One of the four main pilgrimage centres for Vaishnavites in Mewar, Charbhujaji Mandir near Garhbor village has a four- armed deity of Lord Krishna. It is about 110 kilometres from Udaipur.
There is no conclusive evidence about the construction of the Mandir. However,there are several legends related to it. It is said that, when the sadness of their separation with Lord Krishna became unbearable for Gops and Gopis,Vishwakarma crafted this four – armed idol to alleviate their pain. This might have been done, it is said , towards the end of Dwapar Yug or beginning of Kaliyug. It is believed that this deity was worshipped here even before the advent of Islam. It is said that due to the fear of Mohammad Ghaznavi who passed by this place on his way to Somnath, the idol was immersed in Umar Bauri for safety.
According to another legend, once a group of Gurjar shepherds came to Garbhor, led by Shera. He found that every day someone took away the milk of one of his cows in the jungle. One day he followed it quietly and found that it began to bellow when it reached an open space. A Sadhu came out of the shrubs and put his hand on its head. The cow let the Sadhu feed himself with its milk. This infuriated Shera who began to quarrel with the Sadhu and abuse him. However, the Sadhu remained calm. Shera realised that the Sadhu was not a common being and bowed before him with reverence. As a result Shera had the Darshan of Lord as Pitambar Dhari Muralidhar. After a while the Lord disappeared. Now Shera saw the cow and the Sadhu standing before him. He fell at the feet of the Sadhu who asked him to take out his idol from Umar Baori and worship it.Shera did so and the Pran Pratishtha of the idol was done with great reverence. This is how Gurjars have been worshipping Lord Charbhuja. Now Gurjars residing in the town manage the affairs of the temple and perform Pooja turn-by-turn. Pooja is performed in an unsophisticated way,not conforming to the manner that it is performed in other Vaishnav Mandirs. Water for Pooja is carried in a golden pitcher.
The village Garbhor, where Charbhuja Mandir is located, got its name as it was inhabited by Bor or Borana Kharwar community and was protected with high walls. Some scholars say that the letter of the alphabet Gai stands for Lord Ganesha, ‘Dai’ for Damru and Damrudharak,Bo for Vishnu Awaas and Rai for Radha Swaroop .Thus from this combination of the four letters signifying Ganpati,Shiv,Vishnu and Radha, Garbhor gets its name. As shown in an edict, the name of this village is Badri.So people consider Charbhuja a form of Badrinath.
It is said that renovation work was got done by chief of Kharvad community Rawat Mahipal and his son Laxman during the reign of Maharana Kumbha .For safety,a high compound wall was built that had four entry gates. It is believed that it was due to the blessings of the Lord that Maharana Kumbha was able to build the famous Kumbhalgarh fort.
It is also said that the temple was built by Pandavas during their exile.The Mandir is built at a height.The two marble elephants on either side of the steps seem to welcome the visitors. There are also statues of Dwarpals. Entering the main gate,one sees Garud Chhatri that is very attractive .From here can be seen the golden Shikhar of the temple and the red Dhwaja. The Parikrama path is made of marble and is very wide.The dance Mandalis of devotees display their art during Phagotsava. On the walls of the huge verandah are attractive paintings of Krishna Leela.
From Sabha Mandap one can have Darshan of the Lord.The walls and doors of the main temple are covered with layers of silver. The black coloured main idol has four arms.The special thing about it is that it holds Shankha, Chakra, Dhal and Talwar in its arms. It is said that the Mewar rulers used to come here to seek blessings of the Lord before they set out for any battle.
During Phagotsava, the idol of the Lord is taken from Garbhgrih to the outer premises of the Mandir and the Pujaris sing Harijas standing out from 3 to 6 p.m. Then the idos is taken inside .This has been the practice since the building of the Mandir.On Chaturdashi of Krishna Paksha of every month, Sawari of the Lord is taken out. It goes out to the nearby Ram Mandir. A small idol of the Lord is seated in a gold silver Viman. It is believed that thus the Lord blesses Meera. The Lord is welcomed at the gate and then Bhajan singing goes on.After this the Sawari returns to the main Mandir. On Krishna Janmashtami, the idol is decorated with gold ornaments,gem studded Tilak on the forehead, crown made of peacock feathers and flute on the lips. On Jaljhulni Ekadashi, a big fair is held and it is attended by thousands of pilgrims from Mewar,Marwar and Gujarat .The idol is taken out in a 150 kilo golden Palki for a holy bath in Dudh Talai.
One of the four big Tirath Dhams of Mewar,Charbhuja Mandir is visited by a big number of devotees from far and near.