Punachari Ka Lotha Baba temple is one of the most renowned temples located in the Govardhan hill area of Vraja Mandala, the land of Lord Krishna.
It is dedicated to one of Lord Krishna’s cowherd friends named Lotha Baba, who is in the mood of waiting for Krishna to return back to Him.
The devotees who perform Parikrama, or cicumambulation of the most sacred Govardhana hill make it sure that they have Darshana of the deity, who will give them the power to continue the Parikrama, which is 21 km long.
The temple is located at Punchari, or the tail of Govardhana hill – the place where the sacred hill narrows and shrinks and then merge into earth.
Lotha Baba’s Story
There are many versions of the story of Sri Lotha Baba, one of Krishna’s closest companions.
Once Krishna was playing hide and seek with Lotha Baba in Govardhana hill. It was Lotha’s turn to hide. So Lord closed His eye and counted while Lotha Baba went to Punchari area to hide.
Lotha Baba was waiting for Krishna. Lord Krishna set off to find Lotha Baba. But in the way He saw Srimati Radharani and other cowherd girls who were called Him to play with them.
Krishna accepted that and was too absorbed in the game that He completely forgot about Lotha Baba. It aws actually Lord’s pastime, else Lord can remember everything at the same time.
So Lotha Baba waited for hours, days, weeks, months and years. He waited for his entire life but Lord never returned. Actually he did devotional service in mood of separation from Krishna.
Another Version of The Story
Once it was decided that Krishna and Balarama, the divine brothers, told to Lotha Baba that They would come to play with Lotha Baba in Govardhana, tomorrow.
But the next day They were taken by Akrura, a minister in the kingdom, to Mathura, where Krishna relieved Akrura and other residents of Mathura by killing their demoniac king Kamsa.
Meanwhile Lotha Baba waited for Krishna and Balarama to come to him to play. He did not know that they would never return now. But he waited for them at this spot in Punchari area in Govardhana. He focussed his mind on Lord Krishna, Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Lotha Baba is also worshiped by the devotees of Hanumana, the divine gorilla warrior who has super powers and is the greatest devotee of Lord Rama.
Lotha Baba is an incarnation of Hanumana, as the friend of Krishna, because Hanumana also wanted participate in pastimes of Krishna who is none other than Lord Rama
Punchari Ka Lotha Baba temple falls in the area of Govardhana in Rajasthan. It is a small temple just on the main Parikrama road, where the circumambulation is done by devotees.
Govardhana can be easily accessed from Mathura or Vrindavana which are 20 km and 26 km away respectively. The nearest ISKCON guesthouse and information center is at ISKCON Krishna Balarma temple in Vrindavana.
Punchari Ka Lotha Baba temple is very close to Narsingha temple, Apsara Kunda and Navala Kunda tanks. The other points of interest at Govardhana are ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Ashrama and temple, Srinathaji appearance place, Govinda Kunda, Radha Kunda, Kusum Sarovara, Manasi Ganga and Harideva temple.
Jaya Lotha Baba!
Jaya Krishna Balarama!