Situated at the bank of the river Yamuna in the state Uttar Pradesh, the twin cities Mathura and Vrindavan are two of the most important pilgrimage places for the Hindus. These two cities are associated with Lord krishna. Mathura is the birth place for lord Krishan and Vrindavan is the place where he spent his childhood. With numerous temples the city makes you feel spiritual with religious surroundings. These two places have innumerable importance in Hindu mythology.
It is known as the birth place for lord Krishna and occupies a significant place in the Indian Art History. It is the place where the great Mathura School of Art flourished here from 1200 years ago. It was the hub of an incomparable culture and civilization and hence called the Athens of India. Its rich culture can be seen from its temple architecture and innumerable religious fairs and festivals. Today, Mathura is an important tourist attraction for religious and historic interest.
Pilgrimage Shrines :
Shri Krishna Janmabhumi - It is the birth place of Lord Krishna and a major pilgrimage place. A stone slab marks the original birth place of Krishna. Now there is a temple complex with a small prison where Lord Krishna is supposed to have been born.
Dwarkadhish Temple - It was built in early 19th century by Seth Gokuldass of Gwalior. Dedicated to lord Krishna, the temple attracts pilgrims from all parts of India for its numerous colourful festivals celebrated throughout the year.
Ranghbhumi - It is the place where Krishna killed Kansa and set his parents free.
Vishram Ghat - It is the most important bathing ghat along the river Yamuna, where Lord Krishna took rest after killing the
tyrant king Kansa.
Getting to Mathura :
By Air - The nearest airport is at Agra at a distance of 60km.
By Rail - Mathura Junction is an important railhead connected to all important cities of India.
By Road - The NH2 links Mathura to some of the most important parts of the country. Some major road distances are : Agra(56km), Delhi(147), Bharatpur(39km), Vrindavan(15km).
Vrindavan, the holy city is the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. It is located just at a distance of 15 km from the twin city Mathura and noted for its temples. Some of the major ones are :
Pilgrimage Shrines :
Bankey Bihari Temple - Built in 1864, the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and holds a strong spiritual
significance for Hindus. The prime feature of the temple is the black stone statue of Lord Krishan which was discovered by Swami Haridas the Krishan devotee.
Govind Dev Temple - This temple was built by Raja Man Singh a general of Akbar and is a mixture of Indian, Muslim and western architectural styles.
Rangaji Temple - Built in 1851, it is dedicated to Lord Ranganath another form of Lord Krishna. The prime
architectural features of the temple includes a Dravidian style gopuram or gateway, a 50 feet high gold plated Dhwaja Stambha. The temple also popular for its festival of Jal Vihar and the Rath ka Mela or the “Chariot Car Festival”.
Iskon Temple - It is today one of the most beautiful temples in Vrindavan. Built by the International Society for Shri Krishna Consciousness(ISKCON) is devoted to Krishna, his brother Balaram and Krishna's love Radhika. Near the temple complex is the samadhi of Sri Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON sect.
Getting to Vrindavan :
By Air - Agra Airport(67km) is the nearest one and is connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Khajuraho by regular flights.
By Rail - The city has its own railway station but the nearest major one is at Mathura, which is connected to all the metros and some other important cities by several express trains.
By Road - A good network of road links Vrindavan with all the major towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh and neighboring states.