Located in Uttar Pradesh, Mathura is one of the holiest cities in India that is visited by Hindus throughout the year. The city attracts many international pilgrimages as well who seek to devote their time to Hindu deities, Krishna and Radha. If you want to envisage beautiful religious structures and feel spiritual serenity, do visit the birthplace of Lord Krishna. We have shortlisted the best places to visit in Mathura that has a vast array of art and architectural sights.
Best Places to Visit in Mathura
Krishna Janmasthan Temple, Mathura
All the devotees of Lord Krishna are well aware that Krishna was born in prison. Well, this one of the best places to visit in Mathura is built around that cell where Lord’s Krishna’s parents, Devaki and Vasudeva were kept as prisoners by uncle Kansa. Being the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Hindu consider Krishna Janmasthan Temple very important. After you enter the temple, you will feel the purity and divinity of the place manifested by the Lord himself. The temple becomes more attractive during Janmashtami, Holi, Deepavali and Basant Panchami as many people celebrate these festivals on the temple grounds enthusiastically.
Dwarkadheesh Temple, Mathura
Yet another holy temple in Mathura is the Dwarkadhish temple which is popular throughout the country. This is one of the best places to visit in Mathura because of the elaborate paintings in the temple and architecture. Dwarkadheesh temple was built in the year 1814 and is dedicated to Lord Dwarkadheesh, another form of Lord Krishna but depicted in black marble idol. The temple is located beside the ghats of the Yamuna River. Besides paying obeisance, you can participate in interesting activities that take place in the surrounding areas of the temple.
Birla Mandir, Mathura
In the proximity of Vrindavan, Birla Mandir is situated in the Mathura Road and famously known as Gita Mandir. This yet another one of the best places to visit in Mathura is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage site. The temple is dedicated to an avatar of Vishnu named Lord Laxmi Narayan. Visitors visiting this temple often reveals that the temple architecture itself speaks about its magnificence and the paintings on the walls are grandeur. Birla Mandir was built by Jugal Kishore Birla to pay homage to his patents. The temple pillars have the entire Gita inscribed in them. You may find red stone carved by skilled craftsmen in the temple and the marble walls that holds gods and goddesses’ paintings.
Govardhan Hill, Mathura
Govardhan Hill is one of the places in Mathura that is more famously known as Giri Raj. The hill is located at a distance of 22km from Vrindavan. Govardhan hill or parvat has been observed in the holy book of Bhagavat Gita and Lord Krishna says that the hill is similar to him. Thus, all Krishna’s devotees worship the pure hill rocks just like they worship Lord idol. Govardhan Hill is made of sandstone and is 80ft high with a 38km circumference. Around the hills, you can visit other places such as Daan Ghati, Mansi Ganga and Mukharvind.
Radha Kund, Mathura
Beside Govardhan Hills, there a small town in Mathura known as Braja where you will find Shyam Kund and Radha Kund. These are the holy water tanks that lays near one another and are regraded as the supreme of every holy site. The water of the tanks is sacred and pure while the local belief it to be magical to heal people.
Kusum Sarovar, Mathura
Kusum Sarovar is an ancient green water pond that can be dated to Lord Krishna and Radha’s era. The entire pond is surrounded by a forest that has beautiful flowers such as chameli, Beli, Mallika, Cempaka and Juhi. People believe that Lord Krishna used to collect flowers from these forests to make a garland for his beloved Radha. Many pilgrims who want to visit the best places in Mathura surely visit Kusum Sarovar particularly to explore the magnificent architecture that surrounds the pond. In the walls of the temple beside the pond, you may find beautiful paintings that reveal Krishna’s life history and how he spent his life. The entire temple carvings are dedicated to Girija and the place is a perfect weekend getaway for couples who seek to spend time watching the sunset. For others, there is the Kadamb tree where Krishna used to play hide-n-seek with his friends.
Radha Vallabh Mandir, Mathura
Beside Gautam Nagar and on the cliff near Banke Bihari Temple, you may visit one of the seven temples of Thakur of Vrindavan in Gautam Nagar. This temple is sacred and the epitome of Radha’s love for Krishna. The temple displays the ‘Ras-Bhakt’ engraved on the walls. Although you may not find the shrine of Radha in this temple, a crown in her name has been placed beside Krishna that signifies her presence. The temple celebrates the birth anniversary of Sri Harivansh Chandra Mahaprabhu on the Radha Ashtami. Devotees all over the country gather to witness the legends and mystery the temple holds during that day.
In Mathura, you may find many sacred ghats that are attached to the holy Yamuna River. Among all, Vishram Ghat is considered a revered bathing ghat which is located around 4.5 km away from Mathura main city. Pilgrims find Vishram ghat as one of the best places to visit in Mathura because of its holy water and to perform traditional parikrama that can be started as well as ended here. In the evening, many forms of prayers and arti are offered to the Yamuna from this ghat. Devotees would float oil Diya on the pan leaf to offer their prayers to the Yamuna. Besides offering prayers, you can indulge in sports activities like a boat ride.
Government Museum Mathura, Mathura
Government Museum Mathura was previously known as the Curzon Museum of Archaeology. The museum is situated at Dampier Park and local people call it as Mathura Museum. This place holds some of the finest and rare collections such as ancient relics, paintings and coins. The Mathura Museum houses some of the ancient sculptures too that can be dated from the 3rd century BC to 12th century AD. Other than this, you may find discoveries made by archaeologists in Mathura.
Jama Masjid, Mathura
Besides temples, Mathura has the famous Jama Masjid that was built in 1661 by the Governor of Aurangzeb, Abd-un-Nabi Khan. The mosque has mosaic plastering and four minarets along with beautiful carvings that leave visitors spellbound due to its beauty. One of the prime highlights of Jama Masjid is the facade which has 99 names of Allah inscribed in Persian script.
At a distance of 8km from Barsana, Nandgaon is one of the best places to visit in Mathura due to its immense religious importance. Nandagaon is like a mini-town and located at Nandisvara hills. The place is flooded with Krishna-Radha devotees as it once homed parents of the Lord, Nandji and Yashoda. At the hilltop, you can visit a separate temple dedicated to Krishna’s father, Shri Nandji.
Bhubaneshwar Mahadev Temple, Mathura
Bhubaneshwar Mahadev Temple is an important Hindu temple located at Garravkendra in Mathura. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the Shaktipeeths where Goddess Sati’s ringlet fell after her body was burned to ashes. The shrine in the temple is unique and considered auspicious like other Lords Krishna’s temples in the city. The temple is one of the oldest constructions in Mathura and has Patal Devi Cave where King Kansa used to offer prayers.
Kokilavan Dham, Mathura
Kokilavan is yet another one of the best places to visit in Mathura that houses the Shani temple. Situated near Kosi Kalan, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shani Dev and his teacher, Barkhandi Baba. Since the temple is situated amidst a forest region, it is also known as Kokilavan Dham. Pilgrims would do a parikrama around the temple and take a dip in the holy pond beside.
Vaishno Devi Dham, Mathura
Just like the Vaishno Devi temple near Katra is famous for Ma Vaishno Devi Temple, Vaishno Devi Dham in Mathura is dedicated to the Vaishno Devi goddess. It is believed that the goddess offers boons to her devotees which is the reason this place is filled with pilgrims throughout the year.
Chamunda Devi Temple, Mathura
This temple in Mathura is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths in India. Located in front of Maa Gayatri Tapobhumi, this temple is believed to have a hair strand of Devi Bhagwati Jagdamba that fell in this sacred place. As per Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna had once visited Chamunda Devi Temple after he liberated a dragon. Interestingly you will not find the idol of the goddess in the temple unlike other Hindu gods and goddesses temples in Mathura.
Tilak Dwar, Mathura
Tilak Dwar is a local marketplace in Mathura that surrounds the Dwarkadhish temple along with Vishram Ghat. The name of the market has been kept after a Holy gate in the city. You may find many trinkets in the market such as rosary beads, brass statue, paintings, sculptures and handicrafts. If you are fond of hand-embroidered work, do visit Tilak Dwar.
Krishna Nagar Market, Mathura
This is another one of the best places to visit in Mathura and a high-end market of the city. Krishna Nagar is famous for branded goods sold in the market that includes Tanishq and Manyavar. Along with it, you may find many souvenir shops in the market, jewellery, leather goods and accessories. For foodies, Krishna Nagar is a boon as it has many street vendors offering exotic and traditional food.