Mahavan is one of the 12 major forests of Braj region. Mahavan is located about 6 miles from Mathura in its south-east direction. Mahavan is also called as Brihadvan owing to its large area. Brihad means large and Van means forest, thus Mahavan is the largest among all forests in the Braj region. It’s also called Gokul due to the fact that this land is the abode of cows, Gopas (cowherd boys) and Gopis (cowherd girls). Earlier, Nand Maharaj along with his family used to live at Nandgaon, but later on due to the disturbances from the evil demons sent by Kansa he left the place and shifted to this beautiful and peaceful forest of Mahavan near the banks of river Yamuna. It is here in Gokul that, Yashoda the foster mother of Krishna gave birth to the goddess Yogmaya in the form a girl child with whom Vasudev ji (original father of Krishna) replaced the baby Krishna. The original abode of Nand Maharaj is still there in Mahavan by the name Nand Bhavan. The name giving ceremony of Lord Krishna and Balram took place in a cowshed nearby the Nand Bhavan. Krishna also performed other childhood pastimes of killing the demons sent by his maternal uncle Kansa to kill him. He killed Putana, Trinavarta, and Shakatasura here in the forest of Mahavan. He also released the yakshas Nalakuvera and Manigriva from tree.