(Last Updated on : 02/05/2014)
Dwarka serves as the entrance to the western parts of India. It owes its name to the word 'dwar', referring to door. Amongst the Holy places in Dwarka, a name to reckon with is that of Dwarkanath Temple, dedicated solely to Lord Krishna. The strange history of Dwarkanath Temple is that the five-storey towered masterpiece was built by Sambha, Krishna's grandson. The city was built by Vishwakarma, the ethereal architect. It stands on a support of sixty columns. The whole structure is built entirely with limestone and sand. A towering, richly carved spire can be seen in the outer part of the temple. The structural composition of the temple is quite complex, with two gateways, 'Swarga Dwar', the entrance for the pilgrims and 'Moksha Dwar', the exit for the pilgrims. The idol measures 2.25 feet in height in smooth, glossy black stone. The four hands of the Lord have a conch, wheel, a metallic weapon and a lotus respectively. It is popularly called 'Shankha Chakra Gada Padma Chaturbhuj'. From the temple one can watch the 'sangam' (meeting point) of Gomati River, flowing towards the sea. There are shrines of Vasudeva, Devaki, Balrama, Revathy, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavathi Devi and Satyabhama Devi. There is a special temple made for Rukmini Devi on the way to Bet Dwarka. Bet Dwarka can be reached by boat. It is the very palace where Lord Krishna ruled during his time. There is the similar idol of Lord Dwarkanath kept in Bet Dwarka. The temple looks like a palace and has scores of shrines of Lakshmi-Narayan, Trivikrama, Jambavathi Devi, Sathyabhama Devi and Rukmini Devi. The structural pattern of the workmanship is so strong that even the earthquake of 2001 could not destroy it. On Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, Dwarkanath Temple is bejewelled in its own finery. Lakhs of devotees from all over the world throng this place to offer their prayers and be a tiny part of this huge celebration.
Adi Shankaracharya had visited the Dwarkadhish shrine and had established a math. The Lord here is dressed in Kalyan Kolam where he appears to be in a Royal Wedding costume. The place is considered sacred as Lord Krishna himself had resided and therefore his successors had built the temple. It is one of the 108 'Divya desam' (Srivaishnava shrines that were sung about by Azhvars or divine saints). Prasads (holy offerings by disciples) vary with time at the temple. They are sugar candy, kher, dry fruits, paan (betel leaf), delectable and nutritious food, fruits, saffron sorbet. There are also varied types of darshans and sevas meant for Lord Dwarkanath. The dresses are changed accordingly. The darshans being- Mangala, Shringar, Gval, Rajbhoj, Uthapan, Bhog, Sandhya Aarati, Shayan and Hindola. Legendary musicians have composed in the honour of Dwarkadhish, like, Mirabai and Surdas, Alwars like Tirumalisai Alvar, Nammalvar, Periyalvar, Andal, Thondaradippodi Alvar, Tirumangai Alvar.