From paying a visit to highly revered temples and exploring the pristine beaches Dwarka has plenty of things in store for all kinds of travelers. This historic city reflects devotion to Lords in its various temples and different design principles.
Fondly called Dwarkadish, the presiding deity here is Lord Krishna. This ornate temple finds mention in the Hindu scriptures and is one of the most important Divya Desams. The flag that flutters high on its shikhara is changed by members of a Brahmin community five times a day.
1. Dwarkadheesh Temple
Dwarkadheesh Temple, also known as Jagat Mandir, is a magnificent temple that is more than a millennium old. It is a part of Sapta Puri and one of the four pilgrimage sites in India.
The massive five-storied temple is built in compliance with the Chalukyan and North Indian Nagara architecture styles. It is shaped like a huge chariot and supported by 72 mighty pillars.
During various festivals, people from across the country visit Dwarkadheesh temple to seek Lord Krishna’s blessings. The most popular festival celebrated here is Janmashtami.
2. ISKCON Temple
Located in the Rajajinagar area, ISKCON Temple is an auspicious shrine of Lord Krishna. It is a part of the Hare Krishna Movement organisation founded by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The society aims to spread the messages of the Bhagavad Gita worldwide and encourages its followers to practise bhakti yoga, a form of devotional worship.
It follows the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradaya, a monotheistic tradition within the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its philosophy is based on the Sanskrit texts of the Bhagavad-gita and Bhagavat Purana or Srimad Bhagavatam.
3. Rukmini Devi Temple
Dedicated to Rukmini, the Chief Queen of Lord Krishna, this temple is 2 km away from Jagat Mandir in Dwarka. The legend behind the temple states that once Rukmini and her husband invited sage Durvasha to dinner. On the way, she was thirsty and prodded her foot into the ground to draw water but drank it without offering it to the sage.
He was angered and cursed her that she would live apart from her husband. The temple has intricately carved exteriors and the inner sanctum houses an idol of Goddess Rukmini.
4. Sudama Setu Bridge
Named after Sudama, Lord Krishna’s childhood friend, the stunning bridge is a major landmark of Dwarka. It connects the Jagat Mandir on the mainland to the sacred Panchkui teerth on an island that has strong connections with the Pandava brothers of Mahabharata.
The temple’s awe-inspiring spire rises to 78 meters. It is a spectacular sight to behold and is the center of many different types of aarti rituals throughout the year.
The beach features long stretches of soft, inviting sand and is perfect for a stroll or a peaceful sunset. It’s also a great place to soak up mesmerizing sea views.
5. Nageshvara Jyotirlinga Temple
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is home to one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India. The temple features a 25-m statue of Lord Shiva, a huge garden, and a pond. The lingam here resembles a tri-mukhi rudraksha and Goddess Parvati is worshipped along with Lord Shiva.
The temple also has a portrait of legendary music producer Gulshan Kumar, who funded its current structure. This is one of the most revered places in Dwarka and is visited by many devotees. It is open throughout the year. October and March are shoulder seasons, when you can enjoy the spiritual atmosphere without battling crowds.
6. Chandra-Mouliswar Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Chandra-Mouliswar Temple is amongst the most beautiful places in Dwarka. It enshrines a powerful Jyotirlinga and has a number of other stunning features including a 43 m high Shikhar. From the swarga dwar (gate to heaven), pilgrims enter the temple while from moksha dwar (gate to liberation), they exit.
Located on a small hillock in the Arabian Sea, this revered temple is behind Geeta Mandir and is dedicated to Chandra Mouliswar Shiva. During high tide, this temple gets surrounded by water but reaching here is easy during the time of ebb.
7. Panchnad Pond
Those who visit this place get liberated from their sins and they go to Rudraloka after death. It is a holy site in Kurukshetra. The water of Sutlej, Beas, Ravi and Jhelum are combined together at this spot to form Panchnad River.
The united stream Chandrabhaga flows in northwest direction till Wular Lake and then enters Pakistan through Shipki La pass cutting a deep gorge. It flows further to the south in Kashmir and then enters Pakistani Punjab and finally joins Satluj in a region called Panchnad.
8. Okha Madhi Beach
Okha Madhi Beach is a must-visit for anyone visiting Dwarka. This pristine beach, dotted with a Turtle Breeding Centre, offers visitors an unforgettable experience of serenity. It is also famous for its irresistible sunset that paints the sky in multiple colors.
This temple dedicated to Rukmini Devi offers a poetic departure from the Krishna-centric narratives typically associated with Dwarka. Visit it for a rejuvenating and spiritual experience as you hear the eloquent story of the untold love affair between Krishna and Rukmini. The temple’s architecture is awe-inspiring as well.
9. Sunset Point
A lighthouse that overlooks the Arabian Sea and Dwarka city, Sudama Setu is one of the top attractions in Dwarka. A visit here can be clubbed with a trip to the nearby Bhadkeshwar Temple.
This simple but serene temple is dedicated to the holy text of India, Bhagavad Gita. Located close to the beach, this beautiful temple aims at preserving and propagating the values of the scripture. This place is also known for its stunning sunset views. Spend a golden evening here with your loved ones.
10. Swaminarayan Mandir
The temple complex is home to a number of shrines and halls dedicated to Hindu deities. The highlight is the mandir, a place of worship that honors Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his teachings.
It is a place where devotees can meditate, learn, and experience the sanctity of the divine. The introductory film notes that Swaminarayan emphasized devotion over detachment (vairagya) to foster love for God.
Visitors are welcome to participate in a prayer ritual known as aarti. During this time, the temple asks that visitors cover their shoulders and knees to preserve its spiritual ambience.