Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Nearest City to Dwarka: Jamnagar (130 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Dwarka: October to March
Peak Season: November to February
At a distance of 30 km from Okha, 105 km from Porbandar, 130 km from Jamnagar, 208 km from Junagadh, 224 km from Rajkot, 233 km from Somnath, 294 km from Amreli, 344 km from Gandhidham, 388 km from Bhuj, 442 km from Ahmedabad, and 512 km from Vadodara, Dwarka is an ancient city situated on the banks of Gomti River in the northwestern Indian state of Gujarat. Dwarka is one of the most significant Hindu places of pilgrimage in India and among the must include places in your Gujarat tour packages.
Located on the western tip of Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat, Dwarka is popularly known as the 'home of Lord Krishna' and is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat. Also, Dwarka is one of the foremost Char Dhams for Hindus and among the seven most ancient religious cities (sapta puris) in India. The literal meaning of Dwarka is the 'gateway to heaven' in Sanskrit, as Dwar means gate and ka refers to Lord Brahma. For this reason, the town attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year and reverberates with spiritual holiness.
Earlier called as Mokshapuri, Kusahasthali and Dwarkavati, Dwarka has been mentioned in the ancient epic Mahabharata. According to legend, the town is described as the capital of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna killed cruel king Kansa at Mathura. To avenge Kansa's death Jarasandh, the father-in-law of Kansa, attacked Krishna's kingdom 17 times and in order to avoid further clashes Lord Krishna shifted his capital from Mathura to Dwarka, a city specifically created by Vishwakarma, the Hindu god of architecture on 12 yojanas (96 sq. km) of land that was blessed by the sea god.
It is believed that the city of Dwarka was submerged by the ocean after the death of Krishna. It is said that the city was rebuilt six times and the present city is the seventh one. There are also some archaeological signs to support the belief that the ancient Dwarka lies buried under the present Dwarka and extended up to Beyt Dwarka in the north, Okhamadhi in the south, and Pindara in the east. The recent underwater study on the coastal water of Dwarka by the ASI reveals the existence of a city dated to the 2nd millennium BC. The search for the lost city was going on since 1930's. The excavation work carried between 1983 and 1990 revealed that a township was built in six sectors. A fortified wall, extending more than half a mile has also been unearthed.
The present day Dwarka is a prominent pilgrimage site which boasts of several shrines. Among the temples, the 2000-year-old Dwarkadhish temple is the most notable one and is also the location of Dwarka Peeth, also called Sharada Peeth, one of the four peeths established by Adi Shankaracharya. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Gomti Ghat, Rukmani Devi Temple, Beyt Dwarka, Gopi Talav, Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir and Swaminarayan Temple are some of the important pilgrimage places to visit in Dwarka. Besides its temples, the city is also popular for its beaches like Dwarka Beach, Shivrajpur Beach and Okhamadhi Beach. Scuba diving is the most popular activity for those who want to see the underwater remains of Dwarka.
Being a holy town, Dwarka boasts of several accommodation options ranging from dharamshalas to guest houses, mid-range hotels and luxury hotels. All the hotels are located in close proximity to the Dwarkadheesh temple. The dining facilities in the Dwarka are varied in nature. Predominantly vegetarian in nature, the cuisine here is replete with all the goodies of the Gujarati kitchen. The special Gujarati Thali is a must among every tourist.
Jamnagar Airport is the nearest airport which is about 126 km from Dwarka and has direct flights from Mumbai. Dwarka Railway Station is well connected by trains with Okha, Tuticorin, Guwahati, Gorakhpur, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Somnath, Allahabad, Varanasi, Puri, Rameswaram, jaipur, Bhavnagar, Kochi, Howrah, Nathdwara, and Viramgam. Dwarka has well road connectivity with Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Amreli, Porbandar, Somnath, Gandhidham, Bhuj, Gandhinagar, Baroda, Bhavnagar, Surat, Jamnagar, and Junagadh.
The ideal time to visit Dwarka is from October to March while the peak season is from November to February when the city experiences cold winters. If you specifically want to participate in the grand festivities of Janmashtami Festival, visiting the town during August and September will be eventful. The entire city comes alive during this time and thousands of people travel to Dwarka to visit the temple and participate in the fair. Besides, Holi, Navratri and Rath Yatra are the other festivals celebrated in Dwarka with great enthusiasm.