Shrinathji of Nathdwara is 48 km from Udaipur in Rajasthan. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna with the diety’s image carved out of a single block of black marble. The temple is set amidst idyllic hills, it is known to be the second richest temple in the world. The royal kings of Udaipur pray at the temple and as the head of his clan, the Maharana is also called as Shriji among his people.
Video - In and Around Shreenathji Nathdwara Temple
Significance of the Temple
As the legend reveals Goswami Dev moved from Mathura to escape from Aurangzeb and carried this particular idol in a chariot with an intention to take the same to Udaipur. While this travelling his chariot got stuck in Sinhad and finally, his thoughts directed that it was the divine’s will and decided to consecrated it on that spot only. Today this place is known as Nathdwara.
Shri Nathdwara which is a pathway to Lord Shri Krishna literally means the gateway to the Lord ShriNathji. In 17th century this great Vaishnavite shrine was built on spot exactly identified by the Lord himself. One of the legends depicts that the idol of the Lord Krishna was being transferred to safer place from Vrindaban to protect it from the destructions cause by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. When the Lord Krishna’s idol reached this spot, the wheels of bullock cart it was traveling on sank axle deep in mud and did not move further at all. The accompanying priest with the Lord's Chariot realized that this was Lord's chosen spot and the Lord did not want to travel any further.
Shri Nathdwara Temple Board of management welcomes the devotees to Shrinathji with great hospitailtiy. This holy place of the divinity form of Lord Krishna is the presiding central deity of the Vaishnava sect known as Pushtimarge. In the inner sanctum of the temple one can have the glimpses of the idol situated which have the permission for darhsan only for short intervals eight times a day in different moods. Apart from those intervals temple boundaries is relatively free from crowds and people who are curious of capturing the natural beauty of art and architecture of the place to explore.
The Shrinathji temple is referred to as 'Haveli', commonly used word in Rajasthan for the big mansions of the wealthy merchants. Temple servants here at the temple wear the clothes and costumes of the bygone era of kings and queens and serve Lord Krishna as the beloved prince and son of Nandaraj and Yashoda maiya, the adoptive parents of Lord Krishna.
At regular intervals in the temple there is a live performance of classical music in the fragrant marble halls and courtyards to entertain Lord Krishna. There are the old ‘pankhwalas’ who still pull on the large fans manually to cool the interiors in and around the temple. There are even drums and trumpets being placed to announce the 'Royal Darshan' in the noon just as the announcements that used to happen for kings entering their courts were once made. The Shreenathji temple is built around several split-level courtyards to keep it airy with a solid-white facade at its exteriors. There are huge paintings of elephants, horses, beautiful maidens and doorkeepers on all the doorways. It is has been believed that famous pichwai paintings originated from the custom of painted curtain cloths behind the idol.
The temple authorities of Shreenathji Temple possess approximately 500 cows and the milk of these cows, is used for the preparation of sweets and milk products and served as bhog or Prasad. 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.
Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Shreenajthji Temple is during the festivities of Holi, Diwali and Janmashtami, where devotees throng in large numbers. Besides these festivals, Annakutta is a major festival that is being held here with a whole-hearted passion. Non-Hindus are also allowed to visit this temple, however with an exception of foreigners.
Rules and Rituals of the temples
Mangla is the first darshan of day in the Shreenathji Temple. Arati is being offered to lord Shrinathji during this first darshan. Mangla darshan takes place in the morning hours before sunrise in winter months and in summer months it is later. During summer months Shrinathji wears a dhoti and in winter months he wears a Coat or Rajai.
Shringar is the second part of the darshan of day. Shringar darshan takes palce after about one hour. Dry fruits are being offered to Shrinathji during this shringar darshan. In this Darshan, Shrinathji is dressed well and songs are sung by the poets.
Gval Darshan is the third darshan of day, it is when shrinathji takes cows to the field. During this darshan sweets are offered to Shrinathji.
Rajbhog Darshan serves as the fourth darshan when the delicious food is being served to shrinathji and also aarti is performed.
It is the fifth darshan and it held at about 3 p.m. when Lord Shrinathji awakes after his noon sleep.
It is the sixth darshan of day when Shrinathji is being offered fruits and light meal.
Sandhya Arti Darshan
It is in the evening the seventh darshan of the day. This is when shrinathji bring all cows back to their home and the Evening Arti and bhog etc. also performed during darshan.
It is the eighth and last darshan of day which mostly emphasis Shrinathji to go to sleep in night where the paan and aarti can be performed to lord Shrinathji.
Other places to visit
Temples of Shri Navnit Priyaji
Shri Krishna storehouse
Accommodation Facilities at the Temple
Accomodation facilites are very much flexbile near the temple and other Dharamshala.
Nearby tourist places to Shreenathji Nathdwara Temple
Nathdwara is 48 kms from Udaipur in Rajasthan which is well connected to all major cities through buses, trains and flights.
Through Air by the way of Indian Airlines and Jet Airways, Udaipur connects with Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Mumbai. The Dabok Airport is 52 km.
Through Railways- Western Railways connects the Mavli Junction on the meter gauge with direct trains from Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur and Khandwa. Mavli Junction is 38 km and Chittorgarh is 110 Km.
Through Road- the State Government and Deluxe buses connects Nathdwara with all major tourist stations of Rajasthan and the City Bus station which is 1.5 km away.