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Gokul
Gokul
Location of Gokul
in Uttar Pradesh and India
Coordinates 27°27′N 77°43′E / 27.45°N 77.72°E / 27.45; 77.72
Country  India
State Uttar Pradesh
District(s) Mathura
Population 4,041 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area
Elevation

163 m (535 ft)
For the Jat chieftain, see Gokula.
For the Mumbai restaurant, see Gokul (restaurant)

Gokul is a town and a nagar panchayat in Mathura district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located 15 km south-east of Mathura. It was popularised by Vallabhacharya as a religious site during the 16th century, and became an important centre of the Bhakti culture.

Contents

In Hindu mythology

Krishna dances over the subdued Kaliya Naag in river Yamuna, while seen on the banks are people of Gokula, Krishna's father Nanda Baba and his brother Balarama

According to Hindu mythology concerning Lord Krishna, Gokul was the place where Lord Krishna was brought up under the care of Nanda and Yashoda, the first family of the village. Since Kamsa, Krishna's uncle, used to kill every baby born to Devaki, Nanda exchanged his own new born daughter with Vasudeva in order to smuggle Krishna away without raising Kamsa's suspicion. During his stay at Gokul, Krishna spent his time in fun and frolic, though his life did come under threat a few times. He was very naughty as a child, and was often caught stealing butter and milk from pots.

One of the earliest incidents happened when Krishna was an infant, and the demoness Putana came to the village at the behest of Kamsa. She laced her nipples with poison and tried to breastfeed Krishna. However, Krishna suckled on her until he completely drained her life away.

The river Yamuna used to flow near the village, and a five-headed serpent known as Kaliya used to live in its waters. Kaliya was a powerful cobra, who made the river waters poisonous and made the forests barren. Krishna vanquished this snake, and one of the most famous paintings of Krishna depicts him dancing on the head of Kaliya in a Nataraja like position, while playing his flute.

Another famous incident was Krishna lifting Mount Govardhan with the little finger of his left hand, when a great storm threatened to blow away Gokul and its residents.

Krishna spent his time in Gokul in playful activities. He used to play the flute, and was very popular with the village girls (known as gopikas). It is at Gokul that Krishna met Radha, his life long love whom he never married.

People roll about in the sand here at a spot called 'Raman Reti' to be blessed by Lord Krishna.

Geography

Gokul is located at 27°27′N 77°43′E / 27.45°N 77.72°E / 27.45; 77.72[1]. It has an average elevation of 163 metres (534 feet).

Demographics

As of 2001 India census[2], Gokul had a population of 4041. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Gokul has an average literacy rate of 60%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 68%, and female literacy is 49%. In Gokul, 18% of the population is under 6 years of age.

References

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