It literally means GATEWAY to SHRINATHJI. It is a town in Rajasthan, famous for its Temple of Krishna which house the idol of Shrinathji (14th century)——- a 7-year-old infant incarnation of Krishna. Nathdwara Town itself is popularly referred to as SHRINATHJI, after the presiding Deity.
As per the religious beliefs, the shrine at Nathdwara was built in the 17th century at the spot as exactly ordained by Shrinathji Himself. The idol of Lord Krishna was being transferred to a safer place from Vrindavan, to protect it from anti-Hindu, iconoclastic, Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. When the idol reached the spot n the village of SINHAD, the wheels of the bullock-cart, in which the idol was being transported, sank axle-deep in mud and could not be moved any further. The accompanying priests realised that the particular place was the Lord’s chosen spot, and accordingly, a Temple was built there, under the rule and protection of the then Maharana Rana Singh of Mewar. Shrinathji Temple is also known as HAVELI (mansion) of Shrinathji.
Nathdwara has an average elevation of 1919ft. It is set amid idyllic hills. A steady stream of pilgrims has ensured a plentiful supply of transport and accommodation. Shrinathji Temple is the centre of attraction, but the town is also famous for its PICHWAI paintings (large paintings on cloth depicting legends from the life of Lord Krishna), handmade terracotta, ivory articles and HAWELI music (devotional music akin to DHRUPAD singing with compositions meant for various seasons, festivals and sections of the day).
The structure of the 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 hand is like 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 near the God’s head are imprinted on the idol.
The Temple authorities have not less than 500 cows. Darshan opens eight times a day and the Lord looks different in every Darshan, and the RAJBHOG Darshan, taking place around noon, is the most important and sought-after. Photography and mobile phones are strictly prohibited in the Temple premises. The best time to visit Shrinathji is from September to February.