The place where god still exists in each and every part of the city. This place made me strong, I feel like I am under the roof of Lord Shree Krishna. The only place where you get what you want.
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 non different from Govardhan and all devotees worship rocks in the very same manner as they worship Krishna.
The place is well known for hundreds of years. There is a small mountain there, which was taken on finger by Lord Krishna, and in this era people worship for the same mountain. Peoples comes here from all over the India as well as from other countries also. and most of them will cover the whole area around the mountain on "bare foots". The total distance is around 21 KM. That's a big challenge, but when you are under the roof of god nothing seems to be impossible.
How to Reach here:- From Railway Station: Mathura is the nearest station; and a plenty of Auto Rickshaws, Buses and Taxi es are available there. Current hiring rate is 300 to 500 (subjected to your ability to bargain and according to seasons.) From Bus Stand: From Mathura New Bus Stand there are regular buses available at much cheaper rates.
How it got its name: There are two views to look at the name Govardhan; it is formed by merging two terms, Gau (or Go, hindi name for Cow,) and vardhan. One meaning is that the place where cows can rest and increase their family as this hill provides them with water, soft grass and caves. Other meaning of the name is spiritual interpretation as Go in Sanskrit means 'indriyan' or senses and vardhan also means to control; so the meaning comes out to be to place where all your senses are in your control and are dedicated in the service of God.
Places to visit:
Out of many Temples and places; few most famous places here are:
1) Jatipura/ Mukharvind
2) Daan Ghaati
3) Mansi Ganga All three are at short distance to each other.
This place is the same place where Lord Krishna himself offered bhoj pooja and shringar to Giriraj Ji before lifting it up on his index finger. The story goes like this: All the gwals (people who take care of Cows) and farmers used to worship God Indra (Hindu God of Rain), for the proper rainfall of the season. This was a age long practice going on in Brij area. One day Krishna as a child challenged this practice and argued that it is Indra's duty to give rain whether or not you offer him prayers. Krishna said instead we should worship Goverdhan, who is providing us the water and fodder for the survival of cattle. Gwals agreed on this and offered worship to Goverdhan instead of Indra. On this Indra got angry and ordered his furious clouds to burst on Brij and destroy it with rain and flood. As the rain got heavy all Gwals planned to leave the Brij Area; Krishna said that why should we leave when Goverdhan is here. Krishna through his leela lifted the Goverdhan hill only on his index finger. All the living organisms of Brij area were sheltered under it.
This rain continued for 7 days till all the clouds of Indra were emptied; Indra's pride was destroyed and he agreed that till Shri Goverdhan is there no one can do bad in Brij area. From that day onwards Goverdhan hill is worshiped and prayed as Lord Krishna himself . From this leela onwards Krishna got name 'Goverdhan-Dhari' (one who beholds Goverdhan) and 'Indradaman' (one who broke the pride of Indra).
The hill in Braj picked up by Shri Krishna to protect the Braj Vasis continuouly 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 you can only stay before Shri Nathji as long as the darshan flow allows. Suddenly you 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 around 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 here 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
Fir milege kahi kisi roj ghumte firte :)