The place from where the renowned Mathura School of art originated. Some authorities credit this school with producing the first image of the Buddha. The Government Museum, Mathura originally founded by F. S. Grouse in 1874, is today one of the leading centres for research, study and the preservation of Mathura's splendid heritage of art. The museum housed in a fine octagonal, red sandstone building, located at Dampier Park, has a finest collection of sculptures belonging to the Maurya, Sunga, Kushana and the Gupta periods. Its collection of Kushana art is considered to be the finest in the world.
Holi is a major festival in Mathura-Vrindavan and people from all corners of India gather here during this festival of colours. People relive the legends of Holi associated with Radha and Krishna. The Holi celebrations continue for a week and each major Krishna temple celebrates Holi on a different day such as Banke Bihari temple, Nandgaon, Gokul and Barsana.
Try the delicious delicacies of Mathura and if you stay in close cities you can get it packed to relish it with your family and friends. Don't forget to buy little dresses for the idols of God Krishna in your house. Mathura, the land of cows, is famed for its milk based sweetmeats. For the devotees who seek to shop for the idols of Lord Krishna and goddess Radha you can purchase handicrafts and a wide range of trinkets.
Ardent devotees of Lord Krishna gather at this sacred temple to be a part of 'Aarti' (a Hindu ceremony in which lights with wicks soaked in ghee are lit and offered up to one or more deities) and offer prayers and offerings to the presiding deity of the temple. The image of Bihariji installed in the Shri Banke Bihari Mandir, is the one granted to Swami Haridas by the celestial couple Shyama-Shyam themselves. Submitting to the desire of devotees the Lord appeared in person with his divine consort and left back a black charming image before disappearing.
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