The entry from the Nandisvara Dvara also provides access to the four sacred Dhamas known as jagannatha, Dhama, Badrinatha Dhama, Dvaraka Dhama and Rameshvara Dhama. Out of these four Dhamas, the first three are dedicated to lord Krishna while the last one at Rameshvaram is dedicated to lord Shiva where Shri Rama is said to have played an important role. The replicas of all of them have been set up at the Siddhdvara Dhama at Solophok. The glimpses of these Dhamas tre provided hereunder, for the convenience of the visitors.


 

 

Jagannatha Temple at Solophok

At the entrance of the temple one comes across two Garuda stambhas at the steps and two seated lions at the gate welcome the visitors. A replica of the jagannatha temple stands in the Siddheivara Dhama Complex at Solophok, in which the wooden image of Shri Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra stands installed, providing an outward appearance of the ancient temple at Puri as stated above. Not only that, even the panels inside the temple roof at Puri have also been adopted in the ceiling of the replica of the shrine at Solophok.

The ancient Jagannatha Dhama


This ancient Dhama is located in the city of Puri in Orissa, where lord Jagannatha is enshrined in the form of wooden images of Krishna, Balarama an__ their sister Subhadra. They are also known as Dasa Brahman. The Puranas call it as the best of the tirthas, which is spread in an area of ten yojanas. It is belie vied that by visiting this place, devotees earn the maximum of merits.

 

The background

According to the ancient scriptures, once the virtuous King Indradyumna of Malva intended to discover the image of lord Krishna in order to establish it on earth. He then performed a great sacrifice for the purpose. Once lord Purushotama appeared in his dreai a and advised him to go to the seashore where he would find a fig tree floati Jig over oceanic waters. He was asked to cut the tree and make images of lord with the same.
The King accordingly went to the seashore and finding the log of a tree floating over the oceanic waters, he cut a branch of wood from the same and brought it ashore. The problem of making: the image was solved when lord Vishvakarma disiruising himself as a carpenter with a companion, appeared on the scene and offered his services for the making of the desired images on the condition that in case he is disturbed during the time he is engaged in his work, he would leave the work unfinished, never to take it up again. The King agreed to this condition and the carpenter and his helper shut themselves in a room, which was locked from inside and the work was started by them.

 

A long time passed, but nothing was known about the carpenter or his helper. At last the door of the room was broke open and both the carpenters who wen found engaged on their job, dropped their tools ,,nd got up leaving the wooden images unfinished. They said, "Since the condition of our taking up of the making of the image has been broken, we shall not work further on the same. The King begged forgiveness but then they said, "Even the unfinished images would should be installed in a temple." Thereafter, all the incomplete images of the deities were kept under worship at the temple of Jagannatha at Puri in Orissa.


The peculiarity of the Jagannatha temple at Puri is its catholicity, its broad approach, removing caste barriers and taking out the Ratha.-yatra annually.


Importance  of the three images of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra

According to a legend in the Puranas, once Rukmini, one of the wives of Shri Krishna asked Devaki to narrate the childhood sports of the lord with the milkmaids. Devaki did not like to narrate those childhood sports of Krishna to Rukmini in the presence of Subhadra, who was still a child. She was, therefore, asked to go and guard the entrance gate and prevent the entry of outsiders till the narration was completed. Subhadra, obeying the instruction of Devaki, went and stood guard at the gate.


In the meantime Shri Krishna and Balarama both reached the palace gate, and their entry was stopped by Subhadra spreading both her hands. This led to a confrontation. In the meantime Narada arrived there and found Subhadra preventing the entry of both the brothers in the house. He was overwhelmed. He therefore prayed to Shri Krishna and Balarama that the images of all the thret should be placed in a temple and worshipped. His wish was granted and peopb then started worship of the wooden images of all three of them at Jagannatha Puri.


 

 

Rameshvaram temple at Solophok

The replica of the Rameshwaram Temple has been built at Solophok which is in three parts (i) The multistoried Gopura, the mandapa as well as the Garbhazriha. The Gopura serves as an entrance  gate and is fully illuminated at night. It has a number of deities displayed therein. The mandapa is a dome shaped structure wherein the people or devotees can congregate and worship while the Garbhagriha (or the Central room) is the place in which the Shivalinga is enshrined. The entire structure is quite majestic and miniature figures of the gods and goddesses are found placed in the exterior of the temple sikharas. The mandapa stands on decorated pillars. The seated black coloured Nandi stands installed in the mandapa, the mandapa as well as the main shrine are fully decorated.

The ancient Rameshvaram temple

 

The island of Rameshvaram is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, in the gulf of Mannar, at the southernmost part of India, where the Arabian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet. The island is forty-six kms. in area. It happens to be one of the most sacred places in the country. It derives its name from Rama, who according to the epic story installed a Jyotirlinga, which happened to be one of the twelve most sacred Jyotirlingas in the country and has been named after him.

According to the Ramayana, Shri Rama accompanied by the army of Sugriva, wandering in search of Sita, had to cross the vast ocean to reach Lanka. At the advice of Vibhisana, Shri worshipped the sea-god for three days in order to get a passage, which was of no avail. Shri Rama then got enraged and was about to dry up the ocean with his arrows, when the sea-god appeared and prayed to Rama to build a bridge over the ocean. Shri Rama agreed to do so at the request of the sea-god. Then Nala, son of Vishvakarma, was entrusted with the job of building the bridge of a hundred yojanas length and the width of ten yojanas. After the bridge was built, Shri Rama intended to install a Jyotirlinga of Shiva and for that purpose, Hanuman was asked to go to Kailash and obtain the Shivalinga from lord Shiva from there for the worship Hanuman at once flew to Kailash. ln order to secure the  Shivalinga from Shiva, he had to perform tapas for lord Shiva, which took some time in getting the same. But Rama in order to consecrate the Shivalinga in the proper and auspicious hour, at the advice of the sages consecrated the Shivalinga of sand, made by Sita. In the meantime Hanuman also returned with the Shivalinga from Kailash. On coming  to know that Shri Rama had already installed the Shivalinga made of sand, he felt disgusted Shri Rama, in order to remove the fatigue and disappointment of Hanuman, asked Hanuman to remove the Shivalinga of sand, and install in its place the Shivalinga brought by him. Hanuman tried his best to do so but failed. Ultimately he coiled his tail around the Shivalinga of sand and tried to uproot it. But this time too, he not only failed again in his effort, but also broke his tail. Shri Rama felt pity over plight of Hanuman and consoled him He rejoined his tail and embraced him, which removed his entire fatigue. Shri Rama then asked Hanuman to install the Shivalinga brought by him by the side of the Shivalinga of sand, and declaredthat the linga brought by Hanuman would be considered to be as sacred as the Shivalinga of sand installed by him earlier.
A panel showing the episode of Hanuman uprooting  the Shivalinga of sand, has been displayed over the ceiling of the garbhagriha of the temple, in which Hanuman has coiled his tail around the Shivalinga and is trying to uproot it. A bath in the ocean at Rameshvaram is considered to be auspicious.


 

 

Badrinatha Dhama at Solophok

This sacred place is dedicated to Nara and Narayana who were the sons of Dharma and inseparable Sanyasis besides being the incarnations of lord Vishnu. Both of them performed tapas over the Himalaya mountain at the holy site of Badrikashrama, for a thousand years to please Brahma.


With the performing of the severe tapas by both of them at the holy site, it came to be known as Badarikashrama. As a result of their tapas, Endra and all the gods fed disturbed and agitated thinking that both of them were performing tapas in order to usurp the sovereignty of the heaven. Indra, therefore, mounted over his elephant Airavata reached before both of them in order to dissuade them from performing their tapas. He spoke to them, "0 ascetics, you are shining like the rising sun. I am pleased with yor you, therefore, ask for a boon of your liking." Both of them did not recognize Indra and gave him no answer. Thus enrazed, Indra tried to frighten them in different ways, but they remained unfazed. When the violent efforts of Indra failed, he returned to his abode and deputed Kamadeva - the god of love to influence the ascetics, with apsaras and other beautiful damsels.


Kamadeva went to Badarikashrama with his troops of musicians and dancers in order to divert the attention of Nara Narayana from tapas. But all his efforts miserably failed. Then Nara Narayana thought, "This must have been done by Indra himself and none else. But we shall prove to Indra that his efforts would beof no avail. Let him understand that we can create more beautiful ladies than the ladies who have been sent by him. We are not at all attracted by them." Thus thinking, Narayana pulled his thigh and at once there arose the most beaufiul e,,Aiful woman ofthe world. She came to be known as Urvashi, since she emerged out Of the thigh of Narayana. All other women were wonder struck at the sight of the newly created woman. Thereafter, some ther damsels were also created by Narayana to serve Urvashi. The above episode has been repeated in several of the Puranas and other relizious scriptures.

 

Badrinatha temple at Solophok

The Badrinatha temple's replica at Solophok, has three parts. The first comprises of the Surbidvara or the entrance gate, which resembles, the one at Ancient Badrinatha Dhama temple, which is quite attractive and has been designed and coloured as per the original one. The second part is the mandapa in which the image of Garuda is found in white marble. The third part comprises of Garbhagriha in which the main deities stand enshrined.


The Badrinatha temple at Solophok has been designed exactly on the patternof  the ancient temple in the hills. On both the sides of the entrance gate, a lion is lodged in a shrine on either side. The windows are shown above then. The upper storey of the entrance gate has three opening windows with three pinnacles at the top. The front of the Badrinatha temple, has a charm of its own, which is unique. After reaching the entrance gate, one has to climb five steps for reaching e the garbhagriha.


The garbhagriha of the temple has a beautifully decorated flower design which , is a kin to the original design of the garbhagriha of the ancient Badrinatha temple. Lord Shri Badri is shown seated in center, which is being served with a chowrie by the goddess Lakshmi on the left. Nara Narayan are shown seated to left while Narada with Veena is seated in the front. The deities like Kubera, Ganesha, and ;aruda, are shown seated to the right of Shri Badrinatha. The assembled deities are known as Pancatayan.


 

 

Dvaraka temple at Solophok

A replica of the ancient Dvaraka temple has been built at the Siddhesvara Dhama, Solophok, the outward layout of which resembles to some extent the ancient Dvarakadhish temple, Dvaraka. There are two dvarapals at the entrance gate standing on either side with customary costumes. The four armed image of Vishnu holdinc, his usual attributes is worshipped here in black stone.

The Glory of Dvaraka

 

Of the various Puranas, hi:hlighting the glory of Dvaraka Dhama, Skanda Parana testifies that the merits of performing numerous sacrifices with heavy charities, and by having only the audience with lord Krishna at Dvaraka, are equal in merit.

 

Dvaraka was an island, where lord Krishna established his kingdom of abandoning of the kin:dom of athura, because of his constant struggle with Jarasandha, the lord of Malaclha. initially, it was known by the name of Kushavati The beautiful mountain Revataka stood as the fortress around the city which was so strongly built and was impregnable even for the gods. In this city, even the women could fight seated inside the forts. The fortress of Revataka was three yojanas in length. ft is stated that three divisions of army were located in each one of the three forts. In each yojana, there were a hundred doors with a strong army to guard each one of them, as testified by the epic of Mahabharata (Sabha Parva, 14.50-55)

 

Thus Dvaraka was the abode and the capital city ()fiord Krishna and excelled in that the beauty even of Amaravati. It was inaccessible for the gods even. But according to modern researchers, Dvaraka was situated in the mid ocean to the west of Gujarat. There is a small locality to the west of Gujarat which is called Dvaraka and the main occupation of the people there, even today is cattle rearing and tradin: in milk. Those people claim to be the descendants of Shri Krishna.

 

On account of the curse of the sages, the children of the Yadava clan once got drunk, fought among themselves at Prabhasa and were all extinguished. Lord Krishna, gave up his body under a Pipal tree at Prabhasa. After his demise, the entire city of Dvaraka was submerged in the ocean. According to a    legend everything at Dvaraka was sunk barring the palace of Shri Krishna or that of Rukmini.

The place which, at present is a part of western Saurashtra, in the region of Okhamandala, on the bank of the river Gomati, is identified by the people as the original city of Dvaraka, which has been claimed to be one of the seven holy cities of India, a visit to which, is saidto lead to the final beatitude. In fact there are several opinions about the logcation of Dvaraka of the ancient times but the people in ;eneral believe the modern townDvaraka to be the original place of ancient Dvaraka. It is believed by the learned scholars that the modern temple at Dvaraka dates b tck to the 5th — 6th century An, though it had been extended, repaired and renovated many times in the past.