My first trip of 2018 started with visiting Dwarka – in my own state Gujarat. I haven’t explored many destinations in Gujarat though I am living in Gujarat- feels weird I guess but its fact. My Past trips were about seeing architecture marvels, this time I was keen on visiting Western coast of Gujarat as I live on southernmost tail.
Dwarka is a famous Pilgrim Place known for ‘Temple of Lord Dwarkadish’. According to Hindu mythology Dwarka is said to be built up by Lord Krishna and had spent significant part of his life here. Located at the western tip of the Saurashtra region, this town enjoys remarkable importance among Hindus. Dwarka is also considered as one of the Char Dham in India. Here I am writing about how I spent a day in holy city Dwarka.
We reached Dwarka early in the morning. After freshening up at our hotel, we first visited Dwarkadish temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, situated on Gomati River. The temple is said to be 2000-2200 years old built by Lord Krishna’s Grandson Vajranabha. But the current temple architecture is built in 15-16th century in Chalukya dynasty style like other architectures of Gujarat.
I loved the architecture of the temple with so much precise work involved in it. It was one of the liveliest temples with small queue. There were No VIP Darshan Pass and all the devotees have to pass through the same line.The temple complex was neat and clean.
The main entrance (north entrance) is called “Moksha Dwara” (Door to Salvation). The south entrance is called “Swarga Dwara” (Gate to Heaven). Outside this doorway are 56 steps that lead to the Gomati River and Gomati Ghat.
We had Smooth Darshan inside the temple though it was holiday time. The temple management committee was handling everything nicely.
After the Darshan, we reached to the market area for breakfast. If you are in Gujarat, you can taste sumptuous breakfast at too cheap rates. In the mean time, we inquired for the Taxi/tour for the Bet Dwarka and around. I desperately wanted to visit Bet Dwarka Island. There were few counters of Dwarka Darshan Bus and we inquired about the tour. We also inquired for auto which can cost you about 700-800 INR per day and Taxi for INR 1200-1500 per day.
The Dwarka Darshan bus runs two tours in a day starts from vegetable market – one starts in Morning at 8.00 AM – 1.00 PM and other in evening starts at 2.00 PM- 7.45 PM.It costs INR 80 per person. We reserved seat for evening sightseeing tour and started walking through the market. The Dwarkadish temple is surrounded by market which leads to the Gomati Ghat. We started walking towards Gomati Ghat and Beach; we crossed the Gomati River via Sudama Setu Bridge. It is named from the Name of Lord Krishna’s friend ‘Sudama’. Gomati river was crossed by boats till the construction of the bridge in 2016.It is constructed to boost the tourism as Dwarka has religious importance.
We spent the time at the beach and Gomati Ghat till the noon. The sea was clean with a blue views as far as we can see.The devotees were taking bath at Gomati Ghat, few people were busy in swimming into the sea and we were just sitting over the shore while enjoying the surrounding.
At Gomati Ghat, sacred Gomati River fuses with the Arabian Sea. From the Ghat, you can step into the Dwarkadish temple. The devotees say that after taking bath at the Gomati ghat, you should step inside the Swarg Dwar of Dwarkadish temple which is considered as holy. Also it is said that just Darshan of Gomati at Dwarka destroys all the sins, which are committed by thoughts, words and deeds and the person can start a new life.
From Gomati Darshan, we headed back to the market for Lunch. Post Lunch, we reached at the Pickup point for starting our Dwarka Darshan sightseeing. Our first stop of the tour was RukminiDevi Temple. During the tour,tour guide on the bus explained history and importance of all the places we visited.
I am not much religious person but I love to step into the temples all the time for the love of old architecture. The temple is richly carved with sculptures of God and Goddesses along with male and female figures which are seen on the exterior walls of the temple.
The legends say that once Lord Krishna and Rukmini Devi invited sage Durvasa for dinner. He agreed on condition that Krishna and Rukmini would have to pull his chariot instead of any animal. They happily obliged and pulled a chariot taking sage Durvasa. On the way, Rukmini became thirsty so Lord Krishna prodded his toe into the ground to draw holy Ganga water. Rukmini quenched her thirst without offering sage Durvasa. Annoyed by her impoliteness, he cursed her that she would be separated from her husband. Hence Rukmini temple is located 2 kms away from Dwarkadish Temple.
After performing the darshan, we moved to next site- Nageshwar Mahadev Temple. It is one of the 12 swayambhu (self existent) Jyortilingas in the world in an underground sanctum. There is a tall 25 metre long Lord Shiva statue inside the temple complex which is built by T-Series owner Gulshan kumar. According to legends; Lord Shiva is believed to have appeared in the form of Linga from the earth to save one of his devotees, Supriya from the hands of demon couple Daruka and Daruki.
Due to holidays, there was small queue in for the darshan; but here also there was no VIP darshan. There were separate queue for men and women. After 20-30 minutes we entered inside the Garbhgruha (sanctum) and performed darshan.
After the Darshan we proceeded for Bet Dwarka. On the way you can visit Gopi Talav; but we were short on time, skipped to visit it. My only aim to visit Dwarka was to visit Nageshwar and Bet Dwarka.I was jumping with joy as it was my last stop of the day.
We reached to Okha port by 5 PM to catch ferry for bet dwarka and the bus driver informed us to return by 6.30 PM. The guide warned us about the scams and informed to pay only Rs.10/person for the ferry ride.
Bet Dwarka is an island surrounded by Arabian Sea. Boat service is available for between Okha and Bet Dwarka. We found that there was no ticket counter on the port and we just hop on the boat along with other people who were waiting to cross over. The journey started when boat was full.
It was warm winter day with breeze in the air and seagulls were giving company to us. It was smooth journey which took 15-20 minutes to reach the bet Dwarka. After getting down at the jetty; we started walking through narrow lanes surrounded by vendors and shops and within few minutes reached to old Dwarkadish temple.
Bet Dwarka is considered as residence of Lord Krishna. The temple is too supposed to be thousand years old and was under renovation. It is said that Lord Krishna’s friend Sudama presented him with rice and so the tradition is continued by the visitors who present the Brahmins here with donations of rice. We performed darshan at the temple and skipped the rice part.
It was time to leave the island; we reached swiftly to the jetty to catch ferry back to Okha. As ferry got full, it started way back to Okha. It was perfect evening with sun setting in the backdrop. Okha is a shipping port and many Ships were moving here and there making it picture perfect site to capture in my camera. I was happy with my decision to visit Bet Dwarka in evening. I clicked many photos till it got dark and reached the Okha jetty.
Finally we reached to the parking where bus was waiting to take us back to Dwarka. After 1-1.5 hrs journey we reached to the place where we boarded the bus. We took dinner at one of the fine hotel and called it a day!
Have you visited Dwarka or Bet Dwarka? Share your experience in the comments.
- Dwarkadish temple remains open from 6.30 AM to 9.40 PM daily with closing time of half an at Noon for offering RajBhog and Sandhya Bhog in Evening.
- Camera,Mobile Phones not allowed inside the temples.Lockers are available inside the temple complex.
- The temples were clean with systematic donation system.There were No Special Darshan queues/Pass and everyone can perform Darshans with ease and without extra measures.
- Winter is the best time to visit the Dwarka from Sep-March.
How to Reach:
Jamnagar airport is nearest airport -137 Kms away.From Jamnagar, one can take a cab and can arrive at the enchanting city of Dwarka. Dwarka railway station is located in the Ahmedabad – Okha rail route and is linked to other main railheads of the regions. We took train from Ahmedabad which is Major city of Gujarat via Rajkot to reach Dwarka.You can reach to The main town via shared auto from the railway station.
Where to Stay:
Dwarka is Prominent religious place which offers stays covering guesthouses to luxurious hotel stays in the city.Many budget hotels are located near the Dwarakadish temple.
Nearby Places to Explore:
- You can visit one of the 12 Jyortilinging shrine of Lord Shiva – Somnath which is 250 Kms away located at the western coast of Gujarat.
- Visit Gir National Park which is famous for Asiatic Lions and nearest City Junagadh.
- You can visit Colonial style small town Diu – a Union territory which is famous for its Pristine Nagoa beach.
- From Ahmedabd, you can visit Rani Ki Vav-UNESCO World Heritage Site, Modhera Sun temple and Polo Forests as day trips.