Dwaraka, GujaratSep 25 2022 Attractions Gujarat Dwaraka
General Information about Dwaraka
Dwaraka is located on the extreme western end of Kathiawar peninsula, where the River Gomti meets the Arabian Sea. This is one of the four most important holy places of the Hindus and attracts tourists from all over the world. The Lord Krishna also established his capital at Dwaraka after he left Mathura.
The importance, foundation, planning and glory of Dwaraka as the golden city is described in various Hindu epics like Mahabharata, Harivamsha, Sijupdlavadha, Bhagvad Gita, Skand Purana, Vishnu Purana and Mahabharat. The architecture of the old Dwaraka city was majestic and wonderful.
History of Dwaraka
The city of Dwaraka has a very large and old traditional history. Dwaraka was the capital of the western coast of Saurashtra, was a large, well fortified and the prosperous city due to the sea trade which prevailed in this city. This region was full of flowering and fruit-bearing trees. Due to fear of the attack by Jarasangh and Kaalayvan on Mathura, Shri Krishna and Yadavas left Mathura and arrived at the coast of Saurashtra.
They decided to build their capital in the coastal region and invoke the Vishwakarma, the deity of construction. However, Vishwakarma said that the task can be completed only if Samudradev, the Lord of the sea provide some land. Shri Krishna worshipped Samudradev, who pleased by the prayers decided to gave them the land measuring 12 yojans from the sea near the western shores of Saurashtra and thus the Lord Vishwakarma laid the foundation of Dwaraka.
Lord Krishna later set up his capital at Dwaraka, on the banks of river Gomti. This beautiful city was also known as Dwaramati, Dwarawati and Kushsthali. It was a well planned city and had well organized six sectors, residential and commercial zones, wide roads, palaces and many public utilities. A hall called “Sudharma Sabha” was built to hold public meetings.
The city was one of the busiest ports during the Mahabharata period. After the end of the war of Mahabharata, Shri Krishna lived for 36 years at Dwaraka. It was also the land of the Ekalavya and the saint Dronacharya. According to the legends, the Dwaraka city met a sudden end due to the fury of the sea.
According to some other legends, immediately after the death of the Lord Krishna, Dwaraka disappeared into the sea. Attempts are being still made to rediscover the lost Dwaraka from the sea. In the early eighties, an important archaeological site was found at Dwaraka.
How to reach Dwaraka
The nearest airport is located at Ahmedabad which is about 216 kms from Dwaraka.
Dwaraka is connected with direct trains with Ahmedabad on the western railway.
Dwaraka is easily connected with various cities of Gujarat. It is about 216 kms from Ahmedabad and 798 kms. from Mumbai via Ahmedabad
Tourist Attractions in Dwaraka
Jagat Mandir Dwaraka is known all over the world for the Dwarkadhish temple, the ‘Lord of Dwarka’, also known as the Jagat Mandir or the temple of the world. This temple was constructed over 1400 years ago and houses the image of Lord Krishna, is one of the most famous pilgrimage place for the Hindus and attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
This temple is magnificently built on the traditional lines and has five floors supported by 60 columns. It is profusely carved from the base to the pinnacle. The interior is simple while the exterior is covered with elaborate carvings.
Some of the major festivals of Janmashtami and Navratri are celebrated with great enthusiasm and rejoicing in the Dwarka. After visiting the main temple, some of the devotees visit the Shankhoddhar Beyt or Beyt Dwaraka.
Besides the Dwarkadhish temple, there is a popular temple dedicated to Rukmini, the Lord Krishna’s wife, who is also considered as an incarnation of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and beauty. There are various other temples which are dedicated to Mirabai and Narsinh Mehta and Shank Narayan. There is also a temple which is dedicated to the Matsyavatar, the incarnation of Vishnu as a fish.
A pilgrimage to Dwaraka is not complete until a visit has been made to the Beyt Dwaraka. It is a Hindu temple on the island off the coast. The temple dates from the 19th century and contains a series of shrines and images of Krishna and his 56 consorts. The archaeological excavations have revealed Harappan artifacts dating from the 2nd millennium BC.
Okha is a small port at the head of the Gulf of Kutch and is about 30 kms north of Dwaraka. The island nearby is connected with the legend of Vishnu slaying the demon.