Nand Bhawan, also known as Chaurasi Khamba Temple, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Gokul. It holds a fascination among visitors and devotees because it was here that Lord Krishna spent his childhood days after their real parents were imprisoned by King Kansa. The house belonged to Nand Maharaj, the foster father of Lord Krishna. It is called Chaurasi Khamba temple because the temple rests on 84 pillars.
According to a mythological legend, it was here that Lord Krishna and his brother Balarama’s name giving ceremony was conducted. This took place in a cowshed lying in close proximity to the temple. A flight of stairs take you to the main entrance of the temple, which then opens to a large courtyard.
The walls of the temple are adorned with paintings and motifs of Lord Krishna depicting playful episodes from his childhood. There are exquisite carvings on the stone pillars which serve to enhance their beauty. Here you may ask, why does the temple consist of exactly 84 steps, and not one more or less? According to religious scriptures in Hinduism, the number 84 signifies the 84,00,000 species of life in the material world. Therefore, when they are taken together, the pillars are believed to contain all life existing in the universe.
In the courtyard of the temple, there is an enormous banyan tree. Devotees who visit the temple tie colorful ribbons on its branches, in the belief that this brings them good luck and prosperity. Under the banyan tree, there is a temple of Kali Maa. The temple exudes an aura of timelessness, with the ancient pillars and brackets contributing in a large way to that.
The question of when the Nand Bhawan was actually built remains a mystery. According to mythological sources, it was built by Vishwakarma (believed to be the divine architect of the universe long before the advent of time). It was demolished in later years before being rebuilt again using the same materials.
Nand Bhawan is located in the town of Gokul, which is situated in the district of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Being a religious structure, you can visit it throughout the year. However, you should consider whether to visit it during summers or winters. During summers, it can get extremely hot here, with the average temperature being 44°C. The heat can be a major deterrent for many tourists, but if it doesn’t bother you much, you can visit Gokul during this time. If you prefer cool and pleasant weather, then plan your trip during the winters.
There are other tourist attractions in Gokul which you can visit besides Nand Bhawan. Here are some of them.