Dwarka is a city in the north-west Indian state of Gujarat . It is located on the western shore of the Okhamandal Peninsula on the right bank of the Gomti River in the state.
Dwarka is one of the Chardhams (i.e., four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites), and is one of the Sapta Puris (meaning - the seven most ancient religious cities in the country). It is the place where, according to legends, Lord Krishna settled and lived after he defeated and killed his demonic uncle Kansa at Mathura.
Dwarka being a pilgrimage spot has many religious places to visit, which are its major tourist attractions; apart from these, Dwarka also has some historic attractions as well as parks, beaches and gardens. Here are some of the top places to see in Dwarka:
- Dwarka Beach – The main beach in the city; on the Arabian sea coast.
- Bet Island – A small island that is great for spending some serene time.
- Dwarka Lighthouse – A 43m tall lighthouse; built in the year 1962; the top pf the tower offers panoramic views of sunset.
- Gomti Ghat – A Ghat (set of steps leading down to a river) near the Gomti river, which is believed to be a sacred river.
- Gopi Talav – A popular lake; known to have been swum in by Lord Krishna while trying to woo the Gopikas (young ladies in the village).
- Dwarkadhish Temple – A more-than-2500-year-old temple, this is the most popular religious place in the city; a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.
- Nageshwar Jyotirlinga – – A giant and artistic statue of Lord Shiva; this is one of the 12 sacred “Jyotirlingas” in India.
- Rukmini Devi Temple
- ISKCON Dwarka
- Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple
- Museum of Shardapith Math – A Museum inside the Shardapith Math which is one among the four fundamental “Mathas” established by the famous 9th century reformer of Hinduism – Adi Shankaracharya – this houses some beautiful paintings and sculptures depicting his life; as well as some art pieces of Lord Shiva.
The major festivals celebrated in Dwarka include:
- Krishna Janmashtami – The birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.
- Navaratri – A 9-day festival where people worship goddess Durga in different ways, and perform various rituals, plays and dances. One of Gujarat’s most popular festivals – especially for its dances during this time.
- Dussehra – The 10th day after Navaratri, on which effigies of the ten-headed demon Raavana are burnt, to symbolize the destruction of evil.
- Holi – The festival of colors (people throw colorful powders on each other).
Dwarka has an interesting shopping scene – with various markets selling souvenirs and things like Patola sarees and Ghagra Cholis (Traditional wear), local traditional handicrafts, embroidered footwear (Juttis), mirror work jewellery, accessories and clothes, beautiful idols, paintings and pictures of Lord Krishna and so on!
These are some of the best shopping spots to check out in the city where these souvenirs, and more can be bought:
- Bathan Chowk
- Ananya Mata Chowk
- Shri Ram Bazaar
- Dwarka Deep
- Pankaj Plaza
- Vardhman Plaza
- Supreme Plaza
- Bansal Plaza
- Mefcons Plaza
- Odeon Plaza
- Sagar Plaza
The best restaurants in Dwarka to try out the local cuisine (Gujarati Thali/Platter, sweets, etc.) or other delicacies at are:
- Chappan Bhog Multi-cuisine Restaurant
- Blue Coriander
- Indus Express
- Jeeman Restaurant
- Charmi Restaurant
- Kaamats Restaurant
- Hotel Tirth
- Virgo Inn Restaurant
- Athithi Restaurant
- Tandul Bhog
- Godavari Restrobar
Some of the best hotels in Dwarka for a comfortable stay include the following:
- VITS Devbhumi Hotel
- Hotel Roma Kristo
- Club Mahindra Dwarka
- Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Dwarka
- Goverdhan Greens Resort Dwarka
- The Grand Dwarika
- The Fern Sattva Resort Dwarka
- Manek The Ocean View
- Shree Radhe Krishna Resort
Dwarka STD Code – 02892 (to be used before dialling numbers from a device that is not locally registered).
- Fire & Rescue: 101
- Police: 100
- Ambulance: 102
- Women Helpline: 1091
- Child Helpline: 1098
Gujarati is the official language in Dwarka but languages like English and Hindi are spoken as well.
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad
- Welcome - Padhaaro
- How are you? - Tame kem chho
- What's your name? - Taru naam su chhe
- Where are you from? - Tame kyaan na chho
- Goodbye - Avjo
- Good night - Shubh ratri