Dwarka

Dwarka

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WELCOME TO DWARKA

About Dwarka

Dwaraka is located on the extreme western end of Kathiawar peninsula, where the River Gomti meets the Arabian Sea. Dwaraka 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.

Dwarka is derived from ‘Dwar’, a door, and in ancient times its flourishing port was considered to be the gateway to the main land. As ‘Ka’ means ‘Brahma’ meaning, gateway to Moksha. It is called Dwarkamati and Dwarkavati. Being adopted home and capital of Shri Krishna after he gave up Mathura. It is held in such a high esteem as a place of Hindu pilgrimage that it is considered to be one of the four principle holy places or chardham, it is also known as Mokshapuri.

A great devout centre with much mythological relevance, Dwarka is the epitome of spiritual enlightenment. To the devotee, Dwarka is synonymous with lord Krishna and this sleepy locale has gained high accolades as the gateway to the much cherished salvation. As per the Holy Scriptures, Dwarka is one of the holy spots that bestow deliverance since it was here that lord Krishna had established his earthly kingdom. A bevy of lovely temples that display flamboyant structural designs and marvelous architecture are the signature destinations in Dwarka. These lovely shrines reveal the citys feted association with lord Krishna and indeed a visit to these holy spots would be an invigorating experience to all. Legend has it that after the death of Krishna, Dwarka city submerged in the water, devastating the entire Yadava clan. Recent excavations have proved the existence of well-planned cities on the shores of the river Gomati, which testifies this legendary belief. Apart from the tranquil ambiance of the holy shrines, Dwarka offers some of the appealing beaches, where the glittering waters and the warm weather tempts the beholder with its inherent charm. Shopping is an inevitable pastime in this historic city. A variety of shops that supplies excellent Gujarati artifacts on a comparatively good price would be the sweet remainders of your trip. Steeped in the richness of a mythological and legendary past, today’s Dwarka poses as a fast emerging city that expands it horizons in almost every field. In Dwarka, one can expect the freshness and serenity of a devout location and the sizzles of a typical Indian city. Dwarka would be a nice destination for the enthusiastic ones and those who treasures the magnificence of a holy place.

Making of Dwarka

Lord Krishna ordered Vishwakarma to build Dwarka. Dwarka was planned and built on the banks of Gomati River. The town had six organized sectors, like residential and commercial zones, wide roads, plazas, palaces etc and Sudharma Sabha hall was built to hold public meetings. It is said that the town initially had 700,000 palaces made of gold, silver and precious stones accompanied with beautiful gardens filled with flowers of all seasons and beautiful lakes. About 36 years after the Mahabharata War (3138 BC), Lord Krishna left the earth for Vaikunta according to Vishnu Purana. After Lord Krishna left the earth Dwarka was submerged into the sea.

Visit Dwarka

The best time to visit Dwarka is in the winter months between October to March when the weather is pleasant and temperatures range from 20 to 28 degree centigrade. Dwarka is visited by religious travelers throughout the year. During summers the highest temperature reaches 40 degrees centigrade, so dont forget to pack your sunblock and carry water bottles to beat the heat. Dwarkas list of things to do mainly includes visiting temples. Experience the unity with the divine by visiting the popular Jagat Mandir and enthrall yourself by Lord Krishna’s imperialism and grace. Check out the grand architecture of the temple, which is loaded with exquisite carvings on its exterior that has extraordinary continuity of design. While inside the temple, feel the simplicity and peaceful atmosphere. Enjoy Gujrati thalis and shop for traditional items radiating Gujarati folk culture. Visit the nearby beach at Bet Dwarka Island that is not much visited and therefore is an excellent place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Sightseeing in Dwarka mainly revolves around visiting various temples all over the town. Visit the Dwarkadish Temple situated on Gomati creek. This temple is originally believed to be built by Vajranabh, the great grandson of Lord Krishna, more than 2500 years ago. The glorious structure of this temple, it’s exquisitely carved shikhar, and the 84 foot long flag waving on the dome made from 52 yards of multicoloured cloth decorated with the symbols of the sun and moon etc overwhelms the visitor at its very sight. This temple is built up of soft limestone and has a rectangular hall with porches on three sides. The temple has two gateways one is the Swarga Dwar, which means gate to the heavens (from where pilgrims enter the temple premises), and Moksha Dwar that means a gate to liberation, from where pilgrims exit. Other places to visit are Nageswara Mahadeva Temple, Rukmini Devi Temple, Gopi-Talav, Bhalka Tirth, and the Sharada Peetha. After visiting temples you can visit the lighthouse that is situated on the shore of the Arabian Sea. You can only visit the lighthouse between 4 pm to 6 pm with the permission of the attendant. This lighthouse serves as a landmark for sailors till date and boasts of panoramic views. Bear in mind you will not be allowed to take in cameras or phones to this lighthouse.

Tourist Local Attractions and surrounding Dwaraka

The main tourist attraction in Dwaraka is the Dwarkadhish temple also known as Jagat Mandir. Besides this there are various other temples in Dwaraka.

Dwarkadhish Temple / Jagat Mandir

Dwaraka is known all over the world for the Dwarkadhish temple, the ‘Lord of Dwarka’. This temple is 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. This temple 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. The temple is profusely carved from the base to the pinnacle. The temple is built of sandstone. 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.

A temple belongs to the Chalukya style of art, Dwarakadeesh temple possesses a long history of 2500 years. As the name suggests the presiding deity is none other than Lord Krishna. It is indeed a monument with superb artistic expressions. A five storied main shrine supported by 60 roof columns is the main attraction of this grand structure. Lord Krishna in his black idol appears so beautiful and appealing that the devotee feels the presence of the lord before him. Other shrines are dedicated to Sathybhama Devi, Subhadra, Balarama and Revathy, Jambavathi Devi, Vasudeva, Rukmini Devi and Devaki. Rich carvings and complicated structural designs of the temple amuse each visitor with its elegant appeal. The devotees are required to take a dip at the Gomti river before entering to the temple through Swarg Dwar. Here one has to climb 56 steps, which represents the 52 Yadava administrative divisions and their four gods. Temple is open to the devotees between 7 am to12.30 pm and 5.00 to9.30 pm. The Vedpathsaala run by the Sharada Vidyapeeth in the temple premises is the other important place to be visited while in the temple. On the eve of Janmashtami, the temple gets a spectacular look when the whole ambience displays a festive mood.

Rukminiji Temple

The Lord Krishna’s wife, who is also considered as an incarnation of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and beauty.

Gomti Ghat

Gomati Ghat is the Gomati river bank that is must to be visited before one visits Dwarka temple.We went for evening darshan water. We could not see/taste them as it was getting dark at that time.It was nice. We fed some food to fishes, then went on the small bridge to see other temple.

On the banks of river Gomti, there is a Shiva temple, as well as smaller shrines of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna and Krishna’s friend Sudama around the ghat, where pilgrims have worshipped for at least 100 years. One can also hire a boat and move across the river to get a panoramic view of Dwarka.

Gomti Ghat is situated at the mouth of the river. A bath in these waters is believed to purge the soul. The solemnity of this belief contrasts with the lively atmosphere of boys jumping into the waves and turning somersaults as people photograph them.Decorated camels,tea stands,and bearded men selling seashell jwelry by the water add to the ambience. The banks are dotted with innummerable shrines dedicated to Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Samudra (God of the Sea).

Sudama Setu & Panchkui

Sudama Setu is a pedestrian suspension bridge in Dwarka, Gujarat, India. It is named for Sudama, a childhood friend of Krishna.

A pedestrian bridge over Gomti river connects Jagat Mandir of mainland Dwarka and Panchnad or Panchkui Tirth on the island in southeast of it. The bridge was proposed in 2005 to boost tourism on the island. The island has religious as well archaeological significance. There are five sweet water well called Panchkui associated with five Pandava brothers of Mahabharata.

Panchkui is a small Island of the Dwarka Coast and is not currently easily accessible to devotees. The island is associated with the Pandavas in the Mahabharata as they are believed to have visited the place. Panchkui has five fresh water wells dedicated to the five Pandava brothers. Panch means five and kui means well. The proposed new hanging bridge which is 127 meter long and 11 ft wide will connected Gomti Ghat in Dwarka to Panchkui.

Gayatri Mandir

Everything is special about this place. Walking distance from 2 of major attractions (Dwarkadhish Temple & Bhadkeshwar Mahdev) of Dwarka and at the same time away from the crowd. This is among one of the best place to stay in Dwarka. This premises is sea facing and few of the rooms having sea facing balcony as well. On top of everything Shri Gayatri Temple is in the same premises. You will love to have evening & night walk in the premises with sea breeze. This place is truly SHANTIVAN.

This Dharamshala is a 10-minute walk from Dwarkadhish Temple, 2-minute walk from Dwarka Beach, a 9-minute walk from Gomti Ghat and a 14-minute walk from Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple. You will be in love with the food they serve in their Bhojanshala.

Swaminarayan Temple

Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, established temples, known as mandirs (Devnagari: स्वामीनारायण मन्दिर), as part of his philosophy of theism and deity worship. These mandirs are known as Swaminarayan Hindu temples.

He constructed nine temples in the following cities; Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Muli, Vadtal, Junagadh, Dholera, Dholka, Gadhpur & Jetalpur. In these temples he installed images of various Hindu gods, such as NarNarayan Dev, LaxmiNarayan Dev, RadhaKrishna Dev, RadhaRaman Dev, Revti-Baldevji, Madan Mohan Dev etc. Each of these nine original temples fall either under the NarNarayan Dev Gadi, Ahmedabad or the LaxmiNarayan Dev Gadi, Vadtal depending on their geographical location.

Bhadkeshwar Temple

The temple is on the hillock in the sea. The revered temple is behind the Geeta Mandir, in the west of Dwarka. During the high tide the temple gets surrounded by water, but at the time of ebb when the water level come backs to normal one can reach there very easily. There are steps to get into the temple.

Chandra-Mouliswar Shiva

Chandra-Mouliswar Shiva is the presiding deity at the core of the temple. The deity form was found at the confluence of Gomati, Ganga and Arabian Sea by the Acharya Jagatguru Sankaracharya himself. In addition, there are 1200 Salgramshilas, 1300 Shiva Lingas, metal forms of 75 Sankaracharyas. It is a memorable experience to get the darshan form the sea and or just watching the sea from the island. A fair takes palace here on the day of mahashivratri when thousands throng to pay respect to Lord Shiva.

Saibaba Mandir

Gita Mandir

Sunset Point

Gusaiji Bethak

Brahma Kumari – Trilok Darshan Art Galary

Savitri Vav

Nageshwar Jyotirling

According to Shiv Mahapuraan, Brahma (The Creator) and Vishnu (The Preserver) once had a disagreement about which of them was supreme. Shiva pierced the three worlds as an immeasurable pillar of light, the Jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma parted company to determine the extent of each end of the pillar. Brahma, who had set off upward, lied that he had discovered the upper end of the pillar, but Vishnu, who had gone in the direction of the base of the pillar, admitted that he had not. Shiva then appeared as a second Jyotirlinga and cursed Brahma, telling him that he would have no place in the ceremonies, though Vishnu would be worshipped until the ‘end of eternity’. The Jyotirlinga is the supreme indivisible reality from which Shiva appears. Jyothirlinga shrines commemorate this time when Shiva appeared.It was believed that there were originally sixty-four jyothirlingas. Twelve are considered to be especially auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve sites takes the name of the presiding deity and each is considered a separate manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary deity is a lingam representing the beginning less and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the Shiva’s infinite nature. The twelve jyothirlinga are Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, Bhimashankar in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Triambakeshwar in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath at Deoghar in Jharkhand, Nageshvara Jyotirlinga, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Grishneshwar at Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Legend

The Shiva Purana says Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is in ‘the Darukavana’, which is an ancient name of a forest in India. ‘Darukavana’ finds mention in Indian epics, such as Kamyakavana, Dvaitavana, Dandakavana.

A narrative in the Shiva Purana about the Nageshvara Jyotirlinga tells of a demon named Daaruka, who attacked a Shiva devotee named Supriya and imprisoned him along with many others in his city of Darukavana, a city under the sea inhabited by seasnakes and demons. At the urgent exhortations of Supriya, the prisoners started to chant the holy mantra of Shiva and immediately thereafter the Lord Shiva appeared and the demon was vanquished,[9] later residing there in the form of a Jyotirlinga. The demon had a wife, a demoness named Daaruki who worshipped Mata Parvati. As a result of her penance and devotion, Mata Parvati enabled her to master the forest where she performed her devotions, and renamed the forest ‘Darukavana’ in her honour. Wherever Daaruki went the forest followed her. In order to save the demons of Darukavana from the punishment of the gods, Daaruka summoned up the power Parvati had given her. She then moved the entire forest into the sea where they continued their campaign against the hermits, kidnapping people and keeping them confined in their new lair under the sea, which was how that great Shiva devotee, Supriya, had wound up there.

The arrival of Supriya caused a revolution. He set up a lingam and made the prisoners recite the mantra Om Namaha Shivay in honour of Shiva while he prayed to the lingam. The demons’ response to the chanting was to attempt to kill Supriya, though they were thwarted when Shiva appeared and handed him a divine weapon that saved his life. Daaruki and the demons were defeated and Parvati saved the remaining demons. The lingam that Supriya had set up was called Nagesha; it is the tenth lingam.[9] Shiva once again assumed the form of a Jyotirlinga with the name Nageshwar, while the Goddess Parvati was known as Nageshwari. The Lord Shiva then announced that he would show the correct path to those who would worship him.

Location controversy

The actual location of the legendary forest of Darukavana is debated. No other important clues indicate the location of the Jyotirlinga. ‘Darukavana’ remains the only clue.

The name Darukavana, is derived from ‘daruvana’ (forest of deodar trees), is thought to exist in Almora. Deodar (daru vriksha) is found abundantly only in the western Himalayas, not in peninsular India. Deodar trees have been associated with Lord Shiva in ancient Hindu texts. Hindu sages used to reside and perform meditation in deodar forests to please Lord Shiva. Also, according to the ancient treatise Prasadmandanam,

“हिमाद्रेरूत्तरे पार्श्वे देवदारूवनं परम् पावनं शंकरस्थानं तत्र् सर्वे शिवार्चिताः।”

Because of this the ‘Jageswara’ temple in Almora, Uttarakhand is commonly identified as Nageshvara Jyotirlinga.

The written name of Darukavana could be misread as ‘Dwarakavana’ which would point to the Nageswara temple at Dwaraka. However no forest is in this part of Dwaraka that finds mention in any of the Indian epics. The narratives of Shri Krishna, mention Somanatha and the adjoining Prabhasa tirtha, but not Nageswara or Darukavana in Dwaraka.

Darukavana might exist next to the Vindhya Mountains. It is south-southwest of the Vindhyas extending to the sea in the west. In the Dvadasha Jyotirlinga Stotra (6),[10] Shankaracharya praised this Jyotirlinga as Naganath:

“Yamye sadange nagaretiramye vibhushitangam vividhaishcha bhogai Sadbhaktimuktipradamishamekam shrinaganatham sharanam prapadye”

This could be taken to mean that it is located in the south [‘yamye’] at the town of ‘Sadanga’, which was the ancient name of Aundh in Maharashtra, south of the Jageswara shrine in Uttarakhand and west of Dwaraka Nageshvara.

Gopi Talav

Gopi Talav is a mid size lake located around 20 kms from Dwarka on the way to Bet Dwarka. The story behind the lake takes us back to Lord Krishna’s childhood when he was revered by the gopis of Vrindavan. When Krishna shifted his capital to Dwarka, the gopis couldn’t bear his estrangement. They came to meet him in Dwarka and performed raas on the day of sharad poornima. After the raas, they offered their lives to the soil of this land and merged with Lord Krishna. The soil here is fine and smooth bearing a yellow color and is believed to have divine properties that can cure many diseases, especially those related to skin. Today, many tourists purchase this soil, popularly known as Gopi Chandan, as a token of their visit. The whole area around Gopi Talav is made up of ghats for bathing with many shrines peppered around them. Many species of fishes and birds are found here thus contributing to a great atmosphere for photography. Gopi Talav is an important component of Dwarka’s sightseeing tour, conducted by the Dwarka Municipal Corporation as well as the local tour operators.

About Gopi Talav

Gopi Talav or the Gopi Tank is a small pond surrounded by sandal like yellow sand, known as Gopi Chandan. This Chandan is used by devotees of Lord Krishna to make tilak marks on their bodies. The Talav has a special significance in the Hindu mythology, as it is believed to be the place where gopis came to see Lord Krishna in Dwarka.

It is believed that Lord Krishna killed a demon named Bhaumasura and freed 16,000 princesses from his palace at this site. This site got its name as Gopi Talav after the Gopi princesses, who fell in love with Lord Krishna and wanted to marry him.

Gopi Talav is located just 20 km north of Dwarka and 5 km from the Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple. This sacred pond is situated on the route to Beyt Dwarka from the main town. Local transportation like buses and auto rickshaws are available from the town for visiting this site.

Small pond and the sandal like yellow sand is known as Gopi Chandan

Gopi Talab or Gopi Pond is situated at a distance of about 22 Kms from Dwarka. It is accessible by Road. Public transport and private transports are available to reach this place.

We visited this place on 1st November 2015 as a part of our pilgrimage tour of Gujarat. A little distance from the main road, this talab is located and can be walked down.

Gopi Talab which is a small pond and the sandal like yellow sand is known as Gopi Chandan. The devotees take Gopi Chandan, believing it to be very good for skin diseases

Beyt Dwaraka

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.

Bet Dwarka or Shankhodhar is an inhabited island at mouth of Gulf of Kutch situated 3 km (2 mi) off the coast of Okha, Gujarat, India. The island is measured northwest to southeast in 13 km (8 mi) with an average 4 km (2 mi) in east-west direction. It is a strip of sand and stone situated 30 km (19 mi) north of town of Dwarka.

History

Bet Dwarka is considered the part of the ancient city in Indian epic literature Dvārakā found in Mahabharata and Skanda Purana. Gujarati scholar Umashankar Joshi suggested that Antardvipa in Sabha Parva of Mahabharata can be identified as Bet Dwarka as Yadava of Dwarka said to travel to it by boats. It derived its name Shankhodhar as the island is a large source of conch shells (Shankh). Archeological remains found under the sea suggest the existence of settlement during Late Harappan period of Indus Valley Civilization or immediately after it. It can be reliably dated to times of Maurya Empire. It was a part of Okha Mandal or Kushdwip area. Dwarka is mentioned in the copper inscription dated 574 AD of Simhaditya, the minister of Vallabhi under Maitraka. He was the son of Varahdas, the king of Dwarka.

The island, along with Okhamandal region, was under Gaekwad of Baroda State. During Indian rebellion of 1857, the Vaghers captured the region in 1857. Later by joint offensive of British, Gaekwad and other princely states troops ousted the rebels and recaptured the region in 1859.

After independence of India in 1947, it was integrated in Saurashtra State. Later Saurashtra merged with Bombay State under state reorganization scheme. When Gujarat was created from bifurcation of Bombay State, Bet Dwarka came under Jamnagar district of Gujarat. Devbhoomi Dwarka district was created from Jamnagar district in 2013 so it became part of it.

Archeolog

During the investigation In 1980s, the remains of earthen pots and other artifacts of Late Harappan period were found near Sidi Bawa Peer Dargah. In 1982, a 580 meter long protection wall dated 1500 BC was found which believed to be damaged and submerged following seastorm. The artifacts recovered include a Late Harappan seal, an inscribed jar and the mould of coppersmith, a copper fishhook. The shipwrecks and stone anchors found during excavations suggested the historic trade relation with Romans. The temples on the island are built around end of eighteenth century.

Places of worship

Dhwarkadhish Temple and Shri Keshavraiji Temple are major temples of Krishna. Hanuman Dandi and Vaishnav Mahaprabhu Bethak are also pilgrimage places. Sidi Bawa Peer Dargah, Haji Kirmai Dargah and Gurdwara are also situated here. A small temple of Abhyay mata which is situated south side of this island.

Access

Bet Dwarka can be reached by ferry service from Okha. The first sea bridge of Gujarat is proposed between Okha and Bet Dwarka. The 2 km (1 mi) long sea bridge is estimated to cost 400 crore.

The bet is surrounded by several sand beaches. The southeast most end of bet is known as Dunny Point which is three side surrounded by sea. It is the first place in Gujarat developed for ecotourism. The temporary camps are set up for tourism in summer.

Charan Ganga – Tupani

Momai Dham

Mogal Dham

Okhamadhi

Shivrajpur Beach

HOW TO REACH DWARAKA

Dwarka the headquarters of Okhamandal taluka is in the extreme west of the Saurashtra peninsula on the Arabian Sea. It is a station on the Ahmedabad-Okha broad gauge railway line, about 137-km from Jamnagar, 217 km from Rajkot and 378 km from Ahmedabad.

A state highway with Jamnagar and Okha also connects it. Nearest airport is Jamnagar. Dwarka lies on 20.22′ north latitude and 69.05′ east longitude and built on the night bank of Gamut creek. Dwarka was known as the city of Gold. Shree Krishna came here from Mathura along with some Yadav families and establishes his own empire Dwarka. That was the legend but science proved it partially. Scientists researched on that and have found some facts.

By Air:

The nearest airport is located at Jamnagar and Rajkot which is about 200 kms from Dwaraka.

By Rail:

Dwarka is connected with direct trains with Ahmedabad, Bombay and Many Other City on the western railway.

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By Road:

Dwaraka is easily connected with various cities of Gujarat. It is about 450 kms from Ahmedabad and 150 kms. from Jamnagar.