In the far west of the peninsula, fertile wheat, groundnut and cotton fields emerge in vivid contrast to the arid expanses further inland. According to Hindu legend, Krishna fled Mathura to this coastal region, declaring DWARKA his capital. A labyrinth of narrow winding streets cluttered with temples, the town resonates today with the bustle of eager saffron-clad pilgrims and the clatter of celebratory drums. Dwarka really comes to life during the major Hindu festivals; the most fervent are the Shivratri Mela (Feb/March) and Janmashtami (Aug/Sept).
The elaborately carved tower of the sixteenth-century Dwarkadish Temple looms 50m above the town. Non-Hindus can enter the shrine only on signing a form declaring respect for religion.
When Krishna came to Dwarka with the Yadava clan, he eloped with Princess Rukmini. One kilometre east of town, the small twelfth-century Rukmini Temple is, if anything, more architecturally impressive than the Dwarkadish temple, with carvings of elephants, flowers, dancers and Shiva in several of his aspects covering every wall. For great sea and town views, climb to the top of the lighthouse.