|Braj Mandal is the unique place of Pilgrimage in the world. There are 1300 villages in Braj Mandal and many hills and forests. And of course the most famed places of Krishna lila such as Vrindavan and Gokul, Varsana and Nandagram and practically all these forests, villages and mountains relayed to the wonderful pastimes of the divine couple Radha Govindaji and their many lilas. The Srimad Bhagavatam describes many of these pastimes and many acaryas have further elaborated on them. And the entire cultures of India, practically all music and dance styles are inspired by what happened in this special region. We cannot think of any other place in the world with such an extensive influence on India and on the planet and which has been a place of pilgrimage since times unaccounted for in history practically. Even in the Bhagavatam there is so many descriptions of pilgrimages which went on in those days in places like Kurukshetra, Haridwar, Allahabad etc. The condition of the holy places in Braj ranges from very good to almost disappeared. Considering that there were more than 1000 kundas, mountain ranges, which are partially destroyed nowadays by illegal mining operations, all in all there is an incredible amount of possibilities for devotional service to restore the entire Braj Mandal and thus recreate a place of pilgrimage with no other in comparison on the planet earth.
Braj Rakshak Dal is a very active inspiration in Braj Mandal. Already they inspired many people to restore 16 kundas, have made surveys, fought the illegal mining and are planting groves.
Vrsabhanu Kund before restoration:
Vrsabhanu kund after restoration:
Famous Indian journalist Vineet Narain has dedicated his entire time to this development with a group of very nice volunteers. Two earthmovers were donated to them. Listening to Vineet Narains presentation makes you feel very confident that many more wonderful things will happen in a short period in Braj Mandal. You can find out more about their work on their website. It is interesting to note that Braj Rakshak Dal works with the support of the Brajvasis and the villagers, and it is not only interested to help them materially but is also developing a new wave of enthusiasm amongst them for the treasures hidden everywhere in this holy land. Vineet Narain Prabhu is personally visiting many of the temples to make his impressive presentation. He was talking with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living, who also promised to help Braj Mandal.
In the meeting of the WVA in Vinod Vani Gaudiya Math, on the 10. of November, Vineet Narain Prabhu made his presentation before all the sannyasis and acaryas present. Srila B.B. Tirtha Maharaja, who was present, commented: This is very good work they are doing and reminded all of us to go very deep in our understanding of the Dham and that the Dham, like Govardhan, can manifest and also withdraw as it wishes to do. So we pray that by the joined participation of all the leading Vaishnavas the holy Dham may become more visible to the eyes of the world. Srila Tirtha Maharaja also commented that as long as Govardhan and the Yamuna is visible the Kali-yuga could not progress so quickly so we should try very hard to enthuse all possibly interested people to come together on this joined forum of concern for the Dham. Discussions are to form an official organization so that other institutions can also formally participate. Rupa Raghunath from Food for Life is also participating in forming this group as well as other members from the side of the World Vaishnava Association. Braj Rakshak Dal is showing a good example. Ramesh Baba of Varsana who conducts very large charitable Braj Mandal parikramas is one of the great supporters and inspiration in the service to Braj Mandal. Mr. Chaudry, a member of Iskcon, executed the wonderful work done in Pavan Sarovar in Nandagram.