Dwarka: The Capital of Lord Krishna 5000 Years Ago
Dwarka is connected to Lord Krishna and is mentioned in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavat Purana. It is one of the four holy dhamas (See Teachers’ Book, page 72).
Over 5000 years ago, after He left Mathura, Lord Krishna spent one hundred years in his capital, Dwarka. “Dwarka” means “the city of gates”.
At that time in the city there were as many as nine hundred thousand great palaces built of first-class marble with gates and doors made of silver. The posts of the houses and palaces were bedecked with jewels such as touchstone, sapphires and emeralds, and the floors gave off a beautiful lustre. The wide avenues, crossings, lanes, streets and the threshold of every residential house were all very clean. At regular intervals there were large trees that shaded the avenues so that the sunshine would not bother the passers-by.
After Lord Krishna left the planet, Dwarka became submerged under water. Dwarka is one of the sapta-puris, seven holy cities of Bharat, which also include Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kashi (Varanasi), Ujjain and Kanchipuram. It is also one of the four Holy dhamas in Bharat, the others being Rameswaram, Puri and Badrinath. One of the four original monasteries founded by Shankaracharya is in Dwarka.
In the middle of the town is the Dwarkadish Temple, which was built in the Sixteenth Century. The five-storey high temple is built on seventy-two pillars. Lord Krishna’s grandson, Vajranabha, is said to have built the original temple of Dwarkadish over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna’s residence).
The main Deity in this temple is Lord Dwarkadhish who is on the centre altar. Dwarkadish is another name of Lord Krishna that means the “Lord of Dwarka” The Deity represents the four-armed form of Vishnu called Trivikrama. It is said that “Shri Krishna placed all his arts, achievements, properties and his very own self into Lord Trivikrama”. There is a temple to the right of the main Deity that contains the Deity of Lord Baladevaji (Balarama), the older brother of Lord Krishna.
Dwarka is situated 240 miles west of Ahmedabad.