Tales of Love and Devotion From Govardhan (I): The Story of Prem Gufa and Ajab Kumari’s love for Shrinathji

It is believed that Shrinathji who resides forever in Braj, travels through this 700km-long tunnel every day to attend Mangala in Nathdwara, and returns to Jatipura for shayan.

Shrinath ji

Jatipura, Govardhan 2022-09-04 (Vrindavan Today News): Brajbhoomi is not the land of temples, it’s the land of stories. Behind every temple and every tradition here is a story. The ‘Prem Gufa’ of Shrinathji Mandir in Jatipura embodies one such fascinating tale of a devotee’s sublime love for Krishna. It is believed that Shrinathji who resides forever in Braj, travels through this tunnel everyday to attend Mangala in Nathdwara, and returns to Jatipura for shayan.

The 700Km-long tunnel linking the two regions of Nathdwara and Braj symbolises the eternal bond of love between Shrinathji and his devotee Ajab Kumari of Mewar. Unlike Mira and Taj whose love for Krishna is well-known and celebrated by all, Ajab Kumari’s devotion for Shrinathji, even though of the same stature and nature as well, is mostly hidden from the world.

The story goes that when Ajab Kumari’s father fell severely ill, she came to Jatipura to pray to Shrinathji for his speedy recovery. But just a glance of Him was enough to entrance this young lady from Mewar.

Ajab Kumari was so captivated by Shrinathji’s sweet smile and his tender loving gaze that she, at once, accepted Him as her lord and husband, and settled in the foothills of Govardhan to serve him. Moved by her devotion, Shrinathji blessed her with his darshan one day. Ajab Kumari requested him to come with her to Nathdwara and bless her father too so that he could be cured of his ailment.

Bound by the love of Brajwasis and Ajab Kumari, Shrinathji found a ‘middle path’ – and quite literally so – through this tunnel known as Prem Gufa. Granting her wish, the benevolent Lord agreed to go with her to Nathdwara on the condition that He would come back for shayan in Jatipura daily.

It is believed that Shrinathji enjoys ‘Mangala’ in Nathdwara and comes back to Govardhan when he is overcome by sleep through the Prem Gufa whose door opens in his Shayan Kakhsa (sleeping chamber) inside the temple. The wrinkles on his shaiyya (bed) which is prepared by the sevayats every night before shayan bear witness to this endearing lila.

Shrinath ji’s temple on top of Govardhan Hill

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