Narsimha Temple, Govardhana

Narsimha temple in Punchari area of Govardhana hosts one of the most ancient deities of Sri Sampradaya- the lineage of devotees starting from Lakshmi, or the Goddess of fortune and the consort of Vishnu.

The deity of Narsimha, or Vishnu’s incarnation as half-man half-lion, was installed here by Sripada Ramanujacharya (1017 AD – 1137 AD), about a thousands years ago.

This temple fells in the the Indian state of Rajasthan (some part of Govardhana is in Rajasthan and the rest in Uttar Pradesh). The temple is on a small hillock beside the Govardhana hill.

Note for Gaudiya Vaishnavas: Lord Caitanya did not climbed on the sacred hill of Govardhana who is a form of Lord Krishna Himself and forbade any devotee to do so. Therefore Gaudiya Vaishnavas, or the followers of Mahaprabhu must not climb Govardhana. This is recommended for other devotees also.

The Gaudiya Vaishnavas can’t go up to the Srinathaji temple at the top of Govardhana hill. But there is no restriction on this temple of Lord Narsimha as it is on another hill which is near Govardhana. So Gaudiya Vaishnavas can also go here.

Lord Narsimha at this temple is said to be the incharge of checking that who really deserves to do the Parikrama or the circumambulation of the most sacred Govardhana hill. He sees the devotion and thoughts of the devotees.

He punishes the people who are comitting sins during the circumambulation and makes it easy for the true devotees to complete this 21 km long circumambulation, which is done on foot.

You can get a scenic view of Govardhana hill, Navala Kunda tank, Apsara Kunda tank and Navala Bihari temple from this temple.

You may see that Govardhana is declining as it comes nearer to this village of Punchari, and it finally vanishes in the earth. That is why the village is known as Punchari- meaning the tail (of Govardhana).

Practical Guide

Govardhana can be reached very easily from Mathura and Vrindavana which are less than 26 km from here.

The temple of Narsimha is on the tip of Govardhana Parikrama road in Rajasthan. As you do your circumambulation clockwise (recommended), a gate comes welcoming you to Rajasthan from Uttar Pradesh. Just 200 m after the gate you will see a road going to an old temple situated on a knoll. This is the temple of Narsimha.

Points of interest near the temple are Punchari Ka Lotha Baba temple, Apsara Kunda, Navala Kunda and Navala Bihari temple. Other must see places on Govardhana are Radha Kunda, Harideva temple, Kusuma Sarovara, Manasi Ganga and ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Ashrama.

Jaya Narsimhadeva! Jaya Prahlada Maharaja!

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