This village is known by different names such as; Raola, Raya, Rai, Rar and Ral, and all of them are different forms of the word ‘Raya’ which means ‘Queen’, and refers to Radharani, who is considered to be the ‘Raya’ or ‘Queen of Vrindavana’. In the Padma Purana, Raya is also called Raola, and it is mentioned to be one of the upavans or sub-forests of Vrindavana, and one of the places where Radharani performed many of Her childhood pastimes.
After leaving Gokula, Nanda Maharaja made his camp at Sakatikara, and while Nanda’s camp stretched westward from Shakatikara (Chhatikara) up to Raya, the camp of Radharani’s father stretched eastward from Vasati (Basanti) to Raya, and both camps more or less converged at Raya. It has been said that during this period some fraternal members of Radha’s family were staying at Raya and therefore Radharani spent part of Her ‘paugandalila’ or Her ‘girlhood pastimes’ at this place.
– Adapted from Vraja Mandala Parikrama by Sri Rajasekhara Dasa Brahmachari.