Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mathura (मथुरा) is a city in India, located approximately 50 km north of Agra, and south of Delhi. It is the administrative center of the Mathura District. During the ancient period, this was an economic hub, located at the junction of some relatively important caravan routes.
Mathura is the reputed birthplace of Krishna, Krishnajanmabhoomi. The Keshav Dev temple was built in ancient times on the site of Krishna's supposed birthplace (an underground prison). In the sixth century BCE Mathura became the capital of the Shursen republic.
The city was later ruled by the Maurya empire (fourth to second centuries BCE) and the Shunga dynasty (second BCE). It was then ruled by the Indo-Greeks between 180 and 100 BCE. It briefly reverted to Indian rule, and was then occupied by the Indo-Scythians during the 1st century BCE. Archaeological evidence seems to indicate that, by 100 BCE, there was a group of Jainists living in Mathura [Bowker].
The city was sacked and many of its temples destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018. 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. The main Krishna shrine is presently the Dwarkadeesh temple, built in 1815 by Seth Gokuldas Parikh, Treasurer of Gwalior. The city is mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes story 'The Sign of Four.'
Art of Mathura
The Bodhisattva Siddhartha Gautama, 2nd century CE.
Mathura District is bounded on the northeast by Aligarh district, on the southeast by Hathras district, on the south by Agra district, and on the west and northwest by Haryana state. The district is part of Agra Division.
- 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.
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