Braj Mandal / ब्रजमंडल
Braj Related Links
Braj Mandal extends for about 168 miles (eighty-four kosas). Garga Samhita (Khanda 2) states:
"That land between Bahirsad (Barhada) in the north-east, Yadupura (the village Bateshwar of Shursen) in the south and Sonitpura (Sonhada) in the west, and which measures eighty-four kosas, has been called Mathura mandal, or Braj, by learned persons."
F.S. Growse in his Mathura — A District Memoir quotes the following verse: "On one side is Bara, on another side, Sona and on the third side is the town of Shursen; these are the limits of the Braj Chaurasi, the Mathura circle."
It is clear from this couplet, that Bara marks the boundary of one side of Braj, Sonhada marks another side, and Bateshwar, or the village of Shursen, marks the boundary on the third side. Bara is situated in the present district of Aligarh in the north-east corner of Braj Mandal. Sonhada lies in the present district of Gur gaon in the state of Haryana, which is in the north-west corner of Brajmandal. Its ancient name is Sonitpura. The village of Shurasen is the village of Bateshwar in the revenue district of Baha. The area between these places is called Braj-mandal.
Places Visited on Braj Mandal Parikrama
Pilgrims on Braj-mandal parikrama have darshan of the pastime places of Braj-mandal in the order given below. Some places appear more than once in this list, because there are often alternative routes to get from one place to another. Braj-mandal parikrama begins in Sri Mathura. After having darshan of this city, pilgrims visit the forests of Madhuvan, Talvana and Kumudvan. Then they proceed to Shantanu Kund, Gandheshwar, Bahulavan, Ral, Maghera, Jait, Shakatikara (Chhatikara) and Garud-Govind. From Garud-Govind, one can go to Bahulvan if one has not already done so. Pilgrims then visit Maro, Datiha (Datiya), Ading, Madhuri-kund, Jakhina-gaon, Tosa, Janati, Vasati, Mukharai, Sri Radha-kund and Sri Shyamakund.
After this, pilgrims make their way to Kusum-sarovar, Narad-kund, Gvala-puskarini, Yugal-kund, Killola-kund, Mansi Ganga, the town of Govardhan, Indradhvaja-vedi and Jamunavati. From there, one proceeds to Parasauli, Paithd-gaon and Bachha-gaon (Vatsavan), and then to Anyora-gaon, Gauri-kund, Sankarshana-kund, Govind-kund, Navala-kund, Apsara-kund, Sakra-kund, Punchhari, Shyama-dhaka, Raghava Pandita's cave, Surbhi-kund, Airavata-kund, Haraji-kund, Jatipura, Bilachukund and Chakreshwar Mahadev.
Thereafter, one comes to Sakhi-sthali, Nim-gaon, Padara, Kunjera, Pali, Deravali, Maria, Sahara, Surya-kund, Perakhu, Bhadara, Konai and Vasati. One can now take darshan of Shri Radha Kund and Govardhan if one has not already done so. Pilgrims then make their way to Javaka-kund, Gulal-kund, Gantholi, Beheja, Devshirsha, Munishirsha, Paramadan, Badri-narayan, Guhana, Khon, Alipura, Adi-badri, Pashopa, Kedaranath, Bilonda, Charana-pahadi, Bhojan-thali and Kamyavan. After Kamyavan, one goes to Vajera, Sunahara Kadamba khandi, Unchagaon, Sakhigiri-parvata, Barsana, Gahvaravan, Dabhora, Rasoli, Prem Sarovar, Sanket, Rithaur, Meheran, Satvasa, Nandera, Bhojan-thali, Nunera, Shringarvat, Bichhorvan, Banchari, Hodal, Daigaon, Lalpur, Kamera, Haravali Gaon, Sanchuli, Gendo, Nand Gaon, Kadamba-ter and Javat.
Thereafter, pilgrims visit Dhanshinga, Kosi, Paygaon, Chhattravan, Nari-Semari, Sankhi, Arabadi, Ranavadi, Bhadavali, Khampura, Umrava, Raheya, Kam, Karehla, Pesai, Ludhauli, Anjanauk, Khadirvan and Bijvari. One can now also visit Nandagaon if one has not already done so. Pilgrims now make their way to Kokilavan, Chhoti-baithana, Badi-baithana, Charan Pahadi, Rasauli, Kotvan, Khami, Sheshasai, Rupanagara, Majhai, Ramapura, Ujani, Khelanvan, Obe, Ramghata, Kasrata, Aksayavat, Gopi-ghat (Tapovan), Chir Ghat, Nand-ghat and Bhay-gaon. After this come Jaitpur, Hajara, Balihara, Bajana, Jeolai, Sakaroya, Atas, Deviatas, Parkham, Chauma, Ajhai, Sinhana, Rehana, Pasauli, Barauli, Tarauli, Et, Set, Mai and Basai.
Thereafter, one crosses the Yamuna to have darshan of Bhadravan, Bhandirvan, Mata, Belvan, Mana-sarovar, Ara, Panigaon, Lohvan, Raval, Gadhui, Ayaro, Krishnapura, Bandi, Dauji, Hataura, Brahmand Ghat, Chintaharan Ghat, Mahavan, Gokul, Kailo and Badai-gram. Crossing the Yamuna again, one comes to Naurangabad, Mathura, Akrur Ghat and Vrindavan with its twelve forests – Bhatrol (Atalvan), Kevarivan, Viharvan, Gocharanavan, Kaliya-damanvan, Gopalvan, Nikunjvan (Seva-kunja), Nidhuvan, Radhavan (Radha-baga), Jhulanvan, Gahvaravan and Papadvan.