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The whole world knows about the lost city of Atlantis and many people have studied it and tried to discover it, but no one is that much fortunate. And when underwater settlements are concerned within Indian marine archaeology, the most talked about would be the ancient city of Dwarka.

Dating back to 1500 BC, a city of gold - Dwarka, the fascinating kingdom of Lord Krishna, located at the western tip of the Saurashtra peninsula, this town enjoys remarkable importance in Hindu mythology. It is the only place regarded both one of the four principal sacred places (char dham), as well as one of the seven ancient towns (sapta puris) to visit. For this reason, millions of pilgrims and historical scholars have come here over the centuries.

The legend behind the lost city of Dwarka origins when, Lord Krishna killed the king Kansa, angering his father-in-law Jarasandh. Jarasandh attacked Krishna's kingdom 17 times in a lengthy war, so as to prevent loss of his people, along with the Yadav dynasty, Krishna departed from Mathura to the coast of Saurashtra and established his new kingdom. Vishwakarma, the starry architect of ancient India, built him his new kingdom. It was flourished with wealth and called the City of Gold- Dwarka. Krishna came to be known as Dwarkadheesh (King of Dwarka).

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Krishna's purpose was to mend a kingdom based on the principle of Sat Dharma or ‘true religion’. The name, Dwarka refers to the place as a door to union with Brahma, the undefinable basis of all reality, in other words, a gateway to spiritual liberty. But after returning from the battle of Kurukshetra between the Pandavas and Kauravas, Krishna found that the Yadav empire had declined with disputes and negligence. Gradually the empire faded into their own self-committed demise. After seeing this, Lord Krishna left to the forest, where he was accidentally shot by an arrow at Bhalka Tirtha and finally left his body. The demise of Krishna signified the opening of the ‘Kali-yuga’, a period of struggle, clash and dispute. After Krishna's departure, a gigantic flood wiped out the city of gold, and it is assumed that the city was drowned by the ocean.

Unlike other mythological tales, the golden city of Dwarka comes to be very factual after several current excavations. It was rebuilt six times by different civilizations. And the modern-day Dwarka is the 7th such city to be built in the area. Dwarka was reportedly an entirely planned city, which had six organized sectors. In ancient times its flourishing port was considered to be the gateway to the mainland. The entire city was surrounded by water and connected with the mainland through well-constructed bridges.

Recent outcomes suggest that the tales of Dwarka have an ancient basis. Thirty copper coins, a foundation of rocks, old patterns containing a circular one and pottery samples dating back around 1500 BC were excavated. This current underwater study on the coastal water of Dwarka was conducted by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) reveals the existence of a city dated to the 2nd millennium BC.

The search for the lost city was going on since the 1930s. Expeditions between 1983 and 1990 have disclosed a township that was built in six sectors along the banks of a river. They have also found a fortified township of Dwarka, that expanded more than half a mile from the shore. The foundation of rocks on which the city's borders were built proves that the land was recovered from the sea. The common setup of the city of Dwarka portrayed in ancient tales is identical with the underwater city observed by the Marine Archeology Unit (MAU). In 2017, producer, presenter and explorer Josh Gates, also investigated the mythical city of Dwarka, existed in a special episode of the sixth season of Expedition Unknown, the TV show, part of the Discovery Channel network. Josh worked with some researchers around the region and found several shreds of evidence of the real Dwarka. But the officials had not shown much interest in the excavations in Dwarka. It is again a telling story of the system in India, which is the cause of lack of interest in the project. But as of today, it is still one of the best-studied underwater sites in India.

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Today, the present Dwarka sits at the opening of the Gomti river on the Arabian Sea and is well-known for the Dwarkadheesh Temple. Numerous pilgrims and tourists visit this beautiful place. It is well connected by roads and is moreover a station on the Ahmedabad-Okha railway line, with trains connecting it to other cities. And the nearest airport is Jamnagar. Before the excavation, the lost city of Dwarka was just a legend. And now, with many clues seeming to suggest that this, indeed, is the legendary Dwarka, there could be facts of prosperous ancient India and its authority and more than just a mythological tale.

(Source: / National Institute of Oceanography/ DiscoveryGo /Wikipedia)