Nathdwara is a small and beautiful town situated between the Aravali hills on the banks of Banas River in Rajsamand district. This town is very popular for its temple of Krishna which houses a deity of Krishna. This temple has a very rich and interesting history behind it which we will come to later. The literal meaning of the word Nathdwara is ‘Gateway to Shreenathji’.
The town is situated at a distance of around 50 km from Udaipur city. Hence, it is the most loved and preferred getaway of the citizens of Udaipur. Shreenathji temple is undoubtedly very beautiful and popular in the town but there are some other beautiful destinations in the town too that can be your next weekend escape.
The temple has a very interesting story behind it. Legend says that the shrine here was built in 17th Century at the place exactly instructed by Shrinathji himself. How you ask? Well, back then, the idol of Shrinathji was being transferred from Vrindaban in order to protect it from the then Mughal ruler, Aurangzeb. He wanted the deity to reside with him back in Agra, according to sectarian literature. When the idol reached a spot in the village Sinhad, the wheels of the bullock cart got stuck in the mud so hard that it couldn’t move a single inch. It’s then when the priests realized that Shrinathji has chosen the place himself for the temple. The timings of the temple are 5:30 am to 6:30 pm and the entry is free of cost.
Largest Shiv Idol
Although the idol is under construction right now, Nathdwara is going to house the largest Shiv idol in the world. This enormous piece of architecture is one sight which you cannot miss. The place is well equipped with parking facilities, garden, stairs to climb up towards the idol, etc. This 351 feet long idol of Shiv Ji is going to get completed by approx. December 2018. To know more about this idol, click here.
The temple houses the idol of Lord Vishnu which is around 5000 years old. The exquisite architectural style of the temple is so alluring that it will give a feeling of peace to everyone. It has a beautiful mirror work, golden shutter and carved door panel which is like a cherry on the top as they are a treat to your eyes. Along with all that, the temple holds a substantial historical significance. It was built by Shree Gang Dev who had a dream where he received instructions to install the idol which was submerged in the water. It is believed that the same idol was worshipped by the Pandavas in the Mahabharata. If you are a believer, this is an absolute must visit.
Dwarkadheesh Temple is one of the prominent tourist attractions of Kankroli. Kankroli is a city located at a distance of 17 km from Nathdwara and visited frequently by the citizens of Nathdwara. It is the home of deity Krishna which offers utmost devotion and peace to its devotees. The temple was built in the year 1676 by Maharana Raj Singh and currently, it belongs to Vaishnavas and the Vallabhacharya sects.
Goverdhan hill located near Vrindavan is considered as sacred by Hindus. In similar traditions, there is a Giriraj hill located in Nathdwara. Lord Krishna once lifted Mt. Goverdhan to protect the people and cattle of the town from a rainstorm. Shrinathji is the statue of this exact moment of Lord Krishna. Giriraj Parikrama of Giriraj parvat is considered sacred in Vaishnavs. A beautiful pathway surrounding the mountain is ornamented with flower, lights, etc.
Ganesh Tekri is an ideal destination for the picnic destination situated at Rajsamand near Nathdwara. It has a Ganesha temple where worship in the morning is conducted regularly. Apart from that, there is a lush green garden equipped with slides and rides for children. The most magnificent thing about the place is that it overlooks Aravali range that give it its serenity and charm.
Nandsamand dam or also known as Tantol dam is the primary source of water in Nathdwara. When you go towards Khamnor from Nathdwara, in the way falls Nandsamand dam. The place looks ravishing during monsoons when you stand at the railing or Paal there and winds soothe your face and body.
Nou Choki Pal
The specialty of Nou Choki Pal is that every artwork at this place is made up of 9 joints. After every 9 steps, there comes a big panel. Three archways were made at the spot once but due to lack of proper maintenance and care, only one stands intact currently. This archway is also made up of total 9 stones. Digit 9 plays a significant role in Hinduism and hence this place is made upon the basis of the same principle. There are three pavilions carved meticulously on sangmarmar stones. Everything at the places including carved elephants, horses, Krishna Leela is spectacular for every person visiting.
It is a beautiful Garden located at a distance of a kilometer from the town. It is well equipped with colorful lightings and fountains which makes it a calm and beautiful place. It overlooks Mt. Giriraj which was renovated a few years back. It also has a museum inside the premises of Lalbagh which contains antique ancient accessories and vehicles of Thakurji which is another name of Shree Krishna. The museum is called Shreemad Vallabh Sangrahalay.
It is located at a distance of 3 km from the Shreenathji temple. It houses about 2000 cows and about 50 cow keepers to take care of them. It is completely surrounded by hills and a lot of open grounds which makes it a very picturesque place. As per belief, it is the favorite place of Shreenathji and he used to call Cows as ‘Gaumata’ or goddess cow.
Irrigation garden is situated in Kankroli, Rajsamand which is about 20 km from Nathdwara. It is a garden situated at the banks of Rajsamand Lake. There are a number of dome-shaped pavilions and pillars carved beautifully with miniature carvings. Apart from that, there are various things to entertain children as well such as cement crocodile etc.
Along with visiting these beautiful places in Nathdwara, you can also go shopping as Nathdwara is famous in that field too. It is known for Pichwais. Pichwais is basically large paintings depicting legends from the life of Lord Krishna. Apart from that, you can buy terracotta handicrafts, attars (oil-based perfumes), gold and silver jewelry and toys, enamelware, filigree boxes from the local markets here. If you have a sweet tooth, you can buy different variants of sweet dishes some of which are used as a Prasad to Shreenathji.
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