Listed among India’s most ancient city –Mathura is a plethora of Indian tradition and culture jumbled up with the relics from prehistoric times. Mathura is located in the western region of Uttar Pradesh, a jigsaw of never-ending lanes packed with scintillating shops, folks, and rickshaw. The city is a house of glorious temples almost all of which are dedicated to Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha. When you visit the city you can find places dated back to the times of the divine era, also Mathura being the birthplace of Lord Krishna attracts most of the devotees from all across the country. Mathura is also among the list of seven sacred cities of India. Lord Krishna was born around 5000 years back in this land of cultural heritage to Mata Devaki and Vasudeva in a prison cell; held captive by Lord Krishna’s maternal uncle Kansa. With its rich culture and affluent tradition, the city will capture your heart.
Top 8 Places to Visit in Mathura
Although it is very difficult to cover all the places to visit in Mathura and Vrindavan in two day, we have curated a list of tourist places in Mathura which you must visit once in your lifetime.
1. VISHRAM GHAT
Situated in the banks of River Yamuna is the Vishram Ghat which is one of the holy places to bath in. Vishram Ghat is the centre of 25 other Ghats in the city and also one of the prime ghats of Mathura. This is one of the best places to visit in Mathura except temples. It is believed that Lord Krishna rested in this place after he had killed Kansa.
The Vishram Ghat is now modified and an arch is constructed from Marble stone which makes the place look even more attractive. This is also one of the best places to visit in Mathura at night as the after the aarti is completed, in the river, you will notice small oil lamps floating which imparts a beautiful view to enjoy during the night time.
2. KUSUM SAROVAR
Situated between the Govardhan and Radha Kund is a huge tank named as Kusum Sarovar which dates back to the time period of Lord Krishna. Parikrama path is just adjacent to the Kusum Sarovar; this is one of the best places to visit in Mathura in 1 day especially for the residents of Delhi and Noida. The huge tank proliferates up to 450 ft in length with 60 ft depth; the cascading staircases are present on all the sides of the Kusum Sarovar. This is among the perfect places to visit in Mathura for couples as it is believed that the Kusum Sarovar was the place where Radha used to meet Lord Krishna while collecting flowers with the gopikas.
The place is filled with the Kadamba trees which are said to be the favourite of Lord Krishna. Not only had this but the structures from the 18th century inaugurated by the king of Bharatpur, Jawahar Singh surrounds the Kusum Sarovar. The ruler of Orchha first constructed an earthen pond which was further modified by Raja Suraj Mal who made a beautiful garden for his queen and later this structure was converted into the beautiful Kusum Sarovar by the son of Suraj Mal as a remembrance for his parents. The Kusum Sarovar is ideal for swimming which is why the tourists flock to this place to spend some quality time here.
3. BIRLA TEMPLE
The Birla temple is located on the outskirts of Mathura city on the road towards Vrindavan. This Temple is one of the most amazing tourist places in Mathura and Vrindavan road, which is also famous by the name Gita Mandir and the deity presiding in the temple is Lord Lakshmi Narayan. The most unique thing about this temple is all the 18 chapters of the great Bhagavad Gita are inscribed on the pillar surfaces of the temple.
The temple is the standing proof of excellent craftsmanship of the historic times, which looks magnanimous with the red sandstone. Along with the idol of Lakshmi Narayan, other statues of Lord Krishna, Lord Ram and Sita are present in the temple. This is one of the top 10 places to visit in Mathura where devotees from all across the country come to see the Chariot of Lord Krishna and also the Gita Stambh that has inscriptions from the Bhagavad Gita.
4. GOVARDHAN HILL
Giri Raj or Govardhan hill is nestled in the outskirts of Mathura city. According to the holy Bhagavad Gita, the Govardhan Parvat is considered to be as a form of Lord Krishna. Therefore, the followers of Hindu religion and the true devotees of Krishna go to the place just to worship the rock as Lord Krishna’s incarnation. The height of the hill is around 80ft above the ground with the circumference of 38 km, which is made up of sandstone.
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Krishna saved his village from fierce thunder and storm by hoisting the Govardhan hill with his fingers. It is difficult to cover all the places to visit in Mathura in one day, however, make sure you do not miss out on the Govardhan hills, which holds great importance in the Hindu culture.
5. SHRI KRISHNA JANMABHOOMI MANDIR
The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple is at a 4 km distance from Mathura railway station in one of the most crowded areas of the Mathura city, which is one of the best places to visit in Mathura India when you are keen about learning the culture and traditions of the Hindu religion. Known by the name Katra Keshav Dev temple, Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi just as the name depicts is the place where Lord Krishna was born. During the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya, the old temple was replaced with a new and a bigger one. Before Ghazni Mahmud in the 11th century destroyed this temple, the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi was known for its grandeur in the entire country.
Again in the 1150 AD, the temple was reconstructed by Jajja during the reign of Vijay Pal Deva only to be destroyed later in the 16th century by another Muslim ruler –Sikander Lodi. However, the temple again was rebuilt by Veer Singh Bundela during the reigning period of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. But to Aurangzeb destroyed it in 1669 AD and built a mosque and named it Jami Masjid. Talking about the structural plan of the temple, it is divided into three sections –Garbagriha (actual birth site of Lord Krishna), Bhagavata Bhavan, and Keshavadeva. The prison cell where the birth parents of Lord Krishna were held captive is now turned into a beautiful temple. This one of the best places to visit in Mathura and Vrindavan which beholds important history linked to Hindu mythology.
6. DWARKADHISH TEMPLE
One of the largest as well as oldest temples in Mathura is the Dwarkadhish Temple, which is situated in the banks of Yamuna River. This is one of the best places to visit in Mathura city. The prime deity of the temple is an incarnation of Lord Krishna known by the name Lord Dwarkadhish. Jagat Mandir and Nijar Mandir are the common names of the Dwarkadhish Temple. The temple is believed to be established by Vajranabha who is said to be the grandson of Lord Krishna. The meticulous architecture combined with the paintings and carvings all around the temple makes it even more demanded among the tourists.
Seventy-two pillars are holding up the five-storied building of Dwarkadhish Temple. Along with 2.25 ft tall idol of Lord Dwarkadhish made from shiny black rock, the main temple also consists of pictures of Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha. The statue of Lord Dwarkadhish is designed in a way having four hands with one holding a mace, one with a conch, the Sudarshana Chakra, and a lotus flower in the other two. The temple is now being managed by the followers of Vallabhacharya cult. Krishna Varaha temple and the Shweta Varaha temple are located close to the Dwarkadhish temple.
A town in the Mathura District, Barsana which is located at a distance of 45 km from the city is the birthplace of Lord Krishna’s beloved –Radha. Barsana is one of the best tourist places of Mathura which is also close to Delhi and visitors from Delhi often come to Barsana during the Holi festival. The place was earlier known by the name of Brahmsarin which is encompassed by bountiful green hills from all the sides. On the four sides of the hills surrounding the place, there are several temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha.
The Radharani Mandir among all the other temples is the most famous one which is often referred to as “Ladli Ji Temple”. The Lath Mar Holi festival is really famous in this place when the men from Krishna’s village go to Barsana to tease the women thereafter which the women chase the men hitting them with sticks and from here the name comes “Lath Mar Holi”. Also, Radha Ashtami is celebrated in the birthplace of Radha with great reverence and joy.
8. GOVERNMENT MUSEUM
The Government Museum of Mathura which is commonly known as the Mathura Museum is situated at a distance of 2.5 km from the railway station. Among the list of best museums in the country, the Mathura Museum is definitely included which deals with the archaeological relics. In 1874, the collector of Mathura founded the museum which is now one of the greatest leading research centres in the country, where the study is done on the archaeological stuff.
The building of the museum is designed in a way that forms an octagonal shape and red-sandstone is the prime building material from which the Mathura Museum is built. This one of the must-visit tourist places in Mathura where you can see the statue of standing Buddha, artefacts from the Sanga period and headless figure of Kanishka.
How to reach Mathura?
The nearest airport to Mathura city is the Agra Airport but very few passenger flights operate in this Airport. Therefore, the major airport connecting Mathura airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport of Delhi.
On the Central and Western Railways, the Mathura junction is one of the major junctions. Hence, visitors can board the train from most of the cities in India to reach to the Mathura Railway Station and the best part is almost every tourist place in Mathura is situated at an approachable distance from the railway station.
The network of roadways connect Mathura with almost all the major cities like Delhi, Moradabad, Agra, Bikaner, Jaipur, Kolkata, and most of the small towns of UP. Also, the Uttar Pradesh state government facilitates tourist buses all across the place for making commuting through roadways easier for the tourists.
Location Map of Mathura
Climate/Temperature in Mathura
The local climate of the place is steppe type with very little rainfall. The average temperature is maintained at 25.6° C. The summers are, however, unbearable with the scorching heat and with humid weather conditions it gets all the more difficult to visit the place. During the winters the weather is pleasant without the temperature dropping very low and the cold is agreeable and not torturous.
Best time to visit Mathura
The best time to visit Mathura is in between the months of October to March when the weather is blissfully pleasant and you can effortlessly take a tour around the city. However, Holi is also one of the best times to visit Mathura so that you can enjoy the unique traditions followed in the place. Also, a visit to the Barsana village is a must during Holi to enjoy the festival to the fullest.
Top 7 Places to Visit in Vrindavan
A holy town in the district of Mathura is Vrindavan which is among the most significant pilgrimage site of India. The place attracts thousands of Hindu devotees from all across the globe every year. Nestled in the Braj region Vrindavan is the place where Lord Krishna is said to have spent his childhood days. The devotees of Lord Krishna throng to Vrindavan so that they can get a chance to smear the dust of this holy land onto their foreheads. However, this sacred land was said to have lost over time and was rediscovered by Saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from Nawabdip in the 16th century. When tourists come to Mathura they are automatically pulled towards visiting Vrindavan as it is one of the best places to visit in Mathura. While you are in Vrindavan there are certain places that you must visit and so to make your trip easier and fun-filled we have listed a few places to visit in Mathura Vrindavan.
1. PREM MANDIR
The Prem Mandir came into existence in the year 2001 and the man behind the construction of this temple filled with elegance and splendour is Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj. The Prem Mandir as the name suggests is the “temple of God’s love” which is devoted to the love of Radha Krishna and Lord Ram and Sita as well. The Prem Mandir is one of the places to visit in Mathura Vrindavan in one day you should no way miss out on the serene and pious ambience that the temple serves with. When the Aarti takes place in the temple, nestled in the Brij area the Prem Mandir gets jam-packed with devotees not just from the local area but also the tourists throng to this place. The temple is renowned for its architectural excellence because of the intricate carvings donned on the white marble structure of the temple.
The main temple is mainly occupied with the idol of Lord Krishna and his admirers that portray most of the essential elements of his life. The one incident depicted in some of these statutes were one when Lord Krishna hoisted the Govardhan Mountain on his fingers, which is the main attraction point for most of the visitors; as the intricate crafting of the idol imparts a real-life feeling to them. The temple is further glorified by its lighting decorations that outshine every other place especially during the night. There is also a cafeteria located within the premises of the temple that serves vegetarian delicacies to relish. The building of the temple took around 11 years to complete and around INR 150 crores were expended in its construction.
2. RADHA RAMAN TEMPLE
This temple in Vrindavan came into existence in the year 1542. The man who was behind the establishment of this temple is Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. There are rumours all around the deity in the temple is self-manifested out of one of the Shalagram-shilas. If you are looking for places to visit in Mathura Vrindavan and Gokul you must take the Radha Raman Temple into consideration as by taking a tour of this temple you learn about some of the most intriguing things about Indian culture.
A crown placed near the idol of Lord Krishna depicts the presence of Radha as the temple does not contain an idol of her. The true devotees of Radha Krishna should visit this Radha Raman temple in Vrindavan at least once in a lifetime.
3. GOKULNANDA TEMPLE
The temple of Gokulnanda in Vrindavan is one of the oldest shrines that house multiple deities of Vijaya Govinda of Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Radha Gokulananda of Vishwanath Chakravarti, and Radha-Vinoda of Lokanatha Goswami. If you are a true devotee of Radha Krishna you must try and visit the Gokulananda temple at least once while you stay in Mathura.
4. BANKE BIHARI MANDIR
In the district of Mathura is the holy city –Vrindavan which is packed with various temples and places to visit that depicts the life history of Lord Krishna. However, the Shri Banke Bihari Mandir in the city is of much importance. The uniqueness of this temple is when you visit the place you will figure out the designing and structure of the temple is mainly based on the Rajasthani style. The edifice of the temple is embellished with arch-shaped windows and the artwork is simply intricate.
The childhood of Lord Krishna is depicted in the temple in which he is positioned in Tribhanga, which is simply marvellous to look at. One uniqueness after another, the premises do not contain any bells or conches as it is said that the lord wasn’t very fond of these sound-producing instruments. Chants of Radha Naam are performed in the premises of the temple that provides peace to the next level. This is one of the most renowned tourist places in Mathura Vrindavan which you should visit at least once.
5. ISKCON VRINDAVAN TEMPLE
The locals address the ISKCON temple as Sri Sri Balaram Mandir as well which is dedicated to Lord Krishna and his brother Balaram. The ideology behind the temple is of Swami Prabhupada also the founder-acharya of ISKCON who dreamt of building a temple for the two brothers especially in the place where they grew up together. The visitors and devotees not only from the nearby locations but also from faraway places come this Ratan Reti based temple of Vrindavan. The Bhagavad Geeta classes are conducted every day in the temple premises while the Aarti is done is magnanimous, which is one of the main attractions of the devotees who flock to attend the same. The three shrines in the temple are dedicated to Shri Krishna and Balaram, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, and Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara coupled with Lalita and Vishakha.
However, the deity presiding in the temple is of Lord Krishna and Balaram. The two idols positioned on the centre slab are carved in a way to depict the brotherhood between Lord Krishna and Balaram, while towards the right side their friends are placed too. However, the left side is occupied by the statue of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu along with Nityananda, and also Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is nestled along with his spiritual coach Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvasti Thakura. The premises of the temple are very hygienically maintained and the deities are adored in the entire Vrindavan. When you are looking for places to visit in Mathura and Vrindavan in one day do not forget to add the ISKCON temple to the list of places to visit.
6. SHAHJI TEMPLE
Shah Kundan Lal constructed the Shahji temple which is again dedicated to Lord Krishna. Chhote Radha Raman is one of the main deities in the temple. The temple is carved from marble which is shaped into 12 spiral columns reaching up to the height of 15 feet imparts a gorgeous appearance.
The hall in the temple addressed as the Basanti Kamra is decorated with chandeliers made out of Belgian glasses and the walls of the halls are adorned with meticulous paintings. The tourists and devotees flock to temple to admire its architectural beauty.
7. GOPESHVAR MAHADEV TEMPLE
Nestled in the Vashimat area of Vrindavan is the Gopeshvar Mahadev Temple and the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Gopeshwar is a feminine incarnation of Lord Shiva, which is said to have been derived from the tale when the Lord turned himself into a female to watch the Rasa dance. The idol is embellished with ornaments in a way that depicts it to be a female friend of Lord Krishna.
The devotees from faraway places come to visit the citadel in order to see the extraordinaire. The Peepal tree positioned in the premises of the temple is believed to be fulfilling all the desires of the devotees and also the Shiva Lingam inside the shrine is garnished with water from the holy river Yamuna.
How to reach Vrindavan?
The best way to commute to Vrindavan is to take the roadways once you have reached Mathura as there are no direct airports or railway station in Vrindavan itself. Also, there are no bus routes directly connecting Vrindavan you can make use of the bus facilities that run in Mathura issued by the state government to reach to the place. Otherwise, you can simply rent a cab to visit Vrindavan.
Location Map of Vrindavan
Climate/Weather in Vrindavan
The climate maintained in here is local steppe type. During the entire year, there is very little rainfall. The average temperature here is 25.5 degrees. April is the driest month of the year and June is the warmest. However, it rains during the month of August. The temperature drops to 14.7-degree Centigrade in the month of January.
Best time to visit Vrindavan
During the summer season, the temperature of Vrindavan is too high accompanied by high humid conditions, which makes it irresistible to take a tour of the beautiful place. During the nights, however, the temperature drops down and imparts a soothing effect after dealing with the terrible heat. However, it is suggested not to visit Dehradun during the summer season; you can plan a trip during the winters when the temperature is not too cold and just modest and perfect for taking tours all around the place.