The Holy City of Dwarka and Nageshwar Temple

Gujarat, India’s westernmost state with its varied terrain and numerous sacred sites is sometimes called as the ‘Jewel of Western India’. Known for its ancient sites of the Indus valley civilization- like Lothal and Dholavira to name a few ,is also the birth place for our father of the nation – M.K Gandhi .

I had a strong urge to visit this holy city of Dwarka,the birth place of Lord Krishna .The plan of visiting was purely out of devotional as Dwarka is the only remaining principal holy place or Dham left out of the Char Dhams,that i was yet to visit .

I took a direct flight from Pune to reach Ahmedabad ,the capital city of Gujarat.And from Ahmedabad boarded a pvt volvo bus to reach Dwarka. The night journey took 10 hours to reach Dwarka. After freshening up at my hotel room I went straight to the Dwarkadheesh temple.

The temple is located on the western shore of a peninsular outcrop on the right bank of the Gomti River.The city’s name literally means the “gateway to heaven” in Sanskrit, as Dwar means “gate” and ‘ka’ references “Brahma” .As this city was on the important and the busiest sea route sine ancient times ,it took the first burnt from the regular onslaught of foreign invaders .According to historical Dwarkadeesh temple was destroyed many times and the present temple was built during 16th century AD by Raja Jagat Singh Rathore, hence sometimes called as Jagat Mandir. But the original temple location is believed to be 2500 years old, which has reference in the Holy book of Mahabharata.

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True to all the words in holy book of Mahabharata the place is a sight to behold . Present Day temple is 5 storied and stands on 72 pillars .True magnificent style of architecture .My fascination drew to a wall painting near to the exit of garbha ghriha (inner sanctum) where the whole family tree of Krishna is drawn . The level of details in there was  amazing .I wished to capture some pics , but there was a ban on photography inside the temple premises.

After spending few hours I came out of the temple and booked an auto rickshaw to reach my next destination ,Nageshwar Jyotirlinga (devotional object representing the Supreme God Shiva)Temple .It is some 25km from the Dwarka main town. The roads are not well maintained on some patches and the farms on both side throughout the length of the road leading to Nageshwar had lentils sown . Nothing apart from that could be seen there . My auto driver said the land is not so fertile over here and the salty soil doubling up with erratic ,scare rainfall makes it very difficult for the farmers to grow anything else other than mostly lentils .

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We were nearing the Nageshwar temple .And the huge statue of sitting Shiva can be seen from  distance .The time being afternoon the queue length of the devotees was much less and the whole temple premises was quite peaceful.I had my darshan in an hour .

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I pressed ahead towards the Bet Dwarka ghats near to the Port city of Okha . The serpentine queue outside the boat jetty complex made to wait for next 1/2 hours to reach my turn. It took the jetty some 60 minutes to cover 3km off the coast to reach Bet Dwarka Island .Bet Dwarka is believed to be actually the place where Lord Krishna built his palace and lived there along with his wife.

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The island is conch shaped and so it is also known as Shankhodhar .The island of bet dwarka has Dhwarkadhish Temple and Shri Keshavraiji Temple as the major temples of Krishna. Hanuman Dandi and Vaishnav Mahaprabhu Bethak are other pilgrimage places there . The temple closes during afternoon hours and reopens only after 4pm . So anyone planning to reach Bet Dwarka for visiting the temples should keep a note of the temple timing nd plan accordingly .The month of September,when i visited are too humid to visit . The best time to visit is usually from July to March .It is time when the weather and climate remains somewhat pleasant.

I returned back to the mainland after some hours stay at Bet Dwarka .

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