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Street in Muttra paved with big stones.

Street in Muttra paved with big stones.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 50/2(130)

Item number: 502130

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a street in Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in 1903, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. Mathura, on the banks of the river Yamuna 150 kms south of Delhi, is a sacred city for Hindus. Established as far back as 600 BC, it was famous as an important city of the Kushana empire in the 1st century AD, and when the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited it in the 7th century it was well-known for its Buddhist monasteries. It was an artistic centre for several centuries, producing images for all the great religions of India, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Its influence on Indian art declined when it was subjected to upheavals, most notably the sacking of the city by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018. Mathura's fortunes revived when it became a centre for the Vaishnava cult by the 15th century and it is celebrated now above all as the

site which Hindu mythology designates as the birthplace of Krishna, the popular incarnation of Vishnu. As an important pilgrimage site there are hundreds of temples here. However, the city suffered damage under the Delhi sultan Sikandar Lodi (ruled c. 1489– 1517) and again under the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (ruled 1658–1707) and many of the temples are 19th-century reconstructions.

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