The Ghats, Muttra.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the bathing ghats on the Yamuna river 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. In India ghats are stepped embankments leading down to the river, and dozens line the Yamuna as it flows through the city.