Vrindavan, 2017.05.19 (VT): Just across from Ramkrishna Mission Hospital, on the Mathura-Vrindavan Road, lies an enormous temple carved gorgeously out of sandstone. This is the Shri Radha-Madhav Temple, famous as “Jaipur Mandir” in Vrindavan.
The temple was inaugurated in 1917, and this year marks the the temple’s 100th anniversary. Devotees celebrated this week with a two-day festival, including a grand abhishek conducted by Shri Shrivatsa Goswami Maharaj of the Radharaman Temple.
The temple is run by the Nimbark Sampraday. The king of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II, who reigned from 1880 to 1922, built the temple to please his Guru, Brahmachari Shri Giridhari Sharanji.
The Vaishnav king also built schools, hospitals and a museum, and when famine struck his kingdom, he would use state funds to feed his people. Maharaja Mansingh II, the last ruling Maharaja of Jaipur State, was his adopted son.
The main deities of the temple are Shri Radha-Madhav ji. There are also several smaller shrines of Shri Anand Bihariji, Shri Hans Gopalji, Shivji, Sanakadi Rishi and other sages.
According to he government of Rajasthan, the temple is one of the largest and richest in Northern India. Only a special type of almond-colored sandstone, sourced from a particular place in Bharatpur called Bansi Paharpur, was used to construct the temple.
This type of sandstone is so heavy that it could not be transported even by elephant carts. Thus the king financed a new railway track from Mathura to Vrindavan, for the sole purpose of delivering stone for the temple’s construction.
Intricate carvings adorn the walls and gateways and the temple gates are made of teak wood embellished with designs in brass. The temple, which took about twenty years to build, is very well cared for by the Rajasthan Devsthan Vibhag, part of the Government of Rajasthan. The RDV has expressed hope that the temple may eventually become a World Heritage Site.
See also: Karauli Kunj in Madan Mohan Ghera