Site Name: Dwarka
Site Type: Hindu religious site
Location: 145 kms from Jam Nagar, Gujarat state, India
Highlights: Birth place of Gandhiji
Nearest Railway Station: Dwarka
Nearest Airport: Jam Nagar
How to reach: Well connected by road from Jam Nagar
Hotel: A lot of options across the city
Restaurants: Varieties of options across the city
Dwarka is one of the most important pilgrimage for Hindus. It is located near Jam Nagar city in Gujarat state of India. Let me briefly present about all the important sites of Dwarka in this article. As I visited the place many years ago, I do not have digital photographs of the site. Also, I am unable to provide detailed description of the city. Hence, this article from mine will be unusually brief.
As per the legend, the King Jarasandh kept invading Mathura again and again. He was the father in law of Kansa, the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna. As Krishna killed Kansa, Jarasandh wanted to retaliate. Although Lord Krishna and his brother Balaram won all the battles against Jarasandh, they did not want their people to continuously suffer due to these battles. Hence, Krishna found out a place in the current Gujarat state. In fact, he had reclaimed land from the sea and founded a new city called Dwarka. All his people, Yadavas, migrated from Mathura to Dwarka. It is also believed that his family stayed in Beyt Dwarka, a place located at a distance of around 30 kms from Dwarka. He administered the country from Dwarka.
The celestial architect Vishwakarma built the new city Dwarka for Lord Krishna. Krishna came to be known as Dwarkadheesh.
After the end of Lord Krishna, a massive flood swallowed up the city of Dwarka. It is believed that the city was rebuilt six times in different times by different dynasties. The current city is the 7th city to be rebuilt almost in the same location.
The most important attraction in Dwarka is Dwarkadheesh temple, which is also called as Jagat Mandir. The west facing temple is huge and architecturally very beautiful. The main deity of the temple is Lord Krishna called as Dwarkadheesh. His idol is extremely attractive and beautiful. He is found in the standing posture with four arms.
As the current temple was built by by the King Jagat Singh of Rathore, it is also called as Jagat Mandir. Although, the old temple is believed to be thousands of years old, the current temple was built in the 16th century CE.
There are sub-shrines of Balaram, Pradyumna, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Devaki and other deities located in this temple.
It is very rare to find a separate temple for Rukmini. But there is one temple dedicated to her in Dwarka. Of course, if not in Dwarka (the city of Krishna, Rukmini's husband), where else we can find a temple for her.
The architecturally beautiful temple of Rukmini has a lot of interesting carvings. It belongs to the 12th or 13th century CE.
Near the Dwarkadheesh temple, the Shankara Math, one of the four maths established by Adi Shankaracharya is found.
Nageshwar temple is one of the 12 Jyotir Lingas and is a very important temple of Lord Shiva. The main deity is very huge in size. This place is located at a distance of around 25 kms from Dwarka.
Beyt Dwarka is an island which is located at a distance of around 30 kms from Dwarka. It can be reached through the boat. There are many small temples in this island which include Matsya, Trivikrama, Rukmini, Radha, Lakshmi Narayana, Satyabhama, Balaram, Pradyumna, Jambhavati and Devaki.
Badak Ishwar Temple:
It is a little known temple of Lord Shiva located in a very beautiful site on the shores. Nearby Gita Mandir and Gayatri Mandir are also worth visiting.