Learning About the Origins of the Divine City of Dwarka
Dwarka, being one of the seven most revered religious cities of India, is deeply infused in the mythological and ancient Hindu culture. According to Hindu mythology, the original city of Dwarka was actually built by the Hindu God of architecture, Vishwakarma at the behest of Lord Krishna, on the land reclaimed from the sea and close to the western shores of Saurashtra. The Hindu mythology also claims that the city was totally drowned in the sea soon after Lord Krishna returned to his heavenly abode, marking the beginning of Kalyug or the Dark ages.
The name Dwarka was basically derived from the Sanskrit word dvar, which means gate or door. The city was also known by the names of Dvaramati, Dvaravati and Kushsthali. It was the capital city of the kingdom under the rule of Yadvas headed by Lord Krishna. Apart from being famous for its association with Lord Krishna, the holy city of Dwarka is also mentioned in the Mahabarta, as the place where the exiled Pandvas lived for almost a year.
The remains of the original city of Dwarka can still be found buried 40m under water just off the western coastline of India. The remains clearly prove that Krishna Dwarka was not only well planned and organized but was also one of the richest and most prosperous cities of its time. The city had six main sectors, in addition to which there were separate zones for residential and commercial purposes.
Built on the banks of river Gomati, the city boasted of numerous beautiful gardens and lakes, along with well designed palaces and plazas. There were around 700,000 palaces, which included the 16,000 palaces for each wife of Lord Krishna. These palaces, build with of gold and silver, were etched with a wide range of precious stones. In addition the Dwarka city had a well build harbor that was technologically far ahead than its times and was capable of satisfactorily handling the traffic of really big ships that would dock at the harbor.
Hindus across the world believe that Dwarka is an indestructible city, which despite having drowned under water at least seven times in the last two millenniums was again reconstructed every time. It is a common belief that the modern city of Dwarka is in fact built in the same place where the original city was before it went underwater. That is perhaps why, Indians consider it to be the holiest of the holy cities and hence every Hindu must pay visit to Dwarka at least once during their lifetime. .
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