The main Islamic monument in the city is the Jama Masjid built by Abd-un-Nabi, Aurangzeb's governor, and once covered with brightly enamelled encaustic tiles. The courtyard is raised above street level. Over the facade are the ninety-nine names of God and to either side there are Persian inscriptions. The outer pavilions of the mosque are roofed in a typical Hindu style. The four minarets are each 40 m high.
About 400 m beyond is the Katra, a large enclosure within which stands another large mosque of red stone, built by Aurangzeb and used as a shrine. This stands over the ruins of the famous Kesava Deo Temple, which was destroyed by the emperor, although traces of the foundations can be seen at the rear of the mosque.
The old Kans Qila on the river-bank was built by Raja Man Singh of Amber. It was rebuilt by Akbar, but only the foundations remains now. No traces survive of Jai Singh's famous observatory, which was built here.
The Sati Burj is a square tower of red sandstone with a later plastered dome, 16-8 m high, alleged to have been built after 1574 to commemorate the suttee of a wife of Raja Bhar Mai of Amber. Within the town the fine carved stonework of the facades of many of the houses is worth close inspection.
The Cantonments lie to the south of the city. There are a number of European monuments of importance here. The Anglican Church has some interesting memorial tablets. The Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart was designed in a highly unusual style, combining Eastern and Western architecture. It is by F. S. Growse, the local Collector and exponent of native architecture, who did much to foster a revival of local craftsmanship.
The Cemetery contains a monument to those who fell at the Battle of Deeg in 1804. Nearby is the tomb of Lieutenant C. H. C. Burlton, who was shot by his men during the Mutiny of 1857.
In conclusion it can be said that the city of Mathura has become an important center of pilgrimage not only because it is the birthplace of Lord Krishna but the monuments of the region also add to the tourist attraction of the place.
(Last Updated on : 03-04-2013)
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