Everyday thousands of tourists, pilgrims and devotees throng to Vrindavan to pay the obedience to the holy land of Braj. But almost nobody cares to notice that just before the prominent Chattikara Turn to Vrindavan town from the highway, crammed with hoardings, there is a small rather unnoticed turn into the village Chhatikara, leading to pilgrimage site of Garud Govind.
This is an ancient temple site with a rare and exquisite idol of Krishna seated on a Garud (Eagle).It is believed that it was here infant Krishna’s Chati pujan was held. Also, while grazing cows and playing with friends Krishna climbed on the shoulders of one of his friend, who pretended to be His Garuda. In Ramavtar Garudji was bewildered to see that Lord Rama was tied in Naagpash by Meghnath. Kaak-bhusundiji cleared his doubt and advised him to go to this place where boy Krishna was playing. Garudji came here and tendered his apology for the bewilderment he had in Treta yuga. Then Krishna climbed upon him.The third story is that Krishna granted boon to Kaliya Snake that here the snakes will not have to fear Garuds. That is why Kaalsarp pujan is performed here by the people from all over the country.
As is seen in most of the temple premises across India, here too a water reservoir is attached to the temple premises. Unfortunately, in our country, the glory and care that is showered over places of worship, never get translated into care and upkeep of adjoining structures, which generally end up getting encroached upon . Here too, while the temple still had a few visitors a day, the water tank ‘Kund’, had been lying neglected since decades.
Sometime in early 2004, with The Braj Foundation’s motivation, a London-based NRI began the restoration process by renovating the ghats but the water retention and percolation capacities could not be improved at that time.
When The Braj Foundation took up the task of reviving this kund, the temple priest challenged, “where water hasn’t been seen since 25 years, what will you accomplish?”.
In October 2007, The Foundation embarked on this daunting task with the careful mapping and survey of the temple and kund premises and soon earth movers started de-silting of the ‘water body’ which was lying dry and barren since decades. Heavy machinery was used to dig at the base of the kund in order to augment the water retention capacity. The fertile soil and manure which was excavated was spread in the adjoining Shadang forest. To ensure that the kund remains perennially filled with water, a larger water body was also constructed adjoining the temple, which was then connected with the canal Vrindavan Minor. Water from the Vrindavan minor now flows first into the kuchcha kund and then overflows into the pucca kund. Total expenses of about 3 laks were incurred for this whole operation, which was borne by Mr Kamal Morarka, Founder Chairman of the Braj Foundation. Today the kund is upto the brim with clean water and remains so during most of the year. Pilgrims visiting the temple has started taking daily baths in it.
The Braj Foundation has made DPRs for the beautification of this complex, construction of a amphitheatre, garden, feast facilities, including the revival of the 27 acre Shadang van, where the above mentioned Garud Govind is located. We are waiting for the funding for these plans to be executed . We need about Rs. 2.27 Crores fo this project.