Dwarka – the city chronologically significant to the life of Krishna. The city that submerged in the sea and an era was over. The original city of Dwarka may not still be here but the land where Krishna once walked and lived and ruled is still here. If you are planning a quick getaway from Ahmedabad or wish to experience the fervor of Janmashtami in the most soulful way then head to Dwarka.
Janmashtami in Dwarka is a celebration of not only the birth of Krishna. But his way of life. His Wisdom and Life’s Path. And this is what you can witness in this holy land.
Dwarka – The Land for the Soul’s Salvation
Dwarka – the name itself means the doorway leading to salvation; the Moksha Dwar. It was the land Krishna chose as his capital. It is where he played the last leg of his ‘Leela’. It is said he left for the abode at the end of his Krishna Avatar from Dwarka.
The town is a part of the Char Dham Yatra and considered a must-visit pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime for every practicing Hindu.
The town itself is small but the main temple and Krishna’s life here makes it significant. It is beautiful though with the views of the sea and the beaches. The chimes of the temple bells and the smell of incense wafting in the air can feel comforting. This small town in Gujarat, on the coast, is a place that fills the faithful with adoration for the role Krishna played here on earth and for his life’s story. You can see Krishna’s beloved cows on the streets of Dwarka and they own the land but never claiming it. Silent and Observant. Or Silent and Nonchalance. But the devotion in their eyes is there for all to see.
Janmashtami in Dwarka – the Celebratory Spirit
Janmashtami in Dwarka is different than the festivities for the same in Mathura and Vrindavan. Unlike the excitement and intensity of the festival in the lands of Krishna’s youth; the Dwarka celebrations are subdued in comparison. But the passion is not lacking. The devotion here matches with the devotees elsewhere. The difference is only in the vibrations of the land and it matches with the celebratory ardency. As one of the main festivals of India, Janmashtami is celebrated in Hindu households as well as in temples big and small across the country. But this day’s festivities can take on a different garb when one is in the holy land of Dwarka.
The celebrations are held in the Shree Dwarkadhish Temple; the main temple in Dwarka. The usual everyday rituals go on as usual even on Janmashtami with a few variations. But as the evening progresses and the midnight hour approaches, the devotees know that they will not only see the idol dressed in gold and other fineries. But they will also be able to see their lord manifest as the Bal Gopal. Once the nightly rituals are done, the Bal Gopal idol is placed in a jhoola and devotees can get a glimpse of Krishna as a child.
How to reach Dwarka:
You can fly to Ahmedabad and then travel via road to reach Dwarka. The drive is long as the distance between Dwarka and Ahmedabad is around 440 km via NH947. Alternatively, you can take a train to Dwarka from Ahmedabad or other places such as Rajkot or Junagarh in Gujarat.
Where to stay in Dwarka:
Dwarka has a range of accommodation options such as luxury hotels, homestays, and resorts.
What are the other attractions in Dwarka:
While in town, you can explore other attractions such as the Dwarka Beach, Beyt Dwarka, Dunny Point, Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Rukmini Devi Temple, Sudama Setu, Gomti Ghat, Shivrajpur Beach, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir etc. There are number of other beautiful beaches in and around Dwarka.
The famous Nageshwar Temple (one of 12 Jyotirlingas in India) is nearby (around 15 kms) and is a must-visit for devotees.
If you are keen on experiencing the beauty of Janmashtami in Dwarka this year (on 18th August; with celebrations ending on 19th August) then a quick trip to the place is still possible. If not then you can plan to attend next year’s celebrations. You can book flights to Ahmedabad months ahead.