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.
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)
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.