This celebrated village is the birthplace of Shrimati Lalita Devi, the most confidential friend and close companion of Shrimati Radharani. It is well known that whenever Radha experiences any kind of heartache or misunderstanding in Her love affair with Shri Krishna, Her friend Lalita was always there to pacify and console Her. Lalita even becomes angry and rebukes Krishna if she feels that He had wronged Radharani or neglected Her in any way.
Lalita Devi is the senior-most amongst the famous ‘ashta-sakhis’, or the eight principle girlfriends of Radha and is also a ‘yutheshvara’, or leader of her own group of young sakhis. She also has her own group of dasis (serving maids) and dutis (messengers), as do all the ashta-sakhis. Like Radharani Herself, Lalita is a ‘vama-nayaki gopi’, which means a lefthand heroin, and is well known for her somewhat strident and contradictory nature, as well as her red hot temper, but simultaneously she is unparalleled in her unswerving love and devotion towards the ‘divine couple’. Before one can approach Radharani, one must first seek the blessings of Lalita Devi, and then only one should approach Radharani and ultimately Shri Krishna. Lalita Devi’s most intimate assistant is the celebrated Shri Rupamanjari, and therefore it is said that before attempting to approach Lalita Devi, one must first get the blessings of Shri Rupa-manjari. In the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya, Shri Rupamanjari appeared as Shrila Rupa Goswami.
The name of the village is derived from the word ‘unca’ meaning ‘upward’ or ‘on top’, because at first the village was built on top of the hill known as Atara Parvata, but later moved down to the valley. This village is also known locally as Lalita Grama, or just Lalita. Shrila Narayana Bhatta, an important follower of Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis, not only discovered this village and the famous deity of Dauji that lay buried here, but also spent a major part of his life performing bhajana here and his samadhi is also located in the village. Unchagrama, which is also known as Lalita or Lalitavana, is mentioned in the Puranas as one of the upavanas or sub-forests of Vrindavana Dhama.
-Adapted from Vraja Mandala Parikrama by Sri Rajasekhara Dasa Brahmachari.