The chariot of the God of the East touches the soil of India first at the divine land of Puryanchal, and bids farewell from the holy land of Bet Shankhodwar, a place situated on the western seashore. This holy palce is 30 kms far from the world famous pilgrimage spot Dwarika, and 160 kms from the district headquarter Jamnagar. This abode of Lord Krishna is now turning to be a shelter of the traitors and seperatists. As the Purans say, Lord Krishna preferred Bet as his residence, when he migrated to Dwarika. The monuments in Bet Dwarika remind us of the ancient historical, cultural and splendid heritage of this country.
This place which is a synbol of Hindu faith is now being attacked by the non-Hindus. The population of Bet at the time of freedom was 45,000, but now, as the gram panchayat record reveal, the number has decreased to 5,000. Out of 5,000, only 1,200 are Hindus, and remaining Muslims There are many regions in India where minorities are in majority, and it cannot be objectionable. But so far as the conditions in Bet is concerned, a conspiracy is seen in wiping off the Hindus. It is a systematic plot to deplete the Hindu population from the island, who chiefly live on the performance of rituals and rites for pilgrims and scanty income of the temples. Recently, some Muslim youths, gathered in a religious place, came out like tipplers and damaged the doms surrounding the mythologically important pilgrimage centre, the Padmavati temple. This incident is an evidence of the horrible circumstances prevailing in Bet.
The wonders of Bet are many. Bet is surrounded by the fabulous mythological stories and stunning natural beauty. It is believed that the seashell available here comprises in itself the glow golden moon rays. If one finds it and breaks it to get the pearl out of it, it gives a vivid appearance as if the moonlight is radiating from it.In the eastern side, the rare Panchjanya Shankha is obtained. A sight of boundless farm of lotus on the sea-water surface is captured if you stand in the courtyard of the temple of Padmeshwar Mahadev, situated at the northern side.
There is a temple where the idols of the father, Hanumanji and son Makardhwajali are set side by side.It is called Shri Hannumandanji temple.
Then there is the Durwasha'sAsram and the palce called Choryashi Dhuna where the Muni had inflicted a curse on the Yadavs.
One of the 108 Shaktipiths, Dharodevi Abhyay Mataji Peeth is also situated here.
According to the mythology, the soil of Bet is the most rewarding and fruit-bearing for penance, meditation and the performance of rituals. This is the reason why many saints like Shri Dongreji Maharaj, Shri Ghanshyamji Maharaj, Shri Prembhikshukji Maharaj, Shri Udasin Bapu, Shri Mahokam Sinhji (one of the Panj Pyare in Sikh religion) accomplished their penance or meditation and religious rituals here. Bet is also the birthplace of Guru Mahokamsinhji. The ancient temple where Mirabai ritualised her self-immolation is also located here. The idol of Lord Krishna in the Dwarkadhis temple, according to the Purans, is crafted by goddess Rukshmani with her own, hands using the sand called ?valuka?. In this place, Lord Vishnu has assumed the form of a fish to kill Shunkhasur. This is one of the ten chief incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Though the place is very prominent as a historical and religious tourist spot, there is no infrastructural development. This place is, now on decline due to the nefarious activities of some people who provoked some illiterate anti-social elements to carry out their foul activities.
The people who care for religion and culture and the regional government must strive together for the development of this place as a tourist spot and for the safety of the coastal border. For renovation of the ancient temples of the town some people have come forward and formed an organisation. They strived hard to restore the lost glory of the island. Their efforts lessened the problems of water supply and electricity upto some extent. Yet many things are to be done for the development of the inner roads, streetlights and local transportation.
The nearest place on the land is Okha. At the time of low tide it is difficult to reach to Bet. Most of the boatmen who transport the tourists from Okha to Bet are Muslims. And the tourist have to suffer their arrogance and obduracy.
In such a situation, the comprehensive development is the only way out in order to uplift Bet as a pilgrimage place. The organisation has appealed for the development of this island, surrounded by the serene and beautiful sea. This place can be developed as the marine study center.
The organisation has appealed to the local authorities to start projects like floating health center, RO plant for pure water, solar system for street lights and erection of an attractive entry gate in the town. It has also suggested to establish a marine police post, a training center for SRP or homeguards or a marine station of neavy, coastguards or BSF, considering the fact that the place is visited by 5,000 tourists every day. The organisation has already started building a guest house, setting up a library, an art gallery and light and sound show with glimpses of the cultural heritage.
The essential thing in this regard is that if the government declares this place as ?Notified Area?, a number of problems will be solved.
In short, Bet is not only the place of religious and historical importance, but in addition to it, the nature has suffused it with its splendour and beauty.