Recently, I visited the city of Dwaraka, which is one of the holy pilgrim centres of India.
As a child, my grandma used to tell me a lot of stories about the ‘Mahabharata’, which is basically an ancient Indian epic event (the text is about 1.8 million words long) that took place in the city of Dwaraka. It claims to represent dharma or righteous conduct – a guide to ideal human life in Hindu thought.
In the text of Mahabharata, the city of Dwaraka is described as the ancient kingdom of Lord Krishna. It is written that upon Krishna's death the city was sunk beneath the Arabian sea.
Archaeologists believe they have found evidence of its existence off the coast of the modern-day Dwarka, and are trying to understand what could have caused it to be lost beneath the sea.
Dwaraka is of special significance because it is the only place that still exists out of all that is mentioned in the Mahabharata. I didn't really believe in the stories of Mahabharata and had a critical view about how it was written in the text of Mahabharata that the city would submerge after Lord Krishna dies. BUT, after visiting this place and getting to look at some of the evidence found after the excavations that were conducted in and around Dwaraka that have led to the findings of a variety of archaeological shreds of evidence that are believed to be from the ancient time, before the city was submerged underwater, I'd say that my opinions have changed. Not much, but just a bit.
They have found the remains of stone structures, artefacts used in ancient times, stone blocks, pillars of temples, and much more. The archaeologists are still debating on the exact age of these structures and are also looking for the location of the ancient settlement, which could be of great significance to the history of Dwaraka. These findings are in perfect correlation to what has been written in Harivamsa, a text written in the Mahabharata Era. In Harivamsa a detailed description of the city of Dwarka can be found.
The excavations at Dwarka were the first underwater excavations in India.
The sea, which had been beating against the shores, suddenly broke the boundary that was imposed on it by nature. The sea rushed into the city. It coursed through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered up everything in the city. I saw the beautiful buildings becoming submerged one by one. In a matter of a few moments, it was all over. The sea had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the city. Dvaraka was just a name; just a memory.
-Mausala Parva (Part 16) of Mahabharata
Even though it would take a lot for me to believe in the mythological stories of ancient Indian texts, I think what I saw was pretty solid evidence.
The search for the lost city of Dwaraka continues.