Bet Dwarka: The Real Dwarkadhish Temple


      Bet Dwarka is an island located approximately 30 km to the north of Dwarka city. I travelled from Dwarka to Okha by road. The duration of the journey was 45 five minutes. From the port town of Okha, I had to take motor boats, which leave every half hour for Bet Dwarka. The boatman refused to depart till his boat was packed completely with people. He made people sit everywhere in the boat, since there was no single designated area for passengers. This made the movement of the boat highly unsteady as it sailed through the quiet backwaters of the Arabian Sea. I could see most of the passengers praying desperately to Lord Dwarkadheesh for a safe voyage!

      Thankfully, the boat ride from Okha to Bet Dwarka lasted only about 20 minutes. In fact Okha and Bet Dwarka are so close that Bet Dwarka island can be seen from the shores of Okha.

      When I alighted from the ferry at Bet Dwarka, there was no need to ask anyone for directions to the Dwarkadhish Temple, the main attraction of this Island temple town. The entire crowd started to walk towards the Dwarkadhish Temple and I just had to follow them.


      The people of Dwarka and Bet Dwarka seem to vie with each other in asserting that theirs is the real' Dwarkadhish Temple, which had earlier housed the Lord. The similarity between the two temples is quite striking. Incidentally, these are the only two temples in the entire Dwarka region where cameras and mobile phones are not permitted. However, they have made very good cloakroom arrangements at the entrance for keeping these items safely.

      When I reached the temple premises, I came across a huge gate. Opposite the main gate was the temple of Lord Kusheshwar. To the right of the main gate was a Ganesha Temple that had an orange-coloured idol of Lord Ganesha. Next to the gate was the main courtyard. The courtyard had eight rooms and each room had an altar. Each altar contained idols kept in silver mantapas. As I entered the courtyard and turned to my left, I saw three small rooms. The altar at the centre was obviously that of Sri Dwarkadhish. There was a black idol of Lord Krishna, the Lord of Dwarka. The altar had a silver door with silver idols of Lord Vishnu on either side. The altar to the left was Sri Kalyan Rai and the one on the right was that of Sri Trivikrama. To my right, I saw two more altars. The one on the left was Sri Garudaji and the one on the right was a white idol of Sri Ambaji. Behind me, there were three more rooms. The one at the centre housed a black idol of Devaki, mother of Lord Krishna. To the right, was a black four-armed idol of Lord Purushottama. On the left, was a black idol of Sri Madhav Rai. This entire courtyard, with eight adjoining rooms, reminded me of the identical scene at the Dwarkadhish Temple in Dwarka.

      I proceeded to the left of this courtyard and reached the Goddess Lakshmi Temple which has a black idol of the Goddes. Next to the Goddess Lakshmi Temple wa was another courtyard. As I walked ahead, I reached the altar of Sri Seshavatar Dauji, there is a black idol of Lord Balarama, who is the elder Brother of Lord Krishna and also the avatara of Lord Sheshnag. On my right was a white idol of Lord Satya Narayana. Next to it was the altar of Sri Goverdhanji, which had many gold-coloured idols of Lord Krishna. Opposite the Goddess Lakshmi temple is a temple with an enclosed courtyard. The altar has a black idol of Goddess Radhika.

      I came back to the main courtyard (the one with eight altars) and proceeded to the right. This led me to another smaller courtyard with a temple that housed a black idol of Goddess Satyabhama. To the left of the Satyabhama Temple was another temple with two altars the one on the left was that of Goddess Jambavathi and the one on the right had a shrine of Lakshmi Narayana.

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