Once again I asked myself that "Which corner of the country should I choose for my next trip". Lot of advertisements on Gujarat Tourism did help in making up of my mind. I had decided to spend “Kuch din” in Gujarat! 


I had a week with me to cover the major portions and I chose Dwarka, Somnath, Porbandar, Gir Forest and Diu for exploration. So here I was (in a group of 4) on a train to Dwarka! We reached Dwarka late in the night and straightaway went off to sleep.


Dwarka : A Jewel ashore Arabian Sea
Dwarka : A Jewel ashore Arabian Sea 

The next day was the first day of the trip and we had quite a few things to cover. We headed straight towards the Okha port to take a ferry to Beyt Dwarka. Beyt Dwarka or Shankhodhar is an inhabited island at mouth of Gulf of Kutch situated 3 km off the coast of Okha. It derived its name Shankhodhar, by the fact, that the island is a large source of conch shells (Shankh). It is considered the part of the ancient city Dwarka found in Mahabharata and Skanda Purana

The ride to Beyt Dwarka from Okha is fun-filled and full of excitement as one can reach the place through motor boat. The journey is enriching and filled with scenic beauty. Don’t forget to take your camera along to catch a glimpse of rare and beautiful birds while sailing through the sea.


Our Ferry to Beyt Island
Our Ferry to Beyt Island
Beyt Island in distance
Beyt Island in distance
Fleet of fishing ships
Fleet of fishing ships
Flock of beautiful white birds on the way to Beyt Island
Flock of beautiful white birds on the way to Beyt Island
Lone Flyer
Lone Flyer
Destination – Beyt Island
Destination – Beyt Island

Beyt Island houses Shri Krishna Temple also called Dwarkadheesh Temple. It was built by Shri Vallabhacharya & enshrines an idol believed to be made by Rukmini. There is a story where Lord Krishna's friend Sudama presented him with rice and so the tradition is continued by the visitors, who present the Brahmins here with rice. 


There are other smaller temples in the same vicinity of Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, Devi and Lord Vishnu. We took our own time to go around the temples and also did sit down for having the breakfast at a nearby restaurant. Photography is prohibited inside the temples.


Entrance to the main temple of Dwarkadheesh
Entrance to the main temple of Dwarkadheesh
Main Deity at Dwarkadheesh
Main Deity at Dwarkadheesh (Source)


Post our visit of the Beyt Island , we returned to the Okha port and started towards the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. The road to Nageshwar is quite narrow yet offer unique views of the countryside with windmills in distance – a view not so often seen in the Northen part of country. 

On the way to Nageshwar there is a place called “Gopi Talav”. The story of this place goes like this: When Lord Krishna moved to Dwarka, the Gopis of Vrindavan could not bear the separation and came to visit him. They united with Krishna at the Gopi talav, 20 km north of Dwarka on the night of Sharad Purnima (full moon) and once again danced the raas with him. We too halted and paid a visit to this ‘lake’. Although the place is not as developed as should be but still the locals have managed to engage the visitors by making it into a shopping place.


Road to Nageshwar
Road to Nageshwar
Gopi Talav
Gopi Talav
Gopi Talav
Gopi Talav
Gopi Chandan & other items
Gopi Chandan & other items (Source)


Once again we were enroute to the Nageshwar Temple. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. What’s important about Nageshwar is that it is believed to be the first Jyotirlinga on earth.

[Read : Kashi vishwanath Jyotirlinga and Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga ]

This powerful Jyotirlinga symbolizes protection from all poisons. The temple complex houses a tall sitting statue of Lord Shiva of 25m and a large garden with a pond in this rather serene place. We performed our religious duties while admiring the serenity.


Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple structure
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple structure
Entrance to the Nageshwar temple
Entrance to the Nageshwar temple
Tall Statue of Lord Shiva
Tall Statue of Lord Shiva
Upclose Nageshwar Temple
Upclose Nageshwar Temple


It was almost the time of lunch when we finished the pooja at the Jyotirlinga, so we sat down at a restaurant to feed our appetite. Having gorged upon the delicious Gujarati dishes viz trevti daal , lauki thepla, gujarati kadhi , Undhiyu , khaman dhokla and the famous Shreekhand was out of the world experience. Gujarati food is just lovable!


Trevti daal
Trevti daal (Source)
Lauki thepla
Lauki thepla (Source)
Gujarati Kadhi
Gujarati Kadhi (Source)
Undhiyu
Undhiyu (Source)
Khaman Dhokla
Khaman Dhokla (Source)
Shreekhand
Shreekhand (Source)

We then returned to Dwarka in the late afternoon and went to the main dhaam – Dwarkadheesh Temple of Dwarka! This place features its place in the four sacred dhaams of Hindus. Other three being Jagannath Puri , Rameswaram and Badrinath

This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna who is worshipped here as ‘The King of Dwarka’. According to tradition, the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna's grandson, Vajranabha, over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna's residential place). The temple is built of soft limestone and consists of a sanctum, vestibule and a rectangular hall with porches on three sides. 

There are two gateways: swarga dwar (gate to the heavens), where pilgrims enter, and moksha dwar (gate to liberation), where pilgrims exit. The temple is as mighty as it should be to qualify for a dhaam. The atmosphere inside was serene and a unique calmness despite the continued chanting of Krishna mantras was prevailing. Something like this I haven’t experienced before. We spent good time within the complex allowing ourselves to blend in. 

Photography again was not allowed inside the temple. 



The mighty Dwarkadheesh Temple
The mighty Dwarkadheesh Temple
Outside complex of Dwarkadheesh & Main tower behind
Outside complex of Dwarkadheesh & Main tower behind
Dwarkadheesh Main Deity
Dwarkadheesh Main Deity (Source)


It was almost the time of sunset when we left the premises of the temple. We straight away headed towards the beach like place where we could catch the glimpse of sunset. But due to the traffic near the temple area we couldn’t make it in time. Anyhow I was able to capture few images of the twilight that persisted. Attaching them for your visual treat.


The sea & the orange tinge in the sky
The sea & the orange tinge in the sky
Twilight time folks!
Twilight time folks!
Blending of the orange with the vastness of Sea!
Blending of the orange with the vastness of Sea!


The first day of the week long trip to Gujarat went very much to the expectation and the enthusiasm level went up a notch for the days to come! Once again the travel bug has started to grow bigger inside me with the expectations of better views and better places ahead!

We will take a road trip to Somnath via Porbandar in our next blog! Till then enjoy and Happy Holidaying!

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