NathDwar

Naath Dwara means ‘Gateway to the Lord, Sri Krishna or Sri Naathji’. Dwaar meaning gateway and Nath meaning the Lord, this divine form of Lord Krishna is most riveting, ornate and spectacular.

Naath Dwara is a small quintessential town in Rajasthan state of Western India. It is about 48km from the city of Lakes, Udaipur.  The town per se is dirty and wears a rather dilapidated, unkempt look but as one nears the temple precinct the narrow lanes become invisible to the devotee and the whole focus is dramatically shifted to the temple and the resplendent beauty of the Lord Sri Naathji.

This is the only Idol of the Lord dating back to the 14th Century, a 7 year old infant incarnation of Krishna. The idol was originally worshipped at Mathura, the birth place of Lord Krishna. It is believed that during the reign of Aurangzeb fanatic Muslims were very intent on demolishing temples and annihilating all Hindu presence. Fearing the destruction of the Temple, the idol was originally shifted in 1672 from Goverdhan Hill, Mathura along the Yamuna River and retained at Agra for about six months. Later the Lord found His final abode in Nathdwara on the banks of Banas River in Rajsamand District, Rajasthan.

It is also believed that Nathdwara Temple was built in the 17th century at the exact spot ordained by Srinathji himself. When the Idol of Lord Krishna was being transferred to a safer place from Vrindavan to protect it from the anti-Hindu, iconoclastic vandalism of the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb; when it reached the spot at village Sinhad or sihad, the wheels of the bullock cart sank ankle –deep in mud and refused to budge. The then present priest concluded that this was the place The Lord chose as his future abode and thus casino online the present was built under the protection and supervision of the then Maharaja Raj Singh of Mewar. Since it was His Mansion or Abode, this temple is also referred to as “Haveli of Srinathji.” It is said that the Lord took 32 months to complete this journey from Agra to Mewar!

This temple, also known as Nandalya, is designed in the lines of Nanada Maharaja’s (Krishna’s Father) temple in Vrindavan. A Kalash (the five metal pot) is on the top of the temple and is adorned with casino online Sudarshana chakra along with 7 different flags.  The 7 flags are representative of Lord’s sakhis. Since this is also a haveli, typically like a palace this temple also has many rooms. Now each room is meant for a different purpose and the devotee crosses all these rooms before having the actual darshan of the Lord. The rooms are Doodh Ghar- where the milk for the lord is offered and stored; phool ghar- where flowers can be offered and are stored, likewise the Beetel ghar for Pedha ghar for sweet meats, mishri ghar for sugar and Rasoi ghar which is the Lords functional kitchen to name a few! There is a jewellery house, a kharcha Bhandaar or a treasury a Baithak or a drawing room and also an Ashwashala, a room for chariot.

The festive air and the elaborate rituals surrounding the worship of the idol, the white walls on the inside are covered with modern paintings, the Pichwai style painting among others; make the pilgrimage to this temple site worthwhile. The aroma of flowers wafts through the minute one step inside. The temple employs about 1000 people who work dedicatedly. The lord is eternally sparkling, bejewelled and well dressed in royal splendour another unique feature of this temple. Drums and trumpets go ablaze announcing the Darshan timings and the lord’s attendants wear the attire worn during the past era.

Shrinathji, as this place is popularly known after the presiding deity, is a significant vaishnavite shrine pertaining to the Pushti Marg or the Vallabh sampradaya or the Shuddha advaita founded by Vallabha Acharaya. Vitthal Nathji, son of Vallabhacharya institutionalised the worship of Shrinathji at Nathdwara. Devotees visiting this shrine must be prepared for a long wait if they are unaware of the timings; the first Darshan is at 5:30 am.

Srinathji temple has 2 ancillary temples (Madan mohan and Navneet Priya) within the same compound. The main idol is made of marble and depicts the lord lifting the Goverdhana hill on his little finger. One can also see the image of a cow, snake a lion and 2 peacocks carved by the side of the Lord’s head.

Beginning at 5:30 am the temple has 8 darshans in a day; each lasting an hour. Collectively called Ashtaya, individually they are  Mangala, shrigar, Gwal, Rajbhog, Uthhapan, Bhog, Aarati and Shayan.  The divine manifestation of the Lord synchronises with the name of the darshan and the reason why the Lord manifests thus is explained.

Holi is celebrated with great fanfare here and the other important occasions are Diwali, Janmashthami and Annakuta (worshipping the Goverdhana Hill) festival. Rose festival in April is another festivity worth being a part of in Nath Dwara.  Thus, October November and March April become the ideal times to visit this holy place.