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116 Kms from Mandvi
Best time to visit - July,August,September,October
One of Gujarat's most beautiful places, Kutch is nature's masterpiece. The vast barren land with spurts of colour is an ...
We drove to Kutch from Ahmedabad, a journey that brought the realisation that there are few travel destinations that offer such a dramatic change in landscape all within a distance of a few hundred kilometres. Leaving behind the commercial humdrum of the city, we began to get closer to the desert, our path guided by wind turbines standing tall against the orange evening sky. Windmills are a characteristic part of the Kutch landscape, with the steady wind conditions through the day and night making it a perfect setting to harness energy.
Rann of Kutch, Gujarat (India – Pakistan)Rann of Kutch is located in the Kutch district of Gujarat. This seasonal white desert is open to the public from October to February. The desert connects India with Pakistan and this is your chance to experience the most scenic sight of white desert.
No doubt, Kutch is a nagging dream for everyone. Ever since people have seen those beautifully shot Amitabh Bachchan ads about Gujarat, the love for Kutch in particular, has been drawn more powerfully. Well, to tell you the truth, Kutch is gorgeous, and is famous for a few more things than one can imagine.
6. Kutch: While talking about places to visit in the monsoon in India, one cannot forget the mesmerizing landscapes of Kutch. Deemed as the largest salt desert in India, the Great Rann of Kutch is a carpet of the crystal as far as the eyes can see. The region is inhabited by tribal communities, and their culture and traditions draw a large number of tourists to their land. Every year the Rann Mahotsav turns these barren lands to a myriad coloured kaleidoscope with its three month long festivities. In addition to its rich cultural diversity, Kutch is also a land of adventure. The very famous wildlife safaris, rappelling, and trekking are thrilling experiences to look out for. In order to reach Kutch, Kutch Express is available from Bombay via Ahmedabad to Gandhidham.
Dropping at Bhuj, i got a car that took a thousand to my place of stay in Kutch, the Rann Homestay. Finalllyyy much awaited Kutch! Hell tired from the journey i dozed off to sleep. It was one in the afternoon when i woke up! The sun beaming high up in the sky, no sign of cool weather, the tents swaying to the tune of the wind, sight of arid spaces all around, but the best view out of my bhunga or hut was the lunch being laid out in buffet! chawal, roti, ghee, gur, two types of sabzi, daal and papad! Filling my tummy with as much food as possible, i got dressed to visit the white desert! since the home-stay was far, i had to avail some conveyance. at the site, one needs a permit from the tourist facilitation center and pay 100 per person to take you up to a certain spot from where again you got to walk or ride the camel/camel cart to view the white desert ultimately!
I and my 2 office friends started the trip from ahmedabad by our own car. We started our journey 8 am in morning towards MATA NO MADH a very famous temple of Ashapura mata in kutch. We riched there by 6pm and then we headed towrds NARAYAN SAROVAR which is 43km from mata no madh. NARAYAN sarovar is the last place before pakistan border and after narayan sarovar there is Arabian sea and from there pakistan border is just 40km. There is a KOTESHWAR temple also. Here you will find desert on the one side and arabian sea in the other side which is very amazing.
Kutch Bustard SanctuaryIf you’re trailing the Great Indian bustard, Lesser florican bustard, and Macqueen’s Bustard, you can’t miss this sanctuary. The two-square-kilometre area was declared a sanctuary for the Great Indian bustard in 1992 and it is the only place it is found.The Details: The nearest airport is Bhuj, 110 kilometres away; the railway station is Nalia, 20 kilometres. You can stay at Radisson Hotel Kandla (radisson. com) in Gandhidham. The entry to the sanctuary is free on all days.Watch out for the Great Indian Bustard at the Kutch Bustard Sanctuary.Flamingo CityThe world’s largest flamingo colony, Flamingo City is a lake in the desert where half a million flamingos fly to every year to nest. The best time to visit the area is in the winter months when it becomes the breeding ground for flamingos, pelicans, and avocets.The Details: You can only visit the area on a camel. The starting point is Khavda, 66 kilometres from Bhuj. You can take a flight from Mumbai to Bhuj or take the Bhuj Express or the Kutch Express from Ahmedabad. You can stay at City The VIllage Resort (citythevillage.com) in Bhuj.
Kutch is full of Culture,communicative people, mouth watering food and alluring places.There were so many attractive places in this district to visit which we had covered in 4 days.The "Bandhni" handicrafts works done by Gujarati People is a must buy item from Bhuj.Talking about Gujarati food we had tried from street foods to good restaurant of Bhuj,it was really tasteful and you should try it.The temperature is good between December and Feb so we had planned our trip during that time.I read somewhere that Bhuj is Jaisalmer of Gujarat ,after reaching there i found it was correct as the temperature and location at Indo-pakistan border is quite similar with Jaisalmer.
A must visit place especially during Rann of Kutch Utsav. Enjoy walking on the white desert, the culture of Kutch and the beauty of Tent City. One can shop for authentic craftswork and other items here at Hodka. try visiting this place during the full moon day to enjoy the safari in white desert twice.
89 Kms from Mandvi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Examples of Rajput architecture and a prominent pearl fishing centre distinguish Gujarat’s lesser known gem, Jamnagar,...
Aradhana Dham, Jamnagar
Jamnagar - Venice of Gujarat Still having old architectural marvels... Presently come up due to reliance and essar Places to visit lakhota lake lakhota lake museum main palace Bedi port - famous for corels Kachori - famous eatry Having dominos , subway only Mc Donalds, pizza hut n much more yet to come....
Jamnagar has been synonymous to jalebi and fafda for all the other communities at large. But my one night sojourn will attempt to tell you what lies in this nagar beyond the banal jalebi and fafda routine. The journey to Jamnagar from Mumbai is a good 14 hour run in the Saurashtra Mail that takes off from Mumbai about 8-25pm. It is preferable to take a three tier AC if one wants to enjoy the entire next day without signs of fatigue. General sleeper is the fun sorts but leaves you with lesser energy for next day as the sleep would be disturbed. With the usual delay in train incidents one lands in Jamnagar at about 12:30pm the next day. One already starts witnessing men in white cotton Kediyas and a white turban and the traditional ladies with a unique attire of a choli, a ghaghra, a dupatta, some jewellery and black tattoo like artwork all over their hand.
192 Kms from Mandvi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
The city of Junagadh in Odisha, is a popular religious destination as well as an interesting tourist city. It is situate...
As the train approached Junagadh, it looked as though a constellation of stars was down to kiss the earth. At half past four in the morning, I reached the Junagadh station. An auto drove me to the foothill of the Girnar, that is approximately 15 km from the station and I realized that what seemed to be a constellation of stars from the distant was indeed an array of lights that lit the Girnar so beautifully and guided pilgrims throughout the dark.It took me 2 hours to reach the peak of the mountain. I was right on time to catch the mesmerizing sunrise. The cold wind that blew brought goosebumps and looking at the spreading colors of the sun, my heart whispered to my soul that the climb was all worth it.I was able to reach the peak in two hours because I climbed without taking any break, yes, literally without any break. I didn't even stop to take a sip of water. The climb is a bit exhausting, but the shower of cold breeze at the peak will definitely refresh your body and soul.Mount Girnar which is considered to be older than the Himalayas is a sacred place for Jain and Hindu pilgrims. At the peak of Girnar, is the 'Akhand Dhuni' which literally translates to eternal flame, beleived to be lit by Lord Dattatreya himself.
I was really very excited about climbing the highest mountain of Gujarat and so as Shreyansh, as both of us never did it. The Girnar is older than the Himalaya Mountain. It’s immense beauty has always attracted me towards it. And now I was about to start a real adventure. Night trekking, climbing the Girnar.Check my next blog post where I will take you on a visual journey to highest mountain in Gujarat.
Well…it is all about my trip to Junagadh District. This time our Wayfarer's Club planned to go for Gir Safari in the Sasan Gir jungle of Junagadh. We were very hopeful about this trip. After all it was the chance to see the Asiatic lions (Babbar sher) in their natural living. Unfortunately I could not join my Wayfarer friends for the Safari, but I decided to join them for visiting places in Junagadh and the Madhopur beach. I had been to Junagadh before but never made it to the Mt. Girnar. This time also it was not on our list, but I was excited about visit to this beautiful city.The moment I entered in Junagadh my first task was to buy milk, sugar, tea and some other snacks as we were staying at a farmhouse for night. At the farmhouse we had delicious ‘’Bhadthu Rotlo’’ - a special and traditional food item for winter season. After completing dinner we set the bonfire. The bonfire was the best thing in that bone chilling winter night.
Junagadh is primarily visited by the pilgrims for sacred Girnar hills which is a home to many Hindus and Jain temples, scattered around the Girnar hill.It is the highest peak in Gujarat State. Reached our point of shelter- hotel Somnath and kept luggage.Savoured Kathiawadi Thali at Patel’s restaurant, the food is wholesome and reasonably priced, more servers than the customers. Thali's at Gujarat do not come with sharing privilege,unlimited servings of Papad,roti,rice,dal etc can be enjoyed ,needless to say.Sakkarbaug zoological park
Junagadh city is the headquarters of Junagadh district. The city is the 7th largest in Gujarat, located at the foot of the Girnar hills, 355 km south west of state capital Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. Literally translated, Junagadh means "Old Fort". An alternate etymology gives the name as coming from "Yonagadh", literally "City of the Yona (Greeks)," referring to the ancient inhabitants of the city under the Indo-Greek Kingdom. It is also known as "Sorath", the name of the earlier Princely State of Junagadh. After a brief struggle between India and Pakistan, Junagadh joined India on 9 November 1947. It was a part of Saurashtra state and later Bombay state. In 1960, after the Maha Gujarat movement, it became part of newly formed Gujarat state.
70 Kms from Mandvi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
One of the most visited cities in Gujarat, Bhuj is home to a number of historical monuments, a lively culture and a hist...
By Train - A train from Ahmedabad to Bhuj. There are 3 express trains on weekdays and 4 on weekends. Except during Rann Utsav, you can get your tickets at the current booking counter in the Ahmedabad Railway Station.
There are some cottages and guest houses near Dholavira but staying there is not recommended as getting food and medical aid during emergency will be a problem as there is hardly any local transport. So it is best to stay at Bhuj and visit Dholavira.
This day was going to be hectic. as we have to cover around 350-400 kms in one day. So we left our hotel by 8 am. We took the same driver and we settled for INR 3200 for Bhuj--> Mata no Madh-->Lakhpat Fort-->Narayan Sarovar-->Koteshwar Mahadev-->Mandvi-->Bhuj.
Upon Reaching Bhuj, we talked to some local people and enquired about places to explore. Feedback that we received for Home cottages at Rann(Dhordo Village) was not so good. So we decided to have stay at Bhuj only. Then we went(by running autos-INR 10/head) to taxi Union at Juna Bus Stand where we enquired for Taxi as syncing with bus is very difficult there. It was 2200 for "Bhuj-->Rann of Kutch , Kalo Dungar , India Bridge-->Bhuj". He told INR 2500 but upon negotiation we settle for 2200 INR. You guys can use your negotiation skills for better deal. After having some snacks as Breakfast (Gujarati-Jalebi-Fafda, Dhokla) we left for Kutch at 10:00 am.
Around 80km and an hour and a half away from the Rann of Kutch is the town of Bhuj. Bhuj came into the headlines after the 2001 earthquake, when almost the entire city was flattened to the ground. There are some buildings that survived the earthquake, such as Aina Mahl and Prag Mahal, which are must visits. Apart from these, you can visit Bhujodi, a modernised village with decorated huts – each of them housing a different handicraft from Kutch and other areas of Gujarat. This is a great place for some authentic handicraft shopping.
At 4:00am the cab has arrived- our ride for next 3 days. We had completed our journey from Ahmedabad to Bhuj in 5 hours at around 09:00 am in the morning. I would really appreciate such well-maintained roads which made the journey extremely smooth and comfortable.After reaching Bhuj we proceeded to our Hotel – Ilark where the hotel staff was really kind to provide us early Check In since we haven’t made any request for early Check while booking the hotel. We wanted to start the exploration as soon as possible so we just got ready as quick as we could and began with the landmarks of city.1) Prag Mahal & Aina Mahal– It’s a a 19th-century palace located next to the Aina Mahal Aina Mahal and is named after is named after Rao Pragmalji II. The place has been highly affected by the 2001 earthquake although once can still see mirrored ceiling, ivory gates, decorated walls, stain glass paintings from those time which till speaks about the richness of the culture.2) Big Ben Replication – It’s 45 foot high tower with a clock, from where entire Bhuj city is visible and can definitely give you some beautiful pics to cherish from the trip.3) Bhujodi Village - It is a major textile centre of Kutch and once can find shawls, mud work paintings, jutti's, and various other handicraft goods. Here you can meet weavers who are kind enough to let you see them work and explain the process. It was astonishing for us to know that a hand woven shawl may take 6 months to complete. It was an experience to learn about the kindness and talent of these weavers who had curated raw materials into absolute beauty. Girls it’s a must visit place for some traditional as well as extremely vibrant & lively addition to your wardrobe.Bhuj is an ideal springboard for visits to the surrounding villages which offers the Pandora of beautiful handcrafted articles. The local vegetable market in Bhuj would take you down the memory lanes of childhood and if you had not experienced it in childhood it will be an experience away from the Metro city stores to the freshness of garden.
Day 4 - Bhuj: One can hire a rickshaw or taxi to see around Bhuj and Mandavi for 1500 INR. Bhuj was nearly flattened by the devastating earthquake in 2001 but has bounced back beautifully. One can still feel the wreckage and the strength it has brought along. Prag Mahal, Aaina Mahal, Royal Tombs or the Chattris and Hamirsar Lake are some of the places you can see in Bhuj. Turn off your hygiene instincts and taste the chats and icy kulfi in the street market.
On our Last day we decided to explore Bhuj, a city which was ravaged by an Earthquake back in 2001 but has managed to get up on it’s feet and how?! Home to a number of small scale industries,Bhuj has become an important destination for Business over the years. We visited the famous Prag Mahal & Aina Mahal, both important tourist attractions in Bhuj.They have been featured in Multiple Bollywood and Gujarati Movies as well.
172 Kms from Mandvi
Best time to visit - January,October,November,December
Rajkot today may deceive you with its congested roads and new heights, but the soul of the city still screams Gandhi. Th...
After long driving of 5 hours reached Rajkot at 9,00p.m, approached Hotel Babha kingstone,room was available.After a tiring journey we were in need of a good night's sleep.Early morning after a delicious breakfast at the hotel left to
Rajkot is frequently referred to as "Rangiloo Rajkot" meaning colorful Rajkot. The people of Rajkot like to enjoy themselves to the fullest no matter which season or time of the day. You can find them eating out at 1 am. Shopkeepers mostly close their business in the afternoon.Rajkot is multicultural. However, only Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu and English are well understood. Rajkot is the part of Kathiyawad. Because of this people of Rajkot are also known as Kathiyawadi.The City is also the home town of MohanDas Gandhi
299 Kms from Mandvi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,October,November,December
Diu is very unlike India's other beach destinations. Located on a small island linked by a bridge to Gujarat’s souther...
After reaching Diu bus depot we found many hotels' boardings hung around and many Guest houses were within .5 KM range. After wandering for 15 minutes got one Guest house with decent pricing. We asked to the receptionist about tourist spots and the best way to explore Diu, he was generous, he gave us a visiting size card on which all the tourist spots were noted down alongside their distance from the Guest-house (sort of travel brochure) and suggested we should rent bikes for site seeing. We went to a nearby bike renting shop, booked bikes for a day, filled fuel and now we were ready for Diu.
• Is the place a fine travel destination?• How should I reach this solitary island?• Is it safe and cheap there?• How much would it cost me?I’m writing this post hoping to solve all your questions at once – so you can finally visualise and understand all that you’re curious about.
Day 3My parents wanted to visit Somnath temple in morning as well so we went at 6AM. It was dark and people had queued up at this time as well. Morning arti happens at 7 AM. Temple looks absolutely mesmerizing at the break of dawn when direct sunlight rays fall on it. Golden color of temple changes into bright orange color which looks breathtakingly mesmerizing!!Post breakfast at hotel we left for Diu. It’s approx. 1.30-hour journey. Diu is an island and one of the union territories of India. This place is highly influenced with Portuguese architecture since they came and settled here in past. Also, you get cheap alcohol which is unavailable in Gujarat being a dry state! Therefore, you will find a lot of young crowd roaming around on bikes coming here for partying!Our 1st stop was Gangeshwar temple. This one is again situated along the rocky seas shore. It has 5 shivlings which were supposedly built by 5 pandvas as per legend. During period of high tide, these shivlings get covered with ocean waves and that’s the fascinating part of this temple. Unfortunately, we couldn’t witness this much-hyped phenomenon! But, the location of this temple is a must sightseeing place in itself. The open ground beside the temple, present atop a cliff alongside seashore, is a perfect picnic spot with gazebos and benches installed.
At-least once in a lifetime, Do the Diu :)Continuing my last trip i.e. from Delhi to Ahemdabad -> Ahemdabad to DiuHow to reach Diu by Air: Diu has an airport located in Nagoa. From here, Jet airways offer daily flights to and from Mumbai.How to reach Diu by Rail: The nearest railway station is located at Veraval. One can access Diu by reaching Veraval which in turn connected to Rajkot, Ahmedabad and the other important cities of western India. Tour to Diu by rail would be fun since the tourist will come across the rural parts of India and will have a good opportunity to witness the beauty of these regions. It is advisable for the tourists to travel to Diu from October to March since the weather is the most pleasant one during this period.How to reach Diu by Road: Diu is well linked via roads that connect the National Highways of the country. These well maintained roads link Diu to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Vadodara, Daman, Palitana and other major places of the western part of India.Climate in Diu:The Diu islet enjoys a maritime climate which is constantly affected by the sea breezes. The weather remains dry but pleasant throughout the year. In the winters Diu temperature reaches a maximum of 26 ° C while minimum being 20 ° C. During summers the maximum temperatures do not rise above 36 degrees and the minimum does not fall below 20° C.Here, I am not going to tell you the history of Diu, you can google it :DAfter exploring some place of Ahemdabad, our next destination is "Diu". From Ahemdabad, one can easily get AC and Non AC buses from Ahemdabad city to Diu with a fair of around 400 INR for Non AC and around 500 INR for AC bus. The traveling time is around 10 hours (including the stops for food and snacks) and the distance is around 365 km.Place of Interest in Diu:Naida CavesZampa GatewayPortuguese FortSt. Pauls ChurchNagoa BeachGangeshwar TempleI.N.S.Khukery MemorialGhogla BeachShell MuseumJallandhar BeachChakratirth BeachSt Thomas ChurchGomatimata BeachDiu MuseumDinosaur Park
I didn't plan this place as I was not aware that Diu is so close to Somnath. In last moment, we thought let's go to Diu and must say that this was a surprise & awesome decision. Before heading toward Diu, I did my basic calculation what time we will reach and what time we need to start from there to catch our night train. After ~2:30 hr traveling, we reached Diu beach. Diu having some good beaches and having water sports activity. Since alcohol is banned in Gujarat so people come here to enjoy :). Diu having an airport so people can plan to come here directly and visit the place in reverse order what I traveled.
Diu: These serene beaches of the west coast make for a perfect trip for the first month of the year. Enjoy parasailing and wind surfing at Nagao Beach and Ghoghla Beach and behold the vision of the clearest sky above the vast Arabian Sea.Diu is well connected to major cities of India by bus. The nearest railway stations to this destination are Somnath (SMNH) and Veraval (VRL). Regular flights are also available from cities across India to Diu Airport (DIU).Read More: Diu- An Underrated Coastal Heaven by Harleen Kalsi
Diu town, an island measuring 40 km² , is part of the Daman and Diu union territory. It was in possession of Portuguese from 1535 until 1961, when the Indian government launched Operation Vijay - A fierce land, air, and water attack that lasted 48 hours until the Portuguese surrendered. Diu was declared a union territory as part of Goa, Daman, and Diu. Goa was later provided full statehood in 1987. Portuguese left the island nearly 55 years ago, but their influence runs deep - be it the food, the architecture or the people of Diu
244 Kms from Mandvi
Best time to visit - October to March is considered to be favourable months to visit this place.
The city of Somnath in Gujarat is famous and home to one of the twelve sacred Shiva Jyotirlingas in the country. Legen...
Next morning we had a plan to visit Somnath, for which I had to wake up at 3 in the morning. It takes 6 hours to reach Somnath travelling in a car. So, after all such calculations we have to leave by 4 am anyhow.The roads to Somnath filled with every kind of crop the farmers could grow with better irrigation systems and really well partitioned land area. After a tiring ride, we reached Somnath at 12 noon. The afternoon prayer was about to begin and we were lucky enough to be present at that moment. Somnath is the dead end of the western India. The Arabian Sea is present right beside the temple. The view from the gates of the temple is overwhelming. The priests worship the lord of the sea.
Day 2We departed for Somnath at 9:30 AM and reached our destination at 5 PM after approx. 8 hours long road journey. On the way, we halted at Honest Restaurant for lunch. Honest is a chain of restaurants present in all major cities of Gujarat and on highways. This time we ordered both Kathiawadi and Gujarati thali. We liked the former one more since it is spicier unlike the latter which is on a sweeter side.We stayed at Hotel Lords Inn. Excellent hotel with convenient location, good food, service and rooms. Post freshening up, we went for Somnath temple at 6 PM. Devotees are not allowed to carry leather products like belts, wallets, etc. and electronics like camera, mobile phones inside. Photography is also not allowed and that is why you wont find pic of any temple in this blog. Do not forget to carry jackets along as it tends to get chilly at night.Somnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located on seashore. It has been plundered, destroyed and rebuilt many times in history. Its architecture is marvelous. You can read more about its background here. Temple premises offer stunning views of sunset and ocean waves crashing over rocky shores. It was quite refreshing spending time here relaxing post our day long journey.As expected temple was flanked with soaring number of tourists but crowds were very well managed by temple authorities. There is a donation counter just infront of entrance to main sanctorum where you can make donations of different amounts and for prayer ceremonies. Tickets for sound and light show can also be bought from this counter. It happens daily at 8 PM and is very informative and interesting. I highly recommend watching this show. There is no arrangement of special VIP darshans (like present in Tirupati Balaji temple) or quick access queues. However, I feel there should be a senior citizen queue just like it is present in Golden temple, Amritsar which is definitely a boon for aged devotees like my parents!Evening Aarti was at 7 PM but we were unable to see anything inside sanctorum because of too much crowd. It is best visible from life-size screen installed just outside the sanctorum on which live feed of activities happening inside main sanctorum are displayed and are visible even from large distance.
On 4th day, We were ready to depart for "Somnath" temple. We boarded "19252/ Okha Somnath Express" and it took around 8 hrs to reach "Somnath". The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat. Destroyed and reconstructed several times in the past.
The trip started with an early morning flight from Delhi to Ahmedabad and a long 8 hour road trip from Ahmedabad to Somnath. We reached Somnath at 5 in the evening and decided that after a quick shower and a cup or two of tea, we would visit the temple. The Somnath temple is a sight to behold. It is beautiful and grand and has a massive compound surrounding it. The temple is known for the intense history of being plundered numerous times and constructed again and again. But the current structure stands tall on the sea shore, welcoming one and all, with open arms. The Shivling inside the temple is beautiful and the sanctum sanctorum, or the “garbhgraha” as it is called in Hindi, is made of actual gold and houses the Shivling. The rest of the structure is painted in gold colour with the central spire standing 15 metres tall. Surrounding the temple on one side is the sea and the seashore with a sprawling beach and the other side is a small market. The beach is very touristy but offers the perfect view of the sunset. We stayed in Somnath for 3 days and visited the temple at dusk and at dawn and during noon and every time the view of the temple was different and unique.
Day 2: Having walked a lot in Ahmadabad the previous day, we were quite tired, and thus slept okey okey in the train. On Day2, we arrived at Veraval station early morning around 6 am and took a shared auto upto Somnath. After getting there, we took a hotel, took bath and got fresh and went to the temple for Darshan. The temple has been built exactly on the seashore and has a very beautiful view. After Darshan and breakfast, we came down to the bus stand which is very close to the temple. We boarded the bus to Dwarka around 10 am. Earlier we had thought the bus journey to dwarka is around 4 hours, but only after coming to bus stand, we got to know that it was going to take us around 6-7 hours to reach Dwarka. Having no other option, we still boarded the bus. Travelling through the amazing seaside highways of Gujarat, you can see large number of wind mills on both the sides of the highway.
Early morning performed Abhishek at Somanthji temple ,thrilled to view Ganga abhishek getting done electronically without entering the sanctum.Jai Somnath, May God SOMNATHJI bless you all to fullfill your goal and desires !!South Indian Food prepared on request at Maheshwari Bhavan was good. Special ginger tea complemented the taste .On the way to Gir, our Driver narrated his experience of seeing lions point blank when he was sleeping inside his car, lions preying upon cattle during night. He was ready to arrange Safari at Gir park, but there was no guarantee that we would spot lions. We dropped the idea of seeing the lions and moved on to Junagarh. At Devalia Safari Park too, we were disappointed, safari was closed at 11.00a.m and scheduled to open at 3.00p.m.We moved on.., from jungle road to cultivated land of mango groves, green- white coriander fields and then to hilly landscape. As one approaches Junagadh ,one can spot the Girnar hill.Junagadh (City of Heritage)
On the way to Somnath, there is an amazing beach and spent some time over there with Family. After ~5 hours (included stay in between), we reached Somnath. First, we did Somnath temple darshan and see the sunset from temple back side. Feel to see sunset nowhere in the world (very much recommended). Also, in evening there is a musical show inside temple campus but we missed that. In Somnath temple, purse and mobile are not allowed but they provide locker at a minimal charge. We had our dinner near the temple. Then we started for our hotel which was in Veraval and just 20min far away.
firstly , We had take a bus from Bhopal to INDORE ( 200 km ) . after reaching indore we went to the office of a local bus operator named INTERCITY bus services . they had no direct bus form INDORE to SOMNATH , so we decided to take a bus for RAJKOT. That bus was a fully air conditioned and had a great staff service ,so that our actual journey started form INDORE , we were enjoying our journey, One thing i want to mention here is that i didn’t do research for that journey ,we just packed our bages and gone for that like ‘BANJARAS ‘. that was quite interesting because we traveled gujarat for the first time. we departed form INDORE at 8 pm and it was taken a whole night than our bus reached at ahmedabad at approx 4 am but bus was not stopped there and after more 3 hour journey we were stopped at any highway retreat at NH 8A ( AHMEDABAD – RAJKOT HIGHWAY ) for some refreshment . after this we FINALLY reached RAJKOT at 9 AM . so now we were 900 km away from BHOPAL . we had took some time to rest after this ,we reached at S.T. BUS STAND RAJKOT where we took direct bus for SOMNATH . the main merits of those buses are they are more punctual for there timing than other buses. after departed form the BIRTH PLACE OF MAHATMA GANDHI ,we arrived at SOMNATH.it is approx 1100 km far from central india . SOMNATH is a very peacefull place situated at the arabian sea beach. It is also renown for a major hindu pilgrim centre called ( FIRST JYOTIRLINGA OF AMONG ALL TWELVE IN INDIA ). after arriving at somnath ,firstly we went to beach area and relaxed there for some time, after that we had gone for temple darshan. honestly the temple was so much pretty and well maintained and organised , people always make decorum for darshan and atmosphere was happier. we rested there for a night and than next morning we planned for visit GIR NATIONAL FOREST.
78 Kms from Mandvi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
The literal meaning of Dwarka is ‘gateway to heaven’ and for some tourists visiting this lovely city, this holds ver...
Located at a distance of 144km from the town of Jamnagar, Bluebell Beach is a great kitesurfing spot in Gujarat. The wind season here is from October to February. This place is frequented by experienced kitesurfers.
Day 5:We went to Dwarkadhish temple again for darshan in morning at 6:45 AM. Morning aarti happens twice in morning at 6:30 and 8:30 AM. As expected we were again welcomed by huge crowds and queues!This temple is located on the banks of Gomti River. It is actually a backwater river having salty sea water. It has religious significance in Hindu religion so my parents took a holy dip in it. Obviously, you will have to come back to your hotel to bath again to remove that sea water saltiness and sand! We came back to our hotel by 8:45 and left for Bet Dwarka by 10:45 AM. We were late! We were supposed to leave by 10 as suggested by the pandit but couldn’t and therefore, by the time we reached Bet Dwarka temple at 12:30 PM, it was closed! So, make sure to leave for Bet Dwarka max by 10 AM otherwise don’t go. It remains closed between 12:30-4 PM.Bet Dwarka was supposedly the residence of Lord Krishna. This temple is said to be standing over the exact residence of Lord Krishna and the original idol at the temple is said to have been established by lord Krishna’s wife, Rukmini.To reach here we first went to Okha in our taxi. Beyond its taxi stand, outside cabs are not allowed to go. So, you will have to take a local auto rickshaw to reach at ferry station (5 mins drive). From here a ferry will take you to Bet Dwarka island. It takes another approx. 15-20 mins. You will be welcomed by Seagulls on the way! On reaching, post 10 mins walk you will finally arrive at the temple. It takes around 1.5-2 hours in total to reach Bet Dwarka from Dwarka. Well, disappointed we came back to Dwarka for our next destination, Nageshwar Mahadev Temple. It is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India. It is located 17 KM away from Dwarkadhish temple. It has a huge statue of Lord Shiva in its premises. Queues were highly mismanaged. We left the temple post darshan by 4:30 PM and came back to our hotel.As per my observations, please keep in mind following points while planning your itinerary for Dwarka during peak season:1. Do not come to Nageshwar Mahadev temple between 1-4 PM when most tourist buses arrive and huge crowds throng this place. Most people are back from Bet Dwarka by this time since its temple closes by 12:30 PM. We observed that there was almost no queue at 4 PM when people again leave for 1) Bet Dwarka as its temple reopens by 4:30 PM or 2) for evening aarti at Dwarkadhish temple or 3) for sunset view by the beach.2. Similarly, Dwarkadhish temple had no queue at 8:30 AM when morning aarti just finishes and people start leaving for Bet Dwarka.3. Plan for Bet Dwarka at early morning when most people will visit Dwarkadhish temple first for morning aarti. Also, many overnight trains arrive at Dwarka by early morning and devotees come directly to temple as there is locker/luggage storage facility available at the temple premises.Post our temple hopping throughout the day we went for some sightseeing at 6 PM. Our driver took us to Bhakti garden for sunset views. It is located close to Bhadkeshwar Mahadev temple. Sitting on the edge of a cliff with my husband, overlooking ocean waves crashing on rocky foothill of cliff and watching red colored sun going inside sea horizon infront – was truly a unique experience!! Location of Badhkeshwar temple is also quite interesting. It is present on pile of rocks inside sea and a narrow footpath connects the cliff to this temple. It offers 360* view of sea around. Well, we didn’t go inside since this one was also crowded with devotees!
Day 4:We left for our next destination Dwarka next morning at 9 AM after having breakfast at nearby Honest restaurant and it was pretty bad!On the way, our driver took us to Adari beach. It is present just a few kilometers off the highway at the end of a village. It doesn’t have a sandy beach but a swampy one with green algae. Can be skipped!
While JANUARY and FEBRUARY went in recovery in Nagpur, by MARCH I was up and running and was ready to meet my friends who had to cancel off our plans to Gangtok due to my accident. I started my year’s escapade with Mahabalipuram on 4th March, through Chennai. Immediately the next week, I went on to cover my third Dham, Dwaraka. I followed it with Somnath, Nageshwar and Porbandar, before returning through Rajkot & Ahmedabad. The next day, I hit it off to Diu to embrace my lust for adventure. 'I touched both Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, within a week.' I did parasailing, scuba diving, water skiing, jet skiing and some other water sports. The next week, I went off again, this time for Jyotirlinga darshan in Srisailam via Hyderabad.
My grandmother was not getting any younger, she was now in the wrong side of her 70s and however fit she may have been age was now taking its toll.The last dham was left for her and for me, Dwarka the western Dham.Dwarka is located in the state of Gujarat, India. The legendary city of Dwarka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna.The temple has wonderful architecture and is well planned to accumulate the huge crowds that dhams have.
Day 5 - Dwaraka: We booked an overnight non A/C sleeper bus from Bhuj to Dwaraka which is at a distance of 400 kms. One can rent a room for 500 INR for the day. Dwarakadeesh temple, Dwaraka beach, Gomti ghat and Rukmini temple are some of the places to visit. Beyt Dwaraka is located around 30 km from the main town and is a small island. The island is enclosed by a few temples, white sand beach and coral reefs, marine life, sea excursions, camping and picnics. One has to board a ferry for 20 INR from Okha to reach the island.
The most renowned place to worship the most renowned Indian God - Lord Krishna. Dwarka is a municipality located at the very end of Gujarat by the banks of the hallowed river of Gomti. The place is believed to be located at the very same location as the mythical Dwarka Kingdom, which was ruled by Krishna himself. Millions of pilgrims, or rather lovers of various other forms of the popular god, visit the holy grounds every year, with the number going exponentially higher during the festival of Janmashtami. Although the town is home to many significant temples, but the Dwarkdhish Temple is the main attraction, which is the residence of a huge decked up statue of Krishna. The main shrine of this 2,500-year-old structure is 5-storey-high and is supported by an astounding 72 pillars. Disciples also visit the Rukmini Devi Temple nearby to complete their pilgrimage.Things to do for millennials: Since the town is located at the mouth of Gulf of Kutch, there exist a few beaches around including the Beyt Dwarka Beach in Jamnagar. Birdwatching is a pastime at this place. But the main attraction for millennials is definitely the Rann of Kutch, which is ideal for biking expeditions. The great white land makes for an incredible platform as well as backdrop for bike riders, consequentially entering the must-do lists of most of them.Read more on Dwarka. Book hotels instantly without paying in advance if you're planning a visit.Well, doing the Char Dhams doesn't look so boring anymore, eh? So the next time your grandmother asks you about your lack of praying time in the mornings, offer to accompany her to the ultimate religious destinations. It'll make both of you happy. Now go, find your own gods. And once you're back, share your interesting stories on Tripoto with millions of other agnostic travellers like you are. Cheers! Oops, Jai Mata Di!
DwarkaThe fourth morning we left for Dwarka Dham, covering the distance of 250 kms in 5 hours. When we reached Dwarka we followed the same routine as Somnath. We took a shower, had a cup of tea and left for the temple. The temple was located at a kilometre and a half distance from our hotel and the walk to the temple was a beautiful one. Sea on one side and bustling markets on the other side greeted us all the way to the temple. The temple is huge, built in a similar way to the Somnath temple, with a huge compound surrounding it. The temple is a Krishna temple and is named as “Dwarkadheesh Temple”, translated to “The Temple Of The King Of Dwarka”. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was born in Mathura, spent his childhood in Vrindavan, his teenage years in Mathura and his entire adult life in Dwarka. Dwarka was the place where he established his rule and worked endlessly to bring balance to the Earth. Devotees call the Krishna residing in this temple as the “King of Kings”. The statue is beautifully adorned and attracts devotees and non devotees alike. We worshipped the Lord and left soon after.