Installation of Shrinathji idol at Nathdwara
|Date of event||1672|
|Location||Nathdwara ( 48 KM northeast of Udaipur )|
According to the legend, the image of Lord Shrinath Ji was enshrined in Vrindavan (land of Lord Krishna), but to protect the idol from the destructive rage of Aurangzeb. The Swarup or divine form of Shrinathji is said to be self-manifested from stone and emerged from the Govardhan Hills. Historically, the image of Shrinathji was first worshipped at Govardhan hill, near Mathura. The image was initially shifted from Mathura in 1672 CE along river Yamuna and was retained at Agra for almost six months. In 1672, Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar was the only gallant, who made an effort to rescue the idol from the domain of Aurangzeb. It is said that when the image was being shifted to an impervious place then at a particular place, the wheel of the vehicle sank deep down in the mud. The image refused to move further, so the escorting priest apprehended that this was Lord's chosen spot. Thus, a temple was built on the same spot. The Shrinathji Temple is also known as 'Haveli of Shrinathji’ (mansion). The temple was built by Goswami Damodar Das Bairagi in 1672.
The structure of this temple is simple, but the aesthetic appeal of this temple is ceaseless. Lord Shrinathji symbolizes a form of Lord Krishna when he lifted the 'Govardhana' (a hill). In the image, the lord is revealed with his left hand raised and the right is bunged in a fist. The idol is carved out of a large black stone. Images of two cows, a snake, a lion, two peacocks, and a parrot by the god's head are imprinted on the idol.
The temple authorities have not less than 500 cows and amongst them; one is regarded as Shrinathji's cow. It is considered that this cow has come from the pedigree that served the lord for centuries. Earlier, wagon-loads of food used to come here, which were said to be consigned by and consigned to Shrinathji. The holy shrine of Shrinathji is famous all over Rajasthan and India. People of the Vaishnava community come in large numbers to visit this holy pilgrimage.
During the times of Holi, Diwali, and Janmashtmi, people throng in large numbers and the place gets overcrowded. Apart from festivals like Holi and Janmashtmi, Annakutta is a major festival that is celebrated in the temple with full gusto and fervor. A visit to this temple must be avoided during these days. Shrinathji Temple can be visited by only Hindus with an exception of foreigners.
Nathdwara town is also famous as the Apollo of Mewar. In the town of Nathdwara, the Shrinathji temple is the center of attraction, but the town is also famous for its 'Pichwari' paintings, ivory articles, and mouth-watering sweets. You can purchase articles from here as a souvenir of your religious trip to Shrinathji. One must visit this temple to feel the spiritual ecstasy and get the blessings of Lord Shrinathji.