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Listed under Sacred Spaces in Gujarat, India.

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Among the numerous categories of sacred sites in India are the Sapta Puri, or Seven Sacred Cities of Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Banaras, Kanchi, Ujjain and Dwarka. Known as Mokshada, meaning ‘Bestower of Liberation’, these sites are believed to confer liberation upon all persons who die within their boundaries. Dwarka, one of these seven sacred cities, is also one of the, Dhamas, or Four Divine Abodes. Seldom visited by westerners because of its remote location in the state of Gujarat, the beautiful Jagatmandir Krishna temple graces the center of Dwarka. One of India's oldest and most venerated pilgrimage sites, Dwarka's archaeological background is shrouded in mystery. Mythologically, Dwarka was the site chosen by Garuda, the Divine Eagle, who brought Krishna here when he departed Mathura. After founding the ocean-side city Krishna lived there until he died, according to legend in 3102 BC. Scholars believe that the oldest parts of the Jagatmandir temple may only date to the reconstructions of the Gupta period in 413 AD.

Besides being a Sapta Puri and a Dhama, Dwarka is also visited by large numbers of pilgrims because of its association with the saint Mira Bai. One of India's most popular saints, Mira Bai renounced her life as the wife of a powerful 16th century king to dedicate her days to the worship of Lord Krishna. Mira Bai followed the spiritual path known as Bhakti Yoga, which is characterized by a devotional love of god. The path of the Bhakti yogi is concerned with invoking the presence of the divine through adoration of a statue or painting of a deity. In Mira Bai's case, as with many other saints in India's long history, this invocation called forth not only the felt presence of the deity but actually a living, moving form of Krishna.

Photo: Jagatmandir Krishna Temple

More about Dwarka from Sacred Sites.

Written by  Martin Gray.

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