On Sept 13th 2023, we were blessed to receive Dwarkadhish’s blessings at his Mandir in Dwarka….Bhagwan Krishna established his kingdom here in Dwarka and ruled from here, hence his name is Dwarkadhish. This mandir is the 104th Divya Desam for the followers of Vishnu. Do read my earlier blogpost – 108 Divya Desams for context. Krishna’s great grandson Vajranabh built this mandir first.
The Dwarkadhish mandir is also called the Jagat Mandir, with no parallel anywhere in the whole world. Of the seven moksha sthals (where one can get liberated from the cycle of life and death), this is the most important one. The Gopuram or Shikara or spire of the Mandir shows seven floors/levels denoting the saptapuris Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Haridwar), Kashi, Avantika (Ujjain), Kanchipuram, and Dwarka.
Entering the Mandir
There are two entrances – Swarg Dwar and Moksha Dwar. Swarg Dwar is from the Gomti river front and has 56 steps denoting the 56 crore Yadavas who were martyred in the Mahabharata war.
We entered from the Moksha Dwar and came out from the Swarg Dwar.
The taxi dropped us off about 500 metres from the place where we had to leave our phones, keys, shoes etc. There is a single queue for the locker facility where you drop off the phones and keys and it’s badly managed. It was hot and humid with everyone trying to jostle their way ahead of you. Several pandits were around trying to offer their services.
We managed to deposit our phones and then left our foot wear in the adjoining room before getting into a queue to enter the Mandir. Found a Pandit ji who agreed to show us the mandir without making us pay at every stage. A strange thing in all the temples in Gujarat is the separate queues for men and women in temples.
After all three of us went through the security check, we met the Pandit Ji at the entrance of the mandir.
Dwarkadhish Mandir Temple Complex
When you enter from the Moksha Dwar, the first temple to your right is the Kusheshvar Mahadev. Dwarka was known as Kushasthali. Kusha was a rakshasa (loose translation demon) who was a Shiv Bhakt. Mahadev granted him a boon that he cannot be killed. When Krishna wanted to establish his Kingdom in Dwarka, he simply pushed Kusha under the ground and placed a Shivling on top of his head.
It is believed this temple is where this incident occurred. So all devotees pay their respects to Kusheshwar Mahadev first. Next on the left is Krishna’s kulguru Sage Durvasa’s mandir. Sage Durvasa had cursed Rukmini to stay away from Krishna for 12 years because she drank water without taking his permission. The legend is that Krishna and Rukmini went and requested Sage Durvasa to come and reside in Dwarka.
He agreed on one condition that they pulled his chariot. Rukmini felt thirsty and Krishna brought Maa Ganga to quench her thirst by digging his toe on the ground. That enraged Sage Durvasa and hence the curse.
There is a beautiful mandir a short distance from the Dwarkadhish Mandir dedicated to Rukmini.
Getting HIS Darshan
On Sept 13th, the Dwarkadhish mandir was crowded !! Luckily, our Pandit-guide helped Amma and me go in the opposite direction of the queue and get Dwarkadhish’s darshan. He did the same for Krishnan. If we had stood in the queue, we probably would have taken 30 to 45 minutes to get His darshan.
My beloved Krishna stood there as the King of Dwarka … this murti is the one that Rukmini prayed to and Meera merged with. It’s said that Meera went into the garbha griha singing and disappeared. Her saree was found wrapped around Dwarkadhish. I just love that story and am sure it happened just that way. The same way that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared at the Jagannath mandir…
We then visited some of the other temples like the pattarani Mahal with smaller temples dedicated to Jambavanti, Radha Rani, Laxmi Narayan, Utsava Murti Gopal Krishna, Lakshmi and Mahalakshmi, Satyabhama and Saraswati. There is a temple dedicated to Krishna’s mother Devaki and to his son and grandson – Pradyumna and Anirudh.
Dhwaja at Dwarkadhish Mandir
The dhwaja or flag on top of the shikara at the Dwarkadhish mandir has a legend all of its own. It’s changed 6 times during the day.
The dhwaja is exactly 52 “gaj” or 40 metres in length. The number 52 denotes – 27 nakshatras (stars), 12 rashis, 4 directions and 9 planets (Navagrahas). Devotees can pay and get their dhwaja to be put up on the shikara, but there is a waiting period of two years.
We got to watch the Dhwaja being changed when we were inside the temple complex.
Watch a short video that Krishnan captured while driving to Beyt Dwarka, to see the Dhwaja fluttering ! Do subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more such videos.
Mandir and its Surroundings
We exited the temple through the Swarg Dwar by descending the 56 steps. We then walked around towards the locker room. The outer perimeter was a huge disappointment. It was dirty with cow dung and people spitting everywhere :(. As it had rained the previous night, there was also slush. Since we didn’t have our shoes on, our soles got really dirty.
There are hundreds of tiny shops selling trinkets … I wonder why shops are allowed inside temples. It crowds the place and leads to all sorts of garbage !
The locker room was again a huge disappointment because there is just a single queue to deposit and retrieve your phones etc. We just stood in the hot sun till our turn came. I came away feeling that the Dwarkadhish mandir was being neglected. Also am upset with my fellow devotees. We don’t need a Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan to clean up our temples. Why can’t we keep them clean ?
Anyway, getting Dwarkadhish’s darshan was a special moment …. I was coming to his Kingdom after 35 years and with Krishnan. Very special indeed.
Jai Dwarkadhish ! Radhe Krishna !