7. Get a real account of the everyday lives of fishermen at Vankabara JettyVankabara Jetty is a congested fishing village on the west of Diu. Work begins early at this chaotic seaside settlement, with some fishermen constructing large fishing boats, while others set out to sea to get a hold of the catch of the day. While seemingly happy to be hard at work, life is difficult for these fisherman who struggle to make ends meet. It's fascinating to get into a conversation with them and figure out what everyday life looks life for them. They will enchant you with their tales and the visit will leave you happier and more fulfilled with your own life.8. Head to Ram Vijay for some homemade ice-cream and soda
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290 Kms from Vanakbara
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Perhaps the largest metropolis in the country, Mumbai is a multi-faceted city with something to offer everyone. From the imposing architecture of Gateway of India to the crystal clear waters of the Marine Drive, from the modern architecture marvel of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link to the Elephanta Caves, the city brings the old and new together. It is also home to the very popular Hindi film industry and most Bollywood celebrities have residences here. The most famous spot here is probably the Chowpatty Beach, which remains packed throughout the year, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival which sees thousands of Mumbaikars get together to immerse an idol in the waters. The Siddhivinayak Temple of Mumbai is a famous place that is frequented by believers in large numbers on a daily basis. Lying along the salty waters of the Arabian Sea is the Juhu Beach, which is another popular beach in the city. The Essel World Amusement Park here is an ideal picnic spot to cool off in the hot summers of Mumbai. The city, being a metro, offers all kind of food from different parts of the world. The local pao bhaji and vada pao can be sampled at any local eatery. Popular restaurants here are LSD, Indigo, Cafe Churchill and Cafe Leopold.
287 Kms from Vanakbara
Best time to visit - February,March,November,December
The city of Thane is a great getaway from Mumbai. Its beautiful lakes, lovely locales, boat rides and old forts makes it a popular weekend spot for tourists. The most popular lake here is the Upwan Talao, which is also famous for hosting the Sanskruti Arts Festival. This sparkling lake also houses a Ganesha temple near its confines. Enjoy the thrill of water rides at the Suraj Water Park, which also doubles up as a picnic spot here. The Masunda Lake is another famous lake, which offers boating and water scooter facilities as well. Don't forget to try out the delicious local snacks that are sold here! Thane offers a chance to discover the unique flavours of Maharashtrian cuisine. Lodging here is not a problem with numerous hotels and guest houses available as per the tourist's requirement. If nature is something that you wish to explore, Thane is the place to be!
217 Kms from Vanakbara
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, from other cities. The age-old decaying buildings, narrow lanes and colourful bazaars make up for the lost charm inflicted by tall buildings and the brimming crowd. The scenic Lakhota Fort stands in the middle of the lake and is a fort like palace that now houses a museum of old collectables. It looks beautiful at sundown when the lake glitters in the yellow light that reflects from the monument. The Darbargadh Fort, constructed with a mix of European and Rajput architectural styles, is mesmerising to explore. Other must visits here are the Pratap Vilas Palace and Bhujio Kotho, a five-floor monument believed to be constructed for protection during invasions. There are also many Jain temples around the Chandi Bazaar that grant the place an old world charm. With a coastline that stretches till Dwarka, Jamnagar also offers some unspoilt beaches with white and golden sand. Shopping in Jamnagar is a treat and you must not forget to buy the world famous, multi-hued Bandhani fabric, which can be used as a dupatta or dress or even a sari. Taste the Gujarati delicacies of ghughra and dry fruit kachoris and consider the Express Residency or J R Avezika for a comfortable stay in the city.
311 Kms from Vanakbara
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
Popularly known as Baroda, Vadodara is great travel destination for history buffs and art enthusiasts. The town is known for the grand Laxmi Vilas Palace and the Fatehsingh Museum (both located in the same premises). Do keep aside an entire day if you are fond or art and culture since the palace is huge and deserves that kind of time. You can also visit Sayaji Baug, a lush, refreshing garden in the middle of the city. It is the perfect place to visit if you are travelling with children since it has a small kid's zone, a cafeteria, a small museum and a zoo. If you are in the city for more than a day, do visit Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum since it houses numerous rare and beautiful paintings, sculptures and murals from all over the world, collected by the royal family. Vadodara may not be a traveller's perfect destination, but it does have its fair share of history, culture and art.
102 Kms from Vanakbara
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 situated at the foothills of Mount Girnar with the Arabian Sea on its southwest, and fort walls surrounding the entire city. It is not a surprise that the city is loaded with architectural remnants and a pleasure for history buffs to explore. The Uparkot Fort, Tomb of Nuri Shah and Junagadh Museum will arouse that historical shiver within you and tell you the story of the past. Jama Masjid is worth visiting for an arresting panorama of Junagadh. Snippets of the Chudasama Rajputs are evident in the architectural styles of relics like Adi-Kadi Vav and Navghan Kuvo. If you are an adventure seeker, the Holy Hill of Girnar offers a remarkable trek. The Jain temples, Amba Ji Mandir, and Dattatray Mandir are pit stops that you can use to catch a breath during this 5-6 hour steep trek. Once you are at the top of the hill, you will realise why the exhaustion is totally worth it. Another wonderful opportunity that Junagadh offers you is close proximity to the stunning Gir National Park. If exploring the world is something you simply can't resist, then Gir definitely has to be on your list. Perhaps the only place where you can see the mighty, shy lions going about their daily business, Gir offers you an experience that is hard to forget. Leo Resorts is a good choice if you prefer to stay a night, though there are other budget and luxury hotels depending on your preference. For shopaholics, there are gold and silver embroidered items and perfumes available in the local markets. Don’t forget to pick up a tin of Kesar Keri on your way back – the taste of the mango pulp will keep you wanting more.
179 Kms from Vanakbara
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. The narrow lanes, marketplaces with farmers selling bottled ghee at corners keeps the ethos intact. At Alfred High School you will see the reminiscences of the cultural setting where Gandhi pursued his education and at Gandhi Smriti, the recollections of his childhood. Founded in the colonial times, traces of the British Raj are still prevalent here. Prominent places to visit include the Watson Museum, Rotary Dolls Museum and Aaji Dam. Situated in the heart of Saurashtra, Rajkot is probably the centre with Gir Forest, Somnath Temple, Mount Girnar and even Diu all within a range of 200kms from it. If you want to spend the night, consider the Seasons Hotel or Marasa Sarovar Portico. From a cultural point of view, Rajkot is not inadequate either. The Kathiawari is an inherent form of folk music and Dayro too is Rajkot’s very own native genre. And how can one possibly forget the Garba? That is what keeps the city lighted during the festival of Navratri, through the night till dawn. Try the mouth-watering cuisine, which includes dishes such as fafda, poha, jalebi, dabeli, spicy ghughra and chikki before leaving the city.
60 Kms from Vanakbara
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. Legend tells one that the original structure was built in gratitude to Lord Shiva by the moon God Soma. Lord Shiva is said to have removed a terrible curse, the magnificent temple dedicated to his worship. Known to be an extremely wealthy place, the temple and the surroundings were plundered and destroyed by Muslim invaders who came in search of gold and treasures. Mahmud of Ghazni is said to have looted the place in 1026 and that the last raid was carried out by Aurangzeb who built a mosque at the site. This town has a nice beach and has been transformed into a pilgrimage spot.
139 Kms from Vanakbara
Best time to visit - February,October,November,December
Palitana has 900 marble temples sitting on top of a mountain. And the Jain community believes that every member must visit this city at least once in their lifetime to attain nirvana. Situated in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, Palitana is associated with the Jain history and legends. The Palitana temples, located on the Shatrunjaya hills, are perhaps the most important religious landmarks of all. A walk up on around 3500 steps will take you to the temples. The Shri Adishwara Temple is a fascinating structure consisting of beautifully complex carvings. The Chaumukha temple of this region, with its imposing gateway and sprawling confines, is a humbling sight indeed. The carvings on the marble within the temples is spellbinding. The Shri Vishal Jain Kala Sansthan Museum here houses an excellent collection of artefacts, excavated idols, ancient manuscripts and an exhibit on the history of Jainism and the life of Lord Mahavira. There are several eating places here, but be warned, all are strictly vegetarian. Bhavnagar is about 56 km away and Ahmedabad. Private and ST buses travel to Palitana from both of these cities as well as from several others around Gujarat and even from Mumbai. A revered religious spot, visit Palitana and rediscover yourself.