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Unexplored beauties of Dwarka

By Ranjani Sastry

Dwarka or the kingdom of Lord Krishna is a sacred pilgrimage site for Hindus all over the country. But did you know: there are many unexplored tourist beauties within the great Dwarka Nagri. With the onset of winters, this is the ideal time to visit this Devbhoomi in Gujarat. So, let’s explore some options.

Chhappan Sidhi ghat

Chhappan Sidhi Ghat

Near the glorious Dwarkadhish temple is situated this heritage ghat. The name Chhappan Sidhi is derived from the 56 stairs which the visitors have to climb down from the Swarga dwar to reach the Gomti bank. River Gomti is believed to be the daughter of the Sage Vashishtha and a dip in this river washes away the sins as also gives you a soothing feel. River Gomti is a rare tidal river, where the Arabian Sea mingles into the river at regular intervals. Once you have taken the holy dip you are ready to enter the temple sanctum.

  • Boat rides: Available from 9 AM – 4 PM. The fares are Rs. 20 per head.
  • Must see: Lakshminarayan Temple, Panchkuva or Five water wells.
  • Activity: Feeding fish or floating oil lamps in the river for Rs. 10.

Dwarkadhish temple

Dwarkadhish temple

 

If you are not too interested in religious places, here are some reasons you should visit this heritage temple – Dwaradish. Recent archaeological studies suggest that the temple is over 2,500 years old, and the architecture within the temple is something which every tourist would love to spend time glaring at. Apart from this if you are at the temple, at the right time, you can witness the spectacular traditions of temple flag hoisting ceremony which is held inside the Jagat mandir. The flag is 52 yards long symbolizing over 50 administrators of Yadava clan.

  • Temple timings: 6:30 AM – 9:30 PM (closed between 1 pm to 5 pm)
  • Flag hoisting timings: 7 AM –8:30 AM, 8:39 AM – 10:30 AM, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, 5:30PM.
  • Temple prashad: Sugar coated pancakes are given in prashad with Bundi Laado for Rs. 25/- per head.
  • Must see attractions of temple: Rukhmini temple, Nageshwar Shiva temple and Gopi talab.
  • Nearby attractions: Temples of Samudranarayan, Bhadkeshwar, Shiva and Hanuman.
  • Shopping: Jute bags, spices, condiments, Dwarka Shila, Gomti Chakra and marble sculptures.

Gomti boat ride

Gomti Boat Rides

A boat ride to the other side along the river gomti is enchanting. You can see the floating stone, the five wells built by Pandavas and the Lakshmi Narayan temple on this tour. You can have a 360 degree panoramic view of the Dwarkadhish temple, its five storeys and the furling flag on the top. On the Gomti Sangam Ghat you can see the water level rising, and going down and changing colours as the Sun rises and sets. You can see many fishes slouching on the steps of the ghats.

  • Boat rides: Available from 9 AM – 4 PM. The fares are Rs. 20 per head.
  • Must see attractions: Lakshminarayan Temple, Panchkuva orFive water wells, Durvasa muni temple, Devki temple and floating stones.
  • Best time for boat rides: 12 AM – 4 PM
  • Activities: Feeding fish or floating oil lamps in the river for Rs. 10.

Dunny Point

Dunny Point

Dunny Point is an eco-tourism site within few kilometres of Dwarka. The sea here is known for its rich algae beds. One can spot hundreds of colourful marine species like starfish, sponges, jelly fish, sea cucumbers, marine turtles, sea snakes, sea feathers, sea anemones, and even dolphins at this point.

  • Best time to visit: Between December and February.
  • Activities: Marine excursions, jute-tent camping and picnicking, star-gazing, bivouacking and bird watching.
  • Must see attractions: Sunsets are picturesque and should not be missed

The Beyt Dwarka

Beyt Dwarka

Beyt Shankhodhar, also known as Beyt Dwarka, is a small island (previously treated as a port) which can be reached via sea route from Okha port jetty (32 KM away from Dwarka). Take 15 minutes ride on a ferry boat with sea gulls overhead and blue sea all around you. Beyt is believed to be the original abode of Lord Krishna, as per the excavated religious manuscripts. The Beyt Dwarka temple is 500 year old. The story of Sudama gifting Krishna with a handful of puffed rice is based out of this temple. Beyt temple also speaks of the legend where Lord Vishnu slew the demon Shankhasura.

  • Temple timings: 9 PM – 1 PM and 3 PM – 6 PM
  • Ferry costs: Rs. 100 (round trip)
  • Special regulations: Mobile, belts, bags and camera have to be submitted in the locker room, no footwear is allowed within the temple.
  • Must see attractions: Sudama temple inside the main temple
  • Nearby attractions: Temples of Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, Devi and Lord Vishnu.
  • Shopping: One can shop for dry fruits, spices, nuts, ship anchors and marble made sculptures.

Other tourist attractions around Dwarka

Dwarka Lighthouse

  • Dwarka light house: The light house offers scenic beauty, especially in the evenings between 4 PM to 6 PM. But prior to visiting the lighthouse you need to ask for the attendant’s permission.
  • Gopi Talav: It is a beautiful pond adorned with sandal-like yellow sand and occasionally a lotus or a two. Its located 20 km north of Dwarka and 5 km from the Nageshwara Jyotirlinga temple en-route to Beyt Dwarka. It is believed that gopis (the princesses who fell in love with Krishna) and Lord Krishna used to dance and play here in the pond, hence the name Gopi Talav.
  • Bechtel Beach: A serene and relaxing beach that is well maintained. The sunrises and sunsets are especially beautiful at this beach.

Nearest Railhead: Dwarka

TRAINS TO DWARKA

 

ALSO READ: Beaches of Daman & Diu, Wildlife Sanctuaries of Gujarat


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