Location: At Nathdwara in Rajasmand District
Built in: In 17th century
Dedicated to: Shrinathji (Lord Krishna)
Significance: One of the pilgrimages of the Hindus/ Vaishnavites
How to reach: One can easily reach Nathdwara Temple either by taking regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from anywhere in Rajasthan
Shrinathji Temple is one of the most revered shrines of Lord Krishna. Located at Nathdwara in Rajasmand district, Shrinathji Mandir is easily accessible from anywhere in Rajasthan. Nathdwara is small town that is truly famous for this temple. Shrinathji lies at a distance of 48 kms from Udaipur, the city of lakes in Rajasthan. Udaipur is well-connected to the major cities of the country by road, rail and air. From Udaipur, one can take regular buses or hire taxis in order to reach Nathdwara.
Built in the 17th century, Shrinathji Temple is dedicated to Lord Shrinathji (form of Lord Krishna). 'Haveli of Shrinathji' is the synonymous phrase used for Shrinathji Temple. The word 'Nathdwara' is made up of two terms, one being 'Nath' that means 'the Lord' and the other is 'Dwara', which suggests 'gate'. Thus, Nathdwara implies the 'gate of the lord'. Shrinathji forms an important pilgrimage site for the Vaishnavites.
Like other temples of India, Shrinathji Temple also has a story behind its foundation. As per the story, the idol of Shrinathji was consecrated in Vrindavan (land related to Lord Krishna). In the 17th century, Aurangzeb attacked the Hindu temples in rant and rave. To safeguard the idol of Shrinathji, many Rajput rulers tried their best, but all in vain. In 1672, Rana Raj Singh made an effort to liberate the idol from the monarchy of Aurangzeb.
It is believed that when the idol was being transferred to an unapproachable place, the wheel of the cart sank deep down in the mud at a particular place. The escorting priest perceived that this place has been chosen by the Lord himself. Consequently, the temple was constructed on the same spot. The temple is built in simple terms of architecture, yet the divine aura of this temple is eternal.
The striking idol of Shrinathji gets the major attraction and is actually worth seeing. A glimpse of Lord makes one to feel the aesthetic world. Shrinathji represents the form of Lord Krishna, when he raised the 'Govardhana' (a hill). Made out in black stone, the image of the Lord appears majestic with his left hand raised and the right hand confined in a fist. The Lord's chin is adorned with a dazzling diamond, which is visible from a distance.
Shrinathji Temple is one amongst the richest temples of India. It receives millions of rupees as offering to the Lord. The temple authorities possess approximately 500 cows and the milk of these cows, is used for the preparation of sweets and milk products. Among these cows, there is one cow that is considered as Shrinathji's cow. This cow is believed to have come from the lineage, which served the Lord from ages.
Formerly, the temple used to receive wagon-loads of food and these were whispered to be consigned by and consigned to Lord Shrinathji. The temple has food-grinders made of gold and silver. It is also said to have four wells of 'Desi Ghee'. The huge temple complex is divided into many sections, like the main shrine, food, Prasad, Priests' lodges and stiching department, where tailors stitch marvelous dresses of Shrinathji.
During the festivities of Holi, Diwali and Janmashtami, devotees come in large numbers. Besides Holi and Janmashtami, Annakutta is a major festival that is observed here with a whole-hearted passion. Non-Hindus are allowed to visit this temple, however with the exception of foreigners. Undoubtedly, Shrinathji Temple is a place worth-visiting and feeling the spiritual delight.