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Brief history of the Radha Govind Dev Ji temple

Mahaprabhu's instruction to Rupa Goswami

The Govind Dev Ji Temple in Jaipur has a fascinating history that is closely tied to the establishment of the city itself. The temple is part of the City Palace complex and dates back to the 18th century. Here is a brief history of the Govind Dev Ji Temple. 

Under the instructions of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami established this sacred temple as part of his divine mission to excavate all the lost holy places of Vrindavan.

Five thousand years ago, Lord Krishna’s great grandson, Vajranabha, enshrined several Deities of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the holy land of Vrindavan, and among them was Govind ji. Srila Rupa Goswami embarked on an extensive quest across Vrindavan to locate the Yogapith, the original resting place of Govindaji’s Deity, but despite months of searching, the Deity remained elusive.
Frustrated and disheartened, Rupa Goswami sat by the Yamuna riverbank and began to chant the name of Lord Chaitanya in tears.

our aesthetics

Govind dev ji is awe-inspiring and all attractive

When Srila Rupa Goswami was chanting the name of Lord Chaitanya in tears, a beautiful Vrajavasi boy appeared before him, who was none other than Lord Krishna in disguise.

The boy revealed to Rupa Goswami that a Surabhi cow came every day in the afternoon to a nearby hillock and poured her milk into a hole on the hilltop. The boy asked Rupa Goswami to accompany him to the site to witness what might be hidden in the hole. Rupa Goswami followed the boy, and upon arriving at the spot, the boy vanished.

Upon gazing into the milk-soaked hole, Rupa Gosvami was overcome with ecstatic emotions and fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he summoned the locals who then excavated the hole and discovered the awe-inspiring Deity of Lord Govinda, who was more beautiful than millions and millions of Kandarpas or Cupids. The loud chants of “Hey Govinda, He Krishna” echoed throughout the heavens filling the skies with celestial vibrations.

and thus the temple was built

Govind Dev ji's grand 7 storey Red Stone temple in Vrindavan

The Vrajavasis made a small temple for Govinda dev and offered everything to Him, and thus Rupa Gosvamis desire was fulfilled. When Rupa Gosvami first began the puja of Govinda dev, demigods like Brahma disguised themselves as human beings and came to the earth to make their offerings to Sri Govinda.

Rupa Gosvami was so happy that he immediately wrote a letter to Lord Sri Caitanya in Jagannatha Puri to explain that he has found Sri Govinda Dev Ji.

Later Maharaja Man Singh, a valiant general in the army of King Akbar, erected the monumental Govindaji Mandir . The revered king was a devotee of Lord Krishna and he, under the guidance and instructions of the Goswamis of Vrindavan, constructed the temple around 1590 AD as a grand seven-storey edifice with a resplendent altar made of marble, silver, and gold.

It stands as a magnificent architectural masterpiece of North India, adorned with a magnificent sculptured lotus flower, weighing several tons, which embellishes the ceiling of the main temple hall.

The temple’s construction was a monumental undertaking and reportedly cost ten million rupees and took several thousand workers a grueling five years to complete. King Akbar himself had generously donated the red sandstone utilized for its construction.

Govindaji 2
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Present Home of Sri Sri Radha Govinda

After some generations, the great-grandson of Akbar, Aurangzeb, a very demoniac person, was ruling India. One day, from his capital near Agra, he saw what appeared to be a star in the sky that was shining brighter than all others. A minister told him that the star was in fact a ghee lamp on top of the seven-storeyed temple of Sri Govinda dev, which had a flame that burnt 24 hours a day.

However, in 1670, during the rule of the later Mughal king,

Aurangzeb the temple was ruthlessly pillaged and destroyed, reducing it to only three stories of its original glory. Interestingly, during this unfortunate attack, when only a few stories of the temple remained, the ground suddenly began to shake violently, instilling fear in the hearts of Aurangzeb’s men, who fled for their lives, never to return.

Today, a replica of the revered Govindaji is worshiped in the new Govindaji Mandir, which is located behind the original temple. The original Govindaji Deity is currently worshiped in Jaipur.

Aurangzeb was so envious upon hearing that a Hindu temple could have such grandeur that he sent his armies to dismantle the temple. That very day, Jai Singh II was visiting the royal court at Agra.

When he heard that Aurangzeb was going to destroy the temple of Govindaji, the temple his grandfather had built for Rupa Gosvami, he became overwhelmed with disgust and anger. Immediately Jai Singh set out for Vrindavana with a plan to save Govindaji. He knew he would be unable to save the temple, but at least he could rescue the Deity. On arriving in Vrindavana, Jai Singh warned the people, who then fled the town. Jai Singh next carefully removed Govindaji from the splendour of His temple and, in great haste to avoid Aurangzeb’s advancing army, transported Govindaji to his well-fortified capital in the desert hills of Rajasthan.

When Aurangzeb and his army reached the Govindaji temple, he was furious to find that the Deity was gone and the townspeople had been alerted. Still, with hundreds of war elephants and thousands of men, he began to bring down the mammoth Govindaji temple, storey by storey, until only four storeis remained. All of a sudden, the ground of Vrindavana began to shake violently. Aurangzeb’s men were terrified and ran for their lives, never to return. Although Aurangzeb wanted to kill Jai Singh for disrupting his plans, he was now old and faced more pressing problems within his empire. He soon died.


Meanwhile, Jai Singh also arranged the principal Deities of the Gosvamis of Vraja to be brought to Jaipur for protection. So Govinda dev, Madan Mohan, Radha Damodara, Radha Vinod, Radha Vrindavanchandra, Radha Gopinath, Radha Madhava, and several other Deities came to Jaipur. Then Raja Jai Singh built big, big walls around the city and the city became known as Jaipur – The City of Victory. Right in the grounds of his palace, in the most prominent place, the king installed Govinda dev. Govinda dev was personally the kings Lord and master.

He arranged the whole kingdom to be centred around the Deity of Sri Govindaji. From his room, the king could see the beautiful darshan of Radha Govinda. Since that time Govinda dev has been in Jaipur, and is being worshiped by the descendants of the original disciples of Srila Rupa Gosvami.Jai Singh and his forefathers were all great devotees of the Deities of Vrindavana. They were all very serious and dedicated Vaishnavas and were very, very close to and surrendered to the teachings and mercy of the six Gosvamis and their followers.

Jai Singh Web
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