Dwarka got its name from the Sanskrit word 'dwar’, meaning door, and thus it signifies “Gateway to Heaven”. In other interpretations, the name 'Dwarka' is justified as it offers an entry point to the country's western regions. As Dwarka is famous as a pious city, the holy places in Dwarka are a big draw amongst tourists. People from every nook and corner of the world come here to make a trip to Dwarka to visit the religious sites.
Dwarkadhish Temple is one of the most famous temples in India, devoted to Lord Krishna. Therefore, when you decide to tour the Dwarka holy places, this temple will surely be on your tour itinerary.
Rukmini Temple is another place amongst the holy places in Dwarka that is famous as an architectural masterpiece. Nageshwar Mandir, Dwarka, which is devoted to Lord Shiva, is also a leading name in the list of temples in Dwarka.
Here are the top holy places in Dwarka.
Dwarkadhish Temple, Dwarka, constructed of limestone and sand, is a big tourist attraction. It is also called Jagat Mandir and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The history of Dwarkadhish Temple goes way back to the Kingdom of Dwarka in Mahabharata.
The architecture of this temple is said to be 2,200 years old and is believed to be constructed by King Vajranabha, one of the Yadavas and great-grandson of Lord Krishna. The outside of this splendid temple is supported by 60 beautiful columns.
You would also find a soaring, richly carved spire at the exterior of this temple. A flag hoisted every day at the temple tower flutters beautifully in the air as if welcoming the pilgrims and tourists alike.
Dwarkadhish Temple has shrines of Subhadra, Balrama, Revathy, Vasudeva, Rukmini, and many others, along with Lord Krishna's majestic black idol. Also, one has to dip in the Gomti River before entering the temple through the Swarg Dwar.
The only Rukmini Devi Temple in India, Rukmini Temple is one of the best places to visit in Dwarka. Rukmini Devi is the first wife of Lord Krishna, and this temple is a symbol of her love and purity.
As for its architecture, the walls of this temple are decorated with eye-catching paintings. These paintings portray her pastimes with Krishna. In addition, this temple showcases beautiful carvings, predominantly on its 'Sabha Mandapa' pillars.
The legend behind the temple states that once, Rukmini and Krishna invited Guru Durvasa, who was generally known for his bad temper, for a meal. He made a condition that he'll only visit if Krishna and Rukmini would pull the chariot, and they agreed.
As it was quite hot and Rukmini, being a daughter of a king, had never done this before, she felt thirsty. So Krishna pressed his right toe onto the Earth, and the Ganga River quenched her thirst. But between all this, she forgot to offer water to Guru Durvasa first. And so, in his temper, he cursed Krishna and Rukmini that they would never be together.
He added that Dwarka would remain dry and that nothing would be cultivated on this land, which is believed and true to this day.
One of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, Nageswar Mandir, is located on the route between Gomti Dwarka and Bet Dwarka Island in Gujarat. People sometimes refer to Nagnath Temple also, as Lord Shiva is the principal deity who is also called Nageshwar Mahadev. The idol of Lord Shiva faces south at this temple, unlike other Nageshwar Temples in India.
People say that if you pray here, it will free you from snake bites and poisons. Nageshwar Mandir is significant as it is believed to be the first of 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
The 80 feet Shiva statue is the highlight along with Hindu architecture. The temple is built from a stone called Dwarka Shila and has small chakras (circles) on it in the shape of 3 Mukhi Rudraksha. The temple is constructed as per the Vaastu Shastra (the science of architecture) and is planned on the Sayanam (sleeping) posture of the human body.
For the best experience, visit Nageshwar Mandir on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva every year.
The above-mentioned holy places in Dwarka are the most popular ones. Some other temples in Dwarka are Gita Temple, ISKCON Temple, Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Samudra Narayan Temple, and Gayatri Shaktipeeth.
So, without any more delay, make the requisite arrangements to pay a visit to the religious places in Dwarka.