Poised at the tip of the peninsula, at India’s western edge, Dwarka is one of Hinduism’s sacred Charm Dham, or “four abodes,” thanks to its legendary role as Lord Krishna’s capital following his flight from Mathura to the coast. In vivid contrast to the arid expanses further inland, Dwarka is surrounded by fertile wheat, groundnut and cotton fields, while the city itself is a labyrinth of narrow winding streets cluttered with crumbling temples. Today, these still resonate with the bustle of saffron-clad pilgrims and the clatter of celebratory drums. Dwarka really comes to life during the major Hindu festivals, especially Janmashtami (Aug/Sept), marking Krishna’s birthday.

Jagat Mandir, the elaborately carved tower of the sixteenth-century Dwarkadhish Temple, looms 78m over the town, comprising five storeys and 72 pillars while hoisting a giant flag made from more than 46m of cloth. It is believed that the original structure was built 2500 years ago by Vajranabha, Krishna’s grandson, and that it has been destroyed by raging seas and rebuilt no less than six times. Non-Hindus may be required to sign a form declaring respect for the religion before they enter.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook