The birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura is among the most sacred pilgrimage destinations in India for Hindus. From the 1st century BC to the end of the 9th century AD, it remained an important centre of Buddhism and Buddhist Art. According to one of the great Chinese scholars Huen Tsang who charted this land in 635 AD, there are 5 big temples, 20 Buddhist monasteries and 3 stupas built by Ashoka in Mathura. And over the years, some more attractions are added to this holy city.
Mathura has many tourist attractions primarily being the magnificent temples. And not just from India, tourists from outside the country visit here to offer their prayers as well. On the side of Mathura, the Yamuna River is flowing with 25 ghats lined. Locals and tourists during dawn take a holy dip and hundreds of diyas float on its surface during the daily aarti. Out of all the temples, the most important one is Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Mathura.
Mathura is a must-visit destination for everyone who ventures upon the Uttar Pradesh Tour. So, if you are planning a tour to Mathura, here is a comprehensive Mathura travel guide for you.
Why Visit Mathura?
If you want to pay your respects and explore the city where the divine love of Lord Krishna and Radha Ji resides, Mathura is a must-visit for you. Dotted with several temples and religious structures, Mathura is a serene spiritual destination that will take you back to the era of Lord Krishna. Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple is among the most famous attractions in Mathura and is believed to be the exact place where Lord Krishna was born. The prison where he was born is presently on display for visitors to see.
Apart from this, you can witness the marvellous architecture and learn the rich history of the temples and other tourist places in Mathura.
Best Time to Visit Mathura
Mathura is a destination that can be visited throughout the year. However, it is during the festivities that the true charm and elegance of Mathura can be relished to the full. The holy city sees a huge influx of tourists and pilgrims during two main festivals – Janmashtami (birthday of Lord Krishna) in August/ September and Holi, the festival of colours in February/ March.
Places to Visit in Mathura
Being the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura is dotted with several magnificent and architectural temples that lures tourists from all around the world. The most prominent temple among all is the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple. It is one of the holiest in Mathura. Apart from this, there are other major attractions in Mathura like Dwarkadhish Temple, Prem Mandir, Gita Mandir, Shri Krishna Balram Temple, Vishram Ghat, Kusum Sarovar, Govardhan Hill, Mathura Museum, Kans Qila, and Elephant Conservation & Care Centre.
Things to Do in Mathura
With so many attractions, buzzing markets, tourist places nearby, there is no dearth of things to do in Mathura. To start with, offer prayers at the prominent temples in the city. Take a holy dip in Kusum Sarovar, live through the history of Mahabharata at Kans Qila, and trek to Govardhan Hill. Apart from this, you can visit the Dolphin Water Park, witness the Lathmar Holi in March, pay respects at Vaishno Devi Dham, and shop at Mathura’s shopping markets.
How many days are enough to visit Mathura?
2-3 days are enough to visit Mathura.
Accommodation in Mathura
Mathura is a popular tourist destination in India and that is why there are a good number of hotels established here. You can get a variety of hotels offering decent amenities at affordable prices. Some of the famous places to stay in Mathura are Sheetal Regency Hotel, Divinity by Audra Hotels, The Mystic Palms, Hotel Spiti, Hotel Brijwasi Royal, and Centrum Hotel by Brijwasi.
Where to Eat in Mathura?
Mathura has a lot to offer when it comes to eating out. Mathura ka peda, makhan mishri, hing kachori and jalebi, milk, rabri, and lassi are some of the famous foods to try in Mathura. There are also plenty of street food options you can savour while on a walking tour in Mathura. For dining in, here are some well-known restaurants in Mathura -
- Brijwasi Mithai Wala
- Shankar Mithai Wala
- Dosa Plaza Divinity
- Sheel Gopal
- Dasaprakash Restaurant
- Taj Family Restaurant
Shopping in Mathura
Besides sightseeing tours, you can also splurge your money on shopping. Mathura has great options to shop for souvenirs, antiques, apparel, paintings, handicrafts, etc. From local marketplaces to malls, shop wherever you want but don’t forget to take some local yummy pedas home with you! Some of the must-visit shopping markets in Mathura are -
- Tilak Dwar Market
- Chatta Bazaar
- Lal Bazaar
- Highway Plaza
- Krishna Nagar Market
- Bengali Ghat
How to Reach Mathura?
Mathura can be easily reached by air, rail, and road. Agra Airport is the nearest airport to Mathura but only a few passenger flights operate here. The nearest commercial airport of Mathura is Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.
You can board a flight from any Indian or international airport to Delhi and then hire a bus, taxi, or train to Mathura. Mathura Junction is the major train station where you can reach major cities in India like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Varanasi, Lucknow, and more. Good connectivity of roads connects Mathura to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Moradabad, and so on.
How to get around Mathura?
The most convenient way to move around Mathura is to take regular tempos or auto-rickshaws. Both government and private buses also run throughout the city making your travelling easier. You can also hire buses that ply between Mathura and Vrindavan from Old Bus Stand. Private cabs, cycle rickshaws, shared autos, and car rentals are other modes of transport in Mathura.
Useful Tips for Mathura Trip
- Do not wear revealing clothes when visiting a religious site.
- Respect the culture, understand, and follow the instructions wherever required.
- Sun can be very harsh in summers, so make sure to wear sunscreen.
- You cannot cover all the temples in Mathura in a single day, so take it slow and explore one at a time.
- When planning a tour, you can club Agra, Mathura, and Vrindavan together.