Brajbhoomi - the land where Shri Krishna was born and spent his youth, has today little towns and hamlets that are still alive with the Krishna legend and still redolent with the music of his flute. Mathura, a little town on the River Yamuna was transformed into a place of faith after Lord Krishna was born here. Vrindavan, a village - once noted for its fragrant groves, is where he spent an eventful youth. There are numerous other little spots in the area that still reverberate with the enchantment of Shri Krishna.
City of Mathura
The City of Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh, the nucleus of Brajbhoomi, is located at a distance of 145 km south-east of Delhi and 58 km north-west of Agra. Covering an area of about 3,800 sq. km., today, Brajbhoomi can be divided into two distinct units - the eastern part in the trans-Yamuna tract with places like Gokul, Mahavan, Baldeo, Mat and Bajna and the western side of the Yamuna covering the Mathura region that encompasses Vrindavan, Govardhan, Kusum Sarovar, Barsana and Nandgaon.
The land of Braj starts from Kotban near Hodel about 95 km from Delhi and ends at Runakuta which is known specially for its association with the poet Surdas, an ardent Krishna devotee.
Shri Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was born in the Dwapara Yuga as the eighth son of the Yadava prince Vasudev and his wife Devaki. To save him from the murderous intentions of his maternal uncle Kansa, the ruler of Mathura, the infant Krishna was spirited away soon after birth to Gokul, the village of the gopas (cowherds) in Braj (their pastureland). It was here that he grew to manhood, in the tender care of his foster parents Nand and Yashoda in the happy company of the cowherds.
City of Vrindavan
Vrindavan, just 15 km from Mathura, is another major place of pilgrimage. It is noted for its numerous temples - both old and modern. The name Vrindavan evokes the playfulness and lovable characteristics of Shri Krishna. This is the wood where he frolicked with the gopis and tenderly wooed Radha.
Vrindavan today, is noted for its numerous temples.
Statements about Vrindavan
It is understood that Mathura City is the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna. It is not an ordinary material city, for it is eternally connected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vrindavan is within the jurisdiction of Mathura and still continues to exist. Because Mathura and Vrindavan are intimately connected with Krishna eternally, it is said that Lord Krishna never leaves Vrindavan (vrindavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati). At present the place known as Vrindavana in the district of Mathura, continues its position as a transcendental place and certainly anyone who goes there becomes transcendentally purified.
"We must understand the transcendental importance of Mathura, Vrindavana and Navadvipa dhamas. Anyone who executes devotional service in these places certainly goes back home, back to Godhead after giving up his body.
"Whenever the Supreme Personality appears, He appears in Mathura because of His intimate connection with this place. Therefore, although Mathura and Vrindavana are situated on this planet earth, they are transcendental abodes of the Lord." (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.28 Purport).
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna engages in pastimes there eternally. For this reason Vrindavana is better than all other holy places. Sixty billion sacred places reside in Mathura and Vrindavana. (Mathura Mahatma)