"Vrinda refers to Srimati Tulasi-devi. Because tulasi plants grow profusely
in this forest, it has been named after her. Tulasi is very dear to
Lord Krishna. "The word 'vana' means forest. Vrindavana is the name
given to the forest where Srimati Vrinda-devi (Tulasi-devi) grows profusely."
(Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 17.193 purport) Vrinda devi is the presiding
Deity of the forest of Vrindavana. She is an expansion of Radharani.
The forest of Vrindavana is the largest forest. It goes from the present
city of Vrindavana to Nandagram and Varsana on one side and to Govardhana
on the other side. This is the favourite forest of Krishna. It is the
12th forest of Braja Mandala and is considered the most auspicious.
This forest extends 57 km (32 miles). Within this forest is Radha Kunda.
Within this forest Krishna performed the rasa dance with the beautiful
gopis damsels of Vraja. In the evening, Krishna would come to the forest
of Vrindavana and play His transcendental flute, thus calling all the
beautiful gopis to come and enjoy the wonderful rasa-lila, the divine
dance of love. Lord Krishna would then dance in spiritual ecstasy with
hundreds of beautiful gopis, and each gopi would have the opportunity
of personally dancing with Krishna. The gopis also exchanged intimate
loving glances with Krishna and were embraced by the Lord to their hearts'
The rasa-mandala (place where the rasa dance was performed) has a parameter
of 16 km (9 miles). It is a semicircle, with the Yamuna flowing on one
side. Even though thousands of gopis were dancing with Krishna, Yogamaya
arranges that they all fit in this small mandala (area).
"In Braja the land is divided into various vanas (forests). The forests
total twelve, and their extension is estimated to be 84 krosas (168
miles). Of these, the special forest known as Vrindavana is located
from the present municipal city of Vrindavana to the village called
Nandagram." (Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 21.29 purport)