Krishna TrailWhere every journey tells a story
Jamnagar – Dwarka – Beyt Dwarka – Somnath – Ahmedabad – Shamlaji – Ahmedabad – Dakor – Ahmedabad
The birth of Krishna is in itself a transcendental phenomenon that generates awe among the Hindus and overwhelms one and all with its supra mundane happenings. Mother Earth, unable to bear the burden of sins committed by evil kings and rulers, appealed to Brahma, the Creator for help. Brahma prayed to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, who assured him that he would soon be born on earth to annihilate tyrannical forces. One such evil force was Kansa, the ruler of Mathura (in northern India) and his people were utterly terrified of him. On the day Kansa’s sister Devaki was married off to Vasudeva, an akashvani or voice from the sky was heard prophesying that Devaki’s 8th son would be the destroyer of Kansa.
The frightened Kansa immediately unsheathed his sword to kill his sister but Vasudeva intervened and implored Kansa to spare his bride, and promised to hand over every new born child to him. Kansa relented but imprisoned both Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. When Devaki gave birth to her first child, Kansa came to the prison cell and slaughtered the newborn. In this way, he killed the first six sons of Devaki. Even before her 8th child was born, Devaki and Vasudeva started lamenting its fate and theirs. Then suddenly Lord Vishnu appeared before them and said he himself was coming to rescue them and the people of Mathura. He asked Vasudeva to carry him to the house of his friend, the cowherd chief Nanda in Gokula right after his birth, where Nanda’s wife Yashoda had given birth to a daughter. He was to exchange his boy and bring Yashoda’s baby daughter back to the prison. Vishnu assured them that “nothing shall bar your path”. At midnight on ashtami, the divine baby was born in Kansa’s prison. Remembering the divine instructions, Vasudeva clasped the child to his bosom and started for Gokula, but found that his legs were in chains. He jerked his legs and was unfettered! The massive iron-barred doors unlocked and opened up. While crossing river Yamuna, Vasudeva held his baby high over his head. The rain fell in torrents and the river was in spate. But the water made way for Vasudeva and miraculously a five-mouthed snake followed him from behind and provided shelter over the baby. When Vasudeva reached Gokula, he found the door of Nanda’s house open. He exchanged the babies and hurried back to the prison of Kansa with the baby girl. Early in the morning, all the people at Gokula rejoiced the birth of Nanda’s beautiful male child. Vasudeva came back to Mathura and as he entered, the doors of the prison closed themselves. When Kansa came to know about the birth, he rushed inside the prison and tried to kill the baby. But this times it skipped from his hand and reaching the sky. She was transformed into the goddess Yogamaya, who told Kansa: “O foolish! What will you get by killing me? Your nemesis is already born somewhere else.” In his youth Krishna killed Kansa along with all his cruel associates, liberated his parents from prison, and reinstated Ugrasen as the King of Mathura.
Day 1 Jamnagar – Dwarka
Arrival at Jamnagar airport and drive to Dwarka.
Dwarka is a unique place on the Hindu Pilgrims map. It is not only one of the sapta Puri or seven sacred cities but also one of the four dhamas or Divine Abodes of India. These seven sacred cities are known as Mokshada as it is believed that a person’s dyeing within their boundaries of these cities is conferred liberation. The word Dwarka is made up of two words: Dwara, meaning the door and Ka, implying eternal happiness. Hence Dwarka is the Gate to Liberation.
Visit Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna situated in Dwarka.
Later visit Rukmini Temple dedicated to the Rukmini wife of Lord Krishna.
Dwarkadhish Jagat Mandir: Krishna, who is worshipped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or ‘King of Dwarka. The Kingdom of Krishna, which submerged in to the ocean after the Mahabharata war. The main shrine of the 5-storied building, supported by 72 pillars, is known as Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir, and is believed to be 2,500 years old. The present temple was built in 16th century CE, while 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 became part of the Char Dham pilgrimage considered sacred.
Rukmini Devi Temple: It stands 4 km away from Dwarka City. The local explanation given for this distance is an old legend. They say, once Lord Krishna and his wife Rukmini went to the sage Durvasha to invite him for dinner at Dwarka. He agreed on the condition that Krishna & Rukmini would have to pull his chariot instead of any animal. The couple happily obliged. While pulling the chariot, Rukmini became thirsty so Lord Krishna prodded his toe into the earth to draw a spring of the holy Ganga water. Rukmini took a sip without offering Durvasha. Annoyed by her impoliteness he cursed Rukmini that she would be separated from her beloved husband. Hence Rukmini temple is located 4 kms away from Dwarka’s Jagat Mandir.
Day 2 Dwarka – Beyt Dwarka – Somnath
Today morning visit Beyt Dwarka: Believed to be the residence of Lord Krishna and his family, Beyt Dwarka is one of the landmark sites in Dwarka. It is believed that Lord Krishna ruled the city from here. It is also believed that Lord Vishnu choose this spot to kill the demon Shankhasura and the place has also got other soubriquet- Bet Shankhoddar. To add glamour to these mythical stories, Beyt Dwarka now houses a host of prominent shrines that allures the devotees with its exquisite serenity. Along with the imposing temples and shrines one would be thronged to this place since it possesses one of the excellent beaches in the entire subcontinent. With its sparkling shores and the gleaming waters Beyt Dwarka appears as a bewitching lure to all. It proffers quite a nice time and would be a perfect site to spend one’s time in sheer solitude. Blessed with an idyllic environ, this appealing island would enthrall you with its innate prettiness and charm. A visit to this nature’s gift t would be an unforgettable experience and render you a once in a life time experience.
Gopi Talav: The Soil of Gopi talav is yellow in colour and it is extremely smooth. There is myth that after leaving “Vruj”, Krishna never went back to “Vruj”. During Krishna’s Childhood, he played ras leelas many times with gopies (young female inhabitant of Vruj). They traveled from “Vruj” to Dwarka, to meet Shri Krishna. They after playing Ras Leelas again with Shri Krishna, on night of “Sharad Purnima”, offered their lives to soil of this land and hence this land has become popular as “Gopi Talav”. Continue drive to Somnath and visit Bhalka Tirth: Years after establishing his kingdom in Dwarka, Krishna had retired into the forest and was deep in mediation. A passing hunter mistook him for a deer and shot an arrow. The arrow pierced Lord Krishna in the heel, the Lord’s only vulnerable spot. When the hunter realised his mistake, he rushed to Krishna’s side and begged for forgiveness. Krishna then sent his charioteer to inform Arjuna about his impending death. Arjuna took the Lord to Dehotsag, at the confluence of the three holy rivers- Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati. Here, Krishna left his mortal body and departed to his heavenly abode. Since this confluence is where the Lord chose to leave the earth, the side is considered auspicious for performing asthi visarjan ceremony for last rites. The Bhalka Tirth temple has been erected on the spot where the arrow pierced Krishna.
Day 3 Somnath – Ahmedabad
Today early morning drive to Ahmedabad. Rest of the day at leisure
Day 4 Ahmedabad – Shamlaji – Ahmedabad
Morning drive to Shamlaji and visit Shamlaji Temple: Shamlaji is one of the largest pilgrim temples located 130 Kms away from Ahmedabad the Shamlaji Temple stands in honour of Lord Vishnu. It is more commonly known among locals as “Dhodi Dhwaja Vada” because it always has a white silk flag fluttering on top of temple. Their unique design on the outer part of temple is one of its greatest attractions; the image becomes more interesting with the mountains in the background. The temple has a beautiful sculpture of Lord Krishna as Shamdiya bhagwan, with a piece of real diamond embossed on his chin. The magnificence of the temple is enhanced by exquisite stone carvings, idols of gods, nymphs, musicians and celestial dancers, beautiful domed ceilings and a towering spire. Scenes from the epic stories “Mahabharata” and “Ramayana” grace the walls of this 11th- century temple. According to local lore, the temple originated when surrounding tribes began worshipping an idol in a makeshift space at a riverside field. Soon they referred to the idol as Kaliyo Dev or “Dark Divinity”. A local merchant built a more permanent structure to house the deity which was later beautified by the Idar rulers. Later drive back to Ahmedabad and visit Jaganath Temple.
Jaganath Temple: The site on which Jaganath temple stands today was a thick forest 45 years ago. Sadhus normally seek places of solitude beside rivers away from the noise of cities. It so happened that one Sadhu named Hanuman dasji happened to pass this way and found this jungle area suitable for his stay. Being a devotee of RAMBHAKT MARUTI, he installed his deity’s idol there. During his stay some miraculous happening attracted people from the neighbouring areas, and soon it developed this place into a modest
temple. His successor Sadhu Shree SARANGDASJI happened to be a devotee of Lord Jaganath. While on a visit to Jaganath Mandir at Puri. He had visionary instruction from Lord Jaganath to go back to Ahmedabad and install there the idols of Lord Jaganath and his elder brother Lord BALDEVJI and sister Goddess SUBHADRAJI at this temple. Thus the Hanuman temple then came to be Jaganath Temple. During the period 1996-2000 the temple was renovated and the three idols were ritually installed on raised pedestal. An idol of Garuda, Krishna’s vehicle was placed in front of the altar and a spacious auditorium was also created in the temple building during renovation to allow devotees to gather for bhajans and attend religious discourses.
Day 5 Ahmedabad – Dakor – Ahmedabad
Morning drive to Dakore and visit Ranchhodrai Temple: Like all ancient temples, this temple too has a captivating saga that unfurls when one delves in its history. Vijayanand Bodana, a Rajput of Dakor, and his wife Gangabai were ardent devotees of Lord Krishna. Bodana used to go to Dwarka every six months to worship Lord Krishna carrying with him – ‘Tulsi Patra’ (basil plant leaves). He did this continuously and persistently till he reached a ripe age of 72 years when he began to find it more and more difficult to pursue his ritual. Exceedingly pleased with his devotion and seeing his troubles, Lord Krishna came in his dream and said, “You need not come now, I myself will come near you. On your next visit to Dwarka, bring a bullock-cart and I shall accompany you to Dakor”. He did exactly this on his next visit to Dwarka. Upon learning his intentions, the priests of Dwarka (Gugli Brahmins) locked and sealed the sanctum sanctorum of Dwarka Temple for the night. At mid night, Lord Krishna broke open all the doors, awoke Bodana and together they left for Dakor. In Dwarka, the priests finding the idol missing chased Bodana and came to Dakor searching for it. Fearing the priests of Dwarka, Bodana hid the idol in the Gomti Lake. Thereafter, Lord Krishna directed Gangabai, wife of Bodana, to give gold equivalent of the idol’s weight and ask the priests to return to Dwarka. The priests agreed and a large weighing scale was set up on the banks of the Gomti. As Gangabai was very poor, a golden nose-ring was all that she had. Accordingly, the idol of Lord Krishna was weighed here against the golden nose-ring of Gangabai and Tulsi Patra. Miraculously, her pure devotion towards the Lord made it possible for the nose-ring to balance the weighing scale. Even today, the place where the idol of Lord Krishna was weighed exists on the bank of the Gomti Lake known as ‘Tula Ka Sthan’. The priests were saddened but the Lord mercifully directed them that they would find, after six months, an exact replica of the idol in Sevaradhan Vav (well with steps) at Dwarka. Unable to resist their curiosity, the priests looked for the idol sometime earlier, and found an idol which though similar to the original one, was much smaller in size. This smaller idol is currently enshrined at the Dwarka temple. Thus, Lord Krishna stayed permanently at Dakor where he is fondly known as Ranchhodraiji.
Day 6 Ahmedabad
Today drive to airport to board flight to Bombay / Delhi.