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Indian Pilgrimage » Mathura

About Mathura

Mathura or Brajbhoomi is famous as the birth place of Lord Krishna, an important deity in the Hindu religious pantheon. It is an important pilgrim place of the Hindus and one of the seven sacred cities of India. The main pilgrim center in Mathura is the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple. Mathura which is also an important craft center is located just 58 km north-west of Agra and 145 km from south-east of Delhi.

If you have been confined around the Taj Mahal, then there is a possibility that you must be in tears by the tragic end of that great love, never mind, you are very close to a place where Lord Krishna was born and grew up with his mischief, which will make you lively all over.

History

An ancient city whose origins fade into the mists of history, Mathura's strategic location at the cross roads of various trade routes that went westwards to West Asia and the Roman Empire; northwards, via Taxila, Pushkalavati and Purushapur to Central Asia and the Silk Route and eastwards to China ensured its position as a centre of trade and a meeting point for varied cultures.

By the fifth century BC, during the time of Buddha, it was a major metropolis and the capital of the Surasena Kingdom - one of the 16 Mahajanapadas of the period. Mathura saw its `golden age' during the rule of the Kushanas and the able governance of rulers like Kanishka, Huvishka, and Vasishka, when the arts flourished and economic wealth grew. It remained a centre of power during the Mauryan period, through the enlightened rule of Emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC) to the Gupta era (4th century AD).

Tourist Attraction


The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi (birth place of Lord Krishna) is the main attraction of Mathura and an important pilgrim place of the Hindus. A stone slab marks the original spot of the birth of Lord Krishna in the Kesava Deo temple where Lord Krishna was born.

Archeological Museum

Mathura is not just a land of temples. It is also a great center of Buddhism. In the museum of Mathura stands a powerful, impressive Bodhisttava, which belongs to the Kushana period. Mathura stakes claim to the honors of having produced the first images of Buddha. The Mathura school of art, which flourished during Kushana time, was influenced both by Buddhism and Jainism and by the Scythians. The coins found during archaeological excavations in Mathura point to Scythian influence, plaques depicting the cross-legged naked figures of Tirthankara in meditation point to Jainism.

Vrindavan

15 Km.north of Mathura, lies the celebrated town of Vrindavan which is almost as closely associated with Krishna as Mathura itself. Indeed one hardly speak of Vrindavan alone. It is believed to have been the stage on which Krishna performed his famous romantic and sportive roles. . There are hundreds of temple in virandavan and the most famous as well as the finest temple in Vrindavan is that of Govinda Deva, dating back to 1590.

Goverdhan

It is named after the "Goverdhan Hillock" which according to legend Lord Krishna had lifted up the hill on one finger to protect the local people from the wrath of the rain God Indra.

Manasi Ganga Kunda

Manasi Ganga Kunda is traditionally the starting and the end point of the circumambulation of Govardhana Hill. This kunda is considered more potent than the Ganges River, because by bathing in the Ganges River one gets liberation and by bathing here one achieves "Krishna prema," love of Krishna.

Kusuma Sarovara

Kusuma Sarovara is a 460-feet-long lake and according to legend gopis used to pick flowers from here for Krishna. The ghatas at this kunda were built by Jawahir Singh around 1764.

Climate

Typical of all the North Indian towns, Mathura too witnesses a wild swing in temperature down the year. In summers the city witnesses a persistent rise in temperature and at mercury go beyond even 44°C. The humidity is unbearable and the relative humidity remains around 40-50%. During the summers, the daytime temperature hovers around 40-44°C. Nights are relatively cooler and mercury dips to a comfortable 28-30°C

It rains moderately during the monsoons in Mathura. The annual average rainfall never goes beyond 600 millimeters. Winters are bit chilly but are the best time to visit Mathura. The minimum temperature sometimes goes as low as 2-3°C but usually hovers in the range of 7-8°C. Days are pleasant and best to roam around.

Transportation

Mathura is just 150 odd Kilometers from the national capital New Delhi and being an important tourist destination, is well connected to all the major cities in India.

  • Air: The nearest airport from Mathura is at Kheria in Agra. It is just 60 kilometers from the city center of Mathura. Nearly all the major private and public carriers offer their service to the city. It is well connected to cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
  • Rail: Mathura lies on the main lines of both Central as well as Western Railways. Various Expresses as well as Super fast trains run to and from the city of Mathura and connect it with all the important cities of Uttar Pradesh and India such as Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Jaipur, Gwalior, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Chennai and Lucknow etc.
  • Road: Mathura is well connected to all the major cities in Uttar Pradesh and India through a network of State and National Highways. Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation plies several buses to adjoining cities such as Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Delhi and Jaipur. Luxury coaches are also available that are very comfortable to travel in.
  • Local Transport: Private buses, Tempos, Rickshaws, Cycle Rickshaws and Horse-carts are some of the modes of local transportation available in Mathura. Make a habit of dickering, as you will need that like anything.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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