Validating Traditional date of Mahabharata War - XXVIII
by Jayasree Saranathan on 15 Mar 2021 1 Comment

Locating Krishna’s Dwarka now under water


The Pandavas received the information from Daruka that the Vrishnis along with the Bhojas and Andhakas and Kukuras had all been slain. None of them at that time knew that Krishna and Balarama also had left the world. Grief stricken Arjuna rushed to Dwarka only to be received by the crying women and children. This must have been on the day of solar eclipse – the day Krishna left.


After listening to the developments from everyone around, Arjuna asked them to be ready to leave the city at sunrise on the 7th day from then [Mbh: 16-8-12] He expected a deluge by the 7th day. This is supported by astrological Samhitas that those who live near water or live by the sea would perish if an eclipse occurs at Pisces. [Brihat Samhita: 5-42. “If when in the sign of Pisces (Mina), the products of the sea beach and of the sea, men of respectability and of learning and persons that live by water will suffer” (Trans. N.C. Iyer) The congregation of planets occurring at the beginning of Aries, the Amavasya and the eclipse must have started at Pisces. The effects would be seen by the seventh day after the eclipse.


This is similar to the apprehension expressed by Drona on the 7th day after the lunar eclipse, fearing the fall of Bhishma. (See Part 20) Depending on the other features, namely the nimittas noticed around that time, the prediction is made. Here a deluge was predicted but interestingly none of the nimittas of the kind expressed by Drona were reported anytime in the seven day period or on the day the sea water entered Dwarka! Particularly there is complete absence of mention of the meteor shower or the sun looking obscure or any such events that we had been regularly reading in the Mahabharata right from the time Krishna started his peace mission.


The message is clear: there was no cosmic impact at the time of Krishna leaving the earth; there must have been an underwater earthquake or tectonic movement in the ocean region causing tsunami waves in whose path Dwarka must have been situated.


Getting back to the events, the night passed off – that must have been the night of Amawasya that had seen a solar eclipse. The next morning, Krishna’s father, Vasudeva, passed away. After finishing the funeral of Vasudeva, Arjuna went out in search of the missing (dead) Vrishnis and Krishna and Balarama. They were all spotted. Not much description of how the funeral took place is given. Then every one of them got ready for leaving Dwarka – the city that was built by reclaiming the land from waters.


Where is Krishna’s land now?


The marine excavations done off Bet Dwarka showed that occupation started only from 1500 BCE! This is not the date of Mahabharata or Krishna. So this could not be the region of Krishna’s Dwarka.


We have to think in the way Arjuna could have planned the evacuation to get a hint at the location of Dwarka. He expected sea water to rush into the city. The sea water would also have entered the rivers and streams in such case, forcing the evacuees to avoid the regions around the rivers and the low-lying lands. But what does Mahabharata say? It says that as the people marched out of the city, with sea water entering the regions they left behind, they were taken by Arjuna through pleasant forests and mountains and by the sides of delightful streams! The location off Bet Dwarka doesn’t support an immediate shift to forested and mountainous regions.


Evacuation is practically impossible to the east or the north of Bet Dwarka. The entire Kachchh region must have borne the brunt in the event of a tsunami. That was perhaps the reason why this place was not occupied till 1500 BCE! South east of Bet Dwarka is also a tricky terrain with many rivers draining into the Arabian Sea. The tsunami wave coming from west would practically enter all the waterways draining into the Arabian Sea. Moreover, the entire landscape adjacent to Bet Dwarka is flat plain. So this region is practically ruled out as the original region of Krishna.


However, the central region and the south-west (Girnar Hills) give us a fairly good idea of the regions that could escape inundation. The high lands close to the coast of south west Gujarat offer quick escape from the surging sea.


The region of Krishna’s fall was at Veraval near Somnath temple. The place of Krishna’s fall must have been retained in memory for all these millennia and this location cannot be ignored in the search for Krishna’s Dwarka. We must also remember that there was another Dwarka even before Krishna built his Dwarka. That Dwarka was ruled by Akrura. It is not known what happened to that place or whether that was the present Dwarka housing Dwarkadish temple. But our search can be fine-tuned to the region next to Veraval, Krishna’s resting place, and Somnath temple that was the Prabhas Kshetra of Mahabharata.


From Harivamsa it is known that Krishna and his people stayed in tents on the sea shore at the time they were building their city. By tradition, Mul Dwarka is said to be his first landing place. Mul Dwarka, Prabhas and Veraval being close to each other makes me presume that Krishna’s Dwarka was somewhere in the waters off this part of the coast. Krishna directing the Vrishnis to make Tirtha yatra at the sea shore must have been to the Prabhas Kshetra. This is quite far off from Bet Dwarka or Dwarkadish but close to Krishna’s Dwarka if it was built off the shore of Mul Dwarka.


Makran – the tsunami generating region


In support of tsunami at this region, there is a strong evidence of a perennial danger zone off the Makran coast. The Makran Subduction Zone lies at the plate boundary between the Arabian and Eurasian plate within the northern Arabian Sea, that can impact the shorelines of the Arabian Sea in an event of a subduction, say the authors of a research on the impact of 1945 tsunami.



This subduction zone had been causing havoc periodically. With the presently available inputs it is suspected that one such event at this region caused the fleet of Alexander anchored at Karachi to be lost in a tsunami. In this research, author Mohammad Mokhtari of the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering simulated the wave pattern of the tsunami in the event of a stress (earthquake) at the subduction zone.



The waves traveled up to Seychelles in the 1945 earthquake at Makran coast, but a look at the impact on the shores of India shows that Bet Dwarka and Rann of Kachchh would bear the brunt heavily. Dwarkadish is also in the line of heavy damage. It is theorized that a tsunami generated at Makran would reach Dwarkadish in 140 to 185 minutes. These places must have suffered every time the Makran coastline was stressed. It must be remembered that this region was not at all inhabited until 3500 years ago. Unfortunately we are fed with the information that this was Krishna’s Dwarka.

[“Tsunami hazard and alert system for Western Coast of Gujarat]


The waves surging forward towards the south would spread laterally, dashing the shores of western Gujarat where Veraval and Prabhas are situated. But this part of the coast being slightly higher, no big damage could happen. Only if Krishna’s Dwarka was on the direct path of the tsunami waves, it could have suffered complete inundation with the waves damaging the structures and even washing them through the Arabian Sea as they surged southward, with the result that the city would be completely flattened leaving no trace of its existence. We could get evidence of civilization in the Khambhat region up to 9000 years BP, which is somewhat sheltered from tsunamis, but a city off Mul Dwarka could never escape the wash-out.


A massive earthquake at Makran coast would send a series of waves down the south wiping out everything on the way. So it is very difficult to get evidence for a city in its path. The subduction being an ongoing motion, the region must have experienced several tsunamis in the last 5000 years. However, from the city, the evacuees could easily escape through the highlands near Mul Dwarka and Prabhas, by avoiding rivers and streams initially, though the tsunami impact on the waterways in this part would be minimal.


So we need to patiently search this region to look for 5000 year old imprints. While searching we must remember an Indian trait: Indians never waste any metallic item. The search for weapons of war or metallic vessels anywhere in India would yield no result mainly because Indians used to recycle any metallic item. They would not just throw away or bury a weapon or a metallic vessel. At the most we can dig out pottery sherds in the land regions. The traditional western classification of copper, bronze and iron ages for Indians would be thoroughly misleading. In this region of Dwarka, only deep foundational boulders can be located here and there, provided they were not washed away by the tsunami waves.


Comet hit before the war and tsunami at the exit of Krishna


The next issue to bear in mind is that there was only one event of cosmic impact that is now scientifically identified as Piora Oscillation (see Part 15). A comet hit around the year 3200 BCE caused world-wide changes in temperature causing a Z-shaped temperature pattern in the EOO wave that was plotted by researchers.

[“Climate Pattern recognition in the Mid-Holocene (4800 BC to 2800 BC, Part 3)]


The cosmic collision around the year 3200 BCE caused the temperatures to be lower than normal until 2900 BCE. The exact year of this collision was found out to be 3136 BCE from the Mahabharata text. This impact is theorized to have caused a depression near the Caspian Sea, causing the sea water to fill this depression.



Around the same time the Burckle Crater to the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean was also formed, though its exact date had not yet been established. This also was formed by a cosmic impact and the tsunami wave generation had been studied by many. This generated waves going eastward and southward to some extent and not northward as to reach Dwarka. The tsunami propagation from the Burckle Crater should have affected south India badly, particularly Kerala and Kavatam, the Pandyan capital at the tip of South India before it could reach Dwarka. But there is no history of damage to Kavatam in Tamil texts which, however, suffered submergence only around 1500 BCE. 


The Burckle Crater is most likely to be part of the 3136 BCE comet-fall. Mahabharata referred to the fall in the ocean causing the waves that however did not cross the shores (Part 13).


In contrast to the comet-impact, the floods at Dwarka after Krishna’s exit came up with no comet fall. This is proof for underwater earthquake causing the tsunami. The only probable candidate is the subduction zone at Makran coast.


A Biblical research sponsored by Stanford University [] listed the global flood catastrophe events. The Mayan calendar date coming immediately after the Mahabharata war at 3114 BCE offers a benchmark to compare the flood events. The flood at Dwarka has no nearest origin, by which we are made to deduce that it was a localized flood and not a global event as the comet-hit was.


The Biblical flood is hypothesized at 3000 BCE and around 3136 BCE (comet hit). If it coincides with Dwarka submergence, then Makran subduction is the most likely candidate. Its wave propagation could enter the Persian Gulf. The plate movement was found to have caused earthquakes in the Persian Gulf too, causing tsunamis in the regions adjacent to the Gulf coinciding with the Biblical flood.



In the ultimate analysis a fresh approach is needed to locate Dwarka off the coast of Mul Dwarka and the probable tsunami generation at Makran coast in the past. With this, let us continue our journey along with Arjuna to the places he had taken the people of Dwarka.


(To be continued…)


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