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The Ancient Dwaraka

Dwaraka is one of the seven holy places of India. The ancient Dwaraka was founded by lord Sri Krishna Himself. Being disgusted with the repeated attacks by Jarasandha of Magadha who wanted to take revenge on Krishna because Krishna had killed Kansa the son in-law of Jarasandha, Lord Sri Krishna along with the inhabitants of Mathura, settled in an island with sea around. This island is dwaraka near the coast of Gujarat. The former name of Dwaraka was Kushasthali.
Lord Krishna, Balarama and other yadavas lived there for several years in peace. But at last the apocalypse came. Dwaraka was sub-merged in the sea as the sea level increased due to geographical reasons. In the mausala parva of Mahabharata, Arjuna had witnessed the submergence of Dwaraka and had narrated like this.-
“The sea which had been beating against the shores suddenly broke the boundary that was imposed on it by Nature. The sea rushed into the city. It coursed through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered up everything in the city. I saw the beautiful buildings becoming sub-merged one by one. In a matter of few moments it was all over.

The city had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the city. Dwaraka was just a name, just a memory.”
It was a pathetic event. It sounds the note of a true tragedy. During 1983-1990 Deptt of marine archaeology of India carried out under water excavations at Dwarka and Bet Dwarka. According to S.R. Rao, the director, said-
The available archaeological evidence confirms the existence of a city state with a couple of satellite towns in 1500 BC. He concluded that the submerged city is the Dwaraka as described in the Mahabharata.
In the Bhagabata Purana, we get a beautiful description of Dwaraka.


“The city was filled with the sounds of birds and bees flying about the parks and pleasure gardens. While its lakes, crowded with blooming indivara ambhajo, kahlara, kumuda and utpala lotuses resounded with the calls of swans and cranes.
There were 9,00,00 royal palaces, all constructed with crystal and silver with huge emeralds. Inside these palaces the furnishings were bedecked with gold and jewels. Traffic moved along a well laid out system of roads, intersections and market places. Many assembly houses and temples of demi gods graced the charming city.
In the city of Dwaraka was a beautiful private quarter worshipped by the planetary rules. This area was the residential area of Lord Sri Krishna. It was gorgeously decorated by the sixteen thousand palaces of Lord ‘Krishna’ queens. Narada Muni once entered one of these immense palaces.
Such was Dwaraka. This is only a tip of description. The dwelling place of god can not be described. It is beyong our imagination. But everything comes to end in this world. Dwaraka was no exception. It also met with its nemesis.

(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)

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Radhakanta Seth is a former Income tax officer in Sambalpur.  He is a freelance writer and his articles have been published in some Oriya dailies like Sambad, Samaj, Dharitri, and English dailies like The Telegraph and in a sociological journal ‘Folklore’ published from Kolkata.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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