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Mathura, a city in Uttar Pradesh, is located at a distance of 141 kms southeast of Delhi and 47kms northwest of Agra.  It lies in the western part of the state in the northern region of India. Being part of the great northern plains, it lies on the west bank of the river Yamuna. Mathura is regarded as one of the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites among the north Indian pilgrimage destinations.

MathuraBeing the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura is one of the hotspot pilgrimage sites in India. Krishna is the best known, loved and the most complex form of Lord Vishnu. Temples are lined up in the scenic ghats, leading to the water's edge in this sacred town of Mathura. On the right bank of the river Yamuna, there are temples aplenty with arched gateways. These define the sanctity of the famous town of Mathura. People from India and round the world throng to visit Mathura regarded as one of the holiest places of worship in India.

Mathura is an ancient city, the origin of which is linked with legendary tales of history. It is placed in a strategic location that was the central place for various trade routes. To its west lie West Asia and the Roman Empire; to its north is Central Asia and the Silk Route en-route Taxila, Pushkalavati and Purushapur and to its east lies China. Mathura, in India was the centre for trade and also a meeting point for varied cultures.

In the fifth century BC., during Buddhism, it became a major metropolis and the capital of the Surasena Kingdom-one of the 16 Mahajanapadas of the period. Mathura was at its `golden age' during the rule of the Kushanas and the able governance of rulers like Kanishka, Huvishka and Vasishka. Art flourished and economic wealth grew during this period. It became a power centre during the Mauryan period through the enlightened rule of Emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC) to the Gupta era (4th century AD).

According to the Bhagwat Purana, Shri Krishna is said to have danced here along with the gopis. The ritual of dance ( also called Raas) on the banks of the Yamuna at Vrindavan is fondly attached to Krishna. The gopis( female friends) were happy with Lord Krishna dancing with them, but when he disappeared they felt very agonized with their separation from their beloved Krishna. The gopis recalled and enacted his lilas (divine episodes of his life), which was later called Raslila that is remembered till date.

The Raslila in its present form is ascribed to Swami Haridas and Shri Narayan Bhatt. The Raslila can be performed only by young Brahmin boys of 13 to 14 years of age as the charming childhood pranks of Shri Krishna are the main themes of these dramas.Tour Bokking

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