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Dwarka Yesterday & Today

 
In a unique initiative to augment facilities at India's most famous and popular pilgrim place Dwarka, Reliance family has been taking several measures to facilitate local as well as floating population from all over the country consisting of devotees of Lord Krishna. The Gomati ghat - confluence place where a rivulet Gomati meets the Arabic sea-is completely renovated in tandem with the Government of Gujarat at a cost of Rs. 10.2 million. Maha Prabhuji's baithak-another shrine of equal importance for Vaishnavas is also renovated. Liberal assistance is provided from time to time to this holy place during festivals etc.
 
As a major breakthrough for the security of the holy place, Reliance set up a state of the art close-circuit TV based computerized security system in the precincts of the temple. The system, which consists of a control room established in Dwarka Police Station premises near the temple, has strengthened police force that protect the shrine and the devotees during festivals such as Janmasthami, Holi, etc. The security system involves placement of high-powered cameras with monitors in the police control-room. The cameras continuously shoot all entrances and monitor movements in market near temple, the Gomati ghat and the sea-shore and almost all important corners in the temple.
 
Reliance has already begun construction of Dhiraj-dham- a Guest House for the visitors to Dwarka at a cost of Rs. 25 million.
 
The Brief Introduction and Importance of Trailokya Sundar Jagat Mandir
India is like a pilgrim place for the whole world. India is a pious land. The tirth bhumi India is surrounded with sacred pilgrim places in all its four directions. In the north is Badrinath, while the Rameshwar temple is situated in the south. It has Jagannathpuri in the east and Dwarka in the west.
 
Chaar Dhaam (Four Places): Badrinath (North), Jagannath (East), Rameshwar (South) and Dwarka (West)
 
Saat Puris (Seven Towns) : Ayodhya, Mathura, Haradwar, Kashi, Kanchi, Ujjain and Dwarka
 
Trailokya Sundar Jagat Mandir
 
Dwarka, which was once the capital of Lord Krishna's empire, has a special importance as one of the major Hindu pilgrim places not because it is one amongst the four most important pilgrim places, but also it is one of India's seven oldest towns or Saptapuris.
 
Also known as Jagat Mandir or temple of the world. The splendid Dwarkadhish temple, in Dwarka is situated the on bank of river Gomati at the height of 40 feet. The height of the temple is 157 feet. It has two Shikhars (1) Ladwa Shikhar (2) Nij Shikhar.
 
The Nij temple Shikhar has five stories and it is in this Shikhar that the idol of Lord Dwarkadhish is placed. The construction of the temple is based on 60 exquisitely carved pillars. The temple is spread 90 feet in the east-west direction and 70 feet in the north-south direction. There is no arch in the temple while the pillars are built from one stone. Effect of Greek civilization can be seen in the sculpture.
 
Various sculptures depict that the Guptas, the Pallavas, the Martraks, the Chavdas and the Chanakyas would have ruled here. According to a myth, Lord Vishwakarma built the temple in a single night.
 
Interesting descriptions about its construction are found in Puranas.
 
"Fearing attack from Jarasangh and Kaalayan, Yadavaas left Mathura and arrived at the coast of Saurashtra. They decided to build their capital in the coastal region and invoked the Vishwakarma, the deity of construction. However, Vishwakarma said that the task could be completed only if Samudradev, the Lord of the sea provided some land. Shri Krishna worshipped Samudradev, who was then pleased and gave them land measuring 12 yojans and then Lord Vishwakarma built Dwarka, a city of gold."
 
The entrance of the Dwarkadhish temple is to the north, from where the devotees enter the temple. God Dwarkadhish is facing eastward. The entrance is known as 'Moksha Dwaar' on the other end i.e. to the south is the 'Swarg Dwaar' from where one can reach the bank of river Gomati by stepping down 56 steps.
 
On the right hand of the Moksha Dwaar entrance is Shri Kusheshwar Mahadev, Satyanarayana temple and Navagraha temple. Moving ahead comes a huge temple of Lord Krishna's family Goddess Ambaji.
 
After this temple comes the temple of Shri Purshottamraiji. During purshottam month special celebrations and Pujan-Kirtan are done in the temple.
 
Further ahead is the temple of Lord Datatreya. Lord Datatreya is the master of the masters and is considered one of the 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
 
Going back to the Moksha Dwaar entrance, to the left comes the temple of Shri Kashi Vishvanath. Close to him positions Kolwa Bhagat. Moving ahead is the highly worshiped Shri Gayatri temple, followed by decorated Shri Kalyanrai-Pradyumanji temple.
 
On the backside of Shri Dwarkadhish Nij temple is the temple of Shri Durvasa Rishi.Durvasa was the family priest of the Lord Krishna. To its back is the Patrani temple which is surrounded by various other temples including Shri Jambuvatiji, Shri Radhikaji with Lord Krishna, Shri Laxmi Narayan, Shri Gopal Krishna, Shri Laxmiji, Shri Satyabhamaji and Shri Saraswatiji temple.
 
Adjacent to the Patrani temple is the "Math" of Shri Shankracharyaji. From Trivikramji and Madhavraiji's temples, one can reach the 56 steps entrance.
 
To the south of the Nij temple is the fascinating Shri Tri-Vikramraiji temple. The temple is peculiar because of the unique sculpture work. The sculpture seems to be of the Solanki era. On one side of the temple is the Garudji-an eagle (a vehicle of the Lord Vishnu) and on the other side are the attractive idols of Shri Ganesh-Laxmi-Ridhdhi-Siddhi.
 
To the opposite of the Tri-Vikramraiji temple is the temple of Shri Madhavrayji. Its sanctum (Garbhgruh) is small but has huge worship pandal or the Darshan Mandap.
 
There is a small but beautiful temple of Shri Radha Krishna situated besides the temple of Shri Madhavrayji.
 
Exactly to the opposite of Lord Dwarkadheesh Nij temple, the idol of Mother Devkiji is installed. Devotees enter the Sabha Mandap and Darshan Mandap of Lord Dwarkadheesh Nij temple after paying obeisance to Shri Devkiji. On the middle of the Sabha Mandap is small temple of Balramji, which is at a lower level. In the temple is also the idol of ShriMahaprabhuji.
 
The builders of this temple have depicted their knowledge proficiency and propriety by placing the idol of elder brother Balramji in the Sabha Mandap and idol of Mother Devkiji in vision with that of Lord Dwarkadhish temple.
 
The sanctum of Lord Dwarkadhish temple is so magnificent that one would not feel like moving ahead. One can also enjoy the natural beauty of the place through jharokhas of the temple on each floor.
 
Nij temple is the main temple of Dwarkadhish and is the ultimate aim of devotees visiting this eternal and sacred pilgrim place of Dwarka.
 
The appearance of Lord Dwarkadhish itself is so fascinating, picturesque, sacred and eye pleasing that while worshiping one not only feels content but the charm and beauty of the Lord prompts the devotee to automatically sing in praise of the Dwarkadheesh.
 
Idol of Dwarkadheesh
The idol of the Lord Dwarkadheesh made from black-stone is of 2.25 ft height. Each of four hands of the idol possesses conch (shankh), wheel (chakra), a metallic weapon (gada) and a lotus (padma). 'Shankh, Chakra, Gada, Padma Chaturbhuj' idol carries several interesting tales. The ancient idol was hidden to protect from attackers/invaders in a step-well viz. Savitri Vaav in Dwarka. The temple was sans the idol. Shrimad Vallabhacharya then brought another idol from Rukmini temple near Ladava village and installed it in the temple. The idol remained there till 1551 A.D. Thereafter, the idol was taken to Bet in 16th century during Turks' attacks. The original idol was taken out from the step-well and reinstalled. Prior to that in 12th century, it is believed, a royal warrior 'Vijaysinh Bodano' of Dakor took the idol to Dakor. The present idol is believed to have been installed by the Shankaracharya Anirudhacharya who brought it from Dungarpur in Rajasthan. Whatever it is beyond doubt that the idol is a symbol of faith of millions of people.
 
Kusheshwar Mahadev: Equal Partner in Dwarka's Pilgrimage
In the Jagat Mandir temple premises, a temple of Kusheshwar Mahadev near Moksha Dwar has significance of its own. Kusheshwar Mahadev is said to be the equal partner with the Lord Krishna in Dwarka's pilgrimage and not having Darshan of Kusheshwar Mahadev is synonym of incomplete pilgrimage. The story of Kusheshwar Mahadev goes like this. There was a demon called Kush in the area long ago. The area was then called 'Kushasthali'-a place of Kush under his influence. Everyone was scared of his devilish awe. People prayed the Lord Krishna to free them from clutches of Kush. Krishna killed and crushed him till he went much below the ground beneath. Krishna then set up a temple of his family God Mahadev and hence the name Kusheshwar Mahadev. The specialty of the temple is that the Shivalingam is installed 20 ft below the ground. Devotees offer prayers to Mahadev and then go for Darshan of Krishna. As Lord Rama installed Rameshwaram Mahadev, Lord Krishna set up Kusheshwar Mahadev. Devotees offer a ghee-lamp and laddus to accomplish their Dwarka pilgrimage.
 
The idol of goddess Shakti is at the fourth floor of Lord Dwarkadhish temple. A sense of purity spread amongst the tourist who visits this sacred and holy temple of Lord Dwarkadhish.
 
The temple of Dwarkadhish, also known as Jagat Mandir, is built on the north bank of the Gomati Creek.
 
Architecturally the temple is constructed on the same plan and system as most of the Hindu sacred edifices of antiquity.
 
In precincts of a shrine there is a spacious assembly hall, the ceiling of which is supported in height about 170 feet. The temple has seven floors: There is a shrine of Shakti Mata on the fourth story while fifth reaching up to 100 feet, has the Ladwa Mandir, the Length of the plinth of the temple is about 90 feet, and its breadth 20 feet. Externals the body of a temple and the spire are profusely curved from base to pinnacle, but internally they are characterized by excessive plainness and simplicity. The Shrine is elaborately ornamented and has figure of Ganpati sculptured over the entrance.
 
 
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