Shri Banshidhar Temple In Jharkhand – A Temple With INR 2,500 Crore Idol

Nagar Untari Jharkhand

The Shri Banshidhar Nagar gets its identity from the 135 years old Shri Banshidhar temple which is considered to be a highly auspicious religious site of Lord Krishna. Almost ten lakhs pilgrimages make a visit every year to pay homage. Keep Reading to know more.

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Location

Earlier named Nagar Untari, Shri Banshidhar Nagar is located in the Garhwa district of Jharkhand. It is fenced by the borders of Bihar in the north, Palamu district in the east, Chattisgarh in the south, and Uttar Pradesh in the west.

The History

According to the history written by the head priest of the temple, Sideshwar Tiwari, in the year 1885, the queen of Nagar Untari and the widow of Raja Bhawani Sing, Rani Shivmani Kunwar, got a dream from Lord Krishna on the occasion of Janmashtami.

Lord Krishna in her dream was instructing her about a trapped idol of him in a hill called Sivpahari (now in Uttar Pradesh) along the Kanhar river. The next day, the queen followed by her soldiers reached the place and started excavation.

To the surprise, a 4.5 feet tall idol, made up of Ashtadhatu Lord Krishna was dug out from the hill. Ashtadhatu, also known as octo-alloy is a combination of eight metals – gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, tin, iron, and antimony or mercury. It is often used in making idols in Jain and Hindu traditions.

The glittering idol of 1220 kg was carried to Nagar Untari but the elephant carrying it sat down near the entrance get of the kingdom.

After several failed attempts to convince the elephant to carry the idol inside the palace of Untari, the queen thought it must be the wish of the Lord to be seated there. Therefore, the temple was built near the entrance of the kingdom.

Later, an idol of Goddess Radha made up of Ashtadhatu was brought from Varanasi and was kept in the temple.

The Significance Of The Statue

The idol of Lord Krishna stands under an umbrella, playing a flute, on a lotus placed on the head of Sheshanaga, and all of it is casted with Ashtadhatu. It is said that the idol symbolizes Tridev Vishnu, the preserver.

In the year 2014, a team from the geological department of Banaras Hindu University visited the temple and estimated the value to be approx INR 2500 Crore.

Threats To The Temple

The temple has always remained vulnerable to thefts but it increased drastically after the valuation of the idol was done.

According to the tales, in the year 1930, a group of thieves stole the flute and umbrella from the temple and hid near the Banki river. It is said that all the thieves became blind and suffered a lot. Ashamed of their deed, they accepted their crime but the flute and the umbrella were not found anywhere. Later the royal family cast another flute and umbrella for the lord.

Weather

Garhwa district has a subtropical humid climate. The main seasons are summer, monsoon, and winter. Summer starts from the month of March and continues till the month of June. The temperature during the summer months goes as high as 45-degree centigrades. April and May are the hottest months of the year.

The monsoon prevails in the month of July and August. Winter stretches from the month of November to February with the temperature fluctuating between 10-degree centigrades to 15-degree centigrades, December, and January is the coldest month.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Banshidhar temple is during the occasion of Krishna Janmasthami.

Shri Banshidhar Temple
Shri Banshidhar Temple

Nearest Town

The nearest town of Banshidhar Nagar is the town of Garhwa, the headquarter of the Garhwa district, located at a distance of 36.1 km via NH39.

Nearest Railway Station

The nearest railway station to Shri Banshidhar Nagar is Nagar Untari Railway Station (Station code: NUQ), located at a distance of 12 Km Garhwa Railway Station (Station Code: GHQ), located at a distance of 35 km via NH39.

The nearest junction is Garhwa Road Junction (Station Code: GHD) located at a distance of 47.1 km. via NH39

Nearest Bus Stand

The nearest bus stand from Shri Banshidhar Nagar is Ranka Road Garhwa Bus Stand and Town Bus Stand (Old Bus Stand). Bus services are available from Ranchi and all other major districts of Jharkhand, Bihar, and Chattisgarh.

How To Reach

By Rail

Board a train from Howrah Junction (Station Code: HWH) or Kolkata (Station Code: KOAA) to Garhwa (Station Code: GHQ) or Nagar Untari (Station Code: NUQ). The minimum journey time from Howrah to Garhwa is fifteen to sixteen hours by train. After getting down, book a cab or auto to Shri Banshidhar Nagar.

The distance between Garhwa Railway Station to Shri Banshidhar Nagar

  • 35 km via NH39

By Road

You can self-drive from Kolkata to Shri Banshidhar Nagar or book a rental cab

The distance between Kolkata to Shri Banshidhar Nagar

  • 648.6 km via NH19
The idol of Lord Krishna and Radha
The idol of Lord Krishna and Radha

By Air

Take a flight from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata to Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi. It takes approx one to one and a half hours to reach Ranchi by air. After reaching take a cab from the airport to Shri Banshidhar Nagar.

The distance between Birsa Munda Airport and Shri Banshidhar Nagar

  • 243.0 km via NH39
  • 258.6 km via Medininagar – Balumath Rd

Where To Stay

While visiting Shri Banshidhar Nagar it is best to stay in Garhwa. The town has both budget hotels and lodges.

Other Places To Visit Near Shri Banshidhar Nagar

  • Sukhaldari
  • Raja Pahari
  • Gunga Jhanjh Waterfalls
  • Goddess Bhagawati Temple
  • Parasdiha Falls
  • Hisatu Falls

Monalisa Bose Roy

A travel blogger cum financial expert with a vision to encourage tourism in Eastern India. Bose was born and brought up in the steel city of Jamshedpur, located in the Indian state of Jharkhand. Being born in the Eastern region, Bose has visited a lot of lesser-known places in the region. By her writing, she tries to spread awareness about those undiscovered gems of Eastern India.

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