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Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Location of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
in Uttar Pradesh and India
Coordinates 27°27′N 77°43′E / 27.45°N 77.72°E / 27.45; 77.72
District(s) Mathura
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)

Mathura (Hindi: मथुरा ,IAST: mathurā (About this sound pronunciation ) is a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 50 km north of Agra, and 150 km south of Delhi; about twenty kilometers from the town of Vrindavan.[1] 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.

Mathura is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna at the centre of Braja or Brij-bhoomi, called Krishna janma-bhoomi, literary 'Krishna's birth place'.[2] The Keshav Dev temple was built in ancient times on the site of Krishna's legendary birthplace (an underground prison). As per the epics Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana, Mathura was the capital of the Surasena Kingdom, ruled by Kansa the maternal uncle of Krishna.

Mathura is also famous as one of the first two centres of production for images of the Buddha, the other being Gandhara in present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan. Human images of the Buddha began to appear at approximately the same time in both centres in the 1st Century AD but can be distinguished from one another as the Gandharan images are very clearly Graeco-Roman in inspiration with the Buddha wearing wavy locks tucked up into a chignon and heavier toga-like robes. The Buddha figurines produced in Mathura more closely resemble some of the older Indian male fertility gods and have shorter, curlier hair and lighter, more translucent robes.



Ancient Indian (Bharata) cities and Places (Title and location names are in English.)
Krishna temple in Mathura.

Mathura has an ancient history. As per the ASI plaque at Mathura museum, the city is mentioned in the oldest epic Ramayana. In the epic, the Ikshwaku prince Shatrughna, slays a demon called Lavanasura and claims the land. Afterwards the place came to be known as Madhuvan as it was thickly wooded, Madhupura and later Mathura. The demon that Shatrughan killed in Ramayana, Lavanasura was the progeny of a devout king Madhu who gets Lord Shiva's Trident in a boon in the Puranas. The Puranas ascribe the founding of the city to Ayu, the son of Pururavas and the celestial nymph Urvashi. The city might also have got its name from a famous Yadav king Madhu who reigned around 1600 BC.

In the 6th century BCE Mathura became the capital of the Surasena mahajanapada[3]. The city was later ruled by the Maurya empire (4th to 2nd centuries BC) and the Sunga dynasty (2nd century BC). It may have come under the control of Indo-Greeks some time between 180 BC and 100 BC. It then reverted to local rule before being conquered by the Indo-Scythians during the 1st century BC. Archaeological evidence seems to indicate that, by 100 BC, there was a group of Jains living in Mathura [Bowker]. Mathuran art and culture reached its zenith under the Kushan dynasty which had Mathura as one of their capitals, the other being Purushapura (Peshawar). The dynasty had kings with the name of Kadphises, Kanishka, Huvishka and Vasudeva. All the Kushans were patrons of Buddhism except Vasudeo, mentioned on coins as Bazodeo. Kanishka even hosted the third Buddhist council, the first two being hosted by Ajatshatru and Ashoka the Great. The headless statue of Kanishka is in the Mathura museum.

Megasthenes, writing in the early 3rd century BC, mentions Mathura as a great city under the name Μέθορα (Méthora).[4]

The Indo-Scythians (aka Sakas or Shakas) conquered the area of Mathura over Indian kings around 60 BCE. Some of their satraps were Hagamasha and Hagana, who were in turn followed by the Saka Great Satrap Rajuvula.

The findings of ancient stone inscriptions in Maghera, a town 17 km from Mathura, provide historical artifacts that provide more details into this era of Mathura [5]. The 3 line text in these inscriptions are in Brahmi script and were translated as "In the 116th year of the Greek kings..." [6][7]

The Mathura lion capital, an Indo-Scythian sandstone capital in crude style, dated to the 1st century CE, describes in kharoshthi the gift of a stupa with a relic of the Buddha, by Queen Nadasi Kasa, the wife of the Indo-Scythian ruler of Mathura, Rajuvula. The capital also mentions the genealogy of several Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura.

Rajuvula apparently eliminated the last of the Indo-Greek kings, Strato II, around 10 CE, and took his capital city, Sagala.

The Mathura Lion Capital inscriptions attest that Mathura fell under the control of the Sakas. The inscriptions contain references to Kharaosta Kamuio and Aiyasi Kamuia. Yuvaraja Kharostes (Kshatrapa) was the son of Arta as is attested by his own coins.[8] Arta is stated to be brother of King Moga or Maues.[9] Princess Aiyasi Kambojaka, also called Kambojika, was the chief queen of Shaka Mahakshatrapa Rajuvula. Kamboja presence in Mathura is also verified from some verses of epic Mahabharata which are believed to have been composed around this period.[10] This may suggest that Sakas and Kambojas may have jointly ruled over Mathura and Uttar Pradesh. It is revealing that Mahabharata verses only attest the Kambojas and Yavanas as the inhabitants of Mathura, but do not make any reference to the Sakas.[11] Probably, the epic has reckoned the Sakas of Mathura among the Kambojas (Dr J. L. Kamboj) or else have addressed them as Yavanas, unless the Mahabharata verses refer to the previous period of invasion occupation by the Yavanas around 150 BCE.

The Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura are sometimes called the "Northern Satraps", as opposed to the "Western Satraps" ruling in Gujarat and Malwa. After Rajuvula, several successors are known to have ruled as vassals to the Kushans, such as the "Great Satrap" Kharapallana and the "Satrap" Vanaspara, who are known from an inscription discovered in Sarnath, and dated to the 3rd year of Kanishka (c 130 CE), in which they were paying allegiance to the Kushans.[12]

Mathura served as one of the Kushan Empire's two capitals from the first to the third centuries. The Mathura Museum has the largest collection of redstone sculptures in Asia, depicting many famous Buddha figurines. Fa Hien mentions the city, as a centre of Buddhism about A.D. 400; while his successor Hsuan Tsang, who visited the city in 634 AD, which he mentions as Mot'ulo, and writes that it contained twenty Buddhist monasteries and five Brahmanical temples [13]. Later, he went east to Thanesar, Jalandhar in the eastern Punjab, before climbing up to visit predominantly Theravada monasteries in the Kulu valley and turning southward again to Bairat and then Mathura, on the Yamuna river [14].

The city was sacked and many of its temples destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018 and again by Sikandar Lodhi, who earned the epithet of But Shikan, the destroyer of idols. The Keshav Dev temple was partially destroyed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who built the city's Jami Masjid (Friday mosque) on the same site, re-using many of the temple's stones.[citation needed] It was won over from the Mughals by the Jat kings of Bharatpur but subsequently the area was passed on to the Marathas. The main Krishna shrine is presently the Dwarkadeesh temple, built in 1815 by Seth Gokuldas Parikh, Treasurer of Gwalior.


Mathura is located at 27°30′N 77°41′E / 27.5°N 77.68°E / 27.5; 77.68[15]. It has an average elevation of 174 metres (570 feet).


As of 2001 India census[16], Mathura had a population of 298,827. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Mathura has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 71%, and female literacy is 73%. In Mathura, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Rail - Mathura is well connected by train from major cities in India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Rewa, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi etc. City is served by three stations, Mathura Jn being the biggest one connecting to West, North and Southern India. Mathura Cantt connects to eastern Uttar Pradesh. Bhooteshwar serves for local trains for Delhi, Agra and Alwar. Another station Krishnajanmabhoomi connects to Vrindavan via rail bus.

Road - Mathura is well connected by road to the rest of Uttar Pradesh and India. NH-2 (Delhi-Howrah) Highway passes through the city which connects to NH-3 (to Mumbai), NH-11 (to Ajmer) and NH-93(Moradabad) in Agra. Other state highways also connect to Mathura. City is served by Upsrtc, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh , DTC, Chandigrah and Punjab state transports. Mathura depot(uprstc) has 120 buses. Direct buses are available to Gorkhpur, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajimer, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Rohtak and other cities. An intercity bus facility also exists.

Air - The city does not have an airport but a new airport is being built near Baldev. Construction is in progress with plans to open in the next 5 years with flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Ujjain and Varanasi.


Pilgrimage to
Holy Sites
Dharma Wheel.svg
The Four Main Sites
Lumbini · Bodh Gaya
Sarnath · Kushinagar
Four Additional Sites
Sravasti · Rajgir
Sankissa · Vaishali
Other Sites
Patna · Gaya · Kosambi
Kapilavastu · Devadaha
Kesariya · Pava
Nalanda · Varanasi
Later Sites
Sanchi · Mathura
Ellora · Ajanta · Vikramshila
Ratnagiri · Udayagiri
Bharhut · Barabar Caves
Lath mar Holi being played in Barsana, 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 theology. 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.


Major tourist sites in Mathura

  • Krishnajanmabhoomi
  • Jai gurudev Ashram
  • Dwarikadheesh Temple
  • Durvasa Rishi Ashram
  • Kans Tila
  • Sri Keshavji Gaudiya Matha
  • Vishram Ghat, a bath and worship place on the banks of river Yamuna is the main ghat in Mathura, central to 25 other ghats.
  • Bhooteshwar Mahadev Mandir

Places of interest around Mathura

A very famous twin-city to Mathura is Vrindavan. As the home of Lord Krishna in his youth, the small town is host to a multitude of temples belonging to various sects of Hinduism proclaiming Lord Krishna in various forms and avatars. Some of the most famous temples are Banke Bihari Temple, Rang ji Temple and Iskcon Temple.

Strategic Importance

Mathura is the home for Indian I Corps (Strike Formation) [17][18] within the Indian Army's Central Command, hosting Strike I Corps headquarters in a large classified area in the outskirts of the city known as Mathura Cantonment (Central Command itself has its headquarters at Lucknow). It hosts Strike Infantry units, Air Defence units, Armoured Divisions, Engineer brigades, Aritillery Units and classified units of Strategic Nuclear Command. Corps I is primarily responsible for western borders of India. In 2007 during Exercise Ashwamedha, all the armoured, artillery and infantry divisions performed a simulation of an overall NBC (nuclear-chemical-biological) environment. The aim was to show operational ability in high intensity, short duration and 'sudden' battles.[19]


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.

Educational Institutions

Mathura is home to the Uttar Pradesh Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Veterinary University, the first of its kind in the state and the fourth in the country to be made independent veterinary universities. The University is located on the Mathura-Agra road, about 5 km from Mathura Junction. The main campus of the University is spread over a land area of 782.32 acres (3.1659 km2) in Mathura Cantt and about 1,400 acres (6 km2) at Madhurikund, about 20 km from the main campus. in modern time mathura is hub of engineering collages. 40 enginnering & management colleges hasbeen established in mathura up to 12-12-2009. 18 engineering collages has also resistered for approvel for aicte on yamuna expressway(it connects noida to agra).

Educational Institutions

  • Pandit Dindayal veterinary university

Uttar Pradesh Technical University Afflicated Colleges

  • G.L.A. Institute of Technology & Managemnt,Mathura-281001 UP Mathura
  • Hindustan College of Science & Technology, Mathura- 281122 Mathura
  • B.S.A.College of Engineering & Technology, Mathura - 281004 Mathura
  • Rajeev Academy for Pharmacy, Mathura - 281001 Mathura
  • Hindustan Institute of Management & Computer Studies,, Mathura - 281122
  • Sachdeva Institute of Technology, Mathura - 281122 Mathura
  • Rajeev Academy for Technology & Management, Mathura, 281001 U.P. Mathura
  • Ishwar Chand Vidya Sagar Institute of Technology, Mathura Mathura
  • G.L. A. Institute of Phamaceutical Research, Mathura-281406 UP Mathura
  • G.L.A. Institute of Business Management,Mathura - 281406 Mathura
  • Sanjay Institute of Engineering and Management, Mathura - 281406 Mathura
  • Sanjay College of Pharmacy, Mathura Mathura
  • Institute of Engineering & Management,Mathura Mathura
  • S.M College of Pharmacy, Mathura Mathura
  • Ishwar Chand Vidya Sagar Institute of Pharmacy,Mathura
  • Ishwar Chand Vidya Sagar Institute of Management , Mathura
  • R.S.Sikarwar College of Pharmacy, Mathura
  • Dhanwantri Institute of Pharmacy, Mathura
  • D C S College of Pharmacy, Mathura
  • Ganeshi Lal Narayandas Agarwal Institute of Technology, Mathura Mathura
  • Nikhil Institute of Engineering & Management, Mathura Mathura
  • Bon Maharaj Engineering College, Mathura Mathura
  • Excel Institute of Management & Technology, Mathura Mathura
  • Excel School of Business, Mathura
  • Eshan College of Engg, Mathura
  • Shree jee Baba Institute of Professional Studies, Mathura
  • Shri Giriraj Maharaj College, Mathura
  • Shri Giriraj Maharaj Institute of Management, Mathura
  • Aashlar Business School, Mathura
  • Unnati Management College, Mathura
  • Al Haj A R Sani Institute of Management and Technology, Mathura

DIP & proff. & Degree Colleges & Intermediate Colleges

  • RSM ITM & DIP college Dauhli pyau
  • Baba saheb DIP college
  • Krishna ITM & ITM college
  • Heights comp. & proff course
  • Aptech comp. courses dampier nagar
  • NIIT comp. courses dampier nagaer
  • Shree ji baba VP goverdhan road
  • SMU proff. studies maholi road
  • Gauri Faundation proff. studies maholi road
  • APJ proff. college Masani
  • Kishori Raman Degree College
  • Giraj Maharaj Dgree College
  • BSA degree College
  • sachdeva institute of education
  • Gyan deep shiksha bharti sr.sec. school
  • Kendriya Vidyala refinery nagar
  • Faiz-E-Aam School
  • Ratanlal Phool Katori girls school
  • Shree ji Baba boys school
  • Sacred Heart Convent
  • Army School Mathura
  • Amar Nath Vidya Ashram
  • Shriji Baba School
  • Ramanlal Shorawala School
  • St. Dominic's School
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya - Cantt.
  • Delhi Public School, Mathura Refinery
  • sofia public school,raya
  • rocksword public school,raya
  • Kishori Raman Inter College
  • Kishori Raman Girls Inter College
  • Kishori Raman Montessori School
  • Champa Agrawal Intermediate College
  • Champa Agrawal Bal Mandir
  • DC vaidic inter college aryanagar gaju raya
  • rastriya inter college raya
  • premlata girls inter college raya
  • premlata girls degree college raya
  • lokamndas inter college, ayerakheda,raya
  • adarsh inter college,ayerakheda raya
  • CDS degree college raya


Mathura has contributed a lot towards Indian Culture through its rich heritage. The ethos of Mathura, and in fact the whole of Braj mandal is centered on Krishna and his tales. Mathura sees heightened activities during the major festivities dedicated to Krishna.

The Braj culture has been expressed widely through various practices.

Sanjhee is the colourful art of decorating the ground with flowers.

Rasiya is a tradition that is integral to Mathura’s culture. It is the tradition of folk-songs that describe the love of the divine couple Radha and Krshnaji. It is an inseparable part of the Holi celebrations and all other festive occasions at Mathura. (Dhulendi – Holi with drums (dholak), colours, etc originated from Braj region hundreds of millennia before today.)

Raaslilas of Mathura have become an integral part of Indian Folklore. According to popular belief, Krshnaji had danced the Raas with gopis on banks of Yamuna river.

Charkula is a traditional folk dance of the Braj. In this dance, a woman balances a column of deepikas on her head and dances to the accompaniment of Rasiya songs by the menfolk.

The language spoken in the Braj mandal is mainly Hindi which is spoken in a different dialect. This dialect is characteristic with the Braj region and known as Brajbhasha. Before Hindi and until past few centuries, Brajbhasha used to be the dominant language in literature.

Mathura is steeped in Hindu tradition, which is visible everywhere. The temples, riverfront and ponds are all centres of religious activity. From early morning till dusk devotees throng the holy places.

Art of Mathura


  1. ^ Schweig, G.M. (2005). Dance of divine love: The Rasa Lila of Krishna from the Bhagavata Purana, India's classic sacred love story.. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ; Oxford. ISBN 0691114463. p. 73
  2. ^ Schweig, G.M. (2005). Dance of divine love: The Rasa Lila of Krishna from the Bhagavata Purana, India's classic sacred love story.. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ; Oxford. ISBN 0691114463. p. 2
  3. ^ Mathura History The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 18, p. 64.
  4. ^ Megasthenes, fragment 23 "The Surasenians, an Indian tribe, with two great cities, Methora and Clisobora; the navigable river Iomanes flows through their territory" quoted in Arrian Indica 8.5. Also "The river Jomanes (Yamuna) flows through the Palibothri into the Ganges between the towns Methora and Carisobora." in FRAGM. LVI. Plin. Hist. Nat. VI. 21. 8-23. 11.
  5. ^ Bulletin of the Asia Institute. Wayne State University Press. 
  6. ^ Bratindra Nath Mukherjee. Kushāṇa studies: new perspectives. Firma KLM. p. 13. ISBN 8171021093. 
  7. ^ Osmund Bopearachchi; Wilfried Pieper. Ancient Indian coins. Brepols. ISBN 2503507301. 
  8. ^ Kshatrapasa pra Kharaostasa Artasa putrasa. See: Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 398, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 307, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Ancient India, 1956, pp 220–221, Dr R. K. Mukerjee; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 168, S Kirpal Singh.
  9. ^ Ancient India, pp 220–221, Dr R. k. Mukerjee; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 168–169, S Kirpal Singh; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, pp 306–09, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol II, Part 1, p 36, D S Konow
  10. ^ Dr Jayaswal writes:"Mathura was under outlandish people like the Yavanas and Kambojas... who had a special mode of fighting" (Manu and Yajnavalkya, Dr K. P. Jayswal); See also: Indian Historical Quarterly, XXVI-2, p 124. Prof Shashi Asthana comments: "Epic Mahabharata refers to the siege of Mathura by the Yavanas and Kambojas (see: History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C., 1976, p 153, Shashi Asthana). Dr Buddha Prakash observes: "Along with the Sakas, the Kambojas had also entered Indian mainland and spread into whole of North India, especially in Panjab and Uttar Pradesh. Mahabharata contains references to Yavanas and Kambojas having conquered Mathura (12/105/5)....There is also a reference to the Kambojas in the Mathura Lion Capital inscriptions of Saka Satrap (Kshatrapa) Rajuvula found in Mathura " (India and the World, p 154, Dr Buddha Parkash); cf: Ancient India, 1956, p 220, Dr R. K. Mukerjee
  11. ^ Mahabharata 12.101.5.
  12. ^ Source: "A Catalogue of the Indian Coins in the British Museum. Andhras etc..." Rapson, p ciii
  13. ^ Mathura This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain..
  14. ^ Hsuan Tsang This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain..
  15. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Mathura
  16. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  17. ^ India - Army Central Command Order of Battle
  18. ^ Organisational Structure
  19. ^ Indian Army tests network centric warfare capability in Ashwamedh war games


  • Mathura-The Cultural Heritage. Edited by Doris Meth Srinivasan, published in 1989 by AIIS/Manohar.
  • Bowker, John (2002). The Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions, p. 60.
  • Konow, Sten. Editor. 1929. Kharoshthī Inscriptions with Exception of those of Asoka. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. II, Part I. Reprint: Indological Book House, Varanasi, 1969.
  • Mukherjee, B. N. 1981. Mathurā and its Society: The Śaka-Pahlava Phase. Firma K. L. M. Private Limited, Calcutta.
  • Sharma, R. C. 1976. Mathura Museum and Art. 2nd revised and enlarged edition. Government Museum, Mathura.
  • Growse, F. S. 1882. " Mathura A District Memoir.
  • Drake-Brockman, D. L. 1911. " Muttra A Gaztteer.

External links


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