Murlidhar Krishna Temple at Naggar
BY: SUN STAFF
Oct 09, 2011 CANADA (SUN) Situated in the beautiful Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh is the ancient village of Naggar, which is the abode of Sri Sri Radha-Murlidhar Krishna. Kullu's name is associated with the Kalut, a tribe residing in the Upper Valley of the Beas River, mentioned by Barahmir in Brihat Samhita. This place is likewise mentioned in the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, Vishnu Purana, and other Vedic literature.
It is said that after the great deluge, Manu first stepped onto the earth from his celestial boat in the Kullu Valley. The particular spot where he established his abode is the village presently known as Manali, a name derived from manu-alaya, or 'home of Manu'. Manu, as progenitor, repopulated the human race after the deluge from this place.
In Mahabharata we read about Parvateshawer, the Kalut ruler who fought against Arjuna. Another Kalut king, Agian Kshem Dhurti, was killed in the Battle of Kurukshetra. This king was memorialized on coins in the 1st century A.D.
Deities of Murlidhar Krishna Temple
During the Mahabharata period. the Pandvas visited Kullu Valley on at least three occasions. Their first visit took place after the lakshagarh (wax house) incident. It was here that Bhima killed the demon Hadimb and married his sister, Hadimba, a powerful deity of Dhungri (Manali). From them, Ghatotkachh was born, who grew to become a great hero at Kurukshetra.
Arjuna, at the instruction of Srila Vyasa, practiced austerities in a cave known as Arjuna Gupha, in the Inderkila mountain, known today as Deo Tiba. His tapas resulted in Lord Indra bestowing the transcendental weapon, pasupata-astra. Here at Kullu, he also fought Shiva, who in the garb of a Kirata, succeeded in getting control of pasupata-astra.
Rishi Vashishtha performed tapas here, tying himself with ropes and flinging himself down a great hill at Manali, into the river. This took place after his 100 sons were put to death by the rakshasa Kalinashped. The holy waters of the river released Vashishtha from his bonds, and it was thus named the Vipasha River.
The Rishi Vyasa also performed austerities here during the Mahabharata period, at a place known today as Vyas Kunda, at Rohtang Pass. The River Vipasha was thus re-named Beas (Vyas) in honor of this pastime.
Yet another famous Rishi, Shringi had his asrama at nearby Banjar. Ramayana mentions that he acted as purohit at the putreshti yajna of Raja Dashratha, which resulted in the birth of Lord Ramacandra.
Given the great spiritual significance of the Kullu Valley, it is not surprising that Sri Sri Radha-Krishna also reside here. The Murlidhar Krishna Temple at Naggar (Thaava-Nagar) is visited by all pious visitors coming to the area.
Naggar is situated on the left bank of the River Beas, about 300 meters above the water. The temple was built in the early medieval period, about 5,000 years ago, in Shikara style, the traditional wooden pagoda or pyramidal style Himachal Pradesh is famous for.
Sri Sri Radha-Murlidhar Krishna
Inside, the beautiful presiding Deities of Radha and Murlidhar Krishna reside. Other Deities here include Laksmi-Narayana, along with Padam Sambhav and Garuda. For a long time, the Deities enjoyed royal patronage at this temple, which is also known for its Dussehra festival.
Murlidhar Krishna Temple, Naggar
The temple's view is breathtaking, commanding the north and west quarters of the Kullu Valley. Located about 27 kms from Kullu and 5 kms from Patli Kulh, visitors cross the River Beas bridge that connects Patli Kulh to Naggar.
There are several other important temples in Naggar, including two Vishnu temples. One is home to a four foot high ashta-dhatu (eight-metal) Deity of Lord Vishnu in His four-armed form. Nearby is the Gauri-shankar temple of Lord Shiva, whose Deity is said to be eight hundred years old.
Higher up on the village hillside is another pagoda style temple for Tripura Sundri Devi. Above all these is Sri Krishna Murlidhar's above. In the Tripura temple are the Deities of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Laksmi-Narayana, Shiva-Parvati, and Ganesh.
When the Murlidhar Temple at Naggar was constructed, Srimati Radharani's Deity was not yet here. For that reason, it was believed that Lord Krishna was often absent from the Temple. Only after Radha's Deity was brought did Krishna reportedly stay put in the sanctum.
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