Sri Vrajamandal Parikrama – The Borders of Vraja. Bhaktin Diksha explains about the Borders of Vraja.
Vraja-mandala extends for about 168 miles. That land between Bahirsad (Barhada) in the north-east, Yadupura (the village Batesvara of Surasena) in the south and SOJ;litpura (Sonhada) in the west, and which measures eighty-four kosas, has been called Mathura-rnandala, or Vraja, by learned persons.
Bara marks the boundary of one side of Vraja, Sonhada marks another side, and Batesvara, or the village of Surasena, marks the boundary on the third side. Bara is situated in the present district of Aligarh in the north-east corner of Vraja-rnandala. Sonhada lies in the present district of Guragaon in the state of Harayana, which is in the north-west corner of Vrajamandala. Its ancient name is Sonitpura. The village of Surasena is the village of Batesvara in the revenue district of Baha. The area between these places is called Vraja-mandala.
The borders of Vraja-mandala are also mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana. According to this Purana, Hasyavana lies in the east of Vraja-rnandala, Janhuvana in the south, Parvatavana in the west and Survapattanavana in the north. Corresponding to this description, Hasanagadha of the Agra district, which lies in the east, is known as Hasyavana: in the west, Bahadt-grama near Kamyavana in Rajasthana is known as Parvatavana; in the south, jajau-grama of the Dhaulapura revenue district is famous as Janhu; and in the north, near jevara-grama of the Aligarh district, lies Survapattanavana.
In the eighty-four kosas of Vraja-mandala, there are forty-eight different forests (vanas), which includes upavanas (sub-forests), prativanas and adhivanas. According to the Padma Purana, there are twelve principal forests situated east and west of the Yamuna. They are (1) Mahavana, (2) Kamvavana, (3) Madhuvana, (4) Talavana, (5) Kumudavana, (6) Bhandiravana, (7) Vrndavana, (8) Khadiravana, (9) Lohavana, (10) Bhadravana, (11) Bahulavana and (12) Baelvana. Of these twelve forests, seven lie on the western side of the Yamuna – Madhuvana, Talava na, Kumudavana, Bahulavana, Karnvavana, Khadiravana and Vrindavana. The remaining five – Bhadravana, Bhandirvana, Baelvana, Lohavana and Mahavana – are situated on the Yamuna’s eastern side.
The Varaha Purana mentions twelve upavanas: (1) Brahmavana, (2) Apsaravana, (3) Vihvalavana, (4) Kadambavana, (5) Svarnavana, (6) Surabhivana, (7) Premavana, (8) Mavuravana, (9) Manengitavana, (10) Sesasayfvana, (11) Naradavana and (12) Paramanandavana.
The Bhavisya Purar:ta mentions the following twelve prativanas: (1) Rankavana, (2) Varttavana, (3) Karahavana, (4) Kamavana, (5) Afijanavana, (6) Kar nava na, (7) Krsnaksipanavana, (8) Nandapreksana Krsnavana, (9) Indravana, (10) Sik~avana, (11) Candravalivana and (12) Lohavana.
Finally, the Visnu Purarna describes the following twelve adhivanas: (1) Mathura, (2) Radha-kunda, (3) Nandagaon, (4) Gadha, (5) Lalita-grama, (6) Vrishabhanupura, (7) Gokula, (8) Balabhadravana, (9) Govardhana, (10) javata, (11) Vrndavana and (12) Sanketvana. This adds up to forty-eight forests in all.
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