India is a country that deserves tons of appreciation for preserving the spirituality in its womb. Here you can find an array of eye-dazzling temples, hallowed destinations, and countless pilgrimage places. Such places can help the pilgrims to awaken spiritual self. India embraces numerous holy places, and one of them is; the cities of Mathura and Vrindavan.
Both the sacred cities have the deepest connection with the history of Hindu God, Lord Krishna. The city of Mathura is known as the birthplace of Krishna whereas Vrindavan is the place where the young Krishna is said to become an adult. Travelers rush here from all over the world as it’s the midpoint of the Hare Krishna community.
Mathura – Birthplace of Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna is the God of the Hindu religion. He was born in Mathura city which is an important tourist place of Hindus and one of the seven hallowed cities in India. The main pilgrim place in Mathura is the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple.
History of Mathura
Mathura is just an hour drive away from Agra and it’s situated on the bank of river Yamuna. The land of Mathura is dotted with splendid temples, devoted several aspects of Lord Krishna’s life. Gokul, Barsana, and Govardhan are the other towns related to Lord Krishna.
Gokul is the place where Lord Krishna was brought up covertly from his uncle “Kansa”. His beloved Radha belonged to Barsana, which is also famous for a unique celebration of Holi with sticks called Lathmar Holi. And, Goverdhan is basically the name of a mighty mountain, which Lord Krishna had raised with his little finger to save local civilians from the rage of rain-god Indra.
Major Tourist Attractions in Mathura
Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple
The Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple is also known as Katra Keshav Dev temple and the main place to visit in Mathura. This temple gives an immense feeling of spirituality and also brings a sense of inner peace. The temple has very high security, no camera or mobile is allowed inside. There is a prison cell in the temple which is popularly known as ‘Garbha Griha’. It is the place where Lord Krishna was born. According to Hindu mythology, the parents of Lord Krishna, Vasudev and Devki were kept at the same place. Krishna was born in the prison cell and was secretly moved to Nandgaon at the same stormy night by his father.
Dwarkadhish Temple Mathura
The Temple of Dwarkadhish is considered as one of the sacred temples in the city of Mathura. The intricate architecture and paintings of this temple are eminent all over the world. Thousands of followers arrive here every day to pay their respects. The temple has the black marble statue of Krishna and a white marble idol for Radha Ji. All the famous festivals belong to Krishna are celebrated here in a grand way.
Barsana Shri Radha Rani Temple
Barsana Shri Radha Rani Temple is situated in Mathura. This holy temple releases the sparks and marks the birth of Sri Krishna’s beloved. The temple is located on the hilltop; you have to climb over 300 stairs. However, after reaching the top, it gives a scenic view of this place. You can see the whole of Barsana from this temple.
Vrindavan – The City of Shrines
Vrindavan is the ancient city of India, around 15 km away from Mathura, a little town and a noteworthy spot of pilgrimage on the banks of Yamuna. It magnetizes around 500000 travelers every year from all over the world. The tourists and devotees reach here in a huge number during the festivals of Janmashtami, Holi, and Radhashtami.
The name ‘Vrindavan’ is derived from ‘Vrinda’, another name for the holy tulsi plant. It is said that the whole place was a tulsi copse at one time. As per another belief, it was named after Vrinda Devi, one of Krishna’s consorts. There are over 5,000 shrines in every nook and cranny of Vrindavan which gives fascinating experience to visitors.
Must-to-Visit Temples in Vrindavan
Situated just outside the Vrindavan, Prem Mandir is considered as the temple of divine love. The man behind creating this beautiful piece of architecture is Rasik Saint Jagadguru Ji Maharaj. The evening is the best time for visiting this temple, the crowd and the lightning on the white marble gives an incredible view to your eyes. There are countless statues that show every event of Lord Krishna’s life. One of the best statuses in Prem Mandir is; Krishna holding Govardhan Mountain with his finger to save locals from the rage of Indra. Moreover, the fountain gives the real look of this incident and the view is just incredible. The interesting thing about this temple is that; every carving was done by the hands, it took almost twelve years to build this magnificent temple.
ISKCON Temple is the first ever temple which is built by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as the Shri Krishna Balaram Temple. It was built with the aim of spreading the acquaintance of Bhagavad Gita by Swami Prabhupada in 1966. The beautiful white marble temple has three sanctums. It is famous as “Angrejo ka Mandir” among locals.
Nidhivan Temple in Vrindavan
Inside the Nidhivan temple, it is believed that Lord Krishna visits every night and does Rass-Leela with Gopis (cursed tree). Due to this reason, no one including the priest of the temple is allowed to visit after 7 PM. The major part of the temple is surrounded by huge bushy forests. Surprisingly, the land at the temple is really dry – still, the trees remain green all throughout the year. It is said that these trees are in fact ‘Gopis’. AT night, they do Maharas Leela along with Shree Krishna and Radha Rani. Hence, devotees from all over the world visit to adore the unique form of god. Moreover, it is said that all the trees lit up at night to welcome the Gods.
Govardhana Hill Parikrama
People from all over India come here to perform Govardhana Parikrama Govardhana Hill has a diameter of 23 km for the Parikrama and it takes around five to six hours to complete it.. It is believed that the Lord Shri Krishna will take all the pain of devotees who have completed the parikrama of Govardhan by their feet’s.
It is divided into two parts and most of the temples and holy places fall on the parikrama road. There is no time limitation to start the parikrama, you can start it anytime. It gives divine experience to perform this parikrama with loved ones.
Radha Kund and Shyam Kund
It is considered the most sacred and tranquil place in the Braja area. There are two holy ponds that are placed next to each other. One is Radha Kund and the other is Shyam kund. This place comes in the way while doing parikrama. Once you reach this place, you feel relaxed with the calmness of this place. You can hear the story of this place from the local priests who stay there and give every single detail about this place. It is said that Lord Krishna built Shyam kund by hitting his heel on the ground and the Radha Kund is built with the bangles.
Banke Bihari Temple
Banke Bihari Temple is a major attraction and the extremely respected shrine of Vrindavan. Banke Bihari Temple is constructed in 1864; the temple houses the idol of Lord Krishna as a child that is known as Nand Gopal. It is the most popular temples of Vrindavan among both locals and outsiders. In the phrase Banke Bihari, the term ‘Banke’ refers ‘bent at three places’ and ‘Bihari refers ‘the Absolute enjoyer’. Consequently, Banke Bihari is a supporter of happiness and desire. Lord Banke Bihari is also known Thakurji, the owner of everything. The black wooden idol was brought in this temple from Nidhivan by Swami Haridas. It is situated near a large crowded marketplace, the black marble idol of Krishna looks very stunning, and the huge number of visitors comes here to get the blessings of Krishna. Not just temples but the sweets of this place is very famous, especially the “Mathura ke pedde” which gives mouthwatering taste to your tongue.
A trip to Mathura and Vrindavan is a roller-coaster ride that is full of the divine as well as spiritual emotions. The Mythology related to this place fills the senses with curiosity. No doubt, “India is the land of magic” and after visiting this place, you will firmly start believing in this saying.