MATHURA - BIRTH PLACE OF LORD KRISHNA
Mathura lies 150 km south east of Delhi on the banks of the Yamuna River. It is also knows as Brij Bhoomi - the land where Lord Krishna was born and spent his youth. Tradition dates it to some five thousand years ago. It is an important destination of Hindu pilgrims. Lord Krishna is regarded by many as "the best known, best loved and most complex of Lord Vishnu's manifestations". The entire area, encompassing many holy sites and twelve sacred forests, is called Vraj. Most important is Vrindavan, the village where Krishna lived.
What to see
The Dwarkadish Temple, built in 1814, is a popular Hindu temple in the center of town. This Hindu temple is managed by followers of Vallabhacarya. Once you enter this temple from the street, it is fairly interesting architechually and there is a lot of activity inside. It is located in the eastern part of Mathura, not far from the Yamuna River.
The main pilgrim center in Mathura is the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple. A stone slab marks the original spot of the birth of Lord Krishna. The earlier Kesava Deo temple had the room where Lord Krishna was born. According to legend, Lord Krishna was born in a small prison room where the tyrant ruler Kansa held his parents, Devaki and Vasudeva, captive. The place of His birth is known as Sri Krishna Janmasthana.
Vishram Ghat, a bath and worship place on the banks of river Yamuna, is the main ghat in Mathura, central to 25 other ghats. It is said that Lord Krishna had killed the tyrant Kansa here.
There are several places around Mathura related to the childhood of Lord Krishna:
Vrindavan is 10 km from Mathura and it is associated with the childhood exploits of Lord Krishna. There are about 4,000 temples in Vrindavan. The main Hindu temples are Govind Dev Temple, Rangaji temple, Bankey Bihari temple, Radha Ballabh temple, Madan Mohan temple, Pagal Baba temple and the Nidhi Van temple.
Gokul is 16 km south of Mathura. It is said that Lord Krishna was secretly raised here.
Mahaban is 18 km southeast of Mathura. Lord Krishna is believed to have spent his youth here.
Barsana, 50 km northwest of Mathura, is the birthplace of Lord Krishna's consort Radha. The Holi festival of Barsana is unique. The Barsana women attack men from Nandgaon with wooden sticks, when they try to put color on these women.
Govardhan is 25 km west of Mathura. Legend has it that Lord Krishna had protected the local people from the wrath of the rain God Indra by holding up a hill on one finger.
How to Reach Mathura
The new bus stand is located near Hotel Mansarovar Palace. Bus service from Mathura to Delhi (150km, 3½ hours) and Agra (50km, 1½ hour) is very good. There are several other direct busses available to most cities.
Mathura railway station is located south of the new bus stand. Mathura is well connected by train with Agra (1 hour) as well as other major cities like Bhopal, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Ujjain . The Taj Express runs daily between Matura and Delhi (2½ hours).
Mathura is well connected by road to the rest of Uttar Pradesh and India. Highway2 (Delhi-Howrah) passes through the city which connects to Highway3 to Mumbai.
Travellers can make use of auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws to move around the city. One can also take an auto-rickshaw to travel to Vrindavan from Mathura.