As much as the city of Mathura is dominated by the Dwarkadheesh temple and the mighty river Yamuna, it is also home to the innumerable temples and shrines - many ancient, some others new – all of them together endowing the town with the distinct spiritual flavor that it is known for all over the world.
A Lord Hanuman Temple in the bylanes of MathuraDuring the one day that we spent in the town, we managed to visit some of them which are presented below.
Adi Varah Temple
Mathura houses two temples dedicated to Lord Varah, Krishna Varah (also known as Lal Varah) and Sveta Varah, enshrining deities of Lord Varah in dark and fair hues respectively; which is how the respective temples get their name. We could visit only one of them, the Krishna Varah temple, situated in an adjoining lane of the Dwarkadheesh Temple.
Entrance to the Adi Varah Temple
Main deity of Lord Adi Varah inside the temple
The divine bird Garud, opposite the deity of Lord VarahAccording to the temple priest, the idol in the temple dates back to pre-historic times. Originally belonging to Lord Indra and seized by the demon king Ravana, the idol is believed to have been installed here by Shatrughana, brother of Lord Rama who had got it back from Ravana after defeating him in the Ayodhya war.
Dauji Ki Haveli
Adjacent to the Adi Varah temple is the ancient temple of Dauji ki haveli, the house of the elder brother of Lord Krishna, Balaram (the seventh son of Devaki). Lord Krishna shared a close bond with his elder brother Balaram whom He respectfully referred to as Dau meaning big brother. The temple is an embodiment of this love and enshrines the two deities, that of Lord Balaram alongwith his brother Krishna.
Entrance to Dauji ki Haveli
The temple sanctumPeepleshwar Mahadeo Temple
Situated near Vishram Ghat on the banks of River Yamuna is one of the ancient and more significant temples of the town, the Peepleshwar Mahadev temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. He is one of the four dwarpals (guards) of the town responsible for protecting the eastern region of the town, the other three being Bhuteshwar Mahadev temple in the west, the Gokarneshwar temple towards the north, and the Rangeshwar Mahadev temple to the south of the town.
The Peepleshwar Mahadeo Shivling with His consort,
Goddess Parvati in the backgroundCharchika Mata Temple
In the same bylane as the Peepleshwar Mahadev temple is a very small temple dedicated to the eight armed Hindu Goddess Chamunda, locally known as Maa Charchika. This temple is one among the 51 shaktipeeths of India and Goddess Shakti’s hair is believed to have fallen here.
Charchika Mata TempleKrishna Janmbhumi: Birthplace of Lord Krishna
Probably the second most important temple after the Dwarkadheesh temple is the Krishna Janmbhumi. It is believed to be the exact sacred spot which Lord Krishna had chosen for His descend on this mortal world – His birthplace, the Krishna Janmabhumi (birth means janm and bhumi means place).
Entrance to the Krishna JanmbhoomiSprawling in a huge area, the place is reminiscent of the times when Vasudev had miraculously fled with his new born son, Krishna, breaking all his captive chains of the prison cells amidst the taut guard set by the demon king Kansa.
(image courtesy brajwasi.in)
Owing to its proximity to the Jama masjid, there is a tight security cover with officers and commanders keeping a close watch over the visitors. Leather bags, camera and mobile phones are strictly prohibited in the complex and there are locker facilities available where one can deposit these items before moving in. We had visited this temple during our previous visit to the city but had to skip it this time around due to lack of time.
Inside the compound, the major attraction is the room shaped like a prison cell, believed to be the exact birth place of Lord Krishna. The room has image idols depicting the puranic tale and the walls have beautiful pictures depicting a few snippets of His story as a child. On the level above this, is the spacious Keshav Deo Temple housing various deities like Radha-Keshav, Jaganath (Lord Vishnu), Sita-Ram, Hanuman, Balram, Subhadra, Shivling, Nav grahas; Radha and Keshav being the central among them.