Dwarka is a municipality of Devbhoomi Dwarka district in the state of Gujarat in northwestern India. It is located on the western shore of the Okhamandal Peninsula on the right bank of the Gomti River. Dwarka is one of the foremost Chardhams four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites, and is one of the Sapta Puri the seven most ancient religious cities in the country. Dwarka is often identified with the Dwarka Kingdom the ancient kingdom of Krishna and is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat.
The city's Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Krishna was originally built around 2,500 years ago, but was destroyed by Mahmud Begada rulers and subsequently rebuilt in the 16th century. The temple is also the location of Dwarka matha, also called Sharada Matha/Peeth and "western peeth" one of the four peeths established by Adi Shankaracharya As an important pilgrimage center for Hindus, Dwarka has several notable temples, including Rukmini Devi Temple Gomti Ghat, and Bet Dwarka There is also a lighthouse at the land end point of Dwarka.
Dwarka's economy relies heavily on pilgrims and tourism but is supplemented by the production of millets, ghee, oilseeds and salt, which are transported from its port. A long-term development plan was proposed in 2011 by the Government of Gujarat with investment of 830 million to refurbish the city of Dwarka and build a bridge connecting the city with Okha and Bet Dwarka. Janmashtami is the main festival that is celebrated during August and September. Sharda Peeth Vidya Sabha is an educational society sponsored by the Sharda Peeth, Dwarka which runs an arts college in Dwarka. Dwarka was selected as a heritage city by the Indian government's Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojna initiative.
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Having a history of over 2500 years, this Chalukya style of architecture is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. The five storied main shrine is grand and marvelous in itself and needs no further highlights.
The black magnificent idol of Lord Krishna appears to be so appealing that devotees feel the presence or the lord before them. There are many other shrines which are devoted to Subhadra, Balarama and Revathy, Vasudeva, Rukmini and many others. The devotees are expected to take a dip in the Gomti river before proceeding into the temple through the Swarg Dwar. The eve of Janmashtmi is the most special occasion in any Krishna temple and surely this shrine too showcases different festive colors.
Along the Arabian Sea coast, Dwarka Beach is a good place to relax in the evenings. Popular among both the locals and tourists, Dwarka Beach is located quite close to the main temples in town.
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple:
One of the 12 famous self-existent temples, Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple too houses a curious myth about its origin. The giant, beautiful and artistic statue of Lord Shiva mesmerizes tourists and pilgrims alike with its aesthetic appeal.
The temple is the hub of festivities on the eve of Shivratri when devotees turn up in enormous numbers.
The tower, 43m in height was inaugurated on 15th July 1962. Tourists can enjoy the panoramic view of the sunset.
A small structure is an important shrine dedicated to Krishna's beloved consort, Rukmani Devi. Not as majestically gigantic, this shrine is an architectural masterpiece in itself.
The rich paintings on the walls depicting Rukmini and Krishna as old as the 12th century, the intricate carvings on the walls leave the beholder spell bound.
If the holy scriptures are to be believed, the Gomti River is none other than the Ganges, descending directly from heaven. The most sought after spots out of the various shrines and ghats this is the place where the river meets the mighty ocean.
Built by the industrialist family of Birla in 1970, it is constructed using white marble resulting in a magnificent and awe inspiring structure. The temple was made to capture and preserve the teachings and values of the Bhagavad Gita, the religious book of the Hindus.
Legend has it that this is the lake where Krishna used to entice his Gopis (young female inhabitants) with his youthful pranks and romantic nature. About 20km, the lake is surrounded by sandal like yellow sand which is used by the devotees to make tilaks on their bodies. It is quite a pretty sight.
Located around 30 km from the main town of Dwarka Beyt Dwarka is a small island and was the main port in the region before the development of Okha. While the island is enclosed by a few temples, white sand beach and coral reefs, the beach is also popular among tourists for its marine life, sea excursions, camping and picnics.
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