Along the banks of River Yamuna, about 56 kms from Agra, lies Mathura. Popularly known as Braj Bhoomi, this is the main pilgrim centre for Hindus and also the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It is also one of the seven sacred cities in India. The history of Mathura dates back to 600 BC and this land has been in the limelight during the Mauryan era, and under the great Emperor Ashoka, and later under Kushanas too.
SHOPPING : Mathura, the land of cows, is famed for its milk-based sweetmeats. A variety of mouth-watering savouries, especially ?peda' are a well-known specialty of the town. Beads, brass statues, utensils for worship are available At Bengali Ghat, Chatta Bazar, Chowk.
Mathura is hot in summers, with day temperatures going up to 45° Centigrade. Winters are comfortable, at 32°C in the day and 14°C at night. Except for the monsoon months between July and September, the climate is dry. Light cottons in summer and monsoons, and light woollens in winter are sufficient.
EXCURSION: Taj Mahal: Taj Mahal A monument of love. A symbol of eternal love. Taj Mahal, one of the most fabulous monuments in the world, history and time. Thronged by visitors year round, Taj Mahal is 200 km from Delhi. It was built by the fifth Mughal emperor Shahjahan, in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. The monument is a perfect piece of architecture. It took 22 years, 41 million rupees, 50 kilos of gold and around 20,000 workers to complete this marvel of marble. Situated by the river Yamuna, Taj Mahal sits on a high red sandstone terrace, topped by marble terrace. It is flanked by four minarets. The jewel in-laid cenotaph of the empress lies within the dome. The entire mausoleum is decorated with inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy with semi precious stones like jasper and agate. One can take a train, either the Shatabdi or Taj Express.
Agra Fort: Situated on the west bank of the Yamuna river and two km from Taj Mahal, the Agra fort was started by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565. The impressive red sandstone fort extends for about 2.5 km and is surrounded by a deep moat which was once filled with water of Yamuna. Though Akbar built it mainly as a military centre, it was under Shahjahan's rule that the fort became more of a mini city. Of the many gates, the only one open to public is the Amar Singh gate, which leads into the fort. Immediately on the right is the Jahangiri Mahal.
Fatehpur Sikri: Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1571 in honour of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti. It was the Mughal capital for 14 years after which it was abandoned, probably due to the lack of water. The capital is amazingly beautiful with its palaces and it reflects the architectural style Akbar patronised. Even to this day, the entrance to the fort is through the road that Akbar built. The road leads to the Buland Darwaza, a huge 54 metres gateway. It later inspired other lofty gates. Today young daredevils jump from its ruins into the deep tank to earn money from the tourists.
Brindavan Satyam, Mathura
Shri Mathura Tirth, Mathura
Attractions and Places to Visit in Mathura
Dwarkadish TempleSituated to the north of Mathura, built in 1815 this temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. A staunch and wealthy devotee, Seth Gokuldas Parikh, built it with lots of enchanting paintings and beautiful carvings. During the festivals Holi, Janmashtami and Diwali this temple is decorated gorgeously.
Govardhana ParikramaIt is believed that Lord Krishna lifted Govardhana Giri with his little finger, and gave shelter to people under that huge hill from a big squall. A Parikrama (going around the foot hills) is a sacred ritual performed by many believers. It is a 24-mile Parikrama.
Jugal Kishore TempleIn the year 1570 Emperor Akbar visited Vrindavan and permitted to build 4 temples by the Gauda Vaishnavas. Madana Mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha and Jugal Kishore built them and it is one of the oldest temples of Vrindavan. As it is situated next to Kesi Ghata, it is also called as Kesi Ghata temple.
Kesi GhataThe legend is that Lord Krishna after killing demon Kesi in the form of a gigantic horse took bath in this ghat. To commemorate this, every evening an Aarti is held to Yamuna Devi the sacred river Yamuna.
Radharamana TempleWhen the soldiers of the fanatical Muslim Emperor Aurangazeb attacked Vrindavan, the original deity of Madana Mohana was taken to Karauli in Rajasthan for safekeeping. Later in a forest, which is the present Vrindavan, this temple was established and it is believed that the Deity self manifested from a Saligram-sila. The presiding deity called as Radharamana, symbolizes as the omnipotent that gives pleasure to Radha his consort. A crown is kept next to the deity signifying Radha’s presence.
Rangaji TempleThis is the largest temple in Vrindavan built in 1854 by Seth Govind Das and the presiding deity is Lord Sri Ranganatha popularly known as Rangaji who is seen lying down on the Sesha Naga (celestial serpent). This South Indian styled temple has exquisite Rajput architecture on its main gate.
Shri Krishna Janma BhoomiAccording to Hindu Puranas it is believed that Lord Krishna was born in a prison cell of King Kansa. Katra Keshav Deo is believed to be that place where he was actually born. Aurangzeb’s red stone mosque stands on the same site. Later, excavations at this site revealed many interesting old statues, which are now displayed in the Government museum. Presently a beautiful temple stands at this site dedicated to Lord Krishna.
The Government museumCunnigham, Growse, Fuhrer and others unearthed the rich treasure of antiquarian values, which form the nucleus for the present museum located at Dampier Park. It houses rich collections of fine sculpture, terracotta, bronze objects of the Maurya, Sunga, Kushan and Gupta periods. It also houses the famous standing Buddha from the 5th Century AD.
How to Reach Mathura
Air : The nearest airport is Agra, at a distance of 47 km. There are regular flights from Agra to several cities of India, including Delhi, Khajuraho and Varanasi.
Rail : The Mathura has its own railway station. Mathura is well connected by train with Agra (1 hour), Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur and Kota. The Taj Express runs daily between Mathura and Delhi (2½ hours). Mathura is an important railway junction with direct trains to many places.
Road : Mathura is very well connected by a network of roads and road transport to all major towns of Uttar Pradesh and surrounding areas. Mathura is 141 km south of Delhi and 47 km northwest of Agra.