Radha Kund and Shyam Kund: Pilgrimage Travelogue

"The minds of the devotees are fully fixed on Me and their lives are devoted to Me. They are enlightening one another about Me and perpetually remain in a state of bliss by taking delight in Me." (Bhagavad Gita 10.9)

      Radha Kund is the name of both, the town and the sacred tank. This town is about 25 km to the west of Mathura and 5 kilometres north of Goverdhan. While travelling from Mathura, I arrived at a toll gate where they collected an entry fee. There was a Y-junction here. The road to the left goes southwards, towards Goverdhan. The road on the right goes northwards, towards Radha Kund.

      As I entered the narrow bylanes of Radha Kund town, I noticed small temples on either side of the road. I longed to visit the holiest of all kunds of Brij Bhoomi Radha Kund and Shyam Kund. I went twice on Bazaar Road by car but there was no sign of these kunds. Finally, I decided to conduct my search on foot. So I asked Ashwani to park the car at one end of the town. As I was walking through Bazaar Road, I suddenly noticed an inconspicuous signboard that said Sangam of Radha Kund and Shyam Kund'. I took a right turn and reached my destination.

      Radha Kund and Shyam Kund are located next to each other. The one on the left is Radha Kund and the one on the right is Shyam Kund. The two kunds are separated by a pathway. At the beginning of the pathway, I could see Radha's and Krishna's footprints. Behind the footprints, on the other side, there are many rocks stacked together. These are the sacred Goverdhan Shilas (stones from the sacred Goverdhan Hill).

      It is believed that both these kunds were covered with lots of shrubs and plants. For many centuries people did not know of the existence of these sacred tanks. In 1513 AD, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to this region in search of these two kunds. He danced with joy when He saw Radha Kund and Shyam Kund. He called His disciples and narrated the fascinating story of this holy place.

      When I was standing near the sacred tank, a priest came to me and said, Do you know that Radha Kund is the holiest among all kunds? Please sprinkle a few drops on your head and get blessed."

      I hesitated, looking at the condition of the tank. The water did not appear to be clean and I stood wondering what to do. Just then I noticed a foreigner come out of a building and walk towards Radha Kund. She was clad in a saree and chanting the holy names of the Lord. Suddenly, she took a big leap and dived into Radha Kund. She began bathing, unmindful of the condition of the water. I felt ashamed that in spite of considering myself devout Indian, I was hesitant to sprinkle a few drops of water on my head and here was a lady, from a far off country, who had jumped into the pool of water, unmindful of its cleanliness. Her state of bliss and true devotion made me feel ashamed of myself.

      I continued my walk along the pathway and reached the other end. There was a building at the far end which appeared to be some kind of an ashram. I saw many people sitting and chanting the holy names of the Supreme Lord. I took a turn and walked back along the pathway, my mind still in a state of turmoil over the recent incident.

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