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Women hitting men with sticks! That too next door to Krishna's birthplace! One of the most bizarre ways to celebrate holi can be witnessed in Barsana on the outskirts of Mathura. Totally worth the 2.5 hours drive from Delhi. And totally worth it given Mathura's world famous Holi celebrations!
Here's Deepak Mehta's hot pick for a Mathura weekend: Hotel Radha Ashok. He says: "Nice and conveniently located hotel. Good service, clean and neat hotel, good rooms. Loved the stay and a reasonably pleasant stay. Eager staff members for service, good food and I would stay once again if I visit Mathura and would recommend to fellow travellers."
Check out the prices for Holi weekend right here!
A small city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Mathura is located at the banks of the river Yamuna and is a place rich in ancient history. It is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna and is therefore considered a pilgrimage site for Hindus. Thousands of devotees come every year to offer their prayers and visit the temples here. The Krishna Janambhoomi Temple was built in ancient times at the site believed to be the exact birthplace of Krishna.
Since ancient times, Mathura has been a hub of Indian culture and civilisation. It has been ruled in turns by the kings of Solar and Lunar dynasties and in the process became a site revered by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists as well as followers of the Brahmanical faith.
Apart from the Shri Krishna Janambhoomi, Mathura is home to the famous Jama Masjid, Dwarkadheesh Temple, Gita mandir, and Vishram Ghat which is the sacred spot where Lord Krishna is believed to have rested after slaying the tyrant ruler Kansa. The Government Museum in Mathura is one of the best museums and attracts people with archaeological interest. The museum has some of the best collections of uncommon items from the Gupta and Kushan period (400 BC-1200AD). Most of the artefacts here belong to the Mathura School of Architecture that was parallel to the then famous Gandhara School of Art.
Mathura has contributed significantly to Indian culture through its rich heritage, especially to Hindu culture and tradition. The famous Raaslila of Mathura is an inherent part of Indian culture and is an intrinsic part of the Holi celebrations. Raaslila is the tradition of folk song and dance that depicts the dance of Lord Krishna with the gopis (milkmaids) on the banks of the river Yamuna.
During Holi, Mathura comes alive. The festival attracts national and international tourists to this town. A few kilometers away, tourists can also visit Barsana where the interesting tradition of Lath Mar Holi is observed. Traditionally, for Lath Mar Holi, men and women gather at the Radha Rani Temple in Barsana and women drive away men by beating them with sticks just as Lord Krishna was chased away by gopis when he tried teasing Radha and her friends.
People and Culture of Mathura
Mathura is also known for its milk and is famous for ghee (clarified butter) that is considered one of the best in the country. The place is known for its various milk sweets and Mathura peda and khurchan are famous.
Although devotees throng the place throughout the year, it is best to visit Mathura during the months of October to March since the weather remains pleasant. Summer in Mathura is quite hot. However, the autumn and spring season is quite comfortable and even winter is bright and cool making it a good time to visit the place.
Things To Do in Mathura
Delhi international airport is the closest airport from Mathura at a distance of 147 km. Delhi airport connects with all major cities within the country and abroad. From Delhi, tourists have to hire a taxi to reach Mathura and it costs about INR 2500. Mathura Railway junction is a major rail head with regular train services available from Mathura to Delhi and also to other cities in India. There are regular taxi services available from Mathura to reach nearby destinations. State owned road transport corporation buses ply between Mathura and nearby cities like Agra, Faizabad and Allahabad. There are deluxe buses available from Delhi to Mathura, which costs about INR 500 per head.
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