Tourism: A journey to Mathura- the Braj Mandal of Radha and Krishna

The magic of Braj Bhumi in Mathura is unearthly, infinite and very captivating for us earthlings because this is the ‘Leela Bhumi’ of Radha-Krishna. It’s believed Radha-Krishna even to this day remain present daily in Braj. For having his darshan, the entire pilgrimage of India is located here. This is the reason Krishna devotees from across globe come descending down here to have the glimpses of the entire Braj Mandal. Let’s have a dekho of this sacred place in Mathura through this essay.

The beauty of Braj –Bhumi during the months of sawan and bhado remains exquisitely beautific. Fun and frolicking reign supreme in the air during this period. There are special functions held in each of the temples here where Jhulan, hindola, malhar singing, satsang- pravachan etc rule the roost during this time round. The festivities of Krishna Janmashthami and Radhashthami turns the place in the more magnifiedits forms and shape. This year, the sawan-bhado festivity will run from 4 July to 30 September. There is massive number of devotees and tourists to throng the place this year during this period of sawan-bhado.

Mathura- the birth place of Lord Krishna

Mathura has a very old history behind it. This is the assumption that in the 'Treta Yuga', the brother of Maryada Purushottam Ram, Shatrughna had killed the wicked monster 'lavanya' the evil incarnate and had established the sacred place known as Mathura. The importance of this place increased manifold after Lord Krishna took birth at 12 'O' clock in the night in Rohini Nakshtara in the jail barrack of king 'Kansa' some 5200 years ago in the Mallpura area. This place is treated as extremely sacred after the birth of Lord Krishna. The construction of the first temle was undertaken by the great grandson of Krishna going by the name of 'Brajnam' in the BC 80. In due course, after the caving in of this temple, Emperor Chandragupta Vikramaditya had built another huge temple in the 400 century which Mohammed Ghazni in 1070 had raged to ground later on. A third temple was built up by 'Jann' named architect during Maharaja Vijaypaldeo reigns in 1150. This temple was also raged to dust by Sikandar Lodhi.

During the reign of Emperor of Jehangir,the king of Orchha, Veer Singh Deo for the fourth round built a huge temple which was 250 feet in height. The blaze of its golden dome could be seen at the distance of 56 km away at Agra. This temple too was ravaged and caved by the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb in 1669. Jugal Kishore Birla established a Krishna temple trust on 21 February 1951 after which a massive sized temple was constructed. Bhagwat Bhawan is the main attraction in Mathura. There are 5 temples over here amongst which the Radha Mandir is the main one.

Other attractions at Mathura

Other chief attraction is the Asikunda situated Thakur Dwaricadhish Maharaj Temple where the Ashtayam pooja of thakur ji is performed with the ritualistic metods of Vallabh genre. The greatest and extremely invaluable ‘Hindolas of the country are that of Dwaricadhish Temple which are made up of gold and silver.

The number of olden ghats in Mathura totals to 25 in the midst of which is situated the ‘Vishram Ghat’ where Aarti is performed morning and evening. Here, the temples of ‘queen Yamuna’ and her brother ‘Yamraj’ are also located. In the front of ‘Vishram Ghat’, across the Jamuna is situated the ashram of Durvasha Rishi.

Besides the above in Mathura, the other main viewable places are:
  • Bhuteshwar Mahadeo,
  • Dhruv Tila,
  • Kans Kila,
  • Ambereeth Tila,
  • Kans Badh Sthal,
  • Pipleshwar Mahadeo,
  • Batuk Bhairav,
  • Kans Ka Akhada,
  • Potra Kund,
  • Gokarn Mahadeo,
  • Ballbhadra Kund, and
  • Mahavidya Devi Mandir.

City of temples- Vrindavan

The younghood of Krishna was spent in Vrindawan. This is a city of temples. There are temples in every home here. Entire temples are constructed by the king’s families. All these temples total to over 5000. The Takur Bankey Bihari Temple is the most widely recognised and revered temple among all the temples. Without the darshan of this temple, your journey would be supposed to be incomplete. This temple was made to appear in 1567 century by the saint Swami Haridas Maharaj. The most universally revered and widely recognised temples of Mathura are as follows:
  • Govinddeo Mandir,
  • Gopinath Mandir,
  • Madan Mohan Mandir,
  • Shyamsundar Mandir and,
  • Gokulanand Mandir (Sapt Devalyas).

All these temples were established on orders of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by his disciples. As per the old saying that goes, 4 times circling of the Damodar Temple is supposed to be the equivalent of saptkoshi rotations of the Giriraj Himalaya.

Besides the above temples in Mathura, the other huge and splendorous temples are:
  • ‘The Rang Lakshmi Mandir’ of the northern India- an emblem of the coordination of north and south,
  • ‘Radha Madhav Mandir’ (built by Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai, Mado Singh,
  • Radha Ballabh Mandir,
  • Krishna Chandrama Lala Babu Mandir,
  • Katyayani Peeth Mandir,
  • Imlitala Mandir,
  • Tarash Mandir,
  • Shringar Vat Mandir,
  • Meerabai Mandir, and
  • Krishna Balram Mandir are the main attractions of devotees thronging Mathura.

The vanshivat situated Gopishwar Mahadeo Mandir is relating to the Maharas of Krishna’s 16000 Gopies. In the morning of every das round, the same Shivalinga is decked up for worship in form of Gopi.

Vridavan during shrawan

During the period of Sawan, devotees from world over throng the place in huge number. The Shah Jee Temple built with white marble and the Terhe Khambey wala mandir is excquisite from the point of view of architecture in northern India. The temples located her of Madan Mohan Mandir, old Govinddeo Mandir, , Yugal Kishore mandir and old Radha Ballabh mandir are under the supervision and control of archaeological department. The ‘Prem Mandir’ built by Kripalu Maharaj is unique and and unparallel. This is located on Chhatikara road area spreading in an area of 54 acres.

Other viewable places and temples in Gokuldham are:
  • Nand Mahal,
  • Nand Rai Temple,
  • Koleghat,
  • Putna Uddhar Sthali,
  • Thakurani Ghat,
  • Raskhan Samadhi,
  • Chaurasi Khambha,
  • Brahmand Ghat

Gokul is the chief centre of the Ballabh community.

The Giriraj Govardhan

Govardhan is situated at a distance of 21 km to the west of Mathura-Barsana road. It’s here that the “Govardhan Parvat’ is located. Situated fromnorth to southward, the length of this mountain is 11 km and its height is 30 meters. People make rotations of this ‘Parvat’ every year round in huge numbers.

The most viewable places where the tourists within India and abroad throng the place in huge numbers are as follows:
  • The ‘Mukharvind’ of Govardhan Nath in ‘Govardhan’
  • ‘Manasi Ganga,
  • ‘Harideo Mandir’,
  • ‘Lakshmi Narayan Mandir,
  • ‘Daan Ghati Mandir’,
  • ’Gaurang Mandir’,
  • ‘the bjajan kutir of Sanatan Goshwami,
  • Brahm Kund’,
  • ‘Manasa Devi Mandir’, and
  • Chakaleshwar etc.

Other viewable spots near Govardhan are
  • Chandra Sarovar,
  • Mahasarovar Surdas ki Sadhana, and
  • The ‘Nirvan Sthali,
  • Parasauli,
  • Anyore,
  • Govind Kund,
  • Radha Kund,
  • Punchhari ka launn,
  • Jatipura,
  • Uddhav Kund,
  • Gwal Pokhara,
  • Kusum Sarovar, and
  • Narad Kund, etc.

Gokul- Mahawan

The childhood of Krishna was spent in ‘Gokul’ some 16 km away across Jamuna. Gokul and Mahawan are synonymous words. It’s in the Gokulnath temple where the main attraction of ‘Nandotsav’ is held. Here the ‘Jhanki Shobha Yatra’ of ‘Kanhaiya is taken out in the morning and the carry cot of Krishna could be viewed also. Besides, curd mixed turmeric powder (Dadhikanda) is thrown upon the Krishna devotees. The main viewable places in Gokul are:
  • Nand Mahal,
  • Nandrai Mandir,
  • Putna Uddhar Sthali,
  • Thakurani Ghat,
  • Raskhan Samadhi,
  • Chaurasi Khambha,
  • Brahmand Ghat, etc

This is the main place of attraction of the Gokul community. The bith place of aradhyani Devi ‘Radharani’ of Lord Krishna is located at Rawal- some 12km awy from Mathura on the Sadabad Marg.According to old stories that so here goes, she came over to live in Barsana after becoming the victim of atrocities perpetrated by Kansa. There is one centuries olden temple also of Radharani.

The ‘Barsana of Radha

The ‘Bal Leela Sthali of Radha in ‘Barsana’ is the heart of ‘Braj Bhumi’. Located on the Delhi- Agra Highway, this is 7 km away from ‘Kosikalan’ and from Mathura via Govardhan, it is situated at a distance of 47 km. There is a huge temple of Radharani here which is also known as ‘Ldali Mahal’. To have the darshan of this temple, the devotees have to climb 250 ladders. There is mela organised here on the eve of Radhashtami held here during the period Bhadra Paksha Shukla for duration of 4 days. Orchha Naresh had constructed this temple some 400 years back.

Nand Gaon

Nandgaon is situated at a distance of 7 km from Barsana. This is one of the 4 chief ‘Dhams’ of Braj. The most famous temple on the Nandishwar mountain ‘The Nandrai Mandir ‘ is situated here. This is also known as ‘Nandalaya’ or ‘the Nand Mahal’. There are the idols of Krishna, Baldeo, Nand and Yashoda installed here. The present temple is about 150 years old. There are the:
  • ‘Bhajan Sthali of of Sanaram Goshwami,
  • Kadamb khandi,
  • Tadag Teerth,
  • Nandishwar Mahadeo,
  • Dhoyani Kund,
  • Kadamb Ter,
  • Bhajan Sthali of Roop Goshwami,
  • Lalita Kund,
  • Vishakha Kund,
  • Yashoda Kund,
  • Hau-Bilau,
  • Madhusudan Kund,
  • Karharo Van,
  • Brinda Devi,
  • Kadamb Van,
  • Mukta Kund,
  • Uddbhav Kyari, Mohini Van, etc located here at this place which are the places of devotees importance.

The nagari of Balram- ‘Baldeo’

The Krishna Janm Bhumi is 22 km away from Mathura on the name of his elder brother ‘Balram’ known as ‘Baldeo’. ‘Bldeo’ is famous as ‘Dau Jee’ also. When Krishna had gone to Dwarica leaving Braj, Balram had become the king of Braj. There is one huge temple of ‘Thakur Dayal’ in Baldeo.The massive sized idol of Balram is installed in this temple. The blackish coloured idol of the wife of Balram, Rewati is also installed here near the idol of Balram. This temple remained untouched even when the Mughal marauders were ravaging and looting all the temples in the 16th century. Special ‘makhan- mishri bhog’ is offered in this temple. This is called ‘Dauji ka Handa’ .

Wrap up: The beginning of 84 kosh is supposed to be in Braj. In the Braj Chaurasi Kosh, there are over 1300 villages, 1000 springs and ponds, 48 forests, 14 Kadamb Khandias, several mountains, and Yamuna Ghat with numerous other important spots of tourist’s importance.

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Author: Ashish Kumar30 Jul 2012 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 0

Thanks for having pointed it out on time. That was due to an uploading error. Have completed the article properly now.

Author: K Mohan29 Jun 2013 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

My appreciation to the author for bringing out a nice article on various places of interest in Brindavan and surely every one who is visiting North India for the vacation shall pay a visit to Mathura too and this article can be considered as the ready reckoner on which places to visit there.

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