Koi Le Ghat

An exploration of the less heralded pilgrimage spots in Braj

By: Hare Krishna Movement, Vrindavan

After Lord Krishna’s appearance, Vasudeva carried Him from the prison house of Kamsa in Mathura to Nanda Maharaj’s home in Gokula. On the way Vasudeva had to cross the Yamuna and though it was raining heavily and Yamuna was in spate, she still gave way to Vasudeva. This is described by Srila Prabhupada thus:

When Vasudeva was carrying Krishna, the darkness of the night disappeared. All the prison doors automatically opened. At the same time there was thunder in the sky and severe rainfall. While Vasudeva was carrying his son Krishna in the falling rain, Lord Sesa in the shape of a serpent spread His hood over the head of Vasudeva so that he would not be hampered by the rainfall. Vasudeva came onto the bank of the Yamunä and saw that the water of the Yamuna was roaring with waves and that the whole span was full of foam. Still, in that furious feature, the river gave passage to Vasudeva to cross, just as the great Indian Ocean gave a path to Lord Rama when He was bridging over the gulf. In this way Vasudeva crossed the river Yamuna. (Krishna Book – Chapter 3)

The place where Krishna crossed the Yamuna to reach Gokula is called “Koi Le Ghat”. At this place, Yamuna parted to give way to Vasudeva. While crossing the Yamuna, Krishna fell into the Yamuna. This is described by Srila Prabhupada thus:

Vasudeva, due to his great appreciation for Krishna, wanted to give Him protection. He never thought that Krishna was the Supreme Lord and could protect Himself; he thought of Krishna as his son. Because Vasudeva was a great devotee of the Lord, he did not like to think that Krishna  might be killed like his other children. Morally, Vasudeva was bound to deliver Krishna to the hands of Kamsa because he had promised to turn over all his children. But out of his great love for Krishna he broke his promise, and the Lord was very pleased with Vasudeva for his transcendental mentality. He did not want to disturb the intense affection of Vasudeva, and thus He agreed to be carried by His father to the house of Nanda and Yasoda. And just to test the intense love of Vasudeva, Lord Krishna fell down in the waters of the Yamuna while His father was crossing the river. Vasudeva became mad after his child as he tried to recover Him in the midst of the rising river.
(SB 3.2.17)

And as far as sanctity is concerned, the River Yamuna is more directly connected with Lord Krishna than the Ganges. The Lord sanctified the River Yamuna from the beginning of His transcendental pastimes in the world. While His father Vasudeva was crossing the Yamuna with the baby Lord Krishna for a safe place at Gokula on the other bank of the river from Mathura, the Lord fell down in the river, and by the dust of His lotus feet the river at once became sanctified. It is especially mentioned herein that Maharaja Parikshit took shelter of that particular river which is beautifully flowing, carrying the dust of the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, mixed with tulasi leaves. Lord Krishna's lotus feet are always besmeared with the tulasi leaves, and thus as soon as His lotus feet contact the water of the Ganges and the Yamuna, the rivers become at once sanctified. The Lord, however, contacted the River Yamuna more than the Ganges. According to the Varaha Purana, as quoted by  Srila Jiva Gosvami, there is no difference between the water of the Ganges and the Yamuna, but when the water of the Ganges is sanctified one hundred times, it is called the Yamuna. (SB 1.19.6)

When Krishna fell into the Yamuna, it is said that Vasudeva started crying out “Koi le, koi le”, meaning, “someone take (my baby), someone take (my baby)”. Hence the name of this Ghat became “Koi Le Ghat”.

This ghat is located near Mathura refinery. To reach here, one takes the road opposite the main refinery gate which leads towards Yamuna. There is a sign board indicating the way to the Ghat. One will have to inquire from people along the way to the place as it is not easy to locate.