Nathdwara means gateway to god and this divine place is situated in the Aravalli hills on the banks of Banas River 48 Km from Udaipur, Rajasthan. The place is popular for Nathdwara Shrinathji / Krishna temple.
In the 17th century, when the idol of Lord Krishna was being transported from Vrindavan to protect from the wrath of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb, the wheels of the bullock cart in which it was travelling got caught in the mud and could not be moved.
The accompanying priest realized that the lord had chosen his place. A haveli / temple was built at the very place with the permission of the Rana of Mewar. The idol was discovered by Vallabhacharya in the14th century in Govardhana Hill near Mathura. The self manifested Srinathji / Krishna idol is in the form of Govardhana Giridhari i.e., Govardhana hill was lifted to protect people from the wrath of Lord Varuna (rain god).
The idol of Srinathji is treated like a living deity and the idol goes through the daily chores like bathing, dressing, sleeping, feeding / Prasad, and so on. The priests who are in charge of the Shrinathji idol are the descendants of Vallabhacharya.
The highlight of the rituals is the Aarthi and the Shringar / decoration. The idol is adorned with embroidered silk, zari, and jewels. The darshan of the idol is known as Jhankhi and it is a beautiful sight to behold. The devotees seem to be in a trance at the sight of the idol. Darshan happens 8 times in a day and the darshans are known as Mangala, Shrungar, Gwal, Rajbhog, Uthhapan, Bhog, Sandhaya Aarti, and Shayan.
Nathdwara is a great place to shop accessories for the Krishna idol. I shopped for the crown, clothes, trinkets, and toys for the baby Krishna. This is very useful while decorating the Krishna idol during Janmashtami.
You can also buy the “Pichwai” paintings, which is a famous Rajasthani art. The paintings portray Lord Shrinathji and events associated with the lord. Silver items are another favorite thing to be bought here.
Places to visit nearby are:
Rajsamand Lake (66 Km)
Nav Chowki – carved arches and chhatris
Type of place: Temple
Situated: Nathdwara, Rajsamand district, Rajasthan
Distance: Udaipur – 48 Km, Jaipur – 336 Km, Jodhpur – 260 Km, Jaisalmer – 285 Km
Transport: Well connected by road
Facilities: Resorts, hotels, dharmashalas are available