Dwarka is a municipality of Devbhoomi Dwarka District in the state of Gujrat in northwestern India. It is located on the western shore of the Okhamandal Peninsula on the right bank of the Gomti River. In 2011, it had a population of 38,873. It is one of the foremost Chardhams, four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites. It is one of the Sapta Puri, the seven most ancient religious cities in the country. This place is often identified with the Dwarka Kingdom, the ancient kingdom of Krishna. It is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat.
The city’s Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Krishna was originally built around 2,500 years ago, but was destroyed by Mahmud Begada rulers and subsequently rebuilt in the 16th century. The temple is also the location of Dwarka Matha, also called Sharda Matha/Peeth and “western peeth”, one of the four peeths (Sanskrit: “religious center”) established by Adi Shankaracharya. As an important pilgrimage center for Hindus, Dwarka has several notable temples, including Rukmini Devi Temple, Gomti Ghat, and Bet-Dwarka. There is also a lighthouse at the land end point of Dwarka.
The city’s economy relies heavily on pilgrims and tourism but is supplemented by the production of Millets, ghee (clarified butter), Oilseeds, and salt, which are transported from its port. A long-term development plan was proposed in 2011 by the Government of Gujrat, with an investment of Rs 830 million to refurbish the city and build a bridge connecting the city with Okha and Bet-Dwarka. Janmashtami is the main festival that is celebrated during August and September. Sharda Peeth Vidya Sabha is an educational society sponsored by the Sharda Peeth, Dwarka which runs an arts college in Dwarka. The city was selected as a heritage city by the Indian government’s Heritage City and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) initiative.
Archaeological investigations at Dwarka, both onshore and offshore in the Arabian Sea, have been performed by the Archaeological Survey of India. The first investigations carried out on land in 1963 revealed many artifacts. Excavations done at two sites on the seaward side of Dwarka brought to light submerged settlements, a large stone-built jetty, and triangular stone anchors with three holes. The settlements are in the form of exterior and interior walls and fort bastions. From the typological classification of the anchors, it is inferred that Dwarka had flourished as a port during the period of the Middle kingdoms of India.Coastal erosion was probably the cause of the destruction of what was an ancient port.
Dwarka is mentioned in the copper inscription dated 574 AD of Simhaditya, the Maitraka dynasty minister of Vallabhi. He was the son of Varahdas, the king of Dwarka. The nearby Bet Dwarka island is a religious pilgrimage site and an important archaeological site of the Late Harappan period, with one thermoluminescence date of 1570 BC.
the artifacts found in the sunken city of Dwarka
The artifacts found in the Arabian sea which show evidence of submerged city of Dwarka.
Mythology behind Dwarka: ( Land of lord Krishna )
According to Hindu mythology, Dwaraka was a city where Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, once lived. It is believed that Krishna was born in Mathura, just south of Delhi in the modern state of Uttar Pradesh. His uncle, Kansa, was the tyrannical ruler of this city and was eventually killed by Krishna. Kansa’s father-in-law, who was Jarasandh, the king of Magadha, was furious when he heard of Kansa’s murder, and tried to avenge his death.
Although Mathura was attacked 17 times, it did not fall to Jarasandh. Nevertheless, his clan, the Yadavs, suffered heavy losses over the course of the lengthy conflict. As Krishna realized that his people would not be able to withstand another war with Jarasandh, he decided to leave Mathura with the Yadavs.
Mythological Fact number 2
In one version of the story, Krishna was said to have been brought by Garuda (the mount of Vishnu) to the coast of Saurashtra in north-western India. It was there that Krishna founded this city. In another version of the story, Krishna invoked Vishwakarma, the deity of construction, when he decided to build his new city. The deity, however, informed him that the task could only be completed if Samudradev, the Lord of the Sea, provided some land. Krishna worshipped Samudradev, who was pleased, and gave him 12 yojanas (773 square km/298.5 square miles) of land. With the land granted, Vishwakarma was then able to build the city of Dwarka.
Krishna lived for the rest of his life in this newly-built city. Nonetheless, after being accidentally shot by an arrow whilst meditating under a tree in a forest at Bhalka Tirtha, Krishna departed from this world. After Krishna’s death, the city he founded was swallowed up by a massive flood, thus returning it to the ocean. It is said that over the centuries, a number of civilizations built their cities in the area where the holy city once stood. The present city of Dwarka is believed to be the seventh one that was built there.