One of North India’s most impressive temple buildings, the historic Govind dev Temple, masterfully constructed out of red sandstone, is a definite must-visit site in holy Vrindavan. Considered one of the most important temples in Vrindavan, Govind dev Temple has enjoyed great historical and spiritual significance for nearly 500 years. Vrindavan Temple List could be also helpful during your Vrindavan visit.
History of Govind dev Temple of Vrindavan
Vrindavan was undergoing a spiritual and cultural renaissance throughout the history of Vrindavan. In the 16th century, a general under the Mughal ruler of India Akbar the Great, named Raja Man Singh of Jaipur began contruction on the seven-story structure in 1590 on the occasion of Akbar’s pilgrimmage visit to holy Vrindavan.
General Singh was inspired to build this temple wholely by the Bengali saint Srila Rupa Goswami, who excavated many sacred sites of Lord Krishna’s pastimes upon the request of his spiritual master Sri Krishna Chaitanya. According to historical writings, Rupa Goswami was mystically guided by boy Krishna himself to the spot where he uncovered the magnificent ancient deity that Krishna’s great grandson Vajranabha had created 4,500 years previously.
The miracle of discovering the deity demanded a glorious temple to house the Supreme Lord Govind dev ji. Thus no expense or labor was spared in constructing the magnificent temple which boasts exquisite ornamentation crafted from marble, silver and gold.
Govind dev Temple in Crisis
In 1669, due to the dangerous rise of Islamic fanaticism under the succeeding Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, the head priest of the Govinda dev Temple, Sri Shiva Ram Goswami, decided to move the divine holy deity in succession to various temples under the protection of the Amber ruler.
Soon thereafter, Aurangzeb’s soldiers horribly mutilated the Govind dev Temple in Vrindavan, dismantling all but 3 stories of the structure, destroying many of the beautiful carvings and desecrating the inner sanctum sanctorum.
The Govinda dev ji deity was finally enshrined in the Suraj Mahal of the Jaipur City Palace by Raja Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of the city in 1715. Today the Govind dev ji deity is worshipped daily 7 times by thousands at the same place, named the Govind dev ji Temple of Jaipur.
A Historical Event at Govind dev Temple Vrindavan
In October 1995, the World Vaishnava Association held their 3rd Annual Meeting at the historic Govind dev Temple in Vrindravan. This was a historical event because many dignified spiritual leaders came together to revitalize and unify the WVA which had been founded over a hundred years previously.
Over 500 Vaishnava devotees attended the 5-day meeting including 98-year old Srila B.P. Puri Maharaj whose divine address had a harmonizing influence on the entire event. This was the last opportunity to witness the gathering of so many pure Vaishnava devotees of the Lord in one place, the holy Govind dev Temple of Vrindavan.
Visiting Govind dev Temple Vrindavan
During your stay in Vrindavan you must be sure to visit the Govinda dev Temple and adjacent Radha Govinda temple. Though the original deity was moved to Jaipur 300 years ago, you can nevertheless have the darshan of the beautiful Radha Govinda deities there, who are said to bestow the same blessings as the ancient 5000 year-old diety.
This important historic temple and architectural wonder is certainly deserving of a listing on Unesco’s World Heritage sites, and we must support efforts to preserve its immediate environment as well as its structural and spiritual integrity.