Shrinathji Temple Nathdwara


48 km from Udaipur, Shrinathji of Nathdwara is actually a temple of Lord Krishna with his image carved out of a single block of black marble. Set amidst idyllic hills, it is said to be the second richest temple in the world. The royalty of Udaipur pray at the temple and as the head of his clan, the Maharana is also called as Shriji among his people. As the legend goes, Goswami Dev fled from Mathura to escape from Aurangzeb and carried this particular idol in a chariot with an intention to take it to Udaipur. However, his chariot got stuck in Sinhad and finally, he took it as a token of the divine will and decided to consecrated it on the spot. This place is now known as Nathdwara. Glimpses of the idol situated in the inner sanctum of the temple are permitted only for short intervals eight times a day in different moods. Besides those intervals, the temple precincts is relatively free from crowds and people who are here to capture the beauty of art and architecture of the place, may move around at their leisure and enjoy the still-preserved royal splendor of the bygone era.

The temple is referred to as 'Haveli', commonly used in Rajasthan for the mansions of the wealthy merchants. Temple servants wear the clothes and costumes of the bygone era of kings and queens and serve the deity as the beloved prince and darling of Nandaraj and Yashoda maiya, the adoptive parents of Lord Krishna. At regular intervals, there is a live performance of classical music in its many fragrant marble halls and courtyards, to entertain Him. There are 'pankhwalas' who still pull on the large fans manually to cool the interiors. There are drums and trumpets to announce the 'Royal Darshan' in the noon just as the announcements that the kings entering their courts were once made. The temple is built around several split-level courtyards to keep it airy with a solid-white façade at its exteriors. There are paintings of elephants, horses, beautiful maidens and doorkeepers on all the doorways. It is said that famous pichwai paintings originated from the custom of painted curtain cloths behind the idol.