Gomati Ghat Temples
ISKCON Gate and Temple
Nageshwar Jyothirlinga Temple
Rukmini Devi Temple
Shri Krishna Temple
Welcome to Dwarka,
Dwarka, also spelled Dvarka, Dwaraka, and Dvaraka, is a city and a municipality located in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat state in India. Dwarka, also known as Dwarawati in Sanskrit literature is rated as one of the seven most ancient cities in the country.
Dwarka is the land of "Lord Krishna". There are so many temples of Lord Krishna. It was the capital in the time of Lord Krishna's dynasty. It is well known for its Dwarkadhish Temple. Other places are Nageshwar Jyothirlinga Temple, Gurudwara, Rukmini Devi Temple, Shri Krishna Temple etc.
Beyt Dwarka, also known as Beyt Shankhodhar, is a small island and was the main port in the region before the development of Okha. It offers opportunities to spot dolphins, marine excursions, camping and picnicking.
Most of the archaelogical ruins excavated here and religious manuscripts correspond with Beyt Dwarka as the original abode of Lord Krishna. In order to get there from Dwarka, one might need to first get to Okha port jetty.
One of the rare features of this temple is the idol of Hanuman's son Makardwaja. It is said that the celebate Lord Hanuman impregnated a fish with a drop of his perspiration, which conceived and gave birth to a son as strong as Lord Hanuman.
Legend also says that during the famous war of Lanka, Ravana kidnapped and kept both Lord Ram and Laxman in Patal (the world underneath the earth). Hanuman chose this place to enter Patal and had to fight Makardhwaja, who was guarding it. This is where they met and recognized each other as father and son. Hanuman Jayanti evokes a large celebration here.
Dwarkadhish Temple is the main temple at Dwarka, situated on Gomti creek, is known as jagat mandir (universal shrine) or trilok sundar (the most beautiful in all the three worlds). Originally believed to be built by Vajranabh, the great grandson of Lord Krishna, more than 2500 years ago, it is a glorious structure seeming to rise from the waters of the Arabian Sea. Its exquisitely carved shikhar, 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 Gomti. The temple is built of soft limestone and consists of a sanctum, vestibule and a rectangular hall with porches on three sides.
Inside, the sanctuary is a hive of voices, colors, incense and movement. With faith, for many it can also transform into a space of inner silence and unity with the divine.
In the Barda Hills, you can visit Ghumli's famous temples such as the magnificent Navlakha Temple from the Solanki dynasty and the Vikia Vav, perhaps one of the largest stepwells in Gujarat. You can trek in the Wildlife Sanctuary, though spotting wildlife is, as usual, often difficult. These hills are also home to the Maldhari, Bharvad, Rabari and Gadhvi tribal communities.
The main entrance is from the Porbandar side of the hills, but there are also entries from Jamnagar District, either from Kapudi naka, taking a car up to Kileshwar Temple and hiking down, or from Abhapara Hill.
A marvelous and spectacular shrine on the western part of the city, the Gita Mandir tries to project the values of the sacred book Bhagavad Gita. This marble structure is a marvel in terms of artistic expressions and at the same time it imparts a saintly feeling to all those delve in to its holy premises. Built in the year 1970 by the leading business tycoons, the Birlas, the temple stand proudly as a standing ovation to the richness and elegance to the much revered scripture, Gita. Highly carved walls and embellished ceilings of the temple are inscribed with the prominent hymns of Bhagavad Gita. Another alluring feature of the temple is that any voice heard in hall will be echoed, which spells out a distinct feeling.
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.
Gop is a Rabari cattle breeders tribe, who are considered the direct descendants from the Krishna dynasty (Yadavs). They have been settled here since thousands of years. The village is also named Gop where there is a temple popularly known as the Gopnath Mahadev Temple. It is not clear whether this 6th century temple originally enshrined the Sun or Lord Shiva. This temple is about 7 km away from the ST bus stand. Thereafter one may ascend up its 600 steps. However, one can also choose to drive up all the way in a vehicle.
Shri Vallabhacharya has given his discourses here and hence it is considered as one of the 84 Mahaprabhuji ni Bethaks.
The stories of Lord Krishna's childhood abound with youthful pranks and romance have a connection with this lake. As a young boy he used to dance the raas with the Gopis (young female inhabitants) in Vrindavana (or Vruj). When he moved to Dwarka, the Gopis could not bear the separation and came to visit him. They united with their Krishna at the Gopi talav, 20 km north of Dwarka on the night of Sharad Purnima (full moon) and once again danced the raas with him.
Legend says that, unable to part from Krishna, the Gopis offered their lives to the soil of this land and merged with their beloved. It is said that they turned into yellow clay, known as Gopi Chandan. Even today the soil of the Gopi talav is extremely smooth and yellow in color
Beyt is believed to be the birthplace of Panjpyare's Sikh saint Shri Hukamchandji. Hence many Sikhs visit this Gurudwara located in the Budhiya area.
Towards the eastern seashore of Beyt Dwarka, one can visit the shrine of Haji Kirmani Pir, who is considered one of the important Sufi saints, hailing from Kirman, Iran. People from many religious backgrounds faithfully visit here.
At the entrance of Dwarka City, one comes across the ISKCON gate. Across the gate is the ISKCON temple located on the Devi Bhavan Road. It is a Gita Mandir carrying the idols of Lord Krishna with Radha, with a view of the Dwarkadheesh temple from its roof. There is also a small guest house there with 20 beautiful rooms. The special feature of this temple is that it is made entirely of stone, the first of its kind in the history of ISKCON.
This is a temple of Shri Rama. It carries sculptures of Garuda (eagle), Shankha (conch shell), Chakra (sharp circular weapon), along with the idol of Lord Hanuman at the entrance. The pond situated near the temple is called Kachoriyu Talav.
Situated on the shore of the Arabian sea, one can visit the light house between 4pm and 6pm with the permission of the attendant. Even today it is a landmark for sailors, offers a beautiful panoramic view and is a restful place to pilgrims.
Located within the premises of the Dwarka Temple, Sharda Matha or Peetha (religious seat) is the first amongst the four cardinal mathas. It is also known as the Kalika Matha, and as per the tradition initiated by Adi Shankara, is in charge of the Sama Veda. The wall paintings illustrate incidents from the life of Shankaracharya, while carvings on the inner surface of the dome depict Shiva in various stances.
It has the temples of Shardamba and Chandramaulishwer Mahadev nearby. The Matha also runs an educational society, an arts college and a Sanskrit Academy which prepares scholars for doctorates in Sanskrit and Indology.
Located on the route between Dwarka city and Beyt Dwarka Island on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat is this important Lord Shiva Temple. It is enshrined by one of the 12 swayambhu (self-existent) jyothirlingas in the world, in an underground sanctum. A 25 m tall statue of a sitting Lord Shiva and a large garden with a pond are major attractions of this rather serene place. Some archaeological excavations claim five earlier cities at the site.
Nageshwar was believed to be known as 'Darukavana', which is an ancient epic name of a forest in India. Below are two well-known legends attached to this mystical temple.
Rukmini temple is located 2 kms away from Dwarka's Jagat Mandir. Maybe 2500 years old, but its domed mandapa and stepped sanctuary cannot be older than the 12th century in its present form.
The exterior of the Rukmini Temple is richly carved. It has a panel of sculpted naratharas (human figures) and a panel of sculpted gajatharas (elephants) at the base. The traditional spire of the main shrine contrasts strongly with the hemispherical dome of the pavilion. The garbhagriha (inner sanctum) has a recessed seat on which the present image of Rukmini, wife of Lord Krishna, was consecrated. The usual sculptures of god and goddesses, along with male and female figures, are seen on the exterior of the shrine.
From beyt dwarka an enormous 500 year old temple is a 15 minute walk. Built by Shri Vallabhacharya, it enshrines an idol believed to be made by Rukmini. There is a story where Lord Krishna's friend Sudama presented him with rice and so the tradition is continued by the visitors who present the Brahmins here with donations of rice.
There are other smaller temples in the same vicinity of Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, Devi and Lord Vishnu. Beyt Dwarka is also associated with the legend where Lord Vishnu slew the demon Shankhasura.
The shrine of Meerabai is located in town, about 150 m from the main Dwarkadheesh Temple, across the vegetable market. If you have a hard time identifying it, ask a local to guide you. It's a small shrine, within a residential area. It carries a painting of Meerabai and an idol of Lord Krishna. Besides its association with Shri Krishna and devotees such as Surdas, Kabir, Nanak, Narsingh Mehta, Adi Shankaracharya and Ramunuj, the prominence of Dwarka is also attributed to the spiritual love of Meerabai.
Legends also say that she infused Dwarkadheesh temple with the intensity of her devotion till she dissolved and merged with the idol of Shri Krishna. Therefore the pilgrimage shrine is believed to be charged with her extraordinary energy and light of wisdom. For those tuned to its vibes might also feel its awakening power and love. The spiritual journey that Meerabai took is known as the bhakti path in Indian philosophy, which is the path of love, devotion and surrender. It shares remarkable similarities with Sufism.
- Dwarka Beach, Okhamathi Beach etc.