Rajasthan is well-known for its religious places and pious spiritual tales. Just like its historical lineage, Rajasthan’s spiritual faction is also a pure pilgrimage to experience. Throughout the state, one can find temples, churches, historical Hindu tombs, and so on!No matter if you go to Alwar, Jaipur, Udaipur, or any other area of this state, you will never miss the shrines.
One such city in Rajasthan that offers a collection of religious sites for devotees along with a visual treat of natural scenic beauty is Nathdwara. Here’s a look into the religious city of Nathdwara.
Nathdwara- House of Lord Krishna
Nathdwara is a small city in Rajasthan, India. It is situated 48 km from Udaipur and along the Aravalli hills near the banks of the River Banas in the Rajsamand District. The city is well-known for its Lord Krishna temple, which houses the Shrinathji deity, a 14th-century statue depicting a 7-year-old “baby” as a Krishna incarnation. Hence, the name “Nathdwara”—translates to the “Gateway to Shrinathji (Lord Krishna)].
Nathdwara is a significant shrine of the Vaishnav community relating to the Pushti Marg or the Vallabh Sampradaya, founded by Acharya Vallabha and revered mainly by the people of Gujarat and Rajasthan, among others.
Earlier, the idol was originally in Mathura and was moved to Agra for about six months in 1962. When the idol of Lord Krishna was being shifted from Vrindavan to a safer place, the bullock cartwheels carrying the idol got stuck in the mud and were not moving despite continuous efforts. After a while, the accompanying priest realized that this was the spot chosen by the deity himself. After that, the temple was constructed in the very place where the incident happened.
How to reach Nathdwara?
Nathdwara is accessible by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is in Udaipur, from which cabs and buses to Nathdwara are easily accessible. Buses run frequently from various regions of Gujarat and are the most convenient mode of transportation to Nathdwara.
Nathdwara does not have its own airport. Nathdwara’s nearest airport is in Udaipur, about 60 kilometers away. There are numerous buses and taxis available from the airport to take you to Nathdwara.
State-owned buses run between Nathdwara and neighboring cities. Volvo buses connect major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad to Udaipur.Because the roads are quite well maintained, traveling by road is not an uncomfortable, bumpy ride.
Nathdwara does not have a railway station. Nathdwara’s nearest railway stations are Mavli Junction, 30 kilometers away, and Udaipur City Railway Station, 50 kilometers away. Although all trains halt at Udaipur City Railway Station, Mavli Junction is not a major railway station.
Weather in Nathdwara
The summer season in Nathdwara lasts from mid-March through June. During this time, the temperature is extremely hot and humid. When the temperature reaches 42°C, it is impossible to appreciate the beauty of this location. It becomes unbearable with the sun blazing directly on top of their heads and heat waves sweeping the city. If you are planning to enjoy the several immaculate temples and old forts, summer is not the best time to visit Nathdwara.
Monsoons (July – September):
In Nathdwara, the monsoon season begins in July and lasts until September. Even though Nathdwara does not experience hefty rains, the few chilly showers that do fall are enough to keep the summer heat at bay. The rain adds to the overall beauty and tranquilly of the scene. This is also a decent time to travel to Nathdwara. The temples appear to be even more pious and calm, and the forts appear to have undergone a rejuvenation process. This is an ideal time to visit Nathdwara for some peace.
Winter (November – February)
Nathdwara’s winter season begins in September and lasts till February. This is the best time to visit Nathdwara and enjoy the beautiful weather that this place has to offer, with temperatures ranging from 6 to 26 degrees Celsius. This is also an ideal time to visit Nathdwara’s many temples and forts, as well as embark on a shopping spree and purchase some of the most colorful handcrafted souvenirs. The Annakuta festival is also celebrated with zeal and excitement around Diwali, with temples looking vibrant and bustling with visitors. This location appears to be very attractive and lively at this time of year.
Places to visit in and around Nathdwara
1. Temple of Shreenathji
The temple of Shreenathji is the biggest attraction in Nathdwara and the reason why Nathdwara is such a popular destination for Lord Krishna devotees.
In Hindu mythology, an interesting episode from the life of Lord Krishna is mentioned. It is said that he lifted the Govardhan parvat (mountain) on his pinky finger to save the people of Mathura from the pouring rain that flooded the entire village. A similar depiction is captured in the idol that is displayed at the temple of Shrinathji. As the temple houses Lord Krishna’s idol, it is also referred to as the “haveli,” or palace of Lord Krishna.
Design and structure
The temple was created in the style of Vrindavan’s Nanda Maharaj (Krishna’s father) temple. As a result, it is sometimes referred to as Nanda Bhavan or Nandalaya (the House of Nanda).
The temple’s summit is marked by a kalasha on the shikhara, on which seven flags and the Sudarshana Chakra are hoisted. The seven flags represent Pushti Marg or Vallabh Sampradaya’s seven “houses.” Shrinathji ki Haveli is another name for the temple (the House of Shrinathji).
Shrinathji is revered as “Thakorji”, or Lord of the House or Haveli, and rather than worship, Sewa (service) is provided. It has a chariot, which is a representation of the original chariot in which Shrinathji was brought to the dressing room.
Around the Nathdwara temple, there are several subsidiary temples dedicated to Madan Mohan and Navneet Priya.
The town of Ranakpur is situated between Jodhpur and Udaipur on the western side of the Aravalli mountains. It is one of the aesthetically appealing places to visit near Nathdwara and is an eminent Jain Temple.
Chittorgarh is best known for the Chittor Fort, the largest fort in India. The Golden Quadrilateral Highway System and the North-South-East-West Corridor Expressways connect Chittorgarh with much of the rest of India.
Apart from the fort, Chittorgarh also offers many more sight-seeing destinations like Kalika Mata Temple, Rana Kumbha’s Palace, Vijay Stambh, Rani Padmini’s Palace, and Kirti Stambh.
Kumbhalgarh Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is listed under the group of Hill Forts of Rajasthan. It was constructed back in the 15th century and is one of the most beautiful places to visit near Nathdwara.
Kumbhalgarh is the second-largest fort in the country; it is among the largest fort complexes in the world. It has about 360 temples within its premises. Once on the palace’s top, travelers can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Aravalli Range stretch and the Thar Desert.
Nathdwara Pali, also known as “Industrial City”, is one of the Nathdwara tourist attractions. It is located on the banks of the river Bandi. One can plan a day trip to Shri Navlakha Parshwanath Jain Temple, Somnath Mandir, Maharana Pratap Smarak, Lakhotia Garden, and all the Baoris while in Pali (step-wells). In addition to the numerous sights, Pali is famous for its Gulab Halwa, Kulfi, and ice cream.
6. Maharana Pratap Memorial
The Maharana Pratap Memorial was built in 1997 on the initiative of the Indian government. It was built to honour Maharana Pratap Singh’s incredible bravery in the Battle of Haldighati and is one of the most sought-after sites to visit near Nathdwara. Maharana Pratap Singh riding his horse is shown in the Maharana Pratap National Memorial. The Maharana Pratap Museum is also worth a visit, as it provides a spectacular light and sound show in the evening.
Rajsamand, located 17.6 kilometers from Nathdwara, is known for the Rajsamand Lake, a man-made lake built by Rana Raj Singh of Mewar in the 17th century. Rajsamand Lake, which was once used as a seaplane base during World War II, now remains as a tribute to the great past.
8. Dwarkadheesh Temple
Nathdwara’s Dwarkadheesh Temple is one of the popular destinations to visit near Nathdwara. It is an architectural marvel and is an example of superior craftsmanship. The sacred site is devoted to Lord Krishna, a significant Hindu deity and Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar. Unlike Shreenathji Temple, Dwarkadheesh Temple is mostly traffic-free, making it a perfect location for quiet worship.
9. Temple of Charbhuja
Charbhuja Temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Nathdwara. It is a historical shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of Hinduism’s most important deities. The temple was established in 1444 AD.
The principal materials used in the construction of the Charbhuja Temple are mirrors, lime mortars, and marble. On top of that, there are stone elephants on both sides of the entrance. Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple each year to seek blessings and offer prayers.
10. Temple of Eklingji
The Eklingji Temple in Udaipur’s Kailashpuri area is one of the examples of historical architecture in Nathdwara. The temple is over a thousand years old and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of Hinduism’s most important deities.
Eklingji Temple has managed to keep its beauty despite being such an old structure. The temple’s every nook and cranny is carved with elegance and offers a tranquil atmosphere. Lord Shiva’s idol, which can be found inside the temple, has four faces and is made of black marble.
11. Giriraj Parvat
Giriraj Parvat is a charming Nathdwara tourist attraction. Many people travel from all across India to see the sacred circulation around the hill. Aside from that, this hilltop offers a great outlook and enough fresh air to absorb. Enthusiasts also come upon a temple devoted to Lord Shiva and make their way around the hill. The best time to visit Giriraj Parvat is early in the morning.
Alsigarh is a highland location with unrivaled scenic attractiveness and unending peace. It is an excellent alternative for a fast and quaint break near Nathdwara because it is virtually untapped. Small villages, luscious hills, waterfalls, lush green farmland, and grazing cattle, all can be seen on the journey to Alsigarh. Alsigarh comes alive during the Monsoon Season, and it is the best time to experience the region’s natural beauties.
A City of Purity and Spirituality
Nathdwara, being the city of temples and significant shrines, attracts a lot of tourists every year. The scenic beauty, calmness in the air, and serene environment attract visitors from all over the nation. In addition, the architecture of history, revealing tales and an insight into ancient culture, lifestyle, palaces and temples, add an extra oomph factor. A visit to Nathdwara will surely give you an adventure of a lifetime amidst craft, architecture, and history replete with pious shrines.
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