Jai Narahari Sarkar ! Jai Mukunda das ! Jai Raghunandana ! Jai Ciranjiva and Sulochana !
O ! The residents of Srikhanda, there is no limit to your great fortune ! Srikhanda, whose glories are sung all over the three worlds, whose dust the demigods hanker to smear over their bodies , is so easily accessible to you. You are amongst the chosen few who ,having being immensely blessed by Sri Krishna Caitanya, are able to take birth in this sacred land.
khandavasi mukunda das, sri Raghunandana
Narahari das, ciranjiva, sulocana
ei saba mahasakha — caitanya-kripadhama
Prema phala phula kare yahan tahan daana
(Sri Caitanya caritamrta, Adi,10.78-79)
Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja here reveals, the noble lineage of the residents of SriKhanda (Khandavasis). They belong to the land of the most worshipable intimate associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura (40th branch of Mahaprabhu’s desire tree of devotional service), Sri Mukunda das (the 39th branch) and his son Raghunandana (manifestation of Pradyumna), Sri Ciranjiva (41st branch) and Sulocana(42nd branch) ,all of them have mercifully appeared and manifested their exalted pastimes here at this sacred place.
‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ considers itself greatly fortunate to have been able to enter and serve this cintamani (wish fulfilling) dham.
Gaura amara, je-saba sthane,
koralo bhramana range
Se saba sthana, heribo ami,
May I visit and constantly contemplate upon all those places where Lord Caitanya performed His sweet pastimes along with His intimate associates.
We seek the blessings and compassion of the fortunate residents of Srikhanda, before attempting to narrate some of its heart-rending pastimes. The readers are here requested to excuse any of our unintentional mistakes ,as we are mere fools ,who, not knowing our limits, are trying to delve deep into this esoteric well, to excavate the mesmerizing jewels that adorn the devotees of Sri Gaurasundara.
All Glories to Srikhanda! All glories to Narahari Sarkar, Mukunda das and Raghunandana :
Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura, who was the incarnation of sakhi Madhumati, in Krishna’s Vrindavana pastimes, appeared at Srikhanda, a few years before the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Navadvipa (refer – ‘YogPeeth, Mayapur, Navadvipa – The birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’). Sri Nara Narayana Dev and Srimati Gauri devi achieved the ultimate perfection of their lives ,becoming the proud parents of Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura and Sri Mukunda Das. Sri Mukunda das was the elder of the two.According to Gaura Ganoddesha Dipika Sri Mukunda Das was the incarnation of Vrinda Devi herself. Vrinda devi is eternally engaged in arranging the union of the divine couple , Sri Radha and Krishna, in Vrindavana. Without the mercy of Vrinda devi, it is not possible for one to enter into the eternal pastimes of Vraja. According to Vaishnava acara darpana, the potency of the cowherd boy ‘Gandharva’ , had also appeared as Sri Mukunda Das of Srikhanda.
Narahari Sarkar and Sri Mukunda Das were born into a family of vaidyas(physicians) but as we all understand that a vaishnava is above the petty material designations of caste ,creed, nationality or religion. Hence it would be an offense on our part, to identify them with anything else ,other than being the eternal associates of Sri Krishna Caitanya. Though the devotees belonging to this great lineage of physicians ,might consider themselves to be extremely blessed and fortunate to have the great Narahari Thakura and Mukunda Das as their ancestors, whose footsteps and exemplary mood they can follow to achieve the ultimate perfection.Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura was a great pandita and was very well versed in all the revealed scriptures. Sri Locana Das Thakura, the author Sri Caitanya Mangala, was his dear disciple.
Sri Locana Das Thakura dedicates Sri Caitanya Mangala to his beloved Gurudeva, Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura, by whose intense desire Sri Locana Das had later appeared in this world and composed this great classic.Sri Locana Das Thakura humbly considers himself as incapable and in eligible to write such a beautiful piece without the mercy and empowerment of his Guru. ‘The Gaudiya treasures of Bengal’ has covered the life and pastimes of Sri Locana das Thakura in a separate article entitled – ‘Baradanga (near Srikhanda,Katwa) – Where Srila Locana Das Thakura composed Sri Caitanya Mangala’.
Thakura Sri Narahari, Das prana adhikari
Janra pada prema prati aash
Adhameo sadh kare, Gauraguna gahibare
Bharosaya e locana das
(Sri Caitanya Mangala)
Sri Vaishnava Acara Darpana explains how the erstwhile devotees realized that the supreme treasure of Sri Gauranga prema can be obtained by the service of Sri Narahari, and hence they honored him with the title ‘Sarkar Thakura’ (Gauranga premera bhandara tara haathe,Sarkar Thakura naam haila taha haite). In the eternal pastimes of Gaurasundara, Sri Narahari serves by waving camara for the Lord (Narahari adi kare camara dulaya, sanjaya, mukunda, vasu ghosh adi gay). This has been revealed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Gaura Arati bhajana (refer – ‘Remembering Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura at Svananda Sukhada Kunja & Surabhi Kunja, Navadvipa (Godrumadvipa)’).
Sri Mukunda Das, on the other hand , was always immersed in a wave of Gauranga prema. Being a renowned physician, he was employed by the then king of Bengal,Nawab Hussain Shah, at the king’s palace, as his personal doctor. Both Mukunda and Narahari loved each other more than themselves, but being employed at the Nawab’s palace in Malda, Mukunda was forced to bear separation from his beloved brother’s association, at Srikhanda.He had later arranged for his brother’s study and stay at Navadvipa, which ultimately resulted in Narahari’s union with Lord Gaurahari and His associates.
Sri Narahari, thereafter, engaged his senses completely in the service of Lord Caitanya. He could not bear the separation from his beloved lord even for a moment. However, even in the midst of his utter ecstasy of serving the Lord, there was something that caused him great grief. He couldn’t bear the fact that he was getting so much happiness and fulfillment in the presence of the Lord at Nadia while his elder brother ,being far away at Gaur,was being deprived of this rare fortune. By the mercy of Lord Caitanya,however, Sri Mukunda didn’t have to stay at Gaur ,for much longer, and soon achieved the ultimate treasure, of uniting with his eternal Lord at Navadvipa. This is one of the very exalted qualities of a devotee. He is simply not satisfied being happy himself, but instead desires and strives to share that happiness with others.This is a very basic principle of Krishna consciousness and this mood of preaching and bestowing the love of God upon others, is very pleasing to the Lord Himself.
During the Rath Yatra at Jagannath Puri, the vaishnavas of Srikhanda formed a group of their own, and immersed themselves in an intoxicating dancing sankirtana. Sri Narahari and Sri Raghunandana (Sri Mukunda’s son) were its leaders. Sri Caitanya Caritamrta reveals –
khandera sampradaya kaare anyatra kirtana
Narahari nache tahan sri Raghunandana
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya, 13.46)
Actually, under the instructions of Sri Caitanya, all the other groups performed kirtana, which greatly glorified Sri krishna. However, being exceedingly attached to Sri Gaurasundara, the devotees of Srikhanda, were not able to abide by Mahaprabhu’s orders completely. Not being able to control their earnest desires to glorify Lord Gaurasundara, they engaged in an ecstatic Gaura-kirtana, which greatly praised the unending qualities of Sacinandana.
Here it is worthwhile mentioning, that Sri Krishna and Sri Gauranga are one and the same person. They are different forms of the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. However different devotees have different degree of inclinations to either of them depending upon their own personal nature ,mood and taste. But worshipping either of them is ultimately worshipping the same Supreme Lord, and hence it is in accordance with the Vaishnava siddhantas (conclusions).
Before we move onto the next section in this article, i leave you with a beautiful composition of Narahari Sarkar Thakura ,which describes how he felt when he had first met and surrendered unto Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Navadvipa-
Vrajabhumi kari sunya, navadvipe avatirna
Eteka tomara chaturala
Dukha diya nirantara, barna kari bhabantara
Punah barao biraha janjala
Nai sikhi puchha chura, nai se pitadhara
Kare nai se mohana bansuri
Jahate kariya gaan, bandhile gopir prana
Se bansuri kothaya Gaurahari
Nahi se banka nayana , ebe heri sulocana
Kintu se bhangima nahi jaya
Yadi dile darsana, eirupe bhulaile mana
Tumi ki se vrajer Kanai
Kahe Narahari Das, yara nahi vishvas
Se asiya dekhuk nayane
Sedine yei katha, kahite antare byatha
Ye haila ubhoy milane
Deserting the transcendental abode of Vrindavana, You have now appeared in the land of Navadvipa ; this is your inconceivable pastime
Feeling unrelenting pain at heart, i try to describe your different mood,
Thereby further increasing the fire of separation from You.
The curly round hair that used to adorn your head is no more ; Neither are the royal apparel that once decorated your beautiful body to be found; The mesmerizing tune of your flute is also no longer heard.
The flute , whose enchanting captivating tune, stole away the hearts of the Gopis in Vraja ; Where have you hidden it now Gaurahari ?
Those naughty bent eyes of Krishna, have been now replaced with the beautiful captivating eyes of Sri Krishna Caitanya ; yet the posture remains the same.
You mercifully gave me darsana, but you have bewildered my mind to such an extent,
That i do not recognize You as the same Krishna of Vrindavana
Narahari Das proclaims that You are the same Supreme personality of Godhead, and one who doesn’t yet believe should come and behold Your beautiful form with his own eyes.
Thus i describe my feelings, that i experienced on that day, when I re-united with the Lord of my Life.
(Translated by ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’)
Pastimes of Narahari Sarkar, Mukunda Das and Raghunandana :
Below we shall try to narrate some of the most beautiful pastimes of Srikhanda, that these great souls have blessed us with, for our own contemplation and purification.
Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura:
Sri Narahari Sarkar sings –
Gaura Bhajiyo, Gaura sadhiyo
Gaura karaha Saar,
Gaura balite, janama jaak
Kichu na chahiyo ara
Lord Gauranga is the ultimate objective of our bhajana and sadhana,
Let us spend our life blissfully by singing the name and glories of Gaurasundara,
Let us have no other desires.
After Sri Caitanya deva had accepted His sannyasa initiation, the Lord appeared in Narahari Thakura’s dreams, and instructed him.Accordingly, Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura, whose very life was dedicated to the service of Sri Gaurasundara, carved three very enchanting deities of Lord Gauranga,depicting Him in His intoxicated dancing form (Rasaraja Mahabhava).The tallest of the three deities is worshipped today at Sri Gauranga Bari (please refer to the article entitled – ‘Sri Gauranga Bari (katwa) – Where Mahaprabhu accepted Sannyasa’). The shortest of the deities resides at the house of Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura at Srikhanda, where it is served with due diligence till this day. We consider ourselves fortunate to have been able to pay our obeisances to this mesmerizing Gauranga deity here at Srikhanda.The third deity, which is neither the tallest nor the shortest, is presently being served at Ekachakra Dham.Ekachakra is a beautiful village,situated in the Birbhum district of West Bengal ,and we have covered our visit to Ekachakra in a separate article entitled – ‘Sri Ekachakra Dham – Birthplace of Lord Nityananda’.All these three deities were carved out of the Neem tree that stands at the house of the three Ghosh brothers at Kulai (near Katwa). One visiting Kulai, can take the darsana of this sacred tree and make his life successful.
Once the two brothers ,Sri Caitanya and Sri Nityananda came over to Srikhanda, to pay their visit to their eternal beloved associate, Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura. On arriving there, Sri Nityananda prabhu desired to drink some honey. The reason being, that in the eternal pastimes of Vrindavana ,Madhumati sakhi supplies honey to Radha Govinda and His associates.Hearing His request, Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura, the incarnation of Madhumati sakhi, thought for a while. Then, he went over to a pond behind his house ,and by his potency,transformed its water into honey. That is why the pond is renowned today as ‘Madhu-pushkarini’. ’Madhu’ in Bengali means honey and ‘pushkarini’ translates to pond.He then fetched honey from this pond and offered it to Sri Gauranga and Nityananda. The pond is just behind the residence of Narahari sarkar Thakura, at Srikhanda ,and the team from ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ considers itself exceedingly blessed to have taken darsana of this pond and to have tasted its sacred water. Tasting the honey offered by Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura, Sri Nityananda Avadhuta, began laughing,crying and rolling over the ground in ecstasy. Srikhanda is that holy land where such exalted personalities, have exhibited their most amazing intimate pastimes.
Sri Mukunda das :
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu greatly glorifies Sri Mukunda’s devotion towards the Lord and compares it to pure gold (…nigooda nirmala prema, yena dagdha hema). Lord Gaurahari further adds that externally Sri Mukunda acted as a physician and served the king, but internally he was a pure devotee whose depths of love (for the lord) was very difficult to ascertain.
bahye raja vaidya inho kare raja seva
antare Krishna prema inhaara janibeka keba
(Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya,15.120)
This is a very significant point, and it must be herein noted, that the external appearance or the external designations that a devotee might possess, should not be confused with his internal mood. The depths of one’s devotion should not be judged,based upon a person’s occupation, birth or appearance, as the love for the Supreme is completely transcendental to these material identifications. We learn a similar lesson from the pastimes of Jharu Thakura (refer – Sri Jharu Thakura Sripat, near Bandel ) and the pastimes of Pundarika Vidyanidhi (refer – Remembering Sri Gadadhara Pandita at the Gaur Gadadhara Gaudiya Math, Champahati, Navadvipa).
Then Lord Gauranga narrated a beautiful pastime in order to relish Sri Mukunda’s intense love for Sri Krishna. One day while Mukunda and the erstwhile king, Nawab Hussain Shah, were discussing about medical science, one of the king’s servants arrived and started fanning the king with a fan made of peacock feathers. He held the fan above the king’s head. Just by seeing the peacock feathers, Sri Mukunda became absorbed in the pastimes of his beloved Krishna and began meditating upon Sri Vrindavana dham. Contemplating thus,he fell down from the high sitting platform onto the ground. When Sri Mukunda came back to his senses, the king inquired as to what had happened to him. In order not to reveal his ecstatic mood, Mukunda then lied that he had been suffering from a disease like epilepsy, due to which he often falls unconscious. But the king being very intelligent understood the whole affair and realized that Sri Mukunda was a great liberated personality. In Sri Caitanya Mangala Sri Locana Das Thakura narrates –
Mayurer pakha dekhi raja sannidhane
Parilen krishnarupa akarshiya mane
-Seeing the fan made of peacock feathers,
Sri Mukunda fell down being intensely absorbed in the thoughts of Sri Krishna
It is said that Nawab Hussain Shah, being very happy with Mukunda Das, as he had previously cured him of some incurable disease ,had legally handed over the authority of Srikhanda to Mukunda. Hence Sri Mukunda, along with being a physician, was also a rich landlord of Srikhanda dham.
Later ,on the orders of Lord Caitanya, Mukunda Das got married and bore Sri Raghunandana as his son. Mukunda resided at Srikhanda and preached widely, imparting Krishna consciousness upon innumerable fallen souls.
It is worthwhile mentioning over here that, just a few minutes away from his house at Srikhanda, lies the sacred Baradanga dham, a land which has been sanctified by the dust from the lotus feet of stalwart vaishnavas. Sri Mukunda ,Sri Narahari,Sri Locana Das Thakura,Sri Raghunandana ,Sri Srinivasa acharya, Sri Abhiram Gopala, Sri Jagannatha Das Babaji maharaja have all visited this sacred place and performed their bhajana during their manifested pastimes. The team from ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ considers itself exceedingly lucky to have been able to visit both Srikhanda and Baradanga, and smear our sinful bodies with the sacred dust of these places.
Sri Raghunandana :
Sri Gaura Gannodesha Dipika reveals that Lord Pradyumna, the third member of the Catur-vyuha, who had formerly appeared in Vrajabhumi as a close friend of Sri Radha and Krishna, has now appeared in Lord Caitanya’s pastimes as Sri Raghunandana. Hence Sri Raghunandana Thakura belongs to Vishnu Tattva .Sri Raghunandana has performed some amazing pastimes, here at srikhanda, the glories of which are sung till this day.
Sri Mukunda Das used to worship Sri Gopinatha jiu here at Srikhanda. Little Raghunandana, since His very childhood was very devoted to the Lord and assisted His father in daily worshiping the deity, by stringing garlands for Him, by offering Him bhoga,etc. So once it thus happened that Sri Mukunda was supposed to travel to some place for his personal work and hence he entrusted the service of Gopinatha jiu to Raghunandana. Little Raghunandana arranged everything for the deity, and finally He offered Bhoga to the Lord. At that tender age, Raghunandana thakura didn’t know of any mantras, but He began to cry ,asking the Lord to eat the offered bhoga. He requested the Lord again and again to accept the bhoga and eat them with His own hands. Being compassionate towards Raghunandana and being moved by His childish innocence, Sri Gopinatha indeed ate the offered food with His hands, in front of Raghunandana. When Mukunda returned, he asked Raghunandana to hand him over the Mahaprasadam (remnants of the offered bhoga). But Raghunandana promptly replied that there were no remnants left as Sri Gopinatha had eaten them all.
Hearing this, Mukunda had some doubts. On another day, in order to see the truth for himself,he entrusted the care of the deity to Sri Raghunandana, and informed Him that he had to travel elsewhere. Hiding behind the temple doors, he waited for Raghunandana to offer bhoga to Gopinatha jiu. As usual, Raghunandana offered the bhoga and requested the Lord again and again to accept it. Seeing Lord Gopinatha unmoved, He began to cry piteously. Not being able to tolerate His devotee’s pain anymore, Sri Gopinatha began to eat the offered Naru(a Bengali sweet made of coconut) bhoga with His own hands once more. As soon as the Lord ate half the Naru, Sri Mukunda entered the temple hall and embraced his boy with love, realizing that He was not an ordinary child. As soon as Mukunda entered, Lord Gopinatha stopped His eating. Lord Gopinatha jiu hence gives us an amazing unique darsana here at Srikhanda, with half of that offered Naru still sticking upon His hands.The team from ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ considers itself supremely fortunate to have been able to obtain such an amazing blissful darsana of our beloved Gopinatha jiu, the worshipable deity of Sri Mukunda and Raghunandana.
Sri murtire Naru khawailo yei yana
Tahanre manushya buddhi kare mudha gana,
Sri murtir sange katha yara anubrata
Tanhare keman yana kemana mahatva
(Sri Caitanya Mangala)
One who had caused the Sri Vigraha to literally eat the offered Naru bhoga (the deity ate with His own hands), can be considered to be an ordinary human being, only by a fool. It is very difficult to ascertain the greatness of such an exalted person who constantly talks and reciprocates with Sri Vigraha.
‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has covered some similar pastimes of Gopinatha deities across Bengal. Sri Gopinatha jiu of Agradwip also manifests a very unique pastime of performing the Sraddha ceremony of Sri Govinda Ghosh on his tirobhava tithi, every year. We have covered the detailed pastimes in a separate article entitled – ‘Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha jiu ,Agradwip’.
Another renowned pastime of Sri Raghunandana Thakura was during His meeting with Abhirama Gopala. Sri Abhirama Gopal Thakura, one of the most prominent of the twelve cowherd boys (Dvadasa Gopala), was a very powerful personality. He was a great friend and an intimate associate of Sri Nityananda Prabhu.He was formerly the cowherd boy Sridama in Krishna’s Vrindavana pastimes. If Abhirama Thakura bowed down to any person who was not the Lord, or empowered by the Lord, then that person would die immediately. Similarly if he bowed down before any stone that was not a saligrama sila, then that stone would immediately crack.Several deities in Bengal had cracked just because Sri Abirama had paid them his obeisances.All the previous seven sons of Nityananda Prabhu had died because Sri Abhirama Thakura had paid them his dandavats.But Birchandra prabhu ,Lord Nitai’s son, was unharmed because He was Himself an expansion of the Supreme Lord. The pastimes of Abhirama Thakura are covered in detail in a separate article entitled – ‘The Sripat of Abhirama Gopala Thakura-Khanakul Krishnanagar’.
So, when Abhirama Gopala Thakura came to Srikhanda,he wanted to pay his obeisances to little Raghunandana, in order to test Him. Fearing his son’s harm, Mukunda had hid his son inside the house. Not seeing Raghunandana , Sri Abhirama, left the village and walked all the way to Baradanga (on the southern end of Srikhanda). There, to his utter surprise, Sri Raghunandana Thakura gave him His blissful darsana. Sri Abhirama Gopala became exceedingly happy seeing Him and paid Him his obeisances.Seeing that no harm was caused to Raghunandana, Sri Abhirama Gopala became overjoyed and started dancing with Him in ecstasy. The glories of the intoxicated dancing sankirtana that took place five hundred years ago at baradanga, is still sung by the devotees. During this dance, little Raghunandana’s anklet fell off from His feet ,and flew several kilometers away at a place called Akaihata, where on falling it had created a pond (Refer – ‘Sri Kaliya Krishna Das’ Headquarters , Akaihata’). Hence baradanga dham is also the meeting place of these two great personalities ,Sri Abhirama Gopala and Sri Raghunandana Thakura, and we are extremely fortunate to have visited this sacred place, and to have contemplated upon their captivating pastimes.
Sri Ciranjiva and Sulocana:
According to Sri Gaura Gannodesha Dipika, Sri Ciranjiva and Sulocana were previously Candrika and Chandrasekhara respectively in Krishna lila.Not much is known about their life.However, it is well known that they were very dear to Lord Caitanya. Sri Sulocana had accompanied Sri Raghunandana Thakura to the great festival at kheturi.
Sri Raghunandana Sulocana adi sange
Bhunje nija basay parama premarange
Sri Ciranjiva got married to Sunanda, the daughter of the great poet and pandita, Sri Damodara sen. In course of time Sunanda devi bore two beautiful sons – Sri Ramachandra and Sri Govinda, who subsequently became great devotees of our Gaudiya sampradaya. Sri Ramachandra and Sri Govinda were later honored with the title ‘Kaviraja’ for their contributions. Both were the initiated disciples of Srinivasa Acharya and we have covered a few of Ramachandra Kaviraja’s pastimes in a separate article entitled – ‘Sri Srinivasa Acharya’s Sripat, Jajigram (Near Srikhanda, Katwa)’.
On a closing note:
‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ had been striving to seek shelter of such great personalities throughout its spiritual journey. It is only with this objective of receiving their mercy and sharing it with others, that we have set out from our homes, trying to reveal to the world the mood and esoteric pastimes of these great men.The life and teachings, of these stalwarts inspire us to imbibe the same values and principles in our own lives and we pray that they mercifully bless us, so that we may forever contemplate upon their blissful pastimes.
We worship the lotus feet of our spiritual master ,whose causeless mercy has empowered us ineligible fools ,to gain entrance and take up service in this transcendental abode of Srikhanda. We seek shelter of this holy land, and pray that its glories remain forever imprinted in our heart.‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ offers millions of obeisances and humbly prays to the stalwart vaishnavas of Srikhanda that we advance in our Krishna consciousness, develop attachment unto the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga and are able to serve Sri Guru & Vaishnavas, by our honest and sincere efforts. We seek their blessings and compassion , in successfully rendering this humble service of reciting the pastimes and revealing the pastime places of the Supreme Lord and His beloved associates.We shall consider ourselves greatly fortunate and our existence meaningful if Lord Gaurahari and our dear spiritual master are kindly pleased with our endeavours.
What to See:
- The worshipable Gopinatha jiu deity of Sri Mukunda and Raghunandana
- The worshipable Gauranga deity of Sri Narahari sarkar Thakura
- The pond which had got transformed into honey – Madhu Pushkarini
- The house of Sri Narahari,Mukunda and Raghunandana where they manifested their esoteric pastimes.
- Baradanga Dham – bhajana kutir of Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura, the tree under which Locana das Thakura had composed his Caitanya Mangala, meeting site of Abhirama Gopala and Raghunandana Thakura.
(‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has covered the details of Baradanga dham in another article entitled – ‘Baradanga (near Srikhanda,Katwa) – Where Srila Locana Das Thakura composed Sri Caitanya Mangala’).
How to Reach:
You can take a train from Howrah/sealdah station to reach the Katwa junction.The journey takes around 3.5 hours. On reaching katwa, you can hire a cab to take you to Srikhanda, where you can pay visit to the house of Sri Narahari ,Mukunda and Raghunandana. A few minutes drive from their residence shall bring you to the sacred Baradanga Dham. This rich and vibrant land of Srikhanda shall ever be glorified in the pages of Gaudiya History. A resident of Srikhanda is commonly referred to as ‘Khandabasi’.
Accommodation – One can choose to stay at Hotel Srabani in Katwa which is owned and governed by the local municipality.Srikhanda and Katwa are quite near to each other. Or else, Navadvipa is hardly an hour and a half ride from Srikhanda. So the devotees can also choose to stay at Navadvipa / Mayapur and then travel to take darsana of this exalted site.
If one stays in Katwa, one can avail prasadam at the ‘Gauranga Bari temple’. Else if one stays in Navadvipa, then he/she can honor prasadam at Iskcon Mayapur or any of the Gaudiya Mathas.
Nearest major airport – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (Kolkata)
Nearest major Railway station – Katwa junction
(Please note that we neither necessarily recommend these hotels/accommodation centers mentioned above nor do we guarantee that they will provide the required facilities/services to the visiting pilgrims. We are not in any way related to the governance of these hotels/accommodation centers. The visiting pilgrim is advised to choose an accommodation as per his own discretion)