India is a land of different beliefs and cultures. Also many places of religious importance in the country are visited by devotees from all over the country. It is said in the Hindu faith, a person can attain eternal freedom when he visits all the four Dhams or the Divine Abodes. Hindu scriptures also say that one should visit the seven Sacred Cities throughout one’s life to attain Moksha.
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Dwarka is considered one of the Seven Sacred Cities and also one of the four Holy Places. This legendary city was the abode of Lord Krishna after he killed his Uncle Kansa and came here with his family and the rest of the Yadava clan. One legend says that the city was submerged in the sea six times and the present town is the seventh city to be built.
Lord Vishwakarma, who was the architect of the Gods, built this city. From the scriptures and excavations found, it is assumed that Dwarka was a planned city with many palaces and other facilities used by the public. The modern town of Dwarka is located in the Jamnagar district of the state of Gujarat in India and is at the confluence of the Gomati River and Gulf of Kutch. It is in this city that the Gomati River joins the sea. Dwarka is also the western extreme of the country.
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This city is not visited by many international tourists as it is located in the farthest corner of the country. But Dwarka is popular among Hindus and therefore many followers of the religion come and try to achieve salvation from the cycle of life and death. Since it is a place of pilgrimage, therefore the town is full of temples of Krishna, Rukmini, Shiva and other Gods.
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But the most popular attractions in the city can be classified as:
Dwarkadheesh Temple (Jagat Mandir): One of the most important places of worship in Dwarka is the Dwarkadheesh Temple which has Lord Krishna as the ruling deity. It is also called Jagat Mandir and is said to be built on a Vishwakarma day.
This temple is built of limestone and sand and is one of the most visited tourist spots. It has a plinth area of 188 square feet and the temple is supported by 60 columns made of limestone and granite. The entrance has an entrance from the north and this gate is called Moksha dwar and the exit is from the southern side named Swarg Dwaar indicating that it is towards heaven. This gate leads to the banks of the Gomati River which joins the sea here.
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Rukmini Devi temple: This temple is dedicated to Rukmi9ni Devi, the wife of Lord Krishna. It is a 12th century masterpiece with beautiful paintings and intricate carved walls. One of the legends states that the venerable Sage Durvasa cursed Rukmini saying that he would separate from Lord Krishna and that is why his temple was outside the town’s perimeter, while Lord Krishna was living inside. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions.
Bet Dwarka: A visit to Dwarka will remain half done if one does not visit Bet Dwarka which is an island at a distance of 30 kilometers away from the Port of Okha. It is separated by a 4 kilometer sea. There are temples of Vishnu, Radha, Laxmi, Satyabhama and devaki on this beautiful island. It also has an almost untouched beach that is not visited by many but is a treasure in terms of aquatic plants and avian population.
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Somnath Temple: Somnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and a place of religious importance. Devotees from far and wide visit this temple while they are in Dwarka.
Thus, a person seeking salvation from the cycle of life and death should definitely visit this place and achieve the true experience of the Abode of the Gods.
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