Dwarikadhish Temple : The main draw for tourists coming to Dwarka, the Dwarkadhish Temple (Jagat Mandir), is believed to have been established more than 2500 years ago by Lord Krishna’s great grandson, Vajranabh. The ancient temple has been renovated several times, especially leaving imprints of 16th and 19th centuries. The temple stands on a small hill accessed by 50 plus steps, with heavily sculptured walls that cocoon the sanctum with the main Krishna idol. Around the complex lie other smaller shrines. The walls have intricately carved mythical characters and legends. The impressive 43 m high spire is topped with a flag made from 52 yards of cloth that flutters in the soft breeze from the Arabian Sea behind the temple. There are two doors (swarg and moksh) for the entry and exit of the temple. A bridge called Sudama Setu (7am–1pm, 4–7.30pm) at the base of the temple takes one across the Gomti creek towards the beach.
Dwarka on the western tip of the Kathiawar Peninsula is clubbed with the holiest sites in India – the Char Dhams that include Badrinath, Puri and Rameshwaram. It is believed that Lord Krishna arrived here from Braj in Uttar Pradesh to build the city. The temple was established by his grandson. It is at the cusp of the Gomti River and the Arabian Sea, providing a scenic backdrop to the spiritual site. It is said that Dwarka was submerged under the sea six times and what we see now is its seventh avatar. The temple itself has a fascinating legend. The original structure was destroyed by Mahmud Begada in 1472, and subsequently rebuilt in the 15th-16th century. It was also feted by Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century Hindu theologian and philosopher.
Nageshwar & Gopi Talav: The revered site is home to one of the 12 jyotirlingas (self-manifested shivalinga) in India. The red building lies at a short distance from the town. At the end of a large hall is the main sanctum with the shivalinga. Close to the temple is another important spiritual spot called Gopi Talav Tirth, a lake that is connected to the legends of gopis visiting Lord Krishna and eventually offering their lives to merge with the soil here.
Bhet Dwarka : A small island off the coast of Dwarka and accessed via Okha is home to the namesake temple, and supposedly the residence of Lord Krishna when he arrived here. The establishment of the temple is credited to Guru Vallabhacharya. Apart from the main temple, others in the complex commemorate Hanuman, Vishnu, Shiva, Lakshmi Narayan, Jambavati, Devi and others.
Bet Dwarka, also known as Shankhodhar, is said to have been the residence of Lord Krishna during his ruling years at Dwarka. It derived its name from the word ‘bet’ which translates to ‘gift’ and is believed that Lord Krishna received it from his friend Sudama. In the ancient epic, Mahabharata, Bet Dwarka is known by the name of ‘Antardvipa’ to which people of the Yadava clan needed to travel by boat. Explorations and excavations carried out under the sea have revealed the presence of settlements whose age can be traced back to the era of the Harappan civilisation and that of the Mauryan rule. In the later years, the region was under the administration of the Gaekwad clan of the state of Baroda. During the revolt of 1857, Vaghers attacked the region and captured it, but had to concede defeat in two years and return the region back to the Gaekwads.
Rukmanidevi Temple : Located relatively on the outskirts, the Rukmini Mata Temple commemorates Lord Krishna’s queen. The temple is said to be more than 2500 years old but it may have been reconstructed over time. The present temple is said to belong to the 12th century. It is much more modest than Dwarkadhish in structure and sculptures but inspires the same devotional fervour. Carvings of gods and goddesses embellish the exteriors and the main idol of Rukmini is housed in the sanctum. Carved naratharas (human figures) and gajatharas (elephants) feature in the panels at the base of the platform.
An interesting legend surrounds the different addresses for the temple of Lord Krishna and his Queen, Rukmini. It is said that sage Durvasa requested Krishna and Rukmini to pull a chariot to take him to their house for a meal. On the way, when Rukmini asked for water to quench her thirst, Lord Krishna prodded the ground with his tow, and the River Ganges appeared. Rukmini quenched her thirst but forgot to ask the sage if he wanted a drink of water too. Durvasa felt insulted and cursed her that she would live separately from her husband.
Mool Dwarka: The ancient coastal village of Mul-Dwarka, near Kodinar, is known for a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. According to legend, Lord Krishna had stopped in Porbandar at the village of Visaavda on his way to Dwarka. In its remembrance in Visavda (Mul Dwarka) Lord Krishna’s “paduka” (footprint) can be seen in this temple. A grand fair is organised every year in the village on the special occasion of Janamashtmi. That the village was an active ancient port city during the medieval period and before it, can be attributed to the discovery of some grapnel-type anchors and a composite stone anchor around the region. Mul-Dwarka is located around 45 km from Somnath and 175 km from the city of Porbandar.
This cave is located at Ranavav taluka of Porbandar distirct, near Suarashtra cement factory. It’s located almost 15 Km away from Porbandar city.
Jambavant Cave: This is cave where Jambuvan know worrier of Ramayana age was residing. He was born in satyuga and seen Treta yug and Dwaper waiting for Krishna Avatar. He found diamond of precious value which was given for playing to her daughter Jambuvati. Lord Krishna was in search for same diamond which was taken away from one king by lion and reached to Jambuvan after lion was killed by Jambuvan. Lord Krishna fought with Jambuvan and ultimately him cam e to know that Krishna is nothing but same Lord Ram. He bowed to Lord and given away diamond and her doughter to Krishna with marriage with him. This jambuvan cave is situated near Ranavav town in Porbander district in Gujarat state India. There is deep cave and small light source of sun. Inside there is Shiv ling made by sand when water falls from roof of cave. We can see nature carving too. Outside cave there is Lord Shiva temple and Samadhi of Guru Ramdasji who did Tapsya there.
Somnath Temple : The intricately carved honey-coloured Somnath temple on the western edge of the state is believed to be the place where the first of the twelve holy jyotirlingas emerged in India – a spot where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. The temples lies at the meeting of Kapila, Hiran and Sarasvati rivers and the waves of the Arabian Sea ebb and flow touching the shore on which it is constructed. The ancient temple’s timeline can be traced from 649 BC but is believed to be older than that. The present form was reconstructed in 1951. Colourful dioramas of the Shiva story line the north side of the temple garden, though it’s hard to see them through the hazy glass. A one-hour sound-and-light show in Amitabh Bachchan’s baritone highlights the temple nightly at 7.45pm.
It’s said that Somraj (the moon god) first built a temple in Somnath, made of gold; this was rebuilt by Ravana in silver, by Krishna in wood and by Bhimdev in stone. The current serene, symmetrical structure was built to traditional designs on the original coastal site: it’s painted a creamy colour and boasts a little fine sculpture. The large, black Shiva lingam at its heart is one of the 12 most sacred Shiva shrines, known as jyotirlinga.
A description of the temple by Al-Biruni, an Arab traveller, was so glowing that it prompted a visit in 1024 by a most unwelcome tourist – the legendary looter Mahmud of Ghazni from Afghanistan. At that time, the temple was so wealthy that it had 300 musicians, 500 dancing girls and even 300 barbers. Mahmud of Ghazni took the town and temple after a two-day battle in which it’s said 70,000 defenders died. Having stripped the temple of its fabulous wealth, Mahmud destroyed it. So began a pattern of destruction and rebuilding that continued forcenturies. The temple was again razed in 1297, 1394 and finally in 1706 by Aurangzeb, the Mughal ruler. After that, the temple wasn’t rebuilt until 1950.
- Dwarkadish Temple
- Bhet Dwarka
- Nageshwar Mahadev
- Gopi Talav
- Rukmani Mandir
- Gomti River
- Mool Dwarka
- Jambavant Gufa