Pancha Tirtha Kunda This place is called Pancha Tirtha because five holy places are said to be within its water. They are: Gomati, Narmada, Sarayu, Vetri and Kanchi. The building in front of this kunda is known as the Bharatpur Raja's Chatri.
Getting there- This place is on the right hand side, just after entering the town of Govardhana. It is set back from the parikrama path, behind a good sized structure that looks like the one at, Kusuma Sarovara. It is across the street from Manasi Ganga.
Twenty-four Mile (40 km) Govardhana Parikrama
There are several important places in the vicinity of Govardhana Hill, which are not visited on the normal parikrama. Many of these places are close to Govardhana Hill (within 5 km). The 24 mile parikrama visits many places that are not visited on the normal Govardhana parikrama.
When you come to the T intersection (the road ends)on parikrama path, on the left side of the road is Rinamochana Kunda. Rinamochana Kunda is near the Govardhana power station. Usually only after it rains will there be any water in this kunda. If one bathes in this kunda 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 Kunda 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. It is said that the area where this rasa dance took place is the same area as the 24 mile parikrama of Govardhana Hill. The gopis wandered from place to place eventually returning to Parasauli. Chandra Sarovara and Petha can be visited at the same time.
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 kunda 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, pass a courtyard.
Gandharava Kunda is said to be where the Gandharvas became overwhelmed by Krishna's singing. In Parasauli, there is the Rasa Mandala, Indra Dundubhi and Duvela Kunda. Mohavana and Moha Kunda are close by.
This place is about 1½ km from the town of Govardhana, on the road that goes from Govardhana to Sonk. Chandra Sarovara is on the right side of the road and it is a big kunda, 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 km.
From Chandra Sarovara you take the main road towards Sonk for about 3 km 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.
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 Govardhana Hill, in order to lift it.
Petha is about 5 km (ten minutes drive) from the town of Govardhana, on the road from Govardhana to Sonk. This place is about 4 km east of Gonda Kunda. Unless you are walking the best way to get here is from the town of Govardhana. 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." (Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 17. 282-292)
Aniyora to Punchari
One then proceeds to the village of Aniyora and from there to, Punchari. Then you go to Shyama 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 Saga Kunda, where Krishna is said to have enjoyed with the gopis. There are many kadamba trees here. Shyama Dhak is a peaceful and secluded place.
This place is about 1½ km west of Apsara Kunda and the village of Punchari. There is a fairly run-down road that comes to this place.
Gantholi (Ganthuli) One then proceeds in the direction of Govardhana Hill. You then go to Jati 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 Kunda. Krishna and the gopis would throw colors at this place. During the spring time red colors can be seen in this kunda.
While playing Holi, Radharani and Krishna were sitting. The sakhis (cowherd girls) secretly tied their clothes together, like a couple does when they get married. When Radha and Krishna stood they found that their clothes were tied together. 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.
Getting there- This town is about 3 km west of the town of Govardhana, on the road going to Dig. Gantholi is 1.5 km northwest of Jati Pura. The road going between Jati Pura and Gantholi is not very good. Gulala Kunda is about a quarter of a km from Gantholi, on the road that goes to Jati Pura. It is a large kunda, but you can not see it from the road because there are some buildings in front of it. It is about a 100m from the road.
Mainhadi Kunda and Saunkhrai
You then get on the main road that goes to the town of Govardhana. You pass Vilachuvan on your right hand side. About a half km from Govardhana town, on the left hand side, is a run down kunda called Mainhadi Kunda. It is said that Radharani washed her hands here and the henna on her hands turned this kunda 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 Kunda and Sakra Kunda.
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. This is the place that Nimbarka Acarya did bhajana for years. There is a temple and kunda here managed by followers of Nimbarka Acarya. Nimbarka Acarya was the main acarya of the Kumara-sampradaya.
This village is about 2.5 km northwest of the town of Govardhana, 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 Kunda 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 Kunda) . Nanda Maharaja is said to have stayed here when he was on his way to Nandagram. There is a Balarama temple and a small kunda here, called Navagrama Kunda. 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.
You then go east a few km to Surya Kunda.
At this place, there is a temple dedicated to Surya Narayana. Surya Kunda and Gopala Kunda are here. The Surya Narayana temple is on the bank of Surya Kunda. Once Radharani placed Her mukut (golden crown) on a rock while she was bathing in Surya Kunda. 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 Madhusudana Dasa Babaji, on the west bank of the kunda. 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 Suryapuja 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 sungod, 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 Govindalilamrita and Krishna-bhavanamrita.
It is also said that Krishna would pick flowers here and make them into a garland for Radharani.
Getting there- Surya Kunda is near the village of Vasanti. It is on the 24 miles parikrama of Govardhana Hill. This place can be visited when going between Vrindavana and Radha Kunda. It is about 7 km off the road between Radha Kunda and Chatikara.
To get here from Radha Kunda you drive east on the road back to the town of Vrindavana, until just before the village of Ral. This is the first busy inter-section 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 5 km, you come to the village of Konai. You go around this village and the village of Surya Kunda 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 Kunda and Go Kunda 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 is Krishna Kunda and Gval Kunda. Getting there- If you are driving from the road that goes between Chatikara and Radha Kunda to Surya Kunda, you pass the village of Konai on the way. Konai is about five km from the road that goes between Radha Kunda and Chatikara.
The next place to come to is Vasanti. It is also known as Vasoti or Rasithi. 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 Kunda and Vasant Kunda here. Getting there- This place is 2 km from Radha Kunda, on the road between Radha Kunda and Chatikara.
You pass this village while you are going from Vrindavana to Radha Kunda.
Mukharai is the village of Radharani's maternal grandmother, Mukhara. There is the Mukhara temple here on the bank of Krishna Kunda. 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) is said to have played as musical instruments. The pujarisin this temple knows how to play them. The pujaris in this temple are very friendly. Getting there- This place is about 3 km southeast of Radha Kunda. To get here from Radha Kunda you get on the road that goes to Vrindavana and you then go about 2 km. 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 Kunda are on your left, after about 50m.
Next you go to Radha Kunda, Kusuma Sarovara, Narada Kunda and Syarna Kutir. You then go to Pailgram, which is the birthplace of Palita Sakhi.
Kilol Kunda (Kelanvan) and End of Parikrama
You then proceed to Kilol Kunda. This is a large kunda which has nice bathing ghatas. The temple of Kilol Bihari is right next to this kunda. 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 kunda. This place is also known as Kandukaksetra. From here one proceeds to Manasi Ganga and then takes bath. This ends the parikrama.
This forest is close to the main road that goes from Radha Kunda to Govardhana town. Kilol Kunda is about 300 metres from Manasi Ganga.