One of the seven cities considered the most holy for Hindus (Sapta Puri) is Mathura. Being the Janmabhoomi (birthplace) of Lord Shri Krishna, a lot of religious importance is attached with Mathura. The ancient city of Mathura falls in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and is at a distance of approximately 50 km from Agra and 150 km from Delhi, the national capital. During the primeval periods, Mathura used to be one of the major economic hubs on northern India owing to its strategic location on our country’s map.
The holy river Yamuna also passes through the heart of the city and offers a captivating view at dawn when hundreds of people take their holy dip in the river and also at the time of sunset when numerous diyas (candles) are floated in it by the devotees at the time of evening aarti.
Hindu mythology has it that Lord Krishna’s maternal uncle Kansa was the king of this place. Kansa was a very cruel ruler and had imprisoned his own sister Devki owing to a future prediction according to which Devki’s eighth son will be the destroyer of Kansa. Despite of all the odds, Lord Krishna took birth in an underground prison where her mother was confined. At the same site, the temple Shri Krishna Janambhumi has been built.
Attractions in Mathura
- Shri Krishna Janambhoomi – Shri Krishna Janambhoomi is one of the most sacred places in Mathura. The temple was built in 1814 and is the most visited temple of Mathura. It is believed that this temple stands on the same place where Lord Shri Krishna was born to Devki and Vasudev. The legend has been substantiated by plenty of objects found during the excavation.
- Dwarkadhish Temple – Dwarkadhish temple, the other most famed temple of Mathura was also built in 1814. The temple has fascinating paintings and carvings in an architecturally amazing structure.
- Gita Mandir – As suggested by its name, the Gita Mandir bears its connection with the Gita- the holy book of Hindus. The entire text of Gita has been inscribed on the walls of this sanctum. Also the walls of this temple boast exclusive paintings and carvings. The shrine houses a magnificent effigy of Lord Krishna who is being convoyed by Lakshmi Narayana, Ram and Sita.
- Vishram Ghat – Among the twenty five ghats that Mathura city has, Vishram Ghat is the most predominant one. Circumambulating all the religious sites of Mathura, this spot is most renowned for its evening aarti which makes the spectacle even more glorious.
- Kans Qila – One of the historical monuments of Mathura, Kans Qila is located on the northern bank of Yamuna River. The monument is mostly in the form of ruins.
- Other places to visit in Mathura include Jama Masjid, Potara Kund, Rangbhoomi, Radha Kund, Government Museum of Mathura, Kusum Sarovar, Radha Raman temple etc.
- The twin city of Mathura is Vrindavan which is also full of temples dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Famous places to visit near Mathura
- Govardhan Parbat etc.
Festivals and Fairs
Pilgrims and tourists throng the land of Krishna’s birth at the time of Janmashtmi festival which is celebrated countrywide as the birthday of Lord Krishna. There is a lot of excitement in Mathura on Krishna Janmashtmi when all the temples are decorated beautifully and musical dramas depicting the life of Lord Krishna are performed. The festival of Janmashtmi falls in the month of August/September. The other most popular festival is Holi that falls in the month of February/March and is celebrated here with great enthusiasm.
Best time to visit
Since the climate of this place is very hot in summer months, the best time to visit here is any time between the months of October and March.
How to reach:
Air – The nearest national airport is Kheria Airport (Agra) at a distance of 50km. This airport is well connected with all the cities of India. The nearest airport connected with other countries is the Delhi Airport at a distance of about 150km.
Rail – The city has four railway stations- Mathura Junction, Mathura Cantt., Bhuteshwar and Krishna Janambhoomi. Out of these, Mathura Junction is the biggest and most well connected with rest of the country.
Road – The city is well connected with National Highway 2 and National Highway 3. State and Private transport buses are also available from all the major towns and cities of nearby states of north India.