Dauji Temple in Talvan Near Mathura

      Talvan is located around 10 km to the west of Mathura. A drive along the Mathura-Bharatpur road took us to Talvan village. Here, we came across a sign-board, indicating the right turn. Since the road appeared to be quite narrow, we decided to walk the rest of the way. It took us 20 minutes to reach Dauji Temple at Talvan.

      As we entered the Dauji Temple premises, we went past the outer courtyard and reached the main altar. There is an idol of Balarama (Dauji), flanked by idols of Krishna and Revathi. Since this place was associated with incidents pertaining to Balarama, His idol was bigger than the idols of Krishna and Revathi. To the right of this temple was the Balbhadra Kund. Unlike some of the other kunds in Brij Bhoomi, this one looked very clean. The priest told me that the Brij Foundation had cleaned up and renovated the entire kund.

      Between the Balbhadra Kund and the Dauji Temple, I noticed a few trees that resembled date-palm trees. Many devotees were bowing their heads in front of them. Seeing the surprised look on my face, the priest laughed, "These are tall trees. During the era of Krishna and Balarama, this entire forest was filled with tall trees hence this place was known as Talvan (forest filled with tall trees). They bear fruits which are similar to dates and taste as sweet as honey. People consider these trees sacred due to the legend associated with them."

      I looked around. The ambience was very serene. The devotees were sitting in the courtyard, singing bhajans (devotional songs). It was difficult to imagine that this tranquil place was once infested with hundreds of donkey demons and had also witnessed their gory end.

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