Mathura-the birthplace of Lord Krishna is one city that most of us first heard of in our childhood. It was either watching a series on Lord Krishna or our grandparents telling us stories about natkat kanhiya, that imprinted the word Mathura on our minds. For every one of us, Mathura was a colorful place filled with numerous characters and life. And till today, the culture and tradition of this city never fade to amaze or attract tourists.
Hindus all over India consider Mathura as one of the holy cities (one of the seven). The cultural heritage of this place is laden with myths and legends. It gives several people hope that good always wins. Yet, that is not the only thing that appeals to tons of tourists that flock to this city every year. It is the numerous Krishna temples, religious places, tranquil ghats, local bazaar, and the small town of Vrindavan that attracts them.
If you plan to visit this city in Uttar Pradesh, make sure you are ready for a picturesque vacation that may change you for the better. Tick off this city from your bucket list and enjoy the tourist destination that you may never see again in any other place. In this blog, we will talk about a few things to do and see here, making Mathura a must-visit for you.
Things which make Mathura unique
The Lathmar Holi
One of the unique things about Mathura is the peculiar way of celebrating the festival of colors Holi here. In Mathura, people do not celebrate Holi with only colors. They play it with sticks as well, hence, the name lathmar Holi. A few kilometers away from Mathura are two towns- Nandgaon and Barsana, where a day before Holi, men and women play lathmar holi to celebrate this prominent festival.
It takes in the compound of Radha-Rani temple in Barsana. The inception of Lathmar Holi dates back to urban days. The devotees believe that on this day, Lord Krishna came to meet Radha and teased her. The women answer back with lathi to chase Krishna away. The people keep this tradition alive, and men come to play Holi with women, and they chase them away with laths. If one of them gets captured, they have to wear women’s clothes and dance.
It is a fun way to celebrate Holi, and everyone is enthusiastic about participating in it. If you plan to visit Mathura, visit it near Holi, and witness this peculiar but fun way of Holi celebration.
Krishna Janmastham Temple
Another sight that you cannot miss to witness is the beautiful Krishna Janmastham temple. The development of the temple is around the prison cell where Vasudeva and Mata Devki, the parents of Lord Krishna were held prisoner by his evil uncle Kansa. Since it is said to be the birthplace of Kanha, the temple is of utmost significance for all devotees.
There are quite many small temples inside the Janmastham temple complex. One visit here fills you up with serenity and divine love.
Giri Raj or Govardhan hill is only 22 km away from Vrindavan in Mathura. It is a significant symbol for all Hindus as they see it as a part of Lord Krishna himself. The story behind this hill is quite interesting. When Lord Krishna was a child, he saved his entire village cursed by Indradeva. The dev cursed the people with continuous rain, which wreaked havoc there. Kanha, who was only a child then, uprooted the Govardhan hill on his small finger and provided a shed to the entire village.
Even to this day, people worship the hill, and there is a pooja for the same. Visiting this during Janmastmi or Holi is a mesmerizing sight.
A tranquil place that will give you a sense of peace and happiness. Vishram means rest, and Lord Krishna rested here after killing the evil asur Kansa.
The ghat is vibrant with people, especially during the evening aarti when people float lamps in the Yamuna river. Also, you can take a boat ride to enjoy the silence of the river.
Radha Kund in Braj is one of the holiest places and a must-visit for all pilgrims who visit Mathura. It lies near another kund-Shyam Kund, and both of them are sacred. They signify the love and bond between Radha and Krishna.
Take the name of Lord Krishna! And enjoy the place where he was born some 5000 years ago. To experience the best of culture, be a local here and not a tourist!