Mathurapuri known as Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi is one of the oldest and most sacrosanct places of Akhanda Bharat. It has been mentioned as one of the Sapta Puri in the Hindu scriptures that bestows moksha –
अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी काञ्ची अवन्तिका ।
पुरी द्वारावती चैव सप्तैते मोक्षदायकाः ॥
This ancient city is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and has innumerable temples that can be traced back to the dawn of time. Archaeological excavations have uncovered several artefacts from different periods like the Vedic, Bronze Age and Late Neolithic to mention a few.
Unfortunately, Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi became the prized target of Muslim invaders starting with the desert barbarian Mahumd of Ghazni in 1018 CE. The Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals, Nadir Shah and Abdali who subsequently usurped the seat of power in Delhi using deplorable means did not show any mercy either and desecrated everything in sight. They reduced most of the temples to rubble, built mosques over the sacred tirthsthalas, looted the people of their riches, raped women and children, forced Hindus to convert to Islam and slaughtered cows and Hindus mercilessly leaving rivers of blood in their wake.
Aurangzeb hated the very name of Lord Krishna and the prevailing worship of the Lord at Mathura so much so that he changed its name to Islamabad. But the spiritual potency of this place is such that every time the Muslim invaders destroyed the city, the city was rebuilt by devout Hindus and regained its former glory.
Though this city is dotted with beautiful temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, there are four temples dedicated to Lord Bholenath that are referred to as the guardians of the city namely Shree Pipleshwar Nath Mahadev, Bhuteshwar Mahadev, Gokarneshwar Mahadev and Rangeshwar Mahadev located in the four cardinal directions.
Shree Pipleshwar Nath Mahadev is located in the eastern part of the city near the Vishram Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna River. This highly revered temple of great antiquity draws thousands of devotees on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti and Maha Shivaratri and the holy months of Shravan and Magha.
The temple is relatively small and simplistic in design and decoration. There is a Shiva Linga consecrated in the sanctum sanctorum with Parvati Devi seated alongside Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya.
Devotees who perform the Braj Parikrama seek Lord Mahadev’s blessings to complete their pilgrimage successfully.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)