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Mathura Tourism

The birth place of Lord Shri Krishna
State : Uttar Pradesh
District : Mathura
Type of Tourism : Pilgrimage
Area : 3329.4 sq meters
Population : 2,541,894 (As per Indian census- 2011)
Altitude : 287 meters
Best Tourist Season : October to March
Languages spoken : Brajbhasha, Hindi, English
Telephone Code : India (0565), International (+91)
Pin Code : 281005
What To Buy : Religious books, brass and copper Pooja articles, Shri Krishna images, brass statues, miniatures of Astadhatu, holy prayer books, rosaries, pendants, incense sticks, clothes, sweets, milk products, leather shoes, handicraft and embroidery items, paintings, sculptures, silver jewelries, etc.
Food Specialties : Kesharia Peda, Khurchan, ghee, cheese, cheese spreads, chat, etc
Local transportation : Local bus, auto rickshaw, cycle rickshaw

About Mathura

Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika,
Puri Drawaravati chaiva saptaide moksha dayika.
One of the seven sacred cities of India venerated by the title ‘Moksha Dayika Nagari’ i.e. a town that will lead you to eternal salvation Mathura is the place that every devotee of Lord Krishna looks up to. Glorified as the blessed land where Lord Krishna was born to Devki and Vasudeo, Mathura is located at the distance of about 11 km from Vrindavan and 22 km from Govardhan right in the heart of Braj or Brij-Bhoomi. Nestled on the western banks of the sanctified river Yamuna, Mathura; an ancient economic and cultural hub is today a rapidly expanding metropolis of Uttar Pradesh. Highly revered as a leading Vaishnavite pilgrim destination and boasting of its elongated historical and profound religious and mythological significance, Mathura, the legendary civic of holy shrines and sacrosanct kunds (water tanks) is also bequeathed with the sobriquet the ‘Athens of India’.
The term ‘Mathura’ literally means ‘the city of Gods’. Known as ‘Modoura’ by the Greeks and ‘Muttara’ by the British, Mathura, endowed with serene and composed ambience is held in high esteem by the followers of Jainism and Buddhism as well. The torchbearer of the popular Raaslila tradition and the patron of the great Mathura school of Art flourishing here for more than 1200 years, Mathura is a thriving center of many performing arts, fairs and festivals. Apart from that, this country of cows and cowherds is also known far and wide for its milk and milk based products such as ghee, butter, cheese, Kesharia Peda, Khurchan and so on. This ‘Janambhoomi’ of Lord Shri Krishna receives torrents of devotees all round the year, particularly on the occasion of Janmashtami.

History Of Mathura

As stated in the plaque discovered by the Archeological Survey of India and today placed in the Mathura Museum, the city Mathura finds its earliest reference in one of the oldest Indian epics; the Ramayana. According to Ramayana, the youngest brother of Lord Ram i.e. Shatrughna had killed a demon named Lavanasura here and subjugated the domain. The province receives its name after the name of a pious King Madhu (also an ancestor of Lavanasura) who had appeased Lord Shiva and obtained His trident in a boon. It is also said that due to the thick foliage around this area, this vicinity came to be known as ‘Madhuvan’ which over the years became ‘Madhupura’ and ‘Mathura’. It is supposed that Mathura was established by King Ayu; the son of King Pururavas and the heavenly nymph Urvashi and the appellation Mathura was coined after the name of a great Yadav king Madhu who ruled the terrain in 1600 BC.
According to the Mahabharata, in 6th century BC Mathura furnished as the capital of the Sursena Kingdom ruled by King Sursena and later his evil son King Kansa; the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna. Subsequent to that, Mathura changed hands between various dynasties including Maurya, Sunga, Indo-Greeks, Indo-Scythians (Shakas), Kushans, and so on. By 1st century BC Mathura was inhabited by the Jains while during the Kushan rule Buddhism was promoted. Under the patronage of Kushan Kings the art and culture of Mathura reached its pinnacle. Fa Xian, a Chinese Buddhist Monk who traveled to India in 4the century AD described Mathura as a centre of Buddhism while his traveling successor Xuanzang mentions in his travelogues that in 634 AD the city Mathura contained 20 Buddhist monasteries and 5 Brahmanical temples.
In 11th and 15th century AD Mathura was invaded by Mahmud of Ghazni and Sikandar Lodhi respectively who destroyed many Hindu temples of the city. Sikander Lodhi had even earned the title - ‘But Shikan’, meaning the destroyer of the Hindu deities. Later, the remaining temples of Mathura were devastated by Aurangzeb who built a mosque at the place which was believed to be the exact Krishna Janambhoomi. Later, Mathura was governed by Jat kings of Bharatpur and Marathas who revamped and restored the famous Keshav Dev Temple of Lord Shri Krishna. The British East India Co. took over Mathura in 1804 when the influence of the ‘Bhakti Sampraday’ was in full bloom.