Vrindavan, also known as the Childhood Abode of Sri Krishna, is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Hindus.
The cities of Mathura and Vrindavan, dotted with temples and shrines, are frequented by tourists and pilgrims due to the spectacular architecture and the myths and stories associated with them. Lord Krishna and Radha Ji are the main deities in most of these temples.
According to religious texts, Shri Krishna spent most of his childhood here. For this reason, this city is a pivotal place of worship and pilgrimage in India. It is also an excellent destination for history buffs.
In this article, you will get to know about the following places to visit in Mathura and Vrindavan,
- Places to visit in Vrindavan
- Places to visit in Mathura
Let’s see each of these places in detail.
Places to visit in Vrindavan
1. Prem Mandir
Prem Mandir is a famous temple on the outskirts of Vrindavan that spans a massive complex of 54 acres.
It is devoted to the Prem or love between Lord Krishna and Goddess Radharani, as well as the eternal bond of love between Lord Ram and Devi Sita. Therefore, it is also known as the Temple of Gods’ Love.
This temple is also one of the most expensive in India. It took about 12 years for 1000 skilled artists to build it.
People also visit this place to witness its architectural beauty. The temple is 128 feet wide, 125 feet long, and 190 feet tall. A 73,000-square-foot dome-shaped hall, with a capacity of 25000 people, was added recently to the temple.
During the evening, the temple is illuminated and surrounded by a pious atmosphere. It is one of the must-visit destinations in Vrindavan and Mathura.
2. Govardhan Hill
Govardhan Hill is a small hill located about 22 kilometers from Vrindavan.
The name ‘Govardhan’ came from two words, ‘Gau’ meaning ‘cow’ and ‘Vardhana’ meaning nourishment. It is also known as Giri Raj.
Legend says that Krishna used his little finger to raise Govardhan Hill to shield his village of Mathura from violent downpours and thunderstorms. According to the Holy Bhagwat Gita and other religious texts, the earth of this Govardhan Parvat is an embodiment of Lord Krishna.
For these reasons, his followers worship the pristine Govardhan Parvat in the same way they devour Lord Krishna.
Worshipers travel to this hill to perform Govardhan Puja on Guru Purnima. It is a peaceful location that you can visit to attain salvation by surrendering your life in the holy lotus feet of Lord Krishna.
The hill is made of sandstone, is 80 feet tall, and has a 38-kilometer circumference.
3. ISKCON Vrindavan
ISKCON Vrindavan, also known as Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir, founded by Swami Prabhupada (the founder-acharya of ISKCON), is an iconic temple in Vrindavan.
He wished to build a temple for the brothers Krishna and Balaram in the same holy city where they played together centuries ago. ISKCON temple draws devotees from nearby places and from all over the world. The daily Aarti and Bhagavad Geeta classes held at the divine temple captivate visitors.
The temple’s presiding deities are Lord Krishna and Balaram, seated on the central altar. Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, and Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara, along with Lalita and Vishakha, are on the other two altars at ISKCON Vrindavan.
The temple is made of white marble and adorned with eye-catching stone pieces. Galleries of the temple house paintings of Lord Krishna depicting numerous playful scenes from his life.
4. Sri Ranganath Temple
Sri Ranganath Temple, also known as Rangji Temple, can be found on the Vrindavan-Mathura Marg. It is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, and Lord Sri Goda Ranagamannar, a South Indian Vaishnava saint.
The temple’s main attraction is an idol of Krishna in the form of a groom with Goda (Andal) as his bride.
Goda was a well-known 8th-century Vaishnava Saint who wrote “Tiruppuvai.” It’s a song dedicated to her beloved Lord Krishna and his birthplace, Vrindavan. Lord Krishna is said to have answered her prayers by agreeing to become her groom after seeing her devotion to him.
You can visit this temple and experience the spiritual charm of this place.
Places to visit in Mathura
1. Dwarkadhish Temple
Dwarkadhish temple is one of the best places to visit in Mathura. The temple, built in 1814, is very popular among the devotees of Radhe-Krishna.
It is located at the holy gateway of the city and close to the Ghats of River Yamuna. Thousands of devotees come here daily to pray to the supreme soul and attain moksha.
Magnificent architectural designs and carvings of Rajasthani architecture is the notable feature of the temple. A series of exquisite ceiling paintings depicting various aspects of the Lord’s life makes the temple looks more majestic.
The main deity of the temple is a black idol of Lord Krishna.
Now the temple is maintained by Vaishnava Sect Followers (founded by Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya) and serves as a hub for various exciting activities all year.
The Lord’s Idol gets housed inside a Hindola (a type of swing set) during the Shravan months. Holi, Diwali, and Janmashtami are the other important festivals celebrated here.
2. Radha Kund
Radha Kund is a popular tourist destination in Mathura. You can reach this magnificent Kund (lake) by taking the Radha Kund road from Mathura. The distance between Radha Kund and Mathura is about 26 kilometers.
It is located at the foot of Govardhan Parvat and is one of the most revered places in the entire Braj region or Brijbhoomi. It is famous for its pure and sacred water. It is a belief that this water contains healing powers.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna sanctified the Radha Kund and said that anyone taking a bath there would receive the blessing of Radha Krishna Prem. (the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radharani). Throughout the year, lakhs of devotees flock to Radha Kund to purify their souls and achieve ultimate “Prema – Bhakti,” or love for the one and only Lord Krishna.
3. Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple
Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple is present in the holy city of Mathura. It resembles the prison cell where Lord Krishna’s parents, Mata Devaki and Vasudeva, were imprisoned by his evil uncle Kansa.
This temple holds great significance for Hindus because, according to legend, this was the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
Aside from the prison cell, the Temple Complex contains several temples dedicated to the deity. The divine ambiance and purity of the temple fill the heart with immense satisfaction, joy, and devotion.
Sri Krishna Janmasthan Temple Complex houses the beautiful Keshavdeva temple, Garbha Griha shrine, and Bhagavata Bhavan. Janmashtami, Basant Panchami, Holi, and Deepavali are celebrated here with great enthusiasm.
Besides these temples, there are other structures such as the Ayurveda Bhavan, International Guest House, shops, a library, and an open space for performances.
4. Vishram Ghat
Vishram Ghat is a sacred bathing ghat located on the banks of the Yamuna. It is the main ghat of Mathura and connects to 25 other ghats.
According to religious texts, after defeating the terrible demon king Kansa, Lord Krishna rested here, earning this ghat the name Vishram, which means “rest.” For this reason, a pilgrimage to Mathura is incomplete without a halt at Vishram Ghat and the temples that circumscribe it.
The ghat is in the center, with 12 ghats to the north and 12 ghats, to the south. A beautiful show takes place during evening prayers and aarti. Pilgrims float oil lamps or Diyas on paan(betel) leaves in the adjacent Yamuna River.
Along with taking the holy dip, devotees perform other rituals and Poojas on this ghat. On the occasion of Bhaidooj, also known as Yam Dwitiya, the ghat attracts a large crowd.
These are some of the famous places to visit in Mathura and Vrindavan.
Both these cities attract approximately 10,00,000 pilgrims each year, primarily during festivals such as Janmashtami, Holi, and Radhashtami, and are known for their 5000 temples, both old and new, large and small.
The festive aura and a blanket of spirituality envelop the city, where the devotees bow in the lotus feet of Shri Krishna and Radharani, the one who eternally dwells in the heart of the Paramatma.
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