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Lohjanghvan / Lohvan / लौहजंघवन
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- Vanas Of Braj
</sidebar> This place lies just across the Yamuna from Mathura, approximately two miles north-east of the Mathura—Gokul highway. Bhakti-Ratnakar describes Lohvan as follows:
lohavane krsnera adbhuta-gocharana
nanapuspa sugandhe vyapita ramyasthana
etha lohajanghasure badhe bhagvan
Lohjanghvan nama hayata ihara
"The forest of Lohvan is decorated with all varieties of trees and flowers and is one of the places where Krishna pastures His cows. It is called Lohvan because, while grazing the cows here, Shri Krishna killed Lohjanghasur."
At a Yamuna Ghat, Krishna enjoyed boating-pastimes in the company of the gopis. These pastimes has been beautifully described in Bhakti-Ratnakar:
yamuna-nikate yai Shrinivase kaya
ei Ghate Krishna nauka-krida arambhaya
se ati kautuka rat sakhira sahite
dugdhadi laiya aisena Para haite
dekhi, se apurva sobha Krishna mugdha haiya
eka bhite rahilena jirna nauka laiya
Shri-Radhika sakhisaha kahe bare-bare
Para kara navika-yaiba sighra pare
"Lohvan is a charming and delightful place adorned with attractive flowers of all kinds. Nearby, in the virtuous Yamuna, Shri Krishna performs boating-pastimes with the Gopis. Disguised as a boatman, He seats the beautiful young cowherd girls in His boat and takes them out into the middle of the Yamuna's flowing waters. Then He says, `My old dilapidated boat is leaking, and water is rushing in. Throw all your pots of milk and yoghurt overboard; otherwise, it will surely sink.' The gopis beg and beseech this boatman to quickly take them to the other side of the river."
This pastime place still lies here today, and concealed within it is Krishna's boating-pastime with the gopis. One can also have darsan of Krishna-kund, Lohsura's cave and Shri Gopinath here.
This village lies near Lohvan. During the Muslim rule, this village was named Alipur, and is still known by this name today. When Krishna had killed Dantavakra, He crossed the Yamuna and started for Gokul, to meet with the Brajvasis – His mother, father, sakhas, gopas and gopis. They met Him at this place, crying out with great love, "Ayore, ayore, kanhaiya! – He is coming, Kanhaiya is coming!" Nand Baba's and Yashoda’s meeting with Krishna brimmed with intense affection. This village therefore became known as Ayore. Bhakti-Ratnakar describes this poignant scene:
Krishna dekhi dhaya gopa anande vihvala
`ayore ayore' bali kare kolahala
miliya sabare Krishna, Krishna sabe laiya
nijalaye aila yamunapara haiya
haila paramananda braje ghare-ghare
purvamata saba-saha ShriKrishna vihare
`ayore' baliya gopa yekhane milila
ayore namete grama thataya haila
The village of Gorai lies near Ayore-Gram, three miles north-east of Gokul. Today, this village is known as Guru. Nand Maharaja resided here for some days along with the other gopas and gopis after they had returned from Kurukshetra. Bhakti-Ratnakar states that at the time of Krishna's pastimes there was a well-known village named Dhana in this very area, where an exceptionally wealthy landlord lived. He had a close, affectionate relationship with Nand Maharaj. When Nand Baba and the gopas and gopis were journeying to Gokul, they arrived at this village. That landlord happily welcomed them with great honour and joy and accommodated them in his village for several days, serving them with much respect. This place has therefore become famous as Gorvai, which is derived from the word gaurav dena, meaning "to give honour".
A short distance to the south of Lohvan is the village of Bandi-Anandi. Bandi and Anandi were two heavenly damsels (devis) who would use the excuse of making cow-dung patties here at Shri Nand Baba's place to get Shri Krishna's darshan. The kundas of Bandi and Anandi are still present today in memory of these two devis.