Nathdwara, Udaipur: Shrinathji Temple

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Nathdwara, Udaipur

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Nathdwara, the gateway of the Lord is a popular Hindu pilgrimage shrine in India. Nathdwara, set amid idyllic hills, provides a welcome respite from the searing heat of Rajasthan. This town is home to one of the wealthiest temples and most important pilgrimage shrines of Lord Krishna in India. It is situated about 48 km in the northeast of Udaipur on the banks of the Banas River. Nathdwara means 'Gate of the Lord'. The town of Nathdwara is famous for its exuberant festivals, miniature paintings, jewellery, sweets and attars (oil based natural perfumes). Nathdwara's strategic, central position and cheap accommodation makes it an ideal tourist destination. Nathdwara enshrines the temple of Shrinathji, Lord Krishna.

Nathdwara, Shri Nathji Temple in Nathdwara
Shrinathji Temple, Nathdwara

The major attraction of Nathdwara is Shrinathji Temple. 

Shrinathji Temple
: Nathdwara enshrines Shrinathji - an image of Lord Krishna, which was originally enshrined at the Vraja Bhoomi at Mount Govardhana near Mathura. Shrinathji represents the form of Lord Krishna in which he lifted the Govardhana Hill and saved the people of Mathura. The image of Srinathji is believed to have been a self manifested one. The image of Lord Krishna was brought to Mewar, for the sake of protection during the period of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. 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. It is also believed that Taj Bibi, wife of Akbar had visited this temple.

The haveli is the centre of attraction in the town. Its inner sanctum is opened only eight times a day when devotees throng to catch a glimpse of the sacred form of the Lord Shrinathji. Rest of the time, it is relatively free of crowds, ideal for those who want to explore the beauty of Rajasthani art and architecture. At regular intervals, classical music is played live in its many halls as pilgrims float through its perfumed marble halls and courtyards. Pankhwalas still manually pull on the large fans to cool the interior. Drums and trumpets are still played to announce the mid day's "Royal Darshan". All doorways are painted and are often flanked by drawings of elephants, horses, beautiful maidens and doorkeepers. Shrinathji, the main deity of the sect, resides in regal splendour, always immaculately dressed and jewelled. Everything in the inner temple, from Chinese to Silver or Goldware, paintings, wall hangings, clothes and furniture, are of the finest quality.

Best time to visit Nathdwara

Nathdwara celebrates on an average, minimum three festivals a week, providing plenty of interest to visitors throughout the year.

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