Jay Dhwarkadhish Temple (જય દ્વારકાધીશ મંદિર - દ્વારકા)

   Jay Dhwarkadhish Temple (જય દ્વારકાધીશ મંદિર -  દ્વારકા)

According to Hindu tradition still extant, the earliest known conqueror of Okhamandal was Shri Krishna, called also Ranchodji, the eight incaranation of Vishnu, Who after his seventeenth battle with Jara Sangh, king of Magadh Desh, fled from Mathura, and eventually arrived with his army at Okhamandal which he subjected after a hard struggle with the Kalas. Shri Krishna established his capital at Dwarka on the bank of the Gomti Creek.

Krishna was succeeded by the great grandson of Vajranabh, who enjoys the saintly reputation of having built the present temple Dwarkanath, called also Trilok sundar, signifying 'the handsomest of the three world' Many Hindus religiously believe that the temple was erected in one night by supernatural agency, under Vajranabh's direction.

Certain it is that whole of western and south-western Saurashtra, now included in a Jamnagar and Junaghadh districts was colonized by the Yadavas, whose most important leader was Shri Krishna. The Yadavas ruled and when they perished in a family quarrel under the influence of drink, and after Shri Krishna's death Dwarka submerged under the sea. In this region the original in habitants are said to Kabas, Modas and Kalas, The Kabas and Modas now seem to be extinct but the present day Vaghers are said to have descended from the Kabas.

The Kalas re-conquered Okhamandal in the 2nd Century A.D next a Syrian Sukkur Belium conquered this region and during this time Dwarka submerged by the sea. He was driven out by another Syrian named Mehem Guduka. Again Kalas now know as Vaghers.

It was 13th century when the Rathods came and took advantage of the Herule-chavada quarrels. The few surviving chavadas and Herules were absorbed by the Vaghers. Veravalji, the Rathod now became the sole ruler of Okhamandal. During the periods of Bhimji, Mahmud Begada who was sultan of Gujarat, conquered Okhamandal destroying the temple at Dwarka. Later the Vaghers drove out the Muslim.

The history of Okhamandal upto 1800 seems to be uneventful but since this date, until their final extermination or submission the Vadhelas and Vaghers came up repetedly against to the British and the Gaikwads.



History :

The world famous ancient town of Dwarka needs hardly any introduction. Located on the confluence of Gomati River and the Gulf of Kutchh between 22’ & 22.28’ N latitude and 68.59’ E longitude, Dwarka is Lord Krishna’s town. The original temple of lord Krishna is believed to be constructed by Vajranabhji, the great grand son of Lord Krishna. The existing temple is a 15th / 16th century structure constructed in Chalukya style in 27 m x 21 m area. Its tallest peak is 51.8 m high, its east-west length is 29 m and north-south width is 23m. It is said that Dwarka's pilgrim starts receiving fruits of Ashwamedh Yajna from the moment he commences his journey towards Dwarka.
Dwarkadheesh Devasthan Samiti has taken initiatives to bring about development in and around Dwarka so as to enhance and upgrade the existing amenities, facilities and infrastructure. It is in order that more and more tourist, pilgrims and lovers of ancient culture, history and archeology frequent the place. The services of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) have been requisitioned for formulating comprehensive and detailed work-plan for development of Dwarka and surrounding places.

The history of Dwarka is a mystical story. The city is believed to have been the capital of Lord Krishna, who established his capital on the bank of River Gomti Creek after he fled from Mathura, during his 17th battle with king of Magadh Desh. The Lord was succeeded by his great grandson, Vajranabh, who is known to have built all the holy temples in the city. The city was then called as ‘Trilok Nath’. Many Hindus believe that the temples at Dwarkaraj were built in one night with the assistance of spiritual powers.

The original habitants of the area were Kabas and Modas. It is said that after the death of Lord Krishna, the ruling kings of Dwarka, the Yadavas indulged in a fight after being drunk, and the city then submerged into the sea.
The city came under the rule of Kalas in the 2nd century, followed by the rule of Syrian king Sukkur Belium and during this time the city had drowned. In the 13th century the Rathods took over who ruled here for a long time. Dwarka was then part of Okhamandal.

The city was declared as part of the Baroda district after India’s independence in 1947. In 1961, the state was Gujarat was formed and Dwarka was designated as one of its cities.



Architecture :

A temple was built at the site around 400 BC by Vajranabhji, the great grandson of Lord Krishna, however the present structure was built during the 16th century in a typical Chalukyan style of architecture. The beautiful temple rises up to a height of 51.8 meters. Also known as the Jagat Mandir, the temple has two Sikhara. The Nij shikhar (The longer sikhar) denotes where the deity of Lord Dwarkadhish is installed. The huge temple consists of 60 exquisitely carved pillars and a number of sculptures that depict the influence of various dynasties such as the Guptas, Pallavas and Chavdas (referring to Chavda Kingdom) that ruled Dwarka over the years.

The entrance to the temple is from the north, also known as the Moksha Dwaar, while the entrance from the south is the Swarg Dwaar from where a series of steps leads down to the banks of river Gomti. According to legend, the temple was constructed in a single day by Vishwakarma, the lord of construction. The deity of Lord Dwarkadhish is made of shiny black stone and is about 2.25 ft in height. The four hands of the deity carry a conch, the Sudarshana Chakra, a mace and a lotus, and this image is popularly known as 'Shankh Chakra Gada Padma Chaturbhuj'. It is said that the idol was hidden for years to protect it from invaders while another idol was brought from the Rukmini temple and installed in its absence. The original idol was reinstalled during the 16th century after the construction of the new temple.

Krishna Ghat on Gomati river before renovation :    

 Dwarkadheesh Devasthan Samiti with the help of Reliance Group and The Government of Gujarat has renovated Gomati Ghat at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.10 Crore. Pilgrims of Dwarka invariably visit these places. The work included fixing of granite and railings on 16 different Ghats on the bank of Gomati river and Chhappan Sidi (56 steps leading to the Dwarkadheesh Temple). The Hon’ble Chief Minister of the Gujarat State Narendrabhai Modi had laid the foundation stone for the same on 23 December 2001. M/s Bridge and Roof, a government of India Enterprise was awarded contract to carry out this work which was completed very fast.Bath in Gomati's water gives fruits of bath in several other pilgrim places. The whole ghat was lastly renovated with fixing Chobari stones brought from Rajula during Gaikwadi rule. Stones on the ghat were broken and had become uneven causing discomforts to the pilgrims.

Dwarka (Jamnagar district) in ancient Anarta (Saurashtra) was the capital of Lord Krishna's terrestrial kingdom. He shifted to Kusasthali which was the old name of the region to escape the harassing raids of Kansa's father-in-law Jarasandha on Mathura after Krishna had killed Kansa. Kusasthali was Krishna's ancestral place on his mother's side. It was founded by Raivata, his Yadava ancestor after he had lost his kingdom to Punyajanas and migrated to Mathura for safety; then he came back to found Kusasthali. So Krishna's migration to the Dwarka was in the reverse order.
Dwarka which was known as Suvarna Dwarka (The Golden Dwarka) had been very prosperous and hence got the name. The Dwarkadhish temple honours Krishna Bhagwan and attracts thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country. The Dwarka of Krishna's time lies submerged under the Arabian Sea. Tradition has itthat Krishna's residence was at Bet Dwarka, a few kms from the mainland Dwarka.

The Dwarkadhish temple (also known as Jagat temple) and its Sikhar rises to 170 feet. The pataka or flag of the temple is changed three times a day.
Pilgrims and devotees vie with one another to pay for the flag. There are special tailors to stitch it. Before hoisting the flag it is taken round the temple by the donor. The five-storeyed temple stands on 60 pillars. The pilgrims enter the temple by Swarg Dwar (the gateway of heaven) and leave by Moksh Dhwar (the gateway of salvation).

The temple has rich carvings. The ancient shrine has been supported by kings and commoners alike from its inception. It is one of the important moksh dhams. The Gomti River flows nearby. The other temples in Dwarka are the Trikamji temple, Kalyanrai temple, the Patrani temple, Durvas temple, etc. Sharda Pith set up by Adi Shankaracharya imparts instruction in Sanskrit. Darukvan in the region is one of the Jyotirlingas.



The renovation carried out by the Reliance and the Dwarkadheesh Devasthan Samiti has once again made the place worthy of visit and holy bath. Each ghat on the bank of Gomati bears special name as follows:

Sangam Ghat Ram Ghat, Durvasha Ghat, Narayanbali GhatNarsinh Ghat, Hanuman GhatSatyanarayan Ghat,   Gao Ghat, Govind Ghat, Rushi GhatMira Ghat, Sati GhatGanga-Parvati Ghat, Surya GhatGomati GhatKrishna Ghat.



How To Reach - Dwarka :

        Connects Dwarka and Jamnagar, 132 kms. away. Connecting Mumbai (945 kms.) via Rajkot (270 kms.) and Ahmedabad (453 kms.).



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                                                                    BY : M.K

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