Top places to visit in Dwarka and things to do

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If you are interested in spirituality, mysticism, and Hindu mythology, then Dwarka must feature on your itinerary of Gujarat tour. The Indian government has devised a scheme known as HRIDAY (Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana) for twelve archaeologically significant cities in India, and Dwarka is one of the country’s seven oldest religious cities (sapt puris) finds a place in the list. The places to visit in Dwarka includes Rukmini Devi Mandir, Gomti Ghat, Dwarkadhish temple and other important attractions. The Dwarka Math of Shankaracharya, one of the four religious centres (char dham), is housed in the famous Dwarkadhish Mandir .

Bet Dwarka, an island near the city, is said to have once been home to Lord Krishna’s family. On the beach, there’s also a lighthouse. Artifacts from a submerged city near the Gulf of Cambay were discovered. These claims have been contested, but the exercise of  treasure hunt has now turned into a tourist attraction. The popular demand of the tourists has prompted the  government provide scuba diving facilities so that people can now explore underwater and see what is beneath the sea.

There is a lot more in store for you in and around Dwarka. En route your trip to Beyt Dwarka, you will find several attractions where you must stop and spend some quality time. Here in this post I shall discuss places you must visit and things you do in and around Dwarka..

Places to  visit in Dwarka
Dwarkadhish temple, PC- Bishnu Sarangi

Places to visit in Dwarka

Dwarkadhish Temple

 After reaching Dwarka, with all certainty your first destination should be Dwarkadhish mandir and have a darshan of the presiding deity, Lord Krishna. Situated on the right banks of Gomti river, a tributary of Ganges, the temple is the soul of Dwarka which invites lakhs of pilgrims and visitors from across the globe every year.

The shrine also known as the Jagat Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, who is known as Dwarkadhish which means ‘King of Dwarka’. The temple is  one of the Char Dham pilgrimage circuit’s stops. This is the main shrine of the five-story building, which is supported by 72 pillars. Archaeological evidence suggests that it dates back 2,000 to 2,200 years. The temple is believed to have been built by Lord Krishna’s grandson Bajranabha. 

This temple site is thought to be 2,500 years old, where Krishna built his city and a temple. The existing temple, on the other hand, dates to the 16th century. There is an assembly hall or audience hall in the temple. The temple has two major entrances. The main entry door, known as the Moksha Dwar and the exit door, known as the Swarga Dwar.

Once in the temple premise for darshan, you can see there are several small shrines surrounding the central shrine of Dwarikashish. These shrines are dedicated to family members of Lord Krishna such as Radha, Rukmani, Jambabati, Satyabhama, Lakhsmi, Devaki, Madhava(Kishna) and Lakhsmi Narayana. Lord Krishn’s elder brother Balarama, his son Pradyumna and grandson Aniruddha find a place in the main shrine. The triangular flag on the top of the temple measures 52 yards and is changed five times a day, thrice in the morning and twice in the evening. 

Mobiles, cameras and other electronic gadgets are not allowed inside the temple which you can deposit at the counters for free. Unlike  in North India and South India where temples are unusually overcrowded I found Dwarka not much crowded even during a vacation. So, you are certain to have a hassle-free darshan of the Lord. 

Places to visit in Dwarka
Rukmini temple, PC-Kalpana Mishra

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Rukmini Temple 

To find the answer to your question as to why a temple of Rukmini, the chief queen of Lord Krishna is not located near Dwarkadhish temple, you just need to travel to the outskirts of Dwarka about 2 kilometers away from the main temple. Here you find a temple dedicated to goddess Rukmini, the first queen of Lord Krishna. The temple is believed to be about 2500 years old, but it has been reconstructed several times and the existing structure belongs to the 12th century AD. The outer wall of the temple is richly carved with beautiful images that depict humans and elephants.

When you reach the temple and just about to enter the sanctum, the priest tells you the story in support of the logic of location of the temple. The story goes that Lord Krishna and Devi Rukmini had once invited Rishi Durvasa to their home for a meal. It is in tradition that the host has to eat only after the guest, but Devi Rukmani became thirsty and requested help from Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna quietly provided her with water to drink that triggered rage in Rishi Durvasa. He cursed Devi Rukmani by separating her from Lord Krishna. That is why Lord Krishna’s temple, Dwarkadhish, is located in Dwarka and Devi Rukmani’s temple is located far away. It is also believed that the area experiences acute water scarcity due to the curse. 

Places to visit in Dwarka
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Shrine, PC- Kalpana Mishra

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga. 

While travelling from Dwarka to Beyt Dwarka, you come across this sacred shrine of Lord Shiva, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Located about 20 kilometers from Dwarka city, the temple boasts some beautiful Hindu architectural style. Right inside the temple complex, a grand 80 feet image of Lord Shiva welcomes you. 

Lord Shiva, also known as Nageshwar Mahadev, is the main deity at this temple, which is also known as Nagnath Temple. According to the Shiva Purana, those who pray at the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga are liberated from all poisons, snake bites, and worldly attractions. The lingam enshrined in the underground chamber is a Tri-mukhi Rudraksha that stands about 40 cm tall and 30 cm in diameter. Along with the Shivalinga, Nageshwar also has goddess Parvati as Nageshwari. The temple must be in your itinerary when you are visiting Gujarat, particularly Dwarka. 

Places to visit in Dwarka
Gopi Talav, PC- Kalpana Mishra

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Gopi Talav

At a short distance from Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, your previous destination en route Bety Dwarka is the sacred pond Gopi Talav in Samlasar village. This is a small pond dedicated to Lord Krishna where he is believed to have performed the last divine dance or raas with Gopis who travelled all the way from Vrindavan to Dwarka. Lord Krishna met the Gopis for one last time at this pond. 

Following the final raas leela, all the Gopis sacrificed their lives to the soil of this land, achieving moksha in unison with the Lord. According to legend, they turned into yellow sand known as Gopi Chandan. Even today, you can see the Gopi Talav soil is very smooth and yellow in colour, and it is believed to have divine properties that can cure many diseases, particularly those related to the skin.

 Several Hindus use it as a form of chandan on their foreheads. Today, many tourists buy this soil as a souvenir of their trip. A must visit place when you are in Dwarka.

Places to visit in Dwarka
Boat ride to Beyt Dwarka, PC- Vinayaraj, Wikimedia

Beyt Dwarka

A 3 kilometers boat ride off the Okha jetty takes you to Beyt Dwarka. This is a place that strikes a chord with everyone, not just for its location but also what it offers the visitors to this beautiful island. Located off the coast on the gulf of Kutch, the island is believed to be the original home of Lord Krishna during his days as king of Dwarka. Beyt Dwarka or Bet Dwarka and Bhent Dwark is also known as Shankhodhar and each one has a story to tell. 

Beyt or Bet in Gujarati means a mass of land surrounded by water, an island to be precise. Since this place is separated from Dwarka by water, hence the name Beyt Dwarka or Bet Dwarka. Another story goes that Lord Krishna’s childhood friend Sudama had come to meet him here and offered him a gift (bhent) of Chuda (flat rice). This is the most popular among the three stories. The other name Shankhodhar is attributed to the story that the island is conch shaped, which indeed is. 

There are two temples in this island town associated with Lord Krishna namely Dwarkadhish temple and Keshavraiji temple. Hanuman Dandi, Vaishnav Mahaprabhu Bethak, and a Gurudwara are also pilgrimage sites that you can visit during your trip. Then there is the Dunny point which is a perfect retreat for eco tourism enthusiasts. 

Places to visit in Dwarka
Dwarka beach, PC- Kalpana Mishra

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Dwarka beach

Dwarka beach is another major attraction which is located at a short distance from the main Dwarka temples. It is well-known for its turquoise waters and white sand, and it is well worth a visit. It is the ideal place to unwind and take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Dwarka Beach is neat and clean, offering a serene and calm environment for tourists and pilgrims to sit and spend their evenings. At the beach, visitors can also see a large number of sea birds.

You can spend a good evening at Dwarka beach from where you can enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Arabian sea. Aside from the temples, the beach has a lighthouse and is one of the city’s main tourist attractions. This 43-meter-tall tower was built in 1962 on the westernmost part of the Saurashtra Coast

Gita Mandir 

Geeta Mandir is a Vaishnavaite temple on the Arabian Sea coast in Dwarka, located 2 kilometres from Dwarkadheesh Temple. It is a popular temple in Gujarat and one of the most well-known Dwarka tourist attractions.

The temple structure is relatively new and located near Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir, was built in 1970 by the Birla industrialist family to protect the rich scripture, teachings, and values of the Bhagavad Gita. The temple’s structure, made of marble, is not only artistically elegant, but also has a saintly feel within the holy sites. In the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, there is a beautiful idol of Lord Krishna.The Bhagawad Gita’s teachings and hymns are depicted on the temple’s high carved walls and ceilings.

Places to Visit in Dwarka
Bhadkeshwar Temple, PC- Kalpana Mishra

Bhadkeshwar Mandir

A Shaivite Temple of absolute bliss that has been built on the very outskirts of Dwarka. The Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple is very near to Geeta Temple and Rukmini Temple, and is located on a hillock on the Arabian Sea to the extreme west of Dwarka. The ethereal beauty of the Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple can be described in very few words.

 Access to Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple is rarely an issue, thanks to a well-built path leading up to the hillock from the shore and stairs leading directly to the temple. Because it is built off the coast, the ebb and flow of ocean water floods the temple’s surroundings as well as the path that leads up to it. But, this isn’t much of a hindrance, but rather adds to the beauty of the whole thing.

Places to visit in Dwarka
Gomti Ghar, PC-Kalpana Mishra

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Things to do in Dwarka

Holy bath at Gomti Ghat

Just behind the Dwarkadhish temple and barely at a distance of 100 meters is Gomti Sangam Ghat. The sacred ghat is situated at the confluence where Gomti river meets the sea and believed to be where Lord Krishna used to take bath. As a bathe at the ghat considered auspicious, it attracts thousands of pilgrims to the banks of Gomti.

Pilgrims take the holy bath at the Gomti ghat to attain salvation. Also it is a normal practice to first take a bath at this sacred ghat and then proceed for darshan to the Dwarkadhsh temple especially through the South side of it which is known as the Gate of Heaven.


This is a very interesting feature you can see while walking along Gomti Ghat. You come across huge weighing scales hung from the ceiling with a person sitting on one side of it with grains on the other side. Tulabhar meaning weighing something equal to your weight for donation or charity purpose. 

It is said that donating seven items, the weight of which equals your own, will grant you Moksha. These seven items are: Desi ghee, Wheat, Urad Daal and Moong Daal, Sugar, Clarified Butter, and Oil. What happens to the donation? Well, it goes to the widows and poor Brahmins of Dwarka. The men, usually the priests who manage this activity have acquired  so much professional expertise that they will tell you the cost of your donation just by taking a good look at you. I know my weight and believe me, the man was bang on target. 

Sunrise and sunset from Sudama Setu 

 The Sudama Setu is an amazing suspension bridge built to serve pedestrians crossing the Gomti River and connecting the ancient Dwarkadhish Temple and the sacred Teerth Panchkula. As the name suggests, the bridge is named after Lord Krishna’s childhood friend Sudama. Besides its mythological significance, the bridge is well-known for providing a breathtaking view of the river. This is a must-see location in Dwarka, from where you can enjoy sunrise as well as sunset which are stunningly beautiful. 

Places to visit in Dwarka
PC- Kalpana Mishra

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Camel Ride

Now it is time for you to have your share of fun. And camel riding is just the one thing that you wouldn’t like to miss. One  bank of the Gomti River is lined with temples and ghats, while the other side is a sandy patch with a small beach nearby. Camel rides are available on both sides of the Gomti river. 

The camel walks alongside the river on the ghat side. On the other side of the river, there are five sweet water wells, which are thought to be the five rivers brought here by the five rishis in Hindu mythology. The names of the five rivers and rishis are listed on small boards next to these wells. You’ll notice two small temples dedicated to Laxmi Narayan and Ambaji. Too good a place to visit and experience. 

Scuba Diving

Another must do thing while in Dwarka. An underwater scuba trip takes you to explore the treasure that remains underwater and also the aquatic lives and coral reef. There are two diving points in Dwarka, one at the Shivrajpur beach and another at Beyt Dwarka. 

When you arrive at the location, there are some companies that will teach you and get you ready for the scuba-diving experience. You must train with them first, and then only go for it.

There are coral reefs beautifully spread out on the sea bed, in addition to many submerged architectural structures that you will find on the lands of the sea bed here. The water is crystal clear here, especially as you go a little deeper into the ocean for diving. You can also see sea animals like dolphins, turtles, octopus, and starfish, which makes the trip worthwhile.

Places to visit in Dwarka
Sudama Setu, PC- Kalpana Mishra

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Camping at Dunny Point

This is a hidden gem in Dwarka that not many people know about. Thus the place which is a nature lover’s paradise is one of the least explored destinations in Dwarka. Dunny Point, located in Bety Dwarka, is a captivating island-like place that is ideal for water-based activities and bird watching. 

Along its coral-embedded water site, this uninhibited point is an eco-tourism site that also provides impressive marine camping. The Dunny Point  is completely disconnected from technology and electricity. You have the opportunity to see marine life and sea animals like dolphins, turtles and fish.

Shopping souvenirs

After you are done with visiting the places of interest, now it is time to go shopping. There is so much in store that you will surely get stuck while deciding as to what to buy and what not to buy. It will take some research before you walk into the right place to buy the mementos. 

Beautiful Patola sarees are a must-buy while shopping in Dwarka. The Bandhni style of embroidery is a visual treat, evoking the essence of rich Gujarati folk culture. Bandhni works in sarees, Ghagra cholis, dress materials, handicraft items, showpieces, and accessories in a rich display of life and liveliness. The mirror works, combined with a dazzle of sequins, shells, and beads in fabrics add new dimensions to the shoppers’ list. Silver ornaments or showpieces are another appealing purchase in Dwarka.

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Travel Tips

  • The nearest airport is in Jamnagar about 145 kilometers away. It is owned by Indian Air Force with very limited air traffic from some specific cities like Mumbai and Ahmedabad only. 
  • Dwarka has its own railway station that connects to the major cities of India. Dwarkadhish temple is only a couple of kilometers from the railway station.
  • Dwarka has excellent road connectivity with almost all parts of Gujarat and major parts of Western India.
  • Dwarka has enough accommodation facilities of all kinds to suit your pocket. There are hotels and lodges in and around the town and from luxury to budgeted ones. There are also guest houses and dharmasalas where you can get cheap accommodation. 
  • There are a good number of restaurants in Dwarka, but the food menu is limited to only Gujarati thalis.
  • Get a stomachful of breakfast during your trip to Beyt Dwarka and get back to Dwarka before lunch time. You will hardly find any eateries there. Also take enough water with you. 
  • Never use normal water for drinking purposes while travelling in coastal Gujarat, particularly in Dwarka and Somnath. The water is very saline and unfit for consumption. It is a good practice to use bottled water or keep enough RO water for the purpose.
  • Dwarka experiences subtropical climate and so it is warm throughout the year. It also receives very less rainfall. November to February when the climate is really pleasant is a good time to visit Dwarka.. I travelled in October and found the climate only OK.

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