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GOVARDHAN IN BRAJ, INDIA

HILL

IMAGINED ENACTED RECLAIMED

Landscape Planning, Design and Management Proposals by: Department of Landscape Architecture College of Fine and Applied Arts Unversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and Braj Foundation, Vrindavan, India


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Summary

01

Sanitation Program

29

Fig. 1 Location of Braj in India

Fig. 29 Parking Design

Introduction

02

Traffic Management

30

Fig, 2 Parikrama in Braj

Fig. 30 Road and Path Sections

Braj Region

03

Road Redesign

32

Fig. 3 Hills, Kunds, and Vans of Braj

Fig. 31 Road Redesgin

Real and Imagined Landscapes of Braj 04

Vishram Sthals and Signage

34

Fig. 4 Medieval Paintings and Govardhan Landscapes

Fig. 32 Location of Vishram Sthals

Deities

05

Road and Rural Sanitation Plan

36

Fig. 5 Giriraj Mandala

Fig. 33 Interpretive and Wayfinding Signage

Myths

06

Dan Ghati Welcome Center

38

Fig. 6 Landscapes of Myth

Fig. 34 Public Toilets

Sthalis

07

Parikrama Path

40

Fig. 7 Temple, Raas-Sthalis, and Footprints

Fig. 35 Village Recycling Center

Vans

08

Radha-Shyam Kunds

42

Fig. 8 Vegetation along the Path

Fig. 36 Community Development

Kunds

10

Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary

44

Fig. 9 Flora and Fauna of Govardhan

Fig. 37 Dan Ghati Welcome Center

Fig. 10 Govardhan Kunds

Settlements

13

Kusum Sarovar

45

Fig. 11 Site Hydrology

Fig. 38 Lighting Detail on the Parikrama Path

Topography

13

Uddhava Kund

46

Fig. 12 Site Context of Kunds

Govind Kund

47

Fig. 13 Land Use Patterns

Padav Sthals

48

Fig. 14 Topography and Viewsheds

Govardhan Enacted

15

50

Fig. 40 Water Quality Issues in RadhaShyam Kunds

Fig. 15 People

Fig. 41 Restoration of Water Quality in Radha-Shyam Kunds

Fig. 16 Commerce

Fig. 42 Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary

Fig. 17 Ritual and Festival Sites Fig. 18 Ritual and Festival Calendar

Fig. 43 Eco-Cultural Zones and Kusum Sarovar

People

16

Sacra

17

Rituals and Festivals

18

Conclusion

51

Pilgrimage

20

Bibliography

52

Fig. 19 Parikrama on the Road

Fig. 44 Uddhava Kund Site Redesign

Regional Circulation

22

Project Credits

53

Fig. 20 Vision and Haptic Experience

Fig. 45 Govind Kund Site Redesign

Fig. 21 Circulation Network of Govardhan

Fig. 46 Padav Sthal Bench Detail

Fig. 22 Eco-Cultural Tourism

Fig. 47 Padav Sthal Layout

Fig. 23 Stakeholders of Govardhan Cultural Heritage Landscape Zone

Fig. 48 Punchari Site Redesign

Govardhan Reclaimed: Landscape Planning Design and Management Proposals 23

Punchari

Fig. 39 Parikrama Path

Eco-cultural Tourism

24

Govardhan Heritage Trust

25

Core and Buffer Zones

26

Fig. 26 Environmental Issues

Environmental Issues

28

Fig. 27 Sanitation Program

Fig.24 Encroachment on Govardhan Hill Fig. 25 Core and Buffer Zones

Fig. 28 Parking System

Fig. 49 University of Illinois team doing Govardhan Parikrama


Summary Landscape planning, design and management proposals for Govardhan Hill in Braj are described in this project. The Hill is designated as a protected cultural landscape with a 500 feet buffer zone where development is regulated. Reclamation of the Hill with sustainable management practices for conservation of cultural and natural heritage and development of eco-cultural tourism is proposed. Restoration of kunds (water tanks) and vans (groves), sites associated with Krishna legends, is planned. The existing but inadequate and poorly maintained pilgrim infrastructure along the parikrama (circumambulatory) routes is improved with rest facilities and interpretive signage for eco-cultural tourism.

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Introduction Legendary associations with Lord Krishna have imbued the cultural landscape of Braj with great religious significance drawing over 50 million pilgrims annually who go on circumambulatory tours of the landscape. Its marvelous heritage is neither that of age old historic monuments nor of astonishing scenic splendors but of place based oral traditions that celebrate the life of Krishna through ritual enactment and festivals. Braj and especially the sacred Govardhan Hill has been the subject of a magnificent oeuvre of poetry and paintings in medieval and late medieval India. The living traditions of Braj are encompassed in its unique dialect, folk dances and songs, and folk arts and crafts. The sacred hills, groves, and ponds of Braj are facing loss of forest cover and drying up of water bodies. New development in Govardhan threatens to disrupt the ecological stability of the pastoral landscape and overly commercialize the sacred ambience. The NGO Braj Foundation based in Vrindavan invited the Landscape Architecture Department to collaborate on developing a framework for conservation and eco-cultural tourism at Govardhan. A team of 7 graduate students travelled to Braj in the first fortnight of January 2010 to undertake field work and do a design workshop. Govardhan Hill has been venerated since ancient times, and receives the largest number of pilgrims in Braj. In circumambulating the landscape, pilgrims visit sacred tanks and groves, temples and shrines located around the Hill. Scholarship on Braj has emphasized the (re)construction of sacred landscape in pilgrimage and a continuing re-enactment of rituals

that affirm an idealized vision of that landscape. The incongruence between the imagined and real landscapes lessens the psychological impact and reduces the quality of engagement with the sites. During the site workshop and subsequent work in the design studio at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign campus when 8 more students joined the team, planning, design and landscape management proposals were developed. Complex web of relationships between texts, visual cultures, and movement patterns were untangled to understand the multi-faceted nature of landscape experience. Visual and linguistic texts, ritual behaviors, oral place traditions were interpreted to understand how the Govardhan landscape is conceptualized, visualized, and inscribed in the body. The landscape design proposals are guided by archetypal landscape imagery and local practice of nature veneration. They are based upon the premise that traditional belief systems can be harnessed in the promotion of environmental health of degraded sites. Reclaiming the sites will in turn lead to active encouragement and sustenance of traditional practices. Photo-montages in the project depict the traditional belief systems that guide current landscape practices—worshipping the hill, bathing in tanks, circumambulations done through body prostrations on the ground, and chanting in temples and sacred sites. Natural features of Govardhan Hill—its forest cover, flora and fauna, site hydrology—and its land use patterns that create a mosaic of fields, groves, and villages clustered tightly around tanks, are mapped. The complex web of paths and trails with the main

circumambulatory route around the Hill are traced and the visual and haptic experience of movement is represented in collages. Sacred sites categorized into vans (forests), kunds (water tanks), raas sthalis (sites for Krishna lila), temples, shrines. They are interpreted as narrative place markers and mnemonic devices that invite ritual enactment of Krishna stories and worship constituting the intangible heritage of Braj. It is argued that this form of heritage can be conserved and promoted though cultural landscape protection and management. A framework for conservation of Govardhan Hill is proposed for guiding policy programs, planning regulations, and design interventions. The objective is to reclaim, remediate, or restore not just individual sites but to set a standard for protection and development that can be followed throughout the conservation zone. The Hill is designated as a protected cultural landscape with a 500 feet buffer zone for regulated development. Design proposals depict ways in which the idealized landscape of Govardhan can be realized by restoring the grove and the kund that form the archetypal landscape unit. Reclaiming space for the prostrating pilgrim and holy wanderer is the goal for organizing movement in the landscape. Kunds that are the primary public space for the community as well as sites of ritual ablutions by pilgrims, and lined with temples and shrines are redesigned using the principle of ‘constructive surgery’ such that they become the major nodes on the circumambulatory tour of the Hill. Interpretive signage for guiding visitor movement and experience is proposed and a welcome center 02

for visitors is designed at Dan Ghati. A sanitation action plan is outlined for public spaces and for the local community and prototypes designed for toilets and recycling centers.

Fig. 1 Location of Braj in India

Fig. 1 Parikrama in Braj


Braj Region Braj is a narrative landscape associated with Krishna’s lila (playful deeds) and a place for pilgrimage since ancient times. Located 115 miles from Delhi, it is a part of three states and covers an area of 35 square miles. The river Yamuna flows on its eastern edge and towards the west are the outlying spurs of the Aravalli hilly range, among them the sacred Govardhan Hill. The landscape is primarily agricultural fields of wheat, millet, pulses, and sugarcane with a few remaining pockets of woodland and pasture. The ancient city of Mathura forms the nucleus of Braj, other settlements include Gokul, Vrindavan, Govardhan. Nandgaon and Barsana. The pastoral character of the landscape is reflected in toponymy and the defining events of Krishna’s life as he grows up in the

community of cowherders. Braj is derived from the Sanskrit root vraja meaning an enclosure of herdsmen, also as a place where cows wander, alluding to the nomadic character of the pastoral community. Braj has 12 large forests (vans) and 24 smaller forests (upavans), a total of 137 groves, 6 hills, innumerable kunds, and is inhabited by over 600 hamlets. Once an ecologically rich zone, much of its flora and fauna is lost. Only 3 groves remain out of 137, the western hills were illegally mined and the kunds, said to number over 1000, are drying up and are polluted. The holy river Yamuna is heavily polluted with sewage, its waters unfit for ritual bathing. Yet pilgrimage is flourishing and devotees from all over India continue to arrive in Braj in everincreasing numbers to do parikrama

(circumambulation), also known as ban yatra. The longest of these is the chaurasi kos (84 kos or 168 miles) parikrama that takes the pilgrims on the circumambulatory tour of the main forests and water bodies as well as the holy cities of Mathura and Vrindavan. The cultural heritage of Braj is extraordinarily rich in mythology and folklore sustained by natural and built-up sites reclaimed repeatedly over centuries. Architectural heritage represents a synthesis of Islamic and Hindu building traditions with historic buildings dating back to the sixteenth century. Archaeological remains and sculptures from the Buddhist period are found in Mathura and its hinterland. Folk art, dance form, dialects, cuisine—all add to the richness of the heritage

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corpus. Equally significant is its environmental heritage by which is meant not scenic splendors or natural sites of great beauty, but a transcendental view of nature resulting in human-nature interactions that are an inspiration for the environmental movement of the present times. “Certain sites reflect specific techniques of land use that guarantee and sustain biological diversity. Others, associated in the minds of the communities with powerful beliefs and artistic and traditional customs, embody an exceptional spiritual relationship of people with nature” (UNESCO World Heritage List Criteria). The cultural landscape of Braj represents a synthesis of cultural and environmental heritage that sustains spirituality and religious

activities on a large scale. It deserves to be included on the World Heritage List as it is an ‘outstanding example of humanity’s inter-relationship with nature’. Another significant criterion for inclusion is ‘sustainable land use’ exemplified in traditional pastoralism practiced in Braj. The pastoral-agrarian culture centering on the cow and its products is environmentally sustainable and is associated with a way of life rich in piety.

Fig. 3 Hills, Kunds, and Vans of Braj


Real and Imagined Landscapes of Braj

Fig. 4 Medieval Paintings and Govardhan Landscapes

The lotus is a recurring motif in Krishna imagery with Braj often represented as a twelve petal lotus. Lotus filled water bodies in a grove are the idyllic setting for Krishna and Radha’s romantic interludes. The juxtapositions of medieval paintings and contemporary photographs of Govardhan hint at both the connections and gaps between the imagined landscape and the reality. Govardhan is not a conical hill easily held aloft on the tip of a finger, but a long low ridge. Yamuna no longer flows close to the Hill but is found only in distant Vrindavan and Mathura. Although Govardhan is no longer abundant with vans in which Krishna and Radha engage on love-play in secluded kunj (arbor) and nikunj (bower), groves around the existing kunds can be envisioned with flowering creepers and shrubs capturing the same affect. Decorative marble pavilions framing Radha, Krishna and gopis (cowherdesses)no longer dominate the landscape, yet a few historic buildings in Govardhan and rest pavilions built recently recall the fluid indoor-outdoor continuum celebrated in paintings. Pairs of peacocks, cranes and doves, and creepers intertwined with trees in the paintings, symbolic of sexuality and the cycle of life are native to the region and frequently seen in Govardhan. The representation and the reality, although widely separated in time, may yet mirror each other.

Krishna Painting Radha’s Feet

Radha and Krishna

Feast in the Forest

The Month of Phalguna

Krishna Braiding Radha’s Hair

The Divine Pair

The Month of Bhadon

Krishna Converses with a Messenger

Mount Govardhan

Krishna and Radha Looking in a Mirror

Ladies Worship Krishna and Radha Krishna Upholds Mount Govardhan

Krishna and Radha on a Hilltop

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Krishna Holding Mount Govardhan


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Krishna takes many forms at Govardhan Hill—from crude stones to elaborately carved statuary. Then there are ephemeral displays like jhanki (tableaus), calendar art and billboards, and folk art sanjhi that enliven the landscape. Devotees worship rocks (govardhanshila) especially the ones with marks resembling footprints, faces, crowns and other signs. They visit the temples for darshan of his anthropomorphic form playing the flute or posing with Radha. In the montage, the blue Hill representing Krishna is the center marking both Govardhan’s importance in Braj and the central role that Krishna plays in the lives of his devotees. The Hill embodies Krishna and manifests his essential form (svarup). It is encircled with Krishna depictions, like a mandala within the larger Braj mandala. The lines reinforce the ritual of circumambulation and the sequential viewing of Krishan’s many forms—iconic and uniconic. Krishna’s transcendence given immanence in material forms dominates the landscape.

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Myths

Fig. 6 Landscapes of Myth

Govardhan abounds in myths. They animate the sites, are the theme of raas (dance), are depicted in visual culture of medieval paintings and folk art of jhanki and sanjhi, told and retold orally, and written down in texts. They fire the imagination of the devotee and add to the aura of a place. Myths can be divided into three categories: a) Krishna’s lifting of the Hill and his veneration as Giriraj, b) of Govardhan Hill itself and c) Krishna’s play with Radha and the gopis. Govardhan literally meaning ‘increaser of cattle’ was originally a site for cattle worship by the local tribes, who feasted and circumambulated it with their cows during festivals. The animated Hill worshipped primitively as a yaksha (local spirit) who could assume any form—bull, peacock, serpent—is

suggested by place names such as Manasi (serpent goddess) Ganga and Punchari (tail). This primeval worship was co-opted in Puranic lore that celebrated the story of boy Krishna or Krishna-gopala lifting the Hill as a defining element in establishing his prowess. The story narrated in rock-cut sculptures and voluminous number of paintings describes that when Krishna saw preparations being made for the annual offerings to Indra, the god of rain, he tells his father Nanda and other herdsmen that they should worship the Hill itself since it brings them rain, verdure, milk and food. Wrathful Indra sends incessant rains for a week causing floods. Krishna then lifted Govardhan and held it up on his little finger to protect his people and cattle. Indra accepted Krishna’s supremacy and paid him 06

obeisance. Govardhan known as ‘Giriraj’, the king of hills and Krishna became one and the same, an idea manifested in the emergence of Shri Nath statue (an arm rising out of the Hill) in the fifteenth century. Krishna is fed large quantities of food during the festival of Annakut and the village Aniyor itself get its name from Krishna calling out, ‘An Or, An Or’, ‘bring more, bring more’. The vans and kunds of Govardhan are the settings for Krishna and Radha’s encounters, their misunderstandings and reconciliation, and their raas. Pahari paintings show the pair and their friends in a green, rolling landscape with a river or pond in the foreground, occasionally a settlement on the horizon. Some paintings show an intimate space (kunj) framed by trees and creepers where Radha and Krishna are dancing

or locked in an embrace. Often they are surrounded by a circle of gopis. Other sites such as Dan Ghati are also represented showing a narrow pass in a hilly landscape where Krishna blocks the way of gopis taking their milk and curds to the other side of Govardhan. He demands a tax for letting them use the pass and the gopis have to pay it with some of their milk products.


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Haveli Mani Kandali Cave

Dandavat Sila

Doka Dauji

Panch Tirth Kund

Balram Mukut Sila Nathji Mandir Narsimha Mandir Apsara Bihari Mandir Lautha Baba Mandir

Indra Puja Pujari Room Airavat’s Footprint

Ras Sthali

Samadhis Mandir

Dani Raya Mandir

Radha Govind Mandir Indra Tila

Gopal Mandir Siva Mandir

Old Temple

Dan Ghat Mandir

Mukharvind

Laxmi Narayan Mandir

ISKCON Mandir

Radha’s Footprint

Ratna Simhasan Krishna’s Footprint

Samadhi Kunj Bihari Matha

Uddhava Mandir

Manasidevi Mandir

Harideva Mandir

Gwalior Mandir

Chaitanya’s Seat

Fig. 7 Temple, Raas-Sthalis, and Footprints

The corpus of legends is rather large imbuing the landscape with sacrality of Krishna and sanctity of his devotees. Myths are overlaid with legends of medieval Vaishnavite saints who reclaimed Govardhan for parikrama and worship and chose to make it their home. Krishna’s life and deeds celebrated in textual and visual genres and in performance art is a locative form of religiosity that grounds the narratives in place, i.e. in sthalis, samadhis (cenotaphs), baithaks (seating place of saints) and footprints. Among them the raas sthali is a concrete marker of Krishan’s dance with Radha and other gopis. Since medieval times oral tradition has included a form of dance-drama known as raas-lila. Krishna’s circular dance with the gopis enacted along with other incidents from life is performed at 07

the raas sthalis in Braj, especially in the monsoon when the number of pilgrims doing the parikrama is at its peak. At Govardhan too are raassthalis, the one marked in most pilgrim maps is in the proximity of Ratna Kund amidst a grove.

basis for a theology in which the soul is regarded as feminine, The mutual love of Krishna and the gopis is looked upon as the supreme parable of the relationship between god and the soul (Entwistle,1987, p. 64.)

Watching the raas gives an opportunity to cultivate emotion appropriate for the occasion leading to the desirable goal of bhakti (devotion). Raas-lila celebrates the intense devotion of gopis in love with Krishna who experience shringar rasa (erotic sentiment). The devotee can identify with the gopi by imitating her moods and feelings for Krishna. Thus he could vicariously participate in the Lord’s divine past times and sublimate erotic feelings in the form of bhakti.

The ideal setting for raas appropriately enough is in lush garden-grove, Eden like in its setting, where nature is benign and bountiful and serves to intensify feelings and establish the mood. Rasa (essence of emotion) is shared between nature and the viewer, creating a similitude between the subjective state of the beholder, enactor and trees, flowers, clouds, birds and animals. Aesthetic sense is not divorced from the spiritual and nature inspires both.

Identification with the gopis in the


Vans

Fig. 8 Vegetation along the Path

Although the Govardhan Hill and its surrounding landscape appear to be deforested, much effort by the State Forestry Department is going towards replanting. It is very likely that in the past Govardhan was much lusher than it is presently. One only needs to examine the medieval paintings for that evidence. The idealized landscape depictions show intimate tree groves, kunj and nikunj, abundant water bodies, and diverse fauna. The vans as wilderness contain untamed forces of nature symbolized by the lurking demons that Krishna kills, for example the bull-demon Arishtasur and calf-demon Vatsasur. To expiate the sin and purify himself Krishna creates Shyam Kund and Manasi Ganga. The groves and the kunds situated amidst them are a perfect setting of Krishna’s amorous 08

dalliances with the gopis of Braj. Nature’s association with sexuality unfettered by social norms finds expression in visual and textual representations of this space. Trees are symbols as well—Tamal of Krishna, and Kadamb of Radha—and are frequently found in pairs.


As remnants of the sublime landscape of Govardhan, the trees captured in this collage instill a sense of wonder and beauty, a quality that is not yet completely absent from Braj. These traces of groves serve as reminders of what once was and has the potential to be again. Trees form a protective enclosure for parakeets and peacocks, as well as for the fatigued pilgrim. They serve as visual frames of a landscape view, as place markers of Krishna narratives, as wayside shrines and resting places, and as nodes on the pilgrim path taking one to spiritual and physical wanderings through the landscape. Evidence of their care is visible in the labeling of the tree species, protective brick and wooden barriers placed around the saplings, and the colorful saffron ribbons tied to branches.

Fig. 9 Flora and Fauna of Govardhan

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Kunds Fig. 10 Govardhan Kunds

Traditionally the kunds, situated in the midst of vans were picturesque settings for amorous pastimes of Krishna and Radha. They were also sites of propitiation of Krishna by other gods. Some are ponds with an irregular edge; others are built up as square and rectangular tanks with ghats (steps) and burjs (platforms) with ornate carvings. Ramps provide the cattle access to water. A shrine or a temple close to the kund celebrates the deity associated with the event believed to have taken place at that spot in mythic time. The temple/shrine, kund, and van form the archetypal configuration, repeated as a modular unit in the Govardhan cultural landscape. For example Kusum Sarovar is situated amidst Ashok Van, Ratna Kund in Pushpa Van, Gval Pokhara in Shyam Van, Sakhi Kund in Sakhi Van, Kilol Kund in Kelan Van, Vilachu Kund in Vilachu Van, Gauri Kund in Gauri Van, Surabhi Kund in Surabhi Van, Indra Kund in Kadamb Van, Sutala Kund in Sutala Van, and Apsara Kund in Apsara Van. The kund-vantemple is a node in the parikrama circuit, where the pilgrim has the opportunity to obtain darshan, rest, listen to a discourse, perform ablutions, and reflect on the story just heard. Kunds have utilitarian purposes as well. They are a source of water to

cattle and for irrigation of fields and orchards. As hamlets and villages grow around them, they become primary social spaces, a public commons of sorts. They are used for kirtans (devotional chants) and bhajans (devotional songs), public gatherings on festivals, are sites for cleansing rituals such as tonsure and purificatory baths to remove pollution, a place to hang out and meet friends. Religious and secular activities interweave creating a rich fabric of vibrant public life. Although the actual number of kunds in Govardhan is far less than the imagined 108, it is large enough for them to vary in size, location, and building structures. As many as 23 kunds in and around Govardhan Hill are visited by pilgrims in the course of parikrama. Some kunds are fed by natural springs, others are rain-fed and are replenished by surface flow. A few kunds are built in pairsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Radha-Shyam, ApsaraNaval, Rudra-Harijuâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with one catching the overflow of the other. The high ground water table in the region is attested to by a large number of wells. Wetlands found on the northern part of the Hill supply water to the kunds in that area. The Agra Canal and its Govardhan distributary irrigate the farm fields and probably serve as a water source to the kunds as well. 10


Distribution

Collection

Catchment

Fig. 11 Site Hydrology

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Fig. 12 Site Context of Kunds

Govardhan kunds can be divided into two groups--those at the foothill and others at a distance from the Hill. A few among those close to the Hill-- Radha-Shyam Kunds, Manasi Ganga, and Govind Kund--are surrounded by high density settlements. Others such as Ratna Kund, Surabhi Kund, Hariju Kund, and Airavat Kund are located within groves. Dan Nivartan Kund, Charanamrit Kund, and Kusum Sarovar, close to the Hill but adjacent to the road, have groves or dense planting surrounding them. Those away from the Hill such as Vilachu Kund, Gauri Kund, Kilol Kund, Sakhi Kund, and Narad Kund, once surrounded by vans are now situated amidst farm fields. Yet others such as Jugal Kund, Malyahari Kund, and Indra Kund have mixed land-usesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;farms, housing, and

remnant forest surrounding them. Today many kunds lack water or their water quality is degraded because of algae and sedimentation. The traditional system of water harvesting, collection and distribution appears to have become dysfunctional. The groves have been replaced by farms and housing resulting in water pollution. Community maintenance of the kunds seems to be lacking. For protection and restoration of the Govardhan kunds, it is necessary to have a landscape planning and management policy that addresses their environmental context (location in the watershed, surrounding land-uses), water supply and quality, and integration into the pilgrimage circuit. Foothill kunds are accessible from the 12

pilgrim path and are used as vishram sthals by the pilgrim. They collect run-off from the Hill and with well functioning gravity-fed water conveyance system, need not be short of water supply. Those amidst dense settlements have poor water quality because of lack of sewer system, drainage from streets, waste water from adjoining houses and cleaning activities. It is necessary that storm water drainage be directed away from the kunds, an area set aside for cleaning and its water filtered and recycled for irrigating orchards and gardens. The kunds in groves are closest to the ideal image and should be restored and developed as vishram and padav sthals. The outlying kunds surrounded by farms should be designated as protected zones with a 200 ft buffer where groves

should be replanted. They should be integrated into the parikrama circuit through access pathways and signage.


Settlements

Topography

The sacred sites of Govardhan Hill have attracted human settlements over time occupied by people who farm, herd livestock, and benefit from the local economy generated by pilgrimage. Of the five villages— Radha Kund, Govardhan, Jatipura, Aniyor, and Punchari—Govardhan is the largest and can be categorized as a town with 18,000 residents. In addition there are several new subdivisions laid out in a grid pattern. The settlements are oriented around the sacred kunds— Govardhan Town is built around Manasi Ganga, a dense settlement (also known as Arista) surrounds Radha-Shyam Kunds, Jetipura has Hariju and adjoining Rudra Kunds, Aniyor has Govind and Sankashana Kunds, and Apsara and Naval Kunds are the foci of Punchari Village. The settlements have nucleated and clustered pattern with few public open spaces except the kunds and their adjoining open areas. The street pattern is hierarchical consisting of the main road that serves as the major artery and links with the local roads and the inner parikrama path. The local roads consist of the main or collector roads linked to the tertiary streets leading to housing clusters. The street network is oriented around the kunds with many streets in the village leading up to them. The figure ground analysis of building structures and open spaces reveals a courtyard configuration with private open space within the individual house or within a housing cluster. The public open spaces are around the kunds or in maidans on the edge of settlements. In addition there is vacant land created by demolished buildings. The building structures are residential, commercial and religious in their uses.

Govardhan Hill is actually a long, low ridge, part of the Aravalli mountain range, rising not more than 100 feet above the surrounding plain. The villages of Jatipura and Aniyor nestle against the Hill where it crests, while Punchari village lies at its southern foot. A break in its profile at mid-range known as Dan Ghati or Talhati is a prominent point of arrival from Mathura just south of the flourishing town of Govardhan. On its north, the Hill is visible for a short distance only, tapering off well before one reaches Radhakund village. There are few structures on the sacred Hill with the exception of Gopala and Shiva temples above Jaitpura and Aniyor villages and Doka Dauji temple to its north. Thus there are few locations from where panoramic views of the landscape can be obtained, as circumambulation occurs at the foot with pilgrims seldom climbing the Hill. The rocky boulders of the Hill with its green patches are always visible towards one’s right as one is doing parikrama.

Fig. 13 Land Use Patterns

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Fig. 14 Topography and Viewsheds

650 630 610 590 570 550

650 630 610 590 570 550

650 630 610 590 570 550

650 630 610 590 570 550

650 630 610 590 570 550 530

Puchri

685 670 655 640 625 610 595

Aniyor/Jatipur

Govardhan

Syama Kutir

Parikrama Path

Radha Kund

View to Gopal Mandir

Mt. Govardhan at Govinda Kund View to Jatipur Village

View to Mt. Govardhan from Don Ghati

View to Aniyor Village

Mt. Govardhan at Syam Kutir

Mt. Govardhan at Puchhari Village

Mt. Govardhan at Manasi Ganga 14


Govardhan Enacted The cultural landscape of Govardhan has evolved as a result of complex intersections between ritual practice, folk beliefs, and place myths. It is believed that Uddhava, Krishna’s friend and messenger was the first pilgrim to Govardhan going there to give solace to the gopis who were distraught with the departure of Krishna to Mathura. A century later Vrajnabha, Krishna’s great-grandson arrived from Dvraka to reclaim sacred sites, build temples and install Krishna’s images. Worship, circumambulation, and raas enacted legends that had grown around specific sites, thus keeping the memories of Krishna’s times alive. The ritual re-enactment created an inner reality of Krishna’s presence in the landscape. Thereafter the sites fell into ruin until they were once again reclaimed in the sixteenth century by charismatic saints—Narayan Bhatt, Chaitanya, Vallabha, Madhavendra Puri, and Raghunath Das—who re-discovered kunds and deities buried in the ground during Islamic invasions, had visionary experiences of Radha and Krishna, composed books and established the pilgrimage circuit. Madhavendra Puri discovered the deity of Krishna Gopal in the jungle when he was resting after completing the parikrama of Govardhan Hill and installed him in a temple on top of the Hill in 1479. Vallabha had a vision of Krishna and the gopis when he visited Govardhan in 1494 and bathed in Chandra Sarovar, He founded the Pushti Marg sect that considers Govardhan to be the primary site for raas. Chaityana found the lost Radhakund when he visited in 1515, cicumambulated Govardhan and not wanting to climb the Hill, had a vision of Krishna Gopal who came down from his

temple on the top to meet him in a grove. Narayan Dutt discovered the four sacred water bodies in 1545: Manasi Ganga, Kusum Sarovar, Govindkund, and Chandra Sarovar, among other sites and composed the text Vraj Bhakti Vilasa that mapped the Braj Mandal and laid out the itinerary for Ban Yatra or the journey through the twelve forests. According to David Haberman (1994; p.54): “The sixteenth century was the time of a great ‘coming-out’ party in which the material forms of Braj culture were ‘uncovered and revealed.’ In this regard the activities of Braj in the sixteenth century provide us with a rare glimpse into a process whereby myth directly influences history.” The saints are memorialized at those very spots where they had visionary experiences and chose to spend long periods of time. The memorial structures are Samadhi containing the ashes or some other relic of the saint, bhajan kutir (hut) where the saint used to sing about Krishna or chant his name, and baithak (literally seat enshrined in a small building) where the saint meditated and composed devotional poetry. Chaityana’s baithak is on near Shyam Kund, Raghunath Das’s on Radha Kund while near Manasi Ganga is the bhajan kutir of Santan Goswami, disciple of Chaityana. Vallabh’s baithak is in Jatipura near Mukhararvind, and Madhavendra Puri’s bhajan kutir is on the banks of Govind Kund. These commemorative structures are mnemonic place markers serving to remind one not only of the saints and their visionary experiences but also of Krishna’s appearance and his divine lila at that place.

Through centuries transcendental and aesthetic experiences have been fostered though walking, sensory immersion in worship rituals, and participation in raaslila at specific sites of Govardhan. Visual imagery and somatic experience created through movement in the landscape shape the inner vision of the believer and make a profound impression upon the casual visitor. The village life revolves around temple rituals and festivals. Kunds are community spaces where people gather to listen to discourses, sing bhajans, and read the holy books. At all times the faithful can be found doing their parikrama on the road or the inner path, some walking rapidly while others prostrate on the ground. The landscape is conceptualized, visualized, and inscribed in the body in these movement patterns.

15


People

The montage of the Govardhan people captures the manifold ways in which mundane life coalesces with the rituals of parikrama and worship. Although life in the temple towns is materially impoverished, it is spiritually rich. The struggle to live is etched on the faces of people, yet they show a contentment and serenity that is hard to trace in other places in the modern world.

Fig. 15 People

16


Sacra

Given the large number of temples and shrines, the settlements can be called temple towns or villages. The temples are the major landmarks while nonreligious institutions are few. They drive the local economy with a self-generated demand for sacred objects essential for temple worship rituals. Shops and vendors sell prasad (food offerings to the gods), rudrakash malas (prayer beads), incense, Krishna and Radha icons, fresh flowers and much else, useful for everyday ritual activities. The sacred objects are also popular collectibles. Space is notional, created through temporal appropriationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a wall and its adjoining piece of ground becomes the site for display, buying and selling during festivals that bring throngs of worshippers to the temples and kunds on the parikrama path. These spaces and objects create a dynamic landscape layer, ever-changing and in constant flux, adding to vibrancy. They enrich the visitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visual, olfactory and haptic experience. Wayside shops often become places of social engagement where people stop for informal conversation. Chants and temple bells generate a powerfully resonant acoustic landscape at dawn and dusk.

Fig. 16 Commerce

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Rituals and Festivals

Fig. 17 Ritual and Festival Sites

Janmashtami (Krishnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birthday) celebrated in the month of Shravan (August-September) on the eight day of the second fortnight according to the lunar calendar. It is the preeminent festival of Braj and of Govardhan as well when the devotees bathe in Radha-Shayam Kunds. The festivities reach their peak at midnight heralding the birth of Krishna, amidst the blowing of conches, waving of lamps and joyous singing. The festival of Diwali in the months of October-November is celebrated with great gusto by people who circumambulate Manasi Ganga and float diyas (clay lamps with cotton wicks) on its waters. It is believed that they turn milky on this occasion. The day after Diwali, Govardhan Puja is done at home and in the temples involving the offering of grand feast, Annakut 18

to Krishna when a vast variety of foods (chappan bhog) is prepared and displayed before the deity. At Jatipura, a rock face known as pujani shila or mukharavind (lotus face) is bathed with milk, water from Manasi Ganga, decorated and feasted. The milk and food are distributed to the devotees as mahaprasad. The festival of cows, Gopashtami is celebrated on the eight day of Kartik (NovemberDecember) when they are bathed, decorated, worshipped, and fed. The colorful spring festival of Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Phagun (February-march) in Braj. Parikrama on the new or full moon day is considered auspicious although it may be done any time. On the full moon of Ashadh (JuneJuly), parikrama is done at night just when the monsoon is arriving.


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Appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Festival of Jagannatha Misra Rama Navami

Vishnu Masa

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AARTI MANGLA

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Appearance of Sita Nrsimha Caturdasi Krsna Phula Dola, Salila Vihara Tulasi Jala Dan ends

Trivikram Masa

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Guru (Vyasa) Purnima

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Govind

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Sri Krsna Pusya abhiseka

Madhav Masa

Siva Ratri Appearance of Caitanya

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Tulasi Jala Dan begins Purshottam Masa

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Ganga Puja Panihati Cida Dahi Utsava Snana Yatra Ratha Yatra Hera Pancami

PRAVACHAN AARTI SHRINGAR AARTI RAJBHOG AARTI SAYAN

Radha Govinda Jhulana Yatra begins TEMPLE TIMINGS Jhulana Yatra ends Lord Balarama -- Appearance Sri Krsna Janmastami Nandotsava Srimati Sita Thakurani (Sri Advaita's consort) -- Appearance Radhastami Sri Krsna Saradiya Rasayatra, Laksmi Puja Appearance of Radha Kunda, snana dana, Bahulastami Dipa dana, Dipavali, (Kali Puja) Go Puja. Go Krda. Govardhana Puja, Bali Daityaraja Puja Jagaddhatri Puja First day of Bhisma Pancaka Ganga Sagara Mela, Makara Sankranti Vasanta Pancami, Sarasvati Puja Bhismastami Varaha Dvadasi Sri Krsna Madhura Utsava Festival of Jagannatha Misra Rama Navami Sri Balarama Rasayatra Sri Krsna Vasanta Rasa Tulasi Jala Dan ends. Candana Yatra starts Appearance of Sita Devi Nrsimha Caturdasi Krsna Phula Dola, Salila Vihara

Trivikram Masa

YATRA

Sri Balarama Rasayatra Tulasi Jala Dan begins Candana Yatra starts

GURU PUJA

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ISKON GOVARDHAN BARSANA NANDGAON JANAM STHAN DWARKA DHEESH VISHRAM GHAT BIRLA MANDIR

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Fig. 18 Ritual and Festival Calendar

The daily and annual round of temple rituals focuses on Krishna's life in Braj. For example what is known (and imagined) about the child Krishna's daily cycle is commemorated in eight-fold cycle of worship--mangala (act of awakening), shringar (decoration), govala (grazing the cows), rajbhog (meal at noon), uthapan (awakening from the mid-day nap), bhoga (light meal), sandhya (twilight when the cows are brought home), and shyan (retirement for the night). Each event is celebrated in the form of darshan and aarti of the temple deity, the occasion providing opportunities for anenhanced experience. This vivid re-enactment of events in Krishna's life with the consecrated temple idols brings into present the distant reality. Bhakti and associated bhavs 19

generated by an aspect of Krishna’s life are facilitated by a concrete focus. The multi-sensorial experiences— visual, acoustic, olfactory, and haptic—induce a set of heightened awareness. Doing darshan, singing of kirtans and bhajans, ringing of bells and manjira (cymbals), the smells of flowers and food, walking and prostrations, taking a dip in the kunds, touching the sacred stones and feet of deities, and dancing engage the body totally with the environment, immersing it in sights, sounds, and smell. Time appears to be suspended in the heightened perception of space. Spatio-temporal boundaries shift and stretch, producing an altered state of consciousness, a total forgetfulness of self, and engagement of all senses in the

reality of Krishna. This state of being, called flow, occurs through combination of the devotee’s personal faith and the powerful charge that the environment produces. Undoubtedly this experiential state is induced by the mental disposition of the devotee who has come prepared to seek Krishna’s blessings.


Pilgrimage

Fig. 19 Parikrama on the Road

Pilgrimage to Govardhan essentially is parikrama or circumambulation of the Hill, widely regarded as the most sacred natural feature in all of Braj. In circling the Hill one comes back to same spot one had begun, there is no reaching a center or arriving at the destination as the climactic event of a journey rather a series of places (tanks, temples, sthalis) are visited on the way. The practice is archaic and originates in the Brajvasis (Residents of Braj) circumambulation of the Hill as a propitiation rite to the hill deity/ Giriraj. The purpose of parikrama is not to acquire material benefits in this life or gain spiritual benefit in the after- or next-life but to experience ananda (bliss) through immersion in the landscape associated with Krishnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lila. Parikrama is done by walking in 20

the landscape, it is a somatic experience wherein the body feels the textures of the ground plane and other surfaces, the eyes see what is close by and in the distance, the ears take in the sounds of nature and people, and the nose is assailed by fragrances and odors. The aches and pains of strenuous walking are viscerally felt as is the exhilaration of successfully completing the fourteen mile long parikrama. Some pilgrims do dandauti/dandavat parikrama by repeated prostrations and among them are those who do 108 ritual prostrations using the stones of Govardhan for counting. While walking around Govardhan takes eight hours, ritual prostrations can take up to three months and when done with 108 stones, two years or so.


The road around Govardhan has provided an alternative to walking--the rickshaw/tonga cuts down the journey by half, while mechanized transport such as the car, van, or bus reduces it to thirty minutes. Pilgrims pressed for time or unwilling or unable to walk thus choose the easy way, and insulate themselves from directly experiencing the environment. In an automobile one sees the landscape, likely a blurred vision through the windshield but does not feel, touch, hear, or smell what it has to offer. In walking the body is the vessel for the dust, water, sun and shade afforded by the path, inside the car one is in a bubble, only watching the Hill, shops, cattle, people rush by.

Fig. 20 Vision and Haptic Experience

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Regional Circulation

Fig. 21 Circulation Network of Govardhan

The circulation network is hierarchical ranging from broad state highways, major road around Govardhan, narrow town streets, to tiny village lanes. The highway connecting Mathura to Deeg/ Gantholi connects Govardhan to the region and brings pilgrims in large numbers to Dan Ghati. Vrindavan and Barsana, other Braj towns are also connected to Govardhan. Parikrama usually begins at Dan Ghati arrival point and proceeds clockwise around the Hill. Shorter parikramas around Radha-Shyam Kunds and Manasi Ganga are common as well. Other kunds also have circumambulatory pathways around them that are in turn linked to the village lanes. The inner path hugging the foot of Govardhan Hill can be reached from the outer road, but exists only south of Dan Ghati. 22


Govardhan Reclaimed:

Landscape Planning, Design and Management Proposals

Proposals for kund restoration, van regeneration, development of signage and rest facilities, traffic management, public sanitation improvement, bird sanctuary and wildlife corridor come together in the Master Plan of Govardhan Hill. The comprehensive planning and design proposals do not fence the Hill from people but reclaim it as sacred ground and for ecocultural tourism destination such that heritage becomes a public good for pilgrims and tourists alike. The sites in the inner core of the protected zone of Govardhan Hill are reclaimed as sacred sthalis and narrative landscapes interpreted for pilgrims and other visitors. Their redesign is based upon the imagined landscape of Govardhan, the transcendental vision that has captured the imagination of Hindus over centuries. This reclamation is the latest in a series that date back to antiquity, the most recent appropriation occurring about five centuries ago when Islamic iconoclasm destroyed the Braj temples. The redesigns reduce the dissonance between vision and reality, enhance the experience of pilgrimage, and introduce the environmental and cultural heritage of Govardhan to visitors. 23


Numbered Sites

Eco-Cultural Tourism

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Gulal Kund

4 Kusum Sarovar

Apsara Kund

Rudra Kund Airavat Kund

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Indra Kund

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Naval Kund

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Govind Kund Radha Govind Temple

Temple of Dani Reya

Old Siva Temple

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Siva-khari Uddhav Kund Radha Kund

Palace of the Kings of Bharatapura

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Radha’s Charanamrat Footprints Kund

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Panch Temple of Tirtha Kund Lord Harideva

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Danivartan Kund

Gopala Raj Temple

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Rinamocan Kund

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Kilola Kund

Gopal Pokhar

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Ratna Kund

Shyam Kund Lalita Kund

Jugal Kund

Kusum Sarovar

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Narada Kund

Sankarsana Kund Temple of Madan-Mohana

16 Gauri Kund

25 Airavat Kund 26 Gulal Kund 27 Vilachu Kund 28 Uddhav Kund 29 Temple of Madan-Mohana 30 Old Siva Temple 31 Gopala Raja Temple 32 Temple of Dani Raya 33 Dan Ghati Temple 34 Temple of Mukharavind 35 Palace of the Kings of Bharatapura 36 Temple of Lord Harideva

Legend

Surabhi Kund

Dan Ghati Temple

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Manasi-Ganga

Brahma Kund Braj

1 Radha Kund 2 Shyam Kund 3 Lalita Kund 4 Kusum Sarovar 5 Narada Kund 6 Ratna Kund 7 Jugal Kund 8 Kilola Kund 9 Panch Tirtha Kund 10 Manasi-Ganga 11 Brahma Kund 12 Rinamocan Kund

Chandra sarovar

Sacred Grove Cultural Site Water Body Inner Path Road Rest Stop Campground Information

Krishna and Rhada on a Hilltop

30 Old Siva Temple

32 Temple of Dani Raya

34 Temple of Mukharavind

33 Dan Ghati Temple

Amaltus Cassia fistula

Sights and Sounds

Historic Buildings

29 Temple of Madan-Mohana

Krishna Braiding Rhada’s Hair

Sita Ashoka Saraca asoca

31 Gopala Raja Temple

35 Palace of the Kings of Bharatapura

36 Temple of Lord Harideva

Pipal Tree Ficus religiosa

Pink Lotus Nelumbo nueifera

Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus Peacock Pavo cristatus

Gray Heron Ardea cinerea

Swamp Deer

Rucervus duvaucelli

Krishna Coverses with a Messanger

Reverse

Front

Fig. 22 Eco-Cultural Tourism

In addition to awarding it a protected status as a cultural landscape zone, the aim of the landscape planning and management proposals is to make Govardhan Hill a destination for eco-cultural tourism. This would create opportunities for economic investment, upgrade infrastructure, consolidate and separate conflicting activities, and introduce best practices for public sanitation and maintenance of public spaces. Govardhan possesses both environmental and cultural heritage, and together these resources can be managed and interpreted for eco-cultural tourism. Govardhan, as other parts of Braj, was and is a pastoral landscape supported by an agrarian economy that sustains itself by harnessing

the bounties of mother earth and using cattle as a resource. Nature veneration seen in the worship of mountain, tree, water, cattle, and snake is evident in Govardhan sites and their worship rituals. The protection of vans, kunds, cattle and wildlife should thus be of paramount concern since they are primary components of a cultural landscape that is unique and educational for the present times with its environmental problems. In the cultural landscape of Braj, sacrality interweaves with mundane aspects of life. The erotic and animistic aspects of nature are sublimated in a religious tradition that emphasizes transcendence through bhakti (devotion). The daily rites of worship, festivals, and pilgrimage are forms of intangible heritage fostered by the physical 24

landscape. The enactment of bhakti is made possible by the serene natural settings of kunds and groves and by place markers such as sthalis, bhajan-kutirs, samadhis of saints, shrines and temples. Although Govardhan lacks famous monuments, there are historic palaces, pavilions and temples built in the 18th century by the Jat rulers of Bharatpur. In the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s tolerant reign, Raja Man Singh of Amber built the ghats of sacred kunds. The architectural legacy of Govardhan represents a blend of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles as evident in the chhatris (domed kiosks), chajjas, domes, and floral and geometric carved motifs in frescoes and stonework. The historic buildings should be listed, protected and restored by the State Archaeology

Department. A few can be adaptively re-used as interpretive centers and museums showcasing Govardhan’s heritage. Pilgrimage, a form of religious tourism can be extended to include those visitors who come not with the purpose of attaining spiritual benefit but to be acquainted with a way of life rooted in the sacred cultural landscape. Visitor infrastructure is needed to support the requirements of visitors ranging from the devout pilgrim to the casual tourist. Interpretive programs, maps and guides in various languages, signage, lodging, eateries, and public conveniences are essential for promoting ecocultural tourism.


Govardhan Heritage Trust Fig. 23 Stakeholders of Govardhan Cultural Heritage Landscape Zone

The many stakeholders who have an interest in the protection, conservation, and management of Govardhan cultural landscape zone are presently functioning independently of each other. This state of affairs results in fragmented public landscape lacking a cohesive system of pilgrim facilities and patchy maintenance. For landscape conservation and management, Govardhan Heritage Trust, composed of representatives from all stakeholders, including the resident community, is proposed. This unit will be the over-arching body responsible for regulating and developing the protected zone. It will co-ordinate among the stakeholders with the aim of bringing about a consensus in case of conflicting viewpoints and interests. Govardhan Hill is largely managed by Uttar Pradesh State Forestry Department although the farm fields and settlements at the lower elevations are privately owned. Radhakund, Jatipura, Aniyor, and Punchari villages are governed by the panchayats, as is Govardhan town. The three prominent religious institutions, Gaudiya Sampradaya, Pushti Marg Sampradaya, and

ISKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), have a presence. The State Archaeology Department owns and manages the Kusum Sarovar historic site. Uttar Pradesh Jal Board is active in cleaning up large kunds such as Manasi Ganga and is developing the street drainage system around Govind Kund. The non-governmental organizations Braj Foundation and Braj Tirth Trust are interested in Govardhan conservation and improving pilgrim facilities. For developing eco-cultural tourism and managing the protected cultural landscape of Govardhan Hill, it is recommended that the private organizations form a Trust and work with Uttar Pradesh Tourism, Forestry, Archaeology Departments, Jal Board, Public Works Department, and Mathura and Vrindavan Development Authority. The partnership between private and government institutions is essential to improve the common, public landscape. The local residents have a significant stake and should be represented in the Heritage Trust. Without community participation, all development and management plans will have limited success. 25


Core and Buffer Zones

Encroaching Development

Consequences Increased Traffic Loss of Public Land Commercialization of Religion Farmers displaced Pressure on existing infrastructure Privatization by outside realtors Degredation of Pilgrimage Path

38 acres

13 acres

179 acres

Core Area = 934 acres 9 acres

38 acres 15 acres

11 acres

192 acres

9 acres

64 acres

Total Developed Areas Existing and Proposed 550 acres Two Buffer Types Needed: Rock/Orchard Belts - to discourage settlements from further growth outwards, these should be 40 ft in width located on the borders of existing villages. Future expansion should be directed away from the hill. Scenic Preserves - to protect the heritage of Govardhan and its peripheral landscape, a 500 ft buffer zone from outside the road and villages is needed. All features within this zone are subject to conservation so that no new development may occur.

Expanding Villages Fig.24 Encroachment on Govardhan Hill

The Hill should be a protected cultural landscape zone as it is under threat of encroaching development by private realtors. The existing settlements too are expanding and the temples trusts are building huge edifices. Much of this development is on the outer road leading to loss of farmland, increased traffic and pressures on existing infrastructure, and privatization of public spaces. Commercialization of sacred grounds and of religion itself is all too evident. Presently about 934 acres of the Hill are un-built while the total developed area including historic settlements is 550 acres. The Hill should form the core of the protected zone and its buffer would be the outer road and 500 feet beyond. No further development 26

should occur in the core area and all vacant land should be acquired and converted into forests for wild life habitat and sacred groves. The buffer area should be regulated in its land-use with only agricultural and orchards and groves allowed. This easement is essential to protect the Hill from encroachment. A tree belt is proposed to delineate the core and buffer zones.


Fig. 25 Core and Buffer Zones

To prevent the existing settlements from expanding and encroaching on the Hill, protective natural barriers such as rock outcroppings, orchards, and community grazing lands are proposed. No further development should be allowed to occur around outlying kunds and they too should have a grove of sacred trees (Kadamb, Tamal, Pipal, Banyan) planted in a 500 feet radius around the water body.

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Environmental Issues

Fig. 26 Environmental Issues

The Hill is under severe stress caused by neglect, over-use and lack of maintenance of the public spaces. Many kunds lack water and others have poor quality due to collection of garbage on their edges, drainage of domestic waste water, washing and cleaning by people, and animal wastes. Although the State Forestry Department is planting trees at the foothill, site observations showed that local residents cut down trees for wood leading to patches of deforestation. Over-grazing by cattle and digging for mud as a building material brings about barren stretches where top soil is loosened. Soil erosion and lack of water pose a problem in replanting efforts. Visitor facilities are clearly inadequate. The number of signs is few causing problems in way28

finding. Lack of legibility means that many sacred kunds and sthalis are unknown and due to poor access, are not visited at all. The rest areas are few and far in-between. They are largely brick platforms built around the trees and are not large enough to accommodate big groups of pilgrims. Drinking water and food is sold by vendors near the settlements only. The lack of public toilets is a health hazard. Absence of lighting on the road and parikrama path makes nighttime walking and prostrating difficult.


Sanitation Program

Public sanitation in Govardhan is inadequate. Trash collects at temples and kunds because of the large number of visitors with no system of garbage collection and disposal. The litter in settlements creates an unhygienic living space for residents. Human excreta in the open drains and animal carcasses are a source of infectious diseases. Waste water from houses finds its way into the kunds which are used for washing clothes as well. The dirty water contaminated with chemicals from soap is also used for ritual ablutions. Landscape management should include sanitation planning and programs that involve systematic collection, disposal, recycling and reuse of garbage, separation of ritual ablutions from cleansing activities in the kunds, and provision of public toilets.

Fig. 27 Sanitation Program

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Traffic Management

Fig. 28 Parking System

Vehicular traffic poses an environmental hazard to Govardhan Hill, causing air pollution, noise, and possibility of accidents resulting in injury and loss of life. It is necessary to build a by-pass for heavy traffic of trucks so that they do not cross Dan Ghati. Other vehicular traffic around the Hill should be discouraged as it disturbs the walking and prostrating pilgrim and causes congestion in the narrow village lanes. The lack of designated parking means that vehicles are parked anywhere and everywhere further adding to congestion. For traffic management in Govardhan, a parking/exchanging system is proposed. At Dan Ghati, two major parking nodes are designed. Here buses and vehicles will be parked and a bicyclerickshaw or non-gasoline powered 30

smaller vehicle taken for doing the parikrama by those who do not wish to or can not do it on foot. This exchange program is essential for reducing vehicular traffic in Govardhan. The parking complex has car and bus parking lanes, rickshaw rental with vending space, accommodation for bus and car drivers, indoor market and restaurant, and roofed corridors with seating that serve as waiting areas. A number of rickshaw stops are designed along the outer road to take pilgrims to kunds and temples.


Fig. 29 Parking Design

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Road Redesign

Fig. 30 Road and Path Sections

The road around the Govardhan Hill, built about two decades ago, while facilitating access has become the major stressor to the landscape. It has brought with it new residential and commercial development that has displaced the local communities and disturbed the local ecology. New structures have encroached on the road shoulder and are in the path of parikrama and ritual prostrations. Noisy and rapid traffic interrupts the ritual act that needs concentration and focus. The high volume of traffic creates congestion and the possibility of collision and accidents causes atmospheric pollution and ground water contamination. 32


The changing landscape context drives the redesign of the road. The goals of the redesign are traffic mitigation, controlling encroachment, creating shaded spaces for rest, and facilitating parikrama. Four types of roadshoulder conditions have been identified: open rural, rural with encroachment, entering urban, and urban constricted. Each condition requires a different treatment of the road and its shoulder. In the open rural, traffic congestion is less and the views to the fields and groves are open. Trees should be planted on the shoulder a shaded space for parikrama. For the rural with encroachment condition, it is recommended that the shoulder be widened and redesigned to accommodate vending structures and shrines. The consolidation of use in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;eddiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; should leave space for the parikrama path. In the entering urban condition, angled curbs are a signal for the vehicular traffic to slow down. Trees demarcate the parikrama path. In the urban constricted condition, the road is primarily for pedestrians and slower moving traffic of bicycles and rickshaws. The road should be narrowed with tree planting so that vehicular traffic is discouraged altogether.

Fig. 31 Road Redesign

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Vishram Sthals and Signage

Fig. 32 Location of Vishram Sthals

Although there are a few existing resting places and public toilets, they are vastly inadequate for the large number of pilgrims who circumambulate the Hill on the outer road and the inner path. Given the average speed of walking (3 miles per hour), visham sthals (rest places) are designed at intervals of 1.5 miles thus giving an opportunity for resting after walking for half an hour. Thus 15 vishram sthals (each 50â&#x20AC;&#x2122;x50â&#x20AC;&#x2122;) are proposed. Each sthal has public toilet, seating space, shop/storage space, and information kiosk. The inspiration for seating space is narrative painting in a grid composition depicting episodes from Krishnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. Raised platforms (chowki) at various heights in many different combinations are designed. These will allow for flexible seating 34

patterns. Interpretive signage made of carved sandstone with solar panels for lighting is proposed for sacred sites. Directional/wayfinding signage is proposed on parikrama routes.


Fig. 33 Interpretive and Wayfinding Signage

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Road and Rural Sanitation Plan

Fig. 34 Public Toilets

Public toilets on the outer road will have regular septic tanks and their grey water will be filtered through a grease and particle collector and recycled. For the villages, water less compost toilets with shared tanks will be used. An individual unit will have two chambersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;when the first one gets filled with human solid waste the second chamber is put to use. Manure made from compost can be used in the farm fields. An incentive program with reward for theâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cleanest toilet of the monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; will result in better maintenance.

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Fig. 35 Village Recycling Center

The waste management system proposal for Govardhan comprises a recycling program that begins with waste collection from public areas which receive high usage and are dumping grounds for garbage. The collected waste would be transported a short distance to village centers where it would be sorted for composting and recycling. Women and children can be trained for working part time to make recycled plastic craft items. Plastic bags can be rewoven and sold to visitors as garbage bags. The center will have a consolidated compost facility and will sell single unit compost systems to the local residents. An adaptation of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;kunj galiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or garden lane is proposed for rural back alleys. The alleys could be sites for vegetable gardening with a 37

compost tank fed daily by household organic waste. Grey water from the kitchen can be used for irrigating the garden.


Dan Ghati Welcome Center

Fig. 36 Community Development

Dan Ghati is the major arrival point for visitors to coming to Govardhan from Mathura and Vrindavan. A low lying area marking the interruption between north and southern parts of the Hill, it is named after Krishnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activity of collecting toll of milk and yoghurt from the gopis as they were passing through. The street space around the temple at Dan Ghati is crowded with people and congested with moving and parked vehicles, vendors and shops. The street, only about 5 meters wide, is encroached by shop extensions. Pilgrims worshipping at the temple on the streetfront are constantly disturbed by traffic. Trash and dirty water make prostrations difficult. Dan Ghati site redesign provides a model for cultural tourism and community partnership with mutual benefits for visitors and 38

local residents. The site needs to be redesigned for large number of visitors with an appropriate service system that will productively engage local residents giving them an opportunity to improve their economic status. Their services in turn will result in increased carrying capacity of the site thus setting up a cycle of environmental and socio-economic improvement. Sustainability is goal of site redesign of Dan Ghati area. Congestion is dealt with through spatial consolidation. The street space is expanded into a plaza through selective demolition of dilapidated buildings and vacant lots. The street plaza is differentiated into plazas for worship, seating, and haat (market). The worship plaza expands the area of worship around the temple and

the Hill. The haat provides spaces for vendors with handcarts and temporary shop enclosures. Across the street is the community seating space while next to the worship plaza is a shaded â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;forest plazaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for weary pilgrims. The welcome center has office, rest rooms, exhibition space, auditorium, retails shops, and restaurants.


Fig. 37 Dan Ghati Welcome Center

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Parikrama Path

The parikrama path at the Govardhan foothill enhances the spiritual experience of the pilgrims without the disturbances of traffic and commerce on the outer road. Here the pilgrims can perform dandauti parikrama with ease. Presently a fragmented dirt path exists with an occasional rest stop with no lighting, signage, or a clear sense of entry. Paving the path with brick and pea gravel will denote access to the path from the outer road and in more heavily used areas the path can be paved with sandstone. From the Dan Ghati Temple the pilgrims can take the elevated path on the Hill without having to walk on the Hill itself. Their return to Dan Ghati will be on the elevated walkway again. The path links all the sacred groves and kunds and also gives access to the proposed bird sanctuary in the northern part of the Hill. An elevated walkway is designed over the wetlands. For pilgrims circumambulating at night in summer to avoid the hot sun, addition of ground lighting would facilitate movement and afford protection from snakes. Brick fixtures are designed at intersections leading to the outer road and stone fixtures are located throughout the path at 10 feet intervals. A solar panel on an elevated pole (30 feet interval) supports three lights.

Fig. 38 Lighting Detail on the Parikrama Path

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Fig. 39 Parikrama Path

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Radha-Shyam Kunds

Fig. 40 Water Quality Issues in Radha-Shyam Kunds

The twin Radha-Shyam Kunds are believed to be the eyes of Govardhan Hill popularly imagined as a peacock. The kunds are visited by a large number of pilgrims who bathe in their waters, especially on Krishnashtami (Krishna’s birthday), circumambulate them and apply Radhakund mud on their foreheads. The significance of kunds derives from their being aquatic forms of Radha and Krishna and their intermingling. Legend has it that when Krishna killed the bull-demon Arishtasur, Radha would allow him to touch her only when he had bathed in the pure waters of sacred rivers. Krishna dug his heel into the ground and filled the hole with sacred waters. Not to be outdone Radha and her friends too dug a hole with their bangles but no water came. When they tried to fill 42

it by bringing water in pots from Manasi Ganga, Krishna took pity and allowed the waters from Shyam Kund to flow into Radha Kund. Medieval texts describe the kunds as being surrounded by kunjs of Radha and Krishna’s friends (sakhas and sakhis) shaped in the form of eight- or sixteen-petalled lotuses, with swings hanging from kadamba, mango, and bakula trees. The ponds are filled with lotuses and ketaki flowers and swans. Pairs of cranes and swans are found nearby as well as dancing peacocks. This idealized image has been described as a transcendent place seen only in the mind’s eye through meditation. According to Haberman (1994) the physical and ethereal Radhakunds are not two different realities but different perspectives of reality.

The kunds were lost in time but were re-discovered by Chaityana amidst fields. Raghunath Das, one of his disciples excavated them between 1546-1543. There are many place-markers attesting to the re-discovery and reclamation of the kunds—Chaitayana’s baithak (sitting-place), the five trees on the banks of Shyam Kund symbolic of the five Pandava brothers of Mahabharata, Raghunath Das’s bhajan kutir and Samadhi, jihvashila (tongue of Giriraj/Govardhan), and Radha-kunjbihari Gauidya Math (monastery). There are many temples on the ghats of the kunds whose deities were found by the Goswamis (temple priests). Rasavadi Ghat, on the southern part of Radha Kund has a raas-mandal.


Fig. 41 Restoration of Water Quality in Radha-Shyam Kunds

Radha and Shyam Kunds are fed by a small built Lalita kund that in turn receives water from a series of low lying natural water bodiesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Lagmohan, Balram, and Ashtasakhi Kunds, While Radha and Shyam Kunds are situated amidst high density housing whose lack of sewage and drainage system puts the kunds at risk of contamination, the other kunds are surrounded by fields. Water purification of the kunds is suggested using the following measures: a) Green terraces at various levels on the soft-edged Lagmohan, Balaram, and Ashtasakhi Kunds. Water will be purified through aquatic vegetation as it falls from on level to another. b) Perimeter sand filtration system around Lalita Kund that will 43

catch and filter water from the surrounding residential area. In addition floating island of aquatic plants will absorb pollutants and enhance the water quality.


Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary

Fig. 42 Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary

A bird and wildlife sanctuary is proposed between Radha Kund and Kusum Sarovar in the northern part of Govardhan Hill. Presently the area is being farmed with small pockets of forested land in between fields. The site is reclaimed with mounds and wetlands, a gesture to the now vanished section of the Hill. The undulating topography created through cut and fill has a linear profile similar to rest of the Hill. The wetlands attract birdsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;egret, heron, sarus crane, ducks, pelicans, and geese. The water bodies harvest rain fall and are replenished by surface run-off. A system of drains and gullies collects water from the mounds and distributes it to the low lying water bodies. In addition three underground cisterns between the mounds store water for irrigating the grasses and low canopy trees 44

planted around the wetlands. The vegetation attracts birds such as peacocks, moorhen, cormorant, parrots, kingfisher, myna, and bulbul and is a sanctuary for nilgai and deer.


Kusum Sarovar

Fig. 43 Eco-Cultural Zones and Kusum Sarovar

The historic Kusum Sarovar and its pavilions, built by the Bharatpur ruler, Maharaja Jawahar Singh in 1764, are protected by the State Archaeology Department. The pavilions house the samadhi of his father Suraj Mal, the famous Jat ruler and a patron of Govardhan, and his two queens. The central pavilion has the marble footprint of Krishna on the floor and painted frescoes on the domed ceiling, showing episodes from Krishna and Suraj Mal’s lives. The two flanking pavilions, in the midst of raised charbagh gardens, also have frescoes on the ceiling and Radha’s footprint on their floors. The ornate ghats and burjes of Kusum Sarovar draw many visitors and are used by the local residents for their daily bathing and washing, and singing bhajans. The significance 45

of Kusum Sarovar derives from its being situated in Pushpa Van (forest of flowers; kusum also means flowers) where the lovers taunted each other, quarreled and were brought together by Radha’s friends (sakhis). Nearby is the Ashok Van where Krishna braided Radha’s hair with flowers and adorned her with jewelry. On the southwest corner of of Kusum Sarovar is a temple dedicated to Uddhava, Krishna’s friend and cousin. Once Krishna left Braj, the gopis were inconsolable and Uddhava sent as Krishna’s messenger was so enraptured by their love and devotion, that he became a creeper on the banks of the Sarovar, an ever-lasting witness to the eternal lila of Krishna and the gopis. Kusum Sarovar is proposed as a major padav sthal in the reforested

Ashok and Pushpa Vans with a camping site, interpretive center, wildlife lookout pavilion and bird feeding areas. The charbagh gardens of Kusum Sarovar are restored as kunjs with flowering shrubs. A musical fountain show is proposed on its burjs for the visitors. The dense kikar jungle on the west is cleared for a camping site linked with trails to Uddhava Kund and to the complex of sites on the southwest that include Ratna Kund, Raas Sthali, Ratna Singhasana, and Gopal Pokhar. An interpretive center provides information on the flora and fauna of this area developed as an eco-cultural zone.


Uddhava Kund

Fig. 44 Uddhava Kund Site Redesign

Uddhava Kund, although located not too far away from Kusum Sarovar, is on the western side of the now disappeared Govardhan Hill, and is presently accessible only from the outer road. Its ornamental ghats and burjs make it like a smaller replica of Kusum Sarovar. Its significance derives from it being the site of Uddhava’s appearance when Vrajnabha, Krishna’s great grandson organized the raas. All of Krishna’s friends and relatives appeared and Uddhava too emerged from creepers of Kusum Sarovar to join in the celebration. A temple to Krishna and Radha is at the entry from the road and a small shrine to Shiva is situated across the kund. The grove around the kund is now largely replaced with farm fields. A large go-shala (cow barn) is located south of the kund. 46

The site redesign proposes a 200 feet buffer zone of trees and flowering shrubs to protect the kund from further encroachment and development. The water catchment area of the kund should be expanded to include rainwater harvesting on a larger scale including the flat roofs and terraces of the adjoining building structures. The edge of the kund is reconfigured to provide circumambulatory pathway and court for public gatherings and performances in the immediate vicinity. They are linked with trails leading to Kusum Sarovar and other sacred sites.


Govind Kund Govind Kund is located on the edge of Aniyor Village. It is a 1.85 acre rectangular tank at the Govardhan foothill from where it collects water. Surbahi Van and Sankarsana/ Shankar and Nipa Kunds are located in its proximity at a short distance. Sanksharana Kund is named after Krishna’s brother Balram and it is said that bathing in its waters will free one from the sin of killing a cow. Surabhi Van gets its name from cows that are like Surabhi (celestial cow) grazing on its grasses. Nipa Kund is named after the Kadamba (Nipa) trees around it where Krishna and his friends ate milk and butter of the gopis in cups made from tree leaves. The important building landmarks in this site are Bhajan Kutir of Madahavendra Puri, Gopal Prakata Sthali, Radha-Govinda Temple, and Indra Tila. Govind Kund is located on the inner parikrama path and at a short distance from the outer road. Its significance derives from its being the location of Indra’s abhishek (ritual obeisance) of Krishna with the milk of the celestial cow Surabhi. Krishna was henceforth the undisputed Lord of Braj and was felicitated by other gods including Brahma. Indra Tila is a small hillock where Indra stood to perform obeisance to Krishna. Legend has it that the site was first commemorated by Vajranabha, Krishna’s great grandson who installed Krishna (known here as Govinda, procurer of cows, also Gopala) in the Radha Govind Temple. Over time it was deserted and lost to public consciousness until it was reclaimed in 1479 by the saint Madhavendra Puri. The saint had a dream in which Krishna/ Gopala told him that he was hidden by the Brahmins when the Muslims attacked the temple. Madhavendra

Puri discovered the deity buried in the jungle and installed it on top of the Hill with the help of villagers of Aniyor. Again when Aurangzeb’s troops attacked Braj, the idol was removed to Nathdvara is Rajasthan for safety where it is worshipped as Shri Nathji. Presently the rebuilt Gopal Mandir houses a Govardhanshila (boulder from the Hill). The spot where a cowherd-boy offered a pot of milk to Madhavendra Puri is marked by a Bhajan Kutir (small commemorative building used for chanting) and where the deity was discovered is known as Gopala Prakata Sthali.

Fig. 45 Govind Kund Site Redesign

Govind Kund receives use by villagers for washing and cleaning purposes that contaminates its waters and interferes with ritual use. It lacks public spaces where pilgrims can rest during their parikrama. The site re-design of Govind Kund creates a number of social spaces through selective demolition of derelict building structures and reconfigures the street pattern to improve site accessibility. Entrance plazas are designed on its four sides, ghats are widened with terraces along water’s edge for worship and congregation, and small squares shaded with trees are added. A smaller tank above the main kund for the village daily activities is proposed. It can be used for bathing and washing, and the grey water filtered through a bed of pea gravel and sand and recycled in spray fountains and distributed to adjacent orchards and fields. Pilgrim lodging and shops selling ritual paraphernalia are the recommended building uses along the Govind Kund.

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Padav Sthals Narayan Bhatt, the author of Vraj Bhakti Vilasa is credited with the rediscovery of sacred sites of Braj in the sixteenth century and establishing the practice of BanYatra (journey into the forests). In the 23 day pilgrimage of 84 kos (168 miles), circumambulation of Govardhan is recommended on the seventh day and pilgrims are advised to spend the night there. There are few open places for overnight stays by ban-yatris who typically travel in large groups. Padav sthals (camp-grounds) in the vicinity of the Hill are an opportunity for the pilgrims to rest and spend time in the imagined presence of Krishna/ Giriraj. Kunds situated in the midst of vans are ideal locales for the serene landscape experience. Their attractive features are their natural and sacred ambience, proximity to the parikrama path, open spaces in the vicinity for camping and religious activities such as bhajans and performance of raas-lila. In the forest one can observe and feed wildlife. A few kunds in Govardhan—Radha-Shyam Kunds, Manasi Ganga, Govind Kund—are surrounded by dense settlements and do not afford that kind of experience. Others are a distance from the path and the Hill. The sites with potential for padav sthals include the area around Kusum Sarovar on the northern part, and Hariju Kund in the southern part of the Hill. Punchari on the southern tip also has large open space next to Apsara and Naval Kunds for overnight camping.

and Surabhi. Surabhi Kund marks the spot where the celestial cow Surabhi asked Krishna to forgive Indra for his trespasses. Indra’s elephant Airavat brought Ganga water from the heavens and stored it in Airavat Kund for bathing Krishna during his abhishek by Indra. Rudra/Rudana Kund overlooking the larger Hariju Kund (named after Krishna’s cowherd friend) was made from Shiva’s tears of ecstasy when he was meditating on Krishna and Radha. Braj raj (sandy loam) covers the ground and the ambience is serene, thus making for an ideal locale for overnight camping. However it needs utilities such as lighting, composting toilets, clean, drinking water, cooking facility and seating.

Fig. 46 Padav Sthal Bench Detail

The site design for padav sthal delineates trails leading to nine sites each surrounded by six camps thus accommodating close to 250300 pilgrims. A historic four square garden likely built by a Bharatpur ruler on the edge of Airavat Kund is restored. The camps face a central open space whose focal point in a low spiral cob (mud and straw) bench. The multifunctional bench allows for many kinds of seating patterns by individuals and groups. Made with locally available materials and decorated with local sanjhi art it is durable and can withstand both monsoon rains and hot summer sun. It has a built-in stove with an iron grate and can be used for meal preparation by the ban-yatris.

Along the inner path, between the villages of Punchari and Jatipura, the Kadamb forest opens into a grove and reveals a view of the Hill. Situated amidst the forest, the grove has three sacred kunds— Hariju/Rudana/Rudra, Airavat, 48


Fig. 47 Padav Sthal Layout

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Punchari

Fig. 48 Punchari Site Redesign

Punchari (literally tail) is the southern tip of the Govardhan Hill, further reinforcing the metaphorical conception of the Hill as a peacock, bull or snake. As the pilgrims turn around the Hill in the course of their parikrama they visit a cluster of sacred sites including the twin kunds, Apsara and Naval, the temples Narsimha and Apsara-Bihari, Sutala Kund, Mani Kandali Cave, and Punchari Ka Lautha Temple. The sites are situated in the midst of partially denuded Apsara and Sutala Vans with a large clearing at the edge of Apsara and Naval Kunds. Punchari Village lies across the outer road. Apsara Kund is named after the seven celestial nymphs who participated in the abhishek of Krishna as the Lord of Braj. Krishna assumed the other forms of Vishnu— 50

Varaha and Narsimha—here. The temple on the edge of Apsara Kund is dedicated to his Narsimha (man-lion) avatar. Naval (meaning ever-youthful) Kund is named after Krishna. The area is the site of raas of Radha, Krishna and the gopis, and their spring time dancing. Apsara and Naval Kunds are respectively liquid forms of Radha and Krishna, their waters symbolizing the essence of their love. Mani Kandali Cave, a love tryst of Radha and Krishna was inhabited by an ascetic Raghav Pandit and a Bhajan Kutir, named after him is built at its mouth. Above the cave on the Hill is an imprint of Lord Krishna’s crown. Punchari Ka Lautha Temple is dedicated to a cowherd friend of Krishna and Balram who is waiting for them to return from Mathura. The site redesign aims at improving

the water quality of the twin kunds, restoring their ghats, creating spaces for kirtan and raas lila. An old historic building in their proximity is proposed as an interpretive museum housing local art and crafts. Since the water quality of the kunds is poor, it is recommended that lotuses (symbol of Braj) be grown to decrease algae growth and filter dirty water. Lotuses can be sold for temple worship and their roots harvested for eating. Low steps are built at the edge of clearing, creating a performance space for raas lila.


Conclusion The planning and design proposals outlined in this project are a preliminary effort to envisage the future of Govardhan Hill as a protected and managed heritage landscape zone. Their feasibility is dependant upon agreement among stakeholders, fund-raising from religious institutions and devotees, support from district administration and state government, and local participation. For their detailed development and implementation, further site studies are required. Specifically: • For kund restoration it is necessary to do watershed assessment with slope analysis and map the hydrological regime with precipitation, surface run-offs, and evaporation rates • For the listing, protection, and preservation of historic buildings, their visual documentation and measured drawings should be done • For the listing and conservation of sacred sthalis, kunds, and vans, they should be first comprehensively documented • For upgrading the visitor facilities, surveys of the number of pilgrims, their peak time visits, and requirements of lodging/camping are essential • For involving local residents in the tourist economy and their participation in maintenance of public spaces, it is necessary to survey their socio-economic status, education level and skills

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Bibliography Banerjee, Priyatosh. The Life of Krishna in Indian Art. New Delhi: National Museum, 1978 Brahmacari, Rajasekhara Dasa. The Color Guide to Govardhana Hill: India’s Most Sacred Mountain. New Delhi: Vedanta Vision Publications, 1997. Brahmacari, Rajasekhara Dasa. The Color Guide to Radha Kunda: The Holiest of all Holy Places. New Delhi: Vedanta Vision Publications, 1999. Entwistle, A.W. Braj: Centre of Krishna Pilgrimage. Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1987. Goswami Maharaja, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana. Sri Vraja-Mandala Parikrama. Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, 2007. Govardhan images at the website: http://library.artstor.org Haberman, David. Journey through the Twelve Forests: An Encounter with Krishna. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Isacco, Enrico (ed.) Krishna, The Divine Lover: Myth and Legend through Indian Art. Bombay: B.I. Publications, 1992. Lal, Mukandi. Garhwal Painting. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1968. Ohri, Vishwa Chander and Roy C. Craven, Jr. (eds.) Painters of the Pahari Schools. Mumbai: Marg Publications, 1998. Pal, Pratapidtya. Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum. New Haven: Yale University Press in association with Norton Simon art Foundation, 2003. Portland Art Museum. Rajput Miniatures from the Collection of Edwin Binney, 3rd. Text by W. G. Archer. Portland, Oregon: Catalogue of Exhibition, 1968 Randhawa, M.S. Kangra Valley Painting. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1972. Randhawa, M.S and Doris S. Randhawa. Guler Painting. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1982. Shah, Behula, “Braj: The Creation of Krishna’s Landscape of Power and Pleasure and Its SixteenthCentury Construction through the Pilgrimage of the Groves”, Michel Conan (ed.) Sacred Gardens and Landscapes: Ritual and Agency. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection and Spacemaker Press, 2007. Sinha, Amita. Landscapes in India: Forms and Meanings. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 2006. Vaudeville, Charlotte, “The Govardhan Myth in Northern India”, Indo-Iranian Journal, 22, 1980, pp. 1-45 Vatsyayan, Kapila. Mewari Gita-Govinda. New Delhi: National Museum, 1987.

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Project Credits Braj Foundation, Vrindavan

Vineet Narain Raghav Mittal Rajneesh Kapur Mansukh Singh

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts Department of Landscape Architecture

Faculty

Amita Sinha, Professor

Students

* particpated in site visit and workshop

Rhonda Castillo XinXin Chai Ben Cole* Qian Gao Trisha Hurst* Prerna Jain* Shawn James* Cheongjong Lee Sonal Mithal Modi* Amber Phillippe Steve Shiley Erich Sprague* Annie Varma Shuangshuang Wu* Xin Wu

Report Credits Text

Prof. Amita Sinha

Graphic Design Sonal Mithal Modi

Fig. 49 University of Illinois team doing Govardhan Parikrama

Copy Editor

Sonal Mithal Modi This project was funded by:

Wadsworth Endowment

Department of Landscape Architecture,

Campus Research Board,

University fo Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Special Thanks to:

M. Elen Deming, D. Fairchild Ruggles, John Stallmeyer, David Haberman and R. P. Sinha 53


Of all the devotees, this Govardhan Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balram, along with their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities - water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balram, Govardhan Hill appears very jubilant. - Srimat-Bhagwatam 10.21.18

Š 2010 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, USA

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