Dwarka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about a city in Gujarat. For the sub-city in Delhi, see Dwarka (Delhi). For the ancient city in Indian epic literature, see Dvārakā. For the nearby island, see Bet Dwarka.
Dwarka
દ્વારકા
city
Dwarka coast
Dwarka coast
Dwarka is located in Gujarat
Dwarka
Dwarka
Coordinates: 22°14′N 68°58′E / 22.23°N 68.97°E / 22.23; 68.97Coordinates: 22°14′N 68°58′E / 22.23°N 68.97°E / 22.23; 68.97
Country  India
State Gujarat
District Devbhoomi Dwarka district
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 33,614
Languages
 • Official Gujarati, Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Dwarka (Listen), also spelled Dvarka, Dwaraka, and Dvaraka, is a city and a municipality of Devbhoomi Dwarka district in the Gujarat state in India. It is located on the western shore of the Okhamandal Peninsula on the right bank of the Gomti creek. Dwarka, is one of the foremost Chardham, four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites, and is one of the Sapta Puri, seven most ancient religious cities in the country. Dwarka is often identified with the Dwarka Kingdom, the ancient kingdom of Krishna and is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat.

The legend of Krishna has been proved partially by scientific marine archaeological investigations conducted by the Marine Archaeology Unit of the National Institute of Oceanography and the Government of Gujarat. The final inference of these marine under water investigations is that “there was really a city which got submerged in Dwarka in 1500 BC and that the "architectural evidence and antiquities such as a seal and inscriptions go to indicate that it was the city of Mahabharata age”.

The Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Krishna, located in Dwarka was originally built around 2,500 years ago but was destroyed by the Mughal rulers, and then was rebuilt in the 16th century. The temple is also the location of Sharda Peeth, one of the four peeths (religious centers) established by Adi Shankaracharya. The temple town famous as pilgrimage centre for Hindus has important temples, such as the Rukmini Devi temple, the Gomti Ghat and its temples, and the Beyt Dwarka. There is also a lighthouse at the land end point of Dwarka.

Dwaraka has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.

Geography[edit]

Dwarka, at the mouth of the Gulf of Kutch, on the western shore of the Okhamandal Peninsula, is on the right bank of the Gomti creek which rises from the Bhavda village at a place known as Mul-Gomti, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the east. It is now under the newly formed district of Devbhoomi Dwarka district in the western extremity of the Saurashtra peninsula, also known as the Kathiawar peninsula, facing the Arabian Sea.[1][2] Gomti creek was a harbour till the 19th century AD.[3]

Dwarka is well connected by air, rail and road transport. It is 131 kilometres (81 mi) by a State Highway from Jamnagar where there is an International Airport.[4] Dwarka railway station is on the Broad Gauge railway line that runs from Ahmedabad to Okha at a distance of about 137 kilometres (85 mi) from Jamnagar. Rajkot is 217 kilometres (135 mi) away from Rajkot and 378 kilometres (235 mi) from Ahmedabad. The road link is by the state highway that links with Jamnagar and Okha.[5]

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen-Geiger classification, Dwarka has a subtropical desert/low-latitude arid hot climate. The Holdridge life zones system of bioclimatic classification identifies Dwarka in or near the subtropical thorn woodland biome.[6] On the basis of 40 years of climatic data:[7] The average annual rainfall is 310 millimetres (12 in) spread over a rainy period of 29 days with rainfall limited to the months of June to September; the average maximum temperature is 31 °C (88 °F) with a maximum of 42 °C (108 °F) and an average minimum temperature is 15 °C (59 °F) with a minimum of 5 °C (41 °F); the average annual relative humidity is 72%, with a maximum of 80%.

Climate data for Dwarka
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33
(91)
35
(95)
38
(100)
41
(106)
42
(108)
37
(99)
35
(95)
31
(88)
39
(102)
39
(102)
37
(99)
33
(91)
42
(108)
Average high °C (°F) 25
(77)
26
(79)
27
(81)
29
(84)
31
(88)
31
(88)
30
(86)
29
(84)
29
(84)
30
(86)
30
(86)
27
(81)
28.7
(83.7)
Average low °C (°F) 15
(59)
17
(63)
21
(70)
24
(75)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
26
(79)
25
(77)
24
(75)
20
(68)
16
(61)
22.4
(72.5)
Record low °C (°F) 5
(41)
8
(46)
7
(45)
17
(63)
20
(68)
22
(72)
21
(70)
21
(70)
22
(72)
17
(63)
9
(48)
8
(46)
5
(41)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
50
(1.97)
170
(6.69)
60
(2.36)
30
(1.18)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
310
(12.2)
Avg. rainy days 0 0 0 0 0 4 11 6 3 0 0 0 24
Average relative humidity (%) 53 65 71 79 80 79 81 82 80 74 64 53 71.8
Source: Weatherbase[7]

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2001 Census of India,[8] Dwarka had a population of 33,614 (as per Census 2011, the population reported is 38,873[9]). Males constitute 53% of the population, and females constitute 47%. Dwarka has an average literacy rate of 64%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; the male literacy rate is 72%, and the female literacy rate is 55%. 13% of the population is under six years of age.[8] Dwarka is dominated by people from Ahir community.

Ancient History[edit]

Main article: Dvārakā
A Painting depicting Krishna's Dwarka made during Akbar's reign from the Smithsonian Institution.

Dwarka literally means the "gateway".[10] 'Dwar' means "gate" and 'Ka' means "Brahma" meaning "gateway to heaven". It is also called as "Mokshapuri", "Dwarkamati" and "Dwarkavati".[5] It also had a Roman language name "Bari". Dwarka finds mention in the ancient prehistoric epic period of the Mahabharata. In this period it was one of the two ports on the coast of Saurashtra, and Assyrian ships used it as a port of call on way to Iran.[11] According to ancient history of the Mahabharata times, Lord Krishna had settled down here after he defeated and killed his uncle Kamsa at Mathura.[10] It is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat.[4]

According to another version, in the Puranaic era, Dwarka was established as the capital in Saurashtra by the Aryans. The Yadavas, who had migrated from Mathura, established their kingdom here when the town which was known as Kaushathali was remodeled and named Dwarka.[12] In the mythical times Lord Krishna migrated from Mathura and settled in Dwarka, which fact is in ingrained in the culture of Gujarat.[13] Dwarka was then also known as the city of gold. A friendly population of Ahirs (who were settlers from the Central Asian region) also prompted Krishna to settle at Dwarka when he was forced by Jarasandha, the king of Magadh to run away from Mathura. The kingdom established by Krishna flourished and extended its domain. It was also known as the Ahir empire or the Yadav empire.[14] It is also inferred that Krishna had reclaimed 12 yojanas or 96 kilometres (60 mi) (8 kilometres (5.0 mi) per yojana) of land from the sea to create Dwarka.[3]

It is also said that Krishna used to conduct the administration of his kingdom from Dwarka while he resided with his family in Bet Dwarka.[15]

Archeological investigations[edit]

Archaeological investigations at Dwarka, both on shore and offshore in the Arabian Sea, have been conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India. The first investigations carried out on land in 1963 revealed many artifacts.[16]

The legend of Krishna has been proved partially by scientific marine archaeological investigations. The objective of the investigations conducted by the Marine Archaeology Unit of the National Institute of Oceanography and the Government of Gujarat was to reconstruct the history of maritime trade, ship-building and cultural status of ancient city of Dwarka of the prehistoric times. Excavations done at two sites on the seaward side of Dwarka brought to light submerged settlements, stone-built jetty of large size and triangular stone anchors with three holes. The settlements are in the form of exterior and interior walls, and fort bastions.[17] The final inference of these marine under water investigations is that “there was really a city which got submerged in Dwarka in 1500 BC and that the "architectural evidence and antiquities such as a seal and inscriptions go to indicate that it was the city of Mahabharata age”.[18]

From the Typological classification of the anchors it is inferred that Dwarka had flourished as a useful port resulting in maritime activities in the medieval period. However, the port city, which as also the religious capital, was sub-merged under the sea following the death of Lord Krishna.[3]

Early History[edit]

In 200 A.D, king Vasudev II of Dwarka was defeated by Mahakshatriya Rudradama. When Rudradama died his wife queen Dheeradevi invited his brother Pulumavi seeking guidance to rule. Rudradama had embraced Vaishnavism religion and worshiped Krishna at Dwarka. Vajranabha, his successor, had built a chhattri (an umbrella type monument) and deified an idol of Krishna in it.[19]

An epigraphic reference inscribed on a copper plate, dated 574 AD found in Palitana, ascribed to Garulaka Simhaditya, the son of Varahdas, the king of Dwarka, was the minister of Vallabhi under Maitraka, refers to Dwarka. The Greek writer of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea has also referred to a place called Baraca, which is interpreted as the present day Dwarka. A reference made in Ptolemy’s Geography identified Barake as an island in the Gulf of Kanthils, which has been inferred to mean Dwarka.[3]

One of the four dhams (religious seats) founded by Adi Shankaracharya (686-717) at the four corners of the country, as a monastic center when the mainstream Hinduism had not been accepted, is also a part of Dwarka temple complex.[20][4] In 885 AD, the then pontiff of Shreemad Jagatguru Shankaracharya peeth got the temple refurbished.[19]

Recent History[edit]

In 1241, Mohammad Shah invaded Dwarka and damaged the temple. During this battle five Brahmins, Virajee Thakar, Nathu Thakar, Karasan Thakar, Valjee Thakar, and Devasee Thakar, who fought against him, died and were honoured as martyrs. The shrine built in their honour, located near the temple, now has a Muslim name "Panch Peer".[19] During the Muslim rule, the Mughal emperors invaded Dwarka in 1372 and destroyed its ancient temples but the Jagat Mandir or the Dwarakadhisa temple was rebuilt later.[21]

Vallabha Acharya retrieved an idol of Dwarkadhish, which was revered by Rukmini, in a stepwell known as Savitri vav, which was hidden there during Muslim invasion. He installed it at Ladva village and in 1551 when Turk Aziz invaded Dwarka, the idol was shifted to Bet Dwarka island.[19]

Dwarka, along with Okhamandal region, was under the rule of Gaekwad of Baroda state during Indian rebellion of 1857. Later by joint offensive of the British, the Gaekwads and other princely states troops ousted the rebels and recaptured the region in 1859. A war occurred at Okhamandal in 1858 between the local Vaghers and the British. The Vaghers won the battle and ruled till September 1859. Later by joint offensive of the British, the Gaekwads and other princely states troops, Vaghers were ousted in 1859. During these operations led by Colonel Donovan, the temples, both in Dwarka and Bet Dwarka, suffered damages and the temple treasures were also looted. A complaint was made by the local people of Jamnagar, Porbander and Kutch, which was supported by the merchants of Bombay who were devotees of Vishnu, and there was wide spread publicity to the atrocities committed by the British. They sought restoration of the temples. The temples were restored and the looted properties returned.[22][23][24] In 1861, the temple was renovated by Maharaja Khanderao, when the British refurbished the shikara of the temple. Maharaja Gaikwad of Baroda got a golden pinnacle fixed on the shikara of the temple in 1958 when the then Pontiff Shankaracharya got the temple refurbished. Since 1960, the temple is maintained by the Government of India.[19]

Dwarka is one of 12 heritage cities across the country selected under the "HRIDAY Scheme or National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana" scheme of Government of India to develop civic infrastructure.[25]

Economy[edit]

Most of the revenue of Dwarka is derived from its pilgrimage status.[21] Its agricultural produce such as millets, ghee (clarified butter), oilseeds, and salt are transported from its port.[21] A long term development plan was proposed in 2011 with investment of Rs 830 million to refurbish the city of Dwarka and also build a bridge connecting the city with Okha and Bet Dwarka, and improve the sunset point.[26]

Industries[edit]

A wind farm power generation of 39.2 MW, operated near Dwarka by the AES Saurashtra Windfarms Pvt Ltd (ASW), is now run by Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL).[27] Dwarka's industrial development is concentrated in its cement factories.[21]

Landmarks[edit]

The holy town is a well known pilgrimage centre for Hindus as it has numerous temples with in the city and in close proximity. Some of the important temples and monuments are the Dwarakadhisa temple, the Rukmini Devi temple, the Gomti Ghat and its temples, the Beyt Dwarka, the Nageshwar Mandir and the Lighthouse.[1][28]

Dwarakadhisa temple[edit]

The Dwarakadheesh temple at Dwarka

The Dwarakadhisa temple, located in the heart of Dwarka, is also known as Jagat Mandir (meaning “Temple of the World”). It is a Vaishnava temple.[4] It was built by Raja Jagat Singh Rathore, hence it is called Jagat Mandir.[29] The temple is at an elevation of 12.19 metres (40.0 ft) above mean sea-level. It faces west. The temple layout consists of a garbhagriha (Nijamandira or Harigraha) and an antarala (an antechamber).[30] It is conjectured that this temple location is 2,500 years old where Lord Krishna had built his city and a temple. However, the existing temple is dated to 16th century. It is a five storied edifice built over 72 pillars (sandstone temple with 60 pillars is also mentioned[21]).[4][28] The original temple had been built by Krishna’s grandson over the Harigraha, the palace of Krishna. The temple has a main assembly hall.[1] There are two important entrances to the temple, one is the main entry door which is called the Moksha Dwar (meaning "Door to Salvation") and the exit door which is known as the Swarga Dwar (meaning: "Gate to Heaven").[28]

The main deity deified in the sanctum is of Dwarkadeesh, which is known as Trivikrama form of Vishnu and is depicted with four arms.[1] On the chamber to the left of the main altar is the deity of Balarama, elder brother of Lord Krishna. The chamber to the right houses the images of Pradyumna and Aniruddha, son and grandson of Krishna. In several shrines surrounding the central shrine there are images of Radha (Krishna's companion), Jambavati, Satyabhama, Lakshmi,[28] Devaki (Krishna’s mother), Madhav Raoji (another name for Krishna), Rukmini, Jugal Swaroop (name for Krishna), Lakshmi Narayana, and Sita.[1]

The temple spire rises to a height of 78 metres (256 ft) and a very large flag with symbols of Sun and Moon is hoisted on it.[28] The flag, triangular in shape, is of 50 feet (15 m) length. This flag is changed four times a day with a new one and Hindus pay a huge sum of money to hoist it by purchasing a new flag. The money received on this account is credited to the trust fund of the temple to meet the operation and maintenance expenses of the temple.[29]

According to a legend, Meera Bai, the princess cum saint, a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna merged with the deity at this temple.[4] Temple is open only to Hindus.[1] It is one of the Sapta Puri, the seven holy cities of India.[28]

The temple is also the location of Sharda Peeth, one of the four peeths (religious centers) established by Adi Shankaracharya (686-717) who pioneered unification of Hindu religious beliefs in the country. It is a four storied structure representing four peeths established by Shankaracharya in different parts of the country. There are paintings on the walls here depicting the life history of Shankaracharya while the dome has carvings of Lord Shiva in different postures.[4][29]

Rukmini Devi temple[edit]

Rukmini Devi Temple

The Rukmini Devi temple, dedicated to Rukmini, Krishna’s chief queen, is located in Bet Dwarka, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) away from Dwarka. The temple is said to be 2,500 years old but in its present form it is inferred to belong to the 12th century. It is a richly carved temple decorated with sculptures of gods and goddesses on the exterior with the sanctum housing the main image of Rukmini. Carved naratharas (human figures) and carved gajatharas (elephants) are depicted in panels at the base of the tower. An interesting legend is narrated to justify separate dwelling temples, far away from each other, for Rukmini and her husband Krishna. It is said that at the request of sage Durvasa (who was renowned for his short temper and bestowing curses) Krishna and Rukmini pulled a chariot taking sage Durvasa to their house for dinner. On the way, when Rukmini asked for water to quench her thirst, Krishna drew Ganges water, by prodding the ground with his toe, for her to drink. Rukmini quenched her thirst with the Ganges water. But Durvasa felt insulted as Rukmini did not have the courtesy to offer him water to drink. He, therefore, cursed her that she would live separately from her husband.[31]

Gomti Ghat[edit]

Gomti Ghat consists of steps leading to the Gomti creek, which is also a holy place for pilgrims to take a dip in the river to get rid of sins. The ghat has a number of small shrines dedicated to the Samudra (God of the Sea), Saraswati and Lakshmi.[4] Other notable temples in the ghat area are: The Samudra Narayana temple (also known as Sangam Narayana temple), which is at the confluence of the Gomti creek with the sea; the Chakra Narayana temple where there is stone with imprint of a chakra as a manifestation of Vishnu; the Gomati temple which has an idol of the river goddess Gomati said to have been brought to earth by sage Vasishta.[28]

Beyt Dwarka[edit]

Beyt Dwarka Coast

Beyt Dwarka, an island to the north of Dwarka, considered the original residence of Krishna, also spelled Bet Dwarka, is off the coast of Dwarka. It was the old port during the ancient times of Krishna before the Okha port was developed in Dwarka. The temple built here is credited to the religious Guru Vallabhacharya of the “Pushtimarg Sampradaya”. Rice is a traditional offering here to the deity as it is believed that Lord Krishna offered rice to his childhood friend Sudama. There are also smaller shrines here which are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Hanuman and Devi. [32][1] According to a legend Vishnu killed a demon on this island. There are now modern Krihna temples on the island.[1]

Hanuman Dandi temple[edit]

Hanuman Dandi temple is another notable temple located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away from Dwarka. The temple is deified with many images of Hanuman and his son Makardhwaja. The legend associated with the birth of a son to Hanuman, who is considered celibate, is that the sweat of Hanuman was consumed by a fish which then gave birth to a son named as Makardhwaja.[32]

Nageshwar Mandir[edit]

Nageshwar Mandir

Nageshwar Mandir is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (meaning radiant sign of The Almighty) is deified here in a subterranean cell.[33]

Lighthouse[edit]

There is lighthouse at the end point of the Dwarka peninsula, which provides a panoramic view of the holy city.[1] The radio beacon provided on this lighthouse tower is powered by a solar photovoltaic module.[34]

Other places[edit]

In Dwarka, there is a lake or tank called Gopi Talab on the western part of the city. A similar lake known as Gopi Chandan meaning "sandal paste from Gopi" is situated in Bet Dwarka; this mud is found in the bed of the lake. This fragrant mud is applied as a sanctity symbol by devout Hindus on their forehead.[15]

Festivals[edit]

Janmashtami is the main festival that is celebrated during August/September[35] with great fervor and piety as it was in the prehistoric times the abode of Lord Krishna. The festival is marked by night long celebrations to celebrate the birth of Krishna. Bhajans and sermons are part of the festivities. At midnight there is reenactment of Krishna's childhood in the form of Garba and Raas dances. On this occasion, the local boys create a pyramid and a young boy in the costume of Krishna climbs up this pyramid to strike a pot holding butter, an act which Krishna mischievously performed with the gopis.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bhargava 2006, p. 423.
  2. ^ Gaur, A.S.; Tripati, Sila. "Ancient Dwarka: Study Based On Recent Underwater Archaeological Investigation" (PDF). National Institute of Oceanography. pp. 56–58. Retrieved 11 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Special Section: Underwater Cultural Heritage: An ancient harbour at Dwarka: Study based on the recent underwater explorations" (PDF). Current Science Journal. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Desai 2007, p. 285.
  5. ^ a b "Dwarka Nagari -Introduction & Importance". Dwarkadish organization. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Dwarka Climate & Temperature". Dwarka.climatemps.com. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Dwarka Climate Record". Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  9. ^ "Dwarka Population Census 2011". Census2011.com. 
  10. ^ a b Sajnani 2001, p. 95.
  11. ^ Gajrani 2004, p. 192.
  12. ^ Apte 2012, p. 25, 37.
  13. ^ YājñikaSheth 2005, p. 3.
  14. ^ Yadava 2006, p. 160.
  15. ^ a b Pilgrim Places of India. Ocean Books. p. 36. ISBN 978-81-87100-41-6. 
  16. ^ Subramanian, T.S. (23 February 2007). "Significant finds at Dwaraka". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Singh 2008, p. 222.
  18. ^ Yadav 1999, pp. 26-27.
  19. ^ a b c d e "The Brief History of Trelokya Jagad Mandir". Official website of Dwarkadhish Organization. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  20. ^ Brockman 2011, p. 94.
  21. ^ a b c d e "Dwarka". Encylopedia Britannica. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  22. ^ Dharaiya 1970, p. 120.
  23. ^ "Gujarat During The Great Revolt: The Rebellion In Okhmandal". XXXIissue= 40. People's Democracy. 7 October 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  24. ^ Yājñika & Sheth 2005, pp. 94-95.
  25. ^ "Government to develop 12 heritage cities; blueprint by 2017". DNAIndia. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Gujarat draws 34 proposals to boost tourism". Rediff.com. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  27. ^ "Tata Power acquires 39.2 MW wind farm in Gujarat". The Hindu Business Line. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f g Bansal 2008, p. 20-23.
  29. ^ a b c Bandyopadhyay 2014, p. 71.
  30. ^ Paramāra 1996, p. 87.
  31. ^ "Jamnagar". Government of Gujarat Tourism. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  32. ^ a b Desai 2007, p. 286.
  33. ^ Deshpande 2005, p. 273.
  34. ^ Sah 1995, p. 27.
  35. ^ Bhargava 2006, p. 425.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]