The Bhakti-ratnakara says that Lord Krishna killed the demon Dantavakra here at Datiha, which is considered to be one of the gateways to the city of Mathura. This place is also known as Dati-upavana and according to the Padma Purana; it is one of the sub-forests of Vrindavana Dhama. There are no actual pastime places to be seen here but there is a very old Yugala-kishore Mandira in the village.
The Killing of Dantavakra
Dantavakra was the king of Karusa, which is said to have been situated in the southern province of Kalinga which was in modern day Orissa, although there was also an ancient kingdom called Kurusa near Kashi (Varanasi). The Puranas reveal that Dantavakra was Krishna’s cousin, but unfortunately due to his envious and demoniac nature, right from his very birth, he was envious of Krishna and bore Him great enmity throughout his life. After the death of his friend Sishupala at the hands off Krishna, Dantavakra was very upset; but when Krishna killed his most dear friend Salva, the king of Kashi, Dantavakra became furious and in order to avenge his friend’s death, he took a solemn vow that he would kill Krishna.
By the will of providence, Dantavakra received news that Krishna was arriving from Dwaraka to meet all the Vrajavasis in Vrindavana and therefore Dantavakra immediately rushed to Datiha in order to challenge Krishna to a fight. The foolish Dantavakra was so furious and overcome with rage that he forgot his chariot, his bow, his armor, and even his helmet, and hurriedly rushed onto the battlefield with only his club. Charging towards Krishna and roaring like a lion, Dantavakra swung his club and struck Krishna with a powerful blow on the head, but Krishna did not seem to feel the blow. Taking His celebrated club the Kaumadaki, Krishna immediately struck Dantavakra’s chest with such force that the heavy blow caused Dantavakra’s heart to split in two, and while vomiting blood and shaking violently, he fell to the ground dead. It is also said that Dantavakra’s younger brother named Viduratha, seeing the death of his older brother, immediately rushed onto the battlefield to challenge Krishna, but by using His celebrated chakra, Krishna immediately severed Viduratha’s head from his body.
After killing the demon Dantavakra and his brother Viduratha, Krishna met with Nanda Maharaja and some of the Vrajavasis who had been waiting for His arrival near Datiha. Krishna then crossed the Yamuna River and accompanied them to Mahavana forest where He met with mother Yashoda and other relatives and friends. He also met with Radharani and the gopis as well as the cowherd boys, thus fulfilling the promise He had made to them in Kurukshetra, during the occasion of the solar eclipse, that in the near future.
He would return to Vrindavana and meet them all once again. It is said that when Nanda Maharaja arrived back in Vrindavana from Kurkshetra, he did not return to his home at Nandagrama, but moved back to the Mahavana forest and according to Shrila Jiva Goswami, Nanda Maharaja established his residence in the village of Gauravai (Gorai) near Gokula.
—Adapted from the book ‘ Vrajmandal Parikrama’ by Sri Rajshekhar das Brahmachari