There are thousands of heritage buildings in Braj which are in a dilapidated condition and need immediate attention.The current real estate interest in Vrindavan is a threat to the heritage sites. In fact Braj has seen several waves of destruction and restoration of its heritage during the past 5000 years.
Archeological Survey of India has been able to identify only 115 sites in Braj. The remaining sites have been ignored. The Braj Foundation is trying to do a proper listing of all these sites and trying to restore some of them.
In this effort, The Braj Foundation has been able to restore following historic buildings in a span of a few years;
Jal Mahal, Vrishbhanu Kund, Barsana
This magnificent building dates back to 1215 A.D. but according to Baba Maharaj the spots of leela sthalis are the same. However, they have been restored and destroyed repeatedly over the last five thousand years.
According to the local saints and Brajwasis it was here Radharani with Her parents and sakhis used to come for her morning bath. The Jal Mahal was to give privacy to Her and also to enjoy the beauty of the Vrishbhanu Kund in which it descends.
This building was in shambles, with unauthorized encroachments on it. Bats and wild life had made it their home. Local people of Barsana were using it as public toilet. Shri Ramesh Baba of Gahvar Van, Barsana was pained to see it’s plight and wanted it to be restored.
In 2003 Sr. Journalist Vineet Narain, with a desire to serve Shri Baba Maharaj approached his friends Mr Rajiv Shukla, Mr B P Singhal & Mr Balbir Punj, all Members of Indian Parliament to allocate part of their MPLAD fund and got Rs 25 lakh sanctioned for this work. This money was released in favour of Mathura Dist. Admn. to execute the restoration. This had to be done, because by then The Braj Foundation had not been formally registered. Braj Sharan Baba and some other young sadhus of Maan Mandir (Barsana) volunteered their efforts for several months to ensure proper execution of the restoration work.
After the Braj Foundation came into existence we have been trying hard with the UP Govt. to get the
unauthorized encroachments removed. Meanwhile The Braj Foundation has engaged architects, students of Architecture from IIT Roorkee and landscape designers etc. to design it's future development plans.
We propose to make Vrishbhanu Kund Complex the most attractive destination in Barsana for the devotees of Radha Rani, who find no place to breath, relax and enjoy after the main darshans at the Shreeji temple. During Lathamaar Holi and Radha Ashtami huge crowd descends in Barsana. There is no place to accomodate it. This complex will prove to be the right place for all such activities.
This is one of the famous seven most famous temples of Vrindavan which has great heritage value. One portion of it’s main building was in shambles and needed immediate attention. The Braj Foundation( Courtsey Mr A Poddar) gave a donation of Rs Ten lakhs to the custodians of the temple to execute the desired restoration.
This privately owned property of a local Brahmin family is a shelter for thousands of people for six decades. Despite being poor primary school teacher the couple who owned small hutment served food generously to anybody who came at their door at time of the day or night. So much was their enthusiasm to serve the poor and hungry that at times the couple could not feed their own five children. Pleased by their selfless service Radharani showered such mercy upon this family temple that today hundreds of people are fed by themeveryday.Now they have mechanized roti makers and a team of dozens of volunteersnto help them in this sewa. Considering this as noble cause the Braj Foundation(courtsey Mr A Poddar) donated Rs 20 Lakhs for the restoration of this property. Subsequently many other donors came forward and today it is a vibrant temple, guest house and community kitchen.
Situated right on the parikrama marg of Vrindavan, between Attalla Chungi crossing and Raman Reti crossing, this again is a privately owned ashram where Sevak Sharan Ji with his wife have been living for decades looking after hundreds of sacred plants and trees. They are concerned about the fast vanishing green cover of Vrindavan. They often conduct meetings and forums for restoration of greenery in Vrindavan. Their Ashram needed repair and face lift. So that the guests can find it attractive and comfortable. Considering the importance of their work the foundation spent about Rs Three lakhs in cash and kind to restore the ashram and named their garden Atal Van, since the real Atal Van which should have been here cannot be recreated due to heavy concretization of this whole area.