History of Bet Dwarka
With references to the Hindu epic Mahabharata and the largest Mahapurana called the Skanda Purana, the island of Bet Dwarka is considered to be part of the ancient city of Dwarka, which used to be the abode of Lord Krishna. Also known as Shankhodar, the island of Bet Dwarka is called so because it is the large source of conch shells. Bet Dwarka is also known as a major historical site for excavation. This place is famous for a number of legends.
It is often believed that the city of Dwarka where Lord Krishna resided flourished gloriously in pre historic days. The place was full of luxurious palaces and other important historical sights which sank the moment Lord Krishna left it. Besides its legends Bet Dwarka was one of the major trading centres in ancient and medieval period which had a fabulous harbour. The place is supposed to continue trade relations with the Mediterranean countries around the Christian era.
Archaeology of Bet Dwarka
The old city of Bet Dwarka was taken over by a team of archaeologists who continued some on shore and inter- tidal zonal excavations which helped to excavate some potential sites where large number of antiques was recovered. The excavations brought out a number of coins which would trace trade relations across the Mediterranean and Arabian Sea. These potential sections have been divided into some sections which are named as Bet Dwarka I, II, IV and IX.
The archaeological survey of India has categorised the findings in two sections according to the period. Some has been categorized as pre historic which include some seals of conch shell, inscriptions, copper fish hook and late Harappan potter is along with coins and other trading elements. The present location of Bet Dwarka brought out some more historical objects like a number of stone anchors of different shapes and a number of shipwrecks which trace it to the Roman age. These trace out trade relations with Roman Empire, which reveals that Bet Dwarka was a popular trading centre located on the western coast of India. The temples on the island of Bet Dwarka were built around the end of the 18th century.
Places of Worship at Bet Dwarka
There are several places of religious worship in Bet Dwarka like the Dwarkadhish Temple and Shri Keshavraiji Temple are major temples of Lord Krishna. Pilgrimage spots like the Hanuman Dandi and Vaishnav Mahaprabhu Bethak are also quite popular among others. Sidi Bawa Peer Dargah, Haji Kirmai Dargah and Gurdwara are also situated here. A small temple of Abhaya mata is also famous and is situated on the southern side of the island of Bet Dwarka.
Visiting Information on Bet Dwarka
Bet Dwarka can be accessed by ferry from Okha. The place is surrounded by several sand beaches. The southeast most end of Bet Dwarka is known as the Dunny Point which is surrounded by sea on three sides. It is the first place in Gujarat, which is developed for ecotourism. There are temporary camps which are set up for tourism in summer.
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