Madan Mohan temple located close to the Kaliya ghat is the oldest of all Goswami temples in Vrindavan. ‘Madan’ means Kamadeva (God of desire and Love) and Mohan means one who charms thus the god who can even charm Kamadeva is named as Lord Madan Mohan. The old Radha Madan Mohan temple is built 50 feet high on the Dwadashaditya hill which has the legend behind it that, when Lord Krishna after subduing Kaliya Nag came out of the waters of Yamuna, he rested on this hill. Completely drenched with water, Krishna was feeling cold, so in order to provide warmth to their lord 12 suns (dwadash aditya) appeared on this hill and thus it got the name Dwadashaditya Tila (hill). With the scorching heat of those 12 suns, Krishna’s body began to perspire and thus a small lake was formed as a result of water collected due to perspiration. Thus the ghat near this place was known to be as Prashkandana Ghat. The original temple tower is flanked by two buildings by it’s both sides, all three built of red sandstone thus, exhibiting a magnificent work of architecture as the reminiscent of Mughal era. The left one has a huge gate which remains closed and the right one has the bhajan kutir (cottage) and samadhi (cenotaph) of Sri Sanatana Goswami. The central temple tower has the idols of Radha and Krishna along with those of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and also the idol of Lalita Sakhi (friend of Sri Radha).
History of Madan Mohan temple actually traces back to 5000 years ago during the time of king Vajranabh (Great Grandson of Krishna) who firstly establish this temple along with few other temples in Vrindavan. But during the course of time the temple was disappeared. As per the historical records, it was built in 1580 by Kapur Ram das, a trader of Multan under the guidance of Sri Sanatana Goswami. Later in 1670 during the invasion of Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb the original deity of Madan Mohan was secretly moved to Jaipur for safekeeping where it was worshipped for many years. Later when the princess of royal family of Jaipur was married to the prince of Karauli, she took the deity along with her to Karauli and since then it’s established and worshipped in Karauli. During the attack of Aurangzeb on Vrindavan the spire (Shikhara) of the original temple was dismantled. So, a new temple was built next to it down the hill in the early 19th century (year 1819) by Sri Nand Kumar Bose of Bengal as the old temple was unfit for worshipping. The Pratibhu Vigrahas (replicas) of the original deities are worshipped in this new Madan Mohan temple. It is believed that Saint Advaita Acharya found the original idol of Sri Madan Mohan under the old Banyan Tree (Advaita Vat), when he visited Vrindavan. He gave the idol to his disciple Purushottam Choubey (Mathura Brahman) for worship, who in turn gave the idol to his follower Sanatana Goswami who installed the idol on Dwadashaditya hill under a tree and worshipped the idol for many years. Later on Kapur ram Das, a wealthy merchant being influenced by the powers of Sri Madan Mohan, built a temple at the place commemorating the deity. Earlier there was no deity of Radhaji along with Lord Madan Mohan. Knowing this Purushottam Jena, the son of King Prataparudra of Orissa sent two deities of Goddess Radha from Puri to be placed with Lord Madan Mohan. Thus these two deities the bigger one as Lalita and the smaller one as Radhaji were placed on the altar along with Lord Madan Mohan.
This is the old Banyan tree in Vrindavan where Sri Advaita Acharya rested chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna when he came to Vrindavan. It is this tree under which he found the beautiful idol of Lord Madan Mohan which was later on serviced by Shrila Sanatana Goswami. It was under this tree that Krishna Das Kaviraj started writing the famous epic of Chaitanya Charitamrita. Sri Advaita Acharya himself revealed the deity of Lord Madan Gopal which is still worshipped near this tree from the portrait made by Vishakha Sakhi and installed it here.
Within the temple area of Lord Madan Mohan there is an old well which is said to have been created by Lord Madan Mohan himself with his flute to quench the thirst of his beloved devotee Shrila Sanatana Goswami.