Brajbhoomi – the land where Shri Krishna was born and spent his youth, has today little towns and hamlets that are still alive with the Krishna legend and still redolent with the music of his flute. Mathura, a little town on the River Yamuna was transformed into a place of faith after Lord Krishna was born here. Vrindavan, a village – once noted for its fragrant groves, is where he spent an eventful youth. There are numerous other little spots in the area that still reverberate with the enchantment of Shri Krishna.
City of Mathura
The City of Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh, the nucleus of Brajbhoomi, is located at a distance of 145 km south-east of Delhi and 58 km north-west of Agra. Covering an area of about 3,800 sq. km., today, Brajbhoomi 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.
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.
Shri Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was born in the Dwapara Yuga as the eighth son of the Yadava prince Vasudev and his wife Devaki. To save him from the murderous intentions of his maternal uncle Kansa, the ruler of Mathura, the infant Krishna was spirited away soon after birth to Gokul, the village of the gopas (cowherds) in Braj (their pastureland). It was here that he grew to manhood, in the tender care of his foster parents Nand and Yashoda in the happy company of the cowherds.
Places to visit at Mathura:
SHRI KRISHNA JANMA BHUMI : The Birth Place of Lord Krishna
JAMA MASJID : Built by Abo-inNabir-Khan in 1661.A.D. the mosque has 4 lofty minarets, with bright colored plaster mosaic of which a few panels currently exist.
VISHRAM GHAT : The sacred spot where Lord Krishna is believed to have rested after slaying the tyrant Kansa.
DWARKADHEESH TEMPLE : Built in 1814, it is the main temple in the town. During the festive days of Holi, Janmashthami and Diwali, it is decorated on a grandiose scale.
GITA MANDIR : Situated on the city outskirts, the temple carving and painting are a major attraction.
GOVT. MESEUM : Located at Dampier Park, it has one of the finest collection of archaeological interest. Rare items from the Gupta and Kushan period (400 B.C.-1200A.D.) are on display. Major attraction for tourists.
Not to Overlook – Excursions
Govind Dev Temple
Built in 1590 AD by Raja Man Singh of Jaipur. it is an example of architectural excellence of mediaeval India. Built in the form of a Greek Cross, its upper four storeys were destroyed during Emperor Aurangzeb’s reign.
The largest temple of Vrindaban, it was built in 1845 AD. The temple, partly in Rajput style and partly in south Indian style, precincts enclose a water tank, a garden and a.50 ft gold-plated flagmast. The walls enclose an area of 235.6 mt by 134.1 mt.
16 km. The town where infant Krishna was brought up in secrecy and home of his foster mother. Yashoda Maiya. The most important temple is Gokul Nathji. Gokul is particularly known for the festivals of Janmashtami. Annakut and Trinvat Mela, which are celebrated here in a distinct style.
56 km from Mathura. Home of Lord Krishna’s foster father. Nand. Important sites of the town are a temple devoted to Nand or Pan Sarovar. one of the four celebrated lakes of Braj Bhoomi, where, according to legend, Lord Krishna used to water his herd.
City of Vrindavan
Vrindavan, just 15 km from Mathura, is another major place of pilgrimage. It is noted for its numerous temples – both old and modern. The name Vrindavan evokes the playfulness and lovable characteristics of Shri Krishna. This is the wood where he frolicked with the gopis and tenderly wooed Radha.