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Pancha Dwaraka – Five Holy Places Associated with Sri Krishna in Gujarat and Rajasthan

Though known as Pancha Dwaraka there are a total of nine holy places associated with Sri Krishna in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Five of them are very important and therefore known as Pancha Dwaraka. There is no one opinion about Pancha Dwaraka but most devotees believe that the Pancha Dwaraka are Dwarkadhish Dwarka, Bet Dwarka, Sudama Dwarka, Dakor Dwarka and Nathdwara.

The first of these five is the main Dwarakadheesh Temple. It is one of the seven sacred places in Hinduism that confers salvation or moksha. It is also one of 108 sacred places of Vaishnavites. The place is mentioned in almost all Hindu scriptures. The temple was built during the reign of Vajranabha, grandson of Sri Krishna, by the divine architect Vishwakarma. The temple enshrines a 3-foot tall black stone image of Sri Krishna as Ranchod Raya.

Gomati Dwaraka is on the Gomati River and has a small temple of Goddess Gomati.

Rukmini Dwarka is located around 3 km from Dwarkadhish temple. It is believed that Sri Krishna married Rukmini here. There is a shrine dedicated to Rukmini here.

Bet Dwaraka is an island in the Arabian Sea off Gujarat. The belief is that Sri Krishna ruled here. Shrines dedicated to Rukmini, Trivikrama, Jambavati and Devaki are found here. Ferries carry pilgrims to the island.

Mula Dwaraka is the place where Krishna is believed to have first stepped when he came to Dwaraka.

Sudama Dwaraka is named after Kuchela, the childhood friend and devotee of Sri Krishna. It is also known as Sudamapuri and is located in modern Porbandar in Gujarat. It is believed that Sudama lived here. There is temple dedicated to Sudama here known as Sudama Mandira.

Mukti Dwaraka is another Dwaraka and it is near Balka. It is believed that Sri Krishna ended his stay on earth here when he was hit on foot by a hunter. There is a hall here with an image of Sri Krishna with his foot hanging down from a tree. The figure of the hunter, who shot the arrow at this leg by mistake, is shown bending down in remorse. Prabhasa Tirtha is located nearby.

Dakor Dwaraka is located at around 96 km from Ahmedabad and here is a beautiful temple dedicated to Sri Krishna as Ranchod Raya. Gomati lake with numerous ghats is located nearby. The murti of Krishna worshipped here was brought from Dwaraka by a devotee of Sri Krishna.

Nathdwara or Shrinathji Dwarka is located on the Jaipur – Udaipur highway and is around 67 km from Udaipur. Nathdwara means gateway to the Lord and is famous for the ornamental Shrinathji Temple of the 17th century AD. Krishna is worshipped here as Govardhan Giridhari – Krishna lifting Govardhan Mountain. The murti worshipped here is associated with Vallabhacharya.