BAHULAVANA

Bahulavana, one of largest of the major 12 forests of Braj region is actually associated with Bahula Devi who is believed to be one of the consorts of Lord Shri Hari (Vishnu). This forest is now called as Bati as a large village known by this name now stands at the place where the large forest of Bahulavana once existed. It has a parikrama (circumambulation) of about 6 kilometers. According to the Hindu epics, before achieving Lord Shri Hari as her consort, Bahula Devi in her previous life was born as a cow in this forest of Bahulavana. She was owned by a local Brahman. One day Bahula was taken to the pasturing grounds of Bahulavana by her master. When she was grazing the grass near the lake, suddenly a fierce tiger appeared before her attempting to attack at Bahula. Thinking that she would not survive now, Bahula requested the tiger that she will soon return to him after feeding her calf. Tiger trusted her and allowed her go. As promised, Bahula returned back after feeding her calf. On returning, she was amazed to see Lord Krishna standing along with Yamaraja at the place where tiger was standing. Actually, Lord Yamaraja had disguised as tiger to test the truthfulness of Bahula. Lord Krishna was so much impressed by the honesty shown by Bahula even at the time of death that, he gave her the benediction of achieving Supreme Lord as her husband in the form of goddess of fortune in her next life. There is a small temple dedicated to Bahula Devi next to the Kund commemorating this incident. Inside the temple, there is a deity of Bahula Devi in the form of cow along with the deity of her calf. Beside this there is a deity of Lord Krishna along with Yamaraja in the form of tiger standing next to Bahula Devi.

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