Nathdwara
   Literally, “the doorway to the Lord,” Nathdwara is a sacred town near Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan; it is the principal seat of the cult of Sri Sri NAT H J I and of the VALLABHA sect. The town itself is sometimes called Sri Nathji.
   Sri Sri Nathji is a form of KRISHNA. His image was taken to Nathdwara from Mathura in 1669 to prevent its destruction by the armies of the iconoclastic Mughal Muslim king Aurangzeb. The chief temple of Nathdwara enshrines the image of Krishna taken in 1669, which holds Govardhana Mountain, recalling the myth in which Krishna protected the cowherds of BRINDAVAN from storms caused by INDRA, king of the gods, by holding up this mountain as an umbrella.
   Further reading: Amit Ambalal, Krishna as Shrinathji: Rajasthani Paintings from Nathdvara (Ahmedabad: Mapin, 1987); H. S. Verdia, Religion and Social Struc-ture in a Sacred Town, Nathdwara (Delhi: Researchco, 1982).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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