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A lake or pond, a kunda often has steps leading to the water.

The term ‘Braj’ does not refer to an area with clearly defined boundaries and has never been used as the official name of a political territory or administrative division. It is derived from the Sanskrit vraja, which is used in the oldest accounts of Krishna’s childhood to mean ‘an enclosure or station of herdsmen’. Modern pundits, however, define it as ‘a place where cows roam’, thereby endorsing the use of ‘Braj’ as a name for the countryside in which Krishna grazed his cattle and in which all the sacred places associated with his early years are located.

The act of walking in a clockwise direction around a sacred object is a long-established religious practice. It was a fundamental part of the worship of a Buddhist or Jain stupa, and in the late Vedic period sacrifice provided a context for circumambulation. It was interpreted as an act of encompassing or encircling the universe, defending it from evil spirits who roam the outerlying areas of darkness, demarcating the boundary between universe and non-universe, and of identifying the performer with the brahman that pervades and sustains creation. Everywhere in India it is customary to circumambulate a sacred tree, a pedestal or mound on which the sacred basil plant grows, and any deity - either by walking around the temple itself or by using a passage within the building that encircles the shrine room. Pilgrims should also circumambulate any sacred they visit. The precincts of holy towns in India are delineated by a parikrama route, and are sometimes surrounded by another longer circuit that includes many subsidiary sacred places. Local residents may walk around their sacred centre at any time - daily if they are particularly devout, on the eleventh day of any lunar fortnight, on the full moon, or every day during the month of Karttik and intercalary months. Circumambulations can usually be started at any point along the route and are not considered complete unless one return to the point of departure.

Pilgrim accomodation.

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