Thanks a lot, Maya for passing the #XploreBharat Blog Train baton to me, to take it further. The train that started at Attari-Wagah Border gave you a glimpse of the Beating Retreat ceremony. Next, it went to Delhi to spread awareness about cleanliness. On Day 3, we took you to Kanhangad. Today, I shall take you to a place that existed in the Dwapar Yug and exists today also. The city is said to be older than the Harappan civilisation. The city that was built and ruled by Lord Shri Krishna. A city that is believed to be more advanced than ‘modern science’. A city where mythology meets reality. Toh chale, Dwapar Yug ki nagari mein…?
Devbhumi Dwarka, the City of Dwapar Yug, was built by Lord Shri Krishna himself. Derived from the Sanskrit word, ‘dwar’ which means door (to the heaven). It is one of the most ancient and sacred cities of India, and also one among the ‘Char Dham’. It is the city where Lord Shri Krishna, 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu, had established his kingdom. There are various mythological stories that we get to hear about the city. The city submerged into the sea because of Queen Gandhari’s curse on Lord Shri Krishna.
Marine archaeologists and scientists have identified many structures at a depth of 120ft by sending SONAR beams. They have recovered many archaeological remains from the site. These remains were carbon dated and were to be more than 9,500 years old. This is even older than the ancient civilisation of Harappa, which is around 4,000 years old. The remains from the sunken city of Dwarka may force historians to rewrite history – the origin of civilisation.
Somnath and Devbhumi Dwarka – Travel Diary
In July 2017, I got the opportunity to visit Mumbai, Somnath and Devbhumi Dwarka. Mumbai would be covered by other bloggers. In this post, I shall talk about my visit to Somnath and Devbhumi Dwarka. Both the places are strongly connected to each other. Somnath is famous for the Shree Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple.
History says that Somnath was looted and destroyed as many as seventeen times. But each time, the temple was looted it got resurrected. The Iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, played a key role in constructing the New Somnath Temple – to remind the visitors of the of the Old Somnath Temple. Ancient texts states that, this was the place where Lord Shiva revived Moon and gave him a new life after his father-in-law – Prajapati Daksha cursed him to die.
Somnath is also famous for Bhalka Tirth – the place where Lord Krishna also known as Dwarkadhish, is said to have been mistakenly shot in the foot. Somnath to Dwarka takes around 5 hours by bus. Since we are talking about Dwarka, I feel that the essence of this post would be incomplete without touching the Sunken city of Dwarka. Many stories say that the present day Dwarka is only one-sixth or one-seventh of the original Dwarka.
We reached Somnath on the morning of 18th July 2017, time was 5-5.30 AM. Next, we checked into the hotel and came down after freshening up. We stepped into the Somnath temple at 8AM. This is the first Jyotirlinga. The temple simply looks majestic and the ambience…I don’t have words to describe – you need to feel it. You will simply get lost in the calm and cool atmosphere. In the temple compound, there’s a gallery which showcases the 12 jyotirlingas. On the temple wall, you’ll find the Baan-stambha – a pillar with an arrow pointing towards the sea. There’s a placard below it, which states that if you follow the line then you can directly go to the South Pole without touching any piece of land.
After having our lunch, we booked an auto-rickshaw to take us around the city. First, we went to Ban Ganga. It’s a shrine in the Arabian sea. You’ll find two shivalingas in the sea. This is the place where hunter Jara bathed and worshipped to Lord Shiva before going for hunting. Next, we reached Bhalka Teerth. Legends say that Lord Shri Krishna was relaxing with one foot over the other. His feet looked like an animal to hunter Jara. Then he shot an arrow, thus resulting in Lord Shri Krishna’s death.
Next was a Krishna temple. Legends say that the Pandavas lived in a cave adjacent to the temple. There’s also a Sun temple inside the compound. This is the first time I entered a sun temple. From there, we went to Gita Mandir. There’s a Laxmi Narayan temple and Balaram Gufa in the same compound. Legends say that Lord Balaram, Lord Krishna’s brother, departed from Earth from this place after he transformed himself to his original form – Seshnaag. There’s a cave that bears the imprint of a snake on its wall which is believed to have formed when Lord Balaram departed.
From there, we went to Triveni Sangam, the confluence of three rivers – Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati. These rivers fall into the Arabian sea. From here, we returned to our hotel. Took some rest and again the temple in the evening. We saw the evening aarti and then sat at the benches watching the sea waves lashing onto the shores. The authorities had cancelled the light show due to weather conditions. We didn’t realise how an hour swept away while watching this beautiful sight. It was an enriching experience. This is was the first time I got the opportunity to see the sea. Yes, I am from Kolkata and I am yet to visit Digha as of now (I’m on the other half of the 20s). I visited Puri for the first, later that year. As I am writing this post, those memories are appearing before my eyes.
We didn’t want to leave the spot but we had to sleep early that morning. The following morning we had to board the bus and leave for Dwarka. The next morning we got up and visited the Old Somnath temple first. Then, we went into the new Somnath temple. After darshan, we went to the same spot and spent around 10 to 15 minutes. Then, we proceeded towards the bus stop and started towards Devbhumi Dwarka.
On our way to Devbhumi Dwarka, our bus stopped at a place and we were told that we’re at Mool Dwarka. Mool means root. According to legends, when Lord Krishna travelled from Mathura to Dwarka, he first established himself in Mool Dwarka. We stopped for about 10 to 15 minutes and we resumed our journey towards Devbhumi Dwarka.
We reached Devbhumi Dwarka at 1PM. Next, we checked into the hotel and came down after freshening up. Then, we had our lunch. We hired an auto-rickshaw for local sightseeing. First, we went to Gita Mandir. Here, we saw the famous scene of Lord Shri Krishna preaching the Bhagavad Gita to Arjun, was recreated using idols. The Bhagavad Gita was inscribed on the walls of the temple. The temple is designed in such a way that if you say something loudly it will get echoed seven times. Next, we went to Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple and Sunset point. It was drizzling so we didn’t get the opportunity to watch the sunset. The temple is built on top of a rock in the sea. You’ll have to cross a bridge to reach the spot. The entire scene was breath-taking. We also spotted the lighthouse – which was our next destination.
I was busy recording those huge waves lashing onto the shores. The Arabian sea that we saw in Mumbai is totally different from the one that we saw in Somnath and Gujarat. We visited a few more places – I am unable to recall the names. I sincerely apologise for the same. We also visited a museum that showcased many interesting facts from the ancient texts. Then finally the auto-rickshaw driver left us at Dwarkadhish Temple. Then, we entered the temple. Such a grand architecture. I got the opportunity to see evening aarti. After darshan, we returned to the hotel. The next morning, we offered our Puja at Dwarkadhish Temple. After which, we started moving towards the Dwarka station to board our train to Ahmedabad. We reached Ahmedabad around 11PM and boarded our flight in the wee hours of 21st July.
The Bloggers’ Travel Diary
Well, we couldn’t visit Bet-Dwarka due to time constraints. It wasn’t a pre-planned trip. It happened all of a sudden. I had to visit Mumbai for some official purpose. When I shared this info with my parents, my father told to me add Somnath and my mom told me to add Dwarka to the list. In this way, a 5-days’ trip was extended to a 10-days’ trip.
While I was returning to Kolkata, I saw wave-like structures in the cloud. It reminded me of the Arabian sea. While looking at them, a thought came into my mind – the Arabian sea…the sea is hitting shores since time immemorial…is a witness to so many historical events. I wish it could speak and tell us about the ancient civilisation of Dwarka…The History of #IncredibleIndia.
Hope, I get another opportunity to visit Dwarka. Wish it happens very soon. This time it’s going to be a complete one!
I tried to give you a glimpse of BharatBarsha (Ancient India). Hope you liked it. The next station for this Blog Train will give you a royal feeling. I won’t say much much about. I’m signing off by passing the baton to Esha.
Finally a big shout out to our sponsor for taking this Blog Train experience even further.