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.
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.
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
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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