About Dwarka City
Dwarka is a city and a municipality of Jamnagar district in the Gujarat state in India. It is mmong seven holy sites of India
Dwarka is one of seven most holy places for Hindus in India where Varanasi is considered as the holiest of the seven holy cities.
The Dwarakadhish Temple
The present temple was built in 16th century CE, while the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna's great grandson, King Vajra. The 5-storied temple is made of limestone and sand. A flag hoisted in the temple tower five times each day. There are two gateways - Swarga Dwar, where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar, where pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea. In Dwaraka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavati Devi and Satyabhama Devi.
There is a special temple for Rukmini Devi on the way to Bet Dwarka temple. Bet Dwarka a similar deity of Lord Dwarakanath is also kept in Bet Dwaraka. By boat one can reach the temple of Bet Dwarka. The temple has many Shrines for Lakshmi Narayana, Trivikrama, Jambavati Devi, Satyabhama Devi and Rukmini Devi.
The city derives its name from word dvar, meaning door or gate in Sanskrit. Dwarka is considered to be one of the holiest cities in Hinduism and one of the Char Dham along with Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram. The city is especially respected by Vaishnavas.
The Jagatmandir temple which houses the Dwarkadhish, a form of Krishna, is also located in Dwaraka.
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga, one of the 12 holy shrines of Shiva, is located near Dwaraka.
Dwarka is also the site of Dvaraka Pitha, one of the four cardinal mathas established by Adi Shankara, the others being those at Shringeri, Puri and Jyotirmath.
Dwarka is mentioned in the Mahabharata, the Harivansha, the Bhagavata Purana, the Skanda Purana, and the Vishnu Purana. It is said that this Dwarka was located near the site of the current city of Dwarka, but was eventually deserted and submerged into the sea.
Characteristics of the Dwarka City
The city was built by Vishwakarma on the order of Lord Krishna. Land was reclaimed from the sea near the western shores of Saurashtra. A city was planned and built here. Dwarka was a planned city, on the banks of Gomati River. This city was also known as Dvaramati, Dvaravati and Kushsthali. It had six well-organized sectors, residential and commercial zones, wide roads, plazas, palaces and many public utilities. A hall called "Sudharma Sabha" was built to hold public meetings. The city also boasted having the possession of a good sea harbour. The city had 700,000 palaces made of gold, silver and other precious stones. Each one of Lord Krishna's wive had her own palace. Besides this, the city had beautiful gardens filled with flowers of all seasons and beautiful lakes. Dwarakadheesh temple in present Dwarka city, believed to have been originally built by Lord Krishna's grandson, Vajranabha, over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna's residential place)
After Krishna left the earth for Vaikuntha,about 36 years after the Mahabharat War (3138 BC), and the major Yadava leaders were killed in disputes among themselves, Arjuna went to Dwarka to bring Krishna's grandsons and the Yadava wives to Hastinapur, to safety. After Arjuna left Dwarka, it was submerged into the sea. Following is the account given by Arjuna, found in the Mahabharata: ...imposed on it by nature. The sea rushed into the city. It coursed through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered up everything in the city. I saw the beautiful buildings becoming submerged one by one. In a matter of a few moments it was all over. The sea had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the city. Dwaraka was just a name; just a memory.
The Vishnu Purana also mentions the submersion of Dwarka, stating On the same day that Krishna departed from the earth the powerful dark-bodied Kali Age descended. The oceans rose and submerged the whole of Dwarka.