Rukmini Devi Temple
Whenever Lord Vishnu incarnates on earth, so does his consort Laksmi. When the Lord descended on earth as Lord Ram, Goddess Lakshmi incarnated as Sita. The Rukmini Devi temple in Dwarka, Gujarat, India is dedicated to Rukmini, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi who is considered as the consort of Lord Krishna during the Krishnavtar. Popular legends generally associate Krishna with Radha, but it was Rukmini who was his, “Patrani”, or Chief Queen. Read on to know all about the Rukmini Devi Temple, its architecture, myths and legends of the Rukmini Devi Temple, and much more.
Rukmini Devi Temple – History
The ancient Rukmini Devi Temple in Dwarka stands in solitary splendor some 2 kilometers away from the heart of Dwarka. Why is Krishna’s beloved wife away from him? You may wonder? Rukmini Devi Temple Dwarka history is very interesting. The temple to Rukmini has a legend behind it that is associated with Saint Durvasa who is famously known for his legendary anger.
Legend has it that once Krishna and Rukmini went to invite the sage Durvasa to their abode for dinner. The sage agreed to their invitation but had one condition, he wanted Krishna and Rukmini to pull the chariot which would take him to their palace. Both Krishna and Rukmini readily agreed to the sage’s condition.
So it was that Krishna and Rukmini tethered themselves to the chariot on which sat the venerated sage Durvasa and started pulling it. It was a tiresome task and more so for the queen, she soon felt tired and was assailed with severe thirst. She needed water to quench her thirst which had become unbearable. She beseeched Krishna who was by her side for water.
Krishna used his divine powers and with his toe made an indentation on the ground and out sprang the waters of the Ganga. Rukmini driven by thirst partook of the holy water and quenched her thirst. All this was observed by the sage Durvasa who turned crimson with rage. How dare did Rukmini drink water without even offering it to him, who was their guest? Seething with anger the sage cursed Rukmini, saying that she would live separated from her husband at that very spot.
It is believed that the Rukmini Devi temple stands in that very spot. The Rukmini Devi temple near Dwarka stands as a silent testimony to the retribution of Sage Durvasa, the idol of Rukmini Devi in the Sanctum Sanctorum stands alone, devoid of the company of her beloved Krishna.
About The Temple
The Rukmini Devi temple in Dwarka is one of the rare temples dedicated to the incarnation of Lakshmi, Rukmini. The temple which is located a little distance from Dwarka stands in a vast open space. There is a belief that the journey of Dwarka is incomplete if Rukshamanee Mandir is not visited.
Though local legend has it that the temple is over 2500 years old, historical evidence points to the fact that the Rukmini temple dates back to the 12th century.
A unique aspect of the Rukmini Devi temple is the significance associated with water. Water is the main Prasad that is offered to visitors after it is offered to the Goddess. The donation of drinking water in the Rukmini temple is considered very sacred. Visitors can donate towards drinking water to the best of their ability.
The importance of water at the Rukmini Devi temple is connected to the curse of the sage Durvasa. Owing to the power of the curse, the region of Dwarka and its vicinity has remained infertile and arid from time immemorial There is no fresh water source in the vicinity of Dwarka, the water around Dwwarka is salty and not cultivable, and this is the reason why the donation of freshwater is so important at the Rukmini Devi temple.
Main Festivals & Events
Krishna – Rukmini Vivah
The sacred temple dedicated to Rukmini witnesses many special events and rituals. Chief among these are the Krishna-Rukmini Vivah/Wedding, which is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety. A procession is taken from the Dwarkadhish temple to the Rukmini temple.
This festival is also known as Rukmini Haran and is celebrated during the Shukla Paksha of the Jyeshta month of the Hindu calendar. The festival coincides with Ekadashi and usually occurs in the month of May or June.
Rukmini Ashtami (रुक्मिणी अष्टमी) or Rukmini Jayanti is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Goddess Rukmini Devi. It is believed that Rukmini was born in the Paush month on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha ( पौष मास के कृष्ण पक्ष की अष्टमी के दिन). This day usually falls in the months of December or January as per the Gregorian calendar. The day is celebrated with the worship of the goddess and fasting as well as charity and donations to the needy.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit is between November and February.
Visiting Hours : 7.30am–8pm