Kokilavan / कोकिलावन

Kokilavan lies three miles north of Nand Gaon and one mile west of Javat. Even today, the sweet sounds of many birds – such as peacocks, peahens, male parrots, female parrots, swans and cranes – can be heard in this protected and enchanting forest, and animals like deer and blue cows, or nil gay, can be seen wandering about. The Brajvasis bring their vast herds of cows here for grazing. The sweet kuhu-kuhu of hundreds of cuckoo birds (kokilas) resounds in this forest. Although most forests of Braj have been destroyed, this one, with a circumference of three-and-a-half miles, remains somewhat protected. According to Braj-bhakti-vilas, Ratnakar-Sarovar and a Ras-mandal are situated in Kokilavan.[1]


Once, the very playful Shri Krishna eagerly desired to meet Radhika, but because of the obstacles created by Her mother-in-law Jatila, sister-in-law Kutila and husband Abhimanyu, Radhika could not get to Their appointed meeting place. After waiting for a long time, Krishna climbed a tall tree and sweetly began to imitate the sound of a cuckoo. Hearing the loud and delightful call of this astonishing cuckoo bird, Radhika and the sakhis understood that it was a signal from Krishna and became eager and restless to meet with Him. At that time, Jatila addressed Vishakha, saying, "Vishakha, I have heard cuckoo birds make so many beautiful sounds, but I have never heard anything like the wonderful and lengthy melody this bird sings today." Vishakha replied, "Dadiji, we also have never heard anything like it. This is certainly an amazing cuckoo bird. With your permission, we would like to go out and see it for ourselves." The old woman gladly gave permission for the sakhis to go. They very happily entered the forest, and thus Krishna was able to meet with Raffia. This is how this place became known as Kokilavan.

Ratnakar Sarovar

The sakhis brought milk from their homes to make this kund. Many varities of jewels (ratna) appeared from the pond that the sakhis used to decorate Radhika.[2] This pond, which destroys all sins and bestows an abundance of wealth and affluence, can give devotees the greatest jewel of all – causeless devotion for the Divine Couple, Shri Radha-Krishna.


Shri Krishna performed ras-lila with the gopis here, after which they played in the water of Ratnakar-sarovar.


This is Shri Vishakha Sakhi's place of residence. She is famous among the eight prominent sakhis. Her father is Shri Pavan Gopa and her mother is Devadani Hopi.[3] This place, situated five miles south-east of Nand gaon, is where playful Krishna applied kajala (anjan) to the eyes of His Pran-Vallabh Radhika. This pastime place is therefore known as Anjanuk.


Once, Radhika was sitting in a secluded kunja with Her sakhis, who were dressing and decorating Her with various ornaments and jewels. All that was left to be done was to apply anjan to Her eyes, when suddenly Krishna played upon His sweet flute. As soon as Radhika heard that sound, She became overwhelmed, and with great anticipation She left to meet Her Pran-vallabh without having applied anjan. Krishna was also anxiously waiting to meet Her, and when She arrived, He sat Her on a flower-seat. He then put His arms around Her neck and His eyes eagerly drank Her beauty. When He noticed that there was no anjan on Her eyes, He asked the sakhis why. They answered, "We had fully decorated Her except for the anjan but, as soon as She heard the sweet sound of Your flute, She became so eager to meet with You that She immediately ran off. Although we repeatedly requested Her to wait so that we could apply anjan, we were unable to stop Her." This filled Krishna with joy, and He applied anjan to Her eyes with His own hands. He then held up a mirror to let Radhika taste the beauty of Her form, which He also relished by looking in that mirror. Bhakti-Ratnakar says:
Rasera avese Krishna anjan laiya
dilena radhika netre maha harsa haiya
"Krishna was absorbed in rasa and happily applied anjan to Radhika's eyes."

Also situated here is a ras-mandal, where ras-lila took place. Kishori-kund lies in the south of the village, and on the west bank of this pond is the anjani-Shila on which Shri Krishna seated Radha and decorated Her eyes with anjan.