Radha Valabha Temple
Harivamsa Gosvami, a disciple of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, founded this popular temple. He is the founder of the Radha-Ballabha Sect, and is known for his emotional poetry about Radha and Krishna. He was born around 1500 in the village of Bad, about 10 km from Mathura, on the Mathura-Agra Road, in Braja Mandala.
His father was a well-known astrologer and was engaged by the Mughal emperor. He was married at the age of 16 and had three sons. He renounced family life at the age of 32 and started for Vrindavana. On the way he stopped in a village where a brahmana named Atmadeva was worshiping the Deity of Radha Ballabha.
Atmadeva had two daughters of marriageable age. In a dream Atmadeva was directed to give the Deity to Hit Harivamsa and also that his daughter should be married to him. He then built a hermitage near Seva Kunja and installed the Deity of Radha-Ballabha there.
A temple was constructed for Radha Ballabha around 1626 by a Bengali devotee named Sundara Das, who was the disciple of Braja Chand, Sri Hit Harivamsa’s son. The soldiers of Aurangzeb desecrated this temple in 1670. The present temple, which is adjacent to the old one, is where the Deity is now worshiped. This temple was completed in 1871-72.
The Deity of Radha-Ballabha was taken for a while to the town of Kaman, and returned in 1784. This is one of the more popular temples in Vrindavana. There is no Deity of Radharani in this temple. A crown is placed on the altar and this is used for Radha’s worship. First oblations are offered to Radha and then to Krishna. Garments are also first offered to Radha and then to Krishna.