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Things to do - general

"Mathura is the abode of Lord Krishna and it has a great religious sanctity among the Hindus. It also has one of the oldest historical records. Even Mathura is mentioned in the epic Ramayan. It is on record that Mathura was one of the capitals of Kushan King Kanishka(130AD)."

Mathura is a sacred city in Uttar Pradesh, northern India. The deity Lord Krishna is said to have been born on the site of Sri Krishna Janma Bhoomi, a Hindu temple. Dotting the Yamuna River are 25 ghats (flights of steps down to the water), of which Vishram Ghat is considered the holiest. Sati Burj is a 16th-century memorial tower. Dwarkadhish Temple has a carved entrance and a black-marble idol of Lord Krishna.

Mathura is a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Agra, and 145 kilometres (90 mi) south-east of Delhi; about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from the town of Vrindavan, and 22 kilometres (14 mi) from Govardhan. It is the administrative centre of Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh. During the ancient period, Mathura was an economic hub, located at the junction of important caravan routes. The 2011 census of India estimated the population of Mathura to be 441,894.

Mathura is believed to be the birthplace of Krishna which is located at the centre of Braj or Brij-bhoomi, called Shri Krishna Janma-Bhoomi, literally: 'Lord Krishna's birthplace' (Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi).It is one of the seven cities (Sapta Puri) considered holy by Hindus. The Keshav Dev Temple was built in ancient times on the site of Krishna's birthplace (an underground prison). Mathura was the capital of the Surasena Kingdom, ruled by Kansa the maternal uncle of Krishna. Mathura has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.


Mathura has contributed a lot towards Indian Culture through its rich heritage. The ethos of Mathura, and in fact the whole of Braj mandal is centered on Krishna and his tales. Mathura sees heightened activities during the major festivities dedicated to Krishna. The Braj culture has been expressed widely through various practices. Sanjhee is the colourful art of decorating the ground with flowers. Rasiya is a tradition that is integral to Mathura's culture. It is the tradition of folk-songs that describe the love of the divine couple Radha and Krshnaji. It is an inseparable part of the Holi celebrations and all other festive occasions at Mathura. (Dhulendi – Holi with drums (dholak), colours, etc. originated from Braj region hundreds of millennia before today.) Raaslilas of Mathura have become an integral part of Indian Folklore. Krshnaji had danced the Raas with gopis on banks of Yamuna river. Charkula is a traditional folk dance of the Braj. In this dance, a woman balances a column of deepikas on her head and dances to the accompaniment of Rasiya songs by the menfolk.


Mathura has an ancient history and also homeland and birthplace of Krishna who was born in Yadu dynasty. According to the Archaeological Survey of India plaque at the Mathura Museum, the city is mentioned in the oldest Indian epic, the Ramayana. In the epic, the Ikshwaku prince Shatrughna slays a demon called Lavanasura and claims the land. Afterwards, the place came to be known as Madhuvan as it was thickly wooded, then Madhupura and later Mathura.

In the 6th century BCE Mathura became the capital of the Surasena Kingdom.The city was later ruled by the Maurya empire. Megasthenes, writing in the early 3rd century BCE, mentions Mathura as a great city under the name Μέθορα (Méthora).It seems it never was under the direct control of the following Shunga dynasty as not a single archaeological remain of a Shunga presence were ever found in Mathura.Mathura may have come under the control, direct or indirect, of the Indo-Greeks some time between 180 BCE and 100 BCE, and remained so as late as 70 BCE according to the Yavanarajya inscription,which was found in Maghera, a town 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Mathura.The opening of the 3 line text of this inscription in Brahmi script translates as: "In the 116th year of the Yavana kingdom..."or '"In the 116th year of Yavana hegemony" ("Yavanarajya") However, this also corresponds to the presence of the native Mitra dynasty of local rulers in Mathura, in approximately the same time frame, possibly pointing to a vassalage relationship with the Indo-Greeks.

After a period of local rule, Mathura was conquered by the Indo-Scythians during the 1st century BCE. The Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura are sometimes called the "Northern Satraps", as opposed to the "Western Satraps" ruling in Gujarat and Malwa. After Rajuvula, several successors are known to have ruled as vassals to the Kushans, such as the "Great Satrap" Kharapallana and the "Satrap" Vanaspara, who are known from an inscription discovered in Sarnath, and dated to the 3rd year of Kanishka, in which they were paying allegiance to the Kushans.Mathuran art and culture reached its zenith under the Kushan dynasty which had Mathura as one of their capitals, the other being Purushapura (modern-day Peshawar, Pakistan).

Faxian mentions the city as a centre of Buddhism about 400 CE while his successor Xuanzang, who visited the city in 634 CE, mentions it as Mot'ulo, recording that it contained twenty Buddhist monasteries and five Brahmanical temples.Later, he went east to Thanesar, Jalandhar in the eastern Punjab, before climbing up to visit predominantly Theravada monasteries in the Kulu valley and turning southward again to Bairat and then Mathura, on the Yamuna river.

The city was sacked and many of its temples destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018 CE and again by Sikandar Lodhi, who ruled the Sultanate of Delhi from 1489 to 1517 CE.Sikander Lodhi earned the epithet of 'Butt Shikan', the 'Destroyer of Hindu deities'. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, built the Shahi-Eidgah Mosque during his rule, which is adjacent to Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi believed to be over a Hindu temple. In 2016, 24 people including 2 police officers were killed in the Jawahar Bagh clash, when the police tried to evict a large number of squatters from the public park.

state Uttar Pradesh,India
Country India
Area 3,709 km2 (1,432 sq mi)
Languages spoken Braj,Hindi,English
Currency Ruppee

Top Things In Mathura

Places to visits

  • Banke Bihari Temple

    Shri Bankey Bihari Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, in the holy city of Vrindavan in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.

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    This temple is among the 7 temples of Thakur of Vrindavan including Shri RadhaVallabh Ji, Shri Govind Dev Ji and four others. Bankey Bihari Ji was originally worshipped at Nidhivana. Bankey means “bent in three places” and Bihari means “supreme enjoyer.” The image of Lord Krishna stands in the Tribhanga posture. Haridas Swami originally worshipped this devotional image under the name of Kunj-Bihari ("Enjoyer of Lakes"). Krishna upholding the Govardhan mountain in the Tribhunga stance 'Bānke' means 'bent', and 'Bihāri' or 'Vihāri' means 'enjoyer'. This is how Kṛṣṇa, who is bent in three places, got the name "Bānke Bihāri". According to Śrī Brahmjaiasaḿhitā (verse 5.31), Brahma says the following about Kṛṣṇa: "I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with the moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jewelled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of love, whose graceful threefold-bending form of Śyāmasundara is eternally manifest."

  • Shri Krishna


    Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi is the main tourist attraction of Mathura. It holds a great religious significance.

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    It is believed that Lord Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudev at this place only where the temple is situated. The articles obtained from the excavation of the place stand testimony to that. Built in 1814, the temple is situated in the heart of the city. The architecturally interesting temple is located in the eastern part, close to Yamuna River. Lakhs of devotees throng the place during Janmashtami. Currently, the temple is being managed by the followers of the Vallabhacharya sect.

  • Mathura Museum

    Mathura Museum also known as Government Museum is one most-visited tourist place of Mathura.

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    Founded in 1874 by Sir FS Growse; the Museum houses sculptures, artefacts pottery, paintings and coins from in and around Mathura. It is also famous for the ancient sculptures of the Mathura School dating from 3rd century to 12th century AD. This was the time of Kushan and Gupta Empire. The Museum was earlier known as Curzon Museum of Archaeology. It is the best podium for those who want to do research work in the field of art.

  • Gita Mandir

    Gita Mandir or Birla Mandir is one popular tourist spot of Mathura. The temple was built by the famous industrialist Birla.

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    Entire Bhagvad Gita – the famous scripture of Hindus – is inscribed and illustrated on the walls of the temple. It also carries a beautiful image of Lord Krishna in the sanctum. There is also a Gita Stambh in the temple. Though it is located on the outskirts of Mathura but it is still one of the most visited tourist spots of the city.

  • Vishram Ghat

    Out of the 25 ghats in the city of Mathura, Vishram Ghat is considered to be the most important.

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    It is a bath and worship place on the banks of river Yamuna. It is believed that Lord Krishna, after killing Kansa rested on this Ghat. The traditional parikrama of all the holy spots in Mathura begins and ends at Vishram Ghat only. The ghat is surrounded by beautiful temples all around. The main attraction of the ghat is the Aarti that happens every evening. Thousands of small oil lamps can be seen gliding on the river at that time; creating a spectacular sight.

  • Govardhan Hill

    Govardhan Hill is situated at a distance of 22 km from Mathura.

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    It has been stated in the Holy Bhagwat Gita that according to Lord Krishna, Govardhan Parvat is not different from him. Therefore, all his worshipers worship the pure rocks of the hill just like they worship his idol. The hill is made up of sandstone and stands 80 ft tall with a circumference of 38 km. Some interesting places one gets to visit the hills including Mansi Ganga, Mukharvind, and Daan Ghati. History says that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill during his childhood on one finger to save his village of Mathura from fierce rains and thunderstorm. This hill is thereby considered holy and is visited by worshipers on Guru Purnima, Govardhan Puja in devotion by walking 23 km barefoot around the mountain. After Lord Krishna had saved his village, he told everyone to worship the hill which is why Govardhan Puja is a day after Diwali. It is a serene place, and definitely, a must visit!

  • Dwarkadheesh


    The temple was constructed in the year 1814 by the treasurer of the Estate of Gwalior, Seth Gokul Das Parikh.

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    The temple lies nearby Vishram Ghat. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Since Lord Krishna is also referred to as 'King of Dwarka', hence the temple got its name. Lord Krishna and Radha are the primary deities in the main shrine of the temple. The temple has paintings and carvings inside which give an ethereal look to the temple. Visitors from all over visit the place especially during the festival of Janmashtmi. The temple comprises of the deity of Lord Krishna which is composed of black marble and the idol of Radha which is made up of white marble. The temple is massive and has a main building which is large and covered with an entrance which is constructed in Rajasthani style. The entrance has sharp steps which lead to the courtyard of the temple. Many God and Goddesses are present inside which make the temple all the more attractive and exquisite.

  • Ghats, Mathura

    Multiple theerthams present here are well known as ghats with 25 of them present today in mathura.

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    Multiple theerthams present here are well known as ghats with 25 of them present today in Mathura are related to Lord Krishna. It is believed that performance of certain rituals here can get rid one of all past wrongdoings and hence is visited by numerous devotees. A visit to all 25 ensures a complete pilgrimage of Mathura.


  • Mathura Peda

    Mathura is well-known for its signature sweet, the Peda.

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    Mathura is well-known for its signature sweet, the Peda. It is a sweet, which is as delicious as it is simple. Made from Milk, sugar powder, condensed milk and ghee, it is available throughout the year. It is highly popular among the locals and visitors.

  • Dubki wale Aloo

    The Dubki wale Aloo is a thin curry made from Potatoes.

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    The Dubki wale Aloo is a thin curry made from Potatoes. Although spicy and tangy in taste due to the addition of many local spices like black pepper, chilli, cardamom, cinnamon and mango powder, vegetables like onion and garlic are completely avoided. The curry is usually paired with pooris.

  • Ghewar

    Ghewar is a sweet dish of Rajasthani origin.

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    Ghewar is a sweet dish of Rajasthani origin. It is not available throughout the year and is specially prepared only during the Raksha Bhandan festival, which celebrates the Brother-Sister relationship. It is made from flour and ghee and flavoured with cardamom and nuts like almonds and pistachios and deep fried in oil or ghee. Finally, soaked in sugar syrup and served hot.

  • Thandai

    Thandai is a drink that is served cold.

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    Thandai is a drink that is served cold. It requires a large assortment of dry fruits and nuts. Milk is the main ingredient which gets flavoured and sugar is added to give it a sweet taste. The drink is well known for its taste texture and smell and is served on special occasions to guests. It is very popular during the summer season as a soothing drink.

  • Kachori Jalebi

    Kachori and Jalebi is the most common breakfast combination eaten at Mathura.

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    Kachori and Jalebi is the most common breakfast combination eaten at Mathura. Both are fried foods. Kachori is a stuffed savoury and may be served with potato curry and Jalebi is a sweet dish prepared in sugar syrup. This pairing is available in a very few places outside Mathura and best enjoyed in one of the numerous Kachori and Jalebi shops of Mathura.



Things to do -  general

Famous as the birthplace of much loved Lord Krishna, Mathura is a city located on the banks of river Yamuna and draws flocks of Hindu tourists every year looking to visit the numerous temples in the city.

Devotees throng here to experience the pious beginnings of the Hindu God. The city has numerous small and big temples along with 25 ghats on the river Yamuna where people taking a dip in the evenings would not be an unusual phenomenon. Mathura was also once a Buddhist centre with around 20 monasteries, however, continuous attacks by Afghans and Mughals left the city in ruins. Most of the ruins are now preserved in the archaeological museums.


Things to do - nature

If you plan your trip around Holi or Janmashtami, indulge and experience the rich local flavours of Braj culture. Mathura is alive throught the day and night but is generally overcrowded with tourists during peak seasons.

Major attractions here are religious in nature and include certain sites in relation to Lord Krishna and his parents. Mathura attracts thousands of pilgrims especially on the occasion of Janmashtami (Krishna's birthday) in August or September and during Holi in March as Barsana's (a village in Mathura) Holi is famous worldwide. A trip to Mathura is typically coupled with a visit to Vrindavan, another town in Mathura district, where Krishna spent his childhood days.


Things to do -  Nightlife

The standout of the town's cuisine are its sweets and milk products. Pede, a form of sweet dish made from condensed milk, is a specialty here.

The standout of the town's cuisine are its sweets and milk products. Pede, a form of sweet dish made from condensed milk, is a specialty here. Other than these one must try Kachori, Jalebi, Chaat, Panipuri, Samosa, Dhokla, Aloo tikki and Lassi. One can also find delicious typical North Indian platters.