Dwarka - Somnath Tour
Day 1: AHMEDABAD ARRIVAL & LOCAL CITY TOUR
Arrival at Ahmedabad, meets, greet & later transfer to hotel. Later visits of Gandhi
Ashram - It’s located on the western bank of the Sabarmati River. Ashram was the
residence of Mahatma Gandhi. From this Ashram Gandhi started the Dand March in 1930.
The ashram now has a museum, Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay. The museum building was
erected (designed by architect Charles Correa), and memorial activities were then
started here. One of the important activities undertaken is the establishment of
a Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. Initially started in 'Hriday Kunj,' Gandhi's own cottage
in the Ashram, the Sangrahalaya has now shifted to its own well-designed and well-furnished
building. Exhibits at the museum includes: Gandhi quotations, letters, and life
size oil painting gallery. Akshardham temple Akshardham temple is located in the
Gandhinagar; its distance from Ahmedabad is 30KMS. Spread over nine hectors it includes
a huge temple built in pink stone & white marble. Akshardham complex, a delicate
and beautiful architectural masterpiece - the Akshardham Monument - enshrines the
golden murti (idol) of Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan Faith.
There are some exhibitions will be there. From the exhibition ideals of Indian culture
are brought to life through the most modern exhibition technology. Shows, walk-through
dioramas, audio-visuals, light and sound programs, and surround experiences within
the 45,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, educate and enthrall visitors. The Sahajanand
Hal depicts the life of Lord Swaminarayan. Iskon Temple - ISKCON is the abbreviation
for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This temple depicts Lord Krishna
with his beloved lover Radha, who is regarded as the epitome of true love. Three
50-ft diameter stone shikhars (domes) hand-carved with depictions of Krishna's pastimes,
rise more than 100 ft. above the 25,000-sq-ft temple. The building, blending Gujarat
Sompura, and Rajasthani Khamira architectural styles, sits on four acres and features
one of the largest temple rooms in India. The 12,000-sq-ft hall can accommodate
4,000 people and is home to the Deities of Radha-Govinda, Gaura-Nitai, Sita-Rama-Laksman-Hamuman,
and Sri Nathji, as wel as murti forms of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati. Decorations include ornate stone-clad pillars marble flooring engraved
with colored granite designs, windows intricately carved in Rajastani Mewas style,
and Khemira and Araish decorated ceilings. Hate Singh Jain Temple- It was built
by Seth Hate Singh in 1850. It is easily distinguished by its high carved column,
visible from road. Built entirely of white marble embossed with smooth carvings
of dancers, musicians, animals & flowers, this serene temple is dedicated to Dharamnath,
whose statue stand in the main temple. It has a paved courtyard surrounded by an
imposing row of cloisters containing 52 shrines, each with an image of a tirthankara,
profusely decorated with rich carvings, one containing the marble image of the 15th
tirthankara. The temple is a two-storied structure with elaborate porches on three
sides and front porch crowned by a large dome. Vaisno Devi Temple - This temple
is placed around few kilometers from Ahmedabad is one of the prominent attraction
to the town. Vaisno Devi temple is very Popular Temple to the Goddess Vaishno Devi
in Ahmedabad. It is modeled after and is a scale replica of the Vaishno Devi Temple
in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. The temple draws huge
crowds of devotees from all over India. Law Garden - Law garden is a vibrant open
market where we can purchase jewelry, apparel and handicrafts. It’s a good place
to get Chaniya – Cholis (traditional dress worn in Navratri). It is a hub of local
vendors who sells excellent clothing items and handicraft materials. These shopping
centers are more popular with the locals since it sells fine verities of Navaratri
outfits. Law garden offers something to everybody are it kids, youth or the old.
Evening dinner & Overnight stay Ahmedabad.
Day 2: AHMEDABAD – DWARKA (480 KMS / 8 HOURS)
Morning drives to Dwarka, Enroute stops for Lunch, Evening check in to hotel. Evening
dinner & Overnight stay Dwarka.
Day 3: DWARKA FULL DAY VISITS
Dwarka is one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites of India; Sri Krishna
renounced war in Mathura for the greater good of the people living in the region
(and was hence known by the name Ranchodrai') and founded the city of Dwarka. It
is also the ancient kingdom of Shri Krishna and is believed to have been the first
capital of Gujarat. Dwarka was a planned city, on the banks of Gomti River. For
the safety of the people, Krishna and the Yadavas decided to move the capital from
Mathura to Dwarka. It is remote feeling and interesting town. Sightseeing in Dwarka
is Dwarkadish temple, Rukhmani temple, Gopi Talav (Pond), Nageshwara Jyotirling,
Dwarkadish Temple: Dwarkadish temple is
also known as Jagat temple or temple of the world dedicates the place where ‘Sambah’
the grea grandson of Shree Krishna built a temple more than 2500 years ago. The
present temple dates from 15th – 16th century It is splendidly set on the sea coast.
The temple has a five storey tower with a banner decorated with symbols of the Sun
& the Moon. The temple is made of limestone and sand. There is a flag hoisted in
the temple tower four times each day which waves in the air beautifully welcoming
the pilgrims. The structure of the temple is quite complicated. There are two gateways:
Swarga Dwar, where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar, where pilgrims exit.
Rukhmani Temple: One other important site
is the Rukhmani temple which is a fine example of Hindu architecture of Gujarat
of 12th – 13th century. Rukhmani Temple is located 2 KMS away from Dwarka There
is a myth associated with it once Krishna and Rukhmani went to 'Durvasha rushi'
to invite him at Dwarka. He was agreed on the condition that they (Krishna & Rukhmani)
have to carry the cart instead of any animal. Krishna & Rukhmani happily agreed
to do so. While driving the cart, Rukhmani became thirsty. Then Krishna stopped
the cart and made water from Holy River Ganga by pressing leg thumb at land. 'Durvasha'
upset by the action and nuisance Rukhmani to stay away from Shree Krishna Hence
Rukhmani temple is located 2 KMS. Away from Dwarka's Jagat Mandir.
Nageshwar Jyotirling: It is located on the
route between Dwarka and the Beyt Dwarka Island, on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat.
This temple enshrines one of the 12 Jyotirling in INDIA. This powerful Jyotirling
symbolizes protection from all poisons. It is said that those who pray to the Nageshwar
Ling become free of poison. According to Shiv Puran, a Shiva devotee by name Supriya
was attacked by a demon Daruka while in a boat. The demon imprisoned him along with
several others at his capital Daruka vana (Jungle) where he resided with his wife
Daruki. Supriya advised all prisoners to recite the mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. When
Daruka came to know about this he ran to kill Supriya. Instantly Lord Shiva appeared
in the form of a Jyotirling. One of the Nageshwar’s attractions is the 26 m statue
of a sitting Shiva outside.
Beyt Dwarka: Beyt Dwarka is located 30 KMS
north of Dwarka on an island in the middle of the Arabian Sea, next to the coastal
town of Okha. Here Vishnu is said to have kill a demon. Beyt Dwarka is considered
the original residence of lord Krishna. The main temple was built about 500 years
ago by Shri Vallabhacharya, a famous guru of the Pushtimarg Sampradaya and has an
idol believed to have been made by Rukhmani. The traditional donation of rice to
Brahmins has special importance here, as it is believed to be the place where Krishna’s
friend Sudama presented him with rice. The temple complex includes several small
temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Hanuman and Devi. There is a deserted beach
on the northern coast.
Gopi Talav: Gopi Talav is 21 KMS far from
Dwarka. It is a small pond. Gopi’s used to take bath in this lake so it is called
Gopi Talav. The main attraction of Gopi Lake is Mahaprabhu Ji Bethak. The earth
of the lake is yellow sanded which is known as Gopi Chandan. The devotees take Gopi
Chandan, believing it to be very good for skin disease. Lord Krishna often meets
Gopi’s here, played Ras Leela with them and also played the flute. Evening dinner
& overnight stay Dwarka.
Day 4: DWARKA – PORBANDAR – SOMNATH (VERAVAL) (240 KMS / 6 – 7 HOURS WITH S/S PORBANDAR)
Morning drives to Porbandar (120 KMS / 2.5 Hours), Porbandar is situated on the
western coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat, lays the harbour city of Porbandar, better
known as the birth-place of Gandhi - The Father of The Nation. Extremely poor but
self-respected Sudama and Krishna’s friendship brings tears of joy, when remembered.
The Jethwa Rajputs named it their capital and ruled from it for 1200 years. Kirti
Temple- The major attraction for the most visitors to this city is the three story
house where Gandhi was born in 1869. The Kirti Mandir memorial built next to Mahatma
Gandhi’s birthplace lies in the old walled township of Porbandar between the gates
and the Manek Chowk. The place where his mother gave birth is marked with a Swastika.
Closest to the many years old residence is the 24 m (79 feet) high Kirti Mandir
with 79 lamps on its peak – one for each year of Gandhi’s life. Here we can see
the photographs, study room of Gandhi, Library, Prayer hall etc. Sudama Temple-
it is associated with a popular story of Krishna and his dear friend Sudama. The
shrine marks where Sudama’s hut once stood and is the only temple dedicated to him
in India. Continue drives to Veraval / Somnath (120 KMS / 2.5 Hours), Evening visits
of Somnath temple & lighting show. Somnath Temple – Somnath is a Lord shiva temple
known as Jyotirling built by Moon God. Somnath is one of among 12 jyotirlings. The
temple of somnath itself is believed to have appeared first in gold, at the request
of the sun god, next in silver, created by the moon god, a third time in wood at
the command of lord Krishna & finally in stone built by Bhimdeva. The temple to
the tenth century when it become rich from follower donations, such wealth become
to the attention of the Mahmud of Ghazni who destroyed the place of pilgrimage &
carried its wealth off to Afghanistan. The current temple was built to traditional
designs on the original costal site. Walking distance from the temple is the Prabhas
Patan museum housing architectural fragments of the original temple of the somnath
before they were destroyed by invaders. The present temple, built in 1947 – 95,
is the seventh re construction on the original site. It is illuminated every evening
and the sound, light show. The sea at Somnath is rough not safe for swimming. Later
check in to hotel, Evening dinner & Overnight stay at Veraval.
Day 5: VERAVAL / SOMNATH – RAJKOT / AHMEDABAD
Morning departures transfer to Rajkot / Ahmedabad or journey to next destination.