Less than 150 kilometers from Delhi on the bank of Yamuna river lies one the most sacred sites in all of India, the Birthplace of Lord Krishna, Sri Krishna Janmabhumi. More than a mere tourist attraction, Krishna Janmabhumi is a major destination for Krishna devotees and pilgrims from around the world who come here to worship their beloved Lord.
Among many historical and cultural sites, the magnificent temple complex is the major attraction of the twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan. Please go to Places to Visit in Mathura and Places to Visit in Vrindavan for more information on the most popular destinations in the area.
Story of Krishna’s Birth
The story of Krishna’s birth is a classic tale of good triumphing over evil. Many thousands of years ago, Mother Earth implored the God of Creation Lord Brahma to summon the Supreme Lord Vishnu to descend to this distressed planet in order to restore religious principles to a warring civilization.
Vishnu arranged to have demigods come down from their heavenly planets to incarnate as the humans who would welcome Him into this world in the form of baby Krishna, the Supreme Personality of God.
So it came to be that Mother Devaki and Father Vasudeva were expecting the Lord to appear as their child while imprisoned in the kingdom of Devaki’s evil brother, Kamsa. When it became revealed to Kamsa that the 8th child of his sister would kill him, he vowed to kill all of her offspring.
Because he is the Supreme Personality of God, Krishna even as a tiny baby used his divine powers to escape the wrath of Kamsa and make his way to safety in the home of his foster parents, Mother Yasoda and Father Nandana. Eventually Lord Krishna would return to Mathura to kill King Kamsa and restore order to the kingdom.
Time and Place of Krishna’s Birth
Krishna’s divine appearance took place in the city of Mathura, in the prison of King Kamsa, the brother of Krishna’s mother Devaki.
According to scriptural references, this all took place on July 18th, 3228 BCE, or 5245 years ago. This was during period of great turmoil, preceding the outbreak of a devastating war among two great warrior families.
Story of Shri Krishna Janmabhumi Temple
The site of the Krishna Janmabhumi Temple complex is around the area of King Kamsa’s prison, in which Krishna appeared as the son of Mother Devaki. The first temple to appear at this site was built by Lord Krishna’s great grandson Vajranabha, one of the last surviving members of the Yadu dynasty.
After the devastating war at Kurukshetra, he became King of Mathura where he established several shrines to house deities of Lord Krishna. One of them was built around the present site of the Krishna Janmabhumi Temple. Subsequently over several millennia, numerous temples have been destroyed and rebuilt at this site.
The most beautiful temple was built in 400 CE by the benevolent Gupta Emperor Vikramaditya, but that was destroyed in 1017 by Mahmud of Ghazni. In 1150, the third temple was built by Jajja during the reign of Raja Dhrupet Dev Janjuja, the Emperor of Mathura.
Lord Chaitanya, the Bengali saint responsible for establishing the Hare Krishna movement worshipped here in the 16th century before it was destroyed by the Islamic Sultanate of Delhi, Sikandar Lodhi. Again the temple was rebuilt as the Keshav Deo temple in the 17th century only to be destroyed by the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, who was notorious for desecrating many Hindu temples.
After British rule began in 1803, painstaking efforts went unfulfilled to rebuild the temple, until finally in 1951 the Shri Krishna Janmabhumi Trust was established. Construction of the present temple began in 1953 and was completed in 1982.
When to Visit Shri Krishna Janmabhumi
The appearance day of Lord Krishna, Shri Krishna Janmasthami is the most important festival observed in Mathura. On this day, (8th day of the Krishnapaksha or dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Shravan August-September) thousands of Krishna devotees, pilgrims and tourists pour into Mathura to celebrate the appearance of their most beloved Lord.
If you don’t mind jostling among huge crowds, then this is truly a magical occasion to visit Shri Krishna Janmabhumi. Musical programs, drama performances and colorful displays as well as numerous religious services commemorating the appearance day of baby Krishna can be observed in many temples throughout Mathura.
If you prefer to experience the sacred sites of this spiritual center in a less frenzied atmosphere, try the months of February and March when the climate is ideal for sightseeing and walking around the city.
Conclusion of the Birthplace of Lord Krishna
Shri Krishna Janmabhumi, the birthplace of Lord Krishna is a must-visit place because of its religious and historical significance. It is considered to be one of the 7 holiest places in India as well as the main attraction in the city of Mathura.
Because it is located relatively close to the the Taj Mahal and Delhi, it should definitely be included on anyone’s itinerary of Northern India.
The rich cultural heritage of this spectacular site and the pure spiritual energy flowing through the place will make a lasting impression on anyone so fortunate to visit here.