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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular places for sightseeing in Mathura?

Rb Trivedi DEC 10 2012
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

With the spirit of bhakti in your hearts and radhe radhe on your lips, you embark on this spiritually enlightening journey to Mathura. Know how you can make the best of the place, by exploring these popular places to see, which you absolutely cannot miss on this trip. Take your pick from these popular sightseeing options below:

  • Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple Complex

    If you go to Mathura, you’re almost instantly going to realise the strong cult of Krishna Bhakti present in the air of the town. Not surprising since the city is famed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna. This mythic, historic connection is preserved in the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple Complex, a beautiful architectural delight with a constant aura of serene spirituality. The Garbhagriha is another fascinating element here, believed to be the modest prison cell where Krishna was born, hidden from the cruel eyes of his uncle, Kansa. One can also see the cruelties inflicted by Kansa on his sister Devaki and her 7 children before Krishna was born. The temple that now stands has been subject to several renovations and reconstructions, under rulers ranging from Chadragupta Vikramaditya to Raja Veer Singh Bundela or Orchha, though legend has it that the original temple was built by Lord Krishna’s great-grandson, Vajranabha.
    The temple complex is a particular sight to behold during the festivals of
    Holi (around March) and KrishnaJanmashtami (around August/September) every year, where devotees rejoice in the birth of their saviour and protector, the compassionate lord who was a constant friend to an entire clan of cowherds.

    Timings: 5am to 12pm, 2 to 8 pm

  • Bankey Bihari Temple (Vrindavan)

    Though not in central, main Mathura, the Bankey Bihari Mandir in Vrindavan is a must see on your visit to Mathura. This temple is just 12 km from the main city, allowing you to reach Vrindavan from Mathura in 40 minutes. One of the oldest temples of the place, it was built in 1863, though the idol here is believed to be much older. The idol of Lord Krishna is his childhood avatar, where bankey means “bent at three places”, and the idol is believed to be an amalgamation of Krishna and his favourite consort, Radha, appearing one in eternal unity before the eyes of their devotees. The unique feature of this temple is the fact that there are no conches or bells here and devotees only chant radha naam to please the lord. In fact, most temples here in Mathura-Vrindavan chant the name of Radha more than Krishna. As a result, the temple resonates a surreal sense of calm and bliss, unlike any other temple in the Mathura-Vrindavan area.
    Beware of the monkeys though here, especially if you’re wearing glasses. They’re quite quick to snatch your glasses from you and won’t relent unless you give them something to eat!

    Timings: 9.30am to 12pm, 7 to 10 pm (
    aarti at 9pm)

  • Nidhi Van

    A beautiful, serene garden in Vrindavan, this one epitomises the love between Krishna and Radha, as well as his companionate relationship with Gopis. The garden is also associated with Swami Haridas, to whom Lord Krishna appeared in his Bankey Bihari avatar as a result of his prayers, the location now known as Prakatya Sthal. A famous legend associated with the place says that the trees take on the appearance of gopis at night and Radha and Krishna play raas leela in the garden. Due to this belief, devotees are not permitted anywhere inside the complex beyond the night time aarti, which usually takes place right after sunset. Even animals and the usual pack of monkeys here stay away from the garden complex.

  • Goverdhan Parvat

    Legend surrounding Lord Krishna’s life believes that he once saves the entire village population of Mathura from torrential rains by raising the Goverdhan Parvat (mountain) with his little finger. These rains were caused by the wrath of Lord Indra and thus shows Krishna’s divine, miraculous characteristics.
    parikrama or circumambulation of the hill is believed customary and holy and is about 23 km long. It could take you about 5 to 6 hours to complete at a comfortable pace, but some devotees take even months to complete it when they embark on the famous dandavata parikrama. You could ideally begin your parikrama from the path that merges with the one near Radha Kund. This will enable you to return back to Vrindavan without taking a detour.
    Goverdhan Puja festival, right after Diwali in the months of October/November (according to the Hindu calendar) is a particularly auspicious time to undertake this parikrama and you’ll see several women offering prayers here at this time.

  • Radha Kund

    The myth surrounding this tank or kund suggests that after slaying a demon in the form of a bull, Radha asked Krishna to take dips in several holy rivers to wash off this sin. Krishna merely scoffed at this, stomped his foot where a tank emerged in which he took a dip to appease Radha. This is commonly known as Shyam Kund. She on the other hand, with the help of her female companions, dug up a different kund with her bangles and filled it with water from the holy Manasi Ganga. This kund remained hidden until Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu discovered it while travelling. Every year, the kund is emptied to show the original structure, also known as the Kankan Kund.
    Radha kund signifies the strong cult of devotion to Radharani in the area, where even greetings usually begin with radhe radhe.

  • ISKCON Temple Vrindavan

    One of the most magnificent and beautiful temples of Vrindavan, ISKCON temple was built by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The temple is popularly known as Raman-Reti and houses idols of Krishna and his brother Balaram, along with Radha with her Shyam Sunder. The temple complex is also the samadhi (final resting place) of the philosopher and founder of ISKCON, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a white marble tomb that pays respect to his life and contributions.If you’re here around Janmashtami in September/October or for Holi in March, be sure to visit this temple for the sheer air of enthusiasm and celebration.
    Participate in the various
    aartis and darshans here between 5am and 8pm everyday, though keep in mind that the temple remains closed between 12 and 4.30 pm every afternoon.

With a world out there to explore, all you need is a well-planned itinerary and the heart of a traveller, while you weave your path through the mythic and historic folds of the city. A memorable vacation awaits!

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