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Old 19th October 2011, 20:49   #31
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

Excellent travelogue v&v and couldn't have surfaced at a better moment than this since I am driving an almost same circuit starting this weekend from Bangalore for 2 weeks. Since I will be driving from south, I thought it will make sense if I visited places like Narmada Sarovar Dam and Pavagarh Temple and Ropeway enroute apart from visiting Rajkot, Junagarh, Somnath, Porbandar, Dwarka, Jamnagar,Gandhidham, Gandhinagar & Ahmedabad.

My tryst with Gujarat started only after I got into the nuptial knot as my better half hails from Rajkot and ever since, I have been regularly travelling to this wonderful state with hidden gems.

It has been a great experience reading your log and watching those awesome pictures of various POIs you have covered, which for sure will help a lot in planning my already planned trip.
Keep them coming!!!

Last edited by paragsachania : 19th October 2011 at 20:51.
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Old 20th October 2011, 16:08   #32
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Excellent travelogue v&v and couldn't have surfaced at a better moment than this since I am driving an almost same circuit starting this weekend from Bangalore for 2 weeks. Since I will be driving from south, I thought it will make sense if I visited places like Narmada Sarovar Dam and Pavagarh Temple and Ropeway enroute apart from visiting Rajkot, Junagarh, Somnath, Porbandar, Dwarka, Jamnagar,Gandhidham, Gandhinagar & Ahmedabad.

My tryst with Gujarat started only after I got into the nuptial knot as my better half hails from Rajkot and ever since, I have been regularly travelling to this wonderful state with hidden gems.

It has been a great experience reading your log and watching those awesome pictures of various POIs you have covered, which for sure will help a lot in planning my already planned trip.
Keep them coming!!!

Thanks parag. All the best for you trip.



Day-4 Continues..

Dwarka - Porbandar (Kirtimandir) - 110 kms, 2hours)


Road to porbandar - some stretchs are good and when crusing at good speed, bad patches in the form of pot holes rather crates appear from no where.
Some of them were big ones. Small dhabas are there but no good restauant for the first 35 Odd kms on Dwarka - Porbandar highway (NH 8E). Only after midway 55+ kms there is a good restaurant Hotel Krishna park & guest house. Good food and we had a refreshing break for 30 min.

By 4.10 pm we were at Bapuji's birth place. It is called Kirti Mandir. Nobody knows it as Mahatma Gandhi Memorial.


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Spent 30-40 mins there, we were back to our last destination Sasan gir.

We had two option routes to OPT -

1) Porbandar - Veraval - Talala - Sasan Gir (Roads are bad, need 5+ hours)

As guided by local Taxi guys

2) Take Porbandar - Rajkot (8B) for 40 odd kms(Before UPleta), after police check , Right turn on to SH 32, it connect to Junagadh.
Again 2 option - a) Via JUnagad - Mendarda - Sesangir
b) Via Sh 97 Mangalpur to keshod (Narror village road. Bad), You will hit NH 8D, just before Keshod, from Keshod - Mendarda - Sasangir)

We took the option 2 with B (Was a mistake). if one opts for this route, go via junagadh. roads are better and straight. Keshod - Mendarda (Village interior road, are completly isolated The biggest problem with village roads are after sunset you will not find anybody to enquire about roads/route. Luckily we got the help of a biker who was going to Mendarda, showed the way and told us we took the wrong way, as this road is closed due to the road being washed away this season. He said that the road is drivable for Tractors and some locals take this route as a shortcut. We had to travel through a non-existent road filled with water for around 1.5 kms. It was just my gut feeling and the biker's confidence we drove ahead. There were 2/3 places where the vehicle swayed/skided. Never allowed the beast to loose its momentum. There were places where the water was really deep. The atmosphere was tense for that 20 min drive. After we crossed the water pass, every body had as sigh of relief and another 5 kms dind't know from where all we passed through to finally reach at Mendarda. Thanked him and head to Sasan is another 28 kms. Roads were better considering what we were through for past 2 hours. We reached our resort by 8.50 pm.

Lesson learnt - If you don't know the route and jf its getting dark, better stick to the main highways to reach the destination.


Total Distance Travelled : 366 kms.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 17:23   #33
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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Originally Posted by v&v View Post

1) Porbandar - Veraval - Talala - Sasan Gir (Roads are bad, need 5+ hours)
It is not that bad actually, except for a 4 km horror stretch around 20 kms from Porbandar(towards Veraval) and its been like that for the past one year. It takes nearly half an hour to cross that horror stretch. It will make one hell of a motocross track, though

Couple of years back this Porbandar-Veraval route was fantastic. Less traffic, beautiful roads and it used to take around one and a half hours to cover that distance, now it takes an hour extra.

I am attaching pics are from September during heavy rains last year on a business trip from Veraval to Porbandar.The third, fourth & fifth pics are of the Horror Stretch I was talking about. This place is hardly 20 kms away from Porbandar. We had to turn back to Veraval after coming all this way.

In the third pic, you can See the Scorpio & Xylo backing off. A couple of "brave" Sumos crossed though. In the fourth pic, you can see them on their way back towards Veraval.

P.S. you are not allowed to take snaps in Kirti Mandir. How did you manage to?
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Last edited by skanchan95 : 22nd October 2011 at 17:36.
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Old 23rd October 2011, 13:56   #34
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Wow, v&v, you've got some lovely pics there. Seems like you had all the fun of the Gujarat trip concentrated in Narara itself. Your children obviously freaked out looking at all this!
Thanks Doc. Don't know i missed your post. Think we both were posting on the same time. Yup kids had a blast. No restrictions the entire beach was there.

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
It is not that bad actually, except for a 4 km horror stretch around 20 kms from Porbandar(towards Veraval) and its been like that for the past one year. It takes nearly half an hour to cross that horror stretch. It will make one hell of a motocross track, though

Couple of years back this Porbandar-Veraval route was fantastic. Less traffic, beautiful roads and it used to take around one and a half hours to cover that distance, now it takes an hour extra.

I am attaching pics are from September during heavy rains last year on a business trip from Veraval to Porbandar.The third, fourth & fifth pics are of the Horror Stretch I was talking about. This place is hardly 20 kms away from Porbandar. We had to turn back to Veraval after coming all this way.

In the third pic, you can See the Scorpio & Xylo backing off. A couple of "brave" Sumos crossed though. In the fourth pic, you can see them on their way back towards Veraval.

P.S. you are not allowed to take snaps in Kirti Mandir. How did you manage to?
Yes, i think the taxi guys might me mentioning this stretch. Also i felt the truckers density too was high on that day. As per Kirti Mandir, nobody objected for photography. Was i lucky
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Old 24th October 2011, 10:27   #35
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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Yes, i think the taxi guys might me mentioning this stretch. Also i felt the truckers density too was high on that day. As per Kirti Mandir, nobody objected for photography. Was i lucky
Let me see, I may have to go to Dwarka in a few days time. I will get pics of the" horror stretch". You will be thanking the heavens that you did not take that route. But if you had taken this route , you would have seen a fantastic view along the sea for around 2 kms - one side sea and one side lush green fields, near Madhavpur.

Thing is Veraval-Gadu-Mangrol-Madhavpur-Porbandar route is around 125 kms. Veraval-Gadu-Keshod-Vanthali-Porbandar( the route which you took) is around 150-160 kms.

Kirti Mandir, I guess you were lucky. I was told politely to keep my camera inside my bag and not to use it. There's a plaque just outside the room where Gandhiji was born which reads Use of Cameras strictly prohibited.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 24th October 2011 at 10:30.
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Old 24th October 2011, 11:03   #36
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

Are there any decent hotels in Nageshwar to stay overnight? Do you have any hotel contacts? If not how long does it take to reach Nageshwar from Dwarka? Are there local buses/taxis available?
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Old 24th October 2011, 11:15   #37
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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Are there any decent hotels in Nageshwar to stay overnight? Do you have any hotel contacts? If not how long does it take to reach Nageshwar from Dwarka? Are there local buses/taxis available?
No hotels in Nageshwar, although the temple may have a dharamsala attached.
Best is to stay at Dwaraka from where it is under 30 minutes drive off the road to Bet Dwaraka.
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Old 24th October 2011, 12:22   #38
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Let me see, I may have to go to Dwarka in a few days time. I will get pics of the" horror stretch". You will be thanking the heavens that you did not take that route. But if you had taken this route , you would have seen a fantastic view along the sea for around 2 kms - one side sea and one side lush green fields, near Madhavpur.

Thing is Veraval-Gadu-Mangrol-Madhavpur-Porbandar route is around 125 kms. Veraval-Gadu-Keshod-Vanthali-Porbandar( the route which you took) is around 150-160 kms.

Kirti Mandir, I guess you were lucky. I was told politely to keep my camera inside my bag and not to use it. There's a plaque just outside the room where Gandhiji was born which reads Use of Cameras strictly prohibited.
I think it will not be as bad as in your pic. I knew about the serene drive along the cost but at the cost of bad roads is a strict no no. We didnt go via veraval, we did Dwarka - porbandar, Porbandar - Via Rajkot highway - Sh 97 through villages to Keshod.

Quote:
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Are there any decent hotels in Nageshwar to stay overnight? Do you have any hotel contacts? If not how long does it take to reach Nageshwar from Dwarka? Are there local buses/taxis available?
As HVK mentioned , better stay at Dwarka. it just 18 kms one way. Road is very good. From Nageshwar you can directly reach Bet dwarka too. You can plan you trip accordingly.

Last edited by v&v : 24th October 2011 at 12:36.
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Old 24th October 2011, 13:53   #39
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

Day - 5 Somnath - Veraval - Around Gir - Wednesday 5 oct 11

Our trip was running late by half a day. We were scheduled to reach Gir by 2pm on Tuesday as Devlaya Interprataion zone is closed on Wednesday. So we had to plan it on Thursday and then proceed to Junagadh. The accommodation was a luxurious hut, spacious and Cozy. After a good night sleep, we were ready to head to Somnath & Veraval. Diu was cancelled as we spoke to a few guests who went there on tuesday. Bad roads and nothing much to see apart from the beaches and a church. By 10.00 we started. It was 1hour 15mins drive from the resort(45kms) via Haripur Village, Talala and Somnath. Roads are bad with lots of potholes. Reached Somnath by 11.30 am. Spent an hour there. Here too Camera, Bags, Leather items not allowed. Safe deposit facility is avaliable. IMO it is better to be here either early morning or evening. If you want to pray quietly without rush then noon is the ideal time.

Our next destination was Veraval. Heard about Bakhla Tirth, where Lord Krishna was said to have been struck by the stray arrow of a tribal. By 4 we were back at our Resort.


Snaps of Safari resort.
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Somnath Jyotirling Temple
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Veraval
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Bhakla tirth

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Old 24th October 2011, 14:56   #40
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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Veraval
I see you took these photos when majority of the boats were at sea. If you were unlucky enough to be there on a day when the piers are filled with boats, you won't be able to stand there for a second, the stench gets so unbearable. The locals, of course have got accustomed to that stench, but I see a lot of tourists passing through that bridge with handkerchiefs covering their noses and a silly looking grimace on their faces

I agree, noon is the best time to visit Somnath temple, during morning & evening time(specially during aarti time), there's too much rush and you won't even be able to get a proper glimpse of the Lord. The pot bellied cop would try to shoo away when you get close enough to get a proper glimpse.
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Old 24th October 2011, 16:05   #41
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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I think it will not be as bad as in your pic. I knew about the serene drive along the cost but at the cost of bad roads is a strict no no. We didnt go via veraval, we did Dwarka - porbandar, Porbandar - Via Rajkot highway - Sh 97 through villages to Keshod.

This is probably the route you took.

I've marked the actual Porbandar-Veraval highway, which is pretty much straight.
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Old 24th October 2011, 16:48   #42
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Your marking is correct. But from keshod we were heading to gir via mendarda. We stayed at Gir.

For veraval we again took the village route via haripur, talala, veraval. Its around 45 kms.
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Old 24th October 2011, 16:57   #43
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

@v&v: Brilliant pictures and a very nice narrative as well. Gujarat seems to be the flavour of the season on the forum. I too am covering part of your itinerary, starting 29th. After much deliberations, decided against taking my M800 5sp, so we'll be taking the train for the onward journey and flying back.
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Old 24th October 2011, 17:23   #44
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

Wow ! Nice report and superb pics.This is the first time ,I am reading about a drive in GJ.Thanks for this !


BTW does anyone have any info about Welcome to Rann Riders
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Old 24th October 2011, 18:26   #45
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Default Re: Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500

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For veraval we again took the village route via haripur, talala, veraval. Its around 45 kms.
Haripur is one place where you can quite easily see lions roaming around. Roads have completely been washed off and do not exist there!!!!

In between Talala & Veraval, there is a a very scenic dam, well worth a visit, but if you are talking a big vehicle like a Xylo, you may find it extremely hard to turn your vehicle at the dam site for going back.
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