October 10, 2017: Chita Karthe, Ghotaka Panchami
October 12, 2017: Start of Guru Moodami, Jithastami
October 15, 2017: Rama Ekadasi
Dwaraka temple was constructed during the 16th century in Chalukya style of architecture. The main temple idol is placed in a five storey high beautiful temple with lavishly carved conical spire, rising to a height of 51.8 meters. It is called Trilokya Sundar Jagad Mandir, Nij Mandir and Harigriha. Jagad Mandir means the temple of the world. The huge temple stands on 60 exquisitely carved pillars. The beautiful sculptures indicate the influence of various dynasties such as Guptas, Pallavas, Martraks, Chavadas and Chanikyas who ruled the place over these years. The idol is made of shiny black stone and is about three feet high. Inside the temple, there are shrines of Devaki, Balaram, Pradyumna, Kusheshwar Mahadev and a palace of 8 maharanis of Lord Krishna.
Hindus consider Dwaraka as one of the most important sacred places in India alongside Rameswaram in the South, Badrinath in the North and Puri Jagannath in the East. The word Dwaraka means gateway to heaven. One can get permanent salvation or moksha by visiting the temple at least once in their life time. Intrestingly, the names of the two gates in this temple viz., Swarg-dwar (Gateway to Heaven) and Mokshadwar (The Gate to Salvation) also suggest this. The devotees are expected to enter through Swarg-dwar for which one has to climb 56 steps and come out of Mokshadwar which has a sloped pathway in order to get salvation. Sages Mareechi, Atri, Aangeeras, Durwasa, Sanakadhi Rishis and many ascetics did penance at Dwaraka and had the holy darshan of the Lord. Dwaraka finds mention in puranas and ithihasas as Mahabharat, Harivansh Puran, Bhagawat Puran, Skand Puran and Vishnu Puran. Even if a devotee steps on this holy land (where the Lord's Pada Dhooli (dust from His feet) may be found) he will get salvation. Due to all these, Dwaraka is considered as a very important pilgrima centre for the Hindus.
Worshiping of Lord during Haarthi is considered sacred. Four Haarthies viz., Mangal Haarthi at 7am, Shringar Haarthi at 10.30am, Sandhya Haarti at 7.30pm and Shyan Haarthi at 8.30pm are important. He is treated both as a King and a Bhagawan. So, the rituals are also kingly as the Lord is supposed to go to sleep late. He is woken up late at about 7.30am with Mangal Haarthi and the Lord is made up beautifully with attractive dresses, perfumes etc., and at the end of decor, the Lord is shown a mirror, from head to toe so that he can get satisfied about his decor. After Shayana Haarthi, the Lord is said to play dice with his concerts for sometime before going to sleep. The archakas and other attendants are dressed in style, befitting a palace. While worshiping the main idol, the devotees bow before the two silver padas of the Lord, kept at the entrance to the sanctum sanatorium, offer flowers and food offerings. The most important festival is Krishna Janmashatami falling in the lunar month of Sravana masam.