Gaura Mandala Area
Gaura Mandala is over 200km in circumference, with the Ganges running through the centre. It takes the form of a hundred-petaled lotus with Navadvipa as the hub. Navadvipa consists of nine (nava) islands (dvipa), each of the nine islands resembling an eight-petaled lotus flower. Antardvipa, the centre of the flower, has a circumference of 15km.
The central point, situated within Navadvipa, is the Yogapitha, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s birthplace. Navadvipa is considered to be a spiritual manifestation, for Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed his transcendental activities in this holy place.
Just off the campus, on the opposite side of the road, flows the merciful Ganga, eager to purify everyone and bestow the most rarely attained Krishna-prema. Here Ganga is most merciful than at any other place as Gauranga Mahaprabhu has performed wonderful pastimes in her sacred waters. Ganga Puja is an important event during the Gaura-purnima festival and on all important festivals, devotees go in a procession (jala-yatra) with Harinama Sankirtana to bring Ganga water to bathe the Deities.
Each one of the nine islands of Nava-dvipa represents one of the nine processes of devotional service. The nine divisions are:
- Antardvipa, Shri Mayapur (surrendering everything);
- Simantadvipa, (hearing);
- Godrumadvipa, (chanting);
- Madhyadvipa, (remembering);
- Koladvipa, Navadvipa city (serving the lotus feet);
- Ritudvipa, (worshiping);
- Jahnudvipa, (praying);
- Modadruma-dvipa, (being a servant); and
- Rudradvipa, (being a friend).
Shri Caitanya’s Birthplace (Yogapitha)
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared under a tree. As a child he was known as Nimai. A small house was built here and houses the Deities of Jagannath Misra and Sacidevi (Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s parents), together with baby Nimai. There is a small temple dedicated to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur who was responsible for raising the money for building the original temple dedicated to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The main temple has a 30m high tower.
In 1893, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura established Sri Yoga-pitha as the actual birth site of Lord Chaitanya’s appearance. It is one kilometer from The main gate of Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir. Inside the temple, on the right side is a small shrine where a deity of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is worshipped.
The neem tree where Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared is on the right side of the temple and a small mud hut with deities of Jagannatha Mishra and Mother Sachidevi holding young Nimai on her lap. Just behind the mud hut is a temple with two Shiva-lingas. A temple of Sri Gaura-Gadadhara and Sri Lakshmi Nrisimhadeva is on the back of the temple area. A Gaura-kunda, excavated by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in 1920, is also within the complex.
Inside Yogapitha temple there are three altars (Darsana times: 8:30am to 11:00am and 3.30pm to 8:00pm) :
- Sri Radha Madhava and Lord Chaitanya
- Sri Gaura-Narayana with Lakshmipriya, Vishnupriya and the Adhokshaja Vishnu Deity worshipped by Jagannatha Mishra
- Sri Pancha-tattva and Sri Jagannatha
Sri Srivasa Angan – The birthplace of Harinama-sankirtana
Deities of Radha Krishna, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Prabhu Nityananda can be seen here. Sri Caitanya and his associates used to have kirtan here all night long. This is also where Chand Kazi and his men broke the mridanga. Thus it is also called Khol Bhanga Danga, the place where the mrdanga was broken.
This is the courtyard of Sri Srivasa Thakura and it is just 250 meters away from the Yogapitha. The temple has three shrines:
- Sri Sri Radha Krishna and Lord Chaitanya
- Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during His maha-prakasa-lila when He revealed Himself to His intimate devotees as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
- Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai. Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya are leading all the devotees in the Kirtana that went to Chand Kazi’s palace to protest against his ban on the Harinama-sankirtana.
Since this is the place where a mridanga was broken by Chand Kazi’s men to stop the sankirtana, it is also known as Khol-bhanga danga.
Darsana times: 8.30am to 11am and 3.30pm to 8.30pm.
Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Matha
This is half a kilometer from Srivasa Angan. This temple and the matha were established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in 1918 and it was his headquarters for his preaching throughout India. He called this place Vraja-pattana, the place Vraja is manifest. By his spiritual potency, Syama-kunda, Radha-kunda and Giri Govardhana of Vrindavana are all manifest here. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s samadhi is also located inside the matha campus and his life sized murti is now worshipped. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had also established a temple presided by Sri Sri Gandharvika-Giridhari and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Surrounding Them, on the four sides, are the murtis of Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva, Sri Nimbarka and Sri Visnusvami. He had also established a samadhi for his spiritual master Srila Gaurakisora das Babaji Maharaja.
Nandana Acarya’s House
This is where Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya met for the first time within Their manifest pastimes about five hundred years ago. Gauranga Mahaprabhu also hid here for one night, creating intense feelings of separation in His associates. Sri Sri Gaura-Nityananda Mandir is the main temple there. There are Deities of Gaura-Nitai, Radha Vinoda-vihari and Nrisimhadeva.
This temple is just 30 meters away from Srivasa Angan. Advaita Acharya lived in Santipur but kept this Bhavan for His Mayapur visits. Deities of Lord Chaitanya (standing) and Advaita Acarya (sitting and offering) are worshipped here.
It is ten meters to the right of Advaita Bhavan. Deities of Lord Chaitanya and Sri Gadadhara Pandita are worshipped here.
Chand Kazi’s Samadhi (Tomb)
During the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Chand Kazi was the Muslim magistrate of Navadvipa. He opposed the sankirtana movement, but was later converted; he thenvowed that neither he nor his descendants would impede the movement again. A Champaka tree grows above his tomb. This tree growing along with a neem tree is said to be 500 years old.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s House
Bhaktivinoda Thakura lived here. It was here that he wrote Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, which describes the glories of Navadvipa-dhama. His Samadhi, along with Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji’s bhajan kutir can be seen here.