Govind Ji Temple:
Govind Ji Temple is the most prominent and sacred place of worship in Jaipur, Rajasthan, as well as the most significant in terms of Rajasthani ruler history. The temple is dedicated to Lord Govind Ji, who is one of Lord Krishna’s incarnations on Earth and the principal deity of Amber/Kachwaha Amer’s Dynasty of rulers.
The idol of Govind Ji is said to resemble Lord Krishna exactly. After the idol was moved from Amer to Jaipur, the Maharaja of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, was a devotee of the Lord and had his palace designed so that he could see the Lord directly from his palace. The temple is thronged by devotees all year round due to its significance and legend, and it receives a large footfall.
History of the Temple:
Lord Govind Ji, one of Lord Krishna’s forms, is the main deity of the Kachwaha Dynasty of Amber and is associated with Jaipur’s rich history and rulers. The original Govind Dev Ji idol is said to have been in a temple in Vrindavan, excavated around 450 years ago from Goma Teela in Vrindavan by a disciple of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Goswami.
When the then Maharaja of Amer, Sawai Man Singh, and the Mughal Emperor Akbar learned of the temple’s existence, they built a massive temple in Vrindavan in 1590 A. D. The red sandstone used to construct the temple was donated by Akbar and was originally intended to be used to construct the Agra Fort. In addition, the emperor gave away approximately 135 acres of land for livestock and feed.
During the 17th century, Mughal ruler Aurangzeb went on a rampage, razing Hindu temples and destroying their idols. Shri Shiv Ram Goswami looked after Govind Ji’s idol in Vrindavan around the same time. In order to save the idols, he kept transferring them from Vrindavan to Jaipur. Because Lord Govind Dev Ji was the main deity of the ruling dynasty, the then ruler of Amer, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, took on the responsibility of protecting the idol and relocating it to Amer Valley, which was later renamed Kanak Vrindavan in 1714 AD.
However, they were unable to make it public because Amer was serving in the Mughal court at the time and could not afford a stand-off with the Mughals. In 1735 AD, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh brought Govind Ji’s idol from Amer to Jaipur and placed it at the Surya Mahal after receiving instructions in his dreams from the Lord himself.
The Maharaja enshrined the deity at Suraj Mahal because he believed the palace belonged to Lord Govind Ji, and he himself relocated to a new palace named Chandra Mahal. The Chandra Mahal was designed in such a way that the idol of Govind Ji could be seen directly from the palace.
The Suraj Mahal was later renamed and is now known as the Govind Ji Temple.
Legend has it that around 5500 years ago, the 13-year-old Bajranabh, the great-grandson of Lord Shri Krishna, wanted to make the exact idol of the Lord after receiving appropriate instructions from his grandmother about the Lord’s original appearance.
The first idol he created featured only the feet of Lord Krishna. This first idol was given the name Lord ‘Madan Mohan Ji’ and is now housed in Karauli, Rajasthan. Brajranabh created a second idol in which only the chest resembled Lord Krishna, and this idol was named Lord ‘Gopi Nath Ji’ and is now housed in Purani Basti in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
It was Bajranabh’s third idol, which resembled Lord Shri Krishna in every way and was approved by his grandmother. This final idol was known as Lord ‘Govind Ji.’ Govind Ji’s idol is also known as ‘Bajrakrit,’ which means ‘created by Bajranabh.’
The Govind Ji Temple is made of sandstone and marble, with gold-plated ceilings. The temple building’s architecture is a blend of Rajasthani, Muslim, and Classical Indian elements. Because it was constructed next to a royal residence, the walls are adorned with chandeliers and paintings. The temple is also surrounded by a lush green garden known as ‘Talkatora,’ which is best suited for children.
The Govind Ji Temple celebrates many festivals, the most important of which are Janamashtami and Holi. Janamashtami commemorates the birth of Lord Shree Krishna and is observed on Bhadrapad month, which is a Hindu calendar month of August. Then, just before Holi, another festival is held that is simply amazing. After Vrindavan, the Govind Dev – Ji temple holds high regard among Lord Shree Krishna devotees, and thus devotees from various nations came here to worship Lord Shree Krishna.
During the summer, the temple is open from 4:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 5:45 PM to 9:30 PM, and during the winter, it is open from 5:00 AM to 12:15 PM and 5:00 PM to 8:45 PM.
Aarti and ritual timings: Aarti timings vary by half an hour to 45 minutes depending on the season, summer or winter. During the summer, the Mangla aarti begins at 4:30 a.m., followed by the Dhoop and Shringar aartis at 7:30 and 9:30 a.m., respectively.
The food offered to the deities is made just before noon at 11:00 AM and lasts until 11:30 AM. This is known as the ‘Rajabhog.’
The evening aartis begin with the early evening Gwal aarti at 5:45 PM, followed by the late evening Sandhya aarti at 6:45 PM, and the night aarti begins at 9:00 PM, which is known as the Shayan aarti.
During the winter, morning aartis are moved forward by half an hour, while evening aartis are moved back 45 minutes.
The winter months, from October to March, are ideal for visiting this wonderful city. When the scorching sun is at its weakest, the maximum temperature is around 20-22 degrees. The nights are cooler, with temperatures dropping to around 5 degrees, while the days are extremely pleasant, allowing you to take in all of the city’s heritage beauty and leave with a memorable experience.
- Jai Niwas Garden: For a taste of Mughal gardens in Rajasthan, go to Jai Niwas Garden in Jaipur. The presence of Mughal influence can be seen quite clearly here.
- City Palace: The current residence of the Royals of Jaipur, a tour of the City Palace may provide insight into how the royals live. This was the Maharaja of Amer’s seat after he relocated his capital from Amer to Jaipur and built the Pink City. After visiting the City Palace, every visitor takes rich history with them.
- Jantar Mantar: The massive architectural astronomical structures built by Jaipur’s founder, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The observatory instruments work in accordance with three classical celestial systems and are fascinating to observe with the naked eye. A visit here is highly recommended and should not be overlooked.
- Hawa Mahal: The word Hawa Mahal translates literally as “palace of winds.” The red and pink sandstone layout is a stunning example of Rajasthani architecture that will take your breath away.
- Tripolia Bazar: Explore the streets of Jaipur’s oldest and busiest market, which is named after one of the City Palace’s gates. Fulfill your desire to own custom-made lac bangles, artifacts, silverware, ironware, and brasswares at rock-bottom prices. Shopping in Tripolia will help you hone your bargaining skills. This market will fulfill your desire to shop until you drop.’
The city has a domestic airport, which is 7 kilometers from the main city, and an international airport, which is 10 kilometers away.
The railway station is only 5 kilometers away and is well-connected to the main city. The railway network is extensive, with numerous trains connecting Jaipur to cities throughout India. The city has three major railway junctions, one in Jaipur, another in Gandhinagar, and a third in Durgapur. A strong network of national highways connects the Pink City to the major cities. The Rajasthan State Transport Corporation operates a fleet of deluxe, semi-deluxe, Volvo, and non-air-conditioned buses.
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