Kamudavana is the smallest of the twelve sacred forests of Vraja with a parikrama of just one and a half kilometers. The sacred forest has now completely disappeared and a small village now stands here where the forest once stood. The village is known locally as Kudarban which is a corruption of the name Kamudavana. The word ‘kamuda’ or ‘kamudini’ refers to a special variety of lotus flower, similar to a water lily, which formerly grew in great abundance in Kamuda-kunda, and because of these kamuda flowers, this sacred forest achieved its name. The celebrated lake of Kamuda-kunda is still present here although somewhat reduced in size. It is said that Radha and Krishna used to enjoy many wonderful water sports (jal-vihara) in this sacred lake. The word ‘jal’ means ‘water’ and ‘vihara’ means ‘pastimes’, and because of these jal-vihara pastimes took place here in this lake, it is also known as Vihara-kunda.
The great sage and incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Kapila Muni, also spent considerable time at Kamudavana performing austerities on the banks of Kamuda-kunda, and there is a small temple here on the bank of the kunda containing the deity of Kapila. Because Kapila Muni spent time here engaged in meditation and austerities, this kunda is also known as Gangasagara-kunda, after the famous ashrama of Lord Kapila situated at the mouth of the Ganges in Bengal, known as Shri Gangasagara. In the Adi-varaha Purana it is said. “One who bathes in this kunda will achieve ten times the benefit of a pilgrimage to Shri Gangasagara.” This famous kunda is also referred to as Padma-kunda and it is said that anyone who bathes here will acquire all the knowledge of the Vedas. The word ‘padma’ generally means a ‘lotus flower’ but can also refer to enlightenment through transcendental knowledge.
Krishna and Balarama used to regularly bring their cows to Kamudavana and while the cows were grazing in the forest, the two brothers would enjoy water sports in this kunda along with their cowherd boyfriends. Sometimes the cowherd boys would make beautiful garlands from the kamuda flowers that grew in the lake and then present them with great love and affection to Krishna and Balarama. There is also a small shrine here known as charana-chinha near the banks of the kunda, where impressions of the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are being worshiped. The shrine commemorates Lord Chaitanya’s historic visit to Kamudavana during His parikrama of Vraja Mandala in the year 1515. How To Get There: From Vrindavana proceed 6km to Chhatikara and turn left (south-bound) on the Delhi to Agra road (National Highway No2) and proceed about 10km to the Sonk junction. Turn right down the Sonk road for about 8km until you reach the Unchagram junction. Then turn left and proceed for 2km up to the Kudarban road junction andthen turn left up to Kudarban village 300mt ahead. Proceed for another 50mt straight through the village to reach Kamuda-kunda.