Dwarka is situated towards the western-most part of the Indian state of Gujarat. Located on the tip of the Saurashtra peninsula on the Arabian Sea, Dwarka was once referred to as the Golden City. Dwaraka has remarkable significance as per Hindu lore since the place is categorised under both the Chardham sites and the sapta-puris (seven sacred cities).
The name Dwarka that came from two words dwara (door) and ka (Brahma) stood for gateway to the spiritual union with Brahma. Dwarka is one of the ancient cities of India with a history that dates back to the 1500 BC and is linked to the ancient Hindu texts like the Gita and Puranas. Dwarka is associated with the life of Lord Krishna, who is believed to be one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
According to legend, Dwarka was submerged in water after the death of Lord Krishna and the demise of the Yadava Dynasty. The present-day Dwarka was the Kushasthali of the ancient times which enjoyed a proud spot along the Saurashtra coast. It is believed that Dwarka was rebuilt six times by different civilisations and the present-day Dwarka is the 7th one.
The search for the lost city of Dwarka commenced in the early 1930s. Archeologists of the Marine Archeology Unit (MAU) discovered the immersed township of Dwarka during their explorations which were conducted in 1983 1990.
This submerged township was built in six sectors and its general layout corresponded to the descriptions of the golden city of Dwarka as mentioned in the ancient texts. Copper coins, foundations of boulders, old constructions, pottery samples, etc. that date back to around 1500 BC were also excavated.
Present-day Dwarka sits on the right side of the river banks of the Gomati. Dwarka is a renowned historical and religious site and has the Dwarkadheesh Temple or Jagat Temple, which was built more than 2000 years ago. The Dwarkadheesh temple of Dwarka, built as per ancient Hindu architecture, is a five storey, ornate temple that rests on 60 pillars.
Nageshwar Mahadev, Rukmini Temple, Bhalka Tirth, Gomati Ghat Temples, etc. are some other popular pilgrim spots in Dwarka. Dwarka is also the seat of Adi Shankaracharya, who established four maths in four different parts of India. The Sharada Peetha of Dwarka is a famous research centre of Sanskrit language.