Gaura Mandala is over 200km in circumference, with the Ganges running through the centre. It takes the form of a hundred-petaled lotus with Navadvipa as the hub. Navadvipa consists of nine (nava) islands (dvipa), each of the nine islands resembling an eight-petaled lotus flower. Antardvipa, the centre of the flower, has a circumference of 15km.
The central point, situated within Navadvipa, is the Yogapitha, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s birthplace. Navadvipa is considered to be a spiritual manifestation, for Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed his transcendental activities in this holy place.
Just off the campus, on the opposite side of the road, flows the merciful Ganga, eager to purify everyone and bestow the most rarely attained Krishna-prema. Here Ganga is most merciful than at any other place as Gauranga Mahaprabhu has performed wonderful pastimes in her sacred waters. Ganga Puja is an important event during the Gaura-purnima festival and on all important festivals, devotees go in a procession (jala-yatra) with Harinama Sankirtana to bring Ganga water to bathe the Deities.
Each one of the nine islands of Nava-dvipa represents one of the nine processes of devotional service. The nine divisions are:
- Antardvipa, Shri Mayapur (surrendering everything);
- Simantadvipa, (hearing);
- Godrumadvipa, (chanting);
- Madhyadvipa, (remembering);
- Koladvipa, Navadvipa city (serving the lotus feet);
- Ritudvipa, (worshiping);
- Jahnudvipa, (praying);
- Modadruma-dvipa, (being a servant); and
- Rudradvipa, (being a friend).