Nathdwara is a town in India's western state of Rajasthan. It is located in the Aravalli hills, on the banks of the Banas River in Rajsamand District, 48 kilometres north-east of Udaipur. This town is famous for its temple of Krishna which houses the deity of Shrinathji, a 14th-century, 7-year-old "infant" incarnation of Krishna. The deity was originally worshiped at JATIPURA Mathura and was shifted in the 1672 from Govardhan hill, near Mathura along holy river Yamuna after being retained at Agra for almost six months. Literally, Nathdwara means ‘Gateway to Shrinathji (God)’. Nathdwara is a significant Vaishnavite shrine pertaining to the Pushti Marg or the Vallabh Sampradaya or the Shuddha Advaita founded by Vallabha Acharya, revered mainly by people of Gujarat and Rajasthan, among others. Vitthal Nathji, son of Vallabhacharya institutionalised the worship of Shrinathji at Nathdwara. 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 the Lord Krishna was being transferred from Vrindaban to protect it from the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb who, according to sectarian literature, wished to have the deity reside with him in Agra. When the idol reached the spot at village Sihad or Sinhad, the wheels of bullock cart in which the idol was being transported sank axle-deep in mud and could not be moved any farther. 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 Raj Singh of Mewar. Shrinathji Temple is also known as 'Haveli of Shrinathji’ (mansion).
Geography and Transport
Nathdwara is located at 24.93°N 73.82°E. It has an average elevation of 585 metres (1919 ft). Located just 48 km north-east of Udaipur in Rajasthan, this town is easily reached by air, road or nearest rail-head. A steady stream of pilgrims has ensured a plentiful supply of transport and accommodation at Nathdwara. It is set amid idyllic hills. The temple town is also connected to nearest rail head Mavli Junction which is 28 km from Nathdwara. Mavli Jn is located on Udaipur City- Chittaurgarh Section of NWR. Recently, BG line has been extended from Mavli Jn to Maniana a village located between Mavli Jn and Nathdwara. However, now there is a weekly BG train on mavli Jn- Maniana (Nathdwara Railway Station). This train originates from Okha in Gujarat on every Saturday and reaches Nathdwara station at 06.20 hrs on Sunday. The train leaves for Okha same day at 2130 hrs (on Sundays) and travels via Mavli Jn, Chittaurgagh Jn, Neemuch, Ratlam Jn, Vadodara Jn, Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Jamnagar to Okha. The nearest Airport is Maharana Pratap Airport, Dabok (Udaipur) located at a distance of 56 km via Mavli Jn. A number of state transport buses from Gujarat and Rajasthan originates from various locations of Gujarat and Rajasthan for this temple town.