He is easily the most popular person here. Every square foot of
Mathura-Vrindavan is wrapped in timeless devotion to Lord Krishna, the
evergreen hero of Hinduism, the lover of Radha, the cowherd-prince and the
re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Travel Mathura to visit ancient temples dedicated to Lord Krishna. Welcome to Brajbhoomi or Krishna-land - Mathura Vrindavan.
Vrindavan - The City Of Temples
Vrindavan, around 15 km from Mathura, is a major place of pilgrimage, on
the banks of Yamuna. Attracting about 5 lakhs pilgrims every year, it is
noted for its numerous temples- both old and modern. Vrindavan is synonymous
with the innocent mirth and child like playfulness of Shri Krishna.
Vrindavan tourism offers an excellent opportunity to explore temples, big and small,
famous and remote strewn all over the place.
Braj Bhoomi is the land where Shri Krishna was born and spent his youth.
Today it has little towns and hamlets that are still alive with the Krishna
legend and still redolent with the music of his flute. Mathura little town
on the River Yamuna was transformed into a place of faith after Lord Krishna
was born here. Vrindavan, a village - once noted for its fragrant groves, is
where he spent an eventful youth. There are numerous other little spots in
the area that still reverberate with the enchantment of Shri Krishna.
The city of Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh, the nucleus of Brajbhoomi, is
located at a distance of 145-km south-east of Delhi and 58-km north-west of
Agra. Covering an area of about 3,800-sq-kms, today Brajbhoomi can be
divided into two district units - the eastern part in the trans-Yamuna tract
with places like Gokul, Mahavan, Baldeo, Mat and Bajna and the western side
of the Yamuna covering the Mathura region that encompasses Vrindavan,
Govardhan, Kusum Sarovar, Barsana and Nandgaon.
The land of Braj starts of from Kotban near Hodel about 95-kms from Delhi
and ends at Runakuta, which is known specially for its association with the
poet Surdas, an ardent Krishna devotee.
PRIME ATTRACTIONS OF MATHURA VRINDAVAN
Banke-Bihari Temple :
Built in 1864, it is one of Vrindavan's most popular temples and famous all
over India. The Deity of Banke-Bihari was discovered in Nidhuvana by Swami
Haridasa. A contemporary of the six Gosvamis, Swami Haridasa known for his
devotional Bhajanas, was the guru of the famous musician Tansen.
Radha Madana-Mohana Temple :
This famous temple was established by Srila Sanatana Gosvami and was the
first temple to be built in Vrindavan, which at that time was just a forest.
The original Deity of Madana-Mohana was taken to Karauli in Rajasthan for
safety during the attack on Vrindavan by the soldiers of the fanatical
Muslim Emperor, Aurangzeb.
Mathura Krishna Balrama
Built by the International Society for Shri Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON),
it is one of the most beautiful temples in Vrindavan. The principal deities
of this temple are Krishna, his brother Balram and Radha (Krishna's
consort.) Adjoining the temple is the samadhi of Shri Prabhupada, the
founder of the ISKCON sect, built in pure white marble. Hare Krishna
devotees from all around the world flock here, bringing a truly
international flavour to this ancient holy city.
Dwarkadish Temple :
Built in 1814 in the center of the town, it is the most visited temple in
Mathura. This temple is managed by followers of Vallabhacharya. Located in
the eastern part of Mathura, not far from the Yamuna River, it is
architecturally interesting: the temple carving and paintings are major
attractions. The temple is a hub of activity during the festive days of
Holi, Janmashtami and Diwali.
Manasi Ganga Kunda :
Manasi Ganga Kunda is traditionally the starting and the end point of the
circumbulation of Govardhana Hill. In the Mathura-Mahatmya it is recommended
that one bathe in Manasi Ganga and then take Darshan of Hrideva. This Kunda
is considered a million times 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.
25 Tirthas (Ghats) :
There are 25 holy Tirthas (bathing places or Ghatas) in Mathura. Visram
Ghata is in the middle and there are 12 more south of Visrama Ghata and 12
Ghatas north. Those in the south extend to Moksa Ghata. Some pilgrims take
bath in all 25 Tirthas before beginning Braja Mandala parikrama. Asi Ghata,
Prayaga Ghata, Chakra Tirtha Ghata, Krishna Ganga, Dhruva Ghata and Visrama
Ghata are still known by the same names.
of Vrindavan's most opulent temples, it was built by the Maharaja of Jaipur,
Sawai Madhav, in 1917 after 30 years of labour. The fine hand-carved
sandstone is of unparalleled workmanship, the huge pillars that hold up the
roof are each carved from one solid rock, and the intricately fashioned
marble on the altar is reminiscent of the Mughal period. The Maharaja
financed the railway line that connects Vrindavana with Mathura, just for
the purpose of hauling the huge pieces of sandstone used in the temple
construction. The deities worshipped here are Sri Sri Radha-Madhava,
Ananda-Bihari and Hansa-Gopala.
Radha Vallabha Temple :
Another very popular temple of Vrindavan whih was founded by Harivamsa
Gosvami, who started the Radha Vallabha sect emphasizing devotion to
Radharani. In this temple, there is no deity of Radharani, but a crown has
been placed next to Krishna to signify her presence. The original temple of
Radha Vallabha was destroyed by the Muslims in 1670 and a new temple was
built beside the old one.
Seva Kunja :
The Seva Kunj is where Lord Krishna once performed the Raaslila with
Radha-Rani decorating her hair with flowers and her lotus feet. Radha and
Krishna would sometimes spend the night here, dancing with the Gopis and
enjoying transcendental pastimes. There is also a small temple dedicated to
Radha and Krishna's pastimes called "Rang Mahal".
Radha Damodara Temple:
This is one of the most important temples in Vrindavan. The original deity
was hand carved by Rupa Gosvami and given as a gift to his beloved disciple,
Jiva Gosvami, who later built a temple here. Formerly this spot was in the
middle of Seva-Kunja and it was the Bhajana ( where he sang devotional songs
) place of Rupa Gosvami.
Radharamana Temple :
This is the famous temple of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Radharamana means "one
who gives pleasure to Radha", and is one of the many names of Lord
Krishna. The wooden sitting place (Hoki) and shawl (Chaddar) or Lord
Chaitanya, that He gave as a gift to Gopala Bhatta Gosvami is kept in this
Govinda Dev Temple:
Built by Raja Man singh of Jaipur in 1590, The temple is a testimony of the
architectural splendour of medieval India. The temple walls average 10 ft.
thickness. The upper state is regular triforium. Originally seven stories
high, it's upper four stories were destroyed during the reign of Aurangzeb.
The Krishna idol was then removed to Jaipur.
Shivaji Temple was constructed in the year 1860. It is a prominent temple
of northern India. It is famous for it's splendid art architecture ,
sculpture and twelve single piece spiral columns made up of marble approx
15' high. The world famous "Basanti Kamra" is situated in the
eastern wing of this temple. This room has spectacular ancient chandeliers
and rare paintings are available .
Rang Ji Temple :
Vrindavan 's longest temple, it was constructed in 1851 by Seth Govind Das
ji & Seth Laxmi Chand Ji. All were desciples of Acharyavarya Rangdeshie
Swami where as the main gate is in Rajput style. The temple follows South
Indian architectural pattern . The outer wall measure 773 Ft. and encompass
a water tank, a garden and the actual temple. The "Dhweja Stambha ",
50 ft. tall, is believed to be gold plated .
PLACES OF INTEREST AROUND MATHURA-VRINDAVAN
Govardhan is situated 26-km from Mathura along the road to Deeg. It is
named after the name of the "Goverdhan Hillock" which is said to
have raised on the finger and was was put in the condition to save the
people from the incessant rain which fell constantly for seven days to
destroy the people of Braj. The hillock is 7 Miles in length. The temple of
Har Deva Ji in Goverdhan town is 400-yrs-old. The Mansi Ganga which is an
artificial lake, was constructed my Man Singh of Jaipur. The dense shady
trees the hill ranges and tranquil flow of Mansi Ganga all unite together
and make a charming view which the visitor can never forget.
Kusuma Sarovara :
Kusum Sarovara is a 460-feet-long lake with the platforms going out 60 feet
into the water. A 25-minute walk from Radha Kunda, it is the best swimming
spot in Braja. Legend has it that the Gopis would pick flowers from here for
Krishna. After going to Radha Kunda one can spend a relaxing hour here. It
is a peaceful place, which not many people visit. The Ghatas at this Kunda
were built by Jawahir Singh around 1764.
Radha Kund :
5-kms to the north of Goverdhan is Radha Kund, a village clustering around
two small lake. It is said the Lord Krishna himself bathed here in
self-purification. Between Goverdhan and Radhakund is seen the cenotaph of
Raja Suraj Mal Bharatpur who was sacrificed in 1763. In front of the
cenotaph is an artificial lake with an extensive garden behind.
21-kms to the north of Goverdhan is Barsana the birth place of Radha a
favourite devotee of Lord Krishna. It is a famous place for pilgrimage with
a regular bus service from Mathura to Barsana via Kosi & Goverdhan.
Barsana originally known as "Brahmasaran" lies on a slope of
ridge. The four prominent peaks of the hill are regarded as amblematic of
the four-faced divinity and are crowned by a group temple is honor of Lali
Ji a local title of Radha meaning 'The Beloved'
At the foot of a hill 51-kms north-east of Mathura is situated the
venerable village of Nandgaon. It is known as the home of Lord Krishna's
foster father Nand, in whose memory a spacious temple stand on the brow of
the hill. Probably built in the middle of the 12'th century by one Rup
Singh, it consists of an open nave with choir and sacrarium beyond. Standing
in the center of a paved courtyard, it is surrounded by a lofty wall which
commands an extensive view of the Bharatpur hill and the level expanse of
Mathura District as far as Goverdhan.
About 15-kms of the south-east of Mathura connected by a metalled road is
Gokul, a suburb of the inland town of Mahavan on the bank of the river
Yamuna. Gukul is a celebrated spot where Lord Krishna was reared in secrecy
by his nurse. This place is very scared and is visited by thousand of
pilgrims particularly during the birth anniversary of the Lord Krishna in
July-August and the time of Annakut festival. Gokul is also associated with
the famous saint Vallabhacharya who lived here for many years. The most
important temple is that of Gokul Nath Ji. The principal meals are Janma in
Bhadon and Annkut on the day after the new Moon of Kartik. The "Trinavat
Mela" is also held on the fourth day of the dark half of kartik.
Lying on the left bank of Yamuna, Mahaban is 4-kms from Gokul on the road
to Sadabad. Lord Krishna is believed to have been craddled in this place.
The largest and most sacred temple is that of Mathura Nath an edifice built
of rock and plaster. Overhanging the Yamuna at Mahaban is an old building
which is identified as the place of Nanda 9-kms from Mahaban on the same
route is Baldeo which is another place of pilgrimage. These places can be
visited by taxi or auto. There is a bus service to Baldeo.
Baldeo is about 9-kms from Mahavan on the road leading to Sadabad. In the
center of the town stand the famous temple of Baldeo or Dauji, the elder
brother of Lord Krishna. Two annual fair are held at Baldeo. One on the
Sixth day of the light half of 'Bhadon' called "Deo-Chhath" and
other on the full moon of 'Aghan'. There is not a single day in the course
of the year in which the temple court are not occupied with Pilgrims.
SHOPPING IN MATHURA-VRINDAVAN
Mathura, the land of cows, is famed for its milk based sweets. A variety of
mouth watering savouries are also well known specialties of the town. Like
the famous "Mathura Pedas" are famous in whole of India. When one
takes a stroll in the city he comes across some nice hand made embroidery
design typically reflecting North Indian culture.
Last but not least Mathura being the birthplace of Lord Krishna, one comes
across numerous sculptures, portraits, paintings, rings & Malas not only
dedicated to Lord Krishna but almost of all deities. The rings, Malas, holy
pendants come in all sorts of shapes & sizes from real smaller ones to
real big ones and local markets are flooded with these articles.