Home to Lord Krishna, Dwarka is probably the holiest of cities for Hindus,built on the banks of Gomati River. Dwarka is one of the Char Dham (along with Badrinath, Puri and Rameswaram). A perfect example of resilience,Dwarka is known to have been destroyed by the sea no less than 6 times!! What stands today is the 7th version of this ancient wonder.
In this guest post Raghuram S Godavarthi ruminates over his 6 year old trip to the city of Dwarka in Gujarat.
Raghu likes to describe himself as ‘A Bohemian-in-the-making who was once an engineer and now works as a wordsmith’. He regularly blogs at Bencilo.
Dwarka: A Glimpse of India Ancient, India Amazing
Dwarka, a tiny seaside town perched almost on the western tip of India, lies almost beyond the imagination of the ordinary Indian. And yet, this religious hotspot is where history, myth and religion collide to form a most fluid legend that runs a single thread through Indian history – starting from the semi-mythical Mahabharata era. Among the various stories that are told about Dwarka is the one that talks of the modern city being the seventh built on that shore – the other six having been “swallowed” by the sea. To today’s tourists however, there is Dwarka – a symbolic pilgrimage town of the same name as the ancient kingdom ruled by one of Hinduism’s most cherished God: Krishna.
Befittingly, the Temple of Dwarkadheesh – meaning Lord of Dwarka -is this town’s focal point, and from what I saw, the life of the townspeople revolves around the rituals of the temple. My only visit to Dwarka happened in August 2005, and was a long overdue pilgrimage for my parents. For the reluctantly religious me, it was a chance to visit the western coast of India, an opportunity to see the sun set on the Arabian Sea.
The city of Dwarka, according to one account, was a kingdom dredged out of the ocean, another suggests it was underwater. The gentle crescent shore that this town hugs has the Dwarkadheesh temple at one end, practically marking a vertex of the town. At the other end of the crescent is another towering edifice, albeit a modern one – a lighthouse. It is not a long walk between the two ends, and walking is the best way to discover the quaint features of this sleepy town. We had a tentative plan of spending two days in Dwarka before heading eastwards towards the other religious destination on that shore – Somnath. However, the hospitality (read the food) at the Gujarat Tourism cottage ensured we spent nearly a week there. I spent fifteen minutes on the official beach of the town to discover that it was more a hotspot for ablutions than for tourism.
To be contd….