Char Dham

Dwarkadhish Temple – A Detailed Guide to the Spiritual Krishna Dham

Last updated on June 15th, 2024

Shree Dwarkadhish Temple, which is one of the Char Dham pilgrimages, is located in the city of Dwarka in the state of Gujarat. Dwarka lies along the banks of the river Gomti, located in the region of Saurashtra. The term “Dvar” in Sanskrit refers to a gate, whereas “Dwarka” denotes a city governed by a deity, symbolising its role as a celestial portal to heaven. The presence of artefacts in Bet Dwarka suggests that it existed throughout the Harappan period. Historically, people acknowledge it as the capital associated with Lord Krishna who is famously called as his “KarmaBhoomi”. Over time, the city became drowned beneath the sea, with the exception of its temples.

If you possess a keen interest in spirituality, mysticism, and Hindu mythology, you must include Dwarka city in Gujarat within your itinerary for vacation. The entire city of Dwarka has numerous stories about Lord Krishna’s infancy. Lord Krishna is referred to here as Dwarkadheesh. This place is all about celebrating the vibrant tapestry of our diverse culture, so buckle up and prepare for an unforgettable experience. Let’s dive headfirst into this!

Table of Contents

Introduction to this magnificent place - The Dwarkadhish Temple

The Indian government has implemented a program known as HRIDAY (Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana) for twelve cities in India that hold archaeological significance. And Dwarka, one of the seven ancient sacred towns (sapt puris) in the country, is in this initiative as well. 

Dwarka has many significant temples, such as the Rukmini Devi Mandir and Gomti Ghat, among others. Dwarka Mandir is also home to the Dwarka Math, which is one of the four sacred places.

People claim that Lord Krishna’s family formerly lived on an island called Bet Dwarka also called Shankhodhar, which is close to the city. A lighthouse is also located along the shoreline.

Reportedly, people found artefacts related to a buried city near the Gulf of Cambay in 2001. Although there have been disputes over these claims, efforts are underway to transform the treasure search into a tourist attraction.

The administration has formulated plans to provide scuba diving infrastructure for the purpose of observing the submerged metropolis.

where is dwaraka

Your Journey is Incomplete Unless you have Visited:

Jagannath Puri
Badrinath
Dwaraka
Rameshwaram

Jagannath Puri

Badrinath Dham

Dwaraka Dham

Rameshwaram

Your Journey is Incomplete Unless you have Visited:

Jagannath Puri

Jagannath Puri

Badrinath

Badrinath Dham

Dwaraka

Dwaraka Dham

Rameshwaram

Rameshwaram

What are the Dwarkadhish Temple Timings?

Shree Dwarkadhish Temple is open from 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM. Pujaris and pandits carry out various ceremonies  & rituals in the temple at this time. Devotees are welcome to participate in a variety of rituals throughout the day, including morning, afternoon, and evening poojas. The temple is closed between 1 PM and 5 PM.

Sevas and Poojas performed at Dwarkadhish Temple

Daily Poojas

Abhishek Snan

Uthapan (at 5 PM)

Mangal Arti – 5 AM

Sandhya Arti – 7.30 PM

Sevas offering

Palna, Paan Seva, Milk Seva, Vegetable Seva, Flower Seva, Fruit Seva, Misri Seva

Bhogs

Mangal Bhog, Makhan Bhog, Snan Bhog, Shringar Bhog, Shayan Bhog

Significance of Dwarka Dham

Based on prevalent beliefs, it is widely held that the Dwarkadhish Temple is situated above the ancient site of Hari-Graha, which is considered to be the abode of Krishna. According to the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna’s palace was made entirely of gold. The Pandavas engaged in recreational activities and passed their formative years at that location. This temple is also included as a component of the renowned Pancha Dwaraka Tour.

Dwarkadhish Temple History

Adi Shankaracharya

The historical account of the Dwarkadhish temple, in Gujarat suggests that, as per the Brahmi script, the initial restoration of the temple took place about in 100 BC. Greek authors have also documented the existence of the city, suggesting that it was a coastal settlement that became submerged over time.

In the ninth century, the Shri Adi Shankaracharya made the decision to establish Dwarka as one of the four monasteries, known as char dham, in order to avoid the decline of Vedic religion. This choice was based on the significant mythical importance associated with Dwarka.

During the period spanning from 1200 to 1800 AD, there were many instances of attacks and pillaging of temples that occurred throughout the Muslim era.

In 1241 AD, Muhammad Shah launched an assault on the temple, resulting in its complete destruction. A group of five Brahmins engaged in combat with their adversaries and perished as a result. The shrines in close proximity to the Dwarka Temple are dedicated to the deities associated with the temple.

During the 15th to 16th century, the temple experienced significant expansion under the patronage of local merchants and monarchs. In 1965, an attempted attack on the shrine by the Pakistan Navy was unsuccessful.

One intriguing folklore linked to Dwarka pertains to Gopi Lake. Based on mythological accounts, Lord Krishna refrained from returning to Mathura subsequent to his departure. The Gopis from the city of Mathura embarked on a journey to the city of Dwarka with the purpose of meeting Krishna. Following a series of Ras Leelas with Lord Krishna, they devotedly surrendered their life to the land. Therefore, the lake is referred to as “Gopi Talav.”

krishna with gopi

Origin Story of Dwarka

Dwarka serves as a testament to the inspirational power of mythology, observable by the city’s rich narrative. Lord Krishna’s uncle, Kansa, was the ruler of the city of Mathura. He was profoundly affected by Jarasandha, his father-in-law. In addition, the people of Mathura were subjected to terror and torture by Kansa. Krishna ultimately killed him because of his brutality towards people. Jarasandha’s fury was ignited upon the demise of Kansa. He made multiple invasions in the city of Mathura. Despite his efforts, he was unable to successfully annex it. The Yadava clan, facing significant losses, relocated under the guidance of Lord Krishna.

Dwarka’s formation is accompanied by two versions of the story. According to legend, Lord Krishna embarked on a remarkable journey by riding on the majestic Garuda bird, ultimately arriving at the Saurashtra peninsula. In the alternate rendition, Lord Krishna called upon Vishwakarma, the divine deity associated with construction and requested to construct a new city.

Vishwakarma stated that he could construct the city if the Samudra Deva (God of the Sea) grants them land. Lord Krishna prayed to the Sea God, and in return, he granted him a generous gift of 12 Yojanas of land. Wherein, Vishwakarma constructed the city of Dwarka specifically for Lord Krishna.

Lord Dwarkadhish

The murti (idol) of Lord Krishna as Dwarkadhish, in the ‘Trivikram’ swarup. He gets adorned everyday  just like a king with colourful silk clothes, gemstones, jewels as well as flowers.

Dwarkadhish is portrayed as having four hands having sankha, chakra, gada and padma. His eyes seem half closed.

The portrayal of Dwarkadhish with half-closed eyes signifies a state of deep meditation and inner reflection. It reflects his profound understanding of the universe and his role in maintaining its harmony.

His gaze invites devotees to look beyond the external world and seek a connection with their own inner selves, facilitating a spiritual journey towards self-realization.

Lord Balarama, Krishna’s older sibling, is worshipped in the room to the left of the primary altar. The statues of Pradyumna and Aniruddha, the son and grandson of Krishna, are to the right room.

In essence, the worship of Lord Dwarkadhish and the surrounding deities encapsulates a holistic understanding of life. It combines opulence and humility, strength and tenderness, familial ties and cosmic interconnectedness, inviting devotees to explore the multifaceted nature of existence and their own place within it.

The Cultural Significance of Dwarkadhish Temple

The city of Dwaraka has a strong religious orientation, characterised by a cultural framework that centres on temples, the practise of reverence, and the observance of religious holidays. People celebrate Janmashtami, a significant festival with immense enthusiasm in the ancient kingdom associated with Lord Krishna. Youthful individuals participate in the celebration by forming a pyramid structure by standing over one another’s shoulders.

Their aim is to reach a “Dahihandi” that is hanging from a great height by a rope and break it. The success of the mission depends on how long the men at the bottom can handle the weight of those above. The participation of several teams in competitions further infuses the festival with a vibrant and energetic atmosphere.

Dwarka is also the potential birthplace of the Garba dance, a traditional dance originating from the state of Gujarat. This dance is said to have been influenced by the Raas Leela. Ras Leela is a cultural performance in which Lord Krishna engaged in rhythmic movements with cow herding females during his adolescent years.

Architectural Design of the Dwarkadhish Temple

The structure comprises five levels, supported by a total of 72 pillars made of limestone. The structure has three distinct components, including the Prakashgarh (Nij Mandir), Sabahgrah, and the Shikhar. The cumulative vertical measurement of the Shikhar amounts to 157 feet.

Moreover, the Temple has two distinct Shikhars, namely the Nij Shikhar and the Ladwa Shikhar. The Nij Shikhar is a structure consisting of five levels. The primary deity enshrined therein is Lord Krishna. The Dwarka Temple also has two primary entrances, namely the Moksha Dwar, which serves as the entryway for pilgrims, and the Swarg Dwaar, symbolising the gateway to heaven.

The Dhwajaji, which is the mast flag on the main Temple, holds a distinct and revered status. It has an Aadhi Bhoutik nature.

The Dhwaja is constructed using 52 yards of fabric. In each yard of fabric, a total of 52 little flags are meticulously sewn on an individual basis. Every yard represents the gateways to the historic city of Dwarka.

Based on scriptural accounts, the administration of Dwarka was managed by a total of 56 administrators. Lord Krishna, Balram, Anirudhji, & Pradyuma, were among them. The aforementioned four deities continue to be venerated within temples that remain unaffected by the encroachment of the water. Nevertheless, for the remaining 52 individuals, the flag serves as a symbol of commemoration.

Other Architectural Findings of Dwarka Temple

Archaeologists discovered copper coins, boulders, pillars, and pottery fragments during underwater excavations conducted at Dwarka. Consequently, they deduced that a city of significant historical significance existed in that location throughout the 2nd Millennium.

Additionally, the investigations conducted during the period from 1983 to 1990 indicate that the urban area comprised six distinct sectors. They were at a distance of around one mile from the shoreline. Archaeologists also found evidence of stone slabs, ports, and other construction materials going back to the 15th Century, during offshore research.

Therefore, it provides evidence for the presence of an old city during the era of Lord Krishna. Additionally, the layout of the city described in old writings and the city discovered by The Marine Archaeology Unit of India are the same.

Festivals Celebrated at Dwarkadhish Temple

People celebrate the vibrant and culturally significant festivals of the Dwarka Temple with great enthusiasm and devotion. Some of the most revered ones are:

Janmashtami

People all over the country, including Dwarka Dham, observe the commemoration of Krishna’s birth with great splendour and profound spirituality. The festivities encompass a sequence of religious ceremonies and rites. They commence with the Mangal Aarti in the morning and conclude with the Parna Rom ceremony on the next day. Additionally, they engage in Abhishekams throughout the day using Tulsi and Chandan.

Rath Yatra

The Rath Yatra is an important festival among devotees all over the world, especially Odisha. This festival falls on Ashadh month’s second day. Lord Jagannath comes out of the temple with his siblings and rides a chariot on this day. This festival is also celebrated at Dwarka Dham. Lord Balram and Lord Krishna left on a chariot sent by Kansa on this day towards Mathura. Furthermore, Krishna made the decision to assume the role of Sarathi (Driver) for Arjuna’s chariot in the epic Mahabharata on this same day.

Holi

The festival of colours holds a significant place in the heart of Lord Krishna & in Devbhumi Dwarka.

Annakut Utsav

This festival is observed on the initial day of the month of Kartik. The ritual involves the preparation and presentation of a diverse assortment of confections as an offering to God.

Tulsi Vivah

Tulsi Vivah is a ceremonial Hindu wedding ritual that involves the symbolic marriage of the holy basil plant (Tulsi) and Lord Vishnu. The celebration commences on the eleventh day of the month of Kartik. The duration of the event spans a period of four consecutive days.

Akshaya Tritiya

The festival known as Akshaya Tritiya has significance on the third day of the Vaisakh month. This day represents the commencement of the summer season. The idol of Lord Krishna is adorned with floral and sandalwood attire, deviating from the customary garments. Ultimately, the celebrations conclude on the eleventh day of the month, on Bhima Ekadashi.

How to Reach Dwarkadhish Temple

Travel by plane

By Air

Porbandar is the nearest airport to the Dwarkadhish Temple (95 km). The next nearest airport is Jamnagar (145 km).

Travel by Train

By Rail

Regular rail services are accessible from prominent urban centres such as Jamnagar, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, and Kochi. The Dwarka railway station is a modest station. Its code is DWK. Varvala is the nearest railway station to Dwarka.

Travel to Puri by Bus

By Road

Several cities, including Rajkot, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Gandhinagar, and Ahmedabad, are accessible by road via direct state transit. Surat to Dwarka distance is 678 km. Vadodara to Dwarka distance is 506.6 km. Dwarkadhish temple to Somnath temple distance by road is approximately 232.4 km.

Interesting Facts about Dwarka

Where to Stay Near Dwarkadhish Temple?

Dwarka, Gujarat is home to several guest homes operated by the government. There are several accommodations available for visitors, including Kokila Dhiraj Dham, Circuit House, Gayathri Athithi Grah, and Birla Dharmshala. You can find rooms with rates ranging from Rs 400 for non A/C ones to Rs 200 for Dormitories. The temple trust operates many Dharamshalas like Kokila Niraj Dham, Patelwadi Dharamshala, and Jay Ranchhod Dharmashala. Dwarka also offers a variety of privately-owned hotels for accommodation.

Dining options in close proximity to Dwarkadhish Temple

You can find a Bhojanalaya run by the temple priests where you will get good food at just Rs 20. There are several hotels and eateries in close proximity to the Temple, as well as in various other areas. Due to its status as a temple town, the local eateries predominantly provide vegetarian cuisine. The majority of dining establishments provide a variety of culinary options, including Gujarati, South Indian, and North Indian cuisines. You should sample Khaman Dhokla with sweet buttermilk, and the classic Gujarati thali.

Access to Public Transit in the Area

The train station serves as a departure point for local buses that transport passengers to different locations inside the city, frequently including stops at the intra-state bus stand. Government-sponsored buses operated under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) serves the local population.

Auto rickshaws are conveniently accessible across the entirety of the city, facilitating efficient and convenient transportation to one’s desired location. Given the significant influx of tourists, it is quite likely that app-based service providers such as Ola and Uber would eventually expand their operations to include the area of Dwarka. Dwarka offers the availability of hire vehicles with chauffeurs too. You may either request these from the rental service providers directly or at the front desk of your hotel.

Places to Visit in Dwarka

One of the best things to do in Dwarka is to visit some of the nearby temples and enjoy the scenic as well as architectural beauties. Here is a list of some of them:

Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple

Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple

The Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple is an ancient Shiva temple located 2 km from the Dwarkadhish Temple and 4 km from the Dwarka Railway Station. It is one of the most entrancing Shiva sanctuaries in Dwarka and one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. Kush was a monster that resided in Kushasthali, according to folklore. Individuals engaged in the act of prayer to Lord Krishna with the intention of seeking deliverance and protection.

In the epic tale, Lord Krishna valiantly engaged in combat with the formidable demon, ultimately emerging victorious by overpowering and subduing the malevolent entity. Krishna buried him fully under the earth. Consequently, he established a temple dedicated to Lord Mahadev in that location. The Shiva Linga is situated at a depth of approximately 20 feet beneath the surface.

Sudama Setu

sudama setu

The Sudama Setu bridge is in honour of Sant Sudama, a revered companion of Shri Dwarkadhish. Sudama Setu is a recently constructed suspension pedestrian bridge across the Gomti river, near the Dwarkadhish temple, which links the Island to the mainland.

Within this region, there exists a historical Lakshmi Narayan Temple and a collection of five wells known as the Pandavas Wells.

The distance between this location and Sea Beach is approximately 200 metres.

The Setu and its neighbouring areas provide an ideal opportunity for photography. A paved pathway with seating arrangements extends along the river bank to the convergence of the sea and river.

Dwarka Mutt

Dwarka Mutt

The Dwarka Mutt is among the four mutts set up by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The last three pilgrimage sites are Sringeri, Jagannath Puri, and Jyotirmath.

The alternative designation for Dwarka Mutt is Shanti Peeth.

Gita Mandir

The Birla family constructed this temple in 1970, with the purpose of dedicating it to the teachings of The Bhagavad Gita. They even have the hymns of the Gita on the temple’s walls. This temple is at a distance of 2 km from the Dwarkadhish temple.

Rukmini Mandir

The Dwarkadhish Temple is 2 kilometres away from Rukmini Mandir. This Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna’s wife, Devi Rukmini. Devi Rukmini’s idol features “Chaturbhuj,” or four hands. Moreover, each hand holds something. They are the Shanka (conch shell), the Chakra (discus), the Gada (mace), and the Padma (lotus flower).

This assertion holds true due to the belief that Devi Rukmini embodied the divine essence of Goddess Mahalakshmi through the process of reincarnation.

Shri Nageshwar Temple

Shri Nageshwar Temple

The Nageshwar Temple, also known as the Nagnath Temple, is located at a distance of 12 km from the Dwarkadhish Temple. This location holds significant value as a pilgrimage place for followers of Shaivism. This is due to its status as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are a collection of Lord Shiva temples, dispersed throughout India.

The temple has a distinctive feature in which the Shiva Lingam is oriented towards the south, while the Nandi sculpture is positioned towards the east.

Bet Dwaraka

bet dwaraka

The distance from Dwarka to the island is 30 kilometres. Furthermore, the premises encompass a temple that dates back 500 years, constructed under the patronage of Sri Vallabhacharya. The Island’s white clean beaches are widely popular among enthusiasts of water sports and individuals seeking a picturesque location for picnics.

Gomati Sangam Ghat

gomti ghat

56 steps down the other side of Swarga Dwar at Dwarkadhish temple will bring you to this Sangam Ghat. This location also denotes the point where the River Gomati and the ocean converge. Additionally, visitors can explore several smaller shrines that devote themselves to Lord Krishna and his friend Sudama.

Other Things to Do in Dwarka

Dwarka Beach

One might enjoy having a romantic evening stroll along the Dwarka Beach shoreline. In addition, you may stroll the coastlines collecting shells and reading a book. One of the most beautiful and unusual things to do in Dwarka is to watch pilgrims take a dip in the water or take a bath on the beach.

Dwarkadhish Market

The city is teeming with artists, and there are numerous mementos and keepsakes available for purchase. The Chakrashila, a sea-found stone shaped like a wheel, the Dwarkadheesh idol, and the Gopi Chandan poles are among the most well-known of all the souvenirs.

Charkala Bird Sanctuary

Dwarka is one of those locations that may startle birding enthusiasts. There are numerous Demoiselle Cranes in this area, and you can identify these gorgeous birds wherever you find water. In addition to these, there are a number of other species, and if you are considering what to do in Dwarka, this could be one of your options.

Conclusion

Do you have plans to visit the Dwarka Dham soon? Oh, you simply can’t afford to pass up the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Dwarka’s rich culture. Don’t forget to check out all the fabulous activities listed above in Dwarka as well. Happy exploring! 

Jay Shri Krishna! 🙏

Enjoyed reading the blog? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
+1
81
+1
0
+1
28
+1
0
+1
0

About the Author

Saswata Subhadarsini
Senior Content Editor

A voracious reader and enthusiastic writer, I have a knack for concocting a plethora of creative write-ups. I'm a trend-savvy researcher, always on the hunt for inspiration to create unique and captivating content. I fancy myself a genre chameleon, flitting from intellectually stimulating pieces to captivating works of fiction. Whenever not weaving my thoughts into words, I indulge in my love of painting, cooking, dancing and some good old Netflix binge!

Saswata Subhadarsini

A voracious reader and enthusiastic writer, I have a knack for concocting a plethora of creative write-ups. I'm a trend-savvy researcher, always on the hunt for inspiration to create unique and captivating content. I fancy myself a genre chameleon, flitting from intellectually stimulating pieces to captivating works of fiction. Whenever not weaving my thoughts into words, I indulge in my love of painting, cooking, dancing and some good old Netflix binge!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *