Dawki City- Meghalaya

Umngot is the unexplored paradise of Meghalaya. (Photo Courtesy: Devanik Saha)

A small border town in the Jaintia Hills, Dawki and its famed river Umngot is a must visit if in Meghalaya. Dawki-Tamabil is one of the few road border crossings between India and Bangladesh. The small city, besides being a trade hub is also famous for its tourism scene, with many people flocking to the city in order experience a boat ride in its famed Umngot River and enjoy the nearby sights and sounds. Travelling to the North-East is something that always generates lots of oohs and aahs from whoever you tell about your journey there, or your plans. A day’s excursion from Mawlynnong, Dawki lies but 2 Kms from Bangladesh. Despite the fact that the area is located in a place that has been for years demanding development, one is amazed by the quality of the roads, and the road to Dawki perhaps epitomizes the idyllic hill drive. This had more to do with the area’s strategic importance as well as the limestone and coal mines. Some 500 trucks cross the border every day in peak season.

boats-on-umshiang Dawki river with greenish-blueish water so clear that one can see the bottom of the river even from as high as the bridge over the river. It flows very close to the customs checkpost at Dawki with Jaintia Hills District on one side and East Khasi Hills District on the other. As it enters the plains of Bangladesh it loses its beautiful color and becomes heavily strewnwith rocks and small boulders. It is the gateway to Bangladesh. Located at the end of the Guwahati-Shillong-Dawki Raod, Dawki is a small town well knownfor its sweet, juicy orange markets.

The umngot river is popular not only for its scenic beauty but also for the annual boat race which is conducted here in the month of March – April at Umsyiem.  Due to the temperate climate, this place is the house of different kinds of flora and fauna, seeing this large emerald-green serpent threading its way through the hills, with fishermen’s boats dotting its surface, right into the plains of Bangladesh, is a sight whose majesty echoes long after you leave it. The tourists visiting Dawki should not forget to taste the sweets and oranges of Dawki, as it is quite famous for the same. The surrounding greenery, the cold water of the river and the beautiful suspension bridge on the River Umngot make Dawki a place worth a visit.

88_full Dawki does not have any airport; the closest airport is the Guwahati airport.  Nearest rail head is at Guwahati from where one can either hire a cab or catch public or private buses either direct till Dawki or till Shillong.  Buses are also available for the 70 kilometres (43 mi) journey from Shillong. On the other side the Tamabil bus station, 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away, has regular bus service to Sylhet 55 kilometres (34 mi) away.

The place becomes heavenly in December with a pleasant temperature ranging from 12 to 20 degrees. Shillong is the only hill station in the country which is accessible from all sides. The water of Unmgot river in Dwaki is so clear that a boat floating on it, seems  like it’s flying in mid-air.  The river is not the only place here. Entertain yourself at some really amazing festivals organized here in DecemberTysim Festival, Baghmara, Pinjera Festival, Williamnagar and Tura Winter Festival, Tura. Try out the delightful Meghalayan delicacies such as Jadoh, Dohneiihong, Makham-Bitchi and Jhur Sideh.

Image copyright by thequint.com, eccetrav.com, mridul-nandy.blogspot.in

Dwarkadhish Temple


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Dwarka is a municipality of Devbhoomi Dwarka district in the state of Gujarat. Dwarka is one of the foremost Chardhams, four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites and is also known as the kingdom of Lord Krishna. And is one of the Sapta Puri, the seven most ancient religious cities in the country.The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir.  Dwarka is often identified with the Dwarka Kingdom, the ancient kingdom of Krishna, and is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat. The city of Dwarka is regarded as the ‘Gateway to Moksha (Salvation)’. The term ‘Dwarkadish’ refers to Lord Krishna, who is regarded as the “Lord of Dwarka”. The city’s Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Krishna was originally built around 2,500 years ago.

Dwarka is well connected to the rest of India by air, rail, and road transport. It is 131 kilometres  by State Highway 947 from Jamnagar, where there is a domestic airport. The Dwarka railway station is on the broad gauge railway line that runs from Ahmedabad to Okha at a distance of about 137 kilometres from Jamnagar. Dwarka is 217 kilometres  away from Rajkot and 378 kilometres  from Ahmedabad.

dwaja_arohan-23-07 Besides the ruling place of Shree Krishna, Dwarka is the place where Lord Vishnu killed the demon named Shankhasura. Besides this historic event, the Puranas one of the 12 JyotirLingas (columns of lights) specifically manifesting Lord Shiva named Nageshwar Mahadev is in the sanctified place of Dwarka. Original temple dwarkadheesh was built by Lord Krishna’s grand son Vajaranabhji in 400 BC after the end of Historical city Dwarka,  but current temple was built in 16th century. Dwarkadheesh temple is built in Chalukyan style of architecture. This beautiful temple has 51.8 meters height, Covers area of 27 metre by 21 metre with east-west length of 29 metre and north-south width of 23 metres, with a 24 m long multi-colored flag, with symbols of sun and moon. 

In the temple, worship or puja is conducted by Aboti Brahmins Every day, Arti is performed at regular intervals and ‘abhishek’ is done. The Lord is decked in new clothes, jewels and flowers. Janmashtami is the major festival that is celebrated at Dwarkadhish Temple. At the time of festival, the entire temple is festooned with lights. Every year, the temple witness millions of devotees and pilgrims, who come to seek salvation, with the blessings of the Lord. The importance of Shri Krishna’s life and teachings was not limited to his contemporary period but is equally so to the posterity. That is why his birthday is remembered and celebrated today even after five thousand years. 

Dwarkadheesh Tempe has two entrance one from north and one from south.Entrance from north is also known as Moksha Dwaar and Entrance from south is also known as Swarg dwaar. If you step down from south entrance then you will reach at bank of river gomti. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In 1241, Mohammad Shah invaded Dwarka and damaged the temple. During this battle, five Brahmins  fought against him, died, and were honoured as martyrs. A shrine was built near the temple in their honor and is known as “Panch Peer“, which is a name of Muslim origin. In the year 1473, Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada ransacked Dwarka and damaged the temple which was again rebuilt. In the year 1551 when Dwarka was invaded by Turk Aziz, the idol of Lord Krishna was moved to Bet Dwarka Island in an attempt to protect it.The Okhamandal area plus Dwarka used to be ruled by Gaekwad of Baroda at the time of the time of the revolt of 1857. In the year 1858 a warfare took place between British forces and the Vaghers natives. The Vaghers emerged victorious and ruled the region until the year 1859. In 1859, Vaghers were overthrown by the joint forces of Gaekwads, British and many other troops of adjoining princely states. During that time too the temple of Dwarka as well as Bet Dwarka underwent damage. Later on the locals of the region reported about the atrocities hurled by the Britishers and that eventually led to the temples’ restoration. Later, Baroda’s king Maharaja Gaekwad offered the temple Shikhara with a charming golden pinnacle around 1958. Since the year 1960, the responsibility of the temple’s maintenance is being shouldered by the Indian government.

Dwarka had always been the fond hub for archaeologists due to its close association with the great epic Mahabharata and the mythical claims about the sunken city. Numerous explorations and excavations have been carried out off shore as well as on shore in the mighty Arabian Sea. The first excavations were undertaken around the year 1963 and it brought to the fore, many ancient artifacts. Archaeological excavations that were conducted on Dwarka’s seaward side at two places un-earthed many interesting things such stone jetty, few submerged settlements, triangular three-holed stone anchors etc. The settlements that were discovered consisted in shapes similar to fort bastions, outer and inner walls etc. Typographical analyses of the anchors of the unearthed anchors tell that Dwarka had been a flourishing port city during India’s middle kingdom era. Archaeologists opine that coastal erosion could have resulted in the destruction of this busy, rich port.

Between 1983 to 1990, the well-fortified township of Dwaraka was discovered, extending more than half mile from the shore. The township was built in six sectors along the banks of a river. The foundation of boulders on which the city’s walls were erected proves that the land was reclaimed from the sea. The general layout of the city of Dwaraka described in ancient texts agrees with that of the submerged city discovered by the Marine Archaeology Unit

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There is a lighthouse at the Dwarka Point on the Dwarka peninsula, which provides a panoramic view of the city. It is a fixed light situated 70 feet (21 m) above the sea level, and the light is visible over a distance of 10 miles (16 km). The lighthouse tower is 40 feet (12 m) in height and is 117 yards (107 m) away from the high water level in the sea. The radio beacon provided on this lighthouse tower is powered by a solar photovoltaic module

The underwater ancient city off the coast of Bet Dwarka has been proposed to be developed as a scuba diving site. This project is a joint initiative of Adventure Sports Ltd (ASL) and the Government of Gujarat, with investment of ₹13 crore. This is believed to be the first effort anywhere in the world to exploit a submerged city for tourism. Water and beach sports are also being promoted by the state government, and there are proposals to further promote aero and submarine sports

The temple is open from 6.00 am to 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 9.30 pm.

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