manasi Ganga.

Brahma Kunda.
The devi in this temple, Manasi Devi, is the presiding deity of Manasi Ganga and is one of the four main Devi temples in Braja Mandala. The other three important Devi temples are: Yoga Maya in Vrindavana, Patalesvar Devi in Mathura, and Vrinda Devi in Kamyavana. It is said that by praying at the feet of one of these goddesses, one may achieve an eternal position in the Vrndavana pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna.


Reaching there:
If you just turn off the road from the parikrama road to go to Manasi Ganga, the Manasi Devi temple is on the left, up stairs, after about 100m. To get here after leaving the Harideva temple, you turn left after 1017 (30 ft), onto a path. You follow the path around for 20 seconds and the small temple is up a flight of stairs on the right.

Mukharavinda Temple
This majestic sandstone temple is situated on the banks of Manasi-ganga contains the lotus mouth of Giri-Govardhana. Mukharvinda means lotus mouth. Pilgrims visiting the temple bring offerings of milk and sweets to feed the Mukharvinda-sila. Gallons of milk are poured over this sacred Govardhana-sila every day. Although there are number of other silas that the local people claim to be the Mukharvinda, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami has confirmed that this sila is actually the real Mukharvinda.


Just behind the Mukharavind-sila one can see standing upright the Mukut-sila. This sila is marked with the outline of Sri Krsna’s mukut (crown). The Vrajavasis traditionally end their parikrama of Govardhana hill by having darsana at the Mukharvinda temple and then go for a final dip in Manasi-ganga.

Chakra Tirtha

Gokulesvara Mahadev

Chakra Tirtha, which was created by the Sudarsana Chakra, is embedded in the northern bank of Manasi Ganga. As Krishna was holding Govardhana Hill, torrents of rain were coming down. Krishna could see that the water would come under the hill and drown everyone. Therefore He had His Sudarsana Chakra stay above the hill for the entire seven days. The Sudarsana Chakra produced heat equal to many suns which consumed all the rain. Also Sesa Naga came and drank up the rain water. After Krishna repositioned Govardhana Hill, the Sudarsana Chakra remained on the northern bank of Manasi Ganga. That place is called Chakra Tirtha. The Chakra (disc) of Lord Vishnu is called Sudarshana which means “auspicious vision.” The illuminating principles in this world such as the sun, the moon and fire emanate from the effulgence of Sudarsana. Similarly, illumination by knowledge also comes from Sudarsana because with the illumination of Sudarsana one can distinguish one thing from another, the superior from the inferior. At Chakra Tirtha, Radha and Krishna are said to have had first swing pastime.

Reaching there:

This is the area where the Chakaleswara Mahadeva temple is located.


Chakaleswara Mahadeva temple and Sanatana Gosvami’s Bhajana Kutir:

Next to the bhajana kutir of Sanatana Gosvami is Chakaleswara Siva-linga temple. This Siva-linga is one of the five presiding Siva-lingas worshiped in Braja Mandala. It protects this part of the Holy dhama.

The bhajana kutir of Sanatana Gosvami is right next to Manasi Ganga. He would perform Govardhana parikrama as a daily vow. When Sanatana Goswami was thinking to move from this place because of mosquitoes, Lord Siva (Cakaleswara) disguised as a brahmana came and told him that the mosquitoes would no longer disturb him.Till today, this place is almost free from mosquitoes. This place is within Chakra Tirtha area.

While living here, Sanatana Gosvami would do Govardhana parikrama daily and he would often do 1008 dandavats. Krishna came to him one day and requested that should not continue doing daily parikrama in old age. He then gave Sanatana Goswami a Govardhana-shila, which had the foorprints of Krishna and a cow. This shila is now in the Radha Damodara Temple in Vrindavana. On the Guru-Purnima, it was the custom of the devotees from Vrndavana to offer worship to Sanatana Gosvami. Headed by the Gosvamis Rupa, Raghunatha dasa, Raghunatha Bhatta, Gopal Bhatta and Jiva, they all came to Sanatana’s bhajana kutira at Cakra-tirtha and requested him to lead them on parikrama of Manasi Ganga as he had done every year. When they saw that after long time Sanatana Gosvami did not move but simply sat silently, they realized he had entered into Samadhi. A great cry of lamentation rent the air as the devotees shed tears in separation of their beloved Sanatana. That was in the year 1558. Sanatana Gosvami was the first of Lord Caitanya’s disciple to leave the world, and his disappearance sent shock waves throughout the whole of Vraja as well as Bengal. The Gosvamis brought the sacred body of Sanatana Gosvami in a great procession to entomb it in a beautiful garden next to the Madanmohan temple on the side of the dvadasaditya Hill.

Reaching there- Both the places are right next to each other on the north-eastern side of Manasa Ganga.

Harideva temple:

The Harideva temple, near Manasi Ganga, was established by Krishna’s great-grandson, Vajranabha 5000 years ago. Harideva is one of the four presiding Deities of Vrindavana. Lord Harideva is the presiding Deity for the western petal of the lotus of Braja Mandala. He is the lifter of Govardhana Hill. This temple is architechually interesting. In this temple one can see the pratibhu-murti of Lord Harideva. After bathing in Manasi Ganga, one is supposed to come and have darshan of Lord Harideva before beginning Govardhana parikrama. Govardhana parikrama without the darshan of Harideva is not considered complete.

Harideva Temple

This temple was built by King Bhagandas of Jaipur, whose son, Raja Man Singh, built the Govindaji Temple in the sixteenth century during the reign of Emperor Akbar. The original Deity of Harideva was moved to the town of Rajdhan near Kanpur, when Aurangzeb sent his soldiers to destroy the Deities and temples of Braja. This Deity of Harideva is still at this place.

There is a very wonderful story about: the appearance of Lord Harideva. One day Srimati Radharani and the gopis were waiting for Krsna to come and meet them near Manasi-ganga. As they were waiting, the gopis started to feel intense separation from Krsna. They then began to chant “Harideva, Harideva, Harideva” over and over again, and their feelings of separation intensified so much so, that it appeared they would give up their lives. Suddenly a most beautiful Deity of Krsna as a seven-year-old boy appeared there, holding Govardhana Hill in His left hand and His transcendental flute in the other. The ecstasy Radharani and the gopis felt on seeing that beautiful form knew no bounds. Radharani and the gopis performed all kinds of worship to the Deity and made many wonderful offerings. After the appearance of Govardhana-natha Harideva, Radharani and the gopis would come here every day to worship this beautiful Deity.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu also visited this ancient temple on His pilgrimage to Vrndavana in 1515. Upon seeing the beautiful Deity of Lord Harideva, Lord Caitanya danced in ecstasy for hours. The local Vrajavasis were completly astonished to see Lord Caitanya’s ecstatic love for Lord Harideva.

Reaching there
This temple is about a minute walk from the south bank of Manasi Ganga. After Indra bathed Lord Krishna, all the demigods, holy rivers and sages offered prayers to Lord Krishna and then bathed Him. At this time Brahma also bathed Lord Krishna. Brahma Kunda is the water that collected after Lord Brahma bathed Krishna. Brahma Kunda is located on the southern bank of Manasi Ganga. Lord Brahma permanently resides here. At one time there were also kundas created by Indra (east), Yamaraja (south), Varuna (west), and Kuvera (north) around this kunda. These kundas are now gone. Most of the one hundred and eight kundas situated around Govardhana Hill have also disappeared. It is said that after bathing in Manasi-ganga and having darshana of Harideva, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu rested here for some time. Lord Nityananda also rested at Brahma-kunda when He came on pilgrimage to Vraja some years before Lord Caitanya.

Reaching there
This kunda is directly next to the Manasi Devi temple, close to Manasi Ganga and the Harideva temple.

Krishna-Balarama and Nanda Maharaja temple:
Deities (from left to right) of Nanda Maharaja, Balarama, Krishna, Mother Yasoda and Radharani are present. It is said that Nanda Maharaja, Krishna, Balarama and the residences of Braja spent the night here after completing Govardhana Puja.

Reaching there
After coming out of Chakra Tirtha,one may proceed to the left for about 40m (120 ft.), when the road turns left, on your right hand side is this temple.