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Mathura (IAST ) ( ) is a holy city in the Indianmarker state of Uttar Pradeshmarker. It is located approximately 50 km north of Agramarker, and 150 km south of Delhimarker; about twenty kilometers from holy Vrindavanmarker. It is the administrative centre of Mathura District of Uttar Pradeshmarker. During the ancient period, Mathura was an economic hub, located at the junction of important caravan routes.

Mathura is reputed to be the birthplace of Krishna at the centre of Braja or Brij-bhoomi, called Krishna-janma-bhoomimarker, literary 'Krishna's birth place'. The Keshav Dev temple was built in ancient times on the site of Krishna's legendary birthplace (an underground prison). As per the epic Mahabharata and per Bhagavata Purana, Mathura was the capital of the Surasena Kingdom, ruled by Kamsa the maternal uncle of Krishna.

Mathura is also famous as one of the first two centres of production for images of the Buddha, the other being Gandhara in present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan. Human images of the Buddha began to appear at approximately the same time in both centres in the 1st Century AD but can be distinguished from one another as the Gandharan images are very clearly Greco-Roman in inspiration with the Buddha wearing wavy locks tucked up into a chignon and heavier toga-like robes. The Buddha figurines produced in Mathura more closely resemble some of the older Indian male fertility gods and have shorter, curlier hair and lighter, more translucent robes.

Muttra is the location of the fictional plantation where Jonathan Small worked in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Sign of Four"..


Mathura has an ancient history. As per the ASI plaque at Mathura museum, the city is mentioned in the oldest epic Ramayana. In the epic, the Ikshwaku prince Shatrughna, slays a demon called Lavanasura and claims the land. Afterwards the place came to be known as Madhuvan as it was thickly wooded, Madhupura and later Mathura. The demon that Shatrughan killed in Ramayana, Lavanasura was the progeny of a devout king Madhu who gets Lord Shiva's Trident in a boon in the Puranas. The Puranas ascribe the founding of the city to Ayu, the son of Pururavas and the celestrial nymph Urvashi. The city might also have got its name from a famous Yadav king Madhu who reigned around 1600 BC.

In the 6th century BCE Mathura became the capital of the Surasena mahajanapada. The city was later ruled by the Maurya empire (4th to 2nd centuries BC) and the Sunga dynasty (2nd century BC). It may have come under the control of Indo-Greeks some time between 180 BC and 100 BC. It then reverted to local rule before being conquered by the Indo-Scythians during the 1st century BC. Archaeological evidence seems to indicate that, by 100 BC, there was a group of Jains living in Mathura [Bowker]. Mathuran art and culture reached its zenith under the Kushan dynasty which had Mathura as one of their capitals, the other being Purushapura (Peshawar). The dynasty had kings with the name of Kadphises, Kanishka, Huvishka and Vasudeva. All the Kushans were patrons of Buddhism except Vasudeo, mentioned on coins as Bazodeo. Kanishka even hosted the third Buddhist council, the first two being hosted by Ajatshatru and Ashoka the Great. The headless statue of Kanishka is in the Mathura museum.

Megasthenes, writing in the early 3rd century BC, mentions Mathura as a great city under the name Μέθορα (Méthora).

The Indo-Scythians (aka Sakas or Shakas) conquered the area of Mathura over Indian kings around 60 BCE. Some of their satraps were Hagamasha and Hagana, who were in turn followed by the Saka Great Satrap Rajuvula.

The findings of ancient stone inscriptions in Maghera, a town 17 km from Mathura, provide historical artifacts that provide more details into this era of Mathura . The 3 line text in these inscriptions are in Brahmi script and were translated as "In the 116th year of the Greek kings..."

The Mathura lion capital, an Indo-Scythian sandstone capital in crude style, dated to the 1st century CE, describes in kharoshthi the gift of a stupa with a relic of the Buddha, by Queen Nadasi Kasa, the wife of the Indo-Scythian ruler of Mathura, Rajuvula. The capital also mentions the genealogy of several Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura.

Rajuvula apparently eliminated the last of the Indo-Greek kings, Strato II, around 10 CE, and took his capital city, Sagalamarker.

The Mathura Lion Capital inscriptions attest that Mathura fell under the control of the Sakas. The inscriptions contain references to Kharaosta Kamuio and Aiyasi Kamuia. Yuvaraja Kharostes (Kshatrapa) was the son of Arta as is attested by his own coins. Arta is stated to be brother of King Moga or Maues. Princess Aiyasi Kambojaka, also called Kambojika, was the chief queen of Shaka Mahakshatrapa Rajuvula. Kamboja presence in Mathura is also verified from some verses of epic Mahabharata which are believed to have been composed around this period. This may suggest that Sakas and Kambojas may have jointly ruled over Mathura and Uttar Pradesh. It is revealing that Mahabharata verses only attest the Kambojas and Yavanas as the inhabitants of Mathura, but do not make any reference to the Sakas. Probably, the epic has reckoned the Sakas of Mathura among the Kambojas (Dr J. L. Kamboj) or else have addressed them as Yavanas, unless the Mahabharata verses refer to the previous period of invasion occupation by the Yavanas around 150 BCE.

The Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura are sometimes called the "Northern Satraps", as opposed to the "Western Satraps" ruling in Gujaratmarker and Malwa. After Rajuvula, several successors are known to have ruled as vassals to the Kushans, such as the "Great Satrap" Kharapallana and the "Satrap" Vanaspara, who are known from an inscription discovered in Sarnathmarker, and dated to the 3rd year of Kanishka (c 130 CE), in which they were paying allegiance to the Kushans.

Mathura served as one of the Kushan Empire's two capitals from the first to the third centuries. The Mathura Museum has the largest collection of redstone sculptures in Asia, depicting many famous Buddha figurines.Fa Hien mentions the city, as a centre of Buddhism about A.D. 400; while his successor Hsuan Tsang, who visited the city in 634 AD, which he mentions as Mot'ulo, and writes that it contained twenty Buddhist monasteries and five Brahmanical temples . Later, he went east to Thanesarmarker, Jalandharmarker in the eastern Punjab, before climbing up to visit predominantly Theravada monasteries in the Kulu valley and turning southward again to Bairatmarker and then Mathura, on the Yamuna rivermarker .

The city was sacked and many of its temples destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018 and again by Sikandar Lodhi, who earned the epithet of But Shikan, the destroyer of idols. The Keshav Dev temple was partially destroyed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who built the city's Jami Masjid (Friday mosque) on the same site, re-using many of the temple's stones. It was won over from the Mughals by the Jat kings of Bharatpur but subsequently the area was passed on to the Marathas. The main Krishna shrine is presently the Dwarkadeesh temple, built in 1815 by Seth Gokuldas Parikh, Treasurer of Gwaliormarker.


Location:Mathura (27.28 N, 77.41 E) is a district headquarter in the Uttar Pradesh state of India. It is located 145 km south of the national capital New Delhi and 50 km north of the city of Taj Mahal, Agra. District Aligarh is on the east and the Rajasthan district of Bharatpur is to the west.

Area:Geographical Area: 3329.4 km²


District Mathura is divided in 3 tehsiles and 10 blocks for administrative purposes.

A: Tehsil: Chatta

1. Nandgaon

2. Chhata

3. Chaumuhan[36443]

4. Kosi Kalan

B: Tehsil: Mathura

4. Goverdhan

5. Mathura

6. Farah

7. Baldeo

C: Tehsil: Mant

8. Mant

9. Naujhil

10. Raya, Uttar Pradeshmarker

Mathura is located at . It has an average elevation of 174 metres (570 feet).


 India census, Mathura had a population of 298,827. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Mathura has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 71%, and female literacy is 73%. In Mathura, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Rail - Mathura is well connected by train from major cities in India. City is served by three stations, Mathura Jn being the biggest one connecting to West, North and Southern India. Mathura Cantt connects to eastern Uttar Pradesh. Bhooteshwar serves for local trains for Delhimarker, Agramarker and Alwarmarker. Another station Krishnajanmabhoomi connects to Vrindavanmarker via rail bus.

Road - Mathura is well connected by Road to rest of India and Rest of Uttar Pradesh. NH-2 (Delhi-Howrah) Highway passes through city which connects to NH-3 (to Mumbai), NH-11 (to Ajmer) and NH-93(Moradabad) in Agra. Apart from this various state highways connects to Mathura.City is served by Upsrtc, Rajasthan, Haryana, MP, DTC, Chandigrah and Punjab state transports.

Air - City does not have an airport but is served by Kheria Airport (IATA-AGR) 60 km and IGI Airport (IATA-DEL) New Delhi 130 km.


Tourism is still in a development stage in the city. There are quite a few places to visit in Mathura and its surroundings, most of them linked to the Hindu theology. Major places are listed here.

There is no commercial airport in Mathura. However, Mathura is driving distance from Delhi and Agra, both of which are on India's air map.

Major tourist sites in Mathura

  • Dwarikadheesh Temple
  • Durvasa Rishi Ashram
  • Kans Tila
  • Sri Keshavji Gaudiya Matha
  • Vishram Ghat, a bath and worship place on the banks of river Yamunamarker is the main ghat in Mathura, central to 25 other ghats.
  • Bhooteshwar Mahadev Mandir

Places of interest around Mathura

A very famous twin-city to Mathura is Vrindavanmarker. As the home of Lord Krishna in his youth, the small town is host to a multitude of temples belonging to various sects of Hinduism proclaiming Lord Krishna in various forms and avatars. Some of the most famous temples are Banke Bihari Temple, Rang ji Temple and Iskcon Temple.

Strategic Importance

Mathura is the home for Indian I Corps (Strike Formation) within the Indian Army's Central Command, hosting Strike I Corps headquarters in a large classified area in the outskirts of the city known as Mathura Cantonment (Central Command itself has its headquarters at Lucknowmarker). It hosts Strike Infantry units, Air Defence units, Armoured Divisions, Engineer brigades, Aritillery Units and classified units of Strategic Nuclear Command. Corps I is primarily responsible for western borders of India. In 2007 during Exercise Ashwamedha, all the armoured, artillery and infantry divisions performed a simulation of an overall NBC (nuclear-chemical-biological) environment. The aim was to show operational ability in high intensity, short duration and 'sudden' battles.


Today Mathura is situated on very important Road and Train routes in India. The famous Delhi-Agra highway (NH-2, National Highway -2) runs close to Mathura, providing the city with great connectivity. The city also houses a large and important train station; Mathura Junction. The city is on both the Delhimarker-Mumbaimarker and Delhimarker-Chennaimarker train routes.

Mathura is home to a large, technologically-advanced oil refinery owned by the Indian Oil Corporation, one of the largest in Asia. Mathura is also the base of a flourishing Machine Casting Industry, Silver polishing industry, textile printing industry involving in sari-printing and fabric dyeing. In addition to this, water tap factories are also flourishing in the area.

Educational Institutions

Mathura is home to the Uttar Pradesh Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Veterinary University, the first of its kind in the state and the fourth in the country to be made independent veterinary universities. The University is located on the Mathura-Agra road, about 5 km from Mathura Junction. The main campus of the University is spread over a land area of in Mathura Cantt and about at Madhurikund, about 20 km from the main campus.

Educational Colleges & Schools

Excel Group of Institutions

  • Excel Institute of Management & Technology(EIMT)-Approved by U.P.T.U. & Affiliated to AICTE)UPTU CODE-368
          • (B.Tech,MBA)
  • Excel School of Business (ESB)-Approved by U.P.T.U. & Affiliated to AICTE)UPTU CODE-443
          • (MBA)
  • Excel Institute of Management(EIM)-Approved by A.I.C.T.E)
          • (PGDM)
  • Excel Institute of Education & Research(EIER)-(Affiliated to D.B.R.A.U.)
          • (B.Ed.,BBA)
          • 116 K.M. Stone Delhi-Mathura Highway, Chhata, Mathura-281401
          • Phone ;-05662-308210-12
          • Helpline:9368122227,9368122228,9368122229
  • GLA institute
  • BSA College
  • Kendriya Vidyala refinery nagar
  • Faiz-E-Aam School
  • Ratanlal Phool Katori girls school
  • Shree ji Baba boys school
  • Sacred Heart Convent
  • Army School Mathura
  • Amar Nath Vidya Ashram
  • Shriji Baba School
  • Ramanlal Shorawala School
  • St. Dominic's School
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya - Cantt.
  • D.P.S. Mathura Refinery
  • Kishori Raman Inter College
  • Kishori Raman Girls Inter College
  • Kishori Raman Montessori School
  • Kishori Raman Degree College
  • Champa Agrawal Bal Mandir.

Art of Mathura

Image:MathuraLionCapital.JPG|The Indo-Scythian Mathura lion capital, 1st century CE.Image:MathuraYaksa.jpg|Yaksa, 1st-2nd century CEImage:MathuraMaitreya.JPG|The Bodhisattva Maitreya, art of Mathura, 2nd century CEImage:MathuraBodhisattvaSide.JPG|The Bodhisattva Maitreya, 2nd century CE.Image:MathuraBuddha.JPG|The Bodhisattva Siddhartha Gautama, 2nd century CE.Image:GuptaBuddha.JPG|Buddha of the Gupta period, 5th century CE.Image:MathuraBuddhaHead.JPG|Head of a Buddha, Gupta period, 6th century CE.


  1. p. 73
  2. p. 2
  3. Mathura History The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 18, p. 64.
  4. Megasthenes, fragment 23 "The Surasenians, an Indian tribe, with two great cities, Methora and Clisobora; the navigable river Iomanes flows through their territory" quoted in Arrian Indica 8.5. Also "The river Jomanes (Yamuna) flows through the Palibothri into the Ganges between the towns Methora and Carisobora." in FRAGM. LVI. Plin. Hist. Nat. VI. 21. 8-23. 11.
  5. Kshatrapasa pra Kharaostasa Artasa putrasa. See: Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 398, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 307, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Ancient India, 1956, pp 220–221, Dr R. K. Mukerjee; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 168, S Kirpal Singh.
  6. Ancient India, pp 220–221, Dr R. k. Mukerjee; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 168–169, S Kirpal Singh; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, pp 306–09, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol II, Part 1, p 36, D S Konow
  7. Dr Jayaswal writes:"Mathura was under outlandish people like the Yavanas and Kambojas... who had a special mode of fighting" (Manu and Yajnavalkya, Dr K. P. Jayswal); See also: Indian Historical Quarterly, XXVI-2, p 124. Prof Shashi Asthana comments: "Epic Mahabharata refers to the siege of Mathura by the Yavanas and Kambojas (see: History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C., 1976, p 153, Shashi Asthana). Dr Buddha Prakash observes: "Along with the Sakas, the Kambojas had also entered Indian mainland and spread into whole of North India, especially in Panjab and Uttar Pradesh. Mahabharata contains references to Yavanas and Kambojas having conquered Mathura (12/105/5)....There is also a reference to the Kambojas in the Mathura Lion Capital inscriptions of Saka Satrap (Kshatrapa) Rajuvula found in Mathura " (India and the World, p 154, Dr Buddha Parkash); cf: Ancient India, 1956, p 220, Dr R. K. Mukerjee
  8. Mahabharata 12.101.5.
  9. Source: "A Catalogue of the Indian Coins in the British Museum. Andhras etc..." Rapson, p ciii
  10. Mathura .
  11. Hsuan Tsang .
  12. Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Mathura
  13. India - Army Central Command Order of Battle
  14. Organisational Structure
  15. Indian Army tests network centric warfare capability in Ashwamedh war games


  • Mathura-The Cultural Heritage. Edited by Doris Meth Srinivasan, published in 1989 by AIIS/Manohar.
  • Bowker, John (2002). The Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions, p. 60.
  • Konow, Sten. Editor. 1929. Kharoshthī Inscriptions with Exception of those of Asoka. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. II, Part I. Reprint: Indological Book House, Varanasi, 1969.
  • Mukherjee, B. N. 1981. Mathurā and its Society: The Śaka-Pahlava Phase. Firma K. L. M. Private Limited, Calcutta.
  • Sharma, R. C. 1976. Mathura Museum and Art. 2nd revised and enlarged edition. Government Museum, Mathura.
  • Growse, F. S. 1882. " Mathura A District Memoir.
  • Drake-Brockman, D. L. 1911. " Muttra A Gaztteer.

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