Mathura is a quaint tiny town on the western bank of the Yamuna River, about an hour’s drive from Agra. It is one of the most recognized sacred Hindu locations. It is the location where Lord Krishna was born and spent his childhood.
The region was famed for a major school of sculpture known as the Mathura School of Art, which flourished during the Kushana dynasty in the first century AD. Mathura with the nearby villages of Vrindavan, Goverdhan, and Gokul generally known as “Braj-Bhoomi,” is one of the seven sacred towns (Sapta Mahapuris) and a major pilgrimage site.
The modern city, located at a key crossroads of highways and rail lines, is mostly an agricultural commerce centre with some industrial. The city is home to several colleges as well as the Government Museum, Mathura (founded in 1874; formerly the Curzon Museum of Archaeology). There are numerous temples around the city, as well as ghats, or bathing stairs, along the river. Pop. (2001) 302,770; (2011) 349,909.