Famous Krishna Temples
There are a number of temples dedicated to Bhagwan Krishna, spread all across India. The number of temples in North India is far more than those in South India. The city of Vrindavan (Northern India) alone, hosts close to 5000 temples. There are a chosen few temples which are quite famous and significant. Lakhs of devotees visit these temples every year for darshans of their beloved Bal Gopal. These temples are very powerful and highly regarded by Hindus also helping to promote and flourish the richness of the Hindu religion, culture, and philosophy.
Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir, Mathura
Mathura, the birth city of Bhagwan Krishna is situated on the banks of river Yamuna and is approximately 145 kms from the capital city Delhi. The town is renowned for being host to the most revered temple of Shri Krishna-the famous Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir. The temple is the place where lord is said to have been born thousands of years ago. Along with neighboring towns Govardhan, Nandgaon and Vrindavan, the area is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus.
According to historians, the prison cell,popularly known as 'Garbha Griha', in the temple premise is the exact place where lord Krishna was born. The stone walled cell is reminiscent of the cruelty of King Kansa. Many statues and sculptures of the bygone era were found on excavating the site. The prison cell was gradually turned into the present beautiful temple. Lakhs of devotees throng the temple during Janmashtami. The festivities and celebrations during the festival is famous all over India. Celebrations begin during mid night with the birth of Bhagwan .
Banke Bihari Mandir, Vrindavan
The twin city of Mathura and Vrindavan resound with the stories of Lord Krishna till date; located 15 kms from Mathura,the city has more than 5000 temples dedicated to him. The place got its name from sacred tulsi also known as Vrinda. It is said that the place was a vine of tulsi groves hence the name Vrindavan. God spent quite a few years in Vrindavan also known as Braj bhoomi. The city has both centuries old as well as modern temples.
Though there are quite a few popular temples like Radha Raman temple, Rangaji temple, Radha Vallabh temple, ISKCON temple but the most revered among them is the Banke Bihari temple.
Guruvayur Temple, Kerala
Situated approximately 33 kms from Thrissur, Guruvayur temple is one of the most famous temples of Lord Krishna in South India. It is also considered to be the Dwarka of Southern region. It is said that Lord Brahma worshipped Lord Krishna's idol and gifted it to Lord Vishnu during Krishnavtaram. After Bhagwan Krishna left for heavenly abode, and the city of Dwarka was submerged, Vayu-lord of winds and Guru were entrusted with the work of finding a suitable place to install the holy idol. After a long search, it is said that both Guru and Vayu installed the idol at the temple at the insistence of guru Parshuram.
The place got its name Guruvayur because both Guru and Vayu installed the idol. It was initially called Guruvayurappa which was later changed to what is today famously known as Guruvayur. Guruvayur temple is linked with Melpattur Narayana Bhattathiri, the author of 'Narayaneeyam' (16th century) a Sanskrit work comprising 1000 slokas (couplets) of inimitable beauty which is believed to have been composed in front of the deity here.
Udupi Sri Krishna Temple, Karnataka
Situated approximately 60 kms from Mangalore, the Udupi Sri Krishna temple also known as Krishna Mutt, is one of the most popular shrines dedicated to Lord Krishna in the southern region of India. Built in 13the century, Sri Krishna temple has an alluring idol of god adorned with beautiful jewels. The idol was installed by great saint Madhavacharya.
The temple has an interesting history; it is said the idol of lord Krishna got covered with sandlewood in the city of Dwarka. The idol was carried by a mariner who took it for a sandlewood lump. In the middle of the journey, the ship was caught in a storm on the western coast of Malpe. Sri Madhvacharya pulled the ship out of storm with his saffron robe and calmed the sea storm with his divine powers. Saint Mahdhvacharya asked for the sandalwood lump and as a gesture of gratitude, the mariner gifted him. Saint bathed the idol with water, purified it and installed it in the temple.
Srinath Temple, Udaipur, Rajasthan
The temple of Srinathji in Nathdwara, 48 kms north of beautiful city of Udaipur in Rajasthan is one of the wealthiest temples in India. Built in the early 18th century, the temple is thronged by staunch Vishnu and Krishna devotees every year on special occasions, especially Janmashtami. According to a popular folklore, the idol was initially installed at Mount Govardhan near Mathura city, birth city of Lord Krishna; while escaping the wrath and demolition by Muslim king Aurangzeb at a later date, the chariot carrying the idol of Srinathji got stuck in Nathdwara . This was taken as a divine signal to install the idol.
Shrinathji is believed to be a form of Krishna, in which he lifted the Govardhan hill to save the people of Brajbhoomi from the wrath of Varun-Lord of Rain.
Dwarkadhish Temple, Dwarka, Gujarat
The city of Dwarka, meaning gateway to moksha or salvation hosts another significant temple of Shri Krishna. It is said that lord spent close to hundred years of his life in this holy city. The city is believed to have been immersed in the sea after lord left for heavenly abode. Dwarka is also popularly known as city of gold.
The famed Dwarkadhish temple was just a small umbrella type monument in the year 400 BC; which was renovated time and again in different periods to finally in the year 1960, when Government of India took it over and renovates its from time to time.