Wherever ShreeNathji rested or stayed for a longer period, and where some festival or manorath was celebrated, or Shreenathji blessed some bhakt in divine leela, gave darshans or granted mukti to deserving souls; a Haveli has been constructed; these pavitr places are now worshipped as the twelve Charan Chowki of ShreeNathji.
Few of the Charan Chowki were made when ShreeNathji was taken into hiding from the Mughal kings attacks who wanted to destroy all Hindu places of seva.
Majority Charan Chowki are on route when ShreeNathji left Vraj for Sinhad (Nathdwara) which is the land of rani Ajab Kunwari. ShreeNathji spent 2 years, 4 months and 7 days from Vraj to Mewar.
There are also four Baithakji of ShreeNathji. These are pavitr places where ShreeNathji enjoyed short stays and spread anand to His bhakts with some divine leela.
The twelve Charan Chowki of ShreeNathji:
1st Charan Chowki of ShreeNathji is at Girirajji, Jatipura.
The mandir built by Shri Puranmal Kshatri when he received divine hukum from ShreeNathji. Shri Vallabh Achary did the divy sthapan and celebrated Paat utsav on Shri Govardhan.
ShreeNathji stayed here for nearly149 years 5 months and 13 days; and till today regularly loves to visit and spend His Shayan darshans here.
2nd Charan Chowki is at Sat Ghara, Mathura.
This is Shri Gusainji home where ShreeNathji celebrated holi.
At a time when Shri Gusainji was not in Mathura, ShreeNathji reached Shri Gusainji’s home to meet all of his family members. ShreeNathji played holi with all of them.
All of his seven sons lived here and hence the name Sat Ghara. This home was built by Durgavati rani for Shri Gusainji’s family.
ShreeNathji enjoyed His stay here for two months and 23 days, and was very happy. A Charan Chowki has been built here and seva done regularly.
3rd Charan Chowki is at Agra.
This which was the first stop on His yatra from Shri Govardhan, to Nathdwara. (Land of Ajab Kunvari).
Shree Navneet Priyji was also brought to Agra and travelled with ShreeNathji; since then He has stayed with ShreeNathji at Nathdwara in His own mandir just next to ShreeNathji’s Nij mandir.
Shree Thakurji and Shree Navneet Priyaji accepted Annakut manorath here. In the garden of Suraj Bhanji.
ShreeNathji and Shree Navneet Priyaji spent around a month staying here, spreading joy to all bhakts.
4th Charan Chowki at Krishnpur near Asan river.
ShreeNathji had to fulfill the vardaan (blessing)given to Bal Krishanji and Vrajraiji by Shri Gusainji several years ago, that he would be able to do ShreeNathji’s sea for 27 days. So Shreeji sends His group of sevaks to go live in the large house situated about one Kos away, and accepts seva from Brajraiji Maharaj for 27 days. ShreeNathji spent the first Chaturmaas here on His way to Simhad.
5th Charan Chowki at Dandoti Ghat.
From Agra ShreeNathji proceeded to Dandoti Ghat, at Chambal river. They enjoyed the Utthapan darshan here;
The mlech (Moghul army) also reached close by to attack ShreeNathji. It was here the ShreeNathji did the miracle so that His Rath looked like a huge mountain to the mlech (Moghul) army, and all the sevaks with Shreeji looked like huge lions.
The mlech army was confused that they did not see even one human. Even the dialogue of the sevaks sounded like the roar of lions. Frightened they began to run fast and reached the Badshah, telling him of how karamati the Dev was.
6th Charan Chowki is located at Krishn Vilas, Kota.
In the town of Kota at Krishn Vilas, near Padm Shila (rock marked with a lotus), ShreeNathji spent His second Chaturmaas here.
ShreeNathji stayed for Chaumasa, 4 months of the rainy season.
7th Charan Chowki is at Kishangarh, Rajasthan.
ShreeNathji stayed here at a village called Ajmeete, which was located in a dense forest of Dhak trees.
ShreeNathji enjoyed Vasant Ritu for three months at this place.
8th Charan Chowki is located at Champaseni at Jodhpur.
ShreeNathji spent the third Chaturmaas of His travel from Girirajji at this place.
ShreeNathji stayed her for about five months and also enjoyed an Annakut seva.
9th Charan Chowki is at Simhad (Nathdwara), at the present Kharch Bhandar.
From Shri Girirajji, ShreeNathji reached Simhad in 2 years, 4 months, 7 days. He travelled in His Rath, and when they reached this point His Rath got stuck and would not move. This was in 1672 AD.
Here ShreeNathji’s Rath was stuck in a point under a Pipar tree. Charan Chowki of ShreeNathji is at the present Kharch bhandar.
This is where ShreeNathji stayed on reaching Sinhad (present day Nathdwara) until His magnificent Haveli and mandir was built.
ShreeNathji gave Hukum to the Balaks, “My bhakt Ajaba Kunwari Bai lived here; so My mandir should be built here, Ranaji desires Me to stay at Udaipur, but that manorath I will fulfill later. At present construct My mandir at AjabKunwari Bai sthal. I will live here for a long time; this place reminds Me of Vraj, I like the mountains here”. “There is also the Banaas River which represents Yamunaji”. “This is Ajaba Kunwari’s land”, Shreeji said; “I will stay here. Tell all the Gusain Balak also to build their baithak here”.
As we are not allowed photography inside the Haveli premises, there is no photograph of this place.
10th Charan Chowki at Udaipur
Soon after ShreeNathji had settled in His Nathdwara Haveli, there was a problem created by the Scindia army. They wanted 3 lakh mudras or else threatened to loot the Haveli. As soon as the Maharana of Udaipur heard this he immediately made arrangements to move Shreeji to Udaipur for safety.
Shreeji stayed in the Udaipur Haveli for nearly 10 months till His new Haveli was built at a place called Ghasiyar.
At present this mandir is located at Mohali Chowehata, Udaipur.
11th Charan Chowki at Nathdwara
This is the main Nij mandir where ShreeNathji lives today.
In 1672 AD in Falgun Vad Satam, Saturday, Swati Nakshatra Shri Damodar Maharajji (ShriDauji) did sthapan of ShreeNathji’s Paat(Alter) in the mandir Haveli.
Once Shreeji moved from Giriraj Govardhan and settled here the original name of this town, ‘Sinhad’ was changed to Nathdwara.
12th Charan Chowki is at Ghasiyar
This scenic place is situated in the Gokunda Mountains, about 18 miles away from Udaipur.
The Scindia army wanted 3 lakh mudras or else threatened to loot the Nathdwara Haveli. As soon as the Maharana of Udaipur heard this he immediately made arrangements to move Shreeji to Udaipur for safety.
Meanwhile an exact replica of His Nathdwara Haveli was built at Ghasiyar. His Paat Utsav was celebrated here. Seva similar to the Haveli at Nathdwara was also established soon.
Unfortunately soon it was discovered that the environment and water here was bad, and would not let any further generations of Mahaprabhuji survive.
Asking permission to move back to Nathdwara, as Shri Girdhariji bowed down, Shreeji spread His feet side ways, outwardly, and bought His right hand down from His waist on Shri Girdhariji as blessings and approval. (These are the darshans maintained here in the form of a pichwai showing Shreeji’s lotus feet turned sideways).
Baithakji of ShreeNathji, Shri Govardhan Nathji
There are four Baithakji of ShreeNathji. These are pavitr places where ShreeNathji enjoyed short stays.
ShreeNathji First baithakji is at Shyam Dhak,
This baithakji is located at Shyam Dhak, near Shri Gusainji baithakji, at Kadamb Khandi
Here ShreeNathji came for Gaucharan and played with His gwal bal sakhas. Once He felt very hungry, so asked Ramdas vaishnav to fetch some food. And enjoyed the Chaak leela with His Gwal Baals.
Shreeji is called Rangeele ShreeNathji.
This sthal is situated about 2 km away from Puchri ka lota mandir on Shri Govardhan.
ShreeNathji Second Baithak at Gulul kund, Gantholi
Two miles away from Jatipura in the west towards Ghatholi village is Gulal Kund. Shreenathji played HOLI with Vraj Bhakts, at the bank of this Kund. Hence till today the water in this kund has a tinch of red colour. Even the "Vrajrajj" at the banks of the kund is pink.
ShreeNathji Third Baithakji is at Toad ka Ghana (dense forest)
ShreeNathji came here from Girirajji sitting on a buffalo. There is a famous varta which describes that this Buffalo was a malin (gardner)at Shri Vrishbhanu’s mahal. Her name in the anant leela is Vrinda. ShreeNathji granted her mukti by riding to the forest.
Another vert is about a bhakt by the name of Chatur Naga who lived in this forest and never set his foot on Girirajji. Though he wanted to have ShreeNathji darshans and was a sattvik bhakt he did not climb up to Shreeji’s mandir on Girirajji. ShreeNathji Appeared at Toad ka ghana too grant darshans to his bhakt Chatura Naga.
ShreeNathji Fourth Baithakji is at KotVan
Located at Vraj on the way towards KotVan. There is a kund called Sheetal Kund. A little further is this baithak.