Among a number of religious dhams associated with Lord Shri Krishna in Mathura Vrindavan, Giriraj Dham is one of the main Dham of Mathura. According to a legend, it is believed that once Lord Hanuman was brininging Giriraj from Utthrakhand and after having a revelation, established the mountain or Parvat over there and headed back to meet Lord Rama in the south. It is believed that in the Dwapar Yuga, Lord Krishna held the Govardhan or Giriraj hills on his finger tip for 7 days and 7 nights in a stretch to save the people from being drown in rainwater and this deluge was believed to be the work of Lord Indira who was upset with them because of some reason.
Giriraj is offered 56 types of Bhoga (Holy food) on all auspicious occasions which includes varieties of dishes and sweets as well. The Giriraj Ji is a town, 22 km (approx.) from the city of Mathura on the highway to Deeg (in Rajsthan). It is also known by names of Govardhan, Shri Giriraj Ji, Govardhan Parvat etc.
In Bhagwat Geeta Krishna says he is no different from Govardhan and all devotees worship rocks in the very same manner as they worship Krishna.
About the Temple
In Govinda-lilamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami states that Govardhana Hill is shaped like a peacock and that Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda are its eyes. Dan Ghati and Manasi Ganga are its long neck. Mukharavinda is the mouth, Kusuma Sarovara its face, and Punchari is its back and tail feathers. A peacock often curves its neck and puts his head under its stomach. Govardhana Hill is thus shaped in this pose of a peacock.
About The Deity
The Govardhan hill is 25m high and is a wide hill. It is a narrow sandstone hill known as Giriraj which is about 8 km in length.
After Krishna protected the inhabitants of Vraj (Vridavan) from the wrath of Indra, he counseled them to worship Govardhana hill and they did by way of a Puja and a Parikrama (circumambulation) around the hill. Thus, a festival in commemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan, near Mathura, by Krishna came into vogue as Govardhan Puja when Mount Govardhan is worshipped day after Deepawali (fetival of lights) is celebrated. Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook fifty-six (or 108) different types of food for the bhog (the offering of food) to Krishna. This ceremony is called ankut or annakuta which means a mountain of food. Various types of food – cereals, pulses, fruit, vegetables, chutneys, pickles, and salads – are offered to the Deity and then distributed as prasada to devotees. Thousands of devotees bring offerings for Giriraj. Followed by this pooja, the devotees perform the Govardhana parikrama.
A Parikrama is a sacred ritual called Govardana parikrama performed by many believers. There is no time limit for performing Govardhana Parikrama, but for those who perform the dandavata (full prostration) Parikrama, an arduous form which may take weeks and sometimes even months to complete. It is performed by standing in one spot, offering obeisance like a stick (danda) by lying flat on the ground and then continuing, contiguously, till the entire route is covered. It is also said that some sadhus (Hindu holy men) perform 108 dandavata Parikrama by offering 108 obeisance in one spot before moving to the next. This can take a number of months to complete. This ritual of circumambulation is considered to be even better if is it done with milk. A clay pot filled with milk, with a hole at the bottom, is carried by the devotees in one hand and a pot filled with dhoop (incense smoke) in another. An escort continuously fills up the pot with milk till the circumambulation is completed.
Circumambulation is also done with candy being handed out to children, en route. Parikrama of Govardhana starts at the Manasi-Ganga Kund (lake) and then after having darsan of Lord Harideva, from Radha-kunda village, where the Vrindavan road meets the parikrama path. After parikrama of 38 km, covering important tanks, shilas and shrines such as Radha Kunda, Syama Kunda, Dan Ghati, Mukharavinda, Rinamochana Kunda, Kusuma Sarovara and Punchari, it ends at Mansi Ganga Kund only.
Legends and Stories
The hill in Braj was picked up by Shri Krishna to protect the Braj Vasis continuously for seven days from the deluge sent by Indra, who was infuriated that they gave his annual offering to the hill. This is the hill, known as Girraj Goverdhan, from which Shri Nathji appeared, early in the Fifteenth Century. A cow from Gwal named Saddu Pandey’s (Shri Krishna’s follower) herd, used to climb the Goverdhan Hill and drops her milk on top of a black arm that has mysteriously appeared from the top of the hill. Every afternoon, she lags behind the rest of the herd to perform her ritual over the protruding arm. Unaware of her devotion, her owner begins to wonder why there is decrease in the amount of her milk. One day he follows her and discovers her secret rite with Shri Nathji. The year is 1409 during the month of sawan on the third day of the dark half of the month and Shri Nathji s appearance upon the hill seizes the attention of the local braj wasis, the residents of Braj. They are amazed that whatever they desire is given. They only need to pray to the raised arm.
Shri Mahaprabhuji Vallabhacharya appeared in India in the year 1479, on the same day that Shri Shrinathji’s face appeared from the hills of Goverdhan. Shrinathji’s manifestation and the subsequent developments were originally revealed by Shri Gokulnathji, the grandson of Shri Mahaprabhuji Vallabhacharya, who was the fourth illustrious son of Gusaiji, who is also known as Vitthalnathji. For the devotional souls, bhaktas, Shri Nathji is not a stone image, but a living divinity. We experience Krishna with our eyes, either in the form of Shrinathji or Hari and share the aspirations which thoroughly enjoyed by Mahaprabhuji, if we desire. His appearance on the Goverdhan Hill allows Him the opportunity to express His most refined creation and to show how graceful it is.
Krishna decided to appear from the depths of the Goverdhan Hill as Shri Nathji in the form of a five foot tall stone image that was not chiseled by any human hand. He came to life on the Goverdhan Hill for his special devotees. Shri Nathji appeared on the Goverdhan Hill to uplift all, while Shri Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya appeared to establish a lila connection for the pushti margi bhaktas. The seva of Shri Nathji established by Mahaprabhuji was later embellished by his son. This elaborate tradition of adoration is still alive today. Millions of people come to visit Shri Nathji. They crowd His chambers, which literally become an ocean of people. When you enter into, they push their way in and out of the darshan area. Often devotees can only stay before Shri Nathji as long as the darshan flow allows. Suddenly all are pushed out of the arena while the crowd chants, Girirajadharana ki Jai.
Today, Shri Nathji lives in Nathdwara, near Udaipur in Rajasthan. The town is totally centered on Him. Shri Nathji’s full name is Shri Goverdhan Nathji. Tradition tells us not to use the name of our guru, husband, wife, close friend or personal Deity. For this reason, Shri Goverdhan Nathji is called Shri Nathji. Shri Nathji, Who used to make the trip from the Goverdhan Hill to Rajasthan to play with His bhaktas, now goes from Rajasthan back to His beloved Goverdhan Hill daily. His bhaktas feel that He spends the night there in the caves and groves around the mount.
His presence there is honoured every night with His ornamentation at MUKHARVINDA, just in front of Shri Mahaprabhuji s baithak in Jatipura. After Arati the ornamentation is removed and Shri Nathji disappears into the hill. All that remains is the Goverdhan stone upon which the ornamentation and form of Shri Nathji was presented.With the above expression, it seems to be very clear that Shri Nathji plays with His Bhaktas. First, He allows them an awareness of His divinity and then gifts them an awareness of their personal relationship with Him. When this relationship matures into a lila alliance, then Shri Krishna appears directly before them.
The adventures of the deity in Braj and during the journey are delightfully recounted here.
Prasad & offering
Among a number of religious dhams associated with Lord Shri Krishna in Mathura Vrindavan, Giriraj Dham is one of the main Dham of Mathura. Giriraj is offered 56 types of Bhoga (Holy food) on all auspicious occasions which includes varities of dishes and sweets as well. Now offer Prasad and seek blessings by Giriraj Ji.
The closest major airport to Govardhan, India is Agra Airport (AGR / VIAG). This airport is in Agra, India and is 82 km from the center of Govardhan, India.
Govardhan does not have a train station, and the nearest station is Mathura, at a distance of 22 kms from Govardhan.
From mathura plenty of Auto Rickshaws, Buses and Taxis are available to Govardhan.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Daivi Hyesa Gunamayi Mama Maya Duratyaya Mameva Ye Prapadyante Mayametam Taranti Te
Meaning -According to this sloka, the heavenly maya of God is very complicated, but those who worship God will be able to overcome it.
Balam Balavatam Caham Kamaragavivarjitam Dharmaviruddho Bhutesu Kamo'smi Bharatarsabha
Meaning -According to this sloka, God is the isolated and aloof strength of the controlling and virtuous craving in men.
Ye Caiva Sattvika Bhava Rajasastamasasca Ye Matta Everti Tanviddhi Na Tvaham Tesu Temayi
Meaning -According to this sloka, though the only source of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obsessive and dark) elements is God, they are not present within the God or the deity.
Tribhirgunamayairbhavairebhih Sarvamidam Jagat Mohitam Nabhijanati Mamebhyah Paramavyayam
Meaning -According to this sloka, the entire world doesn't recognize the eternal God beyond them, because they are consumed by the elements of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obssessive and dark).
Morning 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.