Mathura (Vada Madurai)

One of the 108 Temples & Celestial Abodes of Vishnu revered by the Tamil hymns of the Alwars of the 1st millennium CE

Location: Mathura
Vada Naadu)
Vishnu: Govardhanesan, Balakrishnan
Taayaar: Satyabhama
Theertham:Govardhana Theertham
Paasuram :Perialwar, Andal, Tondaradippodi, Tirumangaialwar, Nammalwar
Vimaanam:Govardhana Vimanam
Travel Base:Mathura, Agra, Delhi

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Temples of the Gangetic Plains

Description Mathura and Brindavan in Uttar Pradesh are intimately connected with the life of Krishna and are considered to be amongst the holiest of pilgrimage sites of the Hindus. The Gopas shifted to Brindavan following several calamities at Gokul. Brindavan was a lush site, on the banks of the river Yamuna.

Legend has it that Shatrugna, brother of Rama, vanquished the demon Lavanasuran, and built the picturesque city of Mathura on the banks of the Yamuna river.  Govardhan hill is located 26 km from Mathura while Brindavan is at a distance of 10 km from Mathura. Mathura has been mentioned by Ptolemy and by the Chinese traveller Hyuen Tsang (7th century CE). Mathura was once a Buddhist center.

Krishna's leelas with Radha have been the subject of literature all over India; especially that of Jayadeva. Radha is considerd to be one of the Shaktis of Vishnu; born as the daughter of King Vrishabhanu and his wife Kalavati, certain legends assert that she was married to Krishna. She is also known as Brindavani or Brinda. Radha is considered to be a manifestation of Lakshmi. The Brindavan refers to a sacred Tulsi forest. Raas Leela on Sharad Poornima (full moon night in the month Oct 15-Nov 15) or during Holi is of great importance here.

Temples from the 16th century CE are seen here. The chief temples here are those of Govinddev, Radha Vallabh, Gopinath, Jugalkishore and Madanmohan. There are more than a thousand temples and 32 ghats in this town. There are also temples to Rangaji, and those built by Lal Babu the Maharaja of Gwalior. The red stone temple of Govindaji is an impressive one built in 1590 under the direction of two gurus Rupa and Sanatana. The image of Govinddevji apparently was movd to Jaipur fearing Aurangazeb. The Rangdev temple in the Sri Vaishnava tradition was built by Seth Govinddas and Radhakrishna in the south indian dravidian architectural style.

Virtually every site in Mathura is associated with legends related to Krishna. The Dwarkadeesh temple in Mathura is a modern temple. The Gita Mandir is located on the Mathura Brindavan road. Gokul near Mathura, is where Krishna was raised; Mahaban is said to be the seat of the palace of Nanda, Krishna's foster father. Barsana is said to be the original home of Radha.

Most temples in the  town of Brindavan are associated with several of the leelas of Krishna at Brindavan. Brindavan became a center of religion from the 15th century onward. The Ramanuja Sampradaya and the Nimbarka Vishnava Sampradaya (performing Sankirtans primarily) and the Madhva sampradaya (which worships Krishna without Radha) , the Vallabha and Chaitanya traditions are the leading Vaishnava sampradayas here.

Perialwar, Andal, Tondaradippodiyalwar, Tirumangaialwar and Nammalwar of the first millennium CE, have sung in chaste Tamil ,of the life of Krishna in Mathura-Govardhan-Brindavan  in a total of 50 verses. The ancient pilgrimage town of Mathura (Vrindavan) in Uttar Pradesh, is the site of what is considered to be the Vada Madurai Divyadesam. The  Rangamandir, enshrines Ranganathar, Andal and Venkatachalapati. Worship services are conducted here by Tamil Sree Vaishnava priests.

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