Ancient pilgrimage sites scattered around Dwarka Gujarat

According to Skanda Purana, the city of Dwarka is historically considered a part of the Prabhas region. Prabhas is a Sanskrit word that means light, light, light, which produces light. Spread east towards Somnath, there are many small ancient pilgrimage sites in this area which you can easily see while visiting Dwarka. Let’s try to know about these pilgrimage sites around Dwarka –

Bet Dwarka

The most famous place in Dwarka and nearby pilgrimage sites is Bet Dwarka. Bet means island in Gujarati language. Bet Dwarka is an island on the beach of Okha, about 35 km from the main Dwarka. Is situated at this distance. To reach this island off the main Dwarka coast, you will have to take a ferry journey. I would like to tell you that this ferry trip is also no less enjoyable.

Memories of Krishna-Sudama offering and Mirabai are also associated with the beautiful Bet Dwarka from many unique temples. I have written in detail in another memoir about Bet Dwarka. To read my memoir about them, Bet Dwarka, read it.

Of the original gate

It is believed that Lord Krishna, when he came to Dwarka along with his Yaduvanshi family, had made the first stop in the original Dwarka. Located in Visvada near Porbandar, this place is about 45 km from Dwarka.

The original temple complex of Dwarka

Here you will see a small temple complex. There are several temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in this complex, the main ones are Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and Siddheshwar Mahadev Temple. Lord Krishna is also known as Ranchod Rai in Saurashtra. You can also see a temple of this Ranchhod Rai here. The charm of these temples that attracted me the most was the architecture of the Panch-Ratan sub-style under its Nagara style. Within the temple, seating places of devotees were also arranged.

I found the original Dwarka to be a cluster of very quiet temples despite being a very small complex.

The original Dwarka temple complex entrance
The original Dwarka temple complex entrance

The original Dwarka has another unique feature, the 13th. Bawdi built in the century, enlightened. Hearing its name, many of you may have remembered the knowledge well of Varanasi. There are camps around this stepwell of original Dwarka. I saw statues of Brahma, Vishnu and Suryadev on the aisles of the corridor leading to Bawdi. The pavilion at the top is kept cool by the water of the Vav ie stepwell.

Vishnu statues in the enlightened stepwell
Vishnu statues in the enlightened stepwell

Seeing the stepwell there was a hue in the mind that the maintenance and cleanliness of this stepwell should be increased.

I must give you an information that there is an original Dwarka near Somnath. In my view, we can assume that in these thousands of years, there will be many changes in the terrain of this coastal region, as a result of which the original Dwarka must have changed its location. Looking at the other side of the coin, it can also be assumed that the devotees would have established the original Dwarka at all the places where Shri Krishna had come from Brij Bhumi.

Nageshwar jyotirlinga

One of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India, this Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is about 14 km from Dwarka. Located at a distance. Another Jyotirlinga by the name Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is also in Jageshwar Dham in Uttarakhand. Which of these Nageshwar Jyotirlingas is real, I cannot say with any intensity. Since I have seen both of them, I have taken its name out of my list of Jyotirlinga for peace.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

This small temple built by Gulshan Kumar of T-series is relatively new. The original ancient temple may have been very small. On one side of this plain temple painted in red color is an ancient pool which was filled with turtles at that time. Although ancient steps appeared to reach the water of Kund, but seeing them, they felt that they have not been used for a long time. There is an old tree near the temple. This tree may also have provided an umbrella to the ancient temple. While traveling around this temple, I had a wonderful energy experience.

The huge Shiva idol at Nageshwar Dham
The huge Shiva idol at Nageshwar Dham

Outside the temple is a giant idol in the sitting posture of Lord Shiva. Earlier I saw such a huge Shiva idol in Char Dham situated in Namchi area of ​​Sikkim state. This huge idol of Shiva located outside the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga enthuses tourists as tourists often fulfill their wishes by posing in front of this huge idol due to the prohibition of photographing inside the temple.

Gopi Lake

5 km from Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. Many small legends are associated with this small pond situated far away.

Gopi pond for yellow soil
Gopi pond for yellow soil

According to a legend, when Lord Krishna left Vrindavan and came to Dwarka, the gopis tied in his illusion started chasing him. It is said that he met Krishna here and merged with him. The soil of this pond represents the same gopis. That is why the yellow soil around this pond is considered extremely sacred. You can buy this pure yellow soil anywhere around Gopi pond or also from Dwarka.

According to the second legend, this is the place where Arjuna’s pride was crushed. According to the stories, when Krishna decided to give up his body, he urged Arjuna to protect his queens and children. Unfortunately queens and children were attacked by members of a local tribe called the Kaaba. Many queens gave up their lives by jumping into this pond to protect themselves. Arjuna attacked the invaders under his might and Gandiv, but he could not control them. I also saw many engraved verses related to this story on the reefs of Gopi Talav.

When I visited this tank, this pond was completely dry. Some locals told me that the main reason for this is insufficient rainfall in the last 3-4 years. On Gopi Talao you can see many huge, floating stones exhibited. You can see these stones everywhere in Dwarka.

Apart from the Rukmini and Gopinath temples on Gopi Talav, I could not see much more to see. It is another matter that this place belongs to the famous pilgrimage of devotees, Dwarkadhish Temple, Rukmini Temple, Bet Dwarka and Nageshwar Jyotirlinga.

Suvarna tirtha

Krishna Subhadra and Balabhadra at Suvarna shrine
Krishna Subhadra and Balabhadra at Suvarna shrine

The Suvarna Tirtha situated between Dwarka and Mithapur is also a group of temples. The main temple is dedicated to the Sun God. There is also a temple of Lord Vishnu of Jagannath Rupi included in this group.

Read more – Modhera’s Sun Temple

The priest present there told me that the original ancient temple was installed in one corner of the present temple. The original idol of Sun God was taken out from here in the year 1920. The idol of the currently installed Sun God seems to me to be relatively new and modern in style. I also saw a Shri Chakra in the open courtyard.

There is a dry pool in front of Suvarna Tirtha which must have been a huge pond at some time.

Mithapur

Mithapur is nothing but a city around the Tata chemical factory. The factory mainly produces salt. Although we are not allowed to go inside the factory, yet you will be surprised to see the city of Mithapur. There are heaps of salt all around.

Salt mountains in mithapur
Salt mountains in mithapur

Colorful splashes of color spread over the sheer salt spread all around. I also saw many types of birds hovering over these mounds. Perhaps they come here to make up for the lack of salt in their nutrition.

Other temples and sightseeing places around Dwarka

Indreshwar Mahadev Temple From where Arjuna killed Subhadra. It is a small extremely colorful temple with a Shivalinga installed in the middle. The original ancient temple was somewhere in this temple complex. There was also a cave near it where Arjun allegedly did penance.

Indreshwar Mahadev Temple
Indreshwar Mahadev Temple

It is said that there was a pool near here, where Arjun was married to Subhadra. A gentle woman had also told us the way to reach there at the Indreshwar temple, but we could not find her.

Minus Mukteshwar Mahadev Where it is believed that man can get freedom from all his debts. As is known by the name, it is a Shiva temple surrounded by many small ancient temples.

Pindarak Where the sage was the Gurukula of Durvasa. I could not see this temple during my visit. Hope to get this opportunity soon.

Charan Ganga While taking Durvasa Rishi to Dwarka, Krishna created a water source for Rukmini.

I always believe that India never fails to surprise us.

Translation: Madhumita Tamhane

About Peter Rhody

"Loving India is a passion of mine. I have enjoyed several long journeys to all corners of the sub-continent, completed my B.A and M.A in Asian studies, studied languages such as Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit, written on the Hari Krishna movement, lectured on Indian culture and history in university, advised others on their trips to India all the while preparing my next visit to India. There are so many places in India I love and want to always go back to but my favorite destination has to be the holy city of Varanasi. Here you can feel the living pulse and the beating heart of the center of religious India with its overwhelming spirituality and history and just for being a true microcosm of India itself "

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