The Lost City of Dwaraka

Years back Indian scientists 'accidentally' discovered the lost city of Dwaraka, submerged in the north-western coast of Arabian Sea, near the Gulf of Cambay or Khambat. Dwarka, one of the best-studied underwater sites in India, has commanded much attraction, because the site is considered as one of the four Dhamas (sacred place for pilgrimage) of the Hindu religion. According to ancient Sanskrit literature, Lord Krishna founded the holy city of Dwarka, which subsequently got submerged under sea. 

Dwaraka City Glimpse in Hindu Epics

The first archaeological excavations at Dwaraka were done by the Deccan College , Pune and the Department of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat, in 1963. Since 1983 the Marine Archaeology Unit of the National Institute of Oceanography is engaged in the offshore exploration and excavation of the legendary city of Dwaraka.

A few years ago a team of scientists were stunned to see images of objects and things, completely alien to the marine domain. Marine archaeological explorations of Dwarka have brought to light a large number of stone structures, which are semicircular, rectangular and square in shape in water depth ranging from inter tidal zone to 6 m. They are randomly scattered over a vast area. Samples collected include artifacts, wood pieces, pottery materials, hearth pieces and animal bones which were sent for analysis and dating. On analysis and dating of the samples collected it was found that the samples were about 9000 years old, about the same time when the Ice Age ended. Some of the artifacts discovered dated as far back as 32,000 years. Perhaps, this is the discovery of one of the oldest civilizations known to mankind.

Underwater Image of Dwarka City (Credit HuffingtonPost)

Besides these structures, a large number of varieties of stone anchors have been noticed along the structures as well as beyond 6 m water depth. These findings suggest that Dwarka probably one of the most busy port centres during the past on the west coast of India. Dr. S R Rao has written: "The discovery of the legendary city of Dwaraka which is said to have been founded by Sri Krishna, is an important landmark in the history of India. It has set to rest the doubts expressed by historians about the historicity of Mahabharata and the very existence of Dwaraka city. It has greatly narrowed the gap in Indian history by establishing the continuity of the Indian civilization from the Vedic Age to the present day."

The modern city of Dwarka is located in the Jamnagar District of Gujarat. The city lies in the westernmost part of India. Dwarka is a relatively flat region at sea level, having an average elevation of 0 metres. The present temple was built from 6th to 7th century. It is believed to have been built by Krishna's great grandson, King Vajra.

The 5-storied temple is made of limestone and sand. A flag is hoisted in the temple tower five times each day. There are two gateways – Swarga Dwar (Heaven Gate), where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar (Salvation Gate), where pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea. In Dwaraka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavati Devi and Satyabhama Devi.

As per the Vishnu Purana (volume 2, p. 785. Nag Publishers New Delhi 1989)

"On the same day that Krishna departed from the earth the powerful dark-bodied Kali Age descended. The oceans rose and submerged the whole of Dwaraka."

Here is Graham Hancock's documentary film Titled Underworld : Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (Click on the title link) which shares all the major discoveries of underwater structures in recent times, which Graham believes is evidence of a missing chapter in our history.


  1. Nice write with tons of info and pictures.

  2. It is still a mysterious and amusing subject to explore , very well summarized in a explanatory way ... thanks

  3. Hello!

    Greetings from Mumbai, India

    We, at BBC Worldwide, are producing a series involving human-interest stories, based on history and mythology, where the storytelling style is modern docu-contemporary. The series is essentially an unprecedented, definitive list of the people, moments and stories that have contributed to India as we know it today. This list covers the most iconic faces, incidents and things in Indian history, across different categories.

    We would like to use some material we found online, as visual support for this series. Please do let us know if you hold the rights for the following images and if yes then please let us know how we can proceed on acquiring this visual as well as getting permissions to use the same. We will, of course, provide an acknowledgment/credit/ footage courtesy on the show.

    Hope to hear from you at the earliest. We really appreciate the help.

    Thanking you,

    Warm Regards,

    Tangella Madhavi

    BBC Worldwide


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