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Mathura Vrindavan in India
Where is Mathura?
The city of Mathura, 145 km southeast of Delhi, is located in the western part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, forming a part of the Great Northern Plains. The city lies on the west bank of the river Yamuna.
How will you gain access?
There are regular bus services from Mathura to Delhi(3½ hours) and Agra (1½ hours). The new bus stand is situated near Hotel Mansarovar Palace. Heading towards the south of the new bus stand, one arrives at the Mathura railway station. By train, Mathura is connected to Agra (58 km), Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur, Delhi, and Kota. The Taj Express runs daily between Mathura and Delhi.
What does it signify?
The holy city of Mathura stands on the banks of the Yamuna. The city acquires an important position both in the history and mythology of India. One can find the city pulsating always with the stories of Krishna, the city being the lord’s birthplace. According to Hindu mythology, a king named Ugrasena ruled over Mathura. Once Ugrasena and his wife were walking in the garden. A demon saw the queen and fell in love with her. He diverted Ugrasena and took his form. As a result of this union, Kansa was born. Kansa later grew up to dethrone his father. He imprisoned his cousin Devaki too. One day as he was driving Devaki and his husband Vasudeva, he heard a voice from the sky, telling him that he was carrying a woman whose eighth child would put an end to him. He made up his mind to kill Devaki. Vasudeva begged to spare her life, promising to hand him over all the children that would be born. King Kansa killed all the seven boys. But as soon as the eighth baby-boy was born Vasudeva, hearing a voice from heaven, took him out and exchanged him with a baby girl born to Yasoda and Nanda. Consequently, Krishna arrived at Vrindavan and was saved. He grew up and, as it was destined, put an end to Kansa.
What beckons devotees?
Sri Krishna Janamsthan
Sri Krishna Janamsthan or the Janambhoomi Complex is the chief attraction of the city. The site marks the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Myriad Hindu devotees arrive here every day to view this sacred place and to pay their tributes to the lord. The shrines remain open daily from sunrise till 12-00 noon and from 16-00 hours till sunset.
The Kansa Quila was built by Raja Man Singh of Ambar. Sawai Jai Singh later added an observatory to the fort. Unfortunately, the fort is now in a state of desertion and only its foundation exists to be viewed.
Of all the Ghats that line the riverfront here, the Vishram Ghat is the most important. It is believed that Krishna rested here after putting an end to his uncle Kansa. Everday, as Arti is observed, cows, monkeys, and turtles are fed at the Ghat. There are a total of 25 Ghats along the river.
The Potara Kund (A sacred pond) is held in high esteem by the Hindu community. The significant pond lies near the Janambhoomi or Krishna’s birthplace. It is believed that child Krishna’s clothes were washed in this pond.
Banke Bihari Temple
Banke Bihari Temple, built in the year 1864, is one of Vrindavana’s most popular temples. It was Swami Haridasa who discovered the deity of Banke Bihari. The temple sees a huge number of devotees daily.
Mathura Archaeological Museum
Mathura Archaeological Museum is yet another attraction for the visitors. The museum has an interesting collection of rare Buddhist and Jain sculptures from the Kushana era. A standing Buddha, from the 5th century AD, in the Abhay Mudra (Fearless Pose) is one of the many exhibits.
What is the best time?
Mathura has an extreme and tropical climate. Summers are hot and winters are cold. July to September is the time of the monsoons. The best time to pay a visit is between the months of October and March.