This is one of the twelve sacred forests of Vraja and in the Adi-varaha Purana it says.
“The forest of Bhandiravana is a very beautiful place which is very dear to the yogis. Simply glancing at the forest saves one from taking another birth. Getting the darshana of Lord Vasudeva in this forest, the best forest of all also saves one from another birth. Any person who takes bath here, fasts and controls his senses become freed from all sins and go to Indraloka.”
This forest has an individual parikrama of around five kilometers, although only part of what was once a vast forest still exists today. The Bhakti-ratnakara says that while herding Their cows, Krishna and Balarama used to come to this forest along with Their cowherd boyfriends and enjoyed playing various games, after which they would take their lunch under the cooling shade of the large banyana trees that grew in this forest. It is also said that the cowherd boys used to enjoy wrestling and other sporting pastimes here at Bhandiravana. In the Bhakti-ratnakara it states.
“In Bhandiravana, Krishna and His friends, after playing, enjoyed various food preparations while sitting in the shade. This village is therefore called Chhanhari after this pastime.”
The present name of the village located here is Chhanhari which is derived from the word ‘chaya’ which means ‘shade’, or the place where the cowherd boys sat under the shade of the banyana trees to take lunch. The Bhakti-ratnakara does not mention any other pastimes between Krishna and the gopis here accept the rasa-lila pastimes that occurred at the nearby Vamsi Vata, which is also known as Sridhama Vata. The Gopala-champu mentions that during the great exodus from Mahavana forest, when Nanda Maharaja and all the residents of Gokula decided to move to the safety of Vrindavana due to the constant attack of demons, they crossed the Yamuna at a very shallow part of the river near the forest of Bhandiravan while the cows crossed the river near Nanda Ghata. After crossing the Yamuna they saw the great beauty of Vrindavana forest and the lush green pasturing grounds known as vatsa-krida.
One of the most celebrated pastimes that took place here at Bhandiravana is mentioned in the Garga Samhita which reveals that Radha and Krishna were secretly married here at Bhandiravana during their infancy, when They were no more than two or three years old, in a ceremony conducted by Lord Brahma and attended by the host of demigods. This pastime is not mentioned in the Shrimad Bhagavatam or any other literature. The marriage ceremony was performed for the specific satisfaction of Lord Brahma and the demigods and not even the parents of Radha or Krishna witnessed it. The Gopala-champu also mentions another marriage ceremony between Radha and Krishna that took place at Gauravai near Gokula, which was conducted for the specific pleasure of Nanda Maharaja and mother Yashoda. This marriage ceremony took place after Krishna had returned from Dwaraka to meet all the Vrajavasis.
At that time Krishna not only married Radharani but all the gopis who had enjoyed pastimes with Him in the forest of Vrindavana, in a ceremony overseen by Purnamasi Devi (Yogamaya). There is some confusion regarding this particular Bhandiravana, with some people claiming that this is the place where the demon Pralambhasura was killed, but this is incorrect and without scriptural support. According to Gaudiya Vaishnava authorities, Pralambhasura was killed at Bhandira Vata, which is presently known as Akshaya Vata, where the wrestling pastimes of Radha and Krishna also took place. At the time of the Six Goswamis, Bhandira Vata (Akshaya Vata) was also called Bhandiravana, and this is how the confusion has arisen. Even the Chaitanya-charitamrita refers to Bhandira Vata (Akshaya Vata) as Bhandiravana.
It is also interesting to note that although Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Bhandira Vata (also called Bhandiravana) on the western bank of the Yamuna south of Rama Dhata, it does not mention that He visited the Bhandiravana on the eastern bank of the Yamuna south of Bhadravana, although He must have walked through this forest on His way to Bilvavana, Lauhavana, and Gokula.