Mathura is one of the seven sacred Indian cities, known to have spiritual ties with Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Venerated by the Hindus from the world over as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura is also a renowned Buddhist destination. Besides being the sacred place where Krishna in human avatar spent his childhood and killed King Kansa, Mathura is also a revered Buddhist destination. Situated on the western bank of the river Yamuna, this destination is accredited for the earliest representations of Lord Buddha. The Buddha sculpture we see today is the contribution of Mathura and Gandhara School of art. Before that Buddha was referred in pictorial representations as the wheel of law or Bodhi tree.
The style of Buddhist visual art, also known as Mathura art flourished in the city from the 2nd century BC to the 12th century AD. It was also visited by Lord Gautam Buddha once in his lifetime. Even after his Mahaparinirvana, this destination successfully treasured its intricate Buddhist heritage and was dwelled by many monks. According to the travelogue written by the historic traveller, Fa-Hsien in 400 AD, Mathura held 20 Buddhist monasteries with about three thousand monks.
The Buddhist influence remained strong till the time Islamic invasions deterred the growth of religion and declined the Buddhist heritage of Mathura. But still, many Buddhists prefer to visit Mathura to observe the sculpted representations of Lord Buddha, which is the city’s remarkable contribution in the life of every Buddhist. Presently, Mathura tour for a Buddhist centers around the archaeological museum where all the rare artifacts are kept preserved.
Tourist Attractions in Mathura:
An archaeological museum, this forms the center for every visitor keen to find out more about the Buddhist heritage of Mathura. The archaeological museum here captures the journey and evolution of Mathura school of art based on which various sculptures of Buddha and other Bodhisattvas were modelled. The museum now features a huge collection of Buddhist sculptures and throws a light on the excellent artistry of Mathura school of art that got flourished during the Kushana rule.
The next prominent attraction of Mathura tour is Dwarkadhish temple. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this temple is one of the famous temples of the city illustrating the belief of Vallabhacharya followers.
Rangbhoomi in Mathura marks the site where the historic wrestling between Lord Krishna and king Kansa took place and the evil king was killed by his nephew. After killing the king, Krishna set his jailed parents free and reinstated his maternal grandfather to the throne.
Excursions from Mathura Tour:
Vrindavan has to its credit the sheer association of Lord Krishna and Radha. Around more than 5000 years ago, Lord Krishna used to rear cows, play flute and dance on the 'Raasleela' with the Gopis, highest among them being Radha. Due to the direct connection with Lord Krishna, Vrindavan is highly revered among Hindus. Many temples dot Vrindavan and form a favoured excursion from Mathura tour.
Located on the other side of River Yamuna, the holy village of Gokul marks the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood as a cowherd chieftain’s foster son and performed various miracles. It was at Gokul where Lord Krishna performed his naughty antics by stealing butter and played flute. Today, though a small destination, Gokul is highly revered by the Hindus, who come here and feel blessed by the spiritual presence of the Krishna.
25 kilometers away from Mathura, Govardhan is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna had protected the entire Gokul village by holding the mountain on one small finger from the wrath of God of Rain, Indra.
The city of Taj Mahal, Agra is an iconic city located closely to Mathura (52 km.) In fact, it is the most recognized architectural specimen of Mughal India. This medieval city is a home to splendid Mughal heritage and holds several historical monuments like Jama Masjid, Agra Fort and Taj Mahal.
How to Reach Mathura :
The nearest airport is at Delhi, 145 kilometers away.
The Mathura railway station is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and other major cities of I9ndia by a good railway network.
Mathura Tour, which lies on the National Highway number 2, is well linked with regular state bus services from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana.