Dwaraka was a western Indian city submerged by the sea right after the death of Sri Krishna. This was regarded as a grandiose metaphor, part of a story filled with great myths. But in the early eighties an important archaeological site was found at the site of the legendary city of Lord Krishna.
Situated in Saurashtra, at a point where the Gomti river meets the Arabian sea, it has acquired multifarious names down the ages: Dwaraka, the gateway to eternal happiness; Swarnapuri, the city of gold, Swarnadwarika, the golden gateway. Why is that the rediscovery of Dwaraka has not attracted the same degree of attention in the West, as that of ancient Troy by Heinrich Schliemann?
Literary texts like the Mahabharata, Harivamsha and Purana contain traditions about the foundation of Dwaraka, its planning and glory. Before the legendary city of Dwaraka was discovered some scholars were of the view that the Mahabharata being only a myth it would be futile to look for the remains of Dwaraka and that too in the sea. Others held that the Kurukshetra battle was a family feud exaggerated into a war.
Excavations done by Dr. S.R. Rao at Dwaraka prove that the descriptions as found in these texts are not to be discarded as fanciful but are to be treated as based on actualities as seen by their authors. The architecture of the old Dwaraka of Krishna is majestic and wonderful. The great poet Premanand has in his Sudamacarit described its splendid beauty and majesty. Dwaraka is mentioned as Golden City in Mahabharata, Skanda Purana, Vishnu Purana and Harivamsha.
Interesting descriptions about its construction are found in Purana. «Fearing attack from Jarasangh and Kalayvan on Mathura, Sri Krishna and Yadavas left Mathura and arrived at the coast of Saurashtra. They decided to build their capital in the coastal region and invoke the Vishwakarma, the deity of construction. However, Vishwakarma says that the task can be completed only if Samudradeva, the Lord of the sea provided some land. Sri Krishna worshipped Samudradeva, who was pleased and gave them land measuring 12 yojans and the divine architect Vishwakarma build Dwaraka, a city in gold». Another story says that at the time of the death of Sri Krishna, who was hit by the arrow of a hunter near Somnath at Bhalka Tirth, Dwaraka disappeared in the sea.
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