Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties

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Dwarka is perched on the Gomti River banks along the Okhamandal Peninsula’s western coast. As the name suggests, Dwarka is ‘the gateway to heaven.’ And its significance lies in it being one of the ‘Char Dham’ or religious sites for Hindu devotees. Since it is believed that if you visit the Char Dham, you will attain Moksha within your lifetime. According to mythology, the town of Dwarka is identified as the ancient kingdom of Lord Krishna, who migrated from Mathura after killing Kansa, his uncle. And due to the powerful mythological and historical connection, Dwarka is considered a major pilgrimage destination. Each year, thousands of devotees of Krishna throng to this holy seat from all over the world. Interesting!

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Dwarkadhish Temple

We started early morning from Diu, as the travel time was 6hrs, 316.3 Km to cover. The morning sky had a pearly glow as the first rays of sunlight lit through the clouds. The dawn chorus of melodic birdsong drifted in, casting a rosy hue across the morning sky.


 The air was cool & fresh as it brushed my hair as I drove through the deserted roads. The windmills were pretty giant and very near the road until we reached Dwarka.

Windmills on the way

We took a breakfast stop, so we did not take any further breaks & reach Dwarka on time. By the time we got to Drawka, it was 1.30 pm. We checked in to our hotel and freshened up. The rush of devotees was high since Janmashtami was due in three days. We first visited the Dwarkadish temple, but looking at the long queue, we returned to the hotel. 

Breakfast point

Hence we decided to have lunch & then explore the nearby places. We ate pure vegetarian Gujarati thali, then drove towards Beyt Dwarka, about 30km from the main town. Also Known as Beyt Shankhodhar, it was previously treated as a port. 

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Coastal Line

Beyt Dwarka- a small island on the mouth of the Gulf of Kutchh. It can be reached via sea route from Okha port jetty. Take 15 minutes to ride on a ferry with seagulls overhead and the blue sea around you. The Island is dotted with ancient temples, a white sand beach, and coral reefs, which lend to its charm. 

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Way to Beyt

According to the excavated religious manuscripts, Beyt is said to be the original abode of Lord Krishna. The temple is 500 years old, on which the story of Krishna being gifted a handful of puffed rice by Sudama is based. Beyt temple also speaks of the legend that Lord Vishnu slew the demon Shankhasura. Dandi Temple is also dictated to Lord Hanuman and his don, Makaradhwaja. Unfortunately, I could not visit the Island as an orange alert was flagged due to bad weather.

Ferry travel to the Island

We drove back towards Dwarka, and on the way, we stopped at Gope Talav. A beautiful pond adorned with sandal-like yellow sand-located 20 km north of Dwarka. It is believed that Gopis and Lord Krishna used to dance and play here in the pond, hence the name Gopi Talav.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Gopi Talav

We had an entire evening to ourselves; hence we decided to explore the town, & visited the Rukmani temple. Located relatively on the outskirts, this 2500-year-old temple commemorates Lord Krishna’s queen-Rukmani. This temple has been reconstructed over time; however, the current structure is from the 12th century. The carvings of gods and goddesses embellish the exteriors, and human and elephant figures are featured on the panels at the platform’s base. The idol of Rukmini is housed in the sanctum that inspires the same devotional fervour.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Rukmani Temple

An interesting legend surrounds the temple Rukmani. It is believed that sage Durvasa requested Krishna and Rukmini to invite him to their house for a meal. Upon the request, they pulled the chariot & onboarded the sage. On the way, Rukmini was thirstily asked for water. Quicky, Lord Krishna prodded the ground with his tow. And mother Ganges appeared to quench Rukmani’s thirst. The queen quenched her thirst but forgot to ask the sage. Sage Durvasa felt insulted and cursed her that she would live separately from her husband. That was damn harsh.


We left the temple at dusk, so we drove to Dwarka beach. As I walked towards the coast, lining the sacred town, the rocky beach touched the Arabian Sea. Apt for tired travellers and fulfilled pilgrims, for a quiet and serene time to relax. Also perfect to enjoy the play of colours of the evening sky, the sunset on the Dwarka beach is a mesmerizing sight.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties

I saw an old lighthouse perched on the Dwarka Peninsula from the beach. But before visiting the lighthouse, the attendant’s permission is required. And then you can have a panoramic view of the entire city from this 40 feet high tower. Since the lighthouse was closed due to the high rush, I enjoyed the sunset from the beach.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties

Post the sunset, we again went towards Dwarkadish temple for dinner, & shopping. The night was peaceful as we slept early. The following day my mom woke me up at 5 am, as we needed to visit by 6 am. That was torture but okay; I had a quick bath & got dressed for the temple. As per local belief, the temple is built by King Vajra, the great-grandson of Lord Krishna. It is a 16th-century Chalukya style architecture flanked by a 5-storied magnificent temple built of sand and limestone. A flag hoisted at the temple’s tower is changed five times daily. The flag is 52 yards long, symbolizing over 50 administrators of the Yadava clan.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Dwarkadhish Temple with Flag

We reached the temple around 6.15 am, & luckily it was empty. We entered the temple through the Swarga Dwar and had to exit through the Moksha Dwar.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Moksha Dawar

I marvelled at the magnificence of the black stone idol of Krishna. There are other shrines dedicated to acquaintances of Krishna, like that of Subhadra, Balaram, Vasudeva, Rukmini, and Revathy.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Lord Krishna

Post offering our payers; we walked to the Chhappan Sidhi ghat. The heritage Ghat got its name Chhappan Sidhi from the 56 stairs, which I climbed down from the Swarga entrance to reach the Gomti bank. It is believed that rive Gomati is the daughter of the Sage Vashishtha. And a dip in this river washes away the sins and gives you a soothing feel. River Gomti is a rare tidal river where the Arabian Sea mingles into the river at regular intervals. Though the boat ride along the Gomti river was enchanting, I ran out of time.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Chappan Siddhi Ghat

Today was our departure day too, and we had to catch our flights from Porbandar, which was 1hrs & 30 min drive. But I took a chance, as I wanted to visit the Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple, located 2km from the Dwarkadhish temple. Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple is an ancient Shiva built on a small hillock in the Arabian Sea. This temple is dedicated to Chandra-Mouliswar Shiva, which enshrines a Shivalinga in the sanctum. It is believed that Jagatguru Sankaracharya found the Shivalinga at the confluence of Gomati, Ganga and the Arabian Sea. Along with Shivalinga, there are 1200 Salgramshilas, 1300 additional Shiva Lingas, and metal forms of 75 Sankaracharya on the temple premises.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Bhadkeswar Mahadev temple

A unique legend states the sea does the abhisheka of the Shivalinga itself. There comes a day Each year in June/July when the Arabian Sea slowly rises and enters the temple. For a shorter period, the entire temple is submerged in the sea. It is believed once the sea completes the abhisheka and prayers, the Shivalinga returns to its normal stage. That Interesting! There were steps to reach the temple, but it was surrounded by water when we arrived due to the high tide. I suggest visiting Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple around sunset at low tide. The Bhadkeshwar Temple offers a panoramic view of Dwarka’s coastline. It’s a worthwhile place to visit once. 

It was almost time; hence we returned to our hotel, packed our luggage and headed towards the airport. On the way, I received a notification that 2hrs delayed my flight. So how to kill time, I started to search google for nearby locations. And I came across Ghumli. About 45 km from Porbandar, in the Barda Hills, lies a small village Ghumli. It is famous for the magnificent Navlakha Temple from the Solanki dynasty. And the Vikia Vavone-one of the most significant step wells in Gujarat. Ghumli is also a popular destination for trekkers. The hills are also home to the Maldhari, Bharvad, Rabari and Gadhvi tribal communities. This sounded quite fascinating to me & we drove towards Ghumli.

The drive to Ghumli was beautiful, greenery adorned the place, & the misty weather added a spooky charm. Ghumli was earlier known as Bhumli and used to be the capital of the Saindhava dynasty. They ruled western Saurashtra from the 8th to the mid-10th century. In the 12th century, when Shiyaji of the Jethwa dynasty took the title of Rana, even though he declared Ghumli the second capital. And Ghumli remained the capital till 1313 CE Barmaniyaji Jadeja defeated Rana Bhanji Jethwa at war. Ghumli was ruined into ruins during this war.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Entrance to Navlakha Temple

Ghumli, at present, is an important and preserved archaeological site that once was a prosperous capital of the Saindhava and Jethwa dynasties of Saurashtra. ASI has made numerous efforts to restore the lost glory of this homeless capital. 

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Posterior of the temple

Upon reaching, I was amazed at the Navlakha Temple, built by the Jethwa rulers in the 12th century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Surya. Built in the Solanki style of architecture, the temple’s trade mark entwines three elephants’ tusks. A cost of nine lakh was made in the construction of the temple, hence the name Navlakha.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
12th-Century Architecture

While I walked towards the Nakvlakha temple, I saw a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh. The temple was in the 10th century AD and was destroyed in 1313 by Jadeja Jam Barmaniyaji when he attacked Ghumli. 

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties
Ganesha Temple

Along the way, I saw two step wells named Vikia Vav and Jetha Vav. Vikia Vav is one the of the oldest & most significant step well, measuring almost 60 by 40.5 Sq. Jethwa ruler Vikiaji built it and hence was named after him. There are numerous flights of steps and string-coursed carvings around the well. Moreover, the entrance pavilions were still intact, standing at the three places.

Dwarka: A spiritaul gateway to unexplored beauties

On a small hill summit, a little far away is the Ashapura Mata temple. To reach the temple, one has to climb approximately 700 steep steps. Vindyavasini temple and Trikamji Bapu Mandir are located on the same hill. Since we were running out of time, we could not visit. 

This place is a Trekker enthusiast’s paradise too. The Barda hills offer a peek into the wildlife sanctuary. Along with a glimpse of the tribal life of communities like Maldhari, Gadhvi, Rabari, and Bharvad. I decided to do this trek next time, as it was time to drive to the airport with all my memories packed.

How to reach

By Air: 

Jamnagar Airport is the nearest airport to Dwarka, about 137km. You can book a cab or auto outside the airport to reach the city. 

By Rail: 

Dwarka railway station is well connected with most of the cities of India. Upon reaching, one can book a cab or take the state buses to contact the respective destination.

 By Road:

State buses of Gujarat and private buses regularly ply from various cities. One can also hire a cab or taxi and reach Dwarka. All the major cities, like Jamnagar, Veraval, Rajkot, Porbandar, Daman, etc., are well connected with Dwarka. If you wish you can drive from these cities too in your vehicle.



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