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History of Nathdwara

On planet earth, lies our holy country India, with its rich cultural and religious
heritage, numerous temples and sects. Just 48 Kilometres away from Udaipur
(the nearest airport) in the state of Rajasthan, in western India lies the town of
The Nathdwara temple is an important temple of 'Pushti Marg'.
The Gopis of Vraj loved to play with the Lord all the time which worried his
mother Yashoda as she felt that her child would get tired. She therefore
allowed the Gopis to play with her son only after he had finished his meals and
had taken enough rest. Keeping this in mind the havali (meaning a royal
residing place) is open for specific periods i.e. eight times a day wherein the
devotees of the Lord can have a jhaki. These timings are adhered to even
The Haveli adopted the lifestyle of the 16th Century Royal courts of north India,
a practice followed to this day.
Temple servants still wear clothes and costumes of the bygone Maharaja era
and serve the Lord, the beloved Prince and darling of Nandraj and Yashodaji,
with all the respect and deference due to a ruling King. Lord Shrinathji is
beautifully dressed and jewelled daily depending on the season. The temple
employs around a thousand people specifically to serve the Lord Pankhwalas
can be seen manually pulling large fans to cool the inner sanctum of the
Music is another feature of this temple. Negara drums and trumpets are played
to announce the different darshans of the day. During the darshans Kirtans fill
the air as pilgrims explore the marbled temple halls.
The peace and tranquillity of the temple seems to overflow into the surrounding
town with its numerous parks, groves and fields, and the river Banas which
flows nearby.
The temple celebrates on an average a minimum of three festivals a week
making it an interesting visit for pilgrims all year round. The most colourful
festivals can be seen in the Indian spring months of March to April and the
monsoon months to July to September. Divali, the festival of lights and the
Indian New Year is another good time to visit the temple as the duration of the
festival lasts for 5 days.

haveli of Shrinathji

There are no temples in Pushti Marga: the word mandir, which now denotes the orthodox Hindu temple is
never used. To devotees of this sect. Shrinathji is not a mere image but a living deity and the place where
he resides must therefore be a mansion, a haveli.

The in Nathdvara is no ordinary structure. Virtually a royal palace, closely modelled on the traditional
homes of the princes of Rajasthan. It survives as a palace today when others have ceased to function, as
it is something more as well. The haveli is the court of a divine child-king whose icon is the infant Krishna
himself, beloved of millions.

Sprawling over a large expanse of land, the asymmetrical many-storeyed haveli is a labyrinth within which
the unwary could easily lose himself. It has seemingly countless rooms, large and small, linked by
passages and small corridors, verandahs, tiny indoor gardens and pools, halls and courtyards. Turning a
corner or walking down a passage, one frequently comes upon steep narrow stairways which move up or
down to different levels. A section of the haveli is connected with the adjacent palace of the Tilakayat, so
that it is never necessary for the anointed leader of the Sampradaya to use a public entrance.

The architecture of the building is a homogenous combination of stone and bricks, embellished with
balconies, arches, alcoves, stairways, niches and pillars and with multipatterned, multi-hued floors of
stone and marble. The building is a stark white one with occasional splashes of bright colour on its doors
and windows. No section of the haveli is without painting either in the form of murals or of miniature
paintings executed on cloth, paper or wood.

The rooms of the haveli are put to numerous uses. Apart from the sanctum of Shrinathji and the
chambers around it, there are anterooms, offices, storerooms and a kitchen, workrooms for special tasks,
a jewel room, an audience chamber, rooms used by functionaries of the Sampradaya, and many others at
all levels of the building, from the basement to the roof. Armed guards stationed at vantage points on
each floor bar access to areas closed to the general public. Areas most frequented by the public are on
the ground floor.

All major spaces in the haveli are assigned a symbolic significance, a bhavana, recalling Nadalaya,
Shrinathji's original home in the land of Vraja. The symbols at Nathdvara are numerous and are intended
to evoke images, both physically and spiritually, of the Krishna legend. Many doctrinal principles originally
taught by the founder of the Pushti Marga, and his decendants, and by the theologians of the sect are
also represented. Even the town is identified with Vraja; its river, the Banas, is the Yamuna in miniature,
while the hills around the town are likened to the hills of Vraja.

The imposing main gateway of the haveli resembles that of a medieval fortress. The surface of the thick
wooden doors is protecting metal spikes. This main entrance is known as Lal Darvaja, named after the
child Krishna, the adored child, lal of Yashoda.

A large courtyard within the gate leads to the entrance of the shrine. It is here that the rhythmic beat of the
nakkars, drums, and the haunting strains of the shehnai are heard at particular times of the day. The
entrance has enormous paintings of elephants and their mahouts on either side.

Govardhana Puja Chowk, which lies beyond, is rectangular and, as its name implies, is intended to
symbolize Mount Govardhana. During the annual Annakuta festival, a miniature Goverdhana is recreated
here and worshipped.

Shrinathji Temple - Nathdwara

The temple of shrinathji or Lord Krishna ,

belonging to the Vaishnav religion is located at,
Nathdwara, 48 kms. North of Udaipur. As
thousands of tourists and pilgrims from all parts
of the world pass the lofty mountains and
serene lakes of Udaipur, it is impossible for
them to resist visiting this important pilgrim
centre. In the temple, enshrined is a unique
image of Lord Krishna, which has been
sculptured from a single piece of black marble.

Wikimapia Search

World / India / Rajasthan / Nathdwara Coordinates: 24°55'42"N 73°49'6"E

(edit info)

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 cow herds 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
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
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.

Daily Routine
in a Pushti Marg Haveli

The gopies of Vraj used to love the Lord so much, they would be
at Yashoda’s door at all hours, finding any excuse to see their
beloved Nanda Gopal. Mother Yashoda was very protective of
her darling child. Concerned that with all these adoring gopies,
hanging around her house at all hours of the day, her darling
child will never get any time to rest or play properly with his
friends. So she decided that all those who wish to visit her
beloved Bala Gopal, could do so after he had finished a snack or
a meal, and was resting before going out again.

Taking this as his cue, MahaPrabhu Shri Vallabhacharyaji

decided to open the haveli, his own version of the Nandalay
(House / Palace of Nanda, foster father of Lord Krshna), at
specific times of the day only. The great Acharya set aside eight
times of the day when the doors of the inner sanctum would be
left open for the people to catch a glimpse ("jakhi") of the Lord.
Rest of the time, the Lord was allowed to go out and play with his
friends - gpoas and gopies of Vraj.

The sequence of eight darshans are set out below.

Mangala First darshan of the day. Lord, having woken up, has
just had his breakfast and greets his devotees with the most
"auspicious" darshan of the day. This darshan usually occurs at

Shringar Having bathed and dressed her little darling, Mother

Yashoda allows everyone to adore her baby. After this darshan,
the Lord goes out to play with his friends.

Gval Having had his mid-morning snack, the Lord is about to go

out to heard the cows of Nandaji. Lord is worshipped by reciting
His thousand names and the sacred tulsi (basil) leaves are
offered with each name.

Rajbhog After his mid-day meal, the Lord is resting in the comfort
of Nanadalay. Lord is often most regal and resplendent for this
darshan. Fresh garlands and lotuses are offered to the Lord. The
the arti, Lord plays chopat, an ancient board game or version of
chess to while away the hot afternoon.

Utthanpan Lord has just woken up from his afternoon siesta.

Bhog Having had his afternoon snack, the Lord is about to go out
to play again.

Sandhya As the sun dips over the western horizon, the Lord
returns with the herds of Nandaji and the gopies come to see
their beloved. Mother Yashoda wards off any evil that may have
befalled her darling in the woods of Vraj, by doing an arti and the
Lord bathes for the evening meal.

Shayan Having had his dinner, the Lord is about to go off to his
bed chamber. This is the last public darshan of the day.

The outline of darshans given above is a general layout. Over

the centuries, different Goswamies have interpreted the "bhavas"
and "lilas" differently, resulting in a colourful mixture of oral and
ritual traditions followed by the various havelies of Pushti Marg.
For example, the Lord Shri Nathji, having left his beloved Vraj,
misses it so dearly, that for six months of the year, he runs back
to Vraj for the shayan darshan. So, from Mangala to Sandhya
arti, the Lord is reckoned to be in Nathadwara. After the arti, he
rushes over, in his spiritual form, to play with the gopies of Vraj.
Hence, Shayan arti takes place at Mount Govardhan for the
warmer half of the year. During the cold months, running over to
Vraj is not such a practical option, and hence the shayan
darshan takes place at Nathadwara. Here the bhava of gopijan’s
viraha and Raasa-Rasika’s unique lila are of paramount

The svarupa of BalaKrshnalal and Navnit-Priyaji, is that of the

Lord as Yashodaji’s baby. The Lord is depicted as an adorable
little infant, crawling on the floor, with a ball of butter in his right
hand. As the Lord is so small, how could he possibly be
expected to wake up early, or herd the thousands of cows of
Nadaraj? Shri MahaPrabhuji took this into account and
prescribed slightly different darshan times for the havelies of the
baby form(s) of the Lord. Hence, the darling child of Yashodaji,
still in his rocking crib (cradle), is seen by the public only 6 - 7
times a day.

Hence, Mangala darshan in Navnit-Priyaji’s haveli takes place

much after dawn. Typically, Navnit-Priyaji wakes up when Shri
Nathji has finished the Shringar darshan. After bathing and
getting dressed, the Lord swings in his "palana" (crib). Priests
play with various toys to amuse the Lord and temple musicians
sing to entertain the Lord. Rest of the darshans take place as
described above.

thanks to ->www.shrinathji.co.in
Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/shrinathji
Category: city interesting place

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place comments:

31 months ago jayesh +4

Shrinathji is most powerful god.

18 months ago viren +1

i ll b there in dec.end

16 months ago Indore

we visited Shrinath Ji on 28.12.2008

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Edited: 5 days ago neerajsharmaa Languages: en