Dwaraka , also known as Kashthuli in olden days is a city located in the western ghats of Saurashtra Peninsula ,on the banks of Gomti River. It’s a hub for both spiritual enthusiasts and excitement, Land of temples and stories of great legend Krishna. Dwarka, is one of the foremost Chardhams and one of the Saptapuris.
I grew up with bed time stories of Lord Krishana and had the fantasy to visit his kingdom and I got the chance to plan a trip to “Dwaraka”.
Places to visit in Dawraka:
This land has lot of picturesque places and each place is associated with its stories and unique architecture carvings.
Dwarakadish Temple: Dwarkadhish Temple, also known as Jagat Mandir, was originally built by Vajranabha, the great grandson of Lord Krishna. This five storied limestone structure is located in the heart of the structure. There are two entrances to this temple; the northern gate from the main market is called Moksha Dwar whereas the southern gate is called Swarg Dwar. The latter leads to the Gomti River. The festival to watch out for is Janmashtami that is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show. Devotees of Lord Krishna from all around the world gather here to offer prayers. This five storied limestone structure is located in the heart of the city. Interestingly, a huge 52 yard long flag is hosted on its magnificently carved dome and is changed five times a day.
“The temple is an ever present reminder that god intends the family to be eternal”
An island located near the shores of Okha which is situated around 30 kms from Dwarka, in the Gulf of Kutch. It said that Lord Krishna resided here while Dwarka was his constitutional seat. 15 mins ferry ride is an enchanting journey. In between you see “Sea gulls” and clean green sea water along with cool breeze flowing . On the side you can see the port of Gujarat and it seems very beautiful when the ferry reaches the shore of island.
“Smell the sea and feel the sky let your soul and spirit fly”
History: The name Bet Dwarka came from the famous legend Krishna’s childhood friend, Sudama who came to his house and offered him poha as bhet (gift),and in return Lord Krishna filled his life with happiness. It is believed the, after Lord Krishna left his human form, the city was said to have been submerged in the sea. It was reconstructed afterwards.
“Change is the Law of universe” – Lord Krishna.
Light House: This was one of the most beautiful place in Dwaraka, it reminds me of marine lines a cleaner version of it. In order to lift a lamp, a flag mast was posted at the port, which thereafter served as a lighthouse. Eighteen metres tall square tower was constructed at this site, along with an installation of an oil wick lamp. In addition to the tower, the sound horn equipment and vibrators that can work as fog signals. This lighthouse is located at a distance of 35 km from the main town and features serene atmosphere that is perfect for relaxing. It reminds me of line – “The lighthouse of the lord beckons to all as we sail the seas of life”
Geeta Mandir: Here we even have Geet mandir where the entire walls of temple are enclaved with words of Geeta. The backside view of Geeta Mandir is amazing with gomti ghat and temples on the banks.
“If you don’t fight for what you want, Don’t cry for what you lost” – Bhagavat Gita
Gomti Ghat: It is situated on the backside of the dwarakadish temple. A bath in these waters is believed to purge the soul. The sites of boys jumping into the waves and turning somersaults are lively. Decorated camels, tea stands, and bearded men selling seashell jwelry by the water add to the ambience. A beautiful bridge “Sudhama Setu” is constructed on the bank which connects the temple with desert passing the river. One of the best place, where I enjoyed sitting and playing with waves in the boat ride. The desert had its holiness of silence, the crowd its holiness of conversation.
Rukamani temple: It is an architectural masterpiece. The walls of are decorated with attractive paintings depicting pastimes of Rukamani with Krishna. This temple is associated with story of Bahaman, respect and donation of water. People who come here donate water. The land near Rukamani temple has no Drinking water near it – some believe its bcoz of the curse of Durvasa Rishi.
Nageshwar Jyotirling: It is one of the tweleve self-existent jyothirlings in the world. Nageshwar was believed to be known as ‘Darukavana’, which is an ancient epic name of a forest in India.
Gopi Talav: Gopi Talav is a mid size lake located around 20 kms from Dwarka . It is famous for its story associated with it., which says when Krishna shifted his capital to Dwarka, the gopis couldn’t bear his estrangement. The gopis 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.
Surya Mandir: It is situated on the banks of Gomati Sangam Ghat, which is at the back of the main Dwarkadish Temple. The deity in the Samudra Narayana Temple is goddess Gomati, who is believed to be brought from heaven by Rishi Vasistha. Saints are seen engrossed in medication here early morning. The atmosphere here in the morning is peaceful and it depicts the saying – “When the sun rises, it rises for everyone”
Over all it was a nice trip and a different experience of interaction with spirituality. People from different community, countries and religion are seen here mesmerized in the love of Lord Krishna.
Best time to visit: December to February.
Food: If you are in the Gujarat and you don’t try the taste buds , the trip is not complete. The famous and must try out things are Kathiyawadi food – Tamatar sev sabji, lasuni alu , Masala khichadi , Wagharlela bajara nu lot , Mouthwatering Falooda and Badam Shake.
Suggestions and Others things:
- Don’t try to complete entire Dwaraka in two days it will be hectic, spend some time and enjoy the site of Dwaraka with time and leisure.
- There is a Tula Dan done in Dwaraka, don’t get into the trap of purohits and pandas , the daan is done based on your pocket (minimum starting is 5000 Rs.)
- Stay in Dharamsahala near Gomti Ghat, the site from there is amazing and even the facilities offered are like hotels.
“Look for God within the temple of Soul. Explore dream.Discover”