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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Vraja Mandala > Vraja Mandala Parikrama > 14.RADHA-KUNDA



This is a very tranquil and peaceful place. It is considered by Gaudiya Vaishnavas to be the most holy place in the Braja area. It is a very important place to visit. There are two holy tanks here,  right next to each other. The town here is also known as Aristavan. In this village, the demon Aristasura was killed by Krishna. Radha-Kunda is 26 km (16 miles) west of Mathura.For years  Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda were lost and no one knew exactly where they were located. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavana in 1515, He rediscovered these two important  kundas.Part of the parikrama of Govardhana Hill is going around Radha and Syama-Kunda. Radharani and Krishna have their midday pastimes at Radha-Kunda.When Raghunatha Dasa  Gosvami first stayed at Radha-Kunda, Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda were only 12 feet by 12 feet in size. At that time one rich man named Sampanna went to Badrinath to offer Lord  Narayana a large donation. In a dream. Lord Krishna told him to go to Radha-Kunda and give the money to Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami to renovate the kundas.which he did. Raghunatha Dasa  Gosvami and Jiva Gosvami supervised the expansion of the kundas around 1554.In the center of Radha-Kunda is a small walled-in area called Kancana-Kunda. This kunda is said to mark the  location of the original kunda that Srimati Radharani and the gopis dug with their bangles. It is said that Vajranabha built a bathing tank at Syama-Kunda to commemorate the place where Krishna  killed Aristasura. When there is water in Syama-Kunda, this kunda can not be seen. When Syama-Kunda is empty, you can see a wall encircling a small deep kunda in the center of  Syama-Kunda. This kunda is called Vajranatha-Kunda, Syama-Kunda is also known as Arista-Kunda.


In the eight directions surrounding Radha-Kunda are the kunjas (garden groves) of Sri Radha's asta-sakhis (eight main gopis). They are the kunjas of Lalita Devi, Vishakha Devi, Citra Devi,  Indulekha Devi, Campakala Devi, Ranga Devi, Tungavidya Devi, and Sudevi. Sri Ananga Manjari's kunja is in the center of Radha-Kunda.Radha-Kunda appeared at midnight on Bahulastami, the  eighth day (astami) of the waning moon, in the month of Kartika (Oct-Nov). On the day, thousands of people come and bathe at midnight in Radha-Kunda. It is an ecstatic and exciting event.

"Mathura is superior to Vaikuntha because Lord Krishna appeared there. Vrindavana is superior to Mathura because Krishna performed his rasa-lila there. Govardhana Hill is superior to  Vrindavana because Krishna lifted it and enacted many blissful pastimes there. But the super excellent Radha-Kunda stands supreme above all for it is overflowing with the ambrosia nectarean  pre/na of Radha and Krishna. {Sri Upadesamrita, verse 9)"Great sages say that Radha-Kunda is as dear to Krishna as Radha Herself. Indeed, Krishna's love for Radha-Kunda and Srimati  Radharani is the same in all respects." {Sri Upadesamrita verse II purport) In the Adi Varaha Purana it is said that by bathing in Radha-Kunda the sin of killing a cow, man, or a brahmana is  immediately removed. According to the Adi Varaha Purana, by bathing in Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda one attains the result of performing a rajasuya and asvamedha yajna.


How to Get Here: From Vrindavana you can get a motor rickshaw for Rs 250 or a taxi for Rs 400 round trip, which includes a two hours waiting time. It takes about forty-five minutes to get to  Radha-Kunda by taxi. From Vrindavana, the road to Radha-Kunda is bumpy, and a motor rickshaw can be uncomfortable. So I would suggest taking a taxi, Radha-Kunda is much too far to go by  cycle rickshaw.From Vrindavana the cheapest way to Radha-Kunda is to take a tempo to the end of Bhaktivedanta Swami Marg (Chatikara Road). From there you get another tempo to  Radha-Kunda.


Killing of the Demon Aristasura


"One demon named Aristasura entered the village like a great bull with a gigantic body and horns, digging up the earth with his hoofs. When the demon entered Vrindavana, it appeared that the  whole land trembled, as if there were an earthquake. He roared fiercely and after digging up the earth on the river side, he entered the village proper. The fearful roaring of the bull was so piercing  that some of the pregnant cows and women had miscarriages. Its body was so big, stout and strong that a cloud hovered over its body just as clouds hover over mountains. Aristasura entered  Vrindavana with such a fearful appearance that just on seeing this great demon, all the men and women were afflicted with great fear, and the cows and other animals fled the village."The  situation became very terrible, and all the inhabitants of Vrindavana began to cry, 'Krishna! Krishna, please save us!' Krishna also saw that the cows were running away, and He immediately  replied, ' Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid.' He then appeared before Aristasura and said, 'You are the lowest of living entities. Why are you frightening the inhabitants of Vrindavana? What will you  gain by this action? If you have come to challenge My authority then I am prepared to fight you.' In this way, Krishna challenged the demon, and the demon became very angry by the words of  Krishna. Krishna stood before the bull, resting His hand on the shoulder of a friend. The bull began to proceed towards Krishna in anger. Digging the earth with his hoofs, Aristasura lifted his tail,  and it appeared that clouds were hovering about the tail. His eyes were reddish and moving in anger. Pointing his horns at Krishna he began to charge Him just like the thunder bolt of Indra. But  Krishna immediately caught his horns and tossed him away, just as a gigantic elephant repels a small inimical elephant. Although the demon appeared to be very tired and although he was  perspiring, he took courage and got up. Again he charged Krishna with great force and anger. While rushing towards Krishna, he breathed very heavily. Krishna again caught his horns and  immediately threw him on the ground, breaking his horns. Krishna then began to kick his body, just as one squeezes a wet cloth on the ground. Being thus kicked by Krishna, Aristasura rolled  over and began to move his legs violently. Bleeding and passing stool and urine, his eyes staring from their sockets, he passed to the kingdom of death." (Krishna Book)


The Appearance of Radha-Kunda


The story of Radha-Kunda is that one demon named Aristasura, in the body of a bull, was killed by Krishna. The gopis (cowherd girls) told Krishna, "that for killing a bull, the symbol of religion., He  had to purify Himself by visiting every single holy place in the three worlds. If you take bath at all the holy places. You will be relieved of the offense of killing him."Krishna then said, "Why should I  visit all these places. I will just bring the water from all these places here and then bathe in them." Krishna then struck His heel on the ground and all the waters of all the holy places entered into  Syama-Kunda. Krishna then bathed in Syama-Kunda. He finished his bath sometime before midnight.After bathing, he said that the gopis had become impure because they had sided with a  demon, even though he had been in the form of a bull. The gopis led by Radharani then dug another pond nearby with their bangles. There was no water in the hole, so the gopis formed a line to  Manasa Ganga and began to fill the hole they dug by passing water from one gopi to another. Then a representative of all the sacred places told Radharani. "Our lives would be successful if we  could enter Your pond." The holy waters from Syama-Kunda then flowed into Radha-Kunda with the permission of Radha. So Radha-Kunda is the holy waters from all the sacred places.


Description of Radha-Kunda in the Spiritual World


Radha-Kunda is surrounded by Kadamba, Campaka Ashoka, Mango, Punnaga (white lotus) and Bakula trees, and Lavanga and Vasnati creepers. The banks are decorated with different kinds of  gems. Radha and Krishna swing on a gold gem-studded swing, hanging from a tree.Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur gives a description of Radha-Kunda is his book, Gita Mala. The banks of  Radha-Kunda are made of desire-fulfilling touchstones. There are hundreds of beautiful transcendental gardens surrounding the lake. The trees and creepers of the gardens are made of coral  and rubies and the fruits they produce are pearls and diamonds.Krishna Dasa Kaviraj in his Sri Govinda-lilamrita and Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti in his Sri Krishna Bhavanamrita, describe  Radha-Kunda in the spiritual world. On the four sides of Radha-Kunda are jeweled stairways leading to jeweled bathing ghatas. A jeweled bridge connects Radha-Kunda with Syama-Kunda. On  either side of the ghatas are pairs of swings. There are jeweled platforms around the stairs of the ghatas, flanking gem-studded cottages.There are many shade trees and flowering creepers.  These flowering creepers have unlimited flowers. On all sides of Radha-Kunda are kalpa-vriksa (wish-fulfilling) trees. The bathing ghatas are surrounded by various kunjas (forest grooves or  gardens).


Kunjas of Eight Sakhis


Radha-Kunda is surrounded by the kunjas (garden groves)of the eight main sakhis.


1. Sri Lilita Sakhi's Kunja (north, lightning) is the largest kunja. There are platforms made of gold, sapphires, crystal and lapis-lazuli. In the center of a courtyard is a golden temple called Ananga  Rangambuja, which is in the shape of a 1,000 petal lotus.


2.Sri Visaka Devi's Kunja (northeast).


3.Sri Citra  Devi's  Kunja  (east,  multi-coloured)  has  a wonderful  variety of forms  and colours.  Citra means "variegated or wonderful."


4.Sri Indulekha Devi's Kunja (southeast, white). Everything is completely white in color, including the trees, thrones,cottage, etc.


5.Sri Campakalata Devi's Kunja (south, gold).


6.Sri Ranga Devi's Kunja (southwest, Syama-b\ue) is Srimati Radharani's favorite, because the dark blue colour of every thing reminds Her of Krishna.


7.Sri Tungavidya Devi's Kunja (west, crimson). Everything is a crimson color in this Kunja and the entire grove is inlaid with rubies.


8.Sri Sudevi Devi's Kunja (northwest, green). Everything is green. It has emerald covered thrones.

9.Sri Ananga Manjari's Kunja is in the center of Radha-Kunda. It is connected to the north bank of Radha-Kunda by a crystal bridge. The north bank is where Jahanva Devi's sitting place is  located. In the center of this kunja is a jewelled temple.


Kunjas of the Eight Sakhas


Syama-Kunda is surrounded by the kunjas of the eight main sakhas (cowherd boyfriends), called priya- narma sakhas. These boys are Krishna's most intimate cowherd boy friends and they  understand and are submissive to Krishna's dealing with the gopis. The cowherd boys give their kunjas to different sakhis to manage.


1.  Subala Kunja (northwest) is on the side of Syama-Kunda where Manasa-pavana-Ghata is located. It is managed by Radha Rani and the rest of the sakhis bathe daily at 12 noon at  manasa-pavana-Ghata.


2.Madhumangala's Kunja (north) is manage by Lalita Devi.


3.Ujjvala's Kunja (northwest) is managed by Visakha Devi.


4.Arjuna's Kunja (east) is managed by Citra Devi.


5.Gandharva's Kunja (southeast) is managed by Indulekha.


6.Vidagdha's Kunja (south) is managed by Campakalata.

7.Kokeela's Kunja (southwest) is managed by Ranga Devi.

8.Sanandananda's Kunja (west) is managed by Tungavidya Devi.


Radha-Kunda Pratibhu Deities


In 1670, many of the original Deities of Vrindavana were moved to Jaipur. Their first stopping place was Radha-Kunda.Small replica temples of the original temples in Vrindavana were built at  Radha-Kunda. Pratibhu-murtis (expanded forms, non-different from the original Deities) were established at Radha-Kunda to honour the Lord's visit here, and the worship has been continued for  centuries. The residents of Radha-Kunda can visit the seven major temples of Vrindavana without ever leaving Radha-Kunda.





Radtia Gokulananda Temple


From where you arrive by taxi you walk down the road toward Radha-Kunda. Just past the small hospital, on the left, is the Radha Gokulananda Temple. There is a sign above the doorway that  says Radha Gokulananda Temple in English, Hindi and Bengali.This temple contains the pratibhu-murtis of Radha Gokulananda. The original Deities are at the Radha Gokulananda Temple in  Vrindavana. The puspa samadhis of Lokanatha Goswami and Narottama Dasa Thakur are next to this temple.


Sri Kundeswara Mahadeva Temple


As you continue walking to Radha-Kunda, you come to the small white marble roadside temple of Sri Kundeswara Mahadeva, on the left. This is just before you see Radha-Kunda on your right.  There are four Lord Siva temples in the four directions, surrounding Radha-Kunda, to protect Radha-Kunda from intrusion by unqualified persons.


Jliulan Sthali


As you continue on this road, Radha-Kunda is on your right. Another 65 m (200 feet) from the Sri Kundeswara Mahadeva Temple is a stone structure shaped like an upside down U, on the right  side of the path, near Radha-Kunda. This marks the site of Radha's and Krishna's swing pastimes.


Radha Krishna Temple


If you walk up the small alley sloping up the hill to your left, near Jhulan Sthali, you come to the blackish pyramid-shaped Radha Krishna Temple, on your left. This temple is the oldest temple at  Radha-Kunda. Raghunatha Dasa Goswami rediscovered the Radha-Krishna Deities in this temple when he excavated Radha-Kunda. They are said to be the presiding Deities of Radha-

Kunda. There is a large Neem tree and Banyan tree entwined together in the courtyard of this temple, which are worshiped asRadha and Krishna.


Gopala Manipur Mandir and Radha Kanta Temple


You return to the parikrama path, turn left and walk 20 m (60 ft.) The next road you see is the Govardhana parikrama path. Just after this junction, on the left, is the red stone Gopala Manipur  Mandira. In 1994, ISKCON's Bhakti Swarupa Damodara Maharaja took possession of this temple.The white building opposite this temple houses the pratibhu Deities of Radha Kanta. The original  Deities were worshiped by Sri Vakreswara Pandita in Jagannatha Puri. There is a murti of Vakreswara Pandita on the right side of the altar.


Radha Kunja-Bihari Gaudiya Math Temple


Coming out of the Radha Kanta Temple you turn left, walk 7 m (20 feet), and turn right going backwards on the Govardhana parikrama path.After a five minute walk (100 metres) you come to the  red stone Radha  Kunja-Bihari Temple.  This  temple  is  on  the ovardhana parikrama path. Located here are the Deities of adha Kunja-Bihari and Caitanya Mahaprabhu.



1.Jhulan Sthali             9.         Pandava Tree

2.Sitting Place of Jahnava Devi       10.Manasa Pavan Ghata

3.Samadhi of Raghuiiatha     11.Lalita Bihari Temple

          Dasa Goswami                          12.Gopi-kupa Well

4.Radha Govinda Temple     13.Madhavendra Puri's Sitting Place

5.Tongue of Govardhana              

6.Krishnadasa Kaviraja        14.Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's

          Goswami Bhajana Kutir                 Sitting Place              

7.Teen Goswami Samadhi    15.Ratna Vedi & Sri Carana Cinha

8.Bhajana Kutir of Raghunatha Das Goswami       16.Govinda Ghat


Next to this temple is the puspa-samadhi of Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja. He lived in Vrindavana for 30 years and was the spiritual master of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja.  This temple was founded by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in 1935.


Radha Syamsundara and Radha Damodara Temples


Back at the Radha-Kunda parikrama path, just past the Gopala mandira, you turn down a small lane on the left. Five metres (15 ft) down this lane, on the left hand side, is the Radha  Syamsundara Temple. Syamananda Prabhu's sitting place and puspa-samadhi are here.Further down this lane (30 m, 90 ft), on the left, is the small red-coloured Radha Damodara Temple.  Across the street from this temple is the sitting place of Srinivasa Acharya.


Gopinatha Temple & Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami's Samadhi


If you go back to the main road and continue down the road 30 seconds, just past the water taps, you come to the Radha Gopinatha Temple, on the right. This temple is right next to  Radha-Kunda. On the altar of this temple, the Deity of Gopinatha is in the center, on His right hand side is Srimati Radharani, and on His left hand side is Ananga Manjari, the younger sister of  Radharani.Some of the ashes of Raghunatha Dasa Goswami are entombed in this temple. There is 24 hour kirtana at this spot.Behind the samadhi, is a small movable stone. Under the stone is  caranamrita from Raghunatha Dasa Goswami's Samadhi-murti. You can also get some of Raghunatha Dasa Goswami's buttermilk mahaprasada, which is kept behind the kirtana party in a  small niche in the wall.


Jahnava Baitaka


If you exit out the door to the left of the altar, containing the Deity of Gopinatha, it leads to a small platform jutting out into Radha-Kunda. This is where Jahanava Devi, the wife of Lord Nityananda,  stayed. This spot is known Jahnava Baitaka, the sitting place of Jahnava. There is a tamal tree and a small shrine here.Next to this place is Jahnava-Ghata.Mahadeva Siva and Radha-Raman  Temples You return to the parikrama path and continue down the path 15 m (45 ft). On your left is the red stone Mahadeva Siva Temple. Lord Mahadeva protects the northern side of  Radha-Kunda.Right next to this temple is the Radha-Raman Temple. In 1879 the Deities of Sri Radha-Raman and Sri Sri Revati-Balarama were installed in this temple.


Radha Govinda Temple and Tongue of Govardhana


Across the street from the Radha-Raman Temple and down a little is the Radha Govinda Temple, on the right. This temple contains the pratibhu Deities of Rupa Gosvami.In the outer compound  of this temple is the 'Tongue of Govardhana. To get to the tongue of Govardhana you turn left immediately after leaving the Govindaji temple, before you reach the path. You walk up some steps  and you come to a small garden with a small white temple in it. The temple is known as the Jibya Mandira. Jibya means "tongue."Raghunatha Dasa Goswami saw the need of a water source  other than Radha-Kunda, so he decided to have a well dug. As the workers dug down, they struck a rock and blood flowed from it. That night in a dream it was revealed to Raghunatha Dasa  Goswami that the stone was the tongue of Govardhana and should be worshiped.


Teen Samadhis and Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Gosvami's Bhajana Kutir


If you turn to the left after leaving the Radha Govinda Temple, on the path toward Syama-Kunda, and walk straight 20 m (60 ft), you then come to the Teen (three) Goswami Samadhis of  Raghunatha Bhatta (left side), Krishna Dasa Kaviraja (center), and Raghunatha Dasa Goswami (right side). Each of these devotees left this world on the same day, but in different years:  Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami (1563), Raghunatha Dasa Goswami (1583), and Krishna Dasa Kaviraja (1588). Gopal Bhatta Gosvami's bhajana kutir is twenty feet to the right, as you face the  Teen Goswami Samadhis.To the left of the Teen Samadhis is the Bhajana Kutir of Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami. It is set back, about 50 feet, from the side of Syama-Kunda. This is where he  wrote the Caitanya Caritamrita.


Gadadhara Caitanya Temple


The Gadadhara Caitanya Temple is right next to Krishna Dasa Kaviraja's bhajana kutir. Sachidevi (Ganga mata) and Laksmipriya, the disciples of Haridasa Pandita, did their bhajana where this  temple is located. The Deities in this temple are from left to right: Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Lord Caitanya, and Sri Gadadhara.Haridasa Pandita Goswami is mentioned in Caitanya Caritamrita.  Ganga Mata was a princess. After her father died she ruled the kingdom. After a short time she got initiated by Haridasa Pandita. She then moved to Radha-Kunda to join Laksmipriya, who was  chanting 300,000 names a day and worshiping the Deities of Gadadhara-Caitanya. Eventually Ganga Mata moved to Jagannatha Puri, where she initiated many followers.


Bhajana Kutirs of Raghunatha Dasa Goswami & Visvanatha Cakravarti


The bhajana kutir of Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami is directly opposite Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami's bhajana kutir. It is down a few steps, toward Syama-Kunda. It is a rectangular building with  metal gates. He lived at Radha-Kunda for 41 years. At this place Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami would speak three hours a day about the ecstatic pastimes of Lord Caitanya.There is a painting  inside his bhajana kutir, in which he is absorbed in thinking about Krishna, not realizing that there are two tigers nearby drinking some water from Syama-Kunda. Nor did he see Krishna standing  near him, protecting him. Sri Sanatana Goswami is standing in the left of the painting, observing what is happening.On the left side of the same building is the bhajana kutir of Sri Visvanatha  Cakravarti Thakura. He lived here about 100 years after Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami.


Pandava Trees


Also near here is where the Pandavas lived as trees on the bank of Syama-Kunda. When Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami was excavating Syama-Kunda, Maharaja Yudhisthira appeared to him in a  dream. He told him not to cut the trees beside Syama-Kunda, because he and his brothers, the Pandavas, were living there as trees, meditating on the banks of Syama-Kunda. He therefore dug  around the trees, giving Syama-Kunda its irregular shape. Local authorities say the Pandavas have left and only a dead tree marks the place of their previous residence. The place where these  trees used to be located is to the left of Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami's bhajana kutir (if you are facing Syama-Kunda), next to Syama-Kunda.


Manas Pavan-Ghata


At Manas Pavan-Ghata, Radharani and her girlfriends are said to bathe every day at noon. This ghata is close to Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami's bhajana kutir.


Bhajana Kutir of Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati


Bhaktivinoda Thakura's (1838-1914) house, which was built in the beginning of the century, is located down a side road going away from Syama-Kunda. After leaving the Govinda Temple and  turning right back onto the parikrama path, you walk about 25 m (75 ft). You then go left onto the broad cobble stone road, when the parikrama path turns right. You then walk 70 m (200 ft) and  this place is on the right side of the road. It has a colorful sign above the entrance which says: 'Vraja Swananda Sukhada Kunja'.Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati  used this bhajana kutir from 1900 to 1936. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati would come here during the month of Kartika (Oct/Nov). The puspa-samadhis of both Bhaktivinoda Thakur and  Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati are located here. There are personal articles of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in this house: his wooden shoes, walking stick, bed, chair, and table. Here at Radha-Kunda,  Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati instructed Srila A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. "If you ever get money, print books."If you follow the path that goes to Bhaktivinoda Thakur's bhajana kutir to the  edge of the town, there are two bodies of water. Balarama-Kunda is on the right side and Vrishabhanu-Kunda (Bhanu Khor) is on the left. Vrishabhanu Maharaja (Radharani's father) is said to  have had his camp here during the time of Govardhana puja.


Jagannatha Temple


If you proceed back to the parikrama path from Bhaktivinoda's house and make a left, you come to the Jagannatha temple on the left, after about 25 m (75 ft). The Deities in this temple are taken  around the kunda every year on Rathayatra.


Lalita-Kunda and Lalita Mohana Temple A little further down, on the left side of the road, is Lalita-Kunda. The body of water just past the wall of Lalita-Kunda is Motian-Kunda. It is said that Lalita  and Mohan (Krishna) called the 68 tirthas (holy places) to come and reside in her kunda.One who bathes in this kunda gets the benefit of becoming free from the sin of six kinds of hatya  (murder): (1) brahma-hatya (killing a brahmana), (2) go-hatya (cow slaughter), (3) bhrina- hatya (abortion), (4) krimi-hatya (killing insects), (5), Svana-hatya, (6) atma-hatya (suicide).Next to  Lalita-Kunda is the Lalita Mohana Temple, where H|   there are Deities of Krishna and Lalita Devi. These Deities are the presiding Deities of this kunja (forest grove). This temple is managed by  followers of the Nimbarka sampradaya. To take some water from Lalita-Kunda on your head you have go through this temple to reach the kunda. To the left of the altar is a door that leads to  Lalita-Kunda.


Jiva Gosvami's Bhajana Kutir


Directly across the road from Lalita-Kunda is the bhajana kutir of Jiva Goswami and the small Radha Damodara temple. Jiva Gosvami did much of the practical work of excavating and managing  Radha-Kunda. Inside the bhajana kutir is the impression of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's footprints.


Radha Vinoda Temple


Thirty metres down the parikrama path from Lalita-Kunda is the Radha Vinoda Temple, which is a small temple on the right side. In this temple are Radha Vinoda, the pratibhu Deities of  Lokanatha Gosvami.


Gopi Kupa


About 15 metres down the path, on the left, is the well where the tongue of Govardhna was found, called Gopi Kupa. This well is a large circular stone structure. This well is also known as Giriraja  Jihva Prakata Stall.


Srila Madhavendra Puri's Baithaka (Sitting Place)


Cross the street from Gopa Kupa well, behind a building, is where Madhavendra Puri sat while doing Govardhana parikrama several years before Lord Caitanya revealed Radha-Kunda. To get  here you walk down the lane opposite the well and then you enter the gate on your left. There is a small raised shrine on the right of the courtyard. This place is known as Vyasa Ghera.


Radha Madhava Temple and Nitai-Gaura Sitanatha Temple


After Madhavendra Puri's sitting place you come to the Asta Sakhi Temple, on the right side of the path. In this temple are small Deities of Radha and Krishna. There are also deities of Lalita,  Visakha, Citra, Campakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi in this temple. They are the eight main gopis.On the opposite side of the street from this temple is the Nitai-Gaura  Sitanatha Temple. The Deities in this temple are from left to right: Nitai (Nityanand), Gaura (Sri Caitanya), and Sitanatha (Advaita Acarya).The next temple to be reached is the Radha Madhava  Temple, which is on the left side of the path. Radha Madhava are the pratibhu Deities of Jayadeva Gosvami, the author of Gita Govinda.


Bankhandi Mahadeva Siva Temple


If you continue around the path you come to a water pump on the left. Just before the path bends to the right, 10 metres (30 ft) further, on the left hand side is a small dirt path which leads to the  Bankhandi Mahadeva Siva Temple. This Siva Deity protects Radha-Kunda on the eastern side.This temple is on the bank of Narayana Sarovara. It is said that Krishna manifested His four-armed  form of Lord Narayana here to play with the Gopis.About a km past Narayana Sarovara is Lagamohan-Kunda. It is said that Sankhacuda (Sankhsura) left Radha and the gopis at this place, after  Krishna ruined his attempt to kidnap them. This is the place where Krishna killed the demon Sankhacuda. Krishna took the jewel from his head and gave it to Balarama. Balarama then gave the  jewel to Radharani, Raghunatha DasaGosvami stayed here when he first came to Vrindavana. He was requested by Sanatana Gosvami to move to the bank of Syama-Kunda. Not many people  visit Lagamohan-Kunda, so it is a peaceful place.


Mahaprabhu's Baithaka (Tamala TaIa)


If you continue about 10 metres (30 ft) around Syama-Kunda, you come to the place where Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat when He came to Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda. This spot, called  Tamala TaIa, is on a platform with a tamala tree on it, on the bank of Syama-Kunda. Lord Caitanya's footprints are enshrined here. Mahaprabhu's baithaka means "Mahaprabhu's sitting place."  When Lord Caitanya came here, Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda were small ponds surrounded by forest and fields. AU the buildings around Radha-Kunda have been built since Lord Caitanya  discovered Radha-Kunda, almost 500 years ago.


Lord Caitanya Discovers Radha-Kunda


"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked the local people, 'Where is Radha-Kunda?' No one could inform Him, and the brahmana accompanying Him did not know either."The Lord then understood the  holy place called Radha-Kunda was no longer visible. However, being the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead. He discovered Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda in two paddy fields.  There was only a little water, but He took His bath there."When the people of the village saw Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taking His bath in those two ponds in the middle of the paddy fields, they  were very astonished. The Lord then offered His prayers to Sri Radha-Kunda."Of all the gopis, Radharani is the dearmost. Similarly the lake known as Radha-Kunda is very dear to the Lord  because it is very dear to Srimati Radharani."Srimati Radharani is most dear to Lqed Krishna, and Her lake known as Radha-Kunda is also very dear to Him. Qf all the gopis, Srimati Radharani is  certainly the most beloved. In that lake, Lord Krishna and Srimati Radharani used to sport daily in the water and have a rasa-dance on the bank."Indeed Lord Krishna gives ecstatic love like that of  Srimati Radharani to whoever bathes in that lake even once in his life. The attraction of Radha-Kunda is as sweet as that of Srimati Radharani. Similarly, the glories of the kunda are as glorious  as Srimati Radharani."Because of its wonderful transcendental qualities, Radha-Kunda is as dear to Krishna as Srimati Radharani. It was in that lake that the all opulent Lord Sri Krishna  performed His pastimeswith Srimati Radharani with great pleasure and transcendental bliss. Whoever bathes just once in Radha-Kunda attains Srimati Radharani's loving attraction for Sri  Krishna. Who within this world can describe the glories and sweetness of Sri Radha-Kunda?" (Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 18.3-14)




About 20 m (60 ft) further down the path is the Manoranjan Dharamshala. Directly across the path, is a door that leads to Syama-Kunda. If you go through this door you come to a stone platform  jutting out into Syama-Kunda. This place is known as Pasa-Ghata, which is where Radha and Krishna are said to play pasha kela (a board game with dice) during their midday pastimes.  Govinda Lilamrita says that Radha and Krishna play dice in Sudevi's kunja on the northwest side of Radha-Kunda.In this compound is a temple that commemorates Vallabhacarya's stay here.

You then return to the parikrama path. About 30 metres down the path, on the left, is the Laksmi Narayana Temple, which is an old temple, about 500 years old.


Madana Mohana Temple


A little distance down the path, on the right, is the Madana Mohana Temple. There is a big archway near the entrance of this temple.


Pathway Between Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda


About 5 m (15 ft) past the Madana Mohana temple are the stairs that lead to the path where Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda meet. Near these stairs is a Gaura Nitai temple.The Sangam  (meeting place) of Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda is called Ratna-vedi (jeweled platform). There are slits in the stone path between Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda, that allows mixing of the  waters of these two kundas.On this path, just past the mini-mountain of Govardhana-shilas, is a small open air shrine honoring the lotus footprints of Radha Syamasundara, called Sri Carana  Cinha. There are some interesting Govardhana-shilas in this temple.About five metres (15 ft) further is a Neem tree hanging over the path beside Radha-Kunda. This area is called  Govinda-Ghata. This is where Radha and Krishna are said to sometimes enjoy jhulana (swing) pastimes.


Radha Gopinatha Temple, Nityananda Baitaka and ImIi TaIa


If you come back up the stairs and continue to the right down the path after 30 metres (90 ft) you come to the Radha Gopinatha Temple on the left side, just before the shops. In this temple are  the pratibhu Deities of Madhu Pandita's Deities, which are now worshipped in Jaipur.In this compound, just opposite the temple, is a small building that marks the place where Nityananda Prabhu  sat, called Nityananda Baitaka.Near here in the courtyard of the Braja Mohan Temple, is the ImIi TaIa tree, near which Rupa Gosvami sat.About 20 metres (60 ft) further down the path is a Deity  of Hanuman, on the right side, in between some shops. This completes the parikrama of Radha-Kunda and Syama-Kunda.End of Radha-Kunda Parikrama