Dwarakadheesh Temple

Dwarakadheesh Temple

The temple sikhars with the entrance in front
Dwarakadheesh Temple is located in Gujarat
Dwarakadheesh Temple
Location in Gujarat
Coordinates: 22°14′16.39″N 68°58′3.22″E / 22.2378861°N 68.9675611°E / 22.2378861; 68.9675611Coordinates: 22°14′16.39″N 68°58′3.22″E / 22.2378861°N 68.9675611°E / 22.2378861; 68.9675611
Name
Proper name: Dwarkadheesh Mandir
Devanagari: द्वारकाधीश मंदिर
Location
Country: India
State: Gujarat
Locale: Dwarka
Architecture and culture
Primary deity: Dwarkadheesh Krishna
Important festivals: Janmastami
Char Dham

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Dwarka • Puri
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The Dwarakadheesh temple (Hindi: द्वारकाधीश मंदिर, Gujarati: દ્વારકાધીશ મંદિર) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, who is worshipped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or 'King of Dwarka'. It is situated at Dwarka, Gujarat, which is believed to have been built after the historic Dvarka city, the Kingdom of Krishna himself which submerged in to the ocean after the Mahabharata war. The main shrine of the 5-storied building, supported by 72 pillars, is known as Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir, and is believed to be 2500 years old. The Dwarkadhish Temple is Pushti Marg Temple hence it follows the guidelines and rituals created by Shree Vallabacharya and Shree Vitheleshnathji.

The present temple was built in 16th century CE, while the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna's grandson, Vajranabha, over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna's residential place) and became part of the Char Dham pilgrimages considered most sacred by Hindus in India, after Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century reformer and philosopher, visited the shrine and even today a memorial within the temple is dedicated to his visit. Dwarakadheesh is the 108th Divya Desam of Lord Vishnu on the subcontinent, glorified in the Divya Prabandha sacred texts.


Contents

Etymology

The town of Dwaraka or Dwarka is the first part of the name while 'adi' or 'adee' means first and 'eesh' means lord. The total sum means the temple of Dwaraka's first lord.

History

The town of Dwarka in Gujarat has a history that dates back centuries, and is mentioned in the Mahabharat as the Dwaraka Kingdom. Situated on the banks of river Gomti, the city's legend for being the capital of Lord Krishna. The ancient city was submerged by raging sea waters 8 times, but the remains do still exist[citation needed].

Architecture

A temple was built at the site around 400 BC by Vajranabhji, the great grandson of Lord Krishna, however the present structure was built during the 16th century in a typical Chalukyan style of architecture. The beautiful temple rises up to a height of 51.8 mts. Also known as the Jagat Mandir, the temple has two Sikhara. The Nij shikhar (The longer sikhar) is where the deity of Lord Dwarkadhish is placed. The huge temple consists of 60 exquisitely carved pillars and a number of sculptures that depict the influence of various dynasties such as the Guptas, Pallavas and Chavdas (referring to Chavda Kingdom) that ruled Dwarka over the years.

The entrance to the temple is from the north, also known as the Moksha Dwaar while towards the south is the Swarg Dwaar, from where a series of steps leads down to the banks of river Gomti. According to legend, the temple was constructed in a single day by Vishwakarma, the lord of construction. The deity of Lord Dwarkadhish is made of shiny black stone and is about 2.25 ft in height. The four hands of the Lord carries a conch, wheel, a mace and a lotus each and is popularly known as 'Shankh Chakra Gada Padma Chaturbhuj'. It is said that the deity was hidden for years to protect it from invaders while another deity brought from the Rukmini temple was installed in its absence. The original deity was reinstalled during the 16th century after the construction of the new temple.

Temple Specialties

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  • The flag atop the temple shows the sun and moon.
  • The flag is changed from 5 times a day, but the symbol remains the same.
  • The pristine condition of the temple and an important discovery in its surrounding has led to the nomination of UNESCO world cultural heritage site status to the temple.
  • There are two styles of building a temple, Dwarkadhish temple is built in Shaiv style whereas Bet-Dwarka temple is built in Vaishnav style

Salient features

  • The temple is a five-storey structure built on seventy-two pillars.
  • The temple spire is 78.3m high.
  • The temple is constructed of limestone which is still in pristine condition.
  • The temple shows intricate sculptural detailing done by successions of dynasties that ruled the region. The structure was not expanded much by these works.
  • Lord Krishna's grandson, Vajranabha, is said to have built the original temple of Dwarkadhish over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna's residential place).
  • The sanctum of the temple is formed by the Jagat Mandir, or Nija Mandir, dating back at least 2500 years.
  • The Jagat Mandir has a tall tower and a hall of audience.
  • There are two entrances to the temple. The main entrance (north entrance) is called "Moksha Dwara" (Door to Salvation). This entrance takes one to the main market. The south entrance is called "Swarga Dwara" (Gate to Heaven).
  • Outside this doorway are 56 steps that leads to the Gomati River.
Stairs leading up to the Main Entrance, of Dwarakadheesh temple, Dwarka

References

External links


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