Friday, October 8, 2010

Govind Devji Temple - Jaipur


This monkey sitting on the parapet was so engrossed in feasting on his banana that he didn’t mind me clicking his snap.

A monkey at the Govind Devji Temple, Jaipur
[ A monkey at the entrance of the Govind Devji Temple, Jaipur ]

    As I entered the ‘Govind Devji Temple’ in Jaipur, the sight of these monkeys besides the usual security officers was a refreshing change. Situated in the heart of the city, The City Palace complex, this is “the temple” of Jaipur, adored and revered by one and all. Not surprising then, my trip to Jaipur always starts with a visit to this temple.

The entrance to the Govind Devji Temple, Jaipur
[ The entrance to the Govind Devji Temple ]

    Bathed in the golden rays of the blazing sun, this spireless temple looked beautiful. The number of people coming out of the temple were far more than the number trickling in, a clear indication that the deity room had just closed. The temple is known for its unusual timings, the darshan opening and closing every few minutes.

    The temple room is quite huge and airy. The finely carved floral patterns on the walls, washed in what else but pink with sunrays filtering in from small dents in the roof was accentuating the fascinating beauty of the temple.

Finely carved ceilings and walls of the Govind Devji Temple in Jaipur
[ Finely carved ceilings and walls of the Govind Devji Temple ]

The deity door was shut, as expected. A few devotees were sweeping the floor, Engaged in selfless service to the Lord… I walked towards the back of the temple facing directly opposite the sanctum sanctorum, and gazed at the view outside…

The Chandra Mahal Palace directly overlooking the sanctum sanctorum
[ The Chandra Mahal Palace directly overlooking the sanctum sanctorum ]

    Originally from Vrindavan, the idol of Lord Govind Devji (another name of Lord Krishna) was brought to Jaipur by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II to save it from the destructive hands of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Inspired by a dream, the king later installed the deity in his own royal residence, ‘Surya Mahal’ as the principle deity of Jaipur. Not only that, he later built his new palace, ‘Chandra Mahal’, right across it so that he could take the blessings of the Lord from his balcony the first thing in the morning. Till date, it stands there far away in the background exactly opposite the temple and narrates this fascinating history to thousands of devotees visiting every day…

    After many minutes of gaze, I was interrupted by the beautiful kirtan that was going on in the temple room. There were these women sitting together in a group singing devotional songs. “When will the darshan open,” I enquired one of them. “Have patience,” she replied with a smile, “the fruit of patience is sweet”.

The room had filled in by now and the place was abuzz with activity. Everyone was anxiously waiting for a glimpse of Radha Govind.

People wait for the deity room to open at the Govind Devji temple
[ People waiting for the deity room to open ]

    A few more minutes passed by… the temple room was packed to the rafters now… Chants of ‘Radhe Govind’ filled the air and finally, the priests came out, the conch blew… the doors opened… the curtains pulled… and the room echoed with a huge roar…
Jaya Jaya Shri Radheeeeeee Govindddd

The deities of Lord Govind Devji along with His beloved Radha glittered as the priest lit the aarti lamp.

The Govind Devji temple deity room is just opened
[ The temple deity room is just opened ]

    All the people present there joined together in song and became one – one group united in devotion, with smiles and tears – so many varieties of dance. The joy on the faces of the ladies as they raised their arms and danced; the bespectacled men, smiling with their missing teeth, clapping their hands and crying out, made for a blissful sight. You could feel your heart tugged along through so many emotions, joy and pain, wonder and regret, all sublime, all so nourishing, satisfying and edifying the experience. I was there somewhere in the middle of the crowd and it was such a joy to see everyone take such delight in the aarti. There was hardly any jostling and people were trying to look over the shoulders for a better view. Slowly, I made my way through the crowd to get a closer look of Him.

People at the Govind Devji Temple
People at the Govind Devji Temple
[ People taking a glimpse of Him after the darshan opens ]

The Lord looked beautiful and pleasing in His entire shringar splendor, ornate with sparkling jewels, long flower garlands touching the bunch of Tulsi leaves covering His feet…. What a divine darshan I had!

Lord Radha Govind giving darshan at the Govind Devji temple - Jaipur
[ Lord Radha Govind giving darshan ]

    Have patience, the fruit of patience is sweet. Indeed it was! Having spent a good 1.5 hrs it was finally time to leave. Those times were incredibly precious – the beauty, the love - sitting in the presence of God...


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30 comments:

  1. Exquisite pictures of the temple... its such a shame and pity that we in India do not advertise our heritage enough!! In foreign countries, they have such less monuments of architectural significance, but they hype it so much. A tiny town will comprise of a city centre, market square, Tower, one tiny museum and a palace. That's it. And they do such a good job of making it an awesome tourist spot. I wish we could do the same in India. We just have sooooo much more!!!!!

    Btw, IF you like my post - 'Past Promises, Forgotten futures' - please do vote on Indiblogger, here:

    http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=34664

    Thanks!!
    -Pallavi

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  2. wow! beautiful :)

    The carved wall of the temple is stunning! x

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  3. This monkey is sweet, eating his banana in public like that! Amazing post again Arti - a neverending trip this is ;)

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  4. hi arti

    the temple looks so beautifull... and i can understand why...as u mentioned the king gave up his residence for govindji...there is no beautifull humble offering... we had the visited the govindji temple in vrindavan as we were thinking about this temple as we knew the original deity is in jaipur...thanks to you we got a online darshan...and hopefully by govinji blessing we will visit jaipur n he will give his darshan...in the south we say often we dont get gods darshan but he give darshan...

    Satya
    http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

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  5. seems like a famous temple of jaipur,so many people around...and very beautiful temple and a lovely write up too arti

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  6. It was nice to have darshan of Radhe Govind early in the morning. Enjoying the trip along with you.

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  7. good post and good pictures... seems to be a very spacious temple... the temple is full of same art design, which is nice...

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  8. This was very interesting.... and the intricate carvings are beautiful!

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  9. Wisdom lies inside the fruit of patience that is sweet.

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  10. lovely post about such an interesting, holy place...thanks for sharing...

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  11. What beautiful colors, a lot of pink! How often are these services? How long is the room open? I don't think I've seen a temple with a flat roof, but it is just as beautiful inside, I wonder how long it took to do all those wall carvings, so much detailed work!

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  12. I love the way the monkey seems to glance up from his banana just as you take his picture.

    I love the colours of this temple, so warm and earthy, they are beautiful.

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  13. Thanks for your very nice comment on my blog, too, my dear! You do a wonderful job with your photographs.
    Paula at mixedmediamanic.blogspot.com

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  14. i am a filipino but your post makes me wanting to go to interesting place like rich cultured india.

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  15. Hi Arti

    Great Post btw...I am always a big fan of bloggers who illustrate their write-ups with images! I have had a similar post on my mind on my visit last year to Belur/Halebidu- these two small towns have soe of the most exquisite temples built a few hundred years ago, but never been so recognized even nationally..I really enjoyed my visit here and I hope to capture them in this post.
    Keep posting!

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  16. MOnkeys are a common sight at temples here in Thailand too - particularly in some provinces.
    Thanks for another fascinating post with great photos.

    All the best, Boonie

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  17. A beautiful post and loved that monkey photo :-)

    Have a lovely week ahead, dear Arti :-)

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  18. Hi Arti, thanks for visiting today! Am sending you a cupcake - close your eyes and you can see it and taste it ;) Hope you have had an intersting day!

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  19. Hi Arti..thanks for giving us such s beautiful glimpse of the local history..I could sit in that temple hall for hours it looks so peaceful!

    US Masala

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  20. i love how intricately designed the temple is.

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  21. What a gorgeous temple, and your photos are fantastic. I'm glad they didn't prohibit taking the pictures in the temple!

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  22. Atleast someone have vision like this.I respect you from my heart for showing the forgotten heritage of India.Great post and photographs Arti.

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  23. the walls are just so beautifully carved!

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  24. Awesome articles Arti, just loved them. Your articles made an excellent guide for my travel to Jaipur.

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  25. its really a wonderful place it has got everything special about it... whenever one is in stress, depression,anxiety he must visit the temple...i assure you, you will find all these things vanishing like anything....

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  26. Beautiful temple, and the women are dressed in such gorgeous saris. Thanks for the link to this post, Arti.

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