Nand (also known as Nanda Gopa or Nanda Baba), according to the Harivamsha and the Puranas, was the head of the Gopas, a tribe of cowherds referred as Holy Gwals. He is popularly known as the foster-father of Krishna.
Nanda was the Chief or Mandaladhish of Gokul Mandal that was one of the most powerful branches of Yadavas. Vasudeva, took his new-born son Krishna to Nanda on the night of the child's birth so that Nanda could raise him. Nanda, who was married to Yasoda, brought up both Krishna and Balarama. Krishna derives his name Nandanandana (meaning son of Nanda) from him.
Nanda was brother of King Vasudeva.
king Vasudeva married Devaki, the niece of King Ugrasena of Mathura. Devaki's cousin, an evil tyrant named Kamsa, who had imprisoned Ugrasena and usurped the throne. Owing to the divine prediction that Kamsa would be slain by the eighth son of devaki, Kamsa arranged that all Devaki's sons should die at birth. Six children thus perished. But the seventh child was magically inserted in to the womb of Rohini, Vasudeva's another wife living under care of King Nanda, and the child so born was Balrama, Krishna's elder brother. Krishna himself was placed by Vasudeva into the hands of Nanda. Both Krishna and Balrama were brought up by Nanda, the cowherd chief and his wife Yashoda.
Nanda Gop once came to visit Shuklatirth. On the way back, he worshiped Koteshwara Shiva daily with ten crore crown flowers. After some time, Shiva was pleased and admitted Nanda into the ranks of his Gana and he became Gopeshwara.
Nanda Bhawan (Chaurasi Khamba Mandir)
The residence of Nanda, known as Nanda Bhawan, where Krishna grew up and spent first three years of his childhood is main and most famous temple in Mahavan. This yellow coloured building having lots of wall paintings depicting pastimes of Krishna has 84 pillars inside. It is believed that there are 84,00,000 species in this material world and each pillar is said to symbolise 100,000 species, thus representing all the life in the universe.
Nanda Ghata is situated on the bank of sacred river Yamuna. The Ghata (River bank) is related to the rescue of Nanda Baba's abduction by the followers of God Baruna, while Nanda was taking bath in holy river Yamuna.
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