The holy city Dwarka is believed to be the first capital of the Gujarat state. Perched on the western shore of the Okhamandal Peninsula, on the banks of the Gomti River, Dwarka has been a religious haven for the faithful.
The name Dwarka is literally translated as ‘the gateway to heaven’. And, its significance lies in it being one of the ‘Char Dham’ or religious sites for Hindu devotees. It is believed, that if you visit the Char Dham, within your lifetime, you will attain Moksha. According to mythology, the town of Dwarka is identified as the ancient kingdom of Lord Krishna, who migrated from Mathura after killing Kansa, his uncle.
Having a powerful mythological and historical connection, the town of Dwarka developed as a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Every year, thousands of devotees of Krishna, throng to this holy seat from all over the world.
The town of Dwarka is well connected to major cities of Gujarat and other parts of Western India by railways and roadways. You can fly to Jamnagar Airport, which is about 45 KM away. From there you can opt for buses, taxis and private cars to commute to Dwarka. Alternatively, you can also book an Ahmedabad car rental if you’re looking to explore other parts of Gujarat.
This shrine is the cornerstone destination of Dwarka. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this temple is said to be built about 2500 years ago. The Chalukya style architecture is flanked by a grand, five-storied main shrine. You would be marveled at the magnificence of the black stone idol of Krishna that resides within the shrine. There are other shrines, dedicated to acquaintances of Krishna, like that of Subhadra, Balaram, Vasudeva, Rukmini, and Revathy.
The best time to experience the divine energy of this temple is during Janmashtami. The birth festival is Krishna is heartily celebrated here.
Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple
Be in absolute awe of this one of the 12 famous ‘self-existent’ temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the origin of the Nageshwara Jyotirlinga temple is still a mystery to this date. The temple enshrines a giant and artistic statue of Shiva, which draws visitors and pilgrims from far and wide. Additionally, the aesthetic appeal of the temple’s architecture will leave you mesmerized. The best time to visit this holy site is during Mahashivratri, an auspicious day to celebrate the greatness of Shiva.
About 30 Km from the main town, you will land at Beyt Dwarka- a small island on the mouth of Gulf of Kutchh. This island was believed to be the main port for this region. The island is dotted with ancient temples, white sand beach, and coral reefs, which lend to its charm. Among temples, this holy site houses the Hanuman Dandi Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman and his don, Makaradhwaja. There are other shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Devi.
Apart from pilgrimage, Beyt Island is famous for water sports and sea-adventures.
Lining the sacred town, the rocky Dwarka beach touches the Arabian Sea. For tired travelers and fulfilled pilgrims, the beach makes for a quiet and serene place to relax. Also perfect to enjoy the play of colors of the evening sky, the sunset on the Dwarka beach is a mesmerizing sight.
Perched on the Dwarka Peninsula, there is an old lighthouse at the Dwarka Point. Enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city from this 40 feet high tower.
Whether you are a believer or not, a visit to Dwarka can always be eye-opening. Even if you’re looking to explore the coast of Gujarat, you can book a taxi service in Rajkot and head here. While the faithful seek assurance and higher consciousness, others see the architectural grandeur and the scenic beauty of this locale. Either way, this is a fulfilling and inspiring destination for all.