Dwarka and Somnath always excited me since childhood when I learnt it in history. Had an opportunity to visit the same this Christmas.
1. Mumbai to Baroda (night halt at a family friends house)
2. Baroda to Somnath, night halt at Porbandar.
3. Porbandar to Dwarka.
4. Dwarka to Baroda (night halt at Baroda)
5. Baroda to Mumbai.
Total kilometers driven 2166 km, Diesel worth 10000/- and average of 14km, vehicle used was Scorpio.
Started from my house at Andheri at around 10:30am, landed in a massive traffic jam at Ghodbundar was held in it for around 1hr. ( I am still wondering how many years are they going to take to repair this bridge. it was started 2years back .
Once we got out of the jam, the drive was smooth with lots of traffic leaving Mumbai for the Xmas vacation. All the toll plazas were congested and badly managed, with atleast a kilometer of line in each of them.
There is another bottleneck at Bharuch, where a bridge on the Narmada is being constructed. But the traffic is well managed, so not much time is lost.
Reached Baroda by around 8pm.
Left Baroda at around 6:30 am. The route taken was:
Baroda to Bhagodra via Sevasi and Dharmaj. Excellent roads, the SH are 4 laned without toll.
Took a detour near Bhagodra to Lothal, had a glimpse of our lost civilization.
Further we passed through Rajkot, Keshod, Gadu to Somnath.
Reached Somnath at 4pm.
Personally, I felt overwhelmed by the site of the temple. A very clean and well maintained temple. Location is beautiful reached at around 4 pm, a small museum in the complex gives one a very good knowledge of its glorious past.
A few words of caution to everybody visiting it, its a Z security temple, no electronic items like cell phones, remote car keys , leather belts and purse. They provide you with lockers, but its advisable to keep it locked in the car in parking lot. ( total kilometers from Mumbai to Somnath 948 km)
Left by around 5 pm ( the line to visit the temple was nil) for Porbandar. Reached Porbandar for the night halt at around 8 pm. Distance driven 137km. Found the whole city dug up, for laying drainage pipes. Was little dejected could not visit Kirti Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhiji was born.
Night Halt at Hotel Indraprastha in Porbandar. Good for a night halt, but no restaurant at this place.
Left at 6 am from Porbandar. Reached Dwarka by around 8:10am. Distance :105km
Visited the Dwarkadish temple. Again a Z security temple, advisable to keep everything in the car. Large parking lot. Not very clean place like the Somnath temple. Beware of the Pandas who were looking out for scapegoats , just ignore them, they will leave you alone. If you show interest in anything then you had it . The Gomti river is very close by, the crowd at this temple was large.
Drove to Nagesham, 20km away. A very good, clean temple without much security. Large parking lot, less crowded.
Couldn't go to Bet Dwarka, read about the waiting period for the boats to Bet Dwarka, so dropped it.
Left Nagesham for Dwarka.
The route taken was Dwarka , Jamnagar, Rajkot, Bhagodra to Baroda. Night halt at Baroda.
Day 4: Left Baroda around 6:30am. Reached Mumbai by 1:30 pm. Again held up at Ghodbandar for around 45 minutes.
About Gujarat, the roads and the highways are well maintained, lot of food courts with excellent toilet facilities. One would not go hungry in Gujarat .
There are no vacant land, everywhere on the way one sees industries or agriculture.