Vrindavan Mathura

The cities of Vrindavan Mathura continue to hold great spiritual and religious significance in India. When the Kushan Dynasty ruled, Mathura was the capital of the Indian Empire. Lord Krishna’s father was a descendent of the Kushan clan and thus was settled in Vrindavan. When the Kushan ruler Kansa passed, he became heir to King Ugrasena’s throne. When Krishna was born in Vrindavan, he took great pleasure playing in the verdant forests of Mathura where he is said to have had many experiences that shaped his holy existence.

History & Religious Significance of Vrindavan Mathura

History & Religious Significance of Vrindavan Mathura
History & Religious Significance of Vrindavan Mathura

Vrindavan Mathura is the site of twin cities and one of the most important and holiest Hindu areas in India. Though Lord Krishna was born in Mathura, it is believed he spent most of his youger days within the ancient forested land of Vrindavan. Both centers are equally important in the Hindu religion and are both highly important Hindu pilgrimage sites. The holy Bhagvata Purana relates both sites as the backdrop to Lord Krishna’s religious teachings. Centuries have gone by yet both Vrindavan and Mathura reamin as important as they were during Krishna’s life, if not more so. Major attractions include several magnificent temples dedicated to Krishna.

Vrindavan

Vrindavan
Vrindavan

A peaceful experience awaits visitors in Vrindavan, just a few miles from Mathura. One part holy place one part quiet coutryside, Vrindavan has seen an influx of popular ashrams in more recent times, bringing far more visitors than before. Vrindavan’s oldest and most important temple is Madan Mohan Temple. It is directly tied to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a saint, and was constructed by Multans’ Kapur Ram Das. Banke Bihari Temple can be considered the most popular of all Vrindavan temples and is directly associated with Nimbarka tradition and the Swami Haridas. Sri Radha Raman Mandir Temple was built in the mid-16th century – it houses imagery of the deities Radharani and Krishnaboth extremely revered by Goswamis.

Sri Krishna-Balarama Temple was funded and built by The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), this temple houses an important image of Krishna and Balaram keeping company with Gaura-Nitai and Radha-Shyamasunder. 

Mathura

Mathura
Mathura

Set in Uttar Pradesh on the Yamuna River banks, Mathura tells a deep and rich tale of history surrounding Lord Krishna’s life: it is the basis of the famous Ramayana and one of the Seven Holy Cities of India.  About 3000 BC was Mathura’s most epic period,hosting a busy urban center ruled by the Yadava. Buddhist and Jain texts relate Mathura as an important teaching center in 6th century BC frequented both by Gautama Buddha and the last Jain Thirtthankara, Vardhamana Mahavira. Though Jainism and Buddhism have continuously thrived in Mathura, Brahmanism gained strength under Hindu rulers around 400AD. Through strong Buddhist roots, a host of stupas, monuments, and temples have been built over centuries and under several reigns in Mathura. Hinduism became an important religion during the period of 630 through 644 AD.

Keshav Dev Temple is most important in this setting; it was constructed over the prison cell believed to be where the Lord Krishna was born. The Mathura Museum boasts an exceptional archaeological collection of ancient sculptures that date back to between the 3rd and 12th centuries BC. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of Greco-Buddhist art in the world.

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