Offbeat travel gives unique experiences, and you should try it once in a while! Wondering about the ideas? Let us go to the island of Bet Dwarka or Bhent Dwarka near to the coastal city of Dwarka!
Yeah, What is so special about Bet Dwarka?
When Krishna Janmashtami is going on in full swing, all we think of is Krishna Temples! Even Bet Dwarka has a Krishna Temple, but we are concentrating on its interesting history and evolution through the ages!
Ferries Going to Bet Dwarka Island
Photo Courtesy: T.sujatha
Not exciting yet? For the record, Bet Dwarka was the place where Lord Krishna lived during his reign of Dwarka Kingdom. It is also the place where Sudhama, the poor friend of Lord Krishna offered him Poha (a dish) as a gift!
Haven't you heard of the famous Krishna - Sudhama Story?
To brush your memories a little, it was the time when Lord Krishna was all married and settled with Rukmini! At that time, Bet Dwarka is believed to have been the royal residence of Lord Krishna.
A view from the Bet Dwarka Island
Photo Courtesy: Amit.tannk
Sudhama, feeling helpless due to poverty, decides to seek Krishna's help. Sudhama's wife packs him a handful of Poha (Krishna's favourite dish) to offer to the Lord. Though he meets Krishna, Sudhama finds it difficult to bring the matter.
Meanwhile, Krishna playfully asks for the gift his friend has brought. Poor Sudhama, embarrassed to offer Poha (as it is not an extravagant dish), tries to hide it. However, Krishna finds his way and relishes on a handful of Poha and he offers a second handful of Poha to his wife. As he is about to take the third handful, Rukmini stops him.
Entrance to Keshavaraji Temple
Photo Courtesy: Maheshmvasu
Disappointed, Sudhama returns without asking for help. But a surprise awaits him back home! Instead of his ragged hut, there stood a palace with his wife and children looking like royals in luxurious costumes. Shocked by the changes, he realises it is Krishna's magical powers.
It is said that Sudhama offered his Bhent or Bet (gift) at this island. Hence, the place is named as Bet Dwarka or Bhent Dwarka.
Tourists and Villagers have separate ferries
Photo Courtesy: nevil Zaveri
Unearthing the History of Bet Dwarka
Apart from the mythology, Bet Dwarka has always been a thriving place. Traces of ancient civilizations has been found on this island. As per some historical records, many inscriptions dating to Mauryan Empire has been discovered at Bet Dwarka.
Photo Courtesy: T.sujatha
Interestingly, they have discovered the remnants of Late Harappan civilization. The excavations of wrecked ships and port indicate to the trade relations it had with the other continents.
Travelling to Bet Dwarka
Bet Dwarka is situated about 35km from Dwarka. It is only accessible through a ferry ride from the coast of Okha.
The island is a religious place with many temples. Bet Dwarka is known for Dwarkadish Temple, Shri Keshavraji Temple and Hanuman Dandi.
Hanuman Dandi Temple
Photo Courtesy: Sunilkr05
There is not much to explore other than the religious places in the island. You can also check out the Gurudwara. Be prepared for cramming yourself on the ferry journey which can be engaging!
However, a 20 minutes ferry ride from the coast of Okha will take you to Bet Dwarka or Shankodhar.
Gurudwara at Bet Dwarka
Photo Courtesy: Popeyezulu
Bet Dwarka is being developed as an eco-tourism place in Gujarat. The tranquil beauty of this island, temples, fishing villages and salt manufacturing units (near the coast of Okha) are some of the major attractions in and around Bet Dwarka.
How to Reach Bhent Dwarka
Bet Dwarka can only be reached through ferries from Okha Jetty.
- By Bus: Buses are available to reach Dwarka and Okha. Tourists can either take buses or shared cabs to reach Okha which is around 30km from Dwarka. From Okha, you have to take ferries to reach the island.
- By Train: Okha Railway Station is the nearest railway station.
Click: How to Reach Dwarka
Isn't interesting to explore 'all in one' (historical, religious and archaeological) place like Bet Dwarka? It might not have many tourist places, but it is a unique destination for enthusiastic souls out there!
Happy Krishna Janmashtami to Everyone!