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Mathura

Mathura has an ancient history. According to the Archeological Survey of India plaque at the Mathura Museum, the city is mentioned in the oldest Indian epic, the Ramayana. In the epic, the Ikshwaku prince Shatrughna slays a demon called Lavanasura and claims the land. Afterwards, the place came to be known as Madhuvan as it was thickly wooded, then Madhupura and later Mathura.[citation needed]

In the 6th century BCE Mathura became the capital of the Surasenamahajanapada.[1] The city was later ruled by the Maurya empire (4th to 2nd centuries BCE) and the Sunga dynasty (2nd century BCE). It may have come under the control of Indo-Greeks some time between 180 BCE and 100 BCE. It then reverted to local rule before being conquered by the Indo-Scythians during the 1st century BCE.

Mathuran art and culture reached its zenith under the Kushan dynasty which had Mathura as one of their capitals, the other being Purushapura (Peshawar). The dynasty had kings with the names of Kujula KadphisesKanishkaHuvishkaand Vasudeva I.

Places to Visit

Go & Enjoy Govinda Dev Temple

Govinda Dev Temple was a grand seven-story structure, with an altar of marble, silver and gold. Architecturally this temple is one of the finest in North India. A sculptured lotus flower weighing several tons decorates the main hall ceiling. It was built in 1590 by Raja Man Singh from Jaipur, a general in Akbar's army, who was inspired to do it after meeting Rupa Gosvami. It was said to have cost ten million rupees and several thousand men were working for five full years to complete it. Akbar himself had donated the red sandstone for its construction. In 1670, during the rule of a later Mughal king, Aurangzeb, it was plundered and destroyed leaving only three stories of the original temple. During this attack, when few stories remained, all of a sudden the ground began to shake violently and Aurangzeb's men were terrified and ran for their lives, never to return.

Temple is now empty and the replica of Govindaji is worshiped in the new Govindaji Mandir (located behind the original temple). The original Govindaji is worshiped in Jaipur.

The Deity of Gopinath worshiped in Radha-Gopinath Temple was discovered at Vamsivat by Paramananda Bhattacarya, who entrusted the Deity's worship to Madhu Pandita. On the altar are Deities of Srimati Radharani and Her sister, Ananga Manjari. Madhu Pandita's samadhi is next to the temple.

Gopinathji was originally installed in Vrindavan by Vajranabha, the great grandson of Krishna. When the Muslims raided Vrindavan, the original Gopinath Deity was taken to Jaipur. The Gopinath Deity in Jaipur and Lord Krishna are said to exactly resemble each other from Their shoulders down to the waist.

Jugal Kisore Temple (Kesi ghata temple) is one of the oldest temples of Vrindavan, completed in 1627. After Akbar's visit to Vrindavan in the year 1570, he gave permission for four temples to be built by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, which were Madana-mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha and Jugal Kisore. It is sometimes called the Kesi ghata temple, as it is located next to this ghata.

Go & Enjoy Mathura

Mathura is a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 50 kilometres north of Agra, and 145 kilometres south-east of Delhi; about 11 kilometres from the town of Vrindavan, and 22 kilometres from Govardhan

Go & Enjoy Vrindavan

Vrindavana and Mathura are the most important places of pilgrimage for devotees of Krishna. Krishna was born in Mathura and spent His childhood in Vrindavan. There are over 5,000 temples in Vrindavan.

The city of Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh, the nucleus of Brajabhumi, is located 140 km south-east of Delhi and 60 km north-west of Agra. Covering an area of about 3,800 sq. km., Brajabhumi can be divided into two distinct units - the eastern part in the trans-Yamuna tract with places like Gokul, Mahavan, Baldeo, Mat and Bajna and the western side of the Yamuna covering the Mathura region that encompasses Vrindavan, Govardhan, Kusum Sarovar, Barsana and Nandgaon (Nandagram).

The land of Braj starts from Kotban near Hodel about 95 km from Delhi and ends at Runakuta which is known specially for its association with the poet Surdas, an ardent Krishna devotee. A long line of picturesque ghats - with their steps leading to the water's edge, arched gateways and temple spires extending along the right bank of the River Yamuna, emphasize the sacred character of the town of Mathura. The birth place of Lord Krishna, Mathura is today an important place of pilgrimage.

Lord Krishna is the most popular person here. Every square foot of Mathura-Vrindavan is wrapped in timeless devotion to Lord Krishna, the eternal hero, the lover of Radha and the cowherd-prince. Mathura without Lord Krishna is like Bethlehem without Jesus. Welcome to Brajabhumi, Krishna's land.

To enable everyone to see the area in a traditional spiritual way, every year in Kartika (Oct/Nov) ISKCON puts on a Braja Mandala parikrama. This one-month walking tour goes to all 12 forests in Vrindavan and visits most of major places in the Braja area including Mathura, Radha Kund, Varsana, Nandagrama, Gokula, Vrindavan, and Govardhana Hill. It is traditional to do this walk barefoot, although shoes are permitted.

Hotels in Mathura
Hotel Ganpati Palace