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Dwarka: Third Dham and Residence of King Krishna

By January 24, 2022February 16th, 2023No Comments
Dwarka Third Dham and Residence of King Krishna

Third Dham Of Shree Krishna

Dwarka is the legendary city considered as the residence of Vishnu’s eighth avatar, Shri Krishna. The magnanimous temple located on the banks of river Gomti in Gujarat, has a history of more than 5000 years as depicted by Hindu literature. It is one of the Char Dham, sacred pilgrimage sites of Hindu religion which has legendary stories of its origin. 

It is believed that a long time ago Lord Krishna invited the wrath of Magadh-king Jarasandh by killing Kansa. Kansa, the cruel king of Mathura, was Krishna’s maternal uncle and after his death Kansa’s father-in-law Jarasandh attacked the city of Mathura 17 times. While Krishna was able to save his city, he could foresee that his people would not be able to survive another attack. Hence, he decided to shift his subjects to a safer location. 

Krishna summoned the Divine Architect, Vishwakarma to make him a royal city. Vishwakarma said that he will only build a city on land reclaimed from the sea. Knowing this, Krishna prayed to the sea-god, Samundra Deva to give him land to set up his city. Samundra Deva was appeased by his humble prayers and gave 12 yojan (roughly 154 kilometers) of land. Vishwakarma then worked his Divine magic and made Dwarka in just 2 days. The city was spectacular, carved in gold, silver and other precious jewels. Krishna came to be known as Dwarkadhish or the Ruler Of Dwarka. He resided in the holy city for 36 years after which he left for his heavenly abode after being shot by an arrow in his foot. Once he passed on, the city was swallowed once again by the sea. 

Roughly 5000 years ago, Krishna’s great-grandson, Vajranabha built the holy temple of Dwarka, Jagat Mandir, over Krishna’s residential place, Hari-Griha. There are multiple holy shrines built around the temple and the closest is that of Devi Rukmini. There is an important legend as to why she doesn’t reside with Krishna in the temple. It is believed that one day Durvasa Rishi came to Krishna and Rukmini and the couple offered the holy sage dinner at their palace. Durvasa was known for his quick temper and they did not want to upset him so they themselves dragged his chariot towards their home. It was a hot day and after some time Rukmini started feeling thirsty. She asked Krishna for water and he dug his foot into the ground bringing in the water of Ganga in the hole. Rukmini quenches her thirst quickly but, in her hurry, she forgot to offer the water to the quick-tempered sage. This angered Durvasa and he cursed her that Rukmini will be separated from her husband. Hence the temple is located around 2 kms away from the main temple of Dwarkadhish. There are multiple other temples located in the vicinity as well. These include the shrine of main Rani’s of Krishna as well as other deities. 

The construction of the Jagat temple is done in Chaulkya Style which is an ancient architectural design for royal buildings. The temple spire is at the height of 78.3 meters and is 27 meters by 29 meters in length in the north-south to east-west direction. It was made in black limestone and the idol inside the temple is made of black stone known as Shaligram. Dwarka temple has two entrances, the north gate which is known as Moksha Dwar and opens up to the main market, and the Southern Gate which is called the Swarga Dwar and opens up to Gomti River. Krishna had requested that the holy river flow close to his city and Gomti flows all but 56 steps away from the Swarga Dwar. The spire also has a flag hoisted on top of it which has the symbol of Sun and Moon on it. It denotes that Krishna will reside in the hearts of all as long as the Sun and Moon are present in the sky. This flag is also changed ceremoniously 5 times a day. 

The spiritual mysticism of the Divine city becomes manifold on the day of Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna as per Hindu calendar.

Another interesting location is that of Bet Dwarka. This is a little island said to be the original residence of Krishna and his parents. The island now has a lighthouse and few old architectural remains on it. Marine archeologists found the remains of the submerged city of Dwarka near the lighthouse which presently stands here acknowledging the presence of a reclaimed ancient settlement. 

Also Read – Badrinath: The First Dham Leading To Moksha

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Chetna Kaushik

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