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in Dwaraka Dham
By Muralidhara das (Kosovo,Yugoslavia)
and Kalachakra Das (Minneapolis, USA)
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
We recently visited Dwaraka Dhama for the first time. This is why we have decided to share with all of you our first impressions of Dwaraka Dham. Indeed, Dwaraka is the dham where, as we all know, Lord Krishna resided for over 100 years, but what many of us don't know is that ISKCON has a small guest house there with 20 beautiful rooms (see more photos on http://photos.yahoo.com/murli038).
There are Sri Sri Rukmini-Dwarakadhish Deities (photo) and very enthusiastic devotees who under the care and constant supervision of the founder of the Dwaraka project, HH Maha Vishnu Goswami (photo), are progressing nicely, with the construction of a nice ISKCON temple for the pleasure of Sri Sri Rukimi Devi Dwarakadhish. The special feature of this temple is that it is made entirely of stone— the first of its kind in the history of ISKCON. The construction has come up to the first floor (photo), and we hope that by the year 2003-2004 it will be finished. As we spoke with HH Maha Vishnu Goswami, he enthusiastically explained to us the importance of this pioneer ISKCON project for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada.
Some travel tips: Dwaraka is the holy dham located in Gujarat state close to the large cities of Rajkot and Jamnagar.
How to get there: Best and cheapest is by train from Bombay / Mumbai, direct train to Dwaraka. Every night at 8 PM, the direct train from Mumbai central train station leaves to Dwaraka, arriving at 2 PM the next day. Price is 700 rupees roundtrip, second class sleeper (same transportation as used by 77-year-old HH Maha Vishnu Goswami).
You can also fly from Mumbai to Jamnagar and then take a taxi but it will cost you more.
Now, let us describe briefly Dwarak Dham— the atmosphere, the people, and the things to do. Dwaraka is not so much visited by tourists,.The atmosphere is relaxed. The people like devotees and will not cheat you. All in all, it is very safe to move around.
The Dwarakadhish temple (photo), seen from the ISKCON guesthouse roof, is the oldest temple in the dham. Nobody knows how old it is, but some people say that 4,000 years ago, it was build by Lord Krishna's nephew. Non-Hindus are welcome to enter in any temple in Dwaraka dham. There are no restrictions, as Dwarakadhishji is very merciful. Dwaraka also offers its wonderful natural sand beaches, what to speak of the unpolluted Arabian Sea and the holy river Gomati Ganga, which merges into the Arabian sea.
As already mentioned, this dham is not overcrowded with pilgrims, and it has a nice devotional atmosphere. Until lately you could see a sign at the entrance of Dwaraka city in capital letters: NO meat, fish, and eggs, gambling, illicit sex and intoxication. Of course, Kali is taking over, but again, you will not see so many bad things around, and what I notice is that people are very religious minded. Close to our ISKCON guest house there is a Lord Rama temple where devotees have been singing "Jaya Rama, Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama" nonstop for 30 years. Every morning at 4 AM they have street Harinama, and they wake up all inhabitants of Dwaraka with their melodious Harinama.
The Dwarakadhish temple also has many special activities like climbing up and raising the flag every day, etc.
The Dwaraka travel office offers you an unforgettable trip to Lord Krishna's original Dwaraka city, which is some 20 miles away. On the way you can see many old temples. We strongly recommend that everybody visit Dwaraka Dham and take darshan of Lord Dwarakadhish. We are inviting everybody to participate in ISKCON Dwaraka Ratha Yatra celebration, every year on 26 January. Many hundreds of devotees from all over India and the rest of the world come to participate in this wonderful event.
For further information and bookings please contact devotees at:
Tel: + 91 2892 34606
Your humble servants.
For any comments or question, feel free to e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© CHAKRA 14 May 2002
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