Radha Govindaji Temple - Vrindavan
This magnificent temple was built in 1590, by Man Singh of Amber (Jaipur), who was a general in Emperor Akbar’s army. He was a disciple of Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami. This temple took several thousand men five years to build. It is said that the Muslim Emperor, Akbar, donated the stone of the temple. Raja Man Singh spent 13 lakhs (1,300,000) rupees for wages to build the temple. This temple is located in the middle of Yogapitha, the transcendental meeting place of Radha and Krishna. The original Govindaji Deity was found about 450 years ago, in 1535, by Rupa Gosvami. Govindaji was removed from this temple, when the Muslim emperor Aurangzeb tried to destroy it. The original Deity is now in Jaipur, in a temple right outside the King of Jaipur’s palace. This temple was originally seven stories high, with an altar of marble, silver, and gold. A sculptured lotus flower weighing several tons decorates the main hall. On top of the temple burned large ghee lamps. Aurangzeb became infuriated because of the greatness of this Hindu temple. He sent his army to destroy part of the temple. When a few storeys remained, all of a sudden, the ground began to shake violently and Aurangzeb’s men were terrified and ran for their lives, never to return.
History: One day Rupa Gosvami was sitting under a tree on the bank of the Yamuna. A beautiful young boy came to him and told him of a cow that went to a hill each day and poured milk into a hole. Rupa Gosvami then went and found the Deity of Govinda buried under the earth. He then excavated the Deity and began His worship. The Deity of Govindaji is said to have been found in 1535. A half-century later the present Govindaji Temple was built. The Deities on the altar in this temple are: Govindaji in the middle, to His left is Lord Caitanya, and to His right is Lord Nityananda. Below are small Radha and Krishna Deities. Below Them are Lord Jagannath and a Govardhana-shila.
This was the first Deity of Radharani to be installed in Vrindavana by the Gosvamis of Vrindavana. There are two small temples on each side of the Jagmohana, the main audience hall (temple room). Inside the small temple on the southern (left) side, down 12 steps, is a cave in which the Deity of Govinda was found and where Rupa Gosvami used to meditate. A deity of eight-armed Yogamaya, sitting on a lion, is here. This small deity was hidden during the Muslim attacks. There is also a stone slab with the footprint of Krishna on it. Vrinda Devi, who is now in Kamyavana, used to be in the northern (right) temple. The main temple room is 35m (117 feet) east to west and 34m (105 feet) north to south. This temple is well known for its interesting architecture. It is one of the most interesting temples in northern India.