Barsana is located about 50 km to the north-west of Mathura and 19 km towards the north-west direction of Govardhan. Barsana is the place where Sri Radharani, eternal beloved of Lord Krishna enjoyed her transcendental youth pastimes along with her friends and her parents. Barsana is also known as Vrishabhanupura after the name of its founder Vrishabhanu Maharaj, the father of Goddess Radha who used to live here along with his family. It is said that Nand Maharaj and Vrishabhanu Maharaj, both were good friends and when Nand Raeji shifted from Gokul due to the disturbances created by demons of Kansa, Vrishabhanu ji also shifted from Raval to Barsana. This is considered to be one of the Upvana of Vrindavan and embarks the gopi pastimes of Radharani and her friends.
According to the legendary epics of Varaha Puran and Padma Puran, once Brahmaji performed the severe austerities to please Lord Krishna and asked him for the benediction to serve him in a way so that the dust of the lotus feet of Lord Krishna and all his devotees should always be on his forehead. Pleased by his prayers, Lord Krishna blessed Brahmaji with a boon to become a hill in this sacred land of Barsana. Barsana city is settled around at the foot on the slope of a hill which is differentiated divided into two parts. The longer hill which is white in colour is the Brahma hill and the other one with black colour and slightly smaller is the Vishnu hill. The mountain has four peaks representing the four heads of Lord Brahma. The peak where the palace of Vrishabhanu is located is known as Vrishabhanugarh. The other peak known as Vilasgarh is located just across the edge of the Bhanugarh and is known for the loving transcendental pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Maangarh is an esoteric peak where Sri Radharani would go in isolation from Krishna in her loving anger state or Maan. Another peak where Lord Krishna along with his friends performed the pastime of collecting tax in the form of curd and butter from Gopis and Radharani has been named as Daangarh.
Apart from its spiritual importance Barsana also relishes its popularity due to the celebrations performed during Holi festival all over the world. During the festivities, firstly the Gopas (cowherd men) and the gopis (cowherd women) performs the ceremony at Sri Radharani temple and then plays holi in which Gopas try to throw color on gopis and they chase them with lathi (wooden staff). This form of holi celebration is called as lathmar holi. Barsana is also popular for its spirituality which is evident through its religious edifices dedicated primarily to Radharani.