Mathura is a city steeped in ancient history and sacred significance. Revered as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, it holds a prominent place in Hindu mythology and attracts pilgrims and travelers from around the world. Mathura’s rich cultural heritage is evident in its temples, ghats (riverfront steps), and bustling markets. The city’s vibrant atmosphere is infused with devotional fervor and echoes of timeless stories.
Exploring Mathura offers a unique opportunity to delve into the spiritual heart of India, where age-old traditions, colorful festivals, and sacred rituals create an enchanting tapestry of faith and culture. Whether witnessing the grand celebrations during Janmashtami or visiting revered shrines, Mathura is a captivating destination that leaves a lasting impression on visitors seeking a deeper connection with India’s ancient roots.
These are the best things to do in Mathura in 2023
1. Visit the Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple
Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple in Mathura offers a profoundly spiritual and significant experience for devotees and travelers alike. Situated at the heart of the city, this sacred temple is believed to be the exact birthplace of Lord Krishna, making it one of the holiest sites in Hinduism.
Stepping into the temple complex, you are enveloped in a serene and devotional ambiance. The main sanctum houses an idol of Lord Krishna, and devotees offer prayers and seek blessings with unwavering devotion. The temple’s architecture reflects a blend of ancient and modern elements, showcasing the cultural heritage of Mathura. Surrounding the main shrine are beautifully landscaped gardens and decorative sculptures, adding to the temple’s allure.
2. Spend some time at Vishram Ghat
Spending time at Vishram Ghat in Mathura is a soul-stirring and contemplative experience. Situated on the banks of the sacred Yamuna River, Vishram Ghat is a revered ghat that holds immense significance in Hindu mythology and history.
At dawn, the ghat comes alive with devotees and pilgrims who gather to take a holy dip in the river and offer prayers. The morning aarti (ritual worship) is a mesmerizing spectacle, as lamps are lit, and hymns resonate through the air, creating a spiritually charged atmosphere. Boat rides on the Yamuna provide a tranquil way to witness the ghat’s splendor from the water. The riverfront is dotted with temples, ashrams, and ghats, each adding to the sacred aura of the place.
3. Explore the Krishna Janmasthan Temple Complex
Krishna Janmasthan Temple Complex in Mathura offers a captivating journey through the mythological and historical significance of Lord Krishna’s birthplace. This sprawling complex houses multiple temples and sites, each contributing to the city’s rich cultural heritage. The centerpiece of the complex is the Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple, believed to be the exact birthplace of Lord Krishna. Devotees flock here to offer prayers and witness the iconic deity.
Adjacent to the main temple is the underground prison cell where Lord Krishna was born, known as the Garbha Griha. Pilgrims can observe this sacred spot, surrounded by an aura of divinity and devotion.
4. Trek up Govardhan Hill
Trekking up Govardhan Hill is an exhilarating and spiritually significant experience in Mathura. This sacred hill, located in Vrindavan, holds immense importance in Hindu mythology, as it is believed to be lifted by Lord Krishna to protect his devotees from a torrential storm.
The trek up Govardhan Hill offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the Yamuna River winding through the plains. As you ascend, you’ll encounter numerous temples and shrines dedicated to various deities. Devotees and trekkers alike embark on this journey to seek blessings and immerse in the divine atmosphere.
5. Visit the Dwarkadhish Temple
Visiting the Dwarkadhish Temple is an awe-inspiring and spiritually uplifting experience in Dwarka, Gujarat. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus.
The grand architecture of the temple, adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, reflects the richness of Indian heritage. The main shrine houses a magnificent idol of Lord Krishna in his divine form, captivating devotees with its divine presence. The temple’s sanctum exudes an aura of devotion and reverence, drawing pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. The rhythmic chants and devotional hymns add to the spiritual ambiance, creating a divine atmosphere within the temple premises.
6. Visit the Radha Kund
This sacred water tank is intimately associated with the divine love of Lord Krishna and his eternal consort, Radha. According to Hindu mythology, Radha Kund is the site where Radha and Krishna performed their divine pastimes and shared their divine love. It is believed that taking a dip in these holy waters cleanses one’s sins and brings about spiritual purification.
The tranquil atmosphere around Radha Kund is dotted with temples and ghats, each resonating with devotion and reverence. The surrounding lush greenery adds to the serene ambiance, inviting visitors to meditate and seek inner peace.
7. Visit Mathura Museum
Located in the heart of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, this museum is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts and sculptures that date back to the Mauryan, Kushan, and Gupta periods. The museum houses an impressive collection of sculptures, terracotta figurines, coins, pottery, and ancient inscriptions. These artifacts provide valuable insights into the artistic and cultural evolution of Mathura and the surrounding regions.
Among the highlights is the famous “Yaksha” statue, an exquisite piece of ancient artistry. The museum’s galleries are arranged chronologically, offering a comprehensive understanding of the region’s historical development.
8. Celebrate Lathmar Holi
Celebrating Lathmar Holi is an exhilarating and unique experience in the town of Barsana, near Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Lathmar Holi is a special version of the festival of colors, where women playfully beat men with sticks (called lathis) as a mock reenactment of Lord Krishna’s playful teasing of Radha and her friends.
The festival takes place a few days before the main Holi celebrations, and the atmosphere is filled with joy, laughter, and vibrant colors. Women dress in traditional attire and carry brightly colored sticks, while men playfully try to shield themselves from the “attacks.” The colorful festivities are accompanied by music, dance, and folk songs, creating an electrifying ambiance that is both entertaining and culturally significant.
The beauty of Mathura lies in its deep spiritual significance and rich historical heritage. As the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura exudes a divine aura that is felt in its temples, ghats, and sacred sites. The city’s streets are adorned with colorful decorations, and the air is filled with the melodious sound of bhajans (devotional songs) and temple bells.
The Yamuna River flowing through Mathura adds to its charm, providing picturesque ghats for devotees to take holy dips and offer prayers. The sunrise and sunset views along the riverfront are breathtaking and create a serene atmosphere.
See Also: Things to do in Vrindavan