Mathura and Vrindavan are two ancient cities located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. They are known for their religious and cultural significance and are popular destinations for both domestic and international tourists. Here is some more information about these two cities:
Mathura is known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, a revered Hindu deity. It is one of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and is located on the banks of the Yamuna River. The city has a rich history and is said to have been inhabited since the 6th century BC. It was a center of the Mauryan and Gupta empires and was later ruled by the Mughals.
Some of the popular attractions in Mathura include the Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and the Dwarkadhish Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture. The city is also famous for its sweets, especially the peda, which is a type of milk-based sweet.
Vrindavan is located about 15 kilometers from Mathura and is known for its association with Lord Krishna. It is said to be the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood and is considered to be one of the holiest places in Hinduism. The city is home to numerous temples, ashrams, and shrines dedicated to Lord Krishna and his consort, Radha.
Some of the popular attractions in Vrindavan include the Banke Bihari Temple, which is known for its vibrant decor and the daily darshan of the deity, and the ISKCON Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is known for its peaceful ambiance. The city is also famous for its Holi celebrations, which attract visitors from all over the world.
Overall, Mathura and Vrindavan are two cities that offer a glimpse into the rich cultural and religious heritage of India. They are a must-visit for anyone interested in history, spirituality, and traditional Indian cuisine.
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.
Things to do
Mathura and Vrindavan are two cities in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that are known for their religious and cultural significance. Here are some things to do in Mathura and Vrindavan:
Visit the Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple:
This temple is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, a revered Hindu deity. It is located in Mathura and is considered to be one of the most important religious sites in India. The temple complex includes several other temples, and visitors can also see the prison cell where Lord Krishna is said to have been born.
Explore the Yamuna River:
The Yamuna River runs through Mathura and Vrindavan and is considered to be a holy river in Hinduism. Visitors can take a boat ride on the river and enjoy the scenic views.
Visit the ISKCON Temple:
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has a temple in Vrindavan that is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple has a beautiful architecture and is known for its peaceful ambiance.
Experience the Holi festival:
Holi is a popular Hindu festival that is celebrated in Mathura and Vrindavan with great enthusiasm. Visitors can join in the colorful celebrations, which involve throwing colored powder and water at each other.
Visit the Banke Bihari Temple:
This temple is located in Vrindavan and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is known for its vibrant decor and the daily darshan (sight) of the deity, where visitors can see the deity’s face for only a few seconds at a time.
Explore the Govardhan Hill:
The Govardhan Hill is located near Mathura and is considered to be a sacred place in Hinduism. It is said that Lord Krishna lifted the hill on his finger to protect the people of the region from a storm. Visitors can trek up the hill and enjoy the scenic views.
Visit the Radha Raman Temple:
This temple is located in Vrindavan and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture.
Try the local cuisine:
Mathura and Vrindavan are known for their delicious vegetarian cuisine, which includes dishes like aloo puri, kachori, and lassi. Visitors can try the local street food or visit a restaurant to sample the traditional dishes.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Mathura and Vrindavan. Both cities have a rich cultural and religious heritage that is worth exploring.
How to reach
Mathura and Vrindavan are well-connected by road, rail, and air. Here’s how to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport to Mathura and Vrindavan is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, which is located around 160 kilometers away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to Mathura and Vrindavan.
By Train: Mathura Junction Railway Station is the main railway station that connects the city to major cities in India. There are several trains that run between Mathura and Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Kolkata, and other major cities. Vrindavan also has a small railway station called Vrindavan Town Railway Station, which is well-connected to Mathura Junction.
By Road: Mathura and Vrindavan are well-connected by road to major cities in India. There are several state-run and private buses that run between Mathura and Vrindavan and other nearby cities like Agra, Delhi, and Jaipur. You can also hire a taxi or drive your own car to reach Mathura and Vrindavan.
Once you reach Mathura or Vrindavan, you can easily explore the city by hiring a taxi or an auto-rickshaw. Many of the popular attractions are located close to each other and can be easily covered on foot.