Mathura

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Mathura is a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Agra, and 145 kilometres (90 mi) south-east of Delhi; about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from the town of Vrindavan, and 22 kilometres (14 mi) from Govardhan. It is the administrative centre of Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh. During the ancient period, Mathura was an economic hub, located at the junction of important caravan routes. The 2011 census of India estimated the population of Mathura to be 25,47,000.

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Mathura Railway Station, Uttar Pradesh.

 

According to Hindu scriptures Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna at the centre of Braj or Brij-bhoomi, called Shri Krishna Janma-Bhoomi, literally: ‘Lord Krishna’s birthplace’. The Keshav Dev Temple was built in ancient times on the site of Krishna’s legendary birthplace (an underground prison). According to the Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana epics, Mathura was the capital of the Surasena Kingdom, ruled by Kansa the maternal uncle of Shri Krishna.

Mathura Refinery located in the city is one of the biggest oil refineries of Asia with 8.0 MMTPA refining capacity. This oil refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation is a highly technologically advanced oil refinery and provides local employment opportunities.

Today Mathura is situated on very important Road and Train routes in India. The famous Delhi-Agra highway (NH-2, National Highway -2) runs close to Mathura, providing the city with great connectivity. The city also houses a large and important train station; Mathura Junction. The city is on both the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai train routes.

One of the major contributors in the economy of Uttar Pradesh are Mathura Industries. Mathura Refinery located in the city is one of the biggest oil refineries of Asia. This oil refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation is a highly technologically advanced oil refinery. Silver polishing industry is another industry that is flourishing gradually. Textile printing industry that includes both Sari-printing and Fabric dyeing is another major industry of the region. Apart from these other industries are water tap manufacturing units and other decorative and household items.

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Virandavan Mathura Temple, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

 

Tourism is still in a development stage in the city. There are quite a few places to visit in Mathura and its surroundings, most of them linked to the Hindu heritage. Major places are listed here.

There is no commercial airport in Mathura. However, Mathura is driving distance from Delhi and Agra, both of which are on India’s air map.

Mathura culture occupies a distinguished place in the Indian history and culture. Mathura is an active center of Brahmanism, Buddhism and Jainism for several decades in Uttar Pradesh. The art, religion, festivals comprise the culture of Mathura, which is famous worldwide. The culture in Mathura has culminated with all the major aspects such as history, society, epigraphy, religion, archeology, iconography, numismatics, art and sculpture. There are some cultural traditions in Mathura like the Sanjhee, which is the colorful art of decorating the ground with flowers. Raaslila is another predominant form of Mathura culture. The Bhagwat Purana says that Shri Krishna along with the gopis danced the Raas on the river bank of the Yamuna at Vrindavan.

Since then this dance is famous as Raaslila, only young Brahmin boys of 13 to 14 years of age can perform the Raaslila. The traditional folk dance of Braj is performed on the Dooj of Holi. A female dancer balances a row of lighted deepikas on her head while dancing. Usually the number of lamps ranges from 51 to108 in each performance. The Rasiya songs are the love songs of the divine couple Radha and Shri Krishna. These songs are compulsorily sung in Holi celebrations and all other festive occasions at Braj.

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