Known as the ‘’Bhagwan Krishna Janambhoomi’’, is the land of temples. They are scattered in every nook and corner of the city. However, these temples in Mathura are not just dedicated to Lord Krishna but also to Lord Shiva. Thus, bringing the whole Vaishnavite and Shaivite culture together. Boasting extreme architectural magnificence and offering immense peace and calm. In fact, these temples in Mathura are visited by tourists and pilgrims alike.
- In ancient times, Mathura was an economic hub, located at the junction of important caravan routes.
- In Hinduism, Mathura is believed to be the birthplace of Krishna, which is located at the Krishna Janmasthan Temple Complex.
- Mathura was the capital of the kingdom of Surasena, ruled by Kansa, the maternal uncle of Krishna.
- Excavations at the site revealed pottery and terracotta dating to the 6th century BCE, the remains of a large Buddhist complex, including a monastery called Yasha Vihara of the Gupta period, as well as Jain sculptures of the same era.
Mathura is a city and the administrative headquarters of Mathura district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 57.6 kilometres north of Agra, and 166 kilometres south-east of Delhi; about 14.5 kilometres from the town of Vrindavan, and 22 kilometres from Govardhan.
How to reach Mathura?
Both Central Railway and Western Railway routes pass through Mathura. Trains from NCR (north-central railway) to ER (eastern railway) also pass from the Mathura junction railway station. Mathura Cantt railway station is a major route for an eastern and central railway.
NH-19 which is having connectivity from Delhi to Kolkata and diversion for Chennai also passes from Mathura. Yamuna expressway Greater-Noida to Agra also passes from here so there is connectivity to Noida and Agra and Lucknow.
Currently, the city has no airport; the nearest airport is Agra (about 60 km away) and Delhi Airport (about 160 km away) with major national and international air routes.
When to visit Mathura?
October to March is the best time to visit Mathura as the weather is pleasant and cool for sightseeing. To experience the best of the city’s culture and to soak in the vibes of Lord Krishna, the ideal time to visit Mathura is during Krishna Janmashthami (August/September) and Holi (March). Mathura experiences extremely hot summers and wet monsoons, making those months inconvenient for travel and exploring new places.
Braj Bhasha‘ is the language of Lord Krishna. Hence, this language is mostly spoken in regions around Mathura and Vrindavan. However, Hindi is also widely spoken here.
Mathura features typical north Indian Climate. During the summer months temperature may climb to 45 degree. Winters, on the other hand, remain pleasant and comfortable though you may feel chilly. During this time the maximum mostly stands around 12-14 degree Celsius.
Fairs & Festivals in Mathura
Krishna Janmashtami and Holi are the 2 main festivals of Mathura. They are celebrated with great energy and enthusiasm here. Krishna Janmashthami (celebrated during August/September) festival includes colourful processions with music, song, dance, and some boisterous scenes around the temples. And in Holi (celebrated in March) people throw coloured powdered dye and coloured water on each other.
Transportation/Stay to prefer
There are various resorts and hotels in the town. One can pre-book them. The rooms are spacious and clean with the best surrounding. These rooms are available at moderate and high costs as well depending upon the season.
Mathura has both government as well as private buses that run throughout the city. Buses are an economical way to see the city but it is more convenient to take a regular tempos or an auto rickshaw.
Places to visit in Mathura
Govardhan Hill, or Giri Raj, is 22 km away from Vrindavan. It is mentioned in the Holy Bhagavad Gita that Govardhan Parvat is no different from Lord Krishna itself, according to Lord Krishna. All his worshippers thus worship the hill’s simple stones just as they worship his idol. The hill is made of sandstone with a length of 38 km and a height of 80 ft. History tells us that Lord Krishna raised the Govardhan Hill on one finger during his youth to save his Mathura village from heavy rain and thunderstorm. It’s a serene spot, and a must experience, certainly!
Krishna Janmasthan Temple
Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple is situated in the holiest town Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. It is constructed around the prison cell where his wicked uncle Kansa imprisoned the family of Lord Krishna, Mata Devaki and Vasudeva. In addition to the prison cell, there are other temples in the Mathura region, dedicated to Lord Krishna. The sacred aura and its simplicity, fill the heart with the certainty, that this is indeed the location, where Lord Krishna manifested himself when he entered the temple.
One of the top places to visit in Mathura, the Dwarkadhish temple is famous throughout the world for its intricate architecture and paintings. Located within the perimeter of the holy gate of the city, close to the Ghats of the Yamuna River, the temple and its surroundings are a hub of many interesting activities. Every day, thousands of devotees come here to pay their obedience. A series of exquisite ceiling paintings showing the different aspects of the life of the Lord and the magnificent architectural designs and carvings of Rajasthani architecture makes the complex look even more magnanimous. The black-coloured god inside the temple encourages love!
Radha Vallabh Mandir
Radha Vallabh Mandir, one of the seven temples in Thakur of Vrindavan, is located near Gautam Nagar on the cliff of Bankey Bihari temple. This temple is the epitome of Radha and Krishna’s holy and spiritual devotion, shown in the unique’ Ras-bhakti’ form. The temple, created by Lord Krishna, has no god of Radha. Alternatively, to indicate her presence, it has a crown positioned next to Lord Krishna. Due to its stunning architecture and beautiful decor, Radha Vallabh Mandir stands out. Moreover, this is among the best places to visit in Mathura for couples.
On the banks of the River Yamuna, a sacred ghar located about 5km from Mathura, which is the centre of 25 ghats. There is a parikrama that pilgrims take around the ghat. Literally translating to a place of relaxation, Lord Krishna rested at this place after killing the evil demon, Kansa. There is a heavy crowd around the ghat during Bhaidooj for the holy dip. People can also take a boat ride at the ghat.
A beautiful reservoir made of sandstone and a true remnant of the bygone era, the Kusum Sarovar has a flight of stairs that descend into the pond. It is a great place for taking a dip during summers. One can also find many temples in its vicinity and around it during their trip to Mathura and Vrindavan. The emerald green water is cool and the pond has a floral border, boasting different flowers. Perfect for quiet evenings, you can watch the sunset here.
Around 50 km from Mathura, NandGaon is a quaint town situated in the Nandishwara Hills. It is the home to Krishnaji’s adopted parents – Nand Ji and Yashoda Maiyya. Other popular temples here are Nritya Gopal, Nand Nandan, Udhav Kyaro and Gopinath. There is a beautiful lake here called the Pan Sarovar that is much loved by tourists.
Situated around 6.5 km from Mathura junction on the Mathura-Vrindavan Road, the peaceful Birla Mandir, also called Gita Mandir, is among the most famous places to see in Mathura. Dedicated to Lord Lakshmi Narayan, this holy shrine has remarkable architecture that speaks volumes of its magnificence and shows off its exquisite carvings and paintings with pride.
Located on the banks of the serene Yamuna River, Kans Qila is an ancient fortress in Mathura dedicated to Kans – the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna. Situated near the Krishna Ganga Ghat and Gau Ghat, the fort is a popular tourist spot and has been constructed as a fusion of Hindu- Muslim architecture. Kans ka Qila is in a dilapidated state due to negligence but is still thronged by tourists and alike.
Dolphin Water Park
Dolphin World Water Park is spread over an area of 14 acres and is replete with thrilling slides, roller coasters, water and regular rides etc. Besides, it has an amusement park, a play area for kids, a locker room and other facilities. Dolphin Water World has been a popular source of recreation and entertainment for city dwellers and tourists ever since. The water cum theme park offers a variety of rides and fun games both for adults and kids, They also have height based separate swimming pools.
Mahavidya Kund and Temple
Mahavidya temple is located on top of a hillock next to the Mahavidya tank. The temple on top is small but has lovely Murtis of various deities. It is an important Shaktipeeth that is the Kuldevi of Nand Baba of Gokul, the foster father of Sri Krishna.
Cuisines to taste in Mathura
The standout of the town’s cuisine is its sweets and milk products. Pede, a form of sweet dish made from condensed milk, is a speciality here. Other than these one must try Kachori, Jalebi, Chaat, Panipuri, Samosa, Dhokla, Aloo Tikki and Lassi. One can also find delicious typical North Indian platters.
Things to do in Mathura
Apart from visiting temples, there are many things to do in Mathura. If you want to have some real fun time head to Dolphin Water Park situated on the outskirts of Agra City (Agra Mathura Road) and experience thrilling slides and roller coasters. Also, you can go trekking on the Govardhan Hills and much more.
Souvenirs to buy in Mathura
- Idols of gods
- Religious Items
- Temple Accessories
- Leather Goods