In Manipur’s capital city Imphal stands the temple of Shri Govinda ji. This is an important religious destination for people of the Vaishnavite community. This palatial temple no doubt brings in a lot of fame to the city of Imphal and adds an aura to it. The temple looks royal in its rich golden color and the scenic backdrop consisting in beautiful gardens, tall trees and a pellucid lake further adds to the charm and beauty of the temple.
Temple deity & idols
The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Krishna popular here by the name of Shri Govinda ji. The idol of Govinda ji at the temple is accompanied by his beloved consort- Sree Radha rani. Apart from the idols of Radhe-Govinda, there are many other idols at the temple and most of these idols are of deities/characters associated with the life of Lord Krishna such as Balaram, Subhadra, Balabhadra, Jagannath.
Related: Bishnupur, the land of temples
The temple lies at a distance of about 1kms from the capital city of Imphal and in vicinity to the king’s royal residence; i.e. palace. The temple falls in proximity to the Manipur royal palace and the Bheigyachandra open air theatre.
The temple was constructed in 1846 during the ruling era of the then ruler of Manipur- Maharaja Nara Singha. This ancient temple suffered many ravages especially of frequent earthquakes down the ages. The present temple is the restored version and the work of restoration was undertaken by another Manipur king; Maharaja Chandrakirti many years after the construction of the original temple.
The temple has a medieval architecture. It comes with a double celled brick built structure consisting in a portico towards the temple’s front & main entrance and an ambulatory pathway running around the temple’s sanctum sanatorium. The sanctum hall may be reached by a flight of three steps from the three different sides namely east, north and south. The temple follows the Nagara architectural style of Hindu temples. The temple rises to a height of about 16.95 meters and extends to a breadth of 18.63 meters. The large domes with gold plating, spacious and paved courtyard and raised mandap hall add a remarkable richness to the architectural style of the temple.
How to reach
You could reach the temple by three different routes as discussed below:-
Those who wish to travel by the air route need to fly to Imphal’s municipal airport first and then avail a cab to reach the temple.
Those wishing to travel by rail need to reach any of the following three stations in order to reach the temple- Jiribam rail head at about 93 kms, Jirighat rail head at about 97 km and the Daotuhaja rail head at about 102 kms. On reaching any of these stations, you could hire a cab to reach the Govindajee temple.
Related: Famous Temples of Northeastern India
Imphal city has great road connections with the other adjoining cities of Manipur. Thereby you could reach the temple easily by means of cabs, buses or taxis.
When to visit
The moderate climatic conditions prevailing at the city of Imphal makes it a visit-able place all year round. However, the most ideal time to visit the city is between months September and April.