Dwarkadhish Temple at Dwarka
One of the 4 major pilgrimage sites, called Haridham, which spread all over India, this temple is situated on the northem banks of the River Gomti. Its architecture is of 13th century, similar to the other contemporary Hindu temples. It has an icon of the Lord with four hands, it has sanctum sanctorum or Garbhagriha, a large public hall called Sabhagriha and Mahamandapa.
The city that Sudama has described is not to be seen even in part or any remnants. Legend has it that when at Prabhas Patan Lord Krishna was about to die, he sent a message to the Yadavas to evacuate Dwarka, for it was destined to sink into the ocean upon his death. However, we have nothing to show for a golden city on the land anymore, for it is indeed under the sea. The present Dwarka is a new city that came up much later.
It may be that the legend is imaginary, as many are. However, it is interesting that the a marine archeologist Dr. Rao has discovered an entire urban settlement under the sea near the present Dwarka that shows signs of having beeen washed over five times by the sea.
Whatever it may be, present Dwarka is a small little town and its importance lies in its religious association. The ancients had described it as one of the seven cities where death would bring Moksha to the seekers. Chaitnaya Mahaprabhu had visited it. It is said the Meera the great saint poetess of India came here at the end of her days and was merged into the very image of Lord Krishna whom she worshipped. The pilgrimage continues without interruption. Thousands of people gather here for worship at the temple of Ranchhodji - Dwarkadhish- and offer their prayers and gifts with great faith in their hearts, as He sits benignly in the beautiful temple.
The Temple has a very high plinth and the first level is reached after climbing a number of steps. Situated right at the juncture where the Gomti meets the sea, this height and steps provide a position of haughtiness for the Lord within. The sea seems to be touching His feet all the time with its gentle waves. The central place, Garbhagriha is 60 meters high, with a 6 storied 'shikhara' or inverted cone-like structure in 6 layers. In the front of it we have a huge 'mandapa' , a hall that is 5 stories or 35 meters in height. Its corridors are 27 meters long and 6.4 meter wide. The outer walls have sculptured reliefs from its base to the top, but the insides of the wall are plain. The entrance is decorated with an image of Lord Ganesha