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Shrinathji shrine at Nathdwara
Temples of Western India


This is one of the celebrated pilgrimage shrines of India, enshrining Krishna as Govardhana Giridhari. The name Nathdwara, means Gate of the Lord. 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 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 Nibhandha.

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 cowherds 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.

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