Devotees of Bhakti Marg of the Vallabhacharya sect worship Lord Krishna in his many forms and from Mathura to Dwarka and other spots in Western India, there are Lord Krishna temples known as Dwarkadheesh temples. Dwarkadheesh is one of the titles of Lord Krishna meaning Lord of Dwarka. Dwarka is the top pilgrimage spot but there are also other Dwarkas, one of which is in Kankroli in Rajsamand District in Rajasthan. There is an interesting story how Kankroli Dwarka became one of the Panch Dwarkas.
During the Moghul period temples were in danger of being desecrated and one such temple was that of Dwarkadhishji in Gokul. Devotees transported the idol to Ahmedabad in the care of Goswami Shri Girdharji Maharaj who later on, at the request of Shri Ranjitsinhji, Maharana of Udaipur, brought the idol to Kankroli where it was installed in a shrine in Aasotia village in 1726. The shrine was on the banks of the Rajsamand Lake. The temple was flooded by rains and the then Maharaj Kumar Shree Amar Singhji allotted hilly land for construction of a new temple around 1776 and this temple was also on the banks of the Rajsamand Lake. The temple underwent renovations and extensions until 1980. Some claim that the idol was transported finally to Shrinathji at Nathdwara.
The temple follows the haveli style of architecture and it is far less crowded than the temple at Nathdwara, making for a blissful experience to sit on the steps and contemplate the Lake. The temple stands on top of a hill and it is made of marble, stone, brick and mortar. While it is quiet for most days of the year, on Poonam or full moon days it comes alive as well as on Holi, Diwali, Ram Navami, Janmashtami and Akshay Teej. There are festivals and fairs during these times. Like in other temples there is a garbha graha or sanctum where the idol is installed and there are adjoining rooms for various purposes.
How to Reach and Location
Kankroli is located in Rajsamand district in Rajasthan, about 68 km north of Udaipur. Rajsamand is famous for its Rajsamand Lake built by Maharaja Raj singh and the temple sits on the banks of the Lake. Kankroli is on the Udaipur-Ajmer Highway. The best way to reach Kankroli is by road from Udaipur or from Ajmer. There are plenty of state transport buses as well as private taxis and private buses. One can travel from Jaipur, a distance of 345kms.
Best Time to Visit and Weather
Winter is the best time to visit Kankroli when the weather is cool and the Lake is crowded with migratory birds. Just after rains is another good time to visit Dwarakadheesh temple in Kankroli.
Kankroli Dwarka temple opens at 7 AM and closes at 11 AM. In the evening the timings are from 4 PM to 7 PM. Ceremonies include morning mangla aarti, shringar, Raj bhog, evening utham and shayan. Janmashtami is the perfect time to view the extended ceremony that goes on for the night.