According to scholars every major forest in Braj corresponds to the various parts of Krishna’s body, hence the land is non-different from Krishna and walking about its sacred spaces is considered synonymous with being with Krishna. This is the feeling evinced throughout history by Krishna devotees and can and will be relished so long as these sites survive.
Krishna lived a simple pastoral life in Braj; according to traditional scriptures, Brajati gacchati iti brajah. “What moves around Braj is Braj: the cows, gopas, gopis, and Gopal.” Krishna as Braja-Bihari always plays in the land of “his own free, joyful movement”.
Krishna is the topic of Braj. Krishna manifested his divine play in this land; it is this playful nature which endears and establishes his reign over the hearts of those devoted to him throughout time and it is this which endears this land to his devotees.
A hundred years after Krishna left this world, Arjuna the Pandava ruler of Indraprastha (present day Delhi), brought Vajranabh, Krishna’s great- grandson, from Dwarka to Braj and appointed him king of the land of Krishna’s childhood and youth. At the time Braj, after the great war depicted in the epic Mahabharata, had been abandoned and the legendry places of Krishna had become untraceable.
Mathura, the capital of Braj during the rule of Ashoka and the Mauryas, was dominated by Buddhist influence and the sites of Krishna lila were once again neglected. The Muslim invasions and the fervour of the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb, further destroyed whatever vestiges time had left of the Braj tradition.
Between the 11th and 15th century images and deities were hidden in these kunds ;once again the forests of Braj grew thick and covered these sites.For over a thousand years the rulers of Hindu society were not Hindus. For eight hundred years Muslims ruled from Delhi. The whole surrounding region, including Vrindavan, bears the deep impression of this rule, which did nothing to foster Hindu culture, and at times bitterly suppressed it. In the 15th century, during the great Renaissance of Europe, the Bhakti movement had spread to most of India. At this very time, Shri Chaitanyadev of Bengal and Vallabhacarya along with their followers began another age of discovery, or rather rediscovery of the lore of Braj through the Bhakti movement. Many images and deities were recovered from the kunds and installed in temples. The ban yatra to the sites of Krishna’s play were initiated by Chaitanyadev and Vallabhacarya. Narayan Bhatta, a disciple in the lineage of Chaitanyadev, was the first person to show how the geographical construct of Braj is a circle, or mandala, and was a great proponent of the yatra.