khola-becataya khyatah panditah shridharo dvijah
asid vraje hasya-karo yo namna kusumasavah
One of the twelve Gopals in Krishna lila was named Kusumasava. He appeared in Gaura-lila as Sridhara Pandit, who was given the nickname khola-beca, “bark-seller.”
Sridhara Pandit was a resident of Nabadwip. Nabadwip is composed of nine islands, of which the central island is known as Antardvipa. He used to live at the northern extremity of Mayapur and to the southeast of the Chand Kazi’s samadhi, in the place that now goes by the name of Sridhara Angan. During his lifetime, it was a banana orchard, which nowadays is no longer the case, at least not to our mortal eyes. During this incarnation, Sridhara played the role of a poor Brahmin who made his living selling the produce of his banana garden. In order to keep the memory of Sridhara Pandit alive, the founder of the world-wide Chaitanya and Gaudiya Maths, Nitya-lila-pravishta Om Vishnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, discovered and revealed this site of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes. Deity worship was established there and it continued until after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur’s disappearance. Now, because of problems with local people, the place is once again losing its beauty. Even so, during the Nabadwip parikrama, devotees still pay their obeisances at that spot to the memory of Sridhara Pandit.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has written as follows in his Nabadvipa-dhama-mahatmya: “Sridhara Pandit’s home comes after the weavers’ neighborhood. Gauranga Mahaprabhu ended the kirtan there.” Nityananda Prabhu says the following to Jiva Goswami:
“Out of his mercy, Mahaprabhu Gauranga Hari would end the kirtan here so that the devotees could rest. It is therefore known as vishrama-sthana, or the Lord’s place of rest. So let us also repose a while here at the house of Sridhara Pandit.”
According to this same book, there was previously a large tank near Sridhara’s banana orchard, but this too is no longer visible.