Dwarka, known as Dvaraka in ancient scriptures, is a city steeped in profound significance within Hindu mythology and history. This enigmatic city, associated with Lord Krishna, has piqued the interest of historians, archaeologists, and devotees for centuries due to its unique tale. Dwarka, believed to have been created by Lord Krishna himself, is said to have submerged beneath the waters of the Arabian Sea following the deity’s departure.
The city of Dwarka was situated at the confluence of the River Gomti and the Arabian Sea. According to legend, Lord Krishna, rather than being the king of Dwarka, was its divine architect. He sought 12 yojans (a unit of distance) of land from Samudra, the ocean god, to establish the city. In a remarkable gesture, the ocean god granted Krishna the requested land, previously known as Kushasthali, and it was subsequently renamed Dwaravati or Dwarka.
Dwarka’s ancient splendor, often referred to as the Golden City, was elevated by Lord Krishna’s presence. His association with the city attracted pilgrims from far and wide in ancient times, a tradition that endures to this day. For Krishna’s followers, modern-day Dwarka stands as a vital pilgrimage destination.
However, the fate of Dwarka took a somber turn following Lord Krishna’s exit from the earthly realm. His departure marked the conclusion of the Dvapara Yuga and the advent of the Kali Yuga, often called the Age of Kali. With the onset of this era, the city of Dwarka is believed to have submerged beneath the waves, taking its residents with it.
Debate surrounds the veracity of this submersion, with some scholars proposing that it may be symbolic rather than literal. While some insist that the sea indeed engulfed the city, others view it as a metaphorical transition. The notion that Dwarka was a port city suggests that natural factors, such as coastal erosion, may have contributed to its submersion over time.
The mystery of Dwarka, both as a thriving ancient city and its eventual submersion, has spurred numerous archaeological expeditions along the Indian coastline. These ventures have unveiled submerged walls that once fortified the city, along with pottery, sculptures, and various artifacts.
In the present day, Dwarka endures as a revered center of spiritual pilgrimage. The renowned Dwarkadhish Temple, also known as Jagat Mandir, stands as a testament to its enduring spiritual significance, drawing devotees and explorers alike to this fascinating and mystical destination.