Krishna is one of the most loved gods in Hinduism and by the people of India. Owing to this factor, people consider it holy and auspicious to visit the places which are closely associated with the life of Krishna. Out of all the places, Vrindavan, Mathura and Dwaraka are considered the most important, as it is believed that the lord spent his life in these three cities.
Mathura is considered as his birthplace; Vrindavan, the place where he grew up; Dwaraka, the place where he lived as a king of the Yadu dynasty. Mathura and Vrindavan lie at a very close proximity from the capital city of Delhi; whereas, Dwaraka is in Gujarat. Due to its closeness to Delhi, the two holy cities attract large crowds from the place, especially, during the festivals of Holi and Krishna Janamashtami.
The holy town of Mathura is located at a distance of 200 km via Vrindavan and it would take one about 4 h to reach Krishna's birthplace via the Yamuna Expressway. The roads here are well-developed and well-kept throughout the highway; the expressway is one of the longest six-lane, controlled-access expressways in the country.
Best Time To Visit:
Both the towns are year-round destinations; however, the best time to visit is from October to March when the weather tends to be pleasant.
How To Reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is the Agra Airport which is located at a distance of 50 km from Mathura and 55 km from Vrindavan. The airport is well connected to major airports across the country, such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, etc.
By Train: Mathura Junction serves as the major railway station to both the cities, which is located at the heart of Mathura city and has regular trains which connect the place with major towns and cities across the state and to a number of them outside as well.
By Road: One of the best ways to reach the place is by road. The city has excellent connectivity by roads and there are regular bus services from major cities in and around the state of Haryana as well as from Delhi.
First Stop Vrindavan
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Vrindavan is the place where Krishna grew up under the love and care of Yashoda. Due to this factor, it is considered very holy for the devotees of Krishna and for the followers of Hinduism. The surroundings of the place perfectly showcase the playful and the warm-hearted nature of Lord Krishna. Situated on the banks of river Yamuna, the city is home to a large number of temples spread across in various shapes and sizes, which attract devotees from across the country.
1. ISKCON Temple
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One of the most popular temples in the town is the ISKCON Temple also known as the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir. The temple was built by the founder Acharya of ISKCON Srila Prabhupada; the temple complex also houses the samadhi of the former along with idols of Krishna and Balaram. The grand temple complex holds a very significant place for the followers of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna cult of devotees.
2. Bankey Bihari Mandir
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Bankey Bihari Mandir is yet another popular shrine here which is also part of the 7 temples dedicated to Krishna who is known as the Thakur of Vrindavan. Bankey in translation means "bent in three places" and Bihari translates to "the supreme enjoyer". Here the idol of Krishna can be seen standing in the Tribhange posture which somewhat resembles the alphabet S.
3. Prem Mandir
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Opened in the 2012, Prem Mandir is beautiful temple complex dedicated to Radha Krishna and Sita Ram, which was built by the Jagadguru Kripalu Parshit. Constructed entirely of pure white Italian marble, this two-storeyed monument has found its way to become one of the most visited places in the town of Vrindavan. One would come across 43 panels which are carved on the outer walls of the temple, which depict the various events from the life of Lord Krishna.
Destination : Mathura
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Located at a distance of 14 km from Vrindavan is Mathura, which is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The place is also located on the banks of river Yamuna and has a large number of temples in various sizes and shapes which attract a large number of devotees and tourists alike. It is said that Krishna was born in a prison here, when his parents Vasudeva and Devaki were held captive by his uncle Kamsa. One would come across various monuments and places here, which mark the presence of Lord Krishna.
1. Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Mandir
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The temple complex is built around the prison cell where Krishna is believed to have taken birth. The temple here is believed to have been built originally by Krishna's grandson Vajra who was also the one who constructed the famed Dwarkadhish Temple at Dwaraka. The temple is believed to have been destroyed and rebuilt at least 17 times since its formation; however, at present the temple is one of the most frequently visited shrines not only in Mathura but also in the country.
2. Dwarkadhish Temple
Dedicated to Lord Krishna, who shifted his base from Mathura to Dwarka to build his kingdom, Krishna here is worshipped as Dwarkadhish which in translation means the "king of Dwaraka". The temple here is believed to have been constructed in the year 1814 by Seth Gokul Das Parikh who was the treasurer of the erstwhile state of Gwalior.
3. The Ghats
Being a holy city and the river Yamuna adding further to its holiness, the town has around 25 ghats across the place and each of them has a long story to narrate about its association with Lord Krishna himself. Devotees consider it very auspicious to have a dip in one of the ghats as it believed to relieve them of all the sins they have committed.