There is a serene beach at Madhavpur on the road to Somnath from Dwarka. It lies on the seashore, close to Porbandar. We stopped here to enjoy the beach for a moment and to have a look around.
There are a few shacks and some vendors in open selling green coconut. We had green coconut at the beach. The coconut water tasted sweet. We opted for the ones with flesh too. The flesh was also nice.
Madhavpur isn’t much well-known. However it is a very important pilgrimage for Hindu Vaishnavas.
According to folklore, Lord Krishna kidnapped princess Rukmini (Rukmini haran) and eloped with her to prevent an unwanted marriage at her request and saved her from evil Shishupala. Lord Krishna married princess Rukmini at this village while returning to Dwaraka. She is the first and the most prominent queen of Krishna. Rukmini is also considered an avatar of Lakshmi, the Goddess of fortune.
Rukmini was the daughter of Bhishmaka, the king of Vidarbha. Bhismaka was the vassal of King Jarasandha of Magadha. She fell in love with and longed for Lord Krishna, whose virtue, character, charm and greatness she had heard much of.
Rukmini’s parents wanted to marry Rukmini to Krishna but Rukmi, her brother strongly opposed it. Rukmi was an ambitious prince and he did not want to earn the wrath of Emperor Jarasandha, who was ruthless. Instead, he proposed that she be married to his friend Shishupala, the crown prince of Chedi. Shishupala was also a vassal and close associate of Jarasandha and hence an ally of Rukmi.
Bhishmaka gave in but Rukmini, who had overheard the conversation was horrified and immediately sent for a brahmana, Sunanda, whom she trusted and asked him to deliver a letter to Krishna. She asked Krishna to come to Vidarbha and kidnap her to avoid a battle where her relatives may be killed. She suggested that he do this when she was on her way to the temple or back. Rukmini asked that he claim her to marry her. Krishna, having received the message in Dwarka, immediately set out for Vidarbha with Balarama, his elder brother.
Rukmini got ready for her upcoming marriage. She went to Indrani temple on the day of Jyeshtha star (ruled by Indra) to pray but was severely disappointed when she did not see Krishna there. As she stepped out, she saw Krishna and he soon swept her into his chariot with him.
In the memory of that event, there is a temple built for Lord Krishna aka Madhavraiji and Lord Balaram aka Trikamraiji. A celebration of this event is held at Madhavpur in memory of this marriage every year in a cultural fair for five days from the day of Ram Navami.
The original 15th-century temple of Madhavraiji was badly damaged in attacks by Muslim invaders, however a ruined structure is still present. A newly temple constructed adjacent to the old one is used for worship now.
Madhavpur is also culturally significant due to one of the seats of Shri Vallabhacharya. He narrated here the teachings of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
After getting refreshed by cool sea waves and nice tender coconut, we proceeded for Somnath.