The KRISHNA JANMASTHAN temple in Mathura, also known as the Janmabhumi temple, marks the exact place of most beloved God of Sanatan dharma Lord Krishna’s birth. Hence this temple is one of the most visited temples in India. Festivals connected with the life of Krishna such as Janmasthami is so on are celebrated with a large attendance in this temple.
The present Janmasthan temple was rebuilt from the ruins of the previous temple, although part of the complex was occupied and used by a local Muslim general to build a mosque. The mosque currently stands on the temple grounds next to the Janmasthan temple in the place of its former maha mandap (hall). It is not the only temple in Uttar Pradesh which got converted to Mosque. Kashi Vishwanath temple as well converted to Mosque in past
Krishna Janmasthan temple
The Krishna Janmasthan temple is a sacred complex, which contains the tank Potrakund/Pavitrakund, the Janmasthan temple, the Kesavadev temple, and the Bhagavatabhavan.
Potrakund is a small stepped tank, the water of which was said to have been used for the first bath and cleaning of the child Krishna soon after his birth. Vajranabha, the great-grandson of Krishna, constructed the original Kesavadev temple, installing the image of Krishna prepared according to the instructions of Kalindi (Yamuna), one of Krishna’s wives.
Garbha Griha Shrine
Garbha Griha is considered as the place of the prison cell where Krishna is believed to have born. A marble pavilion and an underground prison cell were built on the place with spacious veranda. It is said that Shahi Eidgah was constructed on the sabha mandapa (assembly hall) of the original temple and the Garbha Griha was left. There is a shrine near it dedicated to the eight-handed goddess Yogmaya. It is located against the rear wall of the Shahi Eidgah.
How Old is the Temple?
Lord Krishna Janmasthan is one of the all-time famous and favorite pilgrimage for every person who follows Sanatan Dharm. This Shrine is as old as Lord Krishna’s age as of today. As per Vishnu Purana, Mahabharata and other ancient scriptures, Krishna took birth before 5000 years ago in Dwapar Yuga but the temple in this place first built by Krishna’s great-grandson Vajranabha. So approximately this place is at least 5000 years old.
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Birth Story of Lord Krishna
The whole life of Krishna is full of thrill and magic. He was born in Mathura. He brought up in Braj and he died at some other place called Dwarka. Dwarka is the city that lord Krishna built to save all Matura’s people. Recently Indian archaeology team has found Dwarka city under the Indian Ocean.
According to tradition, Krishna was born to Mathura with a black hair of Vishnu, son of Prince Vasudeva and Devaki. Kamsa, a King of the Bhoja lineage, cruel and immoral, reigns over Mathura after overthrowing his father, Ugrasena. Kamsa is also Devaki’s brother. Kamsa heard a heavenly voice that predicts that his sister’s eighth child will cause his fall. Mad with rage, he pulls Devaki by the hair out of the chariot and when Vasudeva sees it, he promises to give him his unborn children.
The couple keeps his promise for his first six children, but the seventh, Balarama, is secretly entrusted to Rohini, one of Vasudeva’s wives. When he learns he has been cheated, Kamsa jails the couple. Devakî soon brings forth a new child, Krishna, and thanks to a miracle that kills the soldiers of Kamsa, Vasudeva manages to escape for a while, goes to the village of Gokula and entrusts Krishna to a couple of cowherds, Yashoda and Nanda, who exchange it for one of their daughters, Yoga Mâyâr. In the morning, Kamsa learns the birth of a new child, seizes and kills Yoga Mâyâ who turns into a celestial creature and reminds her of the prediction. Kamsa kills all the newborns, but Krishna escapes him.
Chronology of the Temple
There is also much history on the site of Krishna’s birth, the Krishna birthplace in Mathura. This temple sustained numerous destructive attacks from invading Muslim armies since the twelfth century. However, the temple was destroyed completely and a mosque was built on the grounds in the seventeenth century.
Historical records indicate that the first temple here was also built by King Vajranabha (the great-grandson of Krishna). This temple lasted for many years.
The next temple was supposedly built by King Vikramaditya in 400 BCE. That was destroyed by the infamous Mahmud Ghazni in 1017-18. Ancient descriptions relate that such a magnificent building would have taken 200 years of great toil by the world’s greatest craftsmen.
Thereafter, a third temple was built by a citizen named Jajja during the time of King Vijayapalavadeva, ruler of Mathura, according to an inscription on a stone slab discovered in the area.
Sri Chaitanya visited this temple during His visit in 1515. Unfortunately, that was destroyed by the Muslim Sikander Lodi shortly thereafter.
The next temple was built by Raja Virsinghadeva Bundela during the reign of Jehangir (around 1650). It is said that this temple stood 250 feet tall and was a stately structure made of intricately carved red sandstone, costing some 33 lakhs of rupees. But again it was destroyed by the fanatic Muslim Aurangzeb in 1669-70. Then a mosque was built, which still stands today.
Mosque Over the Shrine
The base of the mosque was, according to the foreign traveler Tavernier once the plinth of the temple of Keshav Dev, reputed to be a most imposing temple until it was destroyed by Aurangzeb to be replaced by the mosque as it exists today. The underground cellar behind the marble pavilion is an old construction and is stated to be the prison cell where Devaki was imprisoned at the time of the birth of Krishna
From the Different Traveller Account
There are many records available from different travellers. A French traveller Tavernier visited Mathura in 1650 and had described the octagonal temple built in red sandstone.
The earliest European visitor to record his impressions of Mathură was Father Monserrate, a guest at Akbar’s court in the years 1580-82. According to him, there were many temples in the neighborhood, built at places where Krishna was believed to have performed his action.
Noting the presence of the ruins of earlier buildings, he says that only one Hindu temple is left out of many’, the rest having been destroyed by Muslims. It appears that the Krishna temples he saw were new or recently reconstructed shrines and that there was only one ancient structure (the temple of Kesavadeva, somewhat restored after its destruction by Sikandar Lodi?), which he says attracted huge crowds of pilgrims from all over India.
Al Utbi a historian of Mahmood Gazni describes in his Tarikh-i-Yamini. He wrote, “In the center of the city there was a huge and magnificent temple, which the people believed wasn’t built by men but by the angels. Any description of the temple, either in words or in pictures, would fall short and fail to convey its beauty.
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If till now you thought that Ayodhya was the only temple which was hijacked and converted to the mosque then the reality is in front of you. All important Hindu shrine’s in India either converted to Mosque or demolished. There is some important temple which could save from Muslim invasion. We cannot blame anyone for this. The only reason behind this was Hindus could not integrate as a community.
Like now, how the whole country could stand for Ayodhya temple and finally on the basis of Archaeological evidence Ayodhya temple land was announced as Ramlala Janma bhumi.
When a society is integrated and unite its strength becomes different. Now the time has arrived, we have to forget our individual identity and start seeing ourselves as a part of the whole community. Start forgetting “Achut” and “Varn Vyavasth”. Start taking with all the people and take them together. Our future totally depends on our integrity.
I am continuously making myself aware of these injustices which happened in the past. I am not trying to influence anyone here. I am just trying to make everyone aware.
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