MATHURA , on the west bank of Yamuna river, is revered as the birthplace of one of India’s most popular gods, Lord Krishna. A dark, !’ cell-like room in the rather modern Sri Krishna Janinabhoomi Temple, on the periphery of the city, is reputed to be the actual site of his birth. Further away, along the river front, Mathura’s 25 ghats form a splendid network of temples, pavilions, trees and stone steps leading down to the water. The Jami Mashed , with its striking tilework, lies behind the river front. A charming oddity is the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, built in 1860, in the army cantonment. It combines Western elements with details taken from local temple architecture.

The Government Museum has a superb collection of sculpture in the distinctive local white-flecked red sand- I stone. These date from about the 5th century BC until the 4th century AD, when Mathura was part of the Kushana empire  flourished as a major centre of Buddhism. Outstanding pieces include a Standing Buddha, and the famous headless statue of the great Kushana king, Kanishka

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