On each of the hilltops in Barsana stands an important historical temple, the best known being Maan Mandir or Radha Rani Temple. Kushal Bihari temple, stands on a hilltop around half a kilometre from Maan Mandir. It is a majestic temple with an interesting history. The temple was completed in 1911 but the deity could not be established until 1918.
Intricate stonework of Kushal Bihari temple
Kushal Bihari temple was built by the Jaipur King, Madho Singh II. The temple was built at an expense of 15-16 Lakh Rupees and took 14 years to build. In addition to the main hall and temple room, the complex includes over 60 rooms for temple sevaiyats and brahmacharis.
It is said that the day before the installation of the deities in the temple, Radha Rani appeared Raja Madho Singh II’s dream and told him that her home is the place where she has been staying, in the temporary temple. The king thus abandoned the idea of shifting the deity. He installed a different set of deities in the Kushal Bihari temple and built another temple.
Madho Singh II ,and his wife were devoted to Radha-Krishna. He had the Madhav Vilas (in Vrindavan) built in his name, and Kushal Bihari temple is named after queen Kushal. Madho Singh II was known as a Dharmic king who ruled the kingdom according to his guru’s orders. He had 5 wives but no sons. He left this world in 1922.
The first temple sevaiyat was Radheshyam Brahmachari, disciple of the Nimbark Mahatma Shri Gopaldas. According to Nimbark Sampradaya history, Radheshyam Brahmachari renounced the world at a young age and took shelter of Shri Gopaldas in Vrindavan. The Nimbark sampradaya manages the temple and conducts the rituals according to their tradition.
Shri Nimbark Acharya
Nimbark Sampradaya is one of the four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas. The Sampradaya was founded by Nimbark Acharya (c.7th century CE). Nimbārk acharya was born in Vaidūryapattanam, the present-day Mungi Village, Paithan in East Maharashtra. He migrated with his parents to Mathurā and settled at what is now known as Nimbagrāma (Neemgaon), situated between Barsānā and Govardhan.