Dwarka, located on the west coast of Gujarat, is rated as one of the seven ancient cities of India. This city of legend is believed to be the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. It is mentioned as a golden city in many ancient Hindu scriptures like the Gita and Puranas. Based on holy text, it is said that the grown Lord Krishna has ruled his kingdom from here.
Dwarka is a sacred city because it is here Lord Vishnu slew the demon Shankhasura. The Puranas mention that it is among the 12 Jyotirlingas or columns of light representing Lord Shiva. The Jyotirlingas located in Dwarka is known as the Nageshwar Mahadev. The Jagat Mandir or Nij Mandir forms the sanctum of the Dwarkadish temple which dates back 2500 years. It is believed that because of damage and destruction by the sea, Dwarka has drowned six times and modern day Dwarka is therefore the seventh such city to be built in the area.
Some of the popular attractions of this place are:
Dwarkadheesh Temple or Jagat Mandir
The temple of Dwarkadheesh, also known as Jagat Mandir, is located on the north bank of the Gomti Creek. The temple dates back about 2,500 years. It houses the image of Lord Krishna which draws pilgrims from all over India and abroad. The 5-storied temple, made of limestone and sand, is famous for the lavishly carved conical spire rising to a height of 157 feet. A flag hoisted in the temple tower five times each day. The temple has two gateways - Swarga Dwar, from where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar,from where the pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea.
Rukmini Devi Temple
This is an architectural masterpiece built in the honor of Rani Rukmani, princess of Vidarbha, who later got married to Lord Krishna. The temple was built in the 12th - 13th century, famous for beautiful carvings, especially on the pillars of the ‘Sabha Mandapa’. Rich paintings of Rukmini, with her husband are painted on the walls of the Temple which fascinate visitors during their visit to this temple.
This is a spectacular and beautiful shrine located in the western ghats of Dwarka which was built by business tycoons Birla in 1970. The temple preserves the teachings and values of Bhagavad Gita through its inscription in stones. The structure of the temple is not only artistically elegant but also provides holy feeling within the premises. The high carved walls and the temple's ceilings depict the teaching and hymns of Bhagawad Gita. Another specialty of this temple is the echo of one's voice.
This temple is located where the Gomit River descends and meets the ocean. It is said that taking a bath in this river is highly sacred and one can rid themselves from all their sins. There are many temples across the ghats, namely the Panchanada Tirtha, Samudra Narayana Temple,Gomatiji Temple and Chakra Narayana.
According to Indian mythology, this is the place in Dwarka from where Lord Krishna with his family lived and ruled. It is an island at a distance of 30 Km. It takes about half-an hour to reach this place in a diesel boat operated by the Port Authority. At this place there are temples of Vishnu (in the form of 'matsya'), Radha, Lakshmi, Satyabhama, Jambuvanti and Devaki. With the religious importance, this place is also famous for its sparkling shores and gleaming waters which provide a good time to lose oneself in nature’s wonders.
Fairs & Festivals of Dwarka:
All the major festivals of India are celebrated here with great joy and enthusiasm. But the Janmashtami (birthday of Lord Krishna) celebrated in the month of August/September, is a major festival of Dwarka. The enthralling celebration of this festival calls on scores of tourists to this place is every year.
When to Visit Dwarka:
The best time to visit Dwarka is between October and March.
How to Reach Dwarka:
By Rail: Dwarka railway station in the Ahmedabad - Okha rail route is connected to other major railway stations of India.
By Road: A state highway connects this place with Jamnagar and Okha. Luxury coaches are available from Dwarka to other important cities of Gujarat.
By Air: Nearest airport is Jamnagar, from where flights for Mumbai can be taken.
Where to Stay in Dwarka:
Dwarka has every kind of hotel which serves the demand of every kind of tourist. Hotels in Dwarka range from budget hotels to lavish hotels. These hotels in Dwarka provide almost all facilities that ensure tourists a comfortable stay.
The narrow street of Dwarka is lined on both the sides by vendors selling seashells, local crafts, photos of deities, cassettes, coconuts and other refreshments.
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