Places abound in natural beauty, pilgrim places, memorable historical sites and myriad of handicrafts are Gujarat’s constant attractions for tourists. Dwarka has a special importance as one of the major Hindu pilgrim place known as the capital of Lord Krishna’s kingdom. Dwarka is one of the 4 most important pilgrim places. A bevy of lovely temples that display flamboyant structural designs and marvelous architecture are the signature destinations in Dwarka. It is also an important historical monument. The architecture of the old Dwarka is majestic and wonderful.
Dwarka is mentioned as the golden city in Bhagvad Gita. Dwarka is sanctified as the place where Lord Vishnu slew the demon; one of the 12 Jyotirlingas is located here known as Nageshwar Mahadev. Dwarka is also sanctified as the sear of Adi Shankaracharya. It is believed that a dying Krishna asked his devotees to leave Dwarka so that the sea could engulf it and to this day, the city lies below the sea. Excavations have revealed that the sea swallowed five settlements with Dwarka being the sixth. The present day temple was built by Vajranabh, the great grandson of Lord Krishna. All devout Hindus believe that the temple was set up in one night by supernatural forces commanded by Vajranabh.
The major pilgrimage destinations in Dwarka are
Known as the Universal Shrine, it is a glorious structure seeming to rise from the waters of the Arabian Sea. Carved shikhar, reaching 43 m high and the huge flag made from 52 yards of cloth can be seen from as far away as 10 km. The grandeur of the temple is enhanced by the flight of 56 steps leading to the rear side of the edifice on the side of the river Gomati. The temple is built of soft limestone and consists of a sanctum, vestibule and a rectangular hall with porches on 3 sides. There are two gateways: swarga dwar (gate to the heavens), where pilgrims enter and moksha dwar (gate to liberation), where pilgrims exit.
The lower part of the Dwarkadhish temple is from the 16th century and the soaring steeple with its numerous clusters of small towers is from the 19th century. The main part of the temple has five storeys, reaching to a height of over 100 feet. The exquisite carvings on its exterior display daring eroticism, a multi-layered mythic intensity and extraordinary continuity of design. In contrast, the interior of the temple is striking in its simplicity.
The exterior of the Rukmini Temple is richly carved. It has a panel of sculpted human figures and a panel of sculpted elephants at the base. The traditional spire of the main shrine contrasts strongly with the hemispherical dome of the pavilion. The inner sanctum has a recessed seat on which the present image of Rukmini, wife of Lord Krishna, was consecrated. The usual sculptures of god and goddesses, along with male and female figures, are seen on the exterior of the shrine. There is a legend behind it. It is said that Krishna and Rukmini went to Rishi Durvasa to invite him for dinner at Dwarka. Rishi Durvasa asked them to pull his chariot if they want him to come. Lord Krishna and Rukmini agreed happily, on their way Rukmini started feeling thirsty and lord Krishna prodded his feet in the ground to draw a spring of water. Rukmini took a sip of water without offering to Rishi Durvasa, which angered him. Annoyed by her impoliteness Rishi Durvasa cursed Rukmini that she would be separated from her beloved husband. Hence, Rukmini temple is 2 km away from Dwarka's Jagat Mandir.
How to Reach
The closest domestic airport is located at Jamnagar, 137 km away.
Dwarka Railway Station in the Ahmadabad route is connected to other major cities and towns.
Gujarat state road transport buses connect Dwarka with all major cities in the state.