Mathura is 8 km from Agra in Uttar Pradesh. Buddha visited the place only once. Mathura remained a flourishing center of Buddhism for nearly a thousand years. The Mathura School of Art became famous for giving distinct features to the sculptures of Buddha.
Buddhism flourished in Mathura till about 9th century AD. Mahakachhayana, one of the important disciples of Buddha, preached Buddhism in Mathura. Upagupta, the teacher of Emperor Ashoka who converted the king to Buddhism, was born in Mathura. He constructed a big Buddhist Monastery, which remained intact till the 7th century AD. The celebrated courtesan Vasavadatta was also the resident of Mathura. Fa-Hein and Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese Pilgrims, also visited Mathura. Hieun Tsang has mentioned that there were 5 Deva temples, 3 stupas built by Ashoka and 20 Buddhist monasteries.
After the decline of Buddhism, Brahmins erected temples on Buddhist sites. Bhutesvara Mahadev's Temple is built over the Stupa of Sariputta. The Kesav Dev Temple was built on the site of the Yasa Vihara Buddhist Monastery. The temple was, however, destroyed by Mohammed of Gazni in 1017 A.D.
How to Reach
The nearest airport to Mathura is at Agra, which is 47 km away. Mathura is well connected by rail and road network with all the important cities of India.
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