Mathura is a small city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is a holy place for Hindus, Mathura is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, in Hinduism, and the place has many temples and landmarks dedicated to Lord Krishna. The city is regarded as one of the seven holy cities by Hindus all over the Indian subcontinent.
Mathura has a rich cultural heritage that is manifested by its popular landmarks preserved through hundreds of years. Some of the popular and historically and religiously significant places in Mathura are:
- Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple – A holy temple that marks the birth spot of Lord Krishna; Mathura’s most popular temple.
- Kusum Sarovar – an ancient tank of length 450 feet and a depth of almost 60 feet, surrounded by Kadamba trees and cenotaphs (also houses some tombs of earlier rulers here); and is believed to have been the place where Krishna’s beloved, Radha, used to collect Kadamba flowers from!
- Dwarkadhish temple – Another temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.
- Vishram Ghat – The most scared Ghat in Mathura (Ghat means a set of steps leading down to a river); It is believed that Lord Krishna rested here after killing demon Kansa, his uncle.
- Jama Masjid – Mathura not only has Hindu temples, but also has some historic and quaint mosques. This is one such popular mosque in the city, located at about 1 km away from Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple.
- Kans Qila – An ancient fort, believed to have been previously owned by and named after Kans, Lord Krishna’s tyrannical uncle.
- Prem Mandir – Yet another temple dedicated to Lord Krishna; name translates to “temple of love”.
- Gita Mandir – a temple with idols of Lord Krishna, and verses from Bhagvad Gita inscribed on it.
- Krishna Balram Mandir – a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and his elder brother, Lord Balram.
- Kokilavan – a popular temple, dedicated to Lord Shani.
Being a major religious centres Mathura celebrates many Hindu as well as Muslim festivals. Some popularly celebrated ones in the city include:
- Sri Krishna Janmashtami – Being the birthplace of Lord Krishna, this festival is the most grandly celebrated one here (in the month of August)
- Govardhan Pooja
- Radha Ashtami – birth anniversary of Krishna’s consort Radha
- Diwali (festival of lights)
- Ramzan – a festival of Muslims (where people observe a month long intermittent fast)
Mathura also has a couple of museums and galleries that have preserved and showcase its heritage and mythology in a beautiful way:
- Government Museum, Mathura
- Govt. Jain Museum
- Sri Krishna Chabootara
For people who love shopping, Mathura doesn’t disappoint. The city has many markets, malls and shopping spots offering various things like pooja items (items that are used for worship), eatables, handicrafts, accessories, and some amazing brass statues, that will look stunning as idols or show pieces! Here are some shopping spots to explore in the city:
- Tilak Dwar Market
- Chatta Bazaar
- Krishna nagar Market
- Bengali Ghat
- Lal Bazaar
- Highway Plaza Mall
- City Centre Mall
- SN Tower shopping mall
- Valley Plaza
Some popular local delicacies of Mathura include:
- Mathura Peda - a saffron flavoured milk cake, (usually with nuts and lots of ghee) popular in the city, loved by many people in different regions of the country
- Hing Kachori – potato stuffed fried snack, with asafoetida
- Jalebi – deep fried sweet (spirals) dipped in sugar syrup
- Makhan Mishri – Fresh white butter mixed with Sugar (Lord Krishna’ favourite)
Some popular restaurants to be explored, that serve these delicacies and a lot more in the city are:
- Shankar Mithai Wala
- Dosa Plaza Divinity
- Sagar Ratna
- Baskin Robbins Mathura
- Brijwasi Mithai wala
Mathura has some good hotels for a comfortable stay, such as:
- Hotel Lotus Grand
- Brijwasi Royal Mathura
- Hotel Nova Inn
- The Mansion Courtyard
- Madhav Muskaan Residency
- The Mystic Palms
- Brijwasi Lands Inn
Mathura STD Code – 0565 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Police Control Room: 100
- Fire and Rescue: 101
- Ambulance: 108
- Crime helpline: 1090
- Child helpline: 1098
- Women helpline: 1091
Hindi is the most spoken language in Mathura. But, languages like Urdu, Braj Bhasha are spoken as well.
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad
- Hello - Asalam u alaikum
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- Goodbye - khuda hafiz
- How old are you? - Aap ki umr kya hai?
- Congratulations - Mubarak ho
- What is this? - Yeh kya hai?