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Nathdwara is a city in Rajasthan state of western India. It is located in the Aravalli hills, on the banks of the Banas River in Rajsamand District, just north of Udaipur. This holy town is famous for its temple of Krishna which houses the Shrinathji, a 12th century "infant" incarnation idol (murti) of Krishna. The idol was moved in the 17th century from Govardhan hill, near Mathura along holy river Yamuna, to protect it from the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's campaign against Hindu worship in his empire. The Haveli of Shrinathji (as the temple is called), was once a royal palace of the Sesodia Rajput rulers of Mewar.
Shri Nathdwara (a pathway to Lord Shri Krishna) lies 48 km from Udaipur and literally means the gateway to the Lord Shri Nathji. This great Vaishnavite shrine was built in the 17th century on spot exactly identified by the Lord himself. The legends have it[who?] that the idol of the Lord Krishna was being transferred to safer place from Vrindaban to protect it from the destructive wrath of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. When the idol reached this spot, the wheels of bullock cart it was traveling in, sank axel deep in mud and refused to move further, at all. The accompanying priest realised that this was Lord's chosen spot and the Lord did not want to travel any further.
Accordingly a Temple was built here. This is a temple and place of pilgrimage amongst its believers.
Devotees throng the shrine in large numbers during occasions of "Janmashtami" the day of Lord's birth and other festivals like Holi, Diwali. The priests treat it like a living deity, and they tend to the Lord with daily normal function like bathing, dressing, meals called "Prasad" and the resting times in regular intervals. This deity is believed to be infant Lord Krishna, and hence special care is taken, accordingly. The priests in all Havelis are believed to be from the kul (descendants) of Shri Vallabh Acharya, the founder of this deity's idol at Govardhan hill, near Mathura.
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