Dotted with temples and beautiful religious structures, Mathura is one of India’s most popular and serene spiritual destinations as it is considered the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Mathura has a rich history that can be seen through the architecture and vast array of art on offer.
While it’s best to visit during a festival to see the true magic of this city, it makes for a good holiday from October to March. Apart from religious sites, there is the Yamuna River to enjoy as well as markets to visit. Here is a mix of some of the best places to visit in Mathura.
The Best Religious Places to Visit in Mathura
1. Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple
The temple is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Shri Krishna and it is considered the holiest place in Mathura. Other attractions here are a marble statue of Lord Krishna as well as small shrines of various Gods and Goddesses. To see the place at its best, try to visit it during one of the major festivals such as Diwali or Holi. Celebrations begin during mid-night with the birth of Bhagwan.
- Address: Near Deeg Gate Chouraha, Janam Bhumi, Mathura
- Traveller Tip: If here for a day, you can stop at Mathura Junction Railway Station and take an auto or cab as this temple is located 4 kilometres away.
- Timings: 5 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 8.30 pm
2. Dwarkadhish Temple
Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the temple is a must visit for its beauty and architecture. The entrance boasts of Rajasthani style architecture with an open courtyard in the centre as well as beautifully carved pillars and a stunning painted ceiling.
The temple is also known for its amazing swing festival at the start of the monsoons. Keep in mind that if you visit during the festive season of Janmashtami you will see the temple at its best, though it can get a little crowded.
- Address: Naya Bazaar, Mathura, India
- Traveller Tip: Don’t miss spotting the black marble idol of Lord Dwarkadhish and white marble idol of Radha.
- Timings: 6.30 am to 10.30 am and 4 pm to 7 pm
3. Gita Mandir
Also known as the Birla Mandir, this is a popular attraction thanks to its beautiful structures and heritage. One of the main sights is the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita inscribed and illustrated on the pillars of the temple.
The red sandstone structure has a lot of intricate carvings and although it is located on the outskirts of Mathura, it is still one of the most visited tourist spots of the city. Here you can also find idols of Lord Krishna, Narayana, Rama, Goddess Lakshmi, and Sita.
- Address: Main Vrindavana to Mathura Road
- Traveller Tip: If you are interested in Hinduism and architecture, then make sure to add this to your itinerary.
- Timings: 6 am to 7 pm
4. Vishram Ghat
Out of the 25 ghats Mathura has to offer, Vishram Ghat, the bath and worshipping spot on the banks of the river Yamuna, is the most important one as it is believed that Lord Krishna rested on this Ghat after killing Kansa.
It is made up of marble stone, with a large stone arch and is surrounded by beautiful temples, which offers a stunning view. The highlight here are the thousands of small oil lamps floating down the river that can be seen during the evening aarti.
- Address: Banks of River Yamuna, Mathura
- Traveller Tip: The best time to visit is during the evening aarti. And you can also enjoy the scenic view of the temple by taking a boat ride at the ghat.
- Timings: Aarti 7 pm to 7.15 pm (during summer) and 6.45 pm to 7 pm (during winter)
5. Kusum Sarovar
This is the place where Radha used to collect flowers and meet Lord Krishna. Apart from its religious significance, this reservoir is a popular day spot for tourists visiting Mathura. Kusum Sarovar is 450 feet long and 60 feet deep which makes it a great spot for a swim as well.
The beautiful surroundings and serene atmosphere offer tourists a complete getaway and don’t forget to pack your camera as the views here are stunning.
- Address: Radha Kunj, Mathura
- Traveller Tip: A big attraction here is the evening aarti as well as the paintings in the tombs. Don’t forget to look up as the ceiling offers some stunning artwork as well.
- Timings: Open 24 hours
6. Govardhan Hill
Situated close to the Vrindavan, Govardhan Hill is a popular location for devotees and tourists alike. The hill itself is mentioned in ancient Hindu text and it is believed that it was one lifted by Lord Krishna to defeat Indra – the god of rain and thunder.
Apart from its spiritual significance, the sandstone hill stands 80 feet tall, and offers stunning views of natural beauty. There are also some art works on display, so don’t forget to take a walk around.
- Address: Near Vrindavan, Mathura,
- Traveller Tip: We suggest you head there around sunset to enjoy the best scenery.
- Timings: 7 am to 7 pm
Places of Scientific and Cultural Significance in Mathura
7. Mathura Museum
Built in the year 1874, the museum is also known as the Government Museum, and boasts of a large collection of sculptures, pottery, paintings, artefacts, coins (in gold, silver and copper) and lots more from Mathura and the neighbouring areas.
The museum itself, built out of red sandstone, has some stunning architecture and it’s an ideal attraction for those who are interested in art. You will find it buzzing through the year with students and tourists alike.
- Address: Near Dampier Park, Mathura
- Traveller Tip: Make sure to look out for the statues of the headless figure of Kanishka, standing Buddha and mother goddess. They are truly breathtaking.
- Timings: 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays, second Saturdays and on national holidays.
8. Elephant Conservation & Care Centre
Wildlife SOS and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department joined hands in 2010 to start a rehabilitation centre for severely abused captive elephants. Every elephant here has its own story of an earlier life of hardship, but here, you can watch the elephants spend their days happily – eating, walking around and best of all, splashing around during bath time.
A truly unique experience, you will walk away learning about and be appreciating these majestic creatures.
- Address: Near Sachdeva Institute of Technology, NH-2, Farah, Mathura
- Traveller Tip: You need to arrange the visit prior to your arrival, so make sure to contact them in advance.
- Timings: You can visit through the year in the day
9. Kans Qila
Another major attraction in Mathura is Kans Qila or Kans Fort. It is named after Lord Krishna’s maternal uncle and is located on the banks of the river Yamuna. Apart from its holy significance, the fort is a regal piece of architecture and shows off Hindu and Muslim structural influences.
- Address: Near Krishna Ganga Ghat, Mathura
- Traveller Tip: You can club this visit in with a trip to the nearby ghats such as Brahma and Vaikuntha.
- Timings: 8 am to 4.30 pm (open all days including public holidays)
10. Tilak Dwar
This market is also called Holy Gate and is a must visit if you want to get a sense of the local life in Mathura. This sprawling market is vibrant and filled with activity.
There are a variety of shops to browse through and you can get a sense of this city’s culture with the art, jewellery, ethnic items on sale here. This market also houses a lot of religious stores where you can see idols of different gods and goddesses as well as paintings by local artists.
- Address: Tilak Dwar, Mathura
- Traveller Tip: Do look out for the local food stores and sweet shops to try some traditional delicacies.
- Timings: 11 am to 9 pm
11. Krishna Nagar Market
Club a walk through this bustling market with your visit to Gita Mandir as it is located close by. One of the most popular markets amongst locals, it’s a nice way to see Mathura mixing together the old and new.
Vendors here will sell and bargain with customers for everything from mobiles to pet good but there are also international brands available here.
- Address: Krishna Nagar, Mathura
- Traveller Tip: It is one of the more posh areas of Mathura and boasts some nice buildings.
- Timings: 9 am to 9 pm
Filled with a rich heritage, stunning structures and beautiful religious sites, Mathura should be on your list of places to visit in India.