within the jurisdiction of district Mathura is intimately connected with
Krishna just like all its surrounding regions. Devotees believe that
Lord Krishna never leaves Vrindavana and engage in his pastimes for
eternity. It is believed to be one of the transcendental abodes of the
Lord as mentioned in 'Srimad Bhagavatam', the religious holy book of
Hindus. Mathura and Vrindavan have as many as sixty billion sacred
places! The presiding deity of the once forest of Vrindavan was Vrinda
Devi, who was believed to be the expansion of Radharani, the beloved of
It is said that at the time of Krishna, Vrindavan was a forest and
Tulsi plants grew here abundantly. Since the other name of Tulsi is
Vrinda, it was known as Vrindavan or Forest of Tulsi. The forest was a
large one and stretched from the present town of Vrindavan across to
Nandagaon and Barsana on one side and Govardhana on the other side. It
is said to be the twelfth forest and the favorite forest of Lord
Krishna, which he often visited with cowherd boys to graze his cows.
There was a Radha Kunda within the forest.
It was here that Krishna played the enchanting tunes with his flute
every evening and would beckon 'gopis' or maids of Braj to play and
dance 'raas'. There these beautiful village belles and Krishna would
dance in the ecstasy of pure and spiritual love. Since, then 'Raas lila'
has been re-enacted several times in Vrindavan. It is said that despite
their numbers, all gopis got a chance to dance with their favorite
Krishna and exchange intimate loving glances and embrace him. The site
where the dance is believed to have been performed is semicircular in
shape, is known as 'rasa mandala' and has a parameter of 16 km. It is
situated on the banks of River Yamuna.