On the name of the deity inside the temple complex , this temple got the name Shrinathji temple. Shrinathji is portayed in the form of little Krishna (which is considered to be the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu ) having the age of seven .
The temple is also known as Shrinathji ki haveli ( house of Shrinathji ).
Shrinathji temple is situated at Nathdwara which is about 48 km northeast of Udaipur on the bank of Banas river in Rajasthan.It takes around less than one hour to have the darshan of Shreenathji in Nathdwara from Udaipur.
“ Nath “ means Lord of universe and “ dwara “ means gateway .When we take it together “ Nathdwara “ Then it means “ a gateway to have the darshan of Lord Vishnu “ .The way he is depicted in the image is so appealing that it can take anyone’s stress and unquestionably lay out unconscious smile on your face .
The deity , Shrinathji ( little Lord Krishna ) in Shrinathji temple , was first installed by Lord Krishna’s great grandson around 5000 years ago, perhaps in Mathura .After passing of so many centuries , the same deity was again worshipped by Madhavendra Puri at Govardhan in Mathura with the name “ Gopala “ which later on shifted by king Rana Raj Singh at Nathdwara in 1669 AD to protect it from the wrath of Muslim emperor , Aurangzeb .
History of shrinathji temple
According to Hindu scriptures , One day Madhavendra Puri went to Govardhana and after wandering around the Hills , he prepared himself to take some rest because he was in his fasting .
From somewhere a cowherd little boy came near to him and offered him a vessel of milk . He took the offer and consumed the milk which was so refreshing and quirky . With an astonishing expression ,he asked the little boy how did he know that he was in fasting .On that , the little boy responded that he resides in this very village and here no one fasts . After this much conversation he left the place .
At the same night when Manvendra Puri was sleeping , the same little boy came into his dream and told him that he is in gripe due to severe cold , heat , rain and wind and then finally led him to a bush where he was.
When he woke up , he immediately realised that the little cowherd boy was none other than Lord Krishna himself . He immediately started his journey to find the bush with the help of villagers where he found the image of “Gopala “ .
After this incident , the local people of this village honoured Madhavendra Pura by calling the same place as “Jatipura “ which means a place of Sanyasi Monk .The Villagers started to worship the image “ Gopala “ which was searched by Madhavendra on the instruction of Lord krishna himself .
A temple was then built by a member of the princely family to worship the Gopala .Then one day again , the Lord Krishna came into his dream and ordered him to go to Jagannath Temple to get some sandalwood which will cool down him as he was tolerating the scorching heat from centuries in the ground .
As instructed by deity Madhvendra, without wasting any time , started his journey to Jagannath Temple . During his journey , he visited the temple of Gopinatha which was in the village “ Remuna “ in Odisha .
Here , he saw a priest who was making Bhoga for the deity . It was made up of milk and other sweet fruits which made the Bhoga a little thick . He was desirous of tasting it so that he can offer it to the “Gopala”. Soon, he realized that Bhoga first should be offered to the deity only then he can taste it .
His desire to taste Bhoga prior to deity put him in shame . After apologizing to the deity ,he left the temple premises to continue his journey .
That night , the deity came into the dream of the priest and told him to find Madhavendra and offered him the Prasadam which he had hidden behind his dress .
The priest next day found the Kheer ( sweet rice ) which was hidden behind the deity’s dress .Then , he somehow found Madhavendra and narrated the story which he had seen in the dream .
After listening to the whole story ,his whole body was imbibed with great reverence .His heart enraptured by receiving the Prasadam directly from Lord Krishna .
After receiving the Sandalwood and some camphor from Jagannath temple ,he continued his journey from Jagannath temple to Jatipura.Due to intense love for Gopinath in Odisha , he decided to take a stop in the temple of Gopinatha where again in his dream “ Gopala “ came and told him to smear the sandalwood on the image of Gopinatha as both images of him is absolute same .He did as instructed by Lord Krishna himself .
Madhavendra Puri left his body when he was in Remuna village in Odisha . He was revered as a great austere among people of the village who did a great service to the temple of Gopinatha .
For his great service to Lord Krishna , villagers made Samadhi for him so that his name never vanished till the time Gopinatha temple is there.
After the death of Madhavendra Puri , the temple of jatipura was succeeded by Srila Vallabhacharya . After then ,the temple deity of Jatipura was famous with the name “ Shrinathji “ .
During the period of mughal emperor , Aurangzeb in 1669 AD unfailingly started to smash endless temples in the north .To protect the deity from the rage of Aurangzeb ,it was shifted from jatipura to Mewar.
The bullock cart on which it was was not normal . It had all facilities of worshipping the same way it had been worshipped in the temple by the priest .The way the deity was worshipped had never stopped even for a single time in six months while it was shifting .
When the bullock cart reached Sinhad or Sihad village , the wheels of the bullock cart were deeply stuck into the mud and not moving further which gave the accompanying priests a sign that the deity wants to reside here in the village .
A beautiful temple was built in the village ,which later known as Shrinathji temple at Nathdwara, in the protection of Maharana Raj Singh
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Iconography of Shrinathji
The beautiful image of Little Krishna in Shrinathji temple is carved with black marble .The left hand of him in the image is upraised lifting Govardhan Hill and another hand is resting on his waist .The black marble is depicting his black complex .
The stone which we could see around the deity has many depictions. Two peacocks , two cows,a snake, a lion ,a parrot , and two sages on his right side and one on his left side.Below the sages another snake. There is a large diamond beneath his lips Which is said to have been given as a gift by Akbar when his acute disease faded away by the grace of Srinathji’s darshan.
Ornamentation of Deity
The deity in Shrinathji temple is wrapped with a special cloth which looks elegant and mesmerising .His dress gets changed several times a day . In one of the images you will find him wearing a Mukut ( crown ) on his head and wearing significant cloth in a very peculiar manner .
Face decorated with a long garland around his neck . He is seen with a flute and lotus . Feather of the peacock tied with his mukut and a tilak on his forehead . All kinds of ornaments which he wears look so graceful that devotee’s eyes stop on him noticing his gracefulness.
There are certain time in which you can have the Darshan of Shrinathji ( Lord Krishna ) in Shrinathji temple . Below table is about the name of the Darshan type and at which time you can visit the temple for a glimpse of Shrinathji or Thakurji .
|Mangla 5 : 45 am – 6 :30 am
|Shringar 7 : 10 am – 7 :40 am
|Gwal 9 : 00 am – 9 : 20 am
|Rajbhog 11 : 15 am – 12 : 05 pm
|Uthapan 3 : 45 pm – 4 : 00 pm
|Aarti 4 : 45 pm – 5 : 55 pm
|Shayan 7 : 05 pm – 7 : 40 pm
During Mangla Darshan , the main door which leads to sanctum is kept entirely shut so that the “ baal bhaav of little krishna don’t get enticed by the crowd .
During winter , the Mangla Darshan takes place before sunrise while in summer, it happens after sunrise .
During this Darshan , he is dressed-up from head to toe with a garland around his neck and lastly a flute is presented to him through which he creates ragas .
There are different ragas which are sung during the Darshan like : Ramkali ,bilaval , Gunakali .
Lord Krishna is the one who has started the Govardhan puja to give their gratitude to the cows for nourishing them like a mother . And this Darshan is also dedicated to the cows .
This Darshan takes place when Krishna used to go with cows for grazing.This time he is offered makkhan Mishri .
Prasad of Shrinathji
Prasadam is the most profound offering which you can see in most of the Hindu temples . The chaitanyam or the energy of the deity and the temple gives lordly flavour to the prasadam .
As many of you heard from the devotees that the prasadam which they consumed in the temples have a very unique flavour . It happens not because they add something very different in food what we made in our home but because of the divine power which gets added to the prasadam after offering it to the deity .
According to Hindu scriptures , Shrinathji ( form of Lord Vishnu ) had told Madhavendra puri that “ No one should go hungry at Nathdwara “ .As it is said , every devotee at Nathdwara enjoy the Prasadam which is offered to Shrinathji with great devotion .
Whole day in Shrinathji temple , prasadam is distributed among the devotees . The prasadam which is distributed is of different varieties at different times . After offering rajbhog to Srinathji ,a plate full of chutney , pickles , Fruit salad , raita ( Chopped fruits mixed with a thin yogurt spiced with mustard seeds ) are given to devotees . Another kind of prasadam which is distributed is full of rice , puri , dal , curry suase , fried vegetables , samosa etc .
Places to visit at Nathdwara
There are many places near shrinathji temple you can visit at Nathdwara which will give you the experience of divine energy .Below are some of the famous places at Nathdwara which should be on your priority list whenever you visit here .
- Ganesh Tekari
- Shrinath Gaushala
- Giriraj Parikrama
- Bhool Bhulaiya ( Vrindavan Baag )
Temples near Nathdwara ( Shrinathji temple )
- Shri Madan Mohan ji Temple
- Shri Yamunaji Temple
- Shri Charbhuja Ji Temple
- Shri eklinga Ji Temple
- Shri sanwaliya Seth Temple ( Bhadosa Gaon )
- Shri banaamali Ji Temple
- Shri Navneet Priya ji Temple
- Shri Vitthal Nath Ji Temple
- Mirabai Temple ( Chittorgarh )
- Shri Rupnarayan Ji Temple
How to reach Shrinathji temple
By air – The nearest airport for Shrinathji temple is Dabok which is just 32 km away from the temple
By road – You can easily access any taxi or any buses from Udaipur to reach the temple .
By train – Udaipur has one of the nearest railway station which is 41 km away to reach the temple