Gujarat has been in the news, the reasons are well-known.
Now that heavy – duty and hyper – hyped elections are over in Gujarat and results are keenly awaited, you can plan a trip to Gujarat and pay obessience to Dwarkadhish temple like our national leaders, who did pre-elections, lesser mortals like us can do post-elections. You can choose to say thanks to deity for the results! Just kidding!! Here you can enjoy beautiful winters of the state and inimitable, authentic Gujarati food which is loved globally. This will certainly make your trip to the shrine, more blissful.
So for the uninitiated, Dwarka is the headquarters of Okhamandal taluka 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. The 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 established his own empire Dwarka. That was the legend but science proved it partially. Scientists researched on that and have found some facts.
Dwarka is derived from ‘Dwar’, a door, and in ancient times its flourishing port was considered to be the gateway to the mainland. 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.
The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir and occasionally spelt Dwarakadheesh (Gujarati: દ્વારકાધીશ મન્દિર; Sanskrit and Hindi: द्वारकाधीश मन्दिर), is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Krishna, who is worshiped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or ‘King of Dwarka’. The temple is located at Dwarka, Gujarat, India. The main shrine of the 5-storied building, supported by 72 pillars, is known as Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir, archaeological findings suggest it to be 2,200 – 2,000 years old. Temple was enlarged in the 15th- 16th century. The Dwarkadhish Temple is a Pushtimarg temple, hence it follows the guidelines and rituals created by Vallabhacharya and Vitheleshnath.
According to tradition, the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna’s grandson, Vajranabha, over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna’s residential place). The temple became part of the Char Dham pilgrimage considered sacred by Hindus in India, after Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th-century Hindu theologian and philosopher, visited the shrine. The other three being comprising Shringeri, Badrikashram and Puri. Even today a memorial within the temple is dedicated to his visit. Dwarakadheesh is the 108th Divya Desam of Vishnu on the subcontinent, glorified in the Divya Prabandha sacred texts.
As per Hindu legend, Dwarka was built on a piece of land by Krishna that was reclaimed from the sea. Sage Durvasa once visited Krishna and his wife Rukmini. The sage wished that the pair took him to their palace. The pair readily agreed and started walking with the sage to their palace. After some distance, Rukmini got tired and she requested some water from Krishna. Krishna dug a mythical hole that brought in river Ganga to the place. Sage Durvasa was furious and cursed Rukmini to remain in the place. The temple where Rukmini’s shrine is found is believed to the place where she stood.
The town of Dwarka in Gujarat has a history that dates back centuries and mentioned in the Mahabharat epic as the Dwaraka Kingdom. Situated on the banks of river Gomti, the town is described in legend as the capital of Lord Krishna. Evidence such as a stone block with the script, the way the stones were dressed showing that dowels had been used, and an examination of anchors found on the site suggest that the harbour site dates only to historical times, with some of the underwater structure being late Medieval. Coastal erosion was probably the cause of the destruction of what was an ancient port.
Hindus believe that the original temple was constructed by Vajranabh, the great grand son of Krishna, over the residential palace of Krishna. The current temple in Chaulukya style is constructed in 15-16th century. The temple covers an area of 27 meters by 21 meters with the east-west length of 29 metre and north-south width of 23 metres. The tallest peak of the temple is 51.8 m high.
The flag atop the temple shows the sun and moon, which is believed to indicate that Krishna would be there till Sun and moon exist on earth. The flag is changed from 5 times a day, but the symbol remains the same. The temple has a five-story structure built on seventy-two pillars. The temple spire is 78.3m high. The temple is constructed of limestone which is still in pristine condition. The temple shows intricate sculptural detailing done by successions of dynasties that ruled the region. The structure was not expanded much by these works. There are two entrances to the temple. The main entrance (north entrance) is called “Moksha Dwara” (Door to Salvation). This entrance takes one to the main market. The south entrance is called “Swarga Dwara” (Gate to Heaven). Outside this doorway are 56 steps that lead to the Gomati River. The temple is open from 6.00 am to 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 9.30 pm. The Krishnajenmastami festival, the birthday of Krishna was commissioned by Vallaba (1473-1531).
So what are you thinking, pack your pilgrimage bag and head to Dwarkadhish temple! Jai Shree Krishna!!