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Mathura, Madhuvan & Talavan

Balabhadra temple, Talavan (Tarsi), Mathura | Balarama kills Dhenukasura | Vraja Mandala

dauji balabhadra talavan vraja

About 5 Kilometers south of Maholi (Madhuvan) and 10 Kilometers south of Mathura, is situated the village of Tarsi, whose ancient name was Talavan. Over here are worshiped beautiful deities of Lord Balarama (Dauji) and Revati devi. Next to the temple lies ‘Balabhadra Kunda’, which is also sometimes referred to as ‘Sankarshana Kunda’. It was over here in the forest of Talavan that Lord Balarama had killed demon Dhenukasura and his ass-demon associates. The place was previously filled with tall ‘Tala’ trees (palm trees) during Dvapara yuga and the region had thus derived its name. Presently Tarsi is not a forest anymore, and only a few Tala trees remain scattered here and there. Some of these Tala trees can be found today within the precincts of the temple compound. Talavan has been widely glorified throughout the Vedic scriptures. Skanda Purana states –

Aho tala vanam punyam yatra talair hato surah
Hitaya yadavanam ca atma kridanakaya ca

Ah, the forest of Talavan is highly auspicious. It is here that a demon (Dhenukasura) was killed by being thrown on a Tala tree for the benefit of the yadavas and for the purpose of the Lord’s play.

The forest of Talavan has been described in Sri Hari Vamsa as follows –

sa tu desah samah snigdhah
su mahan Krishna mrittikah
darbha prayah sthuli bhuto
lostra pasana varjitah

The land there (in Talavan) is smooth, and very wide. The ground is black, densely covered with darbha grass, and devoid of rocks and stones.

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Mathura, Madhuvan & Talavan

Shatrughna temple & Lavanasura’s cave, Madhuvan (Maholi), Mathura | Vraja Mandala

shatrughna temple maholi mathura

There is a small temple in Maholi dedicated to Shatrughna, the younger brother of Lord Rama, and Shrutakirti, Shatrughna’s wife. Shatrughna, the youngest brother of Rama, was the son of Dasaratha and Sumitra. The deity in this temple dates back to Treta Yuga. It was installed by local brahmanas after Shatrughna conquered Lavanasura and other demons. The cave where Lavanasura used to live is not far from the Shatrughna temple. One needs to carry a torch light to see clearly inside the demon’s cave. The village of Maholi is situated about six Kilometers southwest of Mathura and about four Kilometers west of Naroli. Maholi was earlier known as Madhuvan. It is here at Madhuvan that the Supreme Lord has been manifesting His enchanting pastimes millennium after millennium.

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Mathura, Madhuvan & Talavan

Dhruva tila, Madhuvan (Maholi), Mathura | Dhruva Maharaja attains Dhruvaloka

dhruva tila narayana

‘Dhruva’ refers to Dhruva Maharaja and the word ‘tila’ translates to a small hill. ‘Dhruva tila’ is a small hill situated at the actual place where Dhruva Maharaja had performed severe austerities to please the Supreme Lord in Satya Yuga. Subsequently, he had attained the darshan of the Supreme Lord at this very place. The Supreme Lord appeared as Lord Prsnigarbha to bestow His blissful darshan to Dhruva Maharaja. There is a small temple built today at the hilltop. It is celebrated as the ‘Dhruva Narayana temple’ where deities of Lord Narayana, Dhruva Maharaja, Narada muni, Garuda, and Lakshmi Narayana are worshiped pompously. One needs to climb stairs to enter the temple precincts. Dhruva tila is situated in the village of Maholi. Maholi is situated about six Kilometers southwest of Mathura and about four Kilometers west of Naroli. The village of Maholi was earlier known as Madhuvan. It is here at Madhuvan that Krishna, the Supreme Lord, has been manifesting His enchanting pastimes millennium after millennium.

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Mathura, Madhuvan & Talavan

Potra Kunda, Mathura (Near Krishna Janmasthan) – where Krishna’s clothes were washed

krishna janmabhoomi janmasthan potra kund

On the southeast of the Krishna Janmasthan temple in Mathura is a large and deep stepped water tank known as Potra Kunda or Pavitra Kunda. The word ‘Potra’ means clothes and the word ‘Pavitra’ means sacred. Sri Vasudeva and Devaki used to bathe here during their time in Kansa’s prison. It is said that mother Devaki’s clothes were cleaned in this Kunda after the birth of her children. This is also said to be the place where Krishna’s baby clothes were washed by mother Devaki.

krishna janmabhoomi janmasthan potra kund

This place is a few hundred meters walk from the Krishna Janmbhoomi (Krishna janmasthan) temple. Mahadji Scindia had later constructed the tank stairs and his descendants had repaired them. The tank is connected via underground pipelines to river Yamuna which flows about 3 Kms away. The water from Potra Kunda is believed to cleanse one of his/her sins. That is why it is particularly crowded during festivals and other holy occasions.

How to Reach :

Potra Kunda is situated near Deeg Marg, Near Deeg Gate Chauraha in Mathura. It is located 2 Kms from the Mathura railway station. It is a few hundred meters walk from the birthplace of Sri Krishna. The place is very well connected via road and railways.

potra Kunda krishna janmasthan mathura

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Mathura, Madhuvan & Talavan

Krishna Janmasthan temple (Krishna Janmbhoomi), Mathura | Lord Krishna’s birthplace

krishna janmabhoomi janmasthan temple

The foremost pilgrimage site of Mathura is the ‘Krishna Janmbhoomi temple’ or ‘Sri Krishna Janmasthan temple’ as it is sometimes referred to. It is built around the prison cell where Lord Krishna was born five thousand years ago. Krishna’s parents Devaki and Vasudeva were imprisoned in this cell by Kansa, the tyrannical brother of Devaki. The temple is said to have been originally built by Vajranabh, Krishna’s great-grandson, to commemorate the appearance of Sri Krishna. But it was later demolished by the invaders. Since then, the temple has been rebuilt and demolished numerous times over the past centuries. The present group of temples is a result of a major renovation project carried out in the 20th century. The temple compound comprises the impressive Keshava Deva temple, with the ‘garbha griha’ (sanctum sanctorum), and the Bhagavata Bhavan. Although the place might come across as ordinary to the casual eye, it is of paramount importance to a spiritual seeker. The birthplace of Krishna, the Supreme Lord, is completely spiritual and free from any traces of material contamination.

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Mathura, Madhuvan & Talavan

Vishram Ghat, Mathura – where Krishna rested after killing Kansa

vishram ghat mathura

‘Vishrama Ghat’ or ‘Vishranti tirtha’ is one of the most exalted pilgrimage destinations of Vraja Mandala. It was here that Lord Krishna took rest after killing Kansa, His tyrannical maternal uncle. The word ‘Vishram’ literally translates to ‘rest’ and the word ‘Ghat’ refers to a river bank. Thus the name ‘Vishram Ghat’ came into existence after Lord Krishna rested at this place. Vishram Ghat is also the holy place where Lord Varahadeva rested after slaying the demon Hiranyaksha. Situated on the bank of Yamuna, Vishrama Ghat is a revered place of worship for devotees. The circumambulation of all the holy sites of Mathura starts and ends at Vishram Ghat. Vishram Ghat is lined with elegant temples, and some of the most important temples of Mathura including Mukut Temple, Radha-Damodar, Murli Manohar, Neelkantheshwar, Yamuna-Krishna, Langali Hanuman, and Narasimha deva temples are situated in its close vicinity.

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