Sri Dwarkadhish temple – Dwaraka

Sri Dwarkadhish temple – Dwaraka

The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir and also known as  Dwarakadheesh,  and is a Hindu temple dedicated to the God Krishna, who is worshiped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or ‘King of Dwarka’. The temple is located at Dwarka, Gujarat, India.

The main temple at Dwarka, situated on Gomti creek and originally believed to be built by Vajranabh, the great grandson of Lord Krishna, more than 2500 years ago. This is a glorious structure seeming to rise from the waters of the Arabian Sea. Its exquisitely carved shikhar, reaching 43 m high and the huge flag made from 52 yards of cloth, can be seen from as far away as 10 km. The grandeur of the temple is enhanced by of 56 steps leading to the rear side of the edifice on the side of the river Gomti. The temple is built of soft limestone and consists of a sanctum, vestibule and a rectangular hall with porches on three sides. There are two gateways: swarga dwar where pilgrims enter, and moksha dwar where pilgrims exit.

The lower part of the Dwarkadhish temple is from the 16th century and the soaring steeple with its numerous clusters of small towers is from the 19th century. The main part of the temple has five storeys which reach to a height of over 100 feet and built over 72 pillars (a sandstone temple with 60 pillars is also mentioned). The exquisite carvings on its exterior display daring eroticism, a multi-layered mythic intensity and extraordinary continuity of design. In contrast, the interior of the temple is striking in its simplicity, with the only exception being the elaborate ornamentation around the shrine to the idol of Dwarkadhish.

Inside, the sanctuary is a hive of voices, colors, incense and movement. With faith, for many it can also transform into a space of inner silence and unity with the divine.

It is conjectured that this temple location is 2,500 years old and is where Krishna built his city and a temple. However, the existing temple is dated to the 16th century). It is a five-storied edifice

History of Dwaraka Temple

Dwarka Temple has a hefty long history of approximately 2500 years. The archaeological exploration made on the town and also the temple suggests that original Dwarka temple is as old as 2200 years roughly. The temple in the course of time was destroyed, rebuilt and renovated several times. Archaeologists confer that the temple was once reconstructed during the Gupta dynasty and thus some of the oldest temple parts date back to Gupta period around 413 AD. It is also suggested that the temple was again demolished by Muslim forces around 11th century and these Muslim forces kept on attacking the temple several times until the 15thcentury and during this period the temple was rebuilt again and again. During the 16th century, the temple was renovated and enlarged as per the archaeological studies and the current temple dates back to reconstructions of 1730.

According to the legendary Lord Krishna left Mathura to escape the wrath and revenge of Kansa’s father-in-law Devil Jarasandha, Garuda, the celestial eagle transported him to Dwarka where Lord Krishna settled down for the rest of his life until he left this world around 3102 BC. Dwarka had been the kingdom of Lord Krishna and his grandson, Vajranabha is said to have built the Dwarkadheesh temple over the ‘Hari Griha’ or the residential location of Lord Krishna.

Dharshan of Pancha Dwaraka

Dwarka in the ancient times was known as Anarta, which had been Lord Krishna’s terrestrial empire. Dwarka consisted in  the islands like Antar dwipa, Dwarka Island and the mainland of Dwarka. The city had been the capital city of the Yadava clan which ruled over the place since many years.

In the great epic Mahabharata Dwarka is mentioned as Yadavas’ capital city consisting in many other neighboring states such as Vrishnis, Andhakas, Bhojas within its jurisdiction. The most important chiefs of Yadava clan inhabiting Dwarka included Lord Krishna, who was the king of Dwarka, then Balarama, Kritavarma, Satyaki, Akrura, Kritavarma, Uddhava and Ugrasena.

Lord Krishna’s Panch Dwarkas are located in Western Part of India in Gujarat and Rajasthan. At the top is Dwarka located in Saurashtra, the kingdom of Krishna. Then is the Bet Dwarka and Dakor, also in Gujarat followed by Shrinathji in Nathdwara and Dwarkadheesh Temple in Kankroli, both in Rajasthan.

Bet in local language means island and it is located 5 kilometers off the coast of Gujarat. It is said the Bet was the original place of residence of Lord Krishna. There is Lord Krishna’s Temple on the island and there is also another temple, the Dandiwala Hanuman temple. Unlike the Dwarka temple, the temple here is only about 500 years old and it is supposed to have been set up by Shri Vallabhacharya. It houses an idol created by Rukmini Devi, the consort of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna destroyed Shankhasura, a demon, at this place.

Dakor is a small town in Northern Gujarat and is about 60 kilometres from Ahmedabad you will find the famous Ranchhod ji temple. Dakor and Lord Ranchchodji are famous pilgrimage spots and people undertake a padyatra to reach here from various parts of the country. Lord Krishna acquired the name Ranchhod when he escaped from the battlefield at Mathura in order to avoid Jarasandha. The temple has an idol depicting Lord Krishna with a conch, discus, lotus and mace in his four hands.

Nathdwara is about 48 kilometres Northeast of Udaipur and it is home to Shrinathji temple. The temple was built in the 17th century by Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar and it houses the black marble idol of Shrinathji that originally resided at Govardhan.

On the route from Ahmedabad to Udaipur you will come across Kankroli a small town that is home to the Dwarkadheesh temple of Lord Krishna. The temple here is a place of pilgrimage for people belonging to the Vallabhacharya sect. The temple stands on the shores of a small lake and it is built in the Haveli style.


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