Poised on the banks of the holy River Yamuna, the old city of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh is one of India's most important religious destinations. A maze of lanes lined with temples, ancient ghats, and numerous stories of Lord Krishna, who is said to be born here, echoing throughout the streets, Mathura invites devotees from far and wide.
The city is renowned for several temples devoted to Lord Krishna, who is one of the most popular and loved manifestations of Lord Vishnu. They give a peek into the era of the divine, depicted in the phases of Lord Krishna's life. Considered one of the seven sacred cities in the country, Mathura touches the soul with its rich cultural heritage. It is believed that the son of Mata Devaki and Vasudeva, Lord Krishna, was born in this holy land around 5,000 years ago in a prison cell.
Mathura found it mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata and became a part of the mighty Mauryan empire sometime during the 1st century BC. Under the rule, it flourished, becoming a primary center for the arts. Stone carving and sculpture-making fall beneath what is now the Mathura School of Arts, which grew between the 1st century BC and 1st century AD. King Ashoka, the great Mauryan liege, is credited with building a few Buddhist monuments in and around Mathura in the 3rd century BC. The sculptures and carvings created around this time, followed a common theme of Buddhism, with most artworks inspired by and representing Lord Buddha in some form. As the rule of the Mauryans came to a grinding halt, the influence of Buddhism started to disappear, being replaced by Hindu temples.
Lying on the banks of river Yamuna is the spiritual and sacred place, Mathura, that impresses its tourists from far and wide with its unparalleled charm and aura. Situated just an hour's hour's drive away from the famous Agra City, Mathura, also referred to as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, invites people of all ages to relax, de-stress, and de-clutter their minds soulfully, far away from the hustle-bustle of everyday life and enjoy some time in peace.
Famous for boasting thousands of mind-blowing temples and religious sites, this town attracts a massive influx of visitors during the festival of Janmashtami every year and is always filled with devotees who wish to seek blessings from Shri Krishna in his streets.
Here you can enjoy a short stroll in its narrow lanes, witness the old-fashioned architecture to get to know about its history in detail, or choose to meet with locals to see their belief in Lord Krishna. You'll be charmed after all this and would want to come back again. Besides the temples, Mathura is also famous for its variety of food, such as Kachori, Aloo Puri, Jalebi, and Pede. So, don't give it a miss whenever you are there, whether for a short or long time.
The twin city of Mathura, Vrindavan, where Lord Krishna enjoyed most of his childhood, is also recognized among the pilgrimages for its great religious significance. It is said that no tour of Mathura is complete without paying a visit to this city, as both are known to have played a vital role in praising the life of Shri Krishna in a meaningful way.
The holy Hindu pilgrimage city on the bank of River Yamuna, Mathura, has found its mentions in many sacred books. From being the birthplace of Hindu God Krishna to being a modern-day tourist destination that seeks knowledge about the Hindu religion, Mathura has always been a hotspot for Indian tourism.
One of India's seven holy cities, Mathura, is considered home to one of the oldest human civilizations. The mythology states that Lord Krishna was born in detention, and his maternal uncle wanted to kill him, who was the king of Saursena, which ruled Mathura. But Krishna's father confirmed his safety by taking him to Gokul.
Mathura has everything you expect from a pilgrimage destination, with numerous temples blessing the city with its divine intervention. You will feel a sense of peace right from the moment you set foot in the mesmerizing city. The adjoining town of Vrindavan, together with Mathura, is called the abode of temples dedicated to Lord Krishna. Every evening on the banks of River Yamuna, Aarti is done.
Mathura is renowned for being the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and most of the tourist attractions in Mathura are temples and shrines devoted to the Hindu god. The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi is the primary attraction, while the evening Aarti is another thing to look out for. This Hindu pilgrimage destination is about witnessing the divinity of the religious shrines and diving into the philosophy of Lord Krishna, which can be felt in every temple and every street of the city.
The central pilgrimage spot in Mathura is a Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple, which is said to have been built around the prison cell where Lord Krishna was born. It is believed to be the focal point of the famed legends of Lord Krishna. One of these legends stipulates that Vajranabha, Krishna'sKrishna's great-grandson, built the temple. Believed to have been created in the 6th century BC, it is one of the most important places for the devotees of Lord Krishna, who come and stay here, sometimes for days at a time, to pursue the blessings of their beloved God.
This temple has been refurbished over the centuries as the land saw a series of rulers. The current group of temples is the result of a significant renovation project carried out in the 20th century. It now comprises the impressive Keshavdeva Temple, with the garbha griha (sanctum Sanctorum) located at what is said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna and the Bhagavata Bhavan.
The temple complex is approached through a narrow street lined with shops vending religious paraphernalia. There is a small sanctum in the complex dedicated to Lord Krishna. The divinity inside the temple is embellished with ornaments. There is also a well within the complex where the jail prisoners were supposedly fed water. Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple is also home to paintings depicting scenes from Lord Krishna'sKrishna's life along with idols of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha.
The three main temples are a must-visit. Keshavdeva Temple was built in 1958 by Ramkrishna Dalmia as an honor to his mother, Jadiadevi Dalmia; garbha griha, or sanctum sanctorum, is dedicated to the eight-armed Yogmaya (the daughter of Nand Baba), with a marble arbor and underground prison cell, demarcating the blessed birth of the Lord; finally, Bhagavata Bhavan, completed in 1982, is dedicated to Shrimad Bhagavata.
The Bhavan boasts five shrines, with the main sanctum boasting six-foot-tall statues of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. Lord Balarama, Goddess Subhadra, and Lord Jagannath sit to the right of the main sanctum, with the temple of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana, and Goddess Sita on the left; Lord Hanuman finds his place in front of the sanctum of Lord Rama. Temples dedicated to Goddess Durga and a shivling can be visited within the Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple complex. There are other structures, like a library, an Ayurveda Bhavan, and an international guest house for visitors to explore.
The first thing that catches your attention at the Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura is its architecture, closely resembles the Havelis of Rajasthan. The largest and oldest of all temples in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, it is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites for Hindus in India. It holds particular religious importance for millions.
The temple's massive facade, with its arched getaway and latticed windows, is hard to miss. To reach it, you must make your way through the din and bustle of a bazaar, which is pretty popular with shoppers. Most shops here contain Srinagar (decorative items and dresses for God) that devotees purchase on their way to the temple. The chanting of mantras "Hare Krishna" and "Radhe Radhe" fills the air with joy. Dwarkadheesh Temple, one of the most famous temples in India, is dedicated to Lord Dwarkadheesh, a form of Lord Krishna.
A sacred Hindu site in the Mathura district is situated on a hill called Giriraj. According to mythology, young Lord Krishna held the Govardhan mountain on his little finger for seven days. He did so to save Braj from torrential rain caused by Devraj Indra (the Lord of rain), who had condemned the people for failing to please him. Another legend speaks of how the hill ascended from heaven to become a part of Lord Krishna'sKrishna's divine Leela. Today, it is believed that completing a parikrama (circumambulation) of Govardhan Hill will grant all your desires.
Govardhan is considerably important for devotees, who flock here during Krishna Janmashtami and other festivals associated with the deity. A massive statue of his dominates the skyline of Govardhan, further emphasizing its connection with Lord Krishna and his life.
Parikrama is undoubtedly the most crucial facet of Govardhan. However, quite a few attractions associated with Lord Krishna will keep tourists, not to mention history buffs, occupied. You could first lead to the main temple of Govardhan, Har Devaji. It boasts beautiful statues of Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna and depicts episodes from the latter'slatter's life. Also, check out Mansi Ganga, a large stone water tank built by Raja Bhagwan Das; Kusum Sarovar, where Krishna'sKrishna's gopis would wait for him, and the Radha Kund, where Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna would encounter the topic.
According to a legend, it is believed that Barsana was where Radharani, the consort of Lord Krishna, resided. The area has many temples, but the most prominent is the Radharani Temple. It is also called Ladliji (the beloved one) or Shriji and is said to have been founded around 5,000 years ago by Vajranabha.
Another temple worth visiting is Maan Mandir. Radha would come here when she was upset with Lord Krishna, who would plead and cry to appease her. A dark tunnel leads to a small room to which she would withdraw. You can also scour Mor Kutir, where Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna would dance as peacock and peahen; Krishna Kund, where they would bathe; and Sankari Khor, a narrow passageway between two hills. A legend says Lord Krishna and his cowherds would block Radha and her friend's path and playfully demand ghee, butter, and yogurt from them.
Some other temples include Jaipur Temple, Peeli Pokhara, and Danger, as well as other places of interest like Bhanokhar Tank, Prem Sarovar, Roop Sarovar, etc. Barsana is comprehended for Lathmar Holi and the birth anniversary of Radharani. Female devotees offer ladoos to peacocks early in the morning during the birth anniversary celebrations. The ritual symbolizes offerings made to Lord Krishna.
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