Bet Dwarka (also spelled Beyt Dwarka) or Shankhodhar is an inhabited island at the mouth of the Gulf of Kutch situated 3 km (2 mi) off the coast of Okha, Gujarat, India. Northwest to southeast the island measures 13 km (8 mi) long with an average east-west width of 4 km (2 mi). It is a strip of sandstone situated 30 km (19 mi) north of the town of Dwarka.[1][2]

Bet Dwarka
Island
Map of Bet Dwarka
Map of Bet Dwarka
Bet Dwarka is located in Gujarat
Bet Dwarka
Bet Dwarka
Location in Gujarat, India
Bet Dwarka is located in India
Bet Dwarka
Bet Dwarka
Bet Dwarka (India)
Coordinates: 22°26′58″N 69°7′2″E / 22.44944°N 69.11722°E / 22.44944; 69.11722Coordinates: 22°26′58″N 69°7′2″E / 22.44944°N 69.11722°E / 22.44944; 69.11722
CountryIndia
StateGujarat
DistrictDevbhoomi Dwarka district
CityDwarka
Area
 • Total11 km2 (4 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total15,000
 • Density1,400/km2 (3,500/sq mi)
Languages
 • OfficialGujarati, Hindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationGJ-37
Websitegujaratindia.com

History of cityEdit

 
Bet Dwarka marked with other sites of Indus Valley Civilization, Late Phase (1900-1300 BCE)

Bet Dwarka is considered a part of the ancient city of Dvārakā. In Indian epic literature, it is the abode of Krishna, found in the Mahabharata and Skanda Purana. Gujarati scholar Umashankar Joshi suggested that Antardvipa in Sabha Parva of Mahabharata can be identified as Bet Dwarka, as the Yadavas of Dwarka are said to have travelled to it by boats. It derives its name Shankhodhar from the fact that the island is a large source of conch shells (Shankh). Archaeological remains found under the sea suggest the existence of a settlement during Late Harappan period of Indus Valley Civilization, or immediately after it. It can be reliably dated to the time of the Maurya Empire. It was a part of Okha Mandal or Kushdwip area. Dwarka is mentioned in a copper inscription of Simhaditya, the minister of Vallabhi under Maitraka, dated 574 AD. He was the son of Varahdas, the king of Dwarka.[1]

 
Bet Dwarka under Baroda state, Amreli division, 1909

The island, along with Okhamandal region, was under Gaekwad of Baroda State. During the Indian rebellion of 1857, the Vaghers captured this region. Later by joint offensive of the British, Gaekwad, and other princely state troops ousted the rebels and recaptured the region in 1859.[3][4][5]

After Indian Independence in 1947, it was integrated into the Saurashtra State. Later, Saurashtra merged with Bombay State under the state re-organization plans. When Gujarat was created from bifurcation of Bombay State, Bet Dwarka was under the jurisdiction Jamnagar district of Gujarat. Later, Devbhoomi Dwarka district was created from the Jamnagar district in 2013, and as such became part of it.

ArcheologyEdit

During investigations undertaken in the 1980s, the remains of earthen pots and other artifacts of Late Harappan period were found near Sidi Bawa Peer Dargah. In 1982, a 580 meter long protection wall dated 1500 BC was found, which believed to be damaged and submerged following a sea storm. The artifacts recovered include a Late Harappan seal, an inscribed jar and a mold of a copper-smith, also a copper fishhook. The shipwrecks and stone anchors found during excavations suggested the historic trade relation with Romans. The temples on the island are built around end of eighteenth century.[1][2][6]

Places of worshipEdit

Dhwarkadhish Temple and Shri Keshavraiji Temple are major temples of Krishna. Hanuman Dandi and Vaishnav Mahaprabhu Bethak and a Gurudwara are also pilgrimage places. Much later constructed Sidi Bawa Peer Dargah, Haji Kirmai Dargah are also situated here. A small temple of Abhaya mata is situated south of the island.

AccessEdit

Bet Dwarka can be reached by ferry service from Okha. The first sea bridge of Gujarat is under construction between Okha and Bet Dwarka. The 2 km (1 mi) long sea bridge is estimated to cost 400 crore.[7]

The bet is surrounded by several sand beaches. The southeast most end of bet is known as Dunny Point which is three side surrounded by sea. It is the first place in Gujarat developed for ecotourism. The temporary camps are set up for tourism during summer.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Rao, S. R.; Gaur, A. S. (July 1992). "Excavations at Bet Dwarka" (PDF). Marine Archeology. Marine Archeological Centre, Goa. 3: 42–. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b Gaur, A. S. (25 February 2004). "A unique Late Bronze Age copper fish-hook from Bet Dwarka Island, Gujarat, west coast of India: Evidence on the advanced fishing technology in ancient India" (PDF). Current Science. IISc. 86 (4): 512–514. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  3. ^ Ramanlal Kakalbhai Dharaiya (1970). Gujarat in 1857. Gujarat University. p. 120.
  4. ^ Achyut Yagnik (24 August 2005). Shaping Of Modern Gujarat. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 105–109. ISBN 978-81-8475-185-7.
  5. ^ "Gujarat During The Great Revolt: The Rebellion In Okhmandal". People's Democracy. October 7, 2007. Archived from the original on 16 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  6. ^ Gaur, A.S.; Sundaresh and Sila Tripati (2004). "An ancient harbour at Dwarka: Study based on the recent underwater explorations". Current Science. 86 (9).
  7. ^ "Nitin Gadkari approves construction of sea-link to connect Okha, Bet Dwarka". The Indian Express. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2017-07-18.

BibliographyEdit