One always try to explore distant places, have dream destination in another country and far off places make it to the bucket list. The place where we exist we take it for granted and fail to see the exquisiteness it offers. My travel list is long and full of beautiful destinations, wonders of the world, exotic places and never seen before sights. But this time I decided to explore beauty of my native - Gujarat
Each part of Gujarat has variety of scenic beauty and culture to offer but my heart was set on the great Rann of Kutch. Gujarat has one of the finest roads in India and it is a driver’s paradise. So without a doubt it must be a road trip from Mumbai to Kutch, great infrastructure, and well connected villages, made it an easy and mesmerizing experience.
We began our seven-day road trip to the western part of India. Our first destination was decided hence we headed straight to it and was ready to explore other places on our way back. Rann of Kutch gave us happiness but other places left us amazed.
Rann of Kutch
Imagine yourself walking on salt marsh and can see only flat white desert as far as one can see. The day I visited Rann, coral blue sky against the white desert clearly defined the horizon. This beauty cannot be explained in words but picture can do justice to it.
One can get quite creative with pictures
When you visit remote places you want to experience and know about the locals and their culture. Rann gives you that opportunity in various forms, one of them is to stay in a hut!
Hodka village which is just 20 kms before Rann of Kutch offers you the best Hut houses and their hospitality is incomparable.
While you are at it, Rann also gets you Tropic of Cancer. One of the spots where you can click pictures which can be framed on your wall.
No amount of research on internet will reveal about the place as having a conversation with the locals would do. During one such conversation we came to know of a place called - Lakhpat.
"Lakhpat" as the name suggests it was village of all Lakhpatis i.e. Village of Millionaires. Back in the day, each trader in the village was a millionaire. It was a port through which goods (mainly rice) were exported to Arab countries and that was the main source of income for the villagers. Wall protected this wealthy village from each side which make it look like a fort.
However, an earthquake in 1818 changed everything. The course of river Sindhu changed and it transformed into a barren land. It is said that many villagers died due to earthquake and their souls are still wandering in the village - Thus it is one of the haunted villages in Gujarat.
It is the last village that you can visit on the western part of India and that is the closest you can get to Indo-Pak border on the western front.
Vijaya Vilas Palace
From a wealthy village to King’s palace. Gujarat was and is one of the wealthy states of India.
Vijay Vilas palace was built for the Prince of Kutch - Yuvraj Shri Vijayaraji and hence the name. The most interesting thing was the stuffed skin of dead animals which are placed in corridors of the palace. These are the animals which were killed by the king and the pictures of the same are framed on the wall. They are huge in size and at first glance they seem to be alive. It is the glass box which makes you feel safe.
The palace has been used in various Bollywood movies. Also, the king had a good relationship with the Bollywood industry and you can see pictures of various Bollywood stars visiting the palace.
The lavish palace of a king needs a magnificent view and what’s better than an Arabian sea. Beaches never disappoint anyone, it only brings happiness and give a feeling of being at the edge of the land and looking at the world.
One of the sight at Mandvi beach are the huge wind mills which generates power for the town.
Well not a place but roads are the most important element which can make your road trip a memorable one or a disaster. You will find the BEST roads of India in Gujarat. After crossing the Gujarat border, I don't think I felt even a bump while driving. If you love road trips, Gujarat is the place for smooth drives!
Keep following for more stories and till then keep traveling like The Tripster!
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