TAALVAN

This is one of the 12 forests of Braj region which is associated with the pastime of killing the demon Dhenukasura by Lord Balram. Thus Taalvan comes under the patronage of Lord Balrama. The forest of Taalvana which was formerly full of abundant taal trees has now completely disappeared except for the few Taal trees which as of now, marks its proximity to the celebrated pastimes of Lord Krishna and Balram. Taal means a variety of Palm tree. This forest is located about two and a half mile to the south west of Madhuvan. According to the legends, Dhenukasura who was an ass demon lived in the forest of Taalvan along with his family, safeguarding the sweet and delicious Taal fruits as ordered by king Kansa. Dhenukasura was previously born as the grandson of King Bali, but due to a curse by Durvasa Muni he descended on the earth in the form of an Ass demon. One day Krishna and Balram along with other Gopas were grazing cows in the nearby place, suddenly carried along with the breeze, the aroma of sweet and delicious Taal fruits struck their nostrils. The cowherd boys being influenced by the smell of Taal fruits desired to eat them but could not dare to enter the forest of Taalvan due to the terror of Dhenukasura. Knowing the desire of their friends Krishna and Balram decided to enter the Taalvan to have the Taal fruits for them. After entering the forest, Balram started shaking the trees with his immense strength to let the fruits fall down to ground. Disturbed by the noise of falling fruits, Dhenukasura arrived at the place to check the situation. On watching Krishna and Balram creating all the mess, he charged at them with a great power. Suddenly Balram caught hold of his hind legs and forcefully whirled him round over his head and threw him away. Lord Balram whirled Dhenukasura with such a force that his life left his body and he died instantaneously. Soon, after the death of Dhenukasura and his family by the brothers Krishna and Balram, the cowherd boys relished the delicious Taal fruits and thanked them. There is a small shrine built at the place dedicated to Lord Balram named as Dauji Temple. The temple is enshrined with the deity of Lord Balram along with his wife Revati Devi. Adjacent to the temple there is a big lake known as Sankarshana Kund or Tarsi Kund.

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