Monday, February 26, 2024

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Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple




Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh



It is the birthplace of Lord Krishna



Summer 5am-9.30pm, Winter 5.30am-8.30pm

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Mathura, a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is one of the holiest places for the Hindus. Every day thousands of pilgrims visits this city as this city is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It is also the site of a great Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple.

Also known as Keshava Deo or Keshava Dev Temple, it is situated besides the main Krishnajanmabhoomi complex. The Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple is believed to mark the spot where Sri Krishna was born. 'Janmabhoomi' literally means birth place and the prison cell in which Lord Krishna was born has been converted to a beautifully decorated temple. It is the most visited temple in Mathura.

Keshav Dev, one of the thousand names of Lord Krishna, is the main deity of this ancient temple. This temple holds an interesting story which has seen many destructions and constructions.

It is said that no other temple in India would have undergone such destructive activities of Muslim Invaders. The temple had been destroyed number of times by Mohammed Ghazni, Sikander Lodi and Aurangzeb.

According to traditions the original deity was installed by Bajranabh, who was great-grandson of Krishna about 5000 years ago. And in, Gupta period around 400AD, Emperor Chandra Gupta Vikramaditya built a splendid temple there. This temple was believed to be the grandest temple ever built in India, but was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1017 AD. Muslim invader Mahmud of Ghazni's scribe, Mir Munshi Al Utvi, mentioned about this temple in his book 'Tarikhe Yamini' as 'in the centre of the city there was a huge and magnificent temple, which the people believed wasn't built by human beings but by the angels. Any description of the temple, either in words or in pictures, would fall short and fail to convey its beauty'.

According to a Sanskrit inscription found in Katra Keshavadeva, that in Vikrama Samvat 1150 A.D., when Maharaja Vijayapal Deva was the ruler of Mathura, a new temple built on the site of Shri Krishna's birthplace. This temple was demolished by Sikander Lodi in 16th century AD. About 125 years later, Raja Veer Singh Bundela of Orchha constructed a new temple on the same spotduring the reign of Mughal emperor Jehangir. It was also a magnificient temple. A fortified boundary wall was built around it. And in 1669, Aurangazeb, the Mughal Emperor brought it down and built the Idgah Mosque at its site. He even used the material of the temple to construct it. At present, one can see this Mosque adjacent to the temple. During British rule in India, the East India Company took over the area of Katra Keshavadevin 1815, which was purchased by the then Raja Patnimal of Banaras. The present day Krishna Temple of Mathura was built in the year 1965.

The magnificent temple is classic example of Indian architecture and it's interiors adorned with the images of the Lord Krishna with His beloved Radha. Apart from the idols of the presiding deity, the temple also enshrines a number of idols of other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Along with the temple is the cell inside which Lord Krishna was born. His parents Vasudev and Devaki were captured by his Maternal Uncle Kamsa.

The temple can be visited between Summer 5am-9.30pm, Winter 5.30am-8.30pm all throughout the year.

The temple sees its biggest rush during Janmastami in August/September which is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna. Celebrations begin during mid-night with the birth of lord. Visitors from all over the world flock to the place during janmastami to be part of this grand event. One can see long queue of the pilgrims outside the temple on this holy day. There will be a security check at the gate and prohibited items and all electronic equipment are not allowed anywhere in the temple complex. Photography inside is strictly prohibited.