After visiting Bet Dwarka (click here to read) and spending those enchanting moments with the seagulls chasing our boat till we reached Okha port was indeed a memory which shall remain embedded in my mind forever.
|Boats leaving the Bet Dwarka|
We were given 2 hours time for sightseeing by our auto driver and we were quite late and honestly I was dreading the moment when I have to meet him now. One look and I knew I was in trouble because I could see he was red with rage and he angrily blurted out " Arre kitna time laga aap logo ko, Parking me mere sath aur mere baad wale sab nikal gaye". I somehow pacified him and offered him few more bucks and we were on course.
It was a long and bumpy drive with me sitting on the edge of the front seat again,but the major problem for me now was no only to sit on the edge but also to keep myself awake. I don't know, but I was feeling very tired and sleepy and sitting on the front seat I was sure that I cannot afford to fall asleep "Pata chala Weekend Wanderer, Auto se bahar wandering karne nikal liye" 😁.
|Bumpy ride on auto|
This drive of approx. 30 kms almost took more than an hour to reach Rukmani Devi Temple. Luckily for us there was not much of a crowd at the temple. I thought this time around we will quickly see the temple and come back. Per yeh ho na saka ! because the Pundit at the temple had some different plans! He told us to wait for 10 minutes. I asked punditji darshan kyo rok diye , He smiled and sarcastically replied " arre mandir me aaye ho kuch der dhyan lagao, 5-10 minute tak bhajan karo, 10 minute aise hi guzar jayenge'. I was wondering why he did this? but soon after some time I got the answer to that. Actually the head Pundit wanted to ensure that there was a sizeable number of people so that he can start his narration about the temple and more importantly he wanted to collect donation for water tanker Yes Water tanker! (They have this system that the devotee can donate money, depending upon the amount one can donate few litres or full tanker , the donation starts from 200 Rs to thousands) I was actually annoyed that he made us wait and waste our time so that he can get audience, just for this money thing.
|Rukmani Temple (source Wikimedia)|
Before talking about Rukmani temple, Let me give you the backstory as regards to who was Devi Rukmani and why this temple is called Rukmani Devi Temple. As the name suggest this temple is of Rukmani Devi one of the important queen out of 16108 wives! of lord Krishna.
We all know that Goddess Laxmi is eternal companion of Lord Vishnu. So when Lord Vishnu took Krishna Avatar, Goddess Laxmi took the form of Princess Rukmani devi. Princess Rukmani Devi was the only sister of her 5 brothers, She has heard so much about the valour of the Krishna from the visitors who came to their court that she was enamored by the divine beauty of Lord Krishna hence she decided that she will marry only Lord Krishna and no one else. All family members were happy and agreeable to her choice of Krishna except her elder brother who wanted to marry Rukhmani to the powerful king Shishupala.
|Cravings on exterior of the temple|
When Rukmani came to know about this she was very sad and agitated, she realised that her elder brother wont let her marry Krishna hence she decided to send a message to Lord Krishna professing her love for him and asking him to take her away from here and this forced marriage. She then handed this to her trusted messenger to be delivered to lord Krishna.When Lord Krishna started to read the letter he realised it was a love letter from a anguished soul who was absolutely in love with Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna then eloped with Princess Rukmani and they both came to the village of Madhavpur Ghed and got married at this place. In the memory of this event a temple for Lord Madhavrai was built and every year celebration takes place of this event in a cultural fair. After few days Lord Krishna married Princess Rukmani with great pomp at Dwarka.
Taking about love letter I remember the Head priest saying that there are only two places where one can see this love letter one is at this temple and other in some scripture.
Well this was the backstory of Princess Rukmani. Now the question arises why the temple of Rukmani is here, I mean 2 kms away from the Lord Krishna's Dwarkadhish Temple.
So another story time here again. As per the legend After the marriage of lord Krishna and Rukmani they wanted to invite Sage Durvasa for the feast. , He agreed to come for the feast but on one condition that Lord Krishna should sent for a chariot to pick him up and the said chariot must be not pulled by horses but by Lord Krishna and Rukmani, as sage Durvasa was known for his short temper so both Krishna and Rukmani agreed to this condition. As they were pulling the Chariot due to excessive heat Rukmani felt thirst and requested Krishna for the water. Krishna with his feet toe prodded the earth to drew Ganges for providing water. Rukhmani quickly quenched her thirst with the water however this made sage Durvasa very angry because he felt insulted that Rukhmani didnt ask him first for the drink so in his anger he cursed her she and lord Krishna will live seperately and indeed they lived seperately for 12 years. While Lord Krishna lived in Dwarka and devi Rukmani did tapashcharya in the forset outside Dwarka and Thus we see this temple of Devi Rukmani outside the Dwarka city.
when you hear all these tales I feel one gets transported to another era. Actually these are the reasons that travelling is something I am so fond of. As far as the temple goes one can see intricate carvings on the outer side of the temple.
We paid our respect to Devi Rukmani and moved towards Dwarka to visit Dwarkadhish Temple.