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Krishna Janambhoomi

Krishnajanmabhoomi, which means 'the birth-place of Krishna', is a Hindu temple in Mathura, India. According to Hindu belief, Lord Krishna was born here in a cell of a prison, which once stood there. Krishna was son of Vasudeva and Devaki. Devaki was cousin (sister) of the local King Kansa. Kansa was told that the eighth son of Vasudeva and Devaki will kill him. Fearing this he imprisoned his sister and brother-in-law and eventually killed first seven children of the couple.

Krishna was the eighth child of the couple, and he was transported to Gokul by Vasudeva. The child Krishna was brought up by the local village-head of Gokul, Nanda (that is how he got his other name, Nandlaal). Eventually Krishna lead a rebellion against the kingdom of Kansa and killed him.

The current temple complex is at the site of the prison (partly occupied by the mosque built by Aurangzeb).

However, the temple complex is not entirely undisputed birth place temple complex for Krishna. There is at least one more temple close by which claims to be the real birth place of Krishna. The local populace is quite divided about the reality.

In relatively modern time, a temple called Keshava Deo Temple was built on the spot where Krishna was believed to have been born. The temple was built by Rao Veer Singh Bundela, who was a prominent Hindu nobleman at the Mughal court of Jehangir (1605-27). In late 17th century, during the reign of Aurangzeb (1618-1707), a mosque, was constructed after destroying parts of the existing Krishna temple structure. With the decline of the Mughal Empire, and by the early 19th century, the East India Company had emerged as the de facto ruler of large parts of undivided India, and exercised jurisdiction over the region.

Before India’s independence, Madan Mohan Malaviya, endeavored during 1940s to build a temple over the spot where Krishna was believed to have been born. In 1953, an organization named the Krishna Janmabhoomi Sansthan was formed, and with the monetary assistance received from different sources, construction of a temple was commenced. The temple was opened to public in 1984.

Starting with communal tensions starting with events in Ayodhya in 1990 and 1992, the temple complex has been put under high security. The high security has taken its toll on the temple's popularity with the local worshipers.

As a result, quite a few other temples in and around the main complex have gained popularity and public support. The old Keshav Dev Temple just behind the main complex's back door.