GATE OF THE LORD
Nathdwara is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site. This is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage shrines of India, enshrining Krishna as Govardhana Giridhari. Nathdwara is situated 48 km north east of Udaipur in Rajasthan, on the banks of the Banas River. Nathdwara enshrines Shrinathji - an image of Krishna, which was originally, enshrined at the Vraja Bhoomi at Mount Govardhana near Mathura.The name Nathdwara means Gate of the Lord. The image was brought to Mewar, for the sake of protection during the period of Aurangazeb, the Moghul monarch.
The chariot carrying the image is said to have gotten stuck here, and hence a temple was established with the permission of the then Rana of Mewar, at Nathdwara. Nathdwara is very closely associated with the Vallabha Sampradaya of Vaishnavism. Prior to his visiting the Shrinathji shrine, Vallabhacharya is said to have described Puri,Pandharpur , Srirangam and Tirupati as four great centers of Vaishnavism, in his work Tatvartha Deepa Nibhandha.
The Srinathji Temple
Shrinathji represents the form of Krishna, in which he lifted the Govardhana hill and subdued Indra the king of Devas who was sending an incessant downpour of rain, causing immense hardship to the cowherds of Gokul. The image of Srinathji is believed to have been a self manifested one. It was originally worshipped in a humble shrine and then moved to a larger temple in its vicinity. Vallabhacharya made arrangements for the worship of this deity and this tradition was continued by his son, Vittalesh Goswami.
It is believed that Taj Bibi, a wife of Akbar had visited this temple. It was during the 17th century that this image was shifted to Rajasthan. Nathdwara is a place of Hindu pilgrimage; it contains a 17th-century Vaishnavite shrine that is one of the most famous in India. Within the temple is a celebrated image of the god Krishna, popularly said to date to the 12th century BC. The town is an agricultural market and has a government college affiliated with the University of Rajasthan.
HOW TO GET THERE
Rajsamand lake (66 kms):
Close to Kankroli, is the dam, built by Maharana Raj Singh in 1660 A.D. Many ornamental arches and chhatris adorn the embankment.
- Nav chowki :
On the banks of the lake is this pillared edifice which is paved with marble and has beautifully carved arches and chhatris.
WHERE TO STAY :
Air-Indian Airlines and Jet Air are having flights up to Udaipur, from where it is one hour drive in Taxi or Bus.
- Road :
Nathdwara is well connected by Mumbai/ Surat/ Baroda/ Ahmedabad with good motorable roads.
- Rail :
Mavli rail junction is the closest to Nathdwara. Road: Well connected by road with Udaipur.
RTDC Hotel, Gokul, Tel #02953-30917.
- Hotels :Following hotels are available for staying in Nathdwara :
Hotel Vallabh Darshan
- Hotel Vrindavan
- Hotel Bombaywala
- The Nathdwara Temple Board are having dharmashals for the devotees around the temple. The famous and good places to stay are as follows:
Dhiraj Dham-Located in the Market.
- New Cottages-Located in the Market.
- Chitalwala and Balasinor -Located in vegetable Market.
- Vallabh Cottages-Very near to Temple.
Nathdwara abounds in souvenir shops and it is also possible to see the “pichwai” being painted. One can even pick up good silver items from here.