Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mathura: An Introduction, Where to Stay, How to Reach

Ayodhyā Mathurā Māyā Kāsi Kāñchī Avantikā
Purī Dvārāvatī chaiva saptaitā moksadāyikāh - Garuda Purana

English Translation:

Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Haridwar), Kasi (Varanasi), Kanchi (Kanchipuram),
Avantika (Ujjain), and Dvaravati Puri (Dwarka Puri)
are the seven Moksha/salvation granting Holy Cities - Garuda Purana

Mathura - An Introduction

RADHE RADHE!

This is how the town had welcomed us. It had this timeless holy vibes affixed to it and there was something infectiously likeable about the place the moment we had stepped afoot on its sacred soil. The divine chant mixed with the tempo of ringing temple bells flooding our ears every other moment had instantly taken away all the weariness of a two day train travel bestowing upon us a fresh lease of energy and roving us to a state of holy bliss!

This was Uttar Pradesh, a northern state in India, where a small town infused with such level of divinity and piety does exist in reality – Mathura!


A mythic town of the olden days, Mathura is the birthplace of the most lovable, the darling of all Gods, the blue hued God of the Hindu Pantheon - Lord Krishna and aptly forms the heart of Braj Bhoomi (Brajbhoomi can be divided into two distinct units - the eastern part in the trans-Yamuna tract with places like Gokul, Mahavan, Baldeo, Mat and Bajna and the western side of the Yamuna covering the Mathura region that encompasses Vrindavan, Govardhan, Kusum Sarovar, Barsana and Nandgaon). A city steeped in historical tales, myths and legends dating many centuries back, it still retains relics of the same with its numerous historic temples and shrines very well holding guard its mysticism for any spiritual seeker setting foot on its holy soil.

Mesmerizing tales from this holy land find mention in many an ancient Hindu Scriptures like Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Bhagavat Purana and they all miraculously come alive in the narrow corridors of Mathura. Historical buildings stand in every nook and corner providing a rare glimpse into the past, their antiquity never failing to overwhelm you. Along with all the chaotic hustle bustle of the town, there is the serenely flowing Sacred Mother River Yamuna who has Her own charm and personifies the pious fervor of the city and its people to a great extent.


Lane of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Mathura - A land of mystical beauty

It’s a wealthy city - rich from the enthralling tales of a much-loved deity, rich from the age old cultures and traditions that it has long held on to, rich from all the antiquity of a distant past, rich from all the warmth and humility of its people and it willingly lets out all of it for You; the thirsty soul on a pilgrim trail.

You can hang around near the Yamuna River, pray quietly in its temples or watch sadhus and sages in orange stroll down the ancient alleys just as Krishna did many ages ago. Buzz, history, chaos, peace… it’s all here and anything you do or anywhere you go there is always something infectiously likeable of the place.

Every day is a festival here devoted to someone much adored and revered at the same time. Mornings start with people walking down to the Yamuna Ghats and taking part in the various rites and rituals. This is then followed by a visit to the many temples to pay reverence to their beloved God. Festivities peak during special days like Janmashtami, Holi and Diwali when the entire town gets draped with lively acts and performances depicting scenes from Lord Krishna’s life attracting pilgrims, historians and tourists alike to this intriguing city by the dozen.

Home to Lord Krishna and His many legends, Mathura today is a warm swirl merging history, festivals and chaotic fanfare; its currents drawing travelers from far and wide taking them deep in our ancient culture and heritage!

Mathura - Where to Stay

Mathura, being a popular pilgrim destination has a lot of options when it comes to stay, catering to all types of budgets and pockets.

However, beware of getting entangled in the rickshaw touts promising to get you to a good accommodation. It’s advisable that you do a search on the net and book one for yourself well in advance, especially if you are planning a visit in the peak months (Oct-Mar) or during the festival times. It’s always better to be well prepared even before stepping in the city rather than keep things for the last minute.

Recommended place of stay:

1. Jamuna Mahal Hotel

Situated off the main roads, the hotel is recommended for a peaceful stay in this rather chaotic city. The rooms are good and the bathrooms are fairly clean too.

Jamuna Mahal Hotel signboard
Jamuna Mahal Hotel, Budget Hotel - Mathura
Jamuna Mahal Hotel, Our place of stay.

Room of Jamuna Mahal Hotel, Budget Hotel - Mathura
Jamuna Mahal - Hotel Room

Rates: Rs. 1150/- for the 4 bedded deluxe room, shown in the pic

Address: Kampu Ghat, Mathura.

+91 - (0565) - 2406032/3296032/2504416

Other Hotel Recommendation:

Yamuna Palace Budget Hotel, Mathura
Shree Yamuna Palace Hotel in Mathura

Shree Yamuna Palace - Situated in the bustling bylane of Mathura, this one is a budget hotel and can be considered as an option for stay too.

Address and Contact nos.: Rajadhiraj Marg, Askunda, Mathura. 0565- 409990

How to Reach Mathura

Mathura is well connected by rail and road with major important cities in India.

Railway Station:  There are 4 railway stations in the city, the most prominent one among them being, the Mathura Junction connecting it to the rest of India.

Road Distances from Mathura: 
Vrindavan (15 km), Agra (56 km), Jaipur (218 km), Delhi (147 km), Bharatpur (39 km)

From Mumbai, the best way to reach the city is via the train. A convenient option would be the Rajdhani train that leaves Mumbai at 6.30 PM in the evenings and reaches Mathura at 9 AM the next day so that you have an entire day to explore the town.

Air: Mathura does not have an airport to call its own but one can still take a flight till the nearest city airport that’s Agra. From here on, hire a car or an auto to get to your final destination.

Getting Around In Mathura

The best way to explore Mathura would either be on foot or a cycle rickshaw which besides being cheap also lets you soak in the feel of the town at a leisurely pace. One major landmark of the town is Holi gate that acts as a gateway to the old part of the city housing the Vishram Ghat, the Yamuna River and the Dwarkadheesh temple.

Apart from the cycle rickshaw, one also has the option of auto rickshaws which are not metered. These should be used only for longer distances and are best dumped for cycle rickshaws while traveling within the city.

58 comments:

  1. @Arti Good evening.Just read your beautiful post on Mathura,Great to read it.Thanks a lot for the information & Photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So much info, that's brilliant and tells a lot about the place!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hail from the cow belt of Mathura so I need not write more in praise of this post:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I did a golden triangle trip from Jaipur to Madura and Agra. Loved Madhura. It just gave me goosebumps to see the place where Krishna was said to have born. There's this small museum of Avathars which do small and simple mechanical movements stuff just next to the temple. That's amazing too. Although I stayed just for 1 day I loved the place!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice ! I also wish to visit Mathura. Information about how to reach and accommodation is very useful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a wonderful tour you've taken us on, Arti, as always! Mathura looks like a great place to visit and your photos are the next best thing to being there! Thanks for sharing the fun! Hope you have a lovely weekend! Enjoy!

    Sylvia

    ReplyDelete
  7. thanks for the info...some day I might use it :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks like the most wealthy place you have posted, the hotel room is clean and pretty, too. The architecture seems like a mix of old elaborate and new.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Excellent piece of info.. Will keep this post as a reference for my visit to Mathura..

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would opt for the quiet hotel as an oasis, so that I'd be rested for all the wonderful activity taking place during the days. I would love to go there; thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I always feel peaceful accommodation in any holy pilgrim centre is critical to the enjoyment of the whole trip..Very useful info Arti...Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good information for the traveler!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very informative post as Mathura is on my wish list .Thanks for sharing.
    Have a lovely weekend Arti:)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very informative post. Interesting titbits on the place and useful information regarding accommodation.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's hard to know such info in Japan.
    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Strange how we sometimes just have to step foot in a certain place and we get an instant vibe. Great post as always, a perfect mix of interesting and informative.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've been to Mathura it is so nice! We tried to imagine how it would have been in Krishna's time! Our Yatra was filled with laughter and singing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi,Arti.
    Mathura looks like a beautiful place to visit. Thank you for sharing,Arti.
    Have a great week.
    Tomoko

    ReplyDelete
  19. lovely post ... you have indeed captured the beauty of this place with words that seem to come directly from ur heart.keep posting dear

    luv
    Satya

    ReplyDelete
  20. The beginning of the post is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your experience. My in-laws go to Mathura and Vrindavan 3-4 times a year and they always narrate beautiful stories. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. the post aggravated my desire to visit the pious city.

    Weakest LINK

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful post on Mathura. Unfortunately we located ourselves at Delhi and then covered all those places.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I see Mathura is a wealthy city. It must heal me if I visit there.
    Thank you for sharing the great city.
    Have a lovely weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Meticulous as always, aren't you? I will remember the tips when I visit it next time. The only time I have been there was a hurried trip clubbed with Agra and so couldn't explore it properly. Next time...

    ReplyDelete
  25. The divine chant and the ringing bells, that’s a nice and fascinating way to be welcomed. It’s like walking through history as I always feel on your blog. In the first photo, there are two girls wearing school uniforms like Japanese students, which is interesting.

    Yesterday my commenting to this post was unsuccessful. I’ll make it another try.

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sounds like a grea place to visit Arti! Hope your weekend is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  27. alright i've archived this post in my mail for future use :P

    thanks Arti

    ReplyDelete
  28. beautiful post
    like the pics

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'd love to visit the place someday! you described and photographed it beautifully...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Interesting that they still use rickshaws there. And those signs! I would never be able to read them.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I enjoyed my tour, it is like being there for real. You put so much into your posts, they are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks a lot for the information &photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks a lot for the information &photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Arti
    I watched a beautiful movie last night that was filmed in India - The Waiting City. It was a sensual smorgasbord of sights, sounds, smells. I loved the colors, the trains, the people, everything about it. I was reminded of you and this morning discover your comment left. Your photos similarly capture the sights and sounds of this rich city of Mathura. (I wouldn't know if it was fairly depicted, but I was mesmerized nonetheless). thank you for another informative post, an invitation to visit this mystical, historic place. What a treasure. happy day to you Arti. take good care now.

    ReplyDelete
  35. good to be reading ur blog, particularly a travel diary after a long time... good introduction on the city and its history... wish u a happy week ahead...

    ReplyDelete
  36. Had been to this place long back when we visited Agra.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Arti,

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful post of Mathura, looks like a wonderful place.
    Great information for people visiting your Country.

    Happy week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  38. I like the street scenes that you post, Arti, showing the hustle and bustle of these ancient holy places.

    ReplyDelete
  39. If I ever find myself in your neck of the woods, Arti, I will know where to stay! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. It really does sound delightful!

    ReplyDelete
  41. beautifully narrated travelogue on mathura

    i also travel thru your words

    thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  42. nice iformation ,, if any body visit there, he can hav your blog view..

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have a long pending desire to visit Mathure..specially now when my ma has taken deeksha from a guru there.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Lovely. Will try to visit next time I'm in the area.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hey Arti, very beautifully you have narrated, as always. Some really nice and useful information like the deceiving auto rickshaw guys. It will be so much useful for everyone planning to visit Mathura. Thanks a lot for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I learned a lot just by reading this post. Thanks for coming up with the most informative...and entertaining details re your trips, my dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Very good presentation,Arti.
    Your post is well informative
    and beneficial for those,who
    wants to visit Mathura first time.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hey Arti, Your pictures really bring the place come alive.
    Great going.

    EKTA

    ReplyDelete
  49. This post brought alive my memories of Mathura. It has been a while since I was there last. As always, a very complete and thoroughly enjoyable virtual trip. :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Well I just finished my tour of this city thru you going backwards with the blogs. You are so amazing and show so many details and great travel hints. Another city I am sure new travelers will want to visit that have read your blogs. I am such a homebody, but love seeing the world thru your camera and words. Thanks for a wonderful journey. Hugs Carrie

    ReplyDelete
  51. Beautiful post! Had gone to Mathura many years ago as a kid. After reading your post, feel like going again.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi. nice post. i am planing to go mathura in January 2013. I am a Fine artist. I love photography. For my photography i need your help that; i want to know which places i can go in mathura. Also How many days i have to stay in mathura. Pls suggest.

    Thanks

    Ravi Divawala

    ReplyDelete
  53. @ Ravi
    There is so much to see in and around Mathura. Vrindavan is also nearby as is Gokul and Barsana. I think if you want to visit every place at leisure then 7-8 days is a must.
    There are numerous Temples in the region all related to Lord Krishna. You can take the boat ride in Mathura. Just walking the streets will give you ample opportunity for photography!!

    ReplyDelete

Delighted u stopped by... Your suggestions, feedback are really appreciated. Thanks a lot! Hope you visit again!

If you have asked a question, please give me at least 2 days to reply back. Thank you :)

SHARE

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogger Widgets