Distance : 150km south of
Population : 235,000
¤ Mathura - The Birth Place of Lord Krishna
Mathura and Vrindavan are the most important Vaishnava holy places in
India, Mathura being the birthplace of Lord Krishna and Vrindavan
being the place where he spent his childhood with cowherds, and gopis,
or the village maidens. As stated in the Adi-varaha purana, an ancient
Hindu scripture, any person dying in Mathura is bound to attain
salvation, as it is the holiest of places.
¤ Also Known As Brij Bhoomi
Mathura swarms with innumerable tales of the blue god, Krishna, the
serene banks of the river Yamuna on the one hand, and the
hustle-bustle of the city on the other. Put together, this creates an
ambience charged with religious fervour. Mathura is a major pilgrim
centre for the Hindus, second only to Benares.
This sacred city of the Hindus is also popularly known as Brij
Bhoomi, or the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Krishna is the eight
incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Hindu Preserver of the Universe.
Krishna was born to Vasudeva and Devki who were imprisoned by King
Kansa, the maternal uncle of Krishna. Vishnu manifested himself in
Krishna to kill the evil King Kansa. Krishnas life walks us
through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. In various paintings, he
is shown as a wayward child, a soldier, a statesman and an ideal
¤ Festival Celebrations In Mathura
Holi and Janamashtami are two festivals celebrated with great fervour
in Mathura. Both these festivals are associated with Lord Krishna.
Holi is celebrated in the temples before it is celebrated on the
streets, as it is considered auspicious to play with the Lord, first.
This festival is preceded by performances that last well over a week.
Artists from various parts of the country gather here to perform raas
leela, or dance recitals depicting Krishnas flirtatious
interlude with the gopis, or the village maidens. Gayan
mandalis,orsinging troupes that render folk songs particularly
associated with Holi, flock to this place. The artistic exuberance
associated with the festival is termed as Rang Gulal.
Janamashtami is celebrated on the day when Krishna was born. Idols of
Krishna and his childhood sweetheart, Radha, are decorated
beautifully, then worshipped.
¤ Temple Attractions
Mathura has a number of temples that are dedicated to the blue god,
Krishna, the Dwarkadhish Shrine being the most outstanding of them
all. Another important temple worth seeing is the Temple of Keshava.
On the way to Vrindavan, one comes across another temple called the
The Sacred Heart Cathedral that was built in1870, is the sole legacy
of the British in Mathura. The famous Jami Masjid right in the centre
of Mathura is a fine piece of Muslim architecture. An old mosque built
by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb is situated in the Katra locality.
The Archaeological Museum of Mathura has an excellent collection of
Buddhist, Brahminical and Jain sculptures in ancient red sandstone.
Along the banks of the Yamuna, one finds innumerable ghats, or steps
leading down to the river. Here one can visit the Vishram Ghat, Sati
Burj and the Kans Qila.
¤ Vrindavan - Excursion From Mathura
Situated 12kms north of Mathura, Vrindavan attracts a considerable
number of pilgrims. This is where Krishna indulged in his adolescent
pranks with the gopis.
The place has some 4000 medieval and modern temples. From Mathura,
you could go to see the Taj Mahal (about 50km from Mathura, at Agra),
a monument that is an ode to love, and is among the Seven Wonders of
Major Tour Packages To Mathura
in India Tours
on Wheels Train Tour