Mathura

Mathura is situated on the west bank of river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh and is famous as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, an important deity in the Hindu religious pantheon. Mathura is an important pilgrimage center of the Hindus and one of the seven sacred cities in India. Mathura is situated on the west bank of river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh and is famous as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, an important deity in the Hindu religious pantheon.

Mathura is an important pilgrimage center of the Hindus and one of the seven sacred cities in India. By the fifth century BC, during the time of Buddha, it was a major metropolis and the capital of the Surasena Kingdom - one of the 16 Mahajanapadas of the period. Mathura saw its `golden age' during the rule of the Kushanas and the able governance of rulers like Kanishka, Huvishka, and Vasishka, when the arts flourished and economic wealth grew. It remained a centre of power during the Mauryan period, through the enlightened rule of Emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC) to the Gupta era (4th century AD).

Mythology
The holy town along the banks of the Yamuna is one of the few which has been mentioned both in history and mythology. Mathura is full of stories of Krishna, his birth and the part of his life he spent there. A king named Ugrasena ruled over Mathura. Once Ugrasena and his wife were taking a walk in the gardens when a demon saw the queen and fell in love with her. In his lust for her he diverted Ugrasena, assumed his form and the child born of this union was Kansa. Kansa grew up to dethrone his father and imprison his cousin, Devaki. While driving Devaki and her husband Vasudeva in his chariot, Kansa heard a voice in the sky telling him that he way carrying a woman whose eighth child would kill him.

Kansa immediately prepared to till Devaki. But Vasudeva intervened and begged for her life with the promise that they would hand over all their children to him soon after their birth. So Kansa imprisoned them and killed seven children. A few minutes before the eighth child was to be born Vasudeva was advised by a voice from the heavens to carry the baby to Yasoda and Nanda (a cowherd) in Brindaban and exchange it for the baby girl born there. It was midnight and pouring with rain. Putting the new born baby in basket Vasudeva set out wondering how he’d protect the child from the rain. But he needn’t have worried. The prison doors opened, the rivers receded and the serpent on which Lord Vishnu reclines came down to protect Lord Krishna with its hood. Krishna arrived safely in Brindaban to grow up to kill Kansa.

Temples in Mathura
Krishna Janmbhoomi : The birth site of lord Krishna, it is also a disputed land due to its closeness to a mosque. There is a old prison at the basement of the temple, which is said to be the same prison where Krishna took birth. The temple complex was heavily destructed by Aurangzeb and a mosque was constructed at the site.

Dwarkadhish Temple : The Dwarkadhish Temple was built in early 19th century. The temple is the main centre of celebrations during festivals and fairs. The temple is heavily decorated during any festival celebrations.

Festivals
Holi and Janamashtami are two festivals celebrated with great fervour in Mathura. Both these festivals are associated with Lord Krishna. Holi is celebrated in the temples before it is celebrated on the streets, as it is considered auspicious to play with the Lord, first. This festival is preceded by performances that last well over a week. Artists from various parts of the country gather here to perform raas leela, or dance recitals depicting Krishna’s flirtatious interlude with the gopis, or the village maidens. Gayan mandalis, or singing troupes that render folk songs particularly associated with Holi, flock to this place. The artistic exuberance associated with the festival is termed as Rang Gulal.

Climate
Summer : Max 45ºC, Min 21.9ºC
Winter : Max 31.7ºC, Min 4.2ºC.

How to reach Mathura
Air : Nearest airport is Kheria (Agra), 62 km.

Rail : Mathura is on the main lines of the Central and Western Railways and is connected with all the important cities of the state and country such as Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Jaipur, Gwalior, Calcutta, Hydrabad, Chennai, Lucknow etc.

Road : Mathura is connected to all the major cities, by National Highways. It is linked by the regular state bus services of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.

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