Gahvara means “deep”, “dense”, “inaccessible” and “secret”.
True to its name, this place is a dense forest full of trees, vines, groves (keli-kunjas) and the sweet and intimate pastimes of Radha and Krishna. It is shaped like a shell.
Here is a sitting place (baithaka) of Vallabhacarya, where he recited Srimad-Bhagavatam, Radha-sarovara and a rasa-mandala. Here, one can also see the places where many bhaktas performed their bhajana.
vanaya ca namo namah
– Brihan Naradiya Purana
A famous devotee, Nagari Dasa, has described the pastimes of this place in his songs.
For example, the following pastime took place here one day, when Sri Krishna was grazing the cows with His sakhas:
caksaulike cana curaye
gari de dauri rakhvarin gvarin sahit gupal bhagaye
hare but dabe baglin meim svas bhare van gahvar aye
kahat ature bol lol drig hamsat-hamsat sab baran cadhaye
hare cabat, kou hora kari, van ki lila lal lubhaye
nagariya baithi chaki hari chil-chil nandalalahim khvaye
“Near a field, green chickpea plants grew. Seeing them, Sri Krishna along with His sakhas broke some plants. The woman who guarded the field found out about this and ran to catch them, but Krishna was too fast.
Keeping the plants under his arm, he ran very fast on crooked paths and finally stopped at Gahvaravana, where he roasted the green chickpeas and ate them with his sakhas.
While laughing and enjoying eating roasted chickpeas, the gopi came to that place, but seeing the splendor of Krishna’s beauty, she forgot the incident and her anger subsided.
Due to absorption in maternal love (vatsalya-bhava), she started peeling peas and personally fed Krishna.
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