Barsana, 2017.07.17 (VT based on HS): Every year during the month of Saavan, devotees come from all around to have darshan of Sanket Bihari (Shri Radharamanji), Sanket Devi and Katyayani Mata in Sanket Van. Sanket Bihari enjoys an amazing swing festival on his five-hundred-year-old swing (jhula). But unfortunately, the land mafia is trying to bring Sanket Bihari’s swing festival to an end.
Sanket Bihari's Jhula with encroachments, Sanket Van (P.C. Hindustan Samwad)
About five hundred years ago Shri Narayan Bhatt Goswami identified five major places where Shri Thakurji’s jhulan lila occurred. These places are Dangarh and Vilasgarh in Barsana, Sanket Van, Anjan Bihari Mandir in Anjanauk and Chhatravan in Chhata. By his inspiration, the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s Revenue Minister Todarmal had grand stone jhulas constructed at each of these places.
Sanket Bihari’s jhula is located on the edge of the village, on the premesis of the Sanket Devi temple. The temple has about two acres of property, which includes the baithak of the Gaudiya Vaishnava saint Shri Gopal Bhatt Goswami.
The land mafia is agressively trying to take over the property. Thugs have been storing heavy agricultural equipment, wood and other building materials on the temple land, including inside Thakurji’s jhula. They are keeping farm animals tied in the temple courtyard and filling the temple entryway with sewage and garbage so that devotees won’t come in for darshan.
In 2013 the Tourism Department spent 25 lakhs on rennovations to the temple, but these encroachments are on the way to destroying their work. We urge the government to intervene as soon as possible to ensure the safety of this place with its deep historical and spiritual significance.