Gujarat – Gopi Talav

Name of the Temple

Sri Gopi Talav

Period of origin

Before 1500 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sri Krishnan

Sthalapuranam:

Gopi Talav Also known as Gopi Tank, Gopi Talav is a small pond enveloped by yellow color sand, resembling sandal. It is also labeled as Gopi Chandan. The sacred Gopi Chandan is commonly used by Lord Krishna devotees visiting the talav to make the religious tilak marks on their foreheads. The Gopi Talav has great importance in the age-old Hindu mythological history. The Gopi Talav is considered to be the sacred spot where all the gopis arrived to catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna in the holy town of Dwarka.

The myth surrounding the Gopi Tank states that this was the spot where Lord Krishna destroyed a demon known as Bhaumasura and released 16,000 princesses, who were forcefully locked inside the demon’s palace which was located at Gopi Talav. All the Gopi princesses were in love with Lord Krishna for his kind act of saving them and each one wanted to marry him. This is how the spot got its name as Gopi Talav.

Gopi Talav is historically famous for the many stories of Lord Krishna’s naughty pranks and romance that have occurred at this spot. When Lord Krishna was small, he would playfully dance the raas with all the gopis (young female locals) in the town of Vrindavana, also known as Vruj. When Lord Krishna relocated to Dwarka, the gopis were heartbroken at being separated from him and thus, they decided to visit him. It is said that Gopi Talav is the spot where all the gopis re-united with Lord Krishna on the auspicious night of full moon, observed as Sharad Purnima. Elated with meeting Krishna, they once again started the raas dance with him. The myth also states that the gopis could not bear their separation from Lord Krishna. They offered to sacrifice their lives to the land so they could eternally merge with their loved one. The legend further states that the gopis transformed into yellow clay material, which is now known as Gopi Chandan. Even today, the soil found near the Gopi Talav is yellow in color and very smooth to touch.

Once labeled as the Golden City, Dwarka is a religious town located towards the western part of the state of Gujarat in India. It can be found on the tip of the Saurashtra cape on the Arabian Sea. According to Hindu mythology and tradition, the town of Dwarka holds much relevance and significance. This place is mentioned under the ‘sapta-puris’ (seven sacred cities) as well as under the ‘Chardham’ sites.

The name of the town is derived from two words-Dwara meaning door and Ka meaning Brahma. The word Dwarka therefore means the route to one’s union with the Brahma (all empowering). One of the most ancient cities in India, Dwarka has a rich religious history dating back to 1500 BC with references to the ancient Hindu scriptures like the Puranas and the Gita. The birth of the town of Dwarka is closely related to the life of Lord Krishna. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna is one of the manifestations of Lord Vishnu.

Padma Purana explains that in one kalpa during Lord Sri Krishna’s Bhauma Vrindavana (earthly) pastimes, the Vraja-gopis went near Dwarka to dance with their beloved in a secluded forest beside the sea, 20 km north of Dwarka on the night of Sharad Purnima (full moon) and once again danced with him. Krishna secretly left His palace, abandoned His royal insignias, robes, opulent crown and other trimmings of a King, and again adorned Himself in his gopa-vesh, simple dress of a Vrindavana cowherd boy – with a red turban and peacock feather atop His head, a flowing lightning gold dhoti and diaphanous yellow chaddar, a yellow karnikara flower stuck above one ear, a gunja berry necklace swinging from His neck, and His indomitable instrument – flute (murali).

After hours of wonderful dancing and transcendental expressions, Lord Sri Krishna took the Gopis to swim in a nearby lake to relieve their fatigue. All the body powders, unguents, oils and pastes of sandalwood, musk, jasmine, saffron and various colored minerals washed off their transcendental bodies as they splashed each other and played about. Unable to part from Krishna, the Gopis offered their lives to the soil of this land and merged with their beloved. It is said that they turned into yellow clay, known as Gopi Chandan. For the last fifty centuries Krishna bhaktas have been using this clay known as Gopi Chandan (it is golden color just like Radhika’s splendid limbs), to apply tilaka. The soil of the Gopi talav is extremely smooth and yellow in color.

Another pastime is related with Arjuna. After the battle at Kuruksetra, Arjuna thought himself to be the best warrior of the world. To eliminate the pride in His devotee friend, Arjuna, Lord Krishna asked him to escort his queens to Bet Dwarka. On the way, just near this pond, Arjuna was attacked by people of Kaba community, and Arjuna was defeated. The queens understanding this left their Body in this pond to go back to Goloka (Abode of Sri Krishna). So it is called Gopi Talav (pond). The famous phrase ‘Kabe Arjun luntiyo,vohi dhanush vohi ban’ reflects this incident.

Route:

Located just about 20 km to the north of the holy town of Dwarka and around 5 km from the famous Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple, Gopi Talav is easily accessible from all modes of transport and also falls en route Beyt Dwarka. One can easily find local transport like auto rickshaws as well as buses to reach the sacred pond from the main town

 

Gujarat – Sri Dwarakadisa Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Dwarakadisa Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Kalyana Narayanan, Dwarakadesan and Dwarakanathji.

Thayar: Kalyana Naachiyar, Lakshmi Shree.

Pushkarani: Gomathi river. Prabhas theertham

Vimanam: Hema kooda vimanam

Mangalaashaasanam: Periyalwar, Andal , Thirumangai Alwar, Thirumazhisai alwar, Nammalwar

Sthalapuranam:

Dwaraka is the sacred city where Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, spent most of His time during His appearance on earth five thousand years ago. He performed wonderful pastimes there, including expanding into 16,108 forms and creating 16,108 palaces for His 16,108 queens. In Vrindavana, Lord Krishna lived as a simple cowherd boy, but in Dwarka He lived as a wealthy prince. Krishna spent one hundred years here, longer than He spent in Vrindavana and Mathura combined. Modern-day Dwarka is a small city with an area of sixteen square miles and a population of around thirty thousand.

Dwarka means “gateway to the Supreme” or “city of gates.” Traditionally, an opulent city would have many gates, indicating the king’s confidence in protecting the city. The original city of Dwarka, described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Mahabharata, and other Vedic scriptures, was a fort city built within the sea. Lord Krishna built Dwarka to protect His kinsmen, the Yadu dynasty, from repeated attacks by kings and armies intent on killing Him. By the will of the Lord, Dwarka disappeared into the sea at the time of the Lord’s departure from this world. Archaeological excavations have brought out from the sea many artefacts suggesting that an opulent city stood there in the distant past.

Srila Prabhupada writes: “The heavenly planets are more celebrated than the earth. But the celebrity of earth has defeated that of the heavenly planets because of Dvaraka, where Lord Sri Krishna reigned as king. Three places, namely Vrindavana, Mathura, and Dvaraka, are more important than the famous planets within the universe. These places are perpetually sanctified because whenever the Lord descends on earth He displays His transcendental activities particularly in these three places. They are perpetually the holy lands of the Lord, and the inhabitants still take advantage of the holy places, even though the Lord is now out of their sight.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.10.27, Purport)

Krishna Married 16,108 queens! How did He interact with them…how they stayed …..

This questions always arises in the mind of a sincere seeker….. And their answer can instil great deal of faith for those visiting Dwarka.

“When Krishna was here He was performing different activities with each and every one of His queens intimately. None of them ever felt lonely for even a second. And when Krishna would rise early in the morning to perform His sadhana as a perfect ghrihasta, He would rise before the rooster crowed in the morning and He would perform mediation, perform pooja, giving charity and later in the day He would leave each of His 16108 palaces to go to perform his duties as Dwarkadish, the king of Dwarka assisting King Ugrasena and He would go to the Sudharma assembly house and the Srimad-Bhagavatam explains how He would leave his 16108 forms, but just before entering into the Sudharma assembly house all the forms would merge into one form and then he would rule the state of Dwarka. And when it was time to return home and meet his queens He would expand into 16108 forms and enjoy loving relationships with them. ”

“One may ask how is it possible that Krishna could live in 16108 palaces simultaneously. Because Krishna is the Absolute Truth, He is the embodiment of Adhyatamik Shakti, inconceivable potencies, He can do everything. And Krishna can do anything and when Krishna comes to this earth He wants to show His Supremacy. That if He came like an ordinary person who would chant His glories. Therefore He reveals his wonderful, wonderful inconceivable super excellent activities simply to attract all our minds.”

The present city Dvaraka (“Dwarka” on the map) is on the shore of Arabian Sea. It has a resident population of approximately 30,000, and a tourist population that fluctuates with the seasons. Even though it’s remote on the west coast in Gujarat state, devotees endeavour to come from far and wide to have the Darshan of Their Lordships Sri Sri Dwarkadhisa. Dwarka is one of the most important places to visit because it is one of the four prominent holy places in the cardinal directions of India: Dwarka (west), Jagannatha Puri (east), Rameswaram (south), and Badrinath (north). The atmosphere in Dwarka is peaceful. The people are pious and don’t seem harassed by many problems.

As per other legends This sthalam deals all the stories that deal with the way he became the king and ruled the empire and ended the Krishna Avathaar for which it is taken.

Vada Mathura is the sthalam which is the Janma Bhoomi (birth place) of Sri Krishnar; Aayarpadi is the sthalam where he was brought up and lead his childhood days and this sthalam, the Dwaraka is the place where his Punya Avathaar ended. Sri Krishnan showed his seva for Brahma devan, Indiran and all the other Devars and for Vasudevar and Devaki in prison in Vada Mathura divyadesam (Janma Bhoomi). The same Krsihnar showed his seva for Nandagopar who brought up Sri Krishnar in Aayarpadi.

After all of his duties are over and the purpose for which he took the Krishna Avathaar was over, he was killed by an archer, ulupadhan, who aimed at Sri Krishnar’s feet thinking it as an white pigeon. Thus, the avathaar of Sri Krishnar ended in Thiru Dwaraka. In Dwaraka Sri Krishnar showed his seva to Rukmani, Sathyabama, Jambhavathi and other Ashtamagarishis, his friends, his sons, neighbours and all of Aayars in Dwaraka. These all persons thought that Sri Kannan belongs to them, but he belongs to all the Jeevathmas in this mighty world.

Draupadhi who was also named as “Paanjali”, married Panja Pandavas and she treated Sri Krishnar as his own brother. When Draupathi was ill – treated in the midst of Duriyodhan’s palace, Sri Krishnar gave her clothes thereby protecting her. Thus, he gave his seva to Draupathi also.

There was a king in Mathura by named “Gargeya” who doesnt have any children. All the Yadhavas teased on him and as a result of it, he did a severe tapas towards Lord Shivan to bless with a son who would ride out the Yadhava families. Finally, on satisfied fully on the tapas of the king, he gave who was named as “Kaalayavannan”. Gargeya king and he handed over the Kingdom to him, so that he could ride away the Yadhavas. He collected all of his troops to make an attack on the Yadhavas.

Knowing this beofe, Sri Krishnar asked the ocean king to help him out from this, by giving a place in the ocean a small town can be created and is ruled by Sri Krishnar.

Sri Krishnar asked Vishwakarma to build the town in the land and the place was built in a beautiful way with lots of streets, theerthams etc. It was built so beautiful that on seeing it one can say that place as an entering point (Dwaram) to heaven. Since, this place served as the Dwaram (entering point) to the heaven, this sthalam is called as “Dwaraka”. So, Dwaraka is the place where all the Yadhavas in Mathura are transferred to Dwaraka.

Kaalayavannan attacked Mathura but at that time, since Sri Krishnar and Balaramar are born as a normal human being, they could not defend him and ran away from him and hide in to a cave. At the same time, Musukundan was resting there in the cave due to the strain against his fight again the devars.

Musukundan had got a peculiar varam and it is if any one kicks him, (or) whoever wakes him up they will be burnt to ash. Likewise, when Kaalayavannan entered into the cave and found Musukundan and awakened him. As soon as Musukundan opened his eyes, Kaalayavannan was burnt into ash. Finally, Musukundan felt on the feet of Sri Krishnar and asked for his Vimocchan. For that Sri Krishnar explained him that in his next birth and in the next Janmam he was blessed by Sri Narayanan in Badrikasramam.

Another person who got the blessings and seva of this sthalaperumal in Kuchelar, one of his poor brahmin and he was one of his friends. As soon as Sri Krishnar saw Kuchelar, he invited him and asked him to be seated.

Sri Krishnar asked him whats the reason he had come for to meet as if he doesnt know the reason. But, the Emperumaan can easily understand why he has come for. At that time, Kuchelar gave him some Aval (rice tht is converted to aval after being soaked in water then dried up and struck hard). On getting the Aval, Sri Krsihnar was so happy on Kuchelar and asked him that he will give some of his countries for him. But, poor Kuchelar doesnt want any of them, but he came only to see his one among his old friends. Admired by the great friendship character of Kuchelar, Sri Krishnar converted his old hut into a very big house and made him as a wealthy person. This shows how a relationship must be should be between the Paramathma and Jeevathma.

It is said that the Dwaraka sthalam exists in two parts. One is found near to the Dwaraka railway station and is known as “Gomuki Dwaraka” and the other is known as “Pate Dwaraka” which is found 20 miles away from Gomuki Dwaraka. It is believed that only in pate Dwaraka, Sri Krishnar lived along with all the Yadhavas and his pirattis.

Route:

This Divyadesam is found on Bombay-Oka port rail line.

To reach this Temple, one has to travel via Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Jam Nagar.

Dwaraka railway station is 20 miles away from Oka port and from there we can reach the Temple.

Temple Timings:

7.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91 2892 235109, 234 080

Temple Address:

Sri Dwarakadisa Temple

Dwaraka,

Ahmedabad,

Gujarat State.

Gujarat – Bet Dwarka Temple

Name of the Temple

Bet Dwarka Temple

Period of origin

Before 1500 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Lord Krishna

Thayar: Rukmani

Sthalapuranam:

Bet Dwarka got this name because Lord’s childhood friend Sri Sudama Ji gave Him the Bet (gift) here. Bet Dwarka is the ‘residence of the Lord Dwarkadhisa’ and the Dwarkadhisa Temple at Dwarka town is the ‘office of Lord Dwarkadhisa’. Both these are the original abode of Lord Sri Krishna. Bet Dwarka is also known as Raman Dvipa, as Lord Krishna preferred to reside here with His family. The sacred island of Bet Dwarka island is said to be the last remaining piece of land from the original town which sink into the sea after Lord Sri Krishna’s departure. The main Temple on the island was built by Sri Vallabhacharya about 500 years ago and has Deity of Sri Sri Dwarkadhisa which was made by His consort, Sri Rukmini Ji. Lord Sri Krishna (Dwarkadhisa) at Bet Dwarka in a similar posture as in Dwarka town with difference of holding Shanka (Conch) in oblique position. Bet Dwarka is the place where brahmana Sudama (Krishna’s friend from gurukula) came to visit the Lord. Inside the Temple there is the exact place where Lord Sri Krishna welcomed His Sri Sudama Ji and washed his feet. It is considered important to make donation towards food grains etc. at the temple. Around the main temple there are smaller shrines of Devaki, Satyabhama, Radhikaji and Jambavati. The temple also has a goshala and Maha-Prasadam bhojanalya. Every day around 1pm Sri Sri Dwarkadhisa’s Maha-Prasadam is served here.

The investigation of the Bet Dwarka island began in 1983, 1984 and 1985 A.D. subsequent to a survey of the shore in 1982. The fourth investigation was done in 1986 under the educational program of the University Grants Commission. The 30 to 35 meter tall rocks in Bet are covered with algae and thorny bushes. The bay in North and South of the eastern shore has a potential for safe anchorage. Ships are anchored at Balapar in monsoon near here. The temples viz. Dwarkadheesh, Neelkanth Mahadev, Dhingeshwar Mahadev, Shankh Narayan and Abhay Mata etc were built on the old places in later part of eighteenth century. In the third decade of 20th century, one Hiranand Shastri did some excavation behind Dhingeshwar temple and near Neelkanth temple. He found evidences of proto-historic habitat there. The earthen remains found there depict an inscription ‘Nandakdas’ in Brahmi script of Maurya era. It is therefore believed that this habitat must have been built in first or third century B.C. In 1950 A.D. also some work at Bet Dwarka was carried out. Thereafter in 1979-80 when the investigation started then remains of earthen pots of last lag of Harrappan era were found from near Sidi Bawa Peer. No evidence however found to prove that a town of Mahabharat era was submerged there. But in 1982, a 500 meter long protection wall was found on the north of Sidi Bawa Peer. The wall is substantially damaged by the sea. Earthen pots of red shining colour were found from this place. The significant remains found from this place include a porous pot, a mould for an iron pierce and a glittering-surfaced vessel. From the wall and remains it could be imagined that Bet Dwarka was a port once upon a time and was destructed due to sea storms. During low tide a large plate of 220 meter was found. A series of stones of 180 meter size were found from shore towards sea. They believed to be of a submerged structure and certainly not drowned. Their shape suggests the use of these stones in constructing a 20 meter long wall. Stones of similar size were seen on the shore too. Balapar bay has become flat due to continuous sea-waves and the bay is formed near a Custom House and Dargah.

Route:

Bet Dvaraka is island 30 km north of Dwarka in Arabic sea near village named Okha. To get there by boat takes 20 minutes from Okha.

Temple Timings:

7 am to 7 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

+91- 9810506646

Temple Address:

Bet Dwarka Temple

Dwaraka

Gujarat