About the Shreenathji Nathdwara Temple:
The famous Sreenathji temple is considered a very important and sacred place for all Vaishnavas. So if you are a follower, you should come to Rajasthan and visit this marvelous temple situated in Nathdwara. Not just Vaishnavas, but any devotee of Lord Krishna can pray in this temple that was built for Shrinathji. It was constructed during the 17th century under the reign of the Mewar dynasty.
Unique culture of the temple:
Each and every devotee of Lord Krishna should visit this holy place to seek blessings of the Lord. The most amazing feature of this temple is that the deity in this temple is Lord Krishna in his divine form. No other temple in the country has a deity of a God in the divinity form. So this is the ideal place for any believer to offer their prayers to the deity. Another unique thing about this temple is that along with your prayers, you can also offer your services to the deity. You can carry woods or cut vegetables for the Bhog. Many people even clean the temple and make garlands for the deity.
About the deity:
The deity of this temple is worshipped worldwide by both the Hindu and Vaishnavas. So many people have faith on SriNathji that there are temples of the deity in almost every country. The deity is the divine form of Lord Krishna as Srinathji, who saved people residing in the Govardhana Hill. You will feel a spiritual ecstasy inside the shrine of Srinathji. Specific rituals are followed for Srinathji throughout the day. So if you visit the temple make sure to look for the sreenathji nathdwara temple timing.
The black idol:
The specialty of the idol is that it is carved out of a monolithic marble stone that is entirely black in color. Though the carving is of Bas-relief, you can see two cows, a lion and a snake engraved on the idol. There is also a parrot and two peacocks carved into the black stone. Three sages are placed nearby the idol. The sreenathji temple is famous for its idol among all the Krishna devotees worldwide. This idol is said to have inspired many respectable people to build a sreenathji temple in other countries.
The shrine for the deity:
Once you reach the temple compounds, you will realize that it has been constructed like the Gokul house of the deity. After going through the huge gate of the temple, you will reach the shrine of Srinathji. This shrine houses the idol of the divine and is the sole shrine in the entire temple compound.
Rituals followed in the temple:
Many complex rituals are held eight times a day in this temple. First is the Mangala or the first darshan at dawn. The next is Shringar where devotees get another glimpse of the deity. During the Gval, the Lord is worshipped for the first time in the day with thousand Basil leaves. At afternoon, the next darshan or Rajbhog takes place where aarti of the deity is done, and fresh lotuses and garlands are offered. After this, the Lord wakes up from the afternoon siesta, and the ritual of Utthanpan is performed then the afternoon snack or Bhog is offered to the deity. After the sun sets, another aarti is done to drive away the darkness and evil. Ultimately at night the deity gives darshan for the last time during the ritual of Shayan.
The season of festivals:
This temple is a holy place for not only the Vaishnavas, but the entire Hindu community. So many festivals are celebrated in the shreenathji nathdwara temple with a lot of gusto and fervor. During these festivals, people from all over the world visit the temple compounds to feel the essence of the festivals. As the deity is in the form of a child during the festivals, proper care is taken of the deity. Everything that is done for any mortal child is done for the deity. That is why during this time the deity is adorned with beautiful clothes and ornaments. The biggest festival held within the premises of the temple is Janmashtami. Holi is also celebrated here with lots of colors, and even foreigners play holi with the locals and other devotees. There are various functions during this time that are held especially for the deity. Special meals, dressing and bathing, is done throughout the day inside the sanctum.
On a pilgrimage:
The Shreenathji temple is the only holy pilgrimage in Nathdwara. The speciality of this place is that any Hindu can come and seek blessings from the deity during the sreenathji nathdwara puja. You do not need to be a Krishna devotee to have a darshan of the deity. If you have devotion and faith in your heart, then you will be blessed by the Lord.