The temple sikhars with the entrance in front
|Proper name:||Dwarkadheesh Mandir|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Dwarkadheesh Krishna|
The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir and occasionally spelled "Dwarakadheesh", is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, who is worshipped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or 'King of Dwarka'. The main shrine of the 5-storied building, supported by 72 pillars, is known as Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir, archaeological findings suggest it to be 2,200 - 2,000 years old. Temple was enlarged in the 15th- 16th century. The Dwarkadhish Temple is a Pushtimarg temple, hence it follows the guidelines and rituals created by Shree Vallabhacharya and Shree Vitheleshnathji.
According to tradition, the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna's grandson, Vajranabha, over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna's residential place). The temple became part of the Char Dham pilgrimage considered sacred by Hindus in India, after Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century reformer and philosopher, visited the shrine. The other three being comprising Rameswaram, Badrinath and Puri. Even today a memorial within the temple is dedicated to his visit. Dwarakadheesh is the 108th Divya Desam of Lord Vishnu on the subcontinent, glorified in the Divya Prabandha sacred texts.
The town of Dwarka in Gujarat has a history that dates back centuries, and mentioned in the Mahabharat epic as the Dwaraka Kingdom. Situated on the banks of river Gomti, the town is known of being the capital of Lord Krishna. Archaeological excavations have uncovered underwater stone structures which have been described as showing settlement during proto-historic times. Evidence such as a stone block with script, the way the stones were dressed showing that dowels had been used, and an examination of anchors found on the site suggest that the harbour site dates only to historical times, with some of the underwater structure being late Medieval. Coastal erosion was probably the cause of the destruction of what was an ancient port.
Features of the temple
- The flag atop the temple shows the sun and moon.
- The flag is changed from 5 times a day, but the symbol remains the same.
- The temple is a five-story structure built on seventy-two pillars.
- The temple spire is 78.3m high.
- The temple is constructed of limestone which is still in pristine condition.
- The temple shows intricate sculptural detailing done by successions of dynasties that ruled the region. The structure was not expanded much by these works.
- Lord Krishna's grandson, Vajranabha, is said to have built the original temple of Dwarkadhish over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna's residential place).
- There are two entrances to the temple. The main entrance (north entrance) is called "Moksha Dwara" (Door to Salvation). This entrance takes one to the main market. The south entrance is called "Swarga Dwara" (Gate to Heaven).
- Outside this doorway are 56 steps that leads to the Gomati River.
- 1988. -Marine Archaeology of Indian Ocean Countries- S. R. Rao, page.18, text = "The Kharoshti inscription in the first floor of Sabhamandapa of Dwarkadhish Temple is assignable to 200 BC.", page.25 text = "Excavation was done by the veteran archaeologist H.D. Sankalia some twenty years ago on the western side of the present Jagat-Man- dir at Modern Dwarka and he declared that the present Dwarka was not earlier than about 200 BC."
- 2005, L. P. Vidyarthi -Journal of Social Research - Volume 17-, text= "Inscription in brahmi found in the temple supports the fact of its construction during the Mauryan regime. Apart from this beginning, the pages of history of Dwarka and Dwarkadhish temple are full of accounts of its destruction and reconstruction in the last 2000 years."
- 2005. -Remote Sensing And Archaeology- Alok Tripathi, page.79, text = In 1963 H.D. Sankalia carried out an archaeological excavation.. at Dwarkadheesh temple at Dwarka to solve the problem. Archaeological evidences found in this excavation were only 2000 years old
- 1988, P. N. Chopra, "Encyclopaedia of India, Volume 1", page.114
- Rao, Shikaripur Ranganath (1999). The lost city of Dvārakā. Aditya Prakashan. ISBN 978-8186471487.
- Gaur, A.S.; Sundaresh and Sila Tripati (2004). "An ancient harbour at Dwarka: Study based on the recent underwater explorations". Current Science 86 (9).
- "Dwarkadish Temple, Dwarkadish Temple Dwarka, Dwarkadish Temple in India". Indianmirror.com. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- "Gujarat- Volume 2 of Smt. Hiralaxmi Navanitbhai Shah Dhanya Gurjari Kendra Prakashan" - p. 445 - author = Hiralaxmi Navanitbhai
- Chakravarti 1994, p. 140
- UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site status, report on Indian Express newspaper website
- Underwater remains near Dwarakadheesh temple, on website of National Institute of Oceanography
- Brockman, Norbert C. (2011). Encyclopedia of Sacred Places. California: ABC-CLIO, LLC. ISBN 978-1-59884-655-3.
- Gwynne, Paul (2009). World Religions in Practice: A Comparative Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publication. ISBN 978-1-4051-6702-4.
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