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Nathdwara is the World famous town for it's one of the richest " Shri Nath Ji Temple" in Mewar Kingdom of the India. In 1691,Emperor Aurangzeb decided to destroy all the hindu temples within his territory.This prompted the Maharana of Udaipur to move a particularly sacred statue of Krishna to Mathura under the name of Shri Nath Ji, in order to remove it from Aurangzeb's destructive wrath.
However the cart transporting the idol is said to have got stuck in the mud here in a small village namely "Sihad" near famous Lal Baag. Attempts to free it from the mire failed, and it was decided to build a shrine at Shri Nath Ji, since it was here that the divinity himself had chosen to come to rest. The festival atmosphere and the elaborate rituals surrounding the statue,rather than the beauty of the temple itself, whose vast white walls are covered in modern paintings, make the pilgrimage to Nathdwara worthwhile.
You can get the first vision means Darshan approx 5.30am, when the statue is unveiled, sparking off a collective emotional reaction among the pilgrims. Nathdwara is also famous for its wall-hangings ( Pichhwai ), which hang behind the statue of Krishna. Nathdwara is set amidst idyllic hills on the left bank of the Banas River. The place is most popular for its sacred Vaishnava temple of Lord Srinathji. Sri Nathdwara or the gateway leading to the Srinathji is also the center of the Pushtimarg Sampradaya, a doctrine created by Jagatguru Sri Vallabhacharya. One can find the idol of Srinathji, sculpted out of one piece of black marble belonging to the 12th century and was first installed by Sri Vallabhacharya in a small temple at Jatipura, near Mathura.
The Haveli (a large house) of Srinathji was once a royal palace of the Rajput rulers. Devotees throng the Temple at all hours to have the Lord’s darshan (audience). The Lord gives darshan at different times of the aptly attired for the hour. An early hour for the first darshan is a regular observation where Lord Sir Nathji resides in regal splendour. Darshans or glimpses of Srinathji can be sought 8 times in the day. Collectively known as Ashtaya, the 8 darshans are Mangala, Shringar, Gwal, Rajbhog, Uthhapan, Bhog, Aarti and Shayan. In each of them the divine manifestations of the Lord are described and synchronized with His daily schedule. The devotees who throng the Temple darshan are ultimate joy and they can risk their precarious life for that momentary glimpse.
Nathdwara floods with culture. It has above all been known for its tradition of painting and visual culture. Hundreds of artists inhabit Nathdwara and paint for their living. These artists mostly live in Chitaron ki gali. Each home here is a work of art studio. The artists make a close community and interact freely. Nathdwara is a main heart of Pichhwai paintings, a sought after art form of Rajasthan. Pichhwai paintings are painted in permanent natural colors that do not lighten for years. They are put to use in printing and embroidery also. Portrayal of the artist’s love for God makes the Nathdwara style distinct from other forms. Art takes the center stage and is a vital element of ritualistic darshan of Srinathji. A large cloth painting serves as a backdrop to the idol and is sometimes intricate enough to narrate the various leelas of Lord Krishna as Srinathji. Pichhwai have deep religious roots and painting, as a form of service, is part of devotional expression. The main themes of the paintings are based on the numerous festivals of the Srinathji temple. They show the figure of Srinathji, decked in different festive costumes, whether it is in the vibrant colors of Holi or the festivities of Janmashtmi, or the ever-famous Raas-Leela. No wonder, a Pichhwai is often a group effort, where several skillful painters work together under the supervision of a master of the art.
Don't forget to visit near by villege khamnore which is world famous for it's chaitry rose, Harirai Ji Ki Baithak, Haldighati and the mud art of Molela.
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