Places to see in Mathura
Mathura, the word automatically synchronizes to Lord Krishna. This ancient city is the birth place of Lord Krishna and you feel his holy presence in every corner of it. Dotted with many ancient Hindu Temples, pilgrim sites and monasteries Mathura is considered as one of the holiest cities of India where millions of devotees flock for seeking enlightenment and spiritual salvation. This city has many historic buildings and you will see an old world charm in its streets, markets and lanes. Best time to visit is during the celebrations of Krishna Janmashtami, Holi and Diwali.
Let’s tell you about the tourist places in Mathura not to be missed.
1)Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Temple: This is the most famous and beloved shrine of this holy city. It is considered an important mystical Hindu pilgrim site. This place was the small jail of King Kansa (Uncle of Lord) in which Lord Krishna was born, but a magnificent temple was made here by King Veer Singh Bundela (descendant of Lord Krishna). The jail room is still intact with a divine marble statue of Lord Krishna which you can visit.
Address: Near Deeg Gate Chauraha, Mathura
Travel tip: Take tuk-tuk auto from railway station. (4 kms).
Timings: 5 am to 12 pm. 3 pm to 8:30 pm.
2)Dwarikadhish Temple: A beautiful holy temple built along the banks of river Yamuna near Vishram Ghat, is the oldest temple in Mathura. This sacred temple holds the idols of Radha-Krishna in its shrine. The beautiful idol of Radha is made of pure white marble and that of Lord Krishna is made in jet black marble. This sight is so divine to watch that you don’t feel like leaving this place. Lord Krishna is called Dwarikadhish because he built the city of ‘Dwarika’ and ruled it till his last breath. The entrance is designed in Rajasthani architectural style with an open courtyard, intricately carved pillars and painted ceiling. There is a golden colored swing for Krishna in the courtyard.
Address: Naya Bazaar, Mathura
Travel tip: Don’t miss the golden swing.
Timings: 6:30 am to 10:30 am and 4 pm to 7 pm.
3)Govardhan Hill: This hill finds its mention in Hindu religious texts as it is said that Lord Krishna lifted it on just his little finger to give shed to the villagers from the heavy rain caused by Lord Indra. It is a pilgrim site for Vaishnavite religious sect and its located 10 kms from Mathura near Vrindavan. This place sees an influx of large number of devotees and visitors everyday as it gives insight into the mythological culture of Hinduism.
Address: Near Vrindavan town.
Travel tip: Go there to watch the serene sunset.
Timings: 7 am to 7 pm.
4)Geeta Mandir: This is famous by the name of ‘Birla Mandir’ and is made of red sandstone pillars and cream color walls. Situated on the road to Vrindavan town it is one of the most visited places here. It has all the teachings of Bhagwat Geeta inscribed on it. As you enter you will see carvings of all 18 chapters on pillars of this temple. This building houses idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Narayana, Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Sita which makes the place totally divine. A large chariot of Lord Krishna is also painted on its walls which is a must see.
Address: Road to Vrindavan from Mathura
Travel tip: See the description of 18 chapters of Geeta.
Timings: 6 am to 7 pm.
5)Vishram Ghat: There are 25 bathing ghats on the banks of River Yamuna in Mathura city but this is the most important one. According to mythological tales of Hinduism, Lord Krishna rested here after killing his evil uncle King Kansa. This royal ghat is made with white marble with beautiful stone arch. Small temples surround it. The whole area looks magnificent when diyas are floated in river water during evening arti ceremony.
Address: Vishram Bazaar, Chobey Para.
Travel tip: Carry a camera with you for evening arti.
Arti Timings: 4:5 am and 7:30 pm.
6)Kusum Sarovar: Lord Krishna and his lover Radha used to meet here and romance their time together. This lake is 460 feet long and 60 feet deep making it good for swimming for the locals. Surrounded by historical buildings it makes a spectacular view during evening arti here. So apart from being a religious place it is even a serene tourist spot to spend a beautiful evening.
Address: Radha Kunj, Mathura.
Travel tip: Ceiling of buildings here have good paintings for your camera.
Timings: open 24x7.
7)Kansa’s Qila/fort: Rebuilt by Raja Mansingh I of Jaipur this fort have a pleasant mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture and visited by many tourists. It was the residence of King Kansa, the uncle of Lord Krishna. Situated on the banks of River Yamuna it gives a good glimpse into the past of India.
Address: Ratankund, Mathura
Travel tip: Bring camera along.
Timings: 8 am to 4:30 pm.
8)Mathura Museum: Constructed in the year 1874 it’s earlier name was Curzon Museum of Archeology. Due to its unique architecture it had the privilege of used pictured on the stamps of Government of India. You will find many relics belonging to Kushana and Gupta Empire periods. History buffs should visit here as this place houses many sculptures, paintings, coins, artifacts, pottery of the bygone era.
Address: Near Dampier Park, Mathura
Travel tip: Look for the headless statue of King Kanishka who belonged to the 1st Century AD.
Timings: 10:30 am to 4:30 pm. Closed on Mondays and second Saturdays. Even on Government holidays.
9)Nand Bhawan: A small village near Mathura is Gokul where Lord Krishna grew up in the care of his foster father Nand and mother Yashoda. Now a beautiful temple it was a sprawling mansion where Krishna and his brother Balrama spent their playful childhood. Located on a hill it is a good spot for photography of the surrounding area. This temple is totally made of white marble.
Address: Gokul Dham, near Mathura
Travel tip: Enjoy the rural life of India here
Timings: 6 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 9 pm.
10)Krishna Balram Temple: Administered by ISKCON Foundation in Vrindavan, 13 kms from Mathura, this is a heavenly white marble temple with intricate carvings. The deities of this temple are Lord Krishna, his consort Radha and Guara Nitai. Kitans are sung here all day.
Address: Raman Reiti, Vrindavan
Travel tip: Enjoy the soulful kirtans.
Timings: 4 am to 9 pm.
11)Jama Masjid: Abd-Un-Nabi, a Mughal dynasty governor built this building in 1662 AD. Today it is one of the major historical monuments of this city.
Address: Chattar Bazaar, Mathura.
Travel tip: go for a soulful experience
Timings: 5 am to 9 pm.
Other places to visit are:
a) Radha Kund
b) b) Rangji Temple
c) Chamunda Devi Temple
d) Dauji Mandir
e) Radha Vallabh Temple
f) Kokilavan forest
g) Dolphin Water World
You will enjoy for tour to Mathura as it has much to offer. Do eat the sweet ‘Petha’.