The land of Uttar Pradesh has been the home to some very important places where Lord Krishna was born and spent a major part of his life. These places together constitute the Krishna Circuit of Uttar Pradesh. A large number of devotees visit these places throughout the year. Lord Krishna was born around 5000 years ago on this Land as the 8th child to Devaki and Vasudeva in the prison cell of the Tyrant Kansa, who was his uncle. This circuit consists of seven places of Uttar Pradesh namely Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Barsana, Nandgaoan, Govardhan and Baldeo. All these cities are closely linked to Lord Krishna and have been a witness to the various life facets of Lord Krishna.
One can also see many Buddhist pilgrims and monks who come here for meditation and worship throughout the year. The Buddhist circuit consist of 5 places which hold a major significance towards Buddhism, there is Kapilvastu where prince Siddharth grew up as a child, Sarnath where he held his first public discourse, Kaushambi where he delivered his many sermons, then there is Sravasti which was his favourite monsoon retreat, Kushinagar where he attained Mahaparinirvana and Sankisa where he descended after addressing his mother to heaven. One must visit all these places to get an insight of Lord Buddha’s life.
Mathura is the birth place of Lord Krishna. Situated on the banks of River Yamuna the 3000 years old city is full of beautiful temples, music, arts, and dances where one can see the values of Lord Krishna come alive every day. The endless temples, delicious food and cheerful atmosphere of Mathura keeps the visitors spellbound. The city has temples which holds a great historical importance and can make everyone feel a part of Lord Krishna’s life.
Vrindavan a town located 10 kms away from Mathura is the land where Lord Krishna grew up. It is the home to the sacred Tulsi Van where Lord Krishna, frolicked with Radha and the gopis on the banks of the River Yamuna. The town of Vrindavan is dotted with over 5000 temples, and is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in Braj, attracting thousands of pilgrims every year. Vrindavan has some of the most beautiful temples and ghats.
Baldeo is a small town situated 20 km south -east of Mathura and is famous for the Baldeo Temple. Thousands of devotees visit here to pay amass to Balram, the elder brother of Lord Krishna who presides here along with his consort Revati. The image which is worshipped here is believed to have been found in a tank, known as Balbhandra Kund and it is famous as Kshir Sagar. A grand Holi celebrations which are known as Dauji ka Huranga takes place here every year and receives a large number of visitors, who come here to drench in colours and get intoxicated by Bhang. Baldeo also has the famous Shri Dauji Temple.
The small town of Nandgaon is believed to be the home of Shri Nandji, the foster father of Lord Krishna. This town is situated about 8km on the northern side of Barsana. It has a temple of Nand Rai on the crest of a hill and is largely visited for attractions like temples of Yashoda Nandan, Nritya Gopal, Nand Nandan, Udav Kyaro, and Gopinath. There is a lake named Pan Sarovar located a little further from the town, where Lord Krishna’s cattle used to drink water. A famous temple of Shanidev is located 4 km from Pan Sarovar.
According to Hindu folklore Barsana is believed to be the home to Radharani the soul mate of Lord Krishna. There are numerous temples in this area among which the most prominent one is the Radaharani Temple, fondly known as Ladliji or Shriji temple. Other places to visit here are the Jaipur temple, Peeli Pokhar, Man Mandir, Sankari Khor, Dangarh and Mor-Kuti, Bhanokhar Tank, Prem Sarovar, Roop Sarovar etc. The major celebration here is the birth anniversary of Radharani. A large number of female devotees visit the temple early in the morning and offer sweets to peacocks which symbolises the offering made to Lord Krishna by Radharani. Barasana is also very famous for its lavish celebration of the Lathmar Holi.
As per the Hindu mythology Gokul is the pastoral village on the banks of River Yamuna where Lord Krishna grew up in secrecy. In the month of August the town of Gokul witnesses the unprecedented celebration of Krishna Janmashtami and Nandotsav with huge fairs which are attended by devotees from all over the country. While in Gokul one can also visit the Dauji Temple, Raskham Samadhi, Bramhand Ghat, Gokul Nath Temple, Morwala temple, Thanurani Ghat and Nand Bhawan.
Govardhan is a small town which is located on the hill named Giriraj. As per the legend the young Lord Krishna held this mountain for up to 7 days on his little finger to save the people of Braj from torrential rainfall caused by Lord Indra. The beautiful stone tank Mansi Ganga lake, which was built Raja Bhagwan Das of Amer is a major attraction here, including other places like Kusum Sarovar, Chhatri of Raja Surajmal of Bharatpur, Temple of Haridev, Mukharvind Jatipur, Danghati, Udhavkund, Chandra Sarovar and Radha Kund.