The city of Dwarka lies in the Dev Bhumi district in the northwestern part of Gujarat. Dwarka is an ancient city and Hindu pilgrimage site. Thousands of people flock here to express their devotion and pay respects to the holy gods. It is one of the seven Hindu Pilgrimage sites and is also marked as one of the holiest cities in the country.
As per archaeologists, the ancient city of Dwarka is submerged under the Arabian Sea and they are still working their way to excavate the remains of the city. Mythological legends state that this place was founded by Lord Krishna and he lived here for 36 years of his life. It is also believed that this place played a prime role when he was involved in the battle between the Pandavas and Kauravas.
Undoubtedly, this city has some great mythological significance but it also has some beautiful temples that will give you a feeling of serenity.
Here is a list of temples that you must not miss while you are visiting this holy city of Dwarka
1. The most famous, Dwarkadhish Temple
This temple was built by Vajranabha almost 2,200 years ago, on land that was recovered from the sea by Lord Krishna. This massive temple is a dedication to Lord Krishna. The architecture is inspired by the Chalukya style and it is called the Jagat Mandir. The main shrine is elaborately designed into five storeys with limestone and sand. This temple is known for its detailed carvings done by the dynasties that ruled the region. The main attraction of the temple is the black marble idol of Lord Krishna that devotees rush to see after taking a dip, cleansing themselves in the Gomti river. The main festival celebrated here on a grand scale is Janmashtami and the temple is considered to be one the seven Moksha Puri. If you ask us about one Gujarat famous temple, this would be it.
Timings : 6:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM
2. An ode, Rukmini Devi Temple
This temple may be a small structure but it is not an insignificant one. It was built for Lord Krishna’s beloved wife, Rukmini Devi who is also known to be an incarnation of Devi Lakshmi. The intricate carvings on the walls of this shrine will leave you spellbound. The paintings on the wall show Lord Krishna and Rukmini Devi together and can be dated back to the 12th century.
Timings: 6 AM to 9:30 PM
3. Lord Shiva in Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
Amongst 12 of the self-existing temples, or Jyotirlinga, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple also has urban myths and legends in its history. This temple is a shrine built for Lord Shiva and it attracts thousands of devotees on the eve of Shivaratri. The massive statue of Lord Shiva is built in a way that will mesmerise you even if you are not a believer or a religious person.
Timings: Open 24 hours
4. The white marble Gita Temple
This temple is one of the youngest on our list. Built by the Birla family in 1970, this temple is built with white marble. This structure is going to leave you awestruck with its simplicity and serene feel. This temple was mainly built to preserve the Hindu religious book the Bhagavad Gita’s teachings and values. You can stay within the temple premises as it has accommodation for travelling pilgrims. You can also see the walls of the temple engraved with excerpts from the holy book.
Timings: 3 AM to 7 PM
5. For Goddess Gomti, Samudra Narayan Temple
Located at the point where the Gomti River meets the Arabian Sea, this temple was built as a dedication to Goddess Gomti. It houses many idols, like Mother Asta Bhavani, Samudra Devi, Lord Varuna and Mira Bai. This temple also has five wells that are collectively called Panchanada Teertha and they contain sweet water. With the sea waves crashing on the temple walls, this temple has one of the most calming and scenic views. This Gujarat mandir attracts thousands of tourists everyday and you must visit it too.
Timings: 06:30 AM to 11:00 PM
6. The self-manifested, Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir
This temple that is believed to be 5,000 years old was built around a self-manifested Shivling that was found submerged in the Arabian Sea. Although it is a beautiful temple, you need to visit it during the monsoon season as it gets submerged under the sea every year. When the temple goes under water, the devotees think it to be a holy act saying that nature is performing the religious act of Abhishekam. This Gujarat famous temple is known for its breathtaking views and calm surroundings.
Timings: Open 24 hours
7. The Gayatri Family’s Gayatri Shaktipeeth temple
This temple holds utmost importance for the Gayatri family during the Dham Yatra time. This temple is on Ratneshwar Road and has been built as a dedication to Maa Gayatri. The Gayatri Shakti Peeth temple holds mythological significance and values for Hindus. This temple also organises the annual Annukat, a Hindu festival where the Gods are offered various vegetarian dishes and prayed to. This is definitely one of the temples that you must visit to see its extravagant rituals.
Timings: 6 AM to 10 PM
8. Dedication to Bhagwad Gita, ISKCON Dwarka Dham
HH Mahavishnu Goswami had established the temple as a way to help their devotees build a connection with their spiritual being and Lord Krishna. ISKCON is a non-profit organisation that is a major centre of Vedic Culture and Education. This temple is built for the sole purpose of spreading Lord Krishna’s consciousness and imparting the great teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.
Timings: 4 AM to 12 PM
9. The newest structure, Swaminarayan Temple
This is one of the newest structures compared to the other temples situated in the city. This temple has been dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, who is said to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Although this shrine has been built quite recently, the architecture and the carvings of the temple have been done very skillfully. It is believed that this shrine gives off a feeling of calm and you are sure to feel the divinity within. This Dwarka Mandir is located very close to the Dwarkadhish temple.
Timings: Open 24 hours
10. A father-son duo in Makardhwaj Mandir
This temple is located in the Devbhumi Dwarka district on the island of Dwarka or Shakhodhwar. This is one of the temples that was built for the father-son duo of Shri Hanuman and his son Makardhwaj. On the entrance of the temple you can see the father and son’s joyful meeting.
Timings: 5 AM to 10 PM
The word Dwarka can be broken into two parts — ‘dwar’ which means door in Sanskrit and ‘ka’ which means moksha or path to salvation. This city is amongst the four principal holy places in India, also known as the Char Dham. It is also one of the seven holy cities, known as Sapta Puri. Dwarka is a city you must visit to see all the temples here.