The History of Manipuri-Rani Kunja in Vrindavan
The queen requested a special place for herself and her Manipuri friends to reside in the holy place of Vrindavan, so they acquired the neighboring property and called it Manipuri-Rani Kunja. It was a large property with beautiful, exotic, native trees. They constructed a temple and established the deities of Sri Sri Radha Vraja Mohan, honoring the beloved deities of Srila Narottam Das Thakur who was the founder of the Vaishnava movement in Manipur in the 16th century.
A platform was established there to conduct the Rasa Lila performances in Manipuri classical dance style for special occasions since Indian traditional art had been always a part of Hindu temple worship. Here it should be noted that the traditional way of performing Rama Lila (the essential artistic expression of the Ramayana) is recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Vrindavan, and especially Vrinda Kunja Ashram, was and still remains a part of this.
The queen herself lived in her Manipuri-Rani Kunja for many years, and there she performed her spiritual service.
History of Vrinda Kunja Ashram in Vrindavan
When the temple was reconstructed, a deity of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was also installed on the altar. To the great surprise and joy of all, one day a sadhu who had heard about Vrinda Kunja Ashram came to our temple with very old Radha Krishna deities originally from Shantipura in West Bengal.
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Here is the short history of our dear Vrinda Kunja Ashram and our volunteer program. If you want to know more about India and Vrindavan, kindly check our blog. We wish to meet you here, in the sweetest of all sacred places of India, Sri Vrindavan Dham, enchanting land of most attractive Sri Krishna. The mystical sadhu had only one condition upon offering the deities for Their worship in Vrinda Kunja Ashram: the devotees should offer Them one liter of milk daily. It was agreed upon, and there followed a beautiful festival to receive the Lordships. The Lords took possession of Their temple by Their own will. This event was sublimely beautiful and sweet.
Our Chaitanya Mahaprabhu deity was made from a piece of Imlitala tree by an expert carver from Mayapur who offered to the deity as a gift. That deity, or Thakurji as they are called in India, was also worshipped in the holy places of Srivas Angan in West Bengal and at the Imlitala temple in Vrindavan. Afterwards, the beautiful Mahaprabhu deity came to the Vrinda Kunja Ashram and assumed His seat right next to Sri Sri Radha Vraja Mohan.