“Dwarka”, the word itself makes anyone gets reminded of Krishna and the mesmerizing kingdom city that Lord Krishna ruled as a great King. Being one of the places for the sacred Char Dham Yatra located in the western India in the state of Gujarat, Dwarka is an important pilgrimage site established by Sri Adi Sankaracharya as one of the Char Dham Kshetra’s.
Traditionally, an opulent city would have many gates, indicating the king’s confidence in protecting the city. The original city of Dwarka, described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Mahabharata, and other Vedic scriptures, was a fort city built within the sea. Lord Krishna built Dwarka to protect His kinsmen, the Yadu dynasty, from repeated attacks by kings and armies intent on killing Him. By the will of the Lord, Dwarka disappeared into the sea at the time of the Lord’s departure from this world. Archaeological excavations have brought out from the sea many artifacts suggesting that an opulent city stood there in the distant past.
Famous also for having one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, Dwarka is best known as the home of Lord Krishna and will enchant you with the holiness that the air here carries. Dwar, meaning door in Sanskrit, is believed to be the gateway to heaven. Legend has it that the city was once engulfed by the sea and recent excavations reveal that a city did exist here.
People from all parts of the country come here to seek blessings from the temples of Dwarka. Dwarkadhish temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna is an architectural marvel and the most famous temple of the town. Apart from this, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple, Rukmani temple, Gomti Ghat and Somnath temple are the other sacred spots of Dwarka.
Just an FYI, my Blog, Page “Sacred Soul Diaries” has the same picture of the above.
Dwarka is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat. Located in the Saurashtra peninsula of Gujarat, Dwarka is part of the Char Dham pilgrimage and is also one of the seven ancient cities (Sapta Puris). The Seven Sacred Cities of Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Banaras, Kanchi, Ujjain and Dwarka are known as Mokshada, meaning ‘Bestower of Liberation’, and these sites are believed to confer liberation upon all persons who die within their boundaries. Dwarka, one of these seven sacred cities, is also listed among the Four Divine Abodes.
Legend has it that Krishna came here from Mathura here after killing his uncle Kansa. The main temple at Dwarka, situated on the banks of Gomti River is known as Jagat Mandir (universal shrine) or Trilok sundar (the most beautiful in all the three worlds). History says that this majestic temple has been built by Vajranabh, the great grandson of Lord Krishna, more than 2500 years ago having a glorious structure seeming to rise from the waters of the Arabian Sea. Its exquisitely carved shikhar/gopuram (Temple Tower), reaching 43 m high and the huge flag made from 52 yards of cloth, can be seen from as far away as 10 km.
The grandeur of the temple is enhanced by the flight of 56 steps leading to the rear side of the edifice on the side of the river Gomati. The temple is built of soft limestone and consists of a sanctum, vestibule and a rectangular hall with porches on three sides. There are two gateways: swarga dwar (gate to the heavens), where pilgrims enter, and moksha dwar (gate to liberation), where pilgrims exit.
There are several ancient temples at Dwarka such as the Beyt Dwarka, Rukmini Devi Mandir, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
Archaeological Survey of India has revealed the existence of a old city dating back to two centuries. The excavation work carried between 1983 and 1990 revealed that a township was built in six sectors. A fortified wall, extending more than half a mile has also been unearthed. The present day Dwarka is a prominent pilgrimage site and boasts of several shrines.
Among the temples, the 2000-year-old Dwarkadheesh temple is the most notable one. Besides its temples, the city is also popular for its beaches. Scuba diving to see the underwater remains of Dwarka is a popular activity here.
Dwarka as the most superb and beautiful city in the history of the world. The island of Dwarka is decorated with 900,000 extraordinary mansions built of first-class marble, with gates and doors made of silver and jewels. The clear blue-green ocean lies on all sides. The residents of the mansions, all pure devotees of Krishna, are of very fine beauty.
This catastrophic event is confirmed by the sacred texts of the Vishnu Purana stating that “on the same day that Krishna departed from the earth the powerful dark-bodied Kali Age descended. The ocean rose and submerged the whole of Dwarka.”
The Age of Kali thus ushered in turns out to be none other than the present epoch of the earth – our own. According to the Hindu sages it began just over 5000 years ago at a date in the Indian calendar corresponding to 3102 BC.
Also in the Mahabharata, there is a specific account given by Krishna’s main disciple Arjuna about the submerging of Dwaraka, by the sea which reads as follows:
“The sea, which has been beating against the shores, suddenly broke the boundary that was imposed on it by nature. It rushed into the city, coursing through the beautiful city streets, and covered up everything in the city. I saw the beautiful buildings becoming submerged on by one. In a matter of a few moments, it was all over. The sea had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the city. Dwaraka was just a name; just a memory…”
Dwaraka’s innumerable gardens and parks are full of a variety of sweet, colorful flowers, and orchards abound with an array of fruit. Beautiful chirping birds, intoxicated peacocks, and ponds filled with lilies and lotuses delight the senses. The residents decorate every lane and walkway with water pots, festoons, banana trees, and fragrant flowers, just in anticipation of Krishna’s strolling there.
A great devotee saint of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya Srila Rupa Goswami’s book Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu describes, “The servitors in the abode of Dwaraka always worship Krishna as the most respectable and revered Personality of Godhead. They are captivated by Krishna because of His super-excellent opulences.”
The seven-story high temple is built on 72 pillars. From the temple dome waves an 84 foot-long multi-colored flag decorated with the symbols of the sun and moon.
The following description of Dwarka during Krishna’s presence there appears in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.69.1-12) in connection with the sage Narada’s visit:
“The City was filled with the sounds of birds and bees flying about the parks and pleasure gardens, while its lakes, crowded with blooming indivara, ambhoja, kahlara, kumuda, and utpala lotuses, resounded with the calls of swans and cranes. Dwarka boasted 900,000 royal palaces, all constructed with crystal and silver and splendorously decorated with huge emeralds. Inside these palaces, the furnishings were bedecked with gold and jewels. Traffic moved along a well laid-out system of boulevards, roads, intersections, and marketplaces, and many assembly houses and temples of demigods graced the charming city.
The roads, courtyards, commercial streets, and residential patios were all sprinkled with water and shaded from the sun’s heat by banners waving from flagpoles. In the city of Dwarka was a beautiful private quarter worshiped by the planetary rulers. This district, where the demigod Visvakarma had shown all his divine skill, was the residential area of Lord Hari [Krishna], and thus it was gorgeously decorated by the sixteen thousand palaces of Lord Krishna’s queens. Narada Muni entered one of these immense palaces.
As mentioned, the discovery of Dwarka – an important historical landmark of India – has set to rest the doubts expressed by historians about the historicity of Mahabharata and the very existence of Dwarka city.
This is the reason Sri Adi Sankaracharya, the profound founder of Sanatana Dharma has henceforth made this one of the Char Dham (4 Most Prominent Sacred Sites) in India which when heard, visited gives us the divine vibrance in realizing the Supreme.
Request the readers to cherish the beauty of our Ancient India with its most beautiful culture and heritage and make a visit to this place once during our lifetime.
Anyone interested to visit this sacred place can follow the below Itinerary Link which will fulfill one’s visit in a systematic way. As a matter of fact, this was the plan I followed and visited in the same fashion.
Hope you get a transcendental experience reading this small attempt of my sharing divine journeys. Please let us know if you need any information or give me a feedback if you think I might cope with in future.
In the name of Lord Sri Hari. Om Tat Sat.
Source & References:
- Self Experience. 🙂