The twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan that are placed at short distance of 10 km from each other in the state of Uttar Pradesh, attract large number of travellers from the world over. The cities have a mystical quality about them being the birthplace of one of the most charismatic Hindu gods, Lord Krishna. The places abound with stories of his childhood and the related places of importance. Among the popular places to visit in Mathura and Vrindavan are the many beautiful temples dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna.
The cities of Mathura and Vrindavan are important on both historical and cultural grounds. The cities see many festivals being celebrated with much pomp and glory. The temples in the region are consisting of both ancient and modern structures. Here is a look at some of the top places to visit in Mathura and Vrindavan.
Krishna Balaram Mandir
An important place to visit in Vrindavan city is the beautiful Krishna Balram Mandir. One of the most important ISKCON temples globally, the grand structure of the temple is built completely in white marble. Built in the year 1975, the temple has Lord Krishna and Balram as the central deities of the temple. Other deities include; Radha Krishna , Gopi Lalita and Vishakha. The temple opens as early as 4:30 am and prayers go on to 9:00 pm in the night.
Photo Courtesy: Sahadeva
Prem Mandir Vrindavan
Another lovely place that travellers must visit in Vrindavan is the complex of Prem Mandir. The structure includes the temple as well as spiritual centres. The temple has fairly recent origins. Construction started in 2001 and took over eleven years for over 800 artisans to perfect the temple in the original Som Nath style. Completely made from marble, the temple is said to have consumed a whooping 30,000 tonnes of white marble. The main deity of the temple is Radha Krishna.
Photo Courtesy: Kuwar Online
An interesting place to visit in Mathura is the Government museum that showcases a variety of archaeological findings. Items displayed include; artefacts, pottery,paintings, coins, various sculptures, tools, etc. The building is also noteworthy for its architecture and well-maintained landscapes.
Photo Courtesy: Biswarup Ganguly
Among the tourist places in Mathura-Vrindavan is the Kusum Sarovar in Mathura. The tank is 450 ft in breadth and over 60 ft deep. The ancient tank has steps leading into the water from all sides and the water is good for a blissful dip. In the vicinity there is another tank that you can also visit called the Radha Kunj. A bath in the tank can be topped off with a visit to one of the many temples around it for the morning or evening aarti.
Photo Courtesy: Gaura
Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi
Considered to be the exact place of Lord Krishna's birth, the temple is built where the King Kamsa had imprisoned Lord Krishna's birth parents. The stone Garba Griha stands in testimony to the story. The site was excavated and many statues and artefacts were unearthed. Following this the place was gradually converted into the present structure of the temple.
Photo Courtesy: Nikhil Sharma
Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir
One of the most futuristic temple plans, the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir is said to be the tallest temple being constructed in the world. The temple plan is to recreate the forests of Vrindavan around the main structure that will cover an area of 5 acres and rise into the sky with an estimated height of 700 ft. The entire complex is set on an area of 62 acres and will see many festivals and occasions being celebrated once functional. The temple is speculated to be one of the most ambitious projects of ISKCON. The temple is expected to take five years for completion.
Photo Courtesy: Kuwar Online
Among the popular tourist attractions in Vrindavan is the Kesi Ghat. The ghat derived its name from the legend that Lord Krishna took a bath at this very ghat after vanquishing the demon Kesi. The scenic ghat has aarti conducted here every evening. A bath in the water of river Yamuna at this ghat is considered to be extremely holy.
Photo Courtesy: Os Rupias
Another key sightseeing place in Mathura is the Vishram Ghat along the banks of river Yamuna. It is the main central ghat in Mathura. Lot of rituals and offerings are specially made at this ghat. The Vishram Ghat is also said to be the place where Lord Krishna took rest after vanquishing the evil King Kamsa.
Photo Courtesy: Edwin Lord Weeks
Nandgaon and Barasan
Travelling across Mathura and Vrindavan during holi can be an unforgettable experience. In fact, a trip to Nandagan and Barasan neighbouring Mathura can be a great experience as the festival of Lath Mar Holi is celebrated. Going as per the legend that Lord Kirshna went to Radha's village and teased her along with her friends, who took offence and chased Lord Krishna with sticks. Today, men folk dressed as shepherds go to the village and in the Krishna temple play with the women who are ready to chase them away with their lathis or sticks!
Photo Courtesy: Narender9
How to Reach Mathura-Vrindavan
By Road: The cities Mathura and Vrindavan are well-connected by roads and public transport. Buses can be taken from various destinations such as Delhi (159 km) and Agra (59 km).
By Rail: The Mathura Railway Station is well-connected to major destinations in the regions.
By Air: The nearest airport is located in Agra at a distance of 59 km from Mathura.
Photo Courtesy: Rajkumar1220