City : Dwarka
Location : North India
Language : Bengali, Hindi
Know About Dwarka
This article is about a city in Gujarat. For the kingdom of Dwaraka in Indian epic literature, see Dwaraka Kingdom.
Dwarka pronunciation (help·info), also spelled Dvarka, Dwaraka, and Dvaraka, is a city and a municipality located in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat state in India. Dwarka (Dvaraka in Sanskrit - used in this article when referring to the city in a historical context), also known as Dwarawati in Sanskrit literature is rated as one of the seven most ancient cities in the country. The legendary city of Dvaraka was the dwelling place of Lord [Krishna]. It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dvaraka has submerged six times and modern day Dwarka is the 7th such city to be built in the area.
The modern city of Dwarka is located in the Jamnagar District of Gujarat. It is located close to where the Gomti River merges into the Gulf of Kutch. The city lies in the westernmost part of India.
Dwarka is located at the geographical coordinates of 22.23° N 68.97° E. It is a relatively flat region at sea-level, having an average elevation of 0 metres (0 feet).
The Dwarakadhish temple
Swarg DwarThe temple has a five storey tower which was built by Sambha, who is the grandson of Lord Sri Krishna. The city is believed to be built by Vishwakarma, who is a celestial architect in Hinduism. The temple is made of limestone and sand. There is a flag hoisted in the temple tower four times each day, which waves in the air beautifully welcoming the pilgrims. The structure of the temple is quite complicated. There are two gateways: Swarga Dwar, where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar, where pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea.
In Dwaraka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavati Devi and Satyabhama Devi.
There is a special temple for Rukmini Devi on the way to Bet Dwarka temple. Bet Dwaraka can be reached by boat. It is also the temple which is like the palace where Lord Shri Krishna had ruled. A similar idol of Lord Dwarakanath is also kept in Bet Dwaraka. The temple looks like a palace and has many Shrines for Lakshmi Narayana, Trivikrama, Jambavati Devi, Satyabhama Devi and Rukmini Devi.
The city derives its name from word dvar meaning door or gate in the Sanskrit language. Dwarka is considered to be one of the holiest cities in Hinduism and one of the 4 main "dhams" along with Badrinath, Puri, Rameshwaram. The city is especially respected by Vaishnavas.
The Jagatmandir temple which houses the Dwarkadhish, a form of Krishna is also located in Dwaraka.
Nageshwar Jyotirling, one of the 12 holy shrines of Lord Shiva, is located near Dwaraka.
Dwarka is also the site of Dwaraka Pitha (also known as Sharada Pitha), one of the four cardinal mathas established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, the others being those at Sringeri, Puri and Jyotirmath.
A Painting depicting Krishna's Dwarka made during Akbar's reign from the Smithsonian InstitutionMain article: Dwaraka Kingdom
Dwarka is mentioned in the Mahabharata, the Harivansha, the Bhagavata Purana, the Skanda Purana, and the Vishnu Purana. It is said that this Dwarka was located near the site of the current city of Dwarka, but was eventually deserted and submerged into the sea.
Characteristics of the City
Land was reclaimed from the sea near the western shores of Saurashtra. A city was planned and built here. Dwarka was a planned city, on the banks of Gomati River. This city was also known as Dvaramati, Dvaravati and Kushsthali. It had six well-organized sectors, residential and commercial zones, wide roads, plazas, palaces and many public utilities. A hall called "Sudharma Sabha" was built to hold public meetings. The city also boasted having the possession of a good sea harbour.
Submersion into the Sea
After Krishna left the earth for Vaikunta and the major Yadava leaders were killed in disputes among themselves, Arjuna went to Dwarka to bring Krishna's grandsons and the Yadava wives to Hastinapur, to safety. After Arjuna left Dwarka, it was submerged into the sea. Following is the account given by Arjuna, found in the Mahabharata:
...imposed on it by nature. The sea rushed into the city. It coursed through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered up everything in the city. I saw the beautiful buildings becoming submerged one by one. In a matter of a few moments it was all over. The sea had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the city. Dwaraka was just a name; just a memory.
The Vishnu Purana also mentions the submersion of Dwarka, stating
On the same day that Krishna departed from the earth the powerful dark-bodied Kali Age descended. The oceans rose and submerged the whole of Dwarka.
Nageshwar Temple, Dwarka - a famous Shiva temple and one among the 12 Jyotirlingas
Shree Swaminarayan Temple - Dwarka
Rukmini Hrid - collection of 7 ponds.
Bet Dwarka, a small island near Dwarka
Somnath Temple famous Lord Shiva Temple