Information on Dwaraka
Dwaraka is located on the extreme western end of Kathiawar peninsula, where the River Gomti meets the Arabian Sea. Dwaraka is one of the four most important holy places of the Hindus and attracts tourists from all over the world. The Lord Krishna also established his capital at Dwaraka after he left Mathura. The importance, foundation, planning and glory of Dwaraka as the golden city is described in various Hindu epics like Mahabharata, Harivamsha, Sijupdlavadha, Bhagvad Gita, Skand Purana, Vishnu Purana and Mahabharat. The architecture of the old Dwaraka city was majestic and wonderful.
History of Dwaraka
The city of Dwaraka has a very large and old traditional history. Dwaraka was the capital of the western coast of Saurashtra. Dwaraka was a large, well fortified and the prosperous city due to the sea trade which prevailed in this city. This region was full of flowering and fruit-bearing trees. Due to fear of the attack by Jarasangh and Kaalayvan on Mathura, Shri Krishna and Yadavas left Mathura and arrived at the coast of Saurashtra. They decided to build their capital in the coastal region and invoke the Vishwakarma, the deity of construction. However, Vishwakarma said that the task can be completed only if Samudradev, the Lord of the sea provide some land. Shri Krishna worshipped Samudradev, who pleased by the prayers decided to gave them the land measuring 12 yojans from the sea near the western shores of Saurashtra and thus the Lord Vishwakarma laid the foundation of Dwaraka. Lord Krishna later set up his capital at Dwaraka, on the banks of river Gomti. This beautiful city was also known as Dwaramati, Dwarawati and Kushsthali. It was a well planned city and had well organized six sectors, residential and commercial zones, wide roads, palaces and many public utilities. A hall called "Sudharma Sabha" was built to hold public meetings. The city was one of the busiest ports during the Mahabharata period. After the end of the war of Mahabharata, Shri Krishna lived for 36 years at Dwaraka. It was also the land of the Ekalavya and the saint Dronacharya. According to the legends, the Dwaraka city met a sudden end due to the fury of the sea. According to some other legends, immediately after the death of the Lord Krishna, Dwaraka disappeared into the sea. Attempts are being still made to rediscover the lost Dwaraka from the sea. In the early eighties, an important archaeological site was found at Dwaraka.
Tourist Attractions in Dwaraka
The major tourist attraction in Dwaraka is the famous Dwarkadhish temple, the 'Lord of Dwarka', also known as the Jagat Mandir or temple of the world. This temple is dedicated to the Lord Krishna and was constructed over 1400 years ago. This temple has a 5 floors supported by 60 columns. This temple attracts pilgrims from all over the world. Besides the Dwarkadhish temple, there are various other temples in Dwarka.