Barsana Gram also called Vrishabhanupur, is a village 25 miles northwest from Mathura. Barsana is the eternal playground of Shri Vrindavaneshwari, the Supreme Reservoir of Compassion—Shrimati Radharani. Radhanath Swami deeply admiring Barsana said in his 1998 yatra that Barsana is such a beautiful enchanting land that just by seeing and experiencing the divine landscape of Barsana ones heart and mind is naturally transported to the realm of devotion. Just like a lotus flower has a whorl and eight petals similarly Barsana is the whorl of the lotus, the abode of Shrimati Radharani, and around Barsana are the villages of all of Her eight Sakhis. There are many intimate pastime places in Barsana Dham such as Sankhri Khor, Pili Pokhar, Krishna Kunda, Morr Kuti, palace of Vrishabhanu Maharaj, Ladli Lal temple etc. Krishna is Hari—He steals away all our attachments and ultimately steals our heart when it becomes soft like the butter of the gopis, but Shrimati Radharani steals the heart of even Hari, so She is “Hare” and Barsana is the abode of Shri Radhika where She performed Her childhood pastimes in the courtyard of Vrishabhanu and Kirtida.
This village is settled on and around two hills which are adjacent to each other. The white colored hill is the longer one and is called Brahma Hill while the black colored one is called Vishnu Hill. Padma Purana states that Lord Brahma has taken the form of these hills in Barsana so as to get the dust of the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha Krishna and Their devotees on his heads. There are four peaks of these hills- Bhangarh, Maangarh, Daangarh and Vilasgarh and each of these peaks is one of the heads of Lord Brahma. Vilasgarh lies on the Vishnu Hill while the rest three peaks lie on Brahma Hill.
Radhanath Swami taking the devotees through a tour of all the pastime places of Barsana explained their significance. Let us go for a virtual tour based on his lectures in the following passages. Atop Bhangarh is the famous temple of Shriji. This deity of Shriji, also known as Ladli Lal (The beloved one), was originally established by Vajranabh, some 5000 years ago. Just at the foot of the steps leading to Shriji temple is the palace of Vrishabhanu Maharaj where Shri Radhika performed Her childhood pastimes. Here one can have darshan of Vrishabhanu, Kirtida, Shridama and Shri Radhika. Just across the road from Shriji temple is a beautiful pond called Pili Pokhar. When Yashoda Mayi applied turmeric paste to Shri Radhika’s hands accepting Her as her bride, Radharani came and washed Her hands out of shyness in this pond. Consequently the color of the water here turned golden yellow.
Atop Maangarh is the Maan Mandir, the place where Shrimati Radharani would go into seclusion in Her transcendental loving anger towards Krishna. At Maan Mandir Krishna pleads, weeps and cries like a beggar to gain the favor of His beloved Shrimati Radharani. Within the temple, there is a small tunnel leading to a dark chamber which is said to be the place where Radharani would go and sit. Down the hill from Maan Mandir are Morr Kutir and Krishna Kund. Morr Kutir is the place where Krishna and Radharani danced in the form of peacock and peahen. Krishna Kund or Radha Sarovar is the pond in Gahavara Vana (forest of caves) where Shrimati Radharani would bathe. Also Radha-Krishna would have water sports here.
Sankari Khor is a very narrow passageway at the junction of the Brahma hill and Vishnu hill. Krishna and His cowherd boys dressed up as tax collectors would block the way of Radharani and Her Sakhis with their sticks here and would ask for yogurt, butter and ghee as tax for passing through Sankari Khor.
Prayers: Radhanath Swami after submerging his audiences in the sweet nectarine pastimes of Barsana said that as we are roaming through these beautiful forests of Barsana, we should be praying for the dust of the lotus feet of Shri Radha and Her devotees. This is the spirit. If there is false ego, we can’t understand the Dham. We should pray to be able to overcome egoistic contaminations and to overcome superficiality, artificiality that is born of the false ego and that we can genuinely, earnestly and honestly pray to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the Vaishnavas, because that gentle and sincere desire will attract the mercy of Shri Shri Radha Shyamasundar. This should be the mood and prayer at Barsana Dham.