Dwarka (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) is a small city and a municipality of Devbhoomi Dwarka district in the state of Gujarat in northwestern India. It is located on the western shore of the Okhamandal Peninsula on the right bank of the Gomti River. In 2011 it had a population of 38,873. Dwarka is one of the foremost Chardhams, four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites, and is one of the Sapta Puri, the seven most ancient religious cities in the country. Dwarka is often identified with the Dwarka Kingdom, the ancient kingdom of Krishna, and is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat.
The city’s Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Krishna was originally built around 2,500 years ago, but was destroyed by Mahmud Begada rulers and subsequently rebuilt in the 16th century. The temple is also the location of Dwaraka maţha, also called Sharada Matha/Peeth and “western peeth”,[note 1] one of the four peeths (Sanskrit: “religious center”) established by Adi Shankaracharya. As an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus, Dwarka has several notable temples, including Rukmini Devi Temple, Gomti Ghat, and Bet Dwarka. There is also a lighthouse at the land end point of Dwarka.
Dwarka’s economy relies heavily on pilgrims and tourism but is supplemented by the production of millets, ghee (clarified butter), oilseeds, and salt, which are transported from its port. A long-term development plan was proposed in 2011 by the Government of Gujarat, with investment of ₹830 million to refurbish the city of Dwarka and build a bridge connecting the city with Okha and Bet Dwarka. Janmashtami is the main festival that is celebrated during August and September. Sharda Peeth Vidya Sabha is an educational society sponsored by the Sharda Peeth, Dwarka which runs an arts college in Dwarka. Dwarka was selected as a heritage city by the Indian government’s Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) initiative.