Shri Krishna, the eighth reincarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu, was born on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Shravan. Janmashtami festival is celebrated all over in India. However, the zeal and enthusiasm in Mathura and Vrindavan are unmatched. Mathura being the birth place of Shri Krishna, while Vrindavan being the city where he spent his childhood.
Mathura is on the banks of river Yamuna. which, like Ganga, is revered deeply by Hindu devotees. The cultural views of Yamuna and its ghats are an intangible heritage that is transmitted from one generation to another through oral traditions, music, dance forms, festivals and arts. Festivals and performances of raas-lila on her banks are opportunities for repeated enactment of Yamuna and Krishna narratives. This is the living tradition of India. The water of Yamuna is supposed to be both pure and purifying. Hence, this site is also important for ritualistic bathing and offerings. Mangal arati at the place is an event to be experienced.
There are twenty four ghats on the banks of river Yamuna. Vishram is in the centre and is considered as the most pious. Vishram Ghat is the place where Krishna Bhagwan rested after killing Kansa. The Mathura parikrama or circumambulation begins and ends at Vishram Ghat. The landscape includes temples and shrines facing the river. These have been built and rebuilt over centuries. The intangible heritage is supported by the tangible heritage at Mathura and synergetic architecture of Vishram Ghat. The ages and centuries seem to have been blended in the evolved architectural character of the ghat. At present, the architecture mostly consisted of burjes, arches, domes and jalis.
Some of the most important temples of Mathura – Mukut temple, Radha-Damodar temple, Murali Manohar temple, Neelkantheshwar temple and Yamuna Krishna temple are all elegantly aligned on the bank of Yamuna. Janmashtami celebrations flooded with pilgrims from all over the world on the backdrop of this architecture is actually the symbol of the celebration of ‘Unity in Diversity’ of Bharat through ages.