The name Nathdwara means ‘Gate of the Lord’.
Nathdwara is a town in Rajasthan state of western India. It is located in the Aravalli hills, on the banks of the Banas River in Rajsamand District, 48 kilometers north-east of Udaipur. This town is famous for its temple of Krishna which houses the idol of Shrinathji.
Nathdwara is a very famous Hindu pilgrimage site. This is one of the most eminent pilgrimage shrines of India, preserving Krishna as Govardhana Giridhari.
Nathdwara enshrines Shrinathji – an image of Krishna, which was originally enshrined at the Vraja Bhoomi at Mount Govardhana near Mathura. The image of Srinathji is believed to have been a self manifested one.
As per the religious myths, the shrine at Nathdwara was built in the 17th century at the spot as exactly ordained by Shrinathji himself. The idol of the Lord Krishna was being transferred to a safer place from Vrindaban to protect it from the anti-Hindu, iconoclastic and barbarian destruction of the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. When the idol reached the spot at village Sihad or Sinhad, the wheels of bullock cart in which the idol was being transported sank axle-deep in mud and could not be moved any farther. The accompanying priests realised that the particular place was the Lord’s chosen spot and accordingly, a temple was built there under the rule and protection of the then Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar.
Vallabhacharya the founder of this deity’s idol at Govardhan hill, near Mathura made arrangements for the worship and this tradition was continued by his son, Vitthalesh Goswami also known as Vitthal Nathji,institutionalised the worship of Shrinathji at Nathdwara. Shrinathji is worshiped by priests from this kul (genealogical descendants) of Vallabh Acharya, in all Havelis around the world, which have also been established exclusively by them.
The temple is also popularly called Shrinathji ki Haveli
The temple has everything that is required in a household from transport to food facility for the God Krishna.
Chariot for movement ; (In fact the original chariot in which Shrinathji was brought to Singhar)
A drawing room (Baithak)
A functional kitchen (Rasoighar)
A jewellery chamber (Gahnaghar)
A treasury (Kharcha bhandaar)
A gold and silver grinding wheel (Chakki)
Store room for milk (Doodhghar)
A store room for Betel (Paanghar)
A store room for sugar and sweetmeats (Mishrighar and Pedaghar)
A store room for flowers (Phoolghar)
A stable for horses of chariot (Ashvashala)
The Image of Shrinathji Shrinathji symbolizes a form of Krishna, when he lifted the Govardhan hill.
In the image, the lord is revealed with his left hand raised and the right hand made into a fist resting at the waist, with a large diamond placed beneath the lips.
The idol is carved in Bas-relief out of a monolithic black marble stone, with images of two cows, one lion, one snake, two peacocks and one parrot engraved on it and three sages placed near it.
The main attractions are the Aartis and the Shringar, i.e. the dressing and beautifying of the idol of Shrinathji, I was surprise to see that the idol is treated as a living person, adorning it with the appropriate dresses for the time of day or night.Tradition holds that Shrinathji would return to Govardhan some day.
I look forward to visit the “House of Krishna” again.
Jai Sreenath Ji Ki !