Braj 84 kos yatra i.e., 252 km pilgrimage within Vrindavan and near-by location mostly by group of people. A friend from Vrindavan organizing and invited to join. Why not – said I and I join. It will be 9 – 10 days pilgrimage started with visiting Bhandirvan. But why 84 kos I question and friend’s reply:
Once Yashoda and Nand Baba ( father and mother of Lord Krishna ) wishes for Tirth i.e., pilgrimage. Lord Krishna – The son suggested as it is not that easy to do so because of their old age as well as long tiring journey and tough climate conditions at few places specially at Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, Gangotri. It is said Lord Krishna with his Godly power set-up all Tirth within 84 kos for their parents to do pilgrimage and thus whoever do pilgrimage within the said location is known as 84 kos yatra. All location within 84 kos has its own story and importance.
We started our journey from Keshi Ghat towards Bhandirvan. Bhandirvan is Shri Radha – Krishna marriage venue and is 5 km from Keshi Ghat, Vrindavan towards Naujheel.
And the question is:
How to reach Bhandirvan?
From Keshi Ghat, Vrindavan you have to cross pontoon bridge over Yamuna river by foot and catch an auto to drop you at Bhandirvan. Shared autos are available. And if you are visiting from Mathura you have to reach Old Bus Depot and catch bus leaving for Naujheel. Request bus conductor to drop you at Mat (Mat is a Tehsil) as you wish to visit Bhandirvan. If you have your own vehicle then you can reach on own.
( Bhandirvan – Mathura distance approx. 30 km )
We reach Bhandirvan. Om Bhardwaj ji – local famous knowledgeable person welcome us narrated few old stories about Bhandirvan:
Vatsasur ( cousin brother of Kans ) was a demon once shaped himself as calf and tried to kill Lord Krishna and Balarama ( brother of Lord Krishna ). Lord Krishna noticed that a demon has entered as a calf with other calf to do some evil. He caught Vatsasur and killed him but killing a calf is a sin said Radha and was angry for this� thus, Lord Krishna has to bring water from all rivers and Tirth and have bath to remove the sin. Lord Krishna dig a well brought water from all rivers and Tirth and had bath thus sin was removed. Huge bhandara ( a large gathering of people ) was organized and Prasad, food was distributed thus the location was named as Bhandirvan. ( Palambasur another demon was killed by Balarama at Bhandirvan only )
( you can see Swastika pasted upon walls. It is people’s pray for wishes to be fulfilled. Monday’s Amavasya ( Monday’s new moon ) it is said and believed the water of the well is as equal as milk and to watch the same hundreds of devotees visit and pray )
Once Nand Baba ( father of Lord Krishna ) along with Kanhaiya ( another name of Lord Krishna during childhood ) and cows reached Bhandirvan to graze the cows. Suddenly rainstorm started. Nand baba was confused whom to save Kanhaiya or the cows. He started praying to lord to save Kanhaiya, Cows and a miracle happen. A young girl in the midst of jungle and rainstorm appeared and started walking towards him. She was Radha. She requested Nand Baba to hand over Kanhaiya to him and took Kanhaiya from Nand Baba towards Bhandirvat ( a huge Banyan tree ) and save Kanhaiya from rainstorm. This was also watched by Lord Brahma. He appeared and Kanhaiya appeared as Lord Krishna and finally Lord Brahma performed marriage of Shri Radha – Krishna under the tree. Sage Narad did the Kanyadaan.
Very nice – said I. Very knowledgeable. I was very happy to be at this location. We started walking towards the well where Lord Krishna had bath. Devotees along with us did Parikrama ( a walk all around ) and we walked towards Bhandirvat – The huge banyan tree. It is said during Lord Krishna time the banyan tree was so huge its branches were spread within vast area and Lord Krishna along with Balarama and friends used to walk over branches to cross Yamuna river.
Prayers and a thought to visualize history. Anyways, we came back after prayers. Om Bhardwaj ji was waiting as well as Pandit Mukesh Bhardwaj ji within temple.
( The temple is specially famous as Lord Krishna is applying Sindoor ( vermilion ) within Radha’s forehead which is said never to be found anywhere in the world )
A nice session of bhajans, Holi songs was organized. Pandit Mukesh Bhardwaj specially sang some really nice Holi songs. Gulaal ( pink color powder ) was applied over faces, flowers were showered by friends, devotees and thus the tour was completed and with folding hands we all left towards Vrindavan with memories of past that is present till-date. Thanks to people who organize such Yatras.
( in-short: Fularia dooj is the day Shri Radha – Krishna got married and we visited Bhandirvan and celebrated Vyaula Utsav )
Magh mahina (month) “Vyaula Utsav” is organized and during Sawan mahina “Jhula” is organized.
Date is decided as per Panchang ( Hindu calendar ).
The journey continues…