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The Odyssey of Shree Dwarkadhish Temple in Dwarka

At Shree Dwarkadhish Temple, also known as “Jagat Mandir” (Mansion of the Universe), Lord Krishna takes the title of “Dwarkadhish” as the King of Dwarka .

Located in the city of Dwarka in the state of Gujarat, this five-story wonder is supported by 72 cool pillars and is a must-visit for all Hindus on their 'Char Dham' pilgrimage. While history buffs may scoff at its “only” origins in 200 BC, keep in mind that this temple predates sliced ​​bread by thousands of years. However, it underwent major renovations in the 15th-16th centuries, proving that some things get better with time (like good wine, or maybe very, very old temples). The Shree Dwarkadhish Temple was originally built by Krishna's grandson Vajranabha and is located at what is known as the nilotpala-dala ) where the blue god lives. The question often arises: why blue? However, Krishna’s colors are not a product of artistic imagination; It is recorded in authoritative scriptures.

Dwarkadish Temple: Unveiling the Legend

Dwarkadish Temple in Dwarka

Unfortunately, Mahmud Begada was not keen on sacred excavations and had the place razed to the ground in 1472. But the temple rebounded like a spiritual boomerang and became part of the legendary Char Dham pilgrimage. The 8th century philosopher and Hindu theologian Adi Shankara even visited here. The other three destinations of Char Dham are Rameswaram, Badrinath and Puri. Dwarkadhish Temple is truly the pinnacle experience (at least spiritually, and maybe geographically at 40 feet above sea level). This is not just an ordinary temple, it is the 98th Divya Desam of Vishnu, basically a VIP lounge in the Hindu temple scene, immortalized in “Divya Prabandha”. So, what does the layout look like? Imagine two rooms: “Nijamandira” (also known as Krishna's personal paradise) and “antarala” (waiting room).

Krishna and Rukmini

According to Hindu legend, Dwarka rose from the sea and landed on the land given by Krishna. In the Mahabharata, sage Durvasa tests Krishna and Rukmini's hospitality by asking them to pull his chariot like a Rama. Even though Rukmini stumbled, they did it until she got tired. Using his divine powers, Krishna dug a magical hole and summoned Ganga to the scene. Krishna then quenches her thirst, showing his compassion in the challenge. However, Durvasa was angry at this display and cursed Rukmini to stay in that place. Legend has it that the temple where Rukmini is located is where she stood. However, after realizing the innocence of the divine couple, Durvasa blessed Krishna to be invincible everywhere except the soles of his feet. He also declared that Rukmini would always be Krishna's most important consort and was destined to accompany him into eternity.

Dwarka in Gujarat has a history as colorful as its sunsets. Situated on the banks of the Gomti river, this town is legendary as the capital of Krishna. Now, while legend claims it was an ancient port city, archaeological clues, including inscribed stones and evidence of ancient building techniques, hint at its historical significance. Some underwater structures and anchors found at the site point to late medieval times. But hey, even if it wasn't quite Atlantis, coastal erosion might have eaten away at its ancient glory. So what happened? Well, Ocean, that's who he is. It turns out that not even the Kingdom of God is immune to a little corrosive therapy. But Dwarka remains vibrant with its rich heritage and vibrant present.

1473 Desecrated by Mahmoud Begada

In the 15th century, the ruler of Dwarka, Raja Bhim of Vadhel, had sway over the local Wagah pirates. During a rough sea voyage, Maulana Mahmud Samarqandi found himself at the mercy of these pirates near Dwarka. They robbed his ship, kidnapped women, and abandoned Mahmoud and his son at sea. Seeking justice, Mahmud Samarkandi appealed to Sultan Mahmud in the Mustafabad court, prompting the Sultan's decision to march on Dwarka in 1473. Raja Bhim and his Rajputs retreated to the Beit Island fort and allowed Mahmud Begada to sack Dwarka and desecrate its buildings and revered places. Dwarkadish Temple, destroying its idols. The present icon of Dwarkadisha was later installed in 1559 by Aniruddha Rama Sankaracharya.

temple architecture

The temple covers an area of ​​27 meters by 21 meters, 29 meters long from east to west, and 23 meters wide from north to south. Constructed mainly of limestone, its facade is decorated with intricate carvings. This five-story architectural marvel stands on 72 pillars (although some sources mention a sandstone temple with 60 pillars). Notable entrances include the Moksha Dvara, which translates as “Gate of Salvation,” as the main entrance, and the Svarga Dvara, or “Gate of Heaven,” as the exit. Beyond Svarga Dvara, there are 56 steps leading to the Gomati River.

Dwarkadish Temple

The temple's minaret is an impressive 256 feet tall. The minaret is decorated with a flag with sun and moon symbols, symbolizing Krishna's eternal presence as long as these celestial bodies shine upon the earth. The 50-foot-long triangular flag is replaced four times a day, with a new one each time. Devotees generously sponsor these flag changing events and proceeds will be transferred to the temple’s trust fund to support the ongoing operation and maintenance of the temple.

krishna circuit

Intertwined with the ancient city of Dvaraka and the legendary Krishna of the Mahabharata, the site has profound significance as a pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Along with the 48 kos parikrama in Kurukshetra, Haryana and the Braj Parikarma in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, it forms an important node in the revered “Krishna” circuit. The Dwarkadish Yatra at the Dwarkadish Temple in Gujarat completes this triple sacred journey. Although its origins remain shrouded in mystery, the Advaita school of Hinduism led by Adi Shankara attributes the founding of Char Dham to the Prophet, and ever since Char Dham ) has become an integral part of the Hindu monastic tradition across India.

These four temples stand sentinels at the four poles of India, each accompanied by a revered temple: Badrinath Temple in the north, Jagannath Temple in the east, Devara Kadish in the west temple and the Ramanathaswamy Temple in the south. While the temples may be aligned with different sects of Hinduism (i.e. Shivas and Vaishnavas), the Chardham pilgrimage is inclusive, welcoming devotees from all Hindu backgrounds. This sacred journey through major locations in India holds profound significance for Hindus, who often aspire to undertake it at least once in their lifetime. Traditionally, the pilgrimage starts from Puri in the east and proceeds in a clockwise direction – a custom reminiscent of the circumambulation of Hindu temples.

Dwarkadish Temples and Festivals

The temple's reception hours are from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm. The Krishna Janmashtami festival, which celebrates the birth anniversary of Krishna, was initiated by Vallaba (1473-1531). Legend has it that the famous Rajput princess, poet-saint and devout Krishna devotee Meera Bai united with the God at this holy place. Dwarka occupies a prominent place among the seven holy cities of India, Sapta Puri. The temple is located near Dvaraka Pitha, one of four religious centers founded by Adi Shankara (686-717) in his efforts to harmonize Hindu religious beliefs across the country prove.

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