The city of Mathura, which is called the birthplace and youth passing spot of Lord Krishna, is traditionally recognized as the nucleus of Braj Bhoomi and one of the seven cities of India having the capability of bestowing final salvation. This city is located on the northern bank of the river Yamuna.
Traditionally recognized as the nucleus of Braj Bhoomi, the city of Mathura, which is the place of birth and youth spending of Lord Krishna, is also recognized as one of the seven cities of India capable of providing final salvation. Dating back to ‘Treta Yuga’, the history of Mathura is older than the manifestation period of ‘Dwapara Yuga’ belonged to Lord Shri Krishna. As per the legend, Shatrughna, the younger brother of Lord Shri Ram, killed a demon named ‘Lavana’ and founded a town known as ‘Madhura’ to be called later ‘Mathura’. Having assumed great importance during the eras of the Buddha, Mauryans, Kushanas and Guptas (5th century BC to 4th century AD), Mathura is located on the northern bank of Yamuna River.
Renowned as the City of Lord Krishna, Mathura, which became the meeting point of different cultures because of its strategic location at the crossroads of several trade routes, is now-a-days a city of shrines and temples frequented by thousands of people. Stretched along the right bank of the Yamuna River and having the ceaseless line of the Ghats along the river, making a spectacular spectacle, the city of Mathura is now a significant place of pilgrimage.
Being integral to the legendary story of Lord Krishna and a renowned holy town recognized for its more than 5000 temples, Vrindavan, which has its name evoking the lovable characteristics and playfulness of Krishna, is a prime place of pilgrimage. In the forests of Vrindavan, Lord Krishna enjoyed with the Gopis and gently made romance with Radha (consort). Here, He performed His ‘Leelas’ and played His ‘flute’. Afterwards, the poems of Surdas, Meera Baai, Ras Khan and other great poets make this town immortal. It has been the dwelling place of the renowned saint Vallabhacharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the master of Indian Classical music named Swami Haridas.
Being the birthplace of Lord Krishna, this greatly revered place of worship is situated at ‘Katra Keshav Dev’.
Constructed by a wealthy & staunch devotee named Seth Gokuldas Parikh, Dwarkadheesh Temple, which is located to the northern side of the town, is the most renowned shrine in Mathura.
Kunds are a must visit to complete a pilgrimage to Mathura. As per the tradition, Mathura had 159 ancient Kunds at all. In addition to the Saraswati & Balbhadra Kunds, this place has an elegant Shi Tal, the more renowned ‘Potra Kund’ belonged rightly to Lord Krishna.
Having great cultural, aesthetic & architectural interest for devotees, this place is home to approx 25 Ghats. ‘Vishram Ghat’, where Lord Krishna relaxed after killing Kansa, is the most famous one among them. The ‘Aarti’, performed at this Ghat is a must attend.
You can visit the ruins of Kans Qila, situated on the banks of the Yamuna River. Once, this fort has been renovated by Man Singh, the king of Amer. Afterwards, on the parapet of this fort, an observatory was constructed by Sawai Jai Singh, who founded Jaipur.
Embellished with the fine carving and paintings and situated on the outskirts of Mathura, Gita Mandir is the modern temple, which has the inscription of the entire Bhagwad Geeta on a pillar known as the ‘Bhagwad Stambh’.
Closely associated with ‘Chaitanya Maha Prabhu’, Madan Mohan Temple is the most ancient existing temple.
Shri Jambu Swami, who was the last Jain ‘Kaivalya Gyani’, obtained enlightenment at the place of Chaurasi.
Being an example of the architectural excellence of medieval India and a major example of a blend of Hindu, Muslim and western architectural elements in its structure, this grand seven storied temple has been planned in the form of a Greek cross and regarded to be among the most effective temples in the Northern part of India.
In 1661 AD, Abed-un-Nabi Khan constructed the Jama Masjid, which has bright mosaic and four minarets.
Having the crown of Radha-Rani placed just after the idol of Shri Krishna in the sanctum, Radha Vallabh Temple is the renowned temple in Vrindavan, which has been founded by the sect of Radha-Vallabh.
With the image of Bankey Bihari sought in Nidhivan by ‘Swami Haridas’, the great devotee of Lord Krishna, pertaining to the Nimbarka sect, Bankey Bihari Temple is the most famous shrine in Vrindavan.
Dedicated to ‘Lord Ranganatha’ depicted as Lord Vishnu in his ‘Sheshashayi pose’, Rangaji Temple, which is also renowned for Rath-Ka-Mela, is the largest temple in Vrindavan. Having a gold-plated ‘Dhwaja Stambha’ 50 feet in its height and a tall Gopuram (gateway) of six storeys, this temple has been constructed in the Dravidian style.
Dedicated to ‘Shri Radha-Madhav’, this opulent and richly embellished temple, which has been built of fine hand-carved sandstone by the Maharaja of Jaipur, is a fine example of unparalleled workmanship.
Renowned for its beautiful marble sculpture and magnificent architecture, this temple, which has twelve spiral columns, is home to the deities popularly called the ‘Chhote Radha Raman’. This temple houses the ‘Basanti Kamara’ – the Darbar Hall, which is popular for its fine paintings, chandeliers and Belgian glass.
Constructed by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Krishna Balram Temple, which has the prime deities i.e. ‘Shri Krishna-Balram’ and ‘Shri Radha-Shyamsunder’, is one of the most charming temples in Vrindavan. Close to the temple, there is the Samadhi of ‘Shri Prabhupada’, who founded the sect of ISKCON. The complex of this temple has a Gurukul and a school of Yoga.
Home to the Samadhi of ‘Swami Haridas’, Nidhi Van is the place, where the divine couple ‘Radha-Krishna’ relaxed after getting the conjugal love.
‘Ras Leela’ with Radha-Rani and other Gopis was performed here by Lord Krishna.
Having great cultural, aesthetic & architectural interest for devotees, Vrindavan is home to several Ghats. Some of them are Kali Dah Ghat, Chir Ghat, Varah Ghat, Keshi Ghat, etc.
Situated at a distance of approx 47 kms from Mathura city center, Agra Airport at Kheria, which serves regular flights to numerous cities of India, is the closest domestic airport of Mathura while the nearest international airport lies in Delhi, at a farness of about 147 kms. To visit the holy city, a taxi or a cab can be hired from both the airports.
Mathura Junction Railway Station is well-connected by the frequent direct trains to the main cities of India such as Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Bharatpur, Kota, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and so on. Prepaid taxis can be taken to visit the nearby locations.
Located at a distance of 47 kms northwest of Agra and 145 kms south of Delhi, Mathura is well-linked by a network of roads with all main towns of Uttar Pradesh and surrounding regions. Private operators run deluxe buses to connect the sacred city of Mathura to Delhi.