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 Hindu theologian 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.
The main temple at Dwarka, situated on Gomti creek, is known as jagat mandir (universal shrine) or trilok sundar (the most beautiful in all the three worlds). Originally believed to be built by Vajranabh, the great grandson of Lord Krishna, more than 2500 years ago, it is a glorious structure seeming to rise from the waters of the Arabian Sea. Its exquisitely carved shikhar, reaching 43 m high and the huge flag made from 52 yards of cloth, can be seen from as far away as 10 km. The grandeur of the temple is enhanced by the flight of 56 steps leading to the rear side of the edifice on the side of the river Gomti. The temple is built of soft limestone and consists of a sanctum, vestibule and a rectangular hall with porches on three sides. There are two gateways: swarga dwar (gate to the heavens), where pilgrims enter, and moksha dwar (gate to liberation), where pilgrims exit.
The lower part of the Dwarkadhish temple is from the 16th century and the soaring steeple with its numerous clusters of small towers is from the 19th century. The main part of the temple has five storeys, reaching to a height of over 100 feet. The exquisite carvings on its exterior display daring eroticism, a multi-layered mythic intensity and extraordinary continuity of design. In contrast, the interior of the temple is striking in its simplicity, with the only exception being the elaborate ornamentation around the shrine to the idol of Dwarkadhish.
Inside, the sanctuary is a hive of voices, colors, incense and movement. With faith, for many it can also transform into a space of inner silence and unity with the divine.
Features of the temple
1.Stairs leading up to the Main Entrance, of Dwarakadheesh temple, Dwarka
2.The flag atop the temple shows the sun and moon.
3.The flag is changed from 5 times a day, but the symbol remains the same.
4.The temple is a five-story structure built on seventy-two pillars.
5.The temple spire is 78.3m high.
6.The temple is constructed of limestone which is still in pristine condition.
7.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.
SHREE DWARKADHISH TEMPLE MORNING TIMINGS
Morning 7.00 Mangla Arti
7.00 to 8.00 Mangla Darshan
8.00 to 9.00 Abhishek Pooja (Snan vidhi) : Darshan closed
9.00 to 9.30 Shringar Darshan
9.30 to 9.45 Snanbhog : Darshan closed
9.45 to 10.15 Shringar Darshan
10.15 to 10.30 Shringarbhog : Darshan closed
10.30 to 10.45 Shringar Arti
11.05 to 11.20 Gwal Bhog Darshan closed
11.20 to 12.00 Darshan
12.00 to 12.20 Rajbhog : Darshan closed
12.20 to 12.30 Darshan
12.30 Anosar : Darshan closed
SHREE DWARKADHISH TEMPLE EVENING TIMINGS
5.00 Uthappan First Darshan
5.30 to 5.45 Uthappan Bhog Darshan closed
5.45 to 7.15 Darshan
7.15 to 7.30 Sandhya Bhog Darshan closed
7.30 to 7.45 Sandhya Arti
8.00 to 8.10 Shayanbhog Darshan closed
8.10 to 8.30 Darshan
8.30 to 8.35 Shayan Arti
8.35 to 9.00 Darshan
9.00 to 9.20 Bantabhog and Shayan : Darshan closed
9.20 to 9.30 Darshan
How to get there
By road: Dwarka is on the state highway from Jamnagar to Dwarka. Direct buses available from Jamnagar and Ahmedabad.
By rail: Dwarka is a station on the Ahmedabad-Okha broad gauge railway line, with trains connecting it to Jamnagar (137 km), Rajkot (217 km) and Ahmedabad (471 km), and some trains that continue all the way down the coast through Vadodara, Surat, Mumbai, Goa, Karnataka, to the southern tip of India in Kerala.
By air: Nearest airport is Jamnagar (137 km).