The Dwarkadhish Temple, one of the Char Dham pilgrimages, is situated in the city of Dwarka in Gujarat. Dwarka lies on the banks of river Gomti, in Saurashtra. It is historically considered as the capital of Lord Krishna. The city eventually submerged under the sea except for Temples.
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It has five storeys and stands on 72 limestone pillars. Also, it consists of three parts – the Prakashgarh (Nijmandir), Sabahgrah and the Shikhar. The total height of the Shikhar is 157 feet.
Furthermore, there are two Shikhars present in the Temple – the Nij Shikhar and the Ladwa Shikhar. The Nij shikhar is five storeyed. It houses the main deity, Lord Krishna. There are two main gates to the Dwarkadhish Temple – The Moksha Dwaar (entrance for pilgrims) and the Swarg Dwaar (Gate to Heaven).
What is the history of Dwarkadhish Temple?
The history of Dwarkadhish temple is that according to Brahmi script, the temple’s first renovation was done around 100 BC. Later, Shri Adi Shankaracharya visited the temple in 800 BC and renovated it. He established the shrine of Adyashakti on the fourth floor of the temple.
Muhammad Shah attacked and destroyed the temple in 1241 AD. Five Brahmins fought with them and died. So, the shrines near the Dwarkadhish Temple are for them. Local merchants and rulers enlarged the temple in 15th-16th century. And in 1965, the Pakistan Navy tried to attack the temple but failed to do so.
Another interesting legend associated with Dwarka is that of the Gopi Lake. According to mythology, after leaving Mathura, Lord Krishna never went back. The Gopis of Mathura came to Dwarka to meet Krishna. After several Ras Leelas with Lord Krishna, they offered their lives to the land. Hence the name of the lake is “Gopi Talav”.
What is the story of origin of Dwarka?
Lord Krishna’s uncle Kansa was the ruler of Mathura. His father-in-law, Jarasandha influenced him greatly. Also, Kansa terrorized and tortured the people of Mathura. Due to cruelty towards people, Krishna eventually killed him. When kansa died, Jarasandha was furious. So, he invaded Mathura several times.
However, he was unsuccessful in annexing it. But the Yadava clan suffered huge losses and Lord Krishna decided to move them elsewhere.
Further, the story of how Krishna formed the city of Dwarka has two versions. One states that Lord Krishna flew on the Garuda and reached the Saurashtra peninsula. However, in the other version, Lord Krishna invoked Vishwakarma (Lord of Construction). He asked him to build a new city.
Vishwakarma said that it is possible to build the city if the Samudra Devta (God of Sea) gives them land. Lord Krishna worshiped the Sea God who eventually gave him 12 Yojanas of land. Consequently, Vishwakarma built the city of Dwarka for Lord Krishna.
What is the legend of Jagannath Temple?
According to the legend of Jagannath Temple, during the cremation of Lord Krishna at Dwarka, Balram and Subhadra overcame with grief. So, they took the half-burnt body of Krishna and ran into the ocean. At the same time, King Indradyumna in Puri had a dream.
It encouraged him to visit the ocean in search of the remains of Lord Krishna.
Later, he built a gigantic temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is famous as the Jagannath temple. There, he established the three wooden idols of Krishna, Balaram, and Subhadra. Also, he placed the ashes of Lord Krishna inside the wooden deity.
According to the Archeological Survey of India, the main shrine of the building is 2000 to 2200 years old. There is an umbrella-like monument in the memory of Lord Krishna to the East of Harimandir.
What is the significance of Dwarkadhish Temple?
The significance of Dwarkadhish temple is that Dwarka is one of the Sapta Puris in India. According to popular belief, the Dwarkadhish Temple stands over the original place of Hari – Graha, the home of Krishna. Mahabharata states that the castle of Lord Krishna was built in Gold.
The Pandavas played and spent their childhood there.
Archaeologists have unearthed copper coins, boulders, pillars and pottery samples from the underwater excavations in Dwarka. Hence, they have concluded that a well-established city existed there in the 2nd Millennium.
Also, explorations between 1983 and 1990 show that the city consisted of six sectors. They were extended about a mile from the shore. Offshore investigations have found evidence of stone slabs, ports and other construction materials dating back to 15th Century. Hence, it supports the existence of an ancient city at the time of Lord Krishna. Further, the layout of the city mentioned in ancient manuscripts matches that of the city unearthed by The Marine Archaeology Unit of India.
The Dhwajaji – The Mast Flag atop the main Temple is unique and sacred. It is Aadhi Bhoutik in nature. The Dhwaja or the Flag is made of 52 yards of cloth. 52 small flags are woven individually in each yard of cloth. Each Yard symbolizes the entrances to the ancient city of Dwarka.
According to scriptures, 56 administrators ran the administration of Dwarka. Four of them were Lord Krishna, Balram, Pradyuma, and Anirudhji. These 4 are still worshiped in temples that are untouched by the Sea. However, for the rest of the 52 people, the flag acts as a remembrance. The colors of the Dhwajaji are changed every day.
Kusheshwar Mahadev Temple
In the premises of the Dwarkadhish Temple, a small temple called Kusheshwar Mahadev Temple is present. According to a legend, Kush was a demon who lived in Kushasthali. People prayed to Lord Krishna to save them. So, Lord Krishna fought and crushed the demon. Krishna buried him completely into the ground. Hence, he set up a temple of Lord Mahadev there. The Shiva Linga lies almost 20 feet below the ground.
The Dwarka Mutt is one of the four mutts established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The others are Sringeri, Jagannath Puri, and Jyotirmath. Another name for Dwarka Mutt is Shanti Peeth. It is sacred to take a dip at the Gomati Ghat opposite to the Dwarkadhish Temple. Genuine worship at this temple washes away one’s sins.
The timings of Dwarkadhish Temple are:
|Open||6:30 AM||9:30 PM|
|Close||1 PM||5 PM|
|mangal aarti||6:30 AM|
|Mangal Darshan||7 AM||8 AM|
|Shringar Aarti||10:30 AM|
|Sandhya Aarti||7:30 PM||7:45 PM|
Dwarkadhish Temple Dress Code
One should prefer formal and decent dresses while visiting the Dwarkadhish Temple. Avoid shorts and mini skirts.
What are the festivals celebrated at Dwarkadhish Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Dwarkadhish temple are:
- Janmashtami – The birth of Krishna is celebrated in a very grand and spiritual way. The celebration includes a series of Poojas and rituals. It starts right from Mangal Aarti in the morning to the Parna Rom the next day. They also perform Abhishekams throughout the day with Tulsi and Chandan.
- Annakut Utsav – This festival is celebrated on the first day of the Kartik month. It includes preparing and offering a variety of sweets to God.
- Tulsi Vivah – This day signifies the marriage of Lord Vishnu with Tulsi Devi. The festival starts on the 11th day of the Kartik month. It contiues for 4 days.
- Holi – The festival of colors is the favorite festival of Lord Krishna.
- Akshaya Tritiya – The third day of the Vaisakh month is popular as the Akshaya Tritiya. The day marks the beginning of summer season. The Idol of Lord Krishna is dressed with flowers and Chandan instead of the usual dress. Finally, the festivities end on the 11th day of the month. This day is Bhima Ekadashi.
- Rath Yatra – On the 2nd of the Ashadh month, a representation of Lord Krishna is kept in a chariot. This chariot is then taken around the city. On this day Krishna and Balram departed to Mathura on a chariot sent by Kamsa. Also, on the same day Krishna decided to become the Sarathi (Driver) of Arjuna’s chariot in Mahabharatha.
The temple performs the following daily poojas and sevas:
|Offering of bhogs: Mangal Bhog,Makhan Bhog, Snan Bhog and Shringar Bhog.|
|Offering sevas such as: Palna, Shayan Bhog, Paan Seva, Milk Seva, Vegetable Seva, Flower Seva, Fruit Seva and Misri Seva|
Here’s how to reach Dwarkadhish temple:
- Air – The nearest airport is Jamnagar which is 137 km away from the temple.
- Rail – Regular trains are available from major cities such as Jamnagar, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, and Kochi.
- Road – Direct State Buses are available from Jamnagar, Gandhinagar, Porbandar, Rajkot, and Ahmedabad.
Government runs many guest houses in the city. Some of them are Circuit House, Gayathri Athithi Grah and Birla Dharmshala where one can stay. The temple trust runs several dharmashalas. These include Kokila Niraj Dham, Patelwadi Dharamshala, and Jay Ranchhod Dharmashala. Several private hotels are available to stay in Dwarka.
Where to eat near Dwarkadhish Temple?
Several hotels and restaurants are available near the Temple and in other parts. Mainly vegetarian cuisine is available.
Some of the temples near Dwarkadhish temple are:
Shri Nageshwar Temple – The Nageshwar Temple (Nagnath Temple) is 12 km away from the Dwarkadhish Temple. It is an important Shaivite pilgrimage site. This is because it is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the temples of Lord Shiva spread all across India. The temple is unique as the Shiva Lingam faces south and the Nandi faces east. 5 of the 12 divine jyotirlingas are in Maharashtra (Get details).
The Rukmini Mandir – It is 2 km away from The Dwarkadhish Temple. The Temple is for Devi Rukmini, wife of Lord Krishna. The idol of Devi Rukmini has “Chaturbhuj” or four hands. Further, each hand holds a Shanka, Chakra, Gada, and the Padma. This is so because Devi Rukmini was a reincarnation of Goddess Mahalakshmi.
Beyt Dwarka – The Island is 30 km away from Dwarka. Also, it houses a 500-year-old temple built by Sri Vallabhacharya. The white pristine beaches at the Island are very popular for water sports and picnics.
Gomati Sangam Ghat – One can reach the Sangam Ghat by descending 56 steps opposite to Swarga Dwar. Also, this place signifies the junction of River Gomati with the ocean. Also, one can visit several smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Krishna and his friend Sudama.
The Gita Mandir – The Birla family built the temple in 1970 and dedicated it to the teachings of The Bhagavad Gita. The walls of the temple contain hymns from the Bhagwad Gita.