Out of the seven most ancient cities in India- Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Benares, Kanchi, Ujjain and Dwaraka, one of the most investigated subjects and the area of interest of Archaeologists is Dwarka (also Known as Dwarwarti). It is believed that Lord Krishna is known as Dwarkadhisha or the King of this old lost city. Dwaraka has a special importance as a major Hindu pilgrim.
Dwaraka has special importance and is considered as one of the major Hindu pilgrimage sites. It was the land of the great archer Ekalavya, even Dronacharya had lived here. Kavi Magha in his Sisupalavadha (in verse 2) describes from slokas 31 onwards about the city of Dwaraka, sloka 33 can be translated as:
"The yellow glitter of the golden fort of the city in the sea throwing yellow light all round looked as if the flames of Vadavagni came out tearing asunder the sea."
According to the Hindu mythology, Dwarka was founded by the Yadavas by the sea shore of Gujarat who was fled from the Surasena Kingdom to save the citizens of Mathura from the fear of Jarasandha, the king of Magadha. After the Mahabharata war, Lord Krishna lived for 36 years at Dwaraka. In Mahabharata it is mentioned, when Krishna died and Arjuna took Rukmini and other wives of Krishna to Hastinapura; the sea came after them and the city went under the sea.
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In 1963, the first archaeological excavations at Dwaraka were done by a team of the Deccan College, Pune and the Department of Archeology of Gujarat Government, under the guidance of H.D. Sankalia. Between 1983 and 1990, the submerged city was discovered by the Marine Archaeological Unit (MAU) of The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the supervision of Dr S. R. Rao (one of the most respected archaeologists of India, who excavated a large number of Harappan sites including the port city of Lothal in Gujarat).
Dwarkadheesh temple, Image source: Wikimedia Commons
In 2001, the students of National Institute of Oceanography were commissioned by the Indian Government to do a survey on pollution in Gulf of Khambat, seven miles from the shore. During the survey, they found buildings made of stones covered in mud and sand covering five square miles. Divers have collected blocks, samples, artefacts, and coppers coins, which scientists believe is the evidence from an age that is about 3,600 years old.
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Before the discovery of the legendary city of Dwaraka, some scholars were of view that the Hindu Epic Mahabharata is only a myth and that it would be futile to search for the remains of the ancient city and that too in the sea. Few scholars also believe that the Mahabharata battle was a family feud which was exaggerated into a war. Excavations of Dr S. R. Rao at Dwaraka prove that the descriptions found in the texts are not to be discarded as fancy stories but are to be treated as based on logic and reasoning.
– by Priyanka Saha of NewsGram. Twitter: @priyanka140490