FOREST OF BRAJ

ABOUT THE FORESTS OF BRAJ

According to the Hindu epic Varaha Puran, the entire Braj Mandal is described as 20 yojans. Thus taking one yojan as 7 miles, 20 yojans would be nearly equal to 84 Kos, the distance travelled by the pilgrims while performing the sacred parikrama (circumambulation) of Braj Mandal. This perambulation includes almost all the most popular shrines and holy places of Braj Mandal. Braj is the sacred land of sri Vrajeshwara Sri Krishna who relished his pastimes in the land of Braj. Within this 84 kos area of Braj Mandal there are about 133 vans (forests) including the 12 major forests, 12 up-vans, 12 Prati-vans, 12 Adhi-vans, 5 Sevya-vans, 12 Tapo-vans, 12 moksha-vans, 12 Kama-vans, 12 Artha-vans, 12 dharma-vans, 12 Siddhi-vans. Thus Braj is said to have the forest culture. As also said by the lord Krishna in verse 10.24.24 of Shreemadbhagvata to his foster father Nandbaba that:

According to the famous Hindu epics, there are 12 major forests in the Braj Mandal which are located on the eastern and western banks of Yamuna and are blessed by divinity of Lord Krishna and Balram. These are: Mahavan, Kamyavan, Madhuvana, Taalvana, Bhandirvana, Vrindavan, Bahulavana, Kamudavan, Khadiravana, Lohvana, Bhadravana and Bilvavana. Out of these five forests Bhadravana, Lohvana, Bilvavana, Mahavana and Bhandirvana lies on the eastern bank of Yamuna and comes under the patronage of Lord Balram and the other seven namely; Vrindavana, Khadiravana, Taalvana, Madhuvana, Kamudavana, Bhaulavana and Kamyavana are located on the western bank of Yamuna and comes under the Jurisdiction of Lord Krishna. These forests provide the lush green grass to the cattle, fruits and other necessary things for the people and have witnessed the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krishna.

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