Government of Uttar Pradesh

नगर निगम मथुरा वृन्दावन

About City

One of the spiritual and sacred places in India, lined with a number of temples along the roads is Mathura City, the birth land of Lord Krishna. It is situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India and is one of the seven holy cities of India.

The city attracts a lot of worshippers and tourists on a daily basis and is filled to the brim with devotees seeking spiritual enlightenment. It is filled with many historical and religious significance sites. Lord Krishna was born in a prison, where their parents Mata Devaki and Vasudev were captured by his maternal uncle Kansa. The prison is now on display for the tourists and a temple, Kesava Deo temple was built at the site in the ancient times. Apart from this, many other temples were made. Some portray the different avatars of Lord Krishna and some show the idols Radha and Krishna. The two most important temples in the city are Dwarkadheesh temple and the Gita temple. These temples are an example of the wonderful architecture and design of the ancient India. Dwarkadheesh temple is the temple where the festivals of India like Holi and Janmashtami are celebrated every year on a grand scale. On the other hand, is the Gita temple which is popular for the inscriptions that are written all over its walls. The inscriptions are taken from the holy book Bhagvat Gita and hence the name.

The best way to explore Mathura is by taking a walk around the streets of the city. Every nook and cranny of the narrow lanes of this place still retains an old-world charm that belies the urbanization the city has kept up with. There is a lot of history to Mathura that you can experience only by exploring the old-fashioned architecture, the crumbling ruins of old houses, and the amiability of the locals who are always willing to show you around.

Other than the temples, Mathura is also famous for its foods and cuisines like aloo-puri, kachodis and sweets like pede and jalebis, which can be found at all the shops anytime of the day.

History of Mathura

The history of Mathura can be traced to approximately 2500 years. Situated on the banks of the Yamuna River, Mathura is a sacred town for the Hindus that has found mention in historical and mythological anecdotes. Mathura city is mentioned in the oldest epic, the Ramayana. It was first known as Madhuvan because of the thick and dense forests that were once there. Later it was renamed as Mathura. The history of Mathura is inextricably associated with Lord Krishna. Even in the accounts of the illustrious Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy, we found a passing mention of a city called Modoura, which in Latin means the "city of Gods". Besides the Hindus, Mathura was also a revered site for the Jains and the Buddhists as well.

Any discourse on the historical background cannot achieve completion without the mention of the Kushana rule during which, Mathura evolved as a powerful principality to reckon with.

The greatest king of the Kushan Empire was Kanishka. Fa Hien, the celebrated Chinese ambassador, mentions the presence of a number of Buddhist monasteries in Mathura in around 400 AD. Mathura's positioning between the Muslim capitals of Delhi and Agra made it vulnerable to the Muslim attacks. The city was invaded by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018-19. Aurangzeb too ravaged the city and demolished the temples. Once again in 1757, Mathura had to bear the brunt of Ahmad Shah Durani' s attack. The religious sites were targeted during these invasions and during the time when Heuien Tsang came visiting Mathura, the number of monks at the monasteries had plummeted to 2000 from that of 3000. These invasions were also instrumental in shaping Mathura's history.

There is an intermediate period of darkness in the history of Mathura when the city was relegated into oblivion. The resurgent Hindu movement of the Bhakti cult brought back the focus on Mathura. With a mission to revive the legend of Lord Krishna, the Hindu rulers, rich merchants and chieftains took the initiative to construct temples and riverfront ghats. Mathura at present, is a bustling town and a popular pilgrimage. Situated at a distance of about 140 kms from Delhi and 58 kms from Agra, Mathura witnesses a steady inflow of tourists.

The rich history of Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna where he won over the evil king Kansa, symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

Vrindavan City

Vrindavan is the twin city of Mathura. It is one of the main locations in Braj Bhoomi region. It is believed that this is the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. The major temples are Rangaji temple, Govind Dev Temple, Bankey Bihari temple, Madan Mohan temple, Radha Ballabh temple, Nidhi Van temple and the Pagal Baba temple.

It is also popular for the vrindavan forest. This forest is believed to be one of the largest forests in the country. It extends from the present city of Vrindavan to Varsana and Nandagram on one side while the other side has Govardhana on its fringes. Within this forest, you can see the Radha Kunda. This forest is believed to be the favorite forest of Lord Krishna. According to legends, Lord Krishna performed the rasa dance in this forest along with the beautiful damsels of Vraja.

History of Vrindavan

History of Vrindavan located in Uttar Pradesh, India is an interesting one. The name of this place evokes the lovable characteristics and playfulness of Lord Shri Krishna. Vrindavan is the place where Krishna tenderly wooed Radha and frolicked with the gopis.

When we talk about the Vrindavan History, the mention of Krishna is inevitable. Although Vrindavan is not Krishna's birth place, it is at this place where he is said to have passed a lot of time in playful activities and teasing the cow herding girls, gopis in common parlance. In fact, Krishna was quite notorious in the act of hiding the clothes of these gopis as they took a bath in the river.

That river has now meandered away. Even the erstwhile woods that once flourished at this place have long since vanished. However, Vrindavan still maintains some wooded parklands.