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
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