Abode of Lord Krishna Nathdwara:-
Nathdwara situated in the state of Rajasthan, Western India is well known
for Shrinathji Temple. Being a doorway to Lord, this destination pulsates
with the presence of various cultures, languages and rituals of
Rajasthan. Generally known as the Brij Bhumi, this region sharing a close
cultural affinity with UP, Haryana and Gujarat remains a pivotal center
of Vallabh sect. Apart from all, the idol of Lord Shrinathji is caressed
like a child. His every need is taken care of and changes in his routine
are done according to the moods and seasons. Right from changing the
clothes to presenting different range of culinary delights, the Lords
idol is offered all the luxuries, as always deserved by the supreme
Dating back to the times immemorial, Nathdwara being Srinathji’s present
abode, is not the place of origin. The story behind his appearance is
that a cow who routinely grazed on Govardhan hill would pour her milk at
a particular site every day. The villages when excavated the site, they
found an idol of Krishna which was later placed on the hillock of the
Govardahn parvat by the Saint Mahaprabhu Vallabh Acharaya. It is said
that idol of Shrinathji emerged at the same time when this great saint
took birth in Champaran, in l479. Followed by the series of attacks by
Sikander Lodi, the temple was vandalized by him before the completion of
the temple after which the idol was secretly taken to forests for safety.
After Sikander Lodi’s death, the temple was re built and the idol was
brought back to Jatipura village, Govardhan, in Gokul, where lord krishna
spent his child hood. With the mutiny declared by Aurangzeb later, the
devotees kept on changing the seat of Srinath ji. From Agra to Kota to
Puskar and finally to Mewar where Lord stayed for 32 months because every
where the lord went, people welcomed and would not let him go. Sinhad,
where Shrinath ji finally stayed after 1671, is now famous as Nathdwara.
The temple of Shrinath ji is a simple structure built like a haveli.
Bounded by ramparts from all sides, this temple is designed after
Krishna’s father house; Nand ji palace. It is the same replica of Nand ji
house present in Mathura. Moving inside the temple, the pilgrims will get
an opportunity to see black marbled Srinath’s ji idol, swindled by a
serpent god on his neck. The diamond on his chin is said to be donated by
a Mughal emperor Akbar. The surrounding area is etched with the images of
parrots, peacocks and snakes which surely reflects the art forms of
Nathdwara. The jhankis or glimpses of the lord are very beautiful. At
5:30 Am in morning, the lord is awakened by the conch and is offered
meals, butter, fruits etc. During the Shingar time the lord is given bath
where he is draped in a new jewelry and clothes. During gwala darshan,
the lord is offered incense sticks and there after he leads the cows to
graze. The Rajbhog ceremony is from 10:30 Am to 12:15 Pm when elaborate
meals are offered, after which he goes for rest. During Uthappan, at 3:00
to 3:30 PM, lord is again awakened with a conch and he is offered milk
and butter. During the bhog time, the lord is offered more food at
4:30pm, in which darshan fountains are placed to give him a cooling
effect. When lord returns with the cows at 5:15 pm, Sandhya Aarti is
performed. At 6:30 PM, shayan is offered to Lord Shri Nath Ji. He is
given the bhog of betel leaves after which he is put to bed. The
remaining Jhaanki lasts for about half an hour. The bhog is distributed
in the form of Prasad.
Besides this the goshalas of Nathuvas catering to 1500 cows amongst which
the main cow belonging to the lineage of Nand Vansh known as Srinath’s
cow is considered supreme and pure. Her milk is only meant for the
deities and rest other’s milk is used in the preparation of Mahaprasada.
Srinath ji temple is located just 3 kms from the bus stand. The timings
during summer are 5.45 am to 5.45pm and 4:30 Am to 5:45 PM in winters.
Mangal aarti is performed at 5:00 Am in summers and 6:00 Am in winter.
The last aarti is performed at 7:30 Pm(winters) or 6:30Pm(summers). The
non-hindus are not allowed in the temple. Most of the well known
festivals in hindu calendar are celebrated with full zeal. Special
preparations are done during the festive season of Janmashtmi(Aug),
Radhashtami(Aug), Gopashmi(Oct-Nov), Nand Mahotsav(Aug-Sept) and
Diwali(Nov). To read some of the best books on Krishna’s life sahitya
mandal library near the temple can be visited by any time of the season.
The timings are 6:00 Am to 9:00Pm. Chaupati Bazaar, Pichwais, Krishna
Arts, Raathi silver, Gramin Haat are the rural markets where the
travelers can go for a shopping. The hotels in Nathdwara offer an
excellent accommodation to the pilgrims looking for a comfortable stay.
Hotel Garden View, Hotel Utsav, Hotel Gokul are some of the Hotels in
Nathdwara which are assured to provide the travelers with all the
comforts quiet worth to the penny spent.
Nathdwara is one of those pilgrimages in the world where the pilgrims
would surely feel blessed and enlightened by the god’s grace. Come and
relinquish yourself from all the sins as it may be the call of god who
desires to burnish your soul, transcending you to attain complete