Have Spirituality on Your Mind? Visit Mathura, One of India's Holiest Cities and the Birthplace of Lord Krishna. Your Guide to the 10 Best Places to Visit in Mathura (2020)

Have Spirituality on Your Mind? Visit Mathura, One of India's Holiest Cities and the Birthplace of Lord Krishna. Your Guide to the 10 Best Places to Visit in Mathura (2020)

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Mathura, a city in western Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) is considered one of the most sacred cities in India. Lord Krishna is believed to have been born here 5,000 years ago and he is the presiding deity and first citizen of the city. Like any ancient Indian city, Mathura is full of temples, lanes, religious places, quaint shops and bustling crowds. If you are a devotee of Lord Krishna or love travelling to religious places, then Mathura is the place to be! This BP Guide will take you to the top tourist attractions in and around Mathura and help you plan your trip to this great city.

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Top 3 Things to Do in Mathura

Mathura, also known as Brajbhoomi is popularly known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It is one of the seven sacred cities in India and is also an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus. One of the main pilgrimage centres in Mathura is the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple. The city is also popular for its craft centres. Mathura is situated in the western part of Uttar Pradesh which is in the northern region of India. It is a land of the Great Northern Plains and is located on the western bank of the Yamuna river.

#1 Explore Religious Places

Your visit to Mathura will be a trip to all the religious places in town. The place is in fact known for its places of worship and temples, and ponds that have great significance in every aspect. There are numerous kinds of temples in Mathura that you can visit and have an experience of a lifetime. Seek the blessings of God and indulge in a peace-evoking environment.

#2 Enjoy a Boat Ride

The Kusum Sarovar has boat ride facilities that you can take to experience the religious places. There are multiple other places where you can get a tour of the surroundings on a boat while appreciating the significance of every spot. It is advisable to book your rides in advance during the peak seasons so as to avoid any hassles.

#3 Take a Dip in Holy Water

Visit Mathura to get a soul seeking experience with the multiple divine places around. Mathura is especially known for its temples and is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna was born and spent his childhood. It is a popular belief that taking a dip in the holy waters washes away all your sins. Additionally, you come out as a clean and pure person.

Explore the 10 Best Places in Mathura

#1 Kusum Sarovar

Kusum Sarovar is located about 2.5 km from Radha Kund. The splendid building is made of sandstone which was erected by Javahir Singh. It is known to be the location where Radha used to collect flowers for Lord Krishna and meet him. The reservoir is a great tourist spot which attracts a huge crowd every year.

Kusum Sarovar is 60 feet deep and 450 feet long which allows you to even take a swim. The serene surroundings and a great atmosphere makes it for an excellent tourist getaway. Make sure to get your cameras ready to click Instagram worthy pictures of the exotic place. Some of the other attractions of the place are the paintings in the tomb and the evening aarti as well.

#2 Gita Mandir

Gita Mandir, also known as Birla Mandir, is located on the Mathura-Vrindavan Road. Birla Mandirs are known for their extravagant designs and architecture. The Gita Mandir is one of the most popular temples in Mathura and is built by Jugal Kishore Birla. His devotion to Lord Vishnu (Laxmi Narayana) and his song, Bhagwat Gita, gave him the inspiration to build the majestic temple.

It is particularly known as the Gita Temple because the main room of the temple is adorned with the verses of Gita. The lovely surroundings truly compliment the temple and add beauty to the place. The temple is surrounded by serene greenery which creates the perfect vibe for the location. If you ever happen to visit Mathura, make sure to not miss out on this supreme temple.

#3 Govardhan Hill

Govardhan Hill, also known as Giri Raj, is located about 22 km from Vrindavan. As stated in the Holy Bhagwat Gita, the Govardhan Parvat is no different than him, which is the reason all worshippers worship the hill rocks similar to him. The Hill stands 80 feet tall and has a circumference of 38 km and is made of sandstone. According to tales, it is believed that Lord Krishna lifted the massive Govardhan Hill with his little finger to save his village and people from fierce thunderstorms and rains.

This is the reason the hill is considered to be sacred and is heavily visited by worshippers on Guru Purnima and Govardhan Puja. It requires you to walk 23 km barefoot all around the mountain. Lord Krishna advised the people of his village to worship the hill which is why Govardhan Puja is held a day after Diwali. The place is totally a must-visit for all.

#4 Mathura Museum

The Mathura Museum or the Government Museum was earlier known as the Curzon Museum Of Archaeology. It is situated at Dampier Park in Mathura. It is one of the most visited places in Mathura and is known for its huge collection of ancient relics, coins, sculptures and paintings. The famous museum also holds discoveries made by popular archaeologists in and around the city.

It was founded in the year 1874 by Sir F. S. Growse and is popular for housing famous sculptures of the Mathura School of Art. Today, it is one of the important centres for research, study and preservation of Mathura's art heritage. The museum is built from red sandstone and is known for its stunning architecture. There are multiple statues which are worth a sight.

#5 Kans Qila

Kans Qila (Fort) is situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. Though the historical fort now lies in ruins, it was home to the demon Kansa, who was the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna. The majestic fort is spread over a huge area with high walls. The architecture is a combination of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles. The fort was handed over a number of times in it's journey. You can additionally plan a trip to the nearby ghats such as the Vaikuntha and Brahma ghats.

The fort is also known as the 'Purana Qila' of Mathura. The Kans Qila was refurbished and renovated in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh of Amber. Later, Raja Sawai Jai Singh ordered an observatory to be constructed which has no traces to be found today. The main attraction of the fort is the hall divided into three separate aisles.

#6 Vishram Ghat

Vishram Ghat is located 4.5 km from the Mathura Junction railway station. It is a sacred bathing ghat located on the banks of the Yamuna river. The Vishram Ghat is the main ghat of Mathura while there are 25 other ghats in the location. The serene ghat is made of marble stone which has a large stone arch. According to the tales, Lord Krishna rested at this location after killing Kansa. The name vishram is derived after this incidence where "vishram" means taking rest.

It is one of the most important ghats in Mathura. The ghat has a highlight of multiple temples and important shrines like Yamuna-Krishna, Murali Manohar, Mukut Temple, Narasimha Temples, and Radha Damodar. The evenings are pretty mesmerising with the divine aarti being held. Additionally, little oil lamps are let out on the river which is a treat to the eyes. You can also plan for a boat ride at the ghat.

#7 Barsana

Barsana is located 45 km from Mathura and 48 km from Vrindavan. Barsana is the birthplace of Radha and is a popular tourist location during the festival of Holi. The location is surrounded by hills on all four sides. Barsana was earlier known as Brahmsarin. A popular myth goes that Lord Krishna asked Brahma to take the form of a hill. The four hills represent the four heads of Brahma.

Similarly, the four hills have famous temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha. Barsana is popular for the "Lath-Maar Holi" festival. The celebrations are held at Ladliji Temple which is dedicated to Radha. The festival is a two-day celebration wherein on the first day, the men from Krishna's village travel to Barsana to tease the women. The women chase the men with sticks thus the name Lath-Maar Holi. Radha Ashtami is also an important festival and the great celebrations are a sight to behold.

#8 Vrindavan

Vrindavan is 70 km from Agra, 13 km from Mathura, 400 km from Lucknow, 155 km from Delhi, and 235 km from Jaipur. It is a holy town located on the banks of the river Yamuna. It is a major pilgrimage centre and also one of the oldest cities in the country. The holy town has a rich history associated with Lord Krishna. Vrindavan is the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. A devotee of Lord Krishna, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has the credit of rediscovering Vrindavan.

The holy town was then developed by various kings. The word vrinda means tulsi and van means grove which is why it is named as Vrindavan. The place is home to 4,000 temples. Some of the popular temples are Radha Vallabh Temple, Govind Dev Temple, Rangaji Temple, Madan Mohan Temple, Pagal Baba Temple and Nidhivan Temple.

#9 Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple

The Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple is the focal point of Lord Krishna. It is also one of the main pilgrimage centres in Mathura. The place consists of a narrow street which is full of shops and leads to the temple at the end. The divine temple is built around the prison cell where the birth of Lord Krishna took place. After his birth, his parents Vasudeva and Mata Devaki were imprisoned by his uncle Kansa. The complex has a shrine dedicated to Krishna. The temple has been rebuilt several times, but it was first built by Vajranabha, who is Krishna's great-grandson. Mobile phones, camera or other kinds of equipment are not allowed in the temple premises.

#10 Radha Kund

Radha Kund is a huge pond situated at a distance of 25 km from Mathura. It is a place around Govardhan Hill. Radha Kund is the holiest place out of all of Brahma's creations. It is a divine location that attracts many devotees from all over the world. According to the myth, it is this location where Radha and Krishna spent most of their happy times. It is also the place where Lord Krishna killed Arista - the bull demon. Later, he also took a bath for self-purification.

Towards the centre of Radha Kund, is a small area with walls around it which is called as Kankanakunda. This was the pond made by the gopikas with their bracelets. Radha Kund is located at a distance of 8 km from Govardhan Hill and can be easily reached by road. These are peculiar sights that must be visited at least once in a lifetime.

Mathura Weather and the Best Time to Visit

Mathura is known as one of the most famous pilgrimage centres located in Uttar Pradesh, in the northern part of India. The place is dedicated to Lord Krishna and has great importance in religious terms. Lord Krishna grew up in the city, which is why there are multiple temples dedicated to Krishna and their devotees. The weather of Mathura is like any other city. The summers are hot and humid while the monsoons are cool and wet. The perfect time to visit Mathura is from October to March, which is the winter season. The weather is pretty cool and is great for sightseeing.

  • Summer (April-June):
    Summer in Mathura is hot and dry. The temperatures can soar up to 45°C which makes it an avoidable time to visit the place. It is extremely hot and will drain out your energy. Additionally, it is also advised not to go sightseeing in such a horrid climate. Even if you plan to visit during this time, make sure you have appropriate clothing to protect yourself from the harsh heat.

  • Monsoon (July-September):
    The monsoon season starts in end June and continues till September. The rainy season comes with a nice amount of rainfall. The rains also make the climate cool with temperatures dropping about 25°C at night. The day time temperature can be around 30°C. The festival of Krishna Janmashtami falls during this period which makes it a great time to plan a vacation.

  • Winter (October- March):
    The winter season is the best season to visit Mathura. The temperature can range from 28°C in the day to 5°C at night. It is the apt season to go sightseeing and visit different temples and nearby places. The months of January and February are the coldest.
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From our editorial team

Mathura - a Surreal and Sublime Experience

Mathura is not just a sacred religious city, it is the epicentre of culture, history, art and sculpture, mythology, folklore and much more. If you have not visited this beautiful city yet, now is the time to plan your trip to Mathura and have a surreal and sublime experience. We hope you would have liked this BP Guide. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.