Last Updated: May 4, 2019 Abhishek Gurung
A country that is worthy of praises for having a vast collection of different holy shrines, sacred destinations, and many pilgrimage places, India is where one can find the spiritual self, the inner peace, and the enlightenment. Perhaps, this is a sole reason why the country receives a lot of pilgrims every year. And although there are plenty of places that are honoured by the establishment of sacred shrines, Vrindavan and Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh secure themselves a significant position when it comes to spiritual destinations in India. These sacred cities in Uttar Pradesh glorify the birthplace of Lord Krishna and are dotted with various temples. Spending time in their Hindu Temples may offer a solace to your soul and an opportunity of seeking blessings. And if you want to know more about the famous temples, below I have mentioned the top 20 temples you can visit in Mathura and Vrindavan.
Temples in Mathura
Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple
In the midst of the human-swarmed streets of Mathura, one of the most valued and beloved shrines, Janmabhoomi Temple resides. This shrine is known to be the holiest place in Mathura and it is an important pilgrimage for Hindus since it is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Shri Krishna. Before the temple was commissioned by the great-grandson of Lord Krishna, Raja Veer Singh Bundela (as per the locals), it used to be a stone-walled prison cell of Lord Krishna’s uncle, King Kans. Besides that, one attraction not to be missed is located at the back of the main sanctum of the temple, a small room that represents a prison where Lord Krishna was born. As you explore further inside the interiors of the holy structure you will also notice a marble statue of Lord Krishna. And the best time to visit is during the festive celebration of Janmashtami, the festivals of Chhappan Bhog and Holi are also celebrated in the temple premises.
Temple Timings: 05:30 to 12:00 and 16:00 to 20:00
The oldest and one of the famous temples in Mathura, Dwarkadhish is a holy structure that is dedicated to his holiness Dwarkadheesh (Lord Krishna). The temple is called so because Lord Krishna had moved to Dwarka to settle there until his last breath. In Mathura, however, Dwarkadhish Temple is located near Gatashrama and Vishram Ghat in the eastern part of the city and it houses the idol of Radha-Krishna in the main shrine. You may notice a black marble idol of Lord Dwarkadhish (a form of Lord Krishna) in the temple along with a white marble idol of his beloved Radha. One must visit here every year, especially during the festive season of Janmashtami when you are bound to witness and perhaps be a part of a whirlpool of pilgrims that throng from across the globe. The entrance of the Dwarkadheesh Temple is adorned with a Rajasthani style of architecture with an open courtyard in the center along with beautifully carved pillars and painted ceiling. And the best attraction inside the temple compound is perhaps the golden coloured swing of Lord Dwarkadheesh.
Temple Timings: 06:30 to 13:00 and 17:00 to 21:30
Out of the many Hindu temples in Mathura, Gita Mandir which is also known as Birla Mandir, is one of the must-visit temples, which is located a few kilometers away from the city center towards Vrindavan. What is so incredible about this shrine is perhaps that it has the carvings of Lord Krishna’s preaching to his disciple the Pandava Prince, Arjuna during the Kurukshetra War period. As a matter of fact, right at the entrance of the temple, you can witness 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita inscribed on the pillars. Built with red sandstone, Gita Mandir displays a blend of Hindu and western style of architecture, where the holy idols of Lord Krishna, Narayana, Rama, Goddess Lakshmi, and Sita are placed. Inside the Gita Mandir, a large chariot of Sri Krishna is also painted along with several paintings of Hindu Gods and Goddess on the marbled walls.
Temple Timings: 06:00 to 19:00
Baba Jaigurudev Mandir
If we compare to other shrines in the city, Baba Jaigurudev Mandir is not a very famous temple in Mathura. However, the beauty of this temple is the heavenly white structure of the building and the domes, if fact, most visitors who come to visit, refer this temple to resembles the Taj Mahal. Nevertheless, Baba Jaigurudev Mandir that is also known as Naam Yog Sadhna Mandir is rather famous for the Bhandara festival celebration, it takes place during the month of August. In addition, a unique thing about this temple is that no donations are accepted from any non-vegetarian.
Temple Timings: 07:00 to 18:00
Kesava Deo Temple
Another pilgrimage destination in Uttar Pradesh, Kesava Deo Temple is amongst one of the sacred Hindu religious places located near the main Krishna Janmabhoomi Complex in Mathura. This temple is blessed with the deity of Lord Krishna and is said that the original deity was first placed by Shri Bajranabh, the great grandson of Krishna. One unique feature about this Krishna temple is that it has its own festival calendar and that all the functions are held within the premises. Besides, Kesava Deo Temple attracts a lot of Hindu pilgrims mainly for the unusual festival ritual of Lathmar Holi. Other popular festivals that are joyously celebrated here are Krishna Janmashtami and Chhappan Bhog. While exploring Kesava Deo Temple, about 250 metres away, you may also find another small shrine with a similar name, ‘it claims to have seen and felt Lord Krishna’s presence.’ At this temple, you can even see different images of Vasudeva, Devaki, and four-armed Krishna.
Temple Timings: 08:00 to 20:00
Chamunda Devi Temple
Located right opposite of Maa Gayatri Tapobhumi, Chamunda Devi Temple in Mathura is one of the most important spiritual retreats to visit in India because it is believed that a hair strand of Maa Gayatri fell on this very spot. This event is also mentioned in the sacred text of Shrimad Bhagwat. It is believed in Satyug Lord Krishna offered salvation to a python after which he went to seek blessings from Maa Chamunda here. he deity Maa Chamunda is also the clan Goddess of Nand Baba and it is said that after performing Mundan of Sri Krishna at Saraswati Kund, he also came to seek blessings of Maa Chamunda. The temple is also believed to be a meditation centre for Sage Shandilya and that Sri Gorakhnath also attained knowledge here. During the festivity of Navratri, you can witness a large number of devotees visit this shrine. In fact, on Sundays and on occasion of Akshay Navami and Devthan Ekadashi, the entire temple premises thronged by pilgrims. The major attraction of this place is that Chamunda Devi Temple does not have any idol inside.
Temples in Vrindavan
Banke Bihari Mandir
This is one of the famous Krishna temples in Vrindavan where Sri Krishna is known by the name of Banke Bihari because he is considered as a ‘Supreme Enjoyer.’ Banke means ‘Bent in three places,’ whereas Bihari means ‘Enjoyer’ as you can see in a statute where the idols’ hands are folded to hold a flute with a leg folded standing pose. Banke Bihari Mandir is one of the seven temples of Thakur of Vrindavan, and it is located near Shri RadhaVallabh Temple. Amid the narrow lanes where the devotees rush to seek blessings into the godly kingdom, you can witness love and devotion for Sri Krishna. Here, the main entrance of the temple is adorned with a dark yellow-brown colour with intricate traditional design and perhaps it is the main attraction in Vrindavan. Inside, you can witness a jet black statue of Lord Krishna known as Thakur Ji.
- Morning: 09:00 to 13:00
- Evening: 16:30 to 20:00
- Morning: 08:00 to 12:00
- Evening: 17:30 to 21:30
Prem Mandir which means love is a divine temple and it is amongst the top tourist attractions located on the outskirts of Vrindavan. This spiritual complex is dedicated to Sri Krishna and Sita Ram that is beautifully built with white marbles displaying the stunning architectural wonder and also the history of Sanatana Dharma. You can spend a day in this 54-acre holy space and explore the beautiful statue figures of Sri Krishna and his followers located in the main temple. Surrounded by intricate carvings around the temple complex displaying an elaborate inlay work, so far this alluring divine structure in Uttar Pradesh, Prem Mandir is a definite must visit during your tour in Uttar Pradesh. Inside the temple, you can also witness many portraits of Krishna Leela, Govardhan Parwat Leela, and Krishna Kaliya Naag Leela and if you visit this Temple of Love, you are for sure to experience tranquility and bliss.
Temple Timings: 05:30 to 20:30
Probably one of the best places to visit in Vrindavan, Nidhivan Temple is a treasure trove for both pilgrims and nature lovers. Mainly surrounded by trees where the branches are either tangled to the other trees or faced downwards, the locals believe them to be gopis, the queens of Sri Krishna. It is also said that as soon as the sun sets no one is allowed to stay back because Krishna and Radha along with the gopis perform Raas-Leela amid Nidhivan. This religious place in Vrindavan that is prohibited to be visited in the evening because it is believed that whosoever enters the forest after sunset either goes blind, deaf or dumb, basically not in a condition to narrate the story, is thronged with devotees in the afternoon There are a few sightseeing places around Nidhivan like Rang Mahal, Lalitha Kund, Bansi Chori Radha Rani and some temples like Gita Mandir, Shahji Temple, Kalki Mandir and Swami Hari Das Temple.
- Summer: 5:00 to 20:00
- Winter: 6:00 to 19:00
Shri Rangji Mandir
The largest temple in Vrindavan, Shri Rangji Mandir has a Dravidian style of architecture built in the year 1851. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha who depicts Lord Vishnu and inside, you can see the holiness in his Sheshashayee Pose resting around the Sesha Naga. Besides this, there are also other deities who you can worship are of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshman, and Goddess Sita along with Lord Narasimha, Lord Venugopala and Lord Ramanujacharya in this sacred shrine in Vrindavan. If you are a non-Hindu visitor, the drawback is, you are allowed to enter only till courtyard and non-Indian can enter only till the first two gates. The structure of Shri Rangji Mandir is based on the temple of Srirangam, Sri Ranganatha Swami Temple. Along with a Dravidian style, a rare mixture of South and North classical style of architecture can also be witnessed. With two Jaipur styled stone gates and five rectangular enclosures around the sanctum sanctorum, it offers a diverse appeal to the visitors.
- Morning: 05:30 to 10:30
- Evening: 16:00 to 21:00
Shri Krishna Balaram Mandir (ISKCON)
Amongst the many temples in Vrindavan, Shri Krishna Balaram Mandir offers a sight to sigh and to top it up, it is considered to be one of the important ISKCON temples in India. As you put your steps into the beautiful structure built by white marbles, you will across an archway along with winding peacock stairways on each side. In fact, this Mandir holds a very special significance to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Set up by the founder of the religious society, Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the temple displays Sri Krishna’s transcendental phases. Here, you can find three altars, in the first altar you can find an idol of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, the incarnation of Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; in the second or center are the deities of Sri Krishna and Balaram, the divine brothers. And on the third altar are the idols of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara and the gopis, Vishakha, and Lalita.
Gopi Nath Temple
Resembling the temple structure of the Sri Madan Mohan Temple, Gopi Nath Temple is a renowned spiritual place in Vrindavan. The shrine is an ancient structure and is said to have been built in the year 1632 by Ray Singh, the son of Maharaja Kalyanamala of Bikaner but it was reconstructed in 1819 after Aurangzeb destroyed it. The main deities of Gopi Nath Temple are Shri Krishna and Radha but there are other deities that are worshipped as well like Lalita Sakhi, Radhika, Gopi Nath and Jahnava Thakurani along with the deity of Mahaprabhu Shri Gaurasundara.
Note: Mangla Arati during Winter at 05:30 and 4:45 during Summer.
- Morning: 09:00 to 12:30
- Evening: 17:30 to 21:00
- Morning: 09:00 to 13:00
- Evening: 18:00 to 22:00
Shri Radha Vallabh Mandir
This revered temple which was founded some 450 years ago from the present time is a great place to visit and it holds importance to the people of Vrindavan and Rajasthan. As the pages of history denote the story of the temple, which was destroyed during the rule of the Mughal Emperor by Aurangzeb, the temple was later relocated to Rajasthan. However, presently, this famous shrine is in Vrindavan where like all other temples it follows the tradition and the ritual of the temple along with chanting spiritual and devotional songs. The temple was sculpted and carved by the Goswamis of Shri Radha Vallabh Lal and while travelling to Mathura Vrindavan, a stoppage at Shri RadhaVallabh Mandir should be on your visiting list.
Priyakant Ji Temple
This temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is a beautifully styled structure that appears to look as if it sits on a lotus. Priyakant Ji Temple is a 125 feet high masterpiece that is surrounded by ponds and fountains on both sides reflecting the classical Indian architecture. If you visit during the evening, you can witness the entire temple complex illuminate with neon white lights. Since this temple is located on the route to Prem Mandir, you can easily pay a visit.
- Morning: 6:00 to 12:30
- Evening: 16:30 to 20:30
Radharamana Temple in Vrindavan marks its place to be one of the holiest temples and it deserves a visit by the pilgrims. Basically, the meaning of Radharamana is the one who gives pleasure, in this case, Lord Krishna to Radha and it is yet another name Lord Krishna is called. Radharamana Temple was built in an initiative taken by Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. It is believed that ever since 1542, this temple is being worshipped for the belief that Lord Krishna revealed his holy presence during the full moon day of Vaisakhi from a Salagram-Shila. Every year, during this auspicious event, the idol of Lord Krishna is bathed with milk and various religious items and further distribute the bathed milk to the devotees as a token of blessing, Charanamrita. Apart from the worship of Radharamana, other Salagram-Shilas are also worshipped on the same day. In addition, another attraction here you must not fail to notice is the fire in the temple kitchen. It is said to be lit for more than 460 years, ever since the establishment of the temple and it serves its purpose in cooking.
Madan Mohan Temple
Located near the Kali Ghat in Vrindavan, Madan Mohan Temple dedicated to Sri Krishna is believed to be the oldest existing temple in Vrindavan that stands 18.288 metres tall. Built in the year 1580, this shrine is located within fortified walls on a hillock. Despite being in ruins, this temple offers a certain sense of charm and every pilgrim wish to visit here. Madan Mohan Temple is artistically carved, oval in shape and is built with red stone at Aditya Tila.
- Morning: 7:00 to 12:00
- Evening: 16:00 to 20:00
- Morning: 6:00 to 11:00
- Evening: 17:00 to 21:30
Govind Devji Temple
Despite Jaipur owning the original Govind Devji deity which had to be removed from Vrindavan during Aurangzeb’s reign, you can still visit this temple and be present amid the holiness. This fabulous Krishna Temple is a red sandstone structure with architectural beauty that is clearly seen carved in its intricate design. Mainly tourists visit this temple to click images of the shrine that looks like an abandoned palace. It so happens that, after the army of Aurangzeb destroyed the shrine, out of the seven floors only three remain. Nevertheless, the temple of Lord Govinda still remains a towering landmark in Vrindavan and one can certainly feel bliss while exploring the ruin of this holy place.
- Morning: 05:30 to 11:00
- Evening: 16:30 to 20:00
One of the best known religious tourism destinations in Uttar Pradesh, Shahji Temple captivates devotees with its outstanding architectural beauty. The mixture of various styles like Greek, Mughal along with Hindu architecture offers a unique ambience and appeal to the entire temple. This magnificent construction was originally built as a palace for Sri Krishna and Radha and it serves as a temple for the devotees. Here, besides the 15 feet high spiral columns you can also come across another attractive element, the beautiful Belgian glass chandeliers. In Shahji Temple, you can witness the statues depicting Raasleela and also multi-coloured paintings on the ceilings of the temple. Although Shahji Temple is over 140 years old, it still attracts the devotees and tourists alike.
- Morning: 08:00 to 11:00
- Evening: 17:30 to 19:30
A trip to Vrindavan during your spiritual tourism in India and missing out a visit to one of the religious significant places, Jaipur Mandir is not possible. Due to its central location, right at the heart of the city, you can visit this place with ease. Built in the year 1917 by the Emperor Sawai Madho Singh, Jaipur Temple offers a soothing ambience surrounded by trees. A visit to this attraction may make you feel like you are in Jaipur, in fact, it has a beautiful style of architecture built by using sandstone and original marbles. This opulent temple complex took approximately 30 years to complete and the main deities worshipped in Jaipur Mandir are Hansa-Gopala, Sri Radha-Madhava, and Ananda-Bihari.
- Morning: 5:30 to 12:30
- Evening: 15:00 to 20:30
- Morning: 5:00 to 12:00
- Evening: 15:00 to 21:00
Jugal Kishore Temple
During your pilgrimage tour to Vrindavan, one of the important pilgrim centers you can visit is Jugal Kishore Temple located by the holy River Yamuna. This shrine has a beautiful structure built with red sandstone and the key attraction of this temple is perhaps the Kesi Ghat, which is one of the preferred sacred dip/bathing places in Vrindavan. Jugal Kishore Temple offers an effervescent ambience, especially during the evening when the lit lamps brighten the dark paths and holy chants levitate your soul. And for a rather riveting sight, this temple is best visited during the Aarti time, when it is a visual delight that is bound to impress any visitor.
How to reach Mathura and Vrindavan
The sacred cities of Mathura and Vrindavan are conveniently connected by air from all major Indian cities and the closest airport is in Agra located approximately 65 km away. Mathura, however, has a railway junction that has a well-connected rail system and it connects to all major northern cities. In case, you decide to visit via roadways, you can check UPSRTC bus services.
- Nearest Airport: Kheria Airport in Agra
- Railway Station: Mathura Junction
These duo religious places in Uttar Pradesh will captivate you with its spiritual fragrance. Even though Mathura and Vrindavan are often seen throbbing with pilgrims, they offer such a feeling that could melt your heart and perhaps help you find what you seek. And after reading this blog, if you want to plan a trip with us and want to begin a spiritual Indian sojourn then call us at +91-9212777223 to learn about some of the best travel deals. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and receive our pilgrimage tour packages. If you liked reading this blog please give it a thumbs up and share with everyone seeking a tour to Mathura and Vrindavan.
Published: 14 Nov, 2017