The Nidhivan in Vrindavan is considered as the prime forest in the Braj area. During 15th century when Swami Haridas (Guru of famous classical singer Tansen and an incarnate of Lalita sakhi) came to Vrindavan, he made Nidhivan as his bhajan sthali and used to live there. Nidhivan is known as the Rasasthali (abode of love) of Lord Radha and Krishna where they are believed to cherish their pastime of Rasalila even today. The thorough evidences relating the daily pastimes of Lord Radha and Krishna have been given in the poetic epic’ Kelimal’ that was written by Swami Haridas who himself had witnessed the Rasalila of Sri Radha Krishna at Nidhivan.
Nidhi means sleep and Van means forest or it’s defined the other way as Nidhu meaning lovable pastimes and thus complete forest where these loving Pastimes of Lord Radha and Krishna are performed has been named as Nidhivan. It’s the place where Lord Krishna rests and sleeps with his beloved Sri Radha after they are tired of performing Rasalila. Inside the forest area in the central part there is Vishakha Kund, which was created by Lord Krishna with his flute to relieve the thirst of Vishakha-Sakhi (close inmate of Sri Radha) and other gopis. It was here near this Kund that Swami Haridas found the beautiful deity of Lord Banke Bihari. A small temple named as Rang Mahal is built near to this place of appearance of Banke Bihari. The inner walls of the temple are beautified by fine paintings from the pastimes of Radha and Krishna and colorful glasses. There is a small bed inside the temple. The priest of the temple every evening decorates the bed with flowers and keeps a water container, kumkum (vermillion) and betel nuts. Every morning those flowers and kumkum are found scattered, the water of container is found yellow along with the traces of chewed betel nuts. It’s a popular belief that Lord Krishna and Radha come to this very place at night to perform Rasalila, so the forest is emptied by dusk and no one stays back. There is another small temple commemorating the pastime of Sri Radha when she stole the flute of Krishna along with her sakhis (girlfriends) Lalita and Vishakha and started playing it. So the temple is having the deity of Lord Radha playing flute. Samadhi (cenotaph) of Swami Haridas can also be seen on the extreme right end of the forest area and to the left of the shrine dedicated to Sri Radharani.