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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mathura - Lord Krishna's Janm Bhumi

Our driver mentioned that we would be driving by the village of Mathura on our way to Fatehpur Sikri. We requested that he make a stop in the village so that we could go pay our respects. Mathura is the birth place of Lord Krishna. There are such amazing stories I could share about Lord Krishna. From the circumstances surrounding his birth, his nat-khat childhood spent eating "makhan" (home-made butter), tending to the cattle, playing his flute and flirting with all the gopis in the village to his one and only Radha, to his "advise" to Arjun on the battlefields of the Mahabharat which are best known as the "Bhagwad Gita", Krishan is one of my favorite Hindu Gods along with Lord Ganesh.

After turning in our cameras and purses and removing our shoes, we walked through what felt like a maze on the cold stone floor which led to a side temple in the basement of one of the buildings. Since the main temple was closed for renovations, this was the alternate temple to go offer prayers. After much anticipation, I was extremely disappointed when I finally walked into the room that was supposed to be the temple because it was a room no bigger than 15x15 feet with cheap posters adorning the front of the room. These posters depicted Krishna as a child and then as an adult. I was saddened that this is how commercialized it had become. They could have at the least displayed some intricate hand carved stone images of the deity. But nope, here were the paper posters. I walked in respectfully and after taking visual stock of the room, I bowed my head and offered a quick prayer to the almighty God for giving me the opportunity to be here. A few musicians were playing the dhol and some other string instrument toward the middle of the room as a few other devotees sang holy songs (bhajans/aartis).
After trekking through the temple grounds for 20 minutes, I spent less than 2 minutes in the actual prayer hall. But I'm still grateful for the experience.

A closer look at the chariot that sits on top of the main gates of the temple.

One of the many shops lining up the street in Mathura that sell all things Krishna. I wish we had a few minutes to stop and look. They were selling these malas - prayer beads - that are very typical to the Hindu faith. I've tried looking for them in the States and have seen them for $25 and more for one. Needless to say, I have not bought one yet.

Mathura is the birth place of Lord Krishna.

The main gates of the temple. There are two separate lines for men and women. Purses, cameras etc must be surrendered to security at the entrance and can be collected upon departure. 

Aly and Zee walking down the street. The two sides of the road are divided by this metal fence with spaced openings to cross the road.

A young man walking this cow down the road.

The Shri Krishna Mandir in Mathura.

One of the many peda shops lining the main street of Mathura. This one is called Brujwasi Peda Wale. They seem to have atleast one more store on this street.

Another shop selling peda and other Gujrati snacks such as ghatia, sev, etc. Check out the "safe" front stoop of this shop. And the two little boys standing at the right are adorable. I didn't even realize they were in the picture until now.

Delicious pedas. I bought a kilo to take back to family in Mumbai.

Camels are used in this part of the country to transport things. Here this camel pulls this cart  through the streets of Mathura.

Scaffolding on the front of the building for some much needed repairs.

Check out "Bhakti Hospital". I wonder what kind of facilities they have available in this small village. Also, check out the man on bike cart as he pedals hard to get his transport to it's destination.

And we were on our way out of Mathura and on our way to Fatehpur Sikhri and then to Agra.

Another view from the front seat of our van.

Notice the piles of mud, stones and dirt on the sides of the road. Also, the road is not paved but brick. Charming!

Another man uses his bike to earn a living.

The boys look on as this man waves this table/stool from wicker.

Bull-carts are also used to transport items.

And as always, the horse is the loyal servant of man since the beginning of time. 


Indian Tollway

One of the many dhabas (snack shops) that travelers and locals can visit for a cup of coffee or some fresh samosas.

A small temple on the side of the main road. There are literally hundreds of thousands of temples all across India.

Another '"Dhaba".

Beautiful green fields!!!

Villagers selling their wares on carts.

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Another village market with locals selling their produce

Cows are revered by Hindus and people and vehicles will make way for cows to go about their way.
 And we were on our way...

Love and Light,


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