Known as pilgrimage centres, Vrindavan and Mathura are a must-visit for anyone interested in spirituality and Hindu culture. Havens of peace and calm, the place provides a great experience, particularly during the festival of Holi.
The most famous sites at these two places are temples and all of them are equally worth visiting. Our travel experts bring you a list of the best places to visit in Vrindavan and Mathura in one day.
The Best Places to Visit in Vrindavan
1. Govind Deo Temple
The two things to admire about the Govind Deo Temple are the unique structure and the silver and marble altar. Built on a raised plinth, this temple was the most expensive temple in India at one point of time. It was constructed by King Man Singh of Amer.
The ceiling of the temple is decorated with the sculpture of a lotus. To get to the temple you need to pass through stunning flights of stairs. The best time to visit is during the festival of Holi.
2. Shahji Temple
The Shahji Temple has beautiful coloured paintings on the ceilings of the temple and statues depicting Raasleela inside the prayer room. The exteriors of the temple are built in western modern-classical style. The twisted marble pillars are great to see as well.
3. Seva Kunj and Nidhuban
The temple is historically known as the place where Lord Krishna came to meet Radha. The Ras Leela is performed here regularly and it is a great feeling to experience it.
The temple is built in typical Indian architectural style and it has around 1600 wild Tulsi trees depicting the Gopis in the complex. At the temple complex there is a tank believed to have been created by Lord Krishna for Radha Devi.
4. Banke Bihari Temple
This is one of the more crowded temples in Vrindavan. Most of the devotees here come on pilgrimages. It is best to go here to experience the local culture of Vrindavan.
From the time the temple opens to the time it closes, bhajans and prayers are chanted non-stop and devotees rush to the main idol to offer garland tributes. The best time to visit is during Holi when they celebrate the festival with festivities and colour.
5. Govardhan Hill
The Govardhan Hill is considered to be a holy place. It is rooted in Hindu mythology and many people come to visit this iconic place. According to ancient Hindu texts, the Govardhan Hill was lifted by Lord Krishna on his index finger to save his village and the villagers.
It is well known for its mystical powers and is made of sandstone. The best way to explore the place is on foot. On the way to the hill, there are a few food stores, famous for their kachoris.
The Best Places to Visit in Mathura
6. Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir
This place is believed to be where Lord Krishna was born. It often gets crowded and there is a huge queue to enter. Mobile phones and cameras are not allowed to be carried inside the temple.
Spend a few moments in prayer and browse through the decorative artwork inside the temple and then move ahead to the caves that are located nearby. There are many adorable paintings on the temple walls and the place had excellent tourist facilities such as a cloak room and clean toilets.
7. Prem Mandir
This stellar white temple is dedicated to Lord Radha Krishna and Sita Ram. Inside the temple, there are artworks and paintings depicting the life of the two.
When you go during prayer time, you can hear beautiful satsangs being sung by devotees. There is a canteen in the temple premises that services excellent home-cooked, vegetarian food.
8. Kusum Sarovar
Kusum Sarovar is a sacred place for Hindus and is situated on the way to Govardhanagiri. The temple here has stunning Rajasthani architecture and it is considered to be auspicious.
There is also an alluring sandstone monument that is great to see. Swimming in the lake is safe and you can even enjoy long walks around the lake.
9. Jama Masjid
Visit the Jama Masjid and have a glance at typical Islamic art. The mosque has outstanding minarets and marvellous carvings. Entry to the main sanctum is not allowed for non-muslims, but you can see the structure from the outside.
Don’t forget to have a look at the mosaic artwork on the exterior of the mosque. The Masjid was built by Nabir Khan, the Governor of Aurangzeb in 1661.
10. Dwarkadhish Temple
Yet another historic temple in Mathura, the Dwarkadhish Temple is where you can sit in silence in an awesome atmosphere for prayer. The temple looks stunning and is built using a true Indian architectural style.
This is one of the most colourful, artistic and beautiful temples in Mathura. Although the place is crowded, officials have made it easy to enter and exit the temple via a queue system. A great perk of visiting this temple is the delicious bhog offered to devotees and guests at the temple.
The Best Places to Visit Near Mathura
11. Kokilavan Dham
The temple is located close to Mathura in a town called Kokila. The place is rooted in history and is considered to be holy. The drive to the village is scenic and beautiful, you need to pass through 3 kilometres of a mountain to get to this place.
12. Dauji Mandir
The Dauji Mandir is located close to Mathura. The temple is dedicated to Lord Balarama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The shrine has three doors and inside the main sanctum you can see beautiful artwork on the walls and decorated idols of Lord Balarama and his wife, Revati.
These are the best places to visit in and around Mathura and Vrindavan. Yes, all of them are temples, but these temples are rooted in Hindu mythology and Indian culture. A must-visit for all, especially those who love history and spirituality and are looking to learn about Hindu mythology and traditions. You can hire a local guide, who will help you understand the tales and folklore about the temples for a better experience.
We would love to know about your experience in Mathura and Vrindavan. If you have ever visited, do tell us about your experience in the comments below.