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Old 18th February 2012, 18:20   #16
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Default Re: Day 3: Zainabad - Little Rann of Kutch - Zainabad

A very nicely captured travelogue. Just curious, how come all the skies are so darkish blue from your first set of pictures. Did you deliberately do it? Spot metering on stone surface? Lower on EV scale by choice?
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Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
A Duck swallowing a frog.
Is that a duck or a cormorant?
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Old 18th February 2012, 19:36   #17
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Default Re: Day 3: Zainabad - Little Rann of Kutch - Zainabad

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Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
A very nicely captured travelogue. Just curious, how come all the skies are so darkish blue from your first set of pictures. Did you deliberately do it? Spot metering on stone surface? Lower on EV scale by choice?
Oshongkho dhonyobad, Rudra da!! (Hearty thanks!)
The dark, blue skies are deliberate. I mostly stop it down to -2 or -3 depending on the time of the day and the sunlight. The White Desert photo was spot metered on the white surface.

Apart from the settings, the Kutchi skies themselves are a sight to behold - absolutely blue and mostly clear. Possibly less pollution is a factor and they helped a long way in getting what I wanted.

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Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Is that a duck or a cormorant?
You got me there.
Well - frankly I don't know. My disclaimer is already in the travelogue. The two birders who accompanied us were themselves in the duck vs. cormorant battle. I'd be grateful if you correct me.
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Old 18th February 2012, 20:05   #18
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I can't correct you here. What makes you think that I'm knowledgable about birds? It doesn't look like a duck for sure. That's why I asked. We have big number of bird experts here. They can certify.

If you had shot all these in RAW, suggest open up a bit of those images. Don't know what software you're using but in PhotoShop curve tool will do the job for sure.

Just a suggestion. You can surely ignore.
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Old 18th February 2012, 20:41   #19
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

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Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
I can't correct you here. What makes you think that I'm knowledgable about birds? It doesn't look like a duck for sure. That's why I asked. We have big number of bird experts here. They can certify.
Okay - I stand corrected about your knowledge of birds then.
But now I know for sure that it isn't a duck, but a cormorant. Since, I can't edit it now - I'd request you to please edit "Duck" to "cormorant".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
If you had shot all these in RAW, suggest open up a bit of those images. Don't know what software you're using but in PhotoShop curve tool will do the job for sure.

Just a suggestion. You can surely ignore.
Ignore? Your suggestion? Sorry - I can't.

Yes - all these were shot in RAW. And I do use PhotoShop - but Levels is what I have limited myself to. Haven't yet explored the Curve tool. A little bit of guidance will surely help me.
Can I send you any of these RAWs so that you can show me what can be achieved? If yes, let me know which ones.
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Old 18th February 2012, 21:10   #20
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

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Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
But now I know for sure that it isn't a duck, but a cormorant. Since, I can't edit it now - I'd request you to please edit "Duck" to "cormorant".
I'll or some other mod will do that once we now what bird it is exactly.

Waiting for more of your writeup and pics.
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Old 19th February 2012, 17:09   #21
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Default Day 6: Bhuj - India Bridge - Kala Dungar - Dhordo - Bhuj

We wake up to our first morning in Bhuj. A quick breakfast later we are ready to leave. Though the rented car arrives on time, we are a bit late. We start off by 9:45AM but ideally, should have started at least an hour earlier.

A quick backgrounder: During breakfast it dawned upon me that I had rented the car from the hotel travel desk - something that I never do. I immediately logged in to JustDial and got the name of Devsach Car Rental in Bhuj and gave them a call.
Upon inquiring, I come to know that the standard rate of a non AC Indica is around Rs.6 per km (minimum 300 kms per day). Our planned journey of the day doesn't really add up to 300 kms, but we'd be paying Rs.2650 - which is much above the going rate. Possibly the hotel commission is included in the lump sum rate.
I book next day's car with Devsach.

We quickly leave Bhuj behind and progress towards our destination to the north of the city. Roads in Kutch are long, straight, lonely and lovely. We cross the Railway Station, Airport, Rudramata reservoir and are in Bhirandiyara check post after a quick photo stop at the Tropic of Cancer board.

A bird we saw on the way to Bhirandiyara. Which one is this?
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4508.jpg

We get our permits for the visit to Dhordo/White Desert right away as there are no crowds at all.
Just for information, the cost of permit is-

Adult – 100
Kid (5-12 years) – 50
Two-wheeler – 25
Four wheeler – 50

It costs us 350/- including the driver and the car. We have brought the photocopies of the id proofs from Bangalore itself, so it is a breeze. The policemen are very polite and jovial.

Permit done, we speed towards India Bridge and reach there around 11:30AM. The sentry at the southern end of the bridge greets us.

26th Jan ki shubh kamnayen.

We reciprocate back.
He tells us that the bridge was built in 1965-66 and is the only route to the Pakistan border at Vigakot. There are no villages after this bridge till the border.
A permit is required from the Collectorate at Bhuj or the DIG, BSF, Bhuj to go to Vigakot. I feel that we really should have done this permit. I have never seen a Pakistan border till now and this might have been a good place to start.

We ask the sentry if we can walk to the other end of the bridge.

Desh aapka hain. Yeh bridge aapka hain. Hum to bus in sabke rakhwale hain.
(The country is yours. This bridge is yours. We are just guards.)

Taking the sentry's permission, we walk along the bridge to the other end and are received by another sentry and a officer.

We are told that walking on the bridge is not permitted. Surprised, we tell them that we weren't told of the same by the sentry at the other end.
They call up the sentry and order him to send across our car to this end so that we can be picked up instead of having to walk across again.
We spend 5-10 mins at the officer's office, and chat with him.

Couple of school buses, filled with children, come across the bridge. We get to know that they are going to Vigakot for a picnic. We are told by the officer that a similar permit is easily available from Bhuj and we should have tried that.

Deepak, our driver, drives in the car and we board it and go back to the other end. We stop to bide farewell to the sentry and he gives us an earful about us walking across the bridge.

I try to reason that we have done the same after asking his permission. He tries clarifying that he meant we should just get on the bridge and come back. Strange ambiguity.

There are tons of flamingos on the water body underneath the bridge. But they are too far away. I try capturing them through my lens.

Flamingos at India Bridge.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4516.jpg

We move on towards Kala Dungar and reach there in about 40 mins. We are in the temple of Lord Dattatreya when our driver barges in and tells us, "Jackal has come!!".

We rush back to the spot in excitement and I do see the jackal having come to devour the food. But when I try to get a photo, the jackal decides to go back. Hard luck!
We go down the stairs to the place where free lunch is served. I take lunch and give a donation of fifty rupees to the old man manning the donation counter.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalo_Dungar -
Quote:
Kalo Dungar or Black Hill is the is the highest point in Kutch, at 462 m. It is located at 97 km from District headquarters of Bhuj and 25 km from nearest town Khavda.
...

The Kalo Dungar is also famous for a 400 year old Dattatreya temple. Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad, cooked rice, that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.
At the Dattatreya Temple, Kala Dungar.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4521.jpg

We proceed to the Kala Dungar top, said to be the highest point in Kutch, to view the Great Rann. It is an awesome view and very difficult to capture on camera given the enormity of the Rann.
About 20 mins later, we walk back to our car and drive off towards Dhordo.

The India Bridge from Kala Dungar.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4522.jpg

The Great Rann of Kutch from Kala Dungar. It's still covered with water and resembles a sea.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4523.jpg

We reach Dhordo and are greeted by the empty tents and structures of the Rann Utsav that ended on January, 15th.
We show our permit to the BSF person manning the check post and drive into the White Desert.

What a sight it is to behold!!

Absolutely flat with no other physical forms in view, completely white with salt topping, and a sense of eternity to it – the Great White Rann of Kutch is amazing!
One gets a feeling of nothingness out here. We are but a speck of dust compared to the enormity of the Rann. There is nothing as far as the eye can see and beyond. One can only experience the Rann - it can't be comprehended in a few syllables.

I and Aradhya venture to an extent into the desert, but Sonali stays put at a safe distance. She is wearing slippers and earth is soft underneath the white crust. My shoes are clamped with the soft earth.

We spend about 30 mins on the Rann and take some photos.
This is a day to remember for all time to come.

The Great White Rann of Kutch.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4539.jpg

Up, close.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4540.jpg

We stopped at this new resort at Dhordo. The bhungas are air-conditioned and should provide a comfortable stay. This would compete with the famous Shaam-e-Sarhad at Hodko.

Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4549.jpg

Next, we visit the village of Hodko on the way back to Bhirandiyara, where we visit the homes of villagers engaged in local handicrafts. Sonali makes some purchases to keep herself happy. It doesn't make a huge dent on my wallet, which helps me feel happy.

The colors of Hodko.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4552.jpg

We start for Bhuj and make a brief halt at Bhirandiyara, where I grab and pack some mawa – a sweet delicacy this village is famous for.

Back at Bhuj, Deepak shows us the shops where we can get the famous dabhelis of Kutch. I grab 4 of them at Rs.5 apiece from Mandvi Dabheli near the bus stand.

We say our goodbyes to Deepak and get into our hotel room and relish the dabhelis.

At dinner, we try experimenting with the Chinese fare they serve at the restaurant. It turns out to be disastrous and is best avoided.
We hit the sack with fond memories of the day's experience.

Sunset on the way back to Bhuj.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4554.jpg

Last edited by aryasanyal : 19th February 2012 at 17:27.
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Old 20th February 2012, 13:22   #22
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

It is a Cormorant. The Indian Cormorant or Indian Shag (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post

Is that a duck or a cormorant?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post

Well - frankly I don't know. My disclaimer is already in the travelogue. The two birders who accompanied us were themselves in the duck vs. cormorant battle. I'd be grateful if you correct me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post

I'll or some other mod will do that once we now what bird it is exactly.
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Old 20th February 2012, 14:25   #23
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

Excellent writeup. A sure vist place and something different to see. Surely in my travel plans sometime in future.
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Old 20th February 2012, 15:49   #24
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
It is a Cormorant. The Indian Cormorant or Indian Shag (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis).
Hey, thanks a lot gd1418!! Appreciate it.

Do you have any idea of these ones? -

1. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...k-_mg_4508.jpg
2. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...k-_mg_4231.jpg
3. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...k-_mg_4493.jpg
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Old 20th February 2012, 20:35   #25
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

I shall try..

No. 1 is an Egret

No. 3 is a juvenile Flamingo.

No. 2 seems to me a Bushcat female. But not very sure. Correction: looks like a common wood shrike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
Hey, thanks a lot gd1418!! Appreciate it.

Do you have any idea of these ones? -

1. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...k-_mg_4508.jpg

3. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...k-_mg_4493.jpg

Last edited by gd1418 : 20th February 2012 at 20:40.
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Old 21st February 2012, 13:12   #26
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

Arya - Fantastic log. The Dholavira brought back memories of my std 8 history book . In retrospect, how I hated the book then; but now, its wow

Keep it coming.
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Old 21st February 2012, 15:21   #27
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

Wonderful blog.

Off late i see alot of Amitab bacchan ads in all channels asking us to visit Gujarat.
Now we have official Team-bhp review of kutch

Nice pictures, must have been a unique experience i am sure.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 23:41   #28
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Default Day 7: Bhuj - Lakhpat - Koteshwar - Bhuj

Quote:
Originally Posted by advaitlele View Post
Dholavira brought back memories of my std 8 history book . In retrospect, how I hated the book then; but now, its wow.
That's what I am trying to do - relive my history and geography books through these kind of travels. It gives me an opportunity to revisit those lessons which remained to be learnt in school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajshenoy View Post
Nice pictures, must have been a unique experience i am sure.
You bet! It was truly unique and memorable.


Day 7 log:


Early morning rise again. The car from Dev Sach travels is on time at 9:00AM. We are a bit late as usual and start off by 9:30AM. Our initial plan was to go via Ajrakhpur – the block printer's village, but have decided to skip it today due to the brief delay and the long journey ahead.

We pass through the village of Sukhpar said to be one of the three richest villages in Kutch owing to a large numbers of NRIs belonging to these places.

Back on the long, straight roads of Kutch.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4555.jpg

Later we cross Nakhatrana, Desalpar and reach Lakhpat – the sea fortress of yore.

Before reaching Lakhpat, we do make a pit stop at the Mata no Madh shrine - said to be the Kutchi royal family deity - and say our prayers. Photography prohibited here.

From Lakhpat fort town - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
Quote:
Lakhpat fort town is a small town in Kachchh district of Gujarat, India within the fort walls of the 18th-century Lakhpat fort.

The literal meaning of Lakhpat is the city of millionaires, however today it is sparsely populated Ghost town, a city of ruins of buildings and a magnificent fort surrounding them.
It is 1:00PM and today the winter sun is a relief. This place is blazing hot during the summer months. The fort is a massive structure and can only be photographed in it's entirety from a distance. We pass through the dilapidated southern gate of the fort and enter the village which now resembles a ghost town.

At the gates of Kot Lakhpat.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4559.jpg

The actual wooden door of the Gate lies uncared for.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4563.jpg

Passing through the erstwhile Customs House – a crumbling building – we reach the western gate of the fort. We get down and walk through the the gate to the temple and fields outside. It is eerily beautiful.

Once inside, I walk to the mosque and spend some time seeing it. The intricately carved walls of the mosque are a delight to watch. There are village folk moving around, but this is truly an outback – a village forgotten by mankind.

The mosque at Lakhpat.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4576.jpg

Intricate carvings on the mosque walls.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4577.jpg

We move next to the historic Gurudwara, from where Guru Nanak is said to have stayed during his trip to Mecca. The house housing the Gurudwara was originally a Sindhi merchant's home. We enter the shrine and spend some time with the in-charge there as he explains the whole event of Guru Nanak's encounters at Lakhpat and the events surrounding his elder son, whose relics are also housed here.

The relics are the palanquin in which the Guru is said to have traveled during this stay here and the wooden slippers that he is said to have worn. Also present are the wooden slippers said to have been worn by his son.

I have lunch at the langar, while Aradhya and Sonali take their packed lunch in the car.

The historic Lakhpat Gurudwara.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4587.jpg

We move to the northern walls of the fort that oversees the vast, barren Great Rann. We climb one of the watchtowers on the ramparts, that now houses a BSF watch tower and is manned by a couple of guards.
The sight of the Great Rann is awesome from here. After some clicks, we climb down and walk to the Rann where we spend about 10 mins.

The Great Rann of Kutch at Lakhpat.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4593.jpg

Soon, we say our farewell to Lakhpat and are on our way to Koteshwar – the westernmost motorable point in India. The road runs parallel to the Kori Creek and is very well maintained and, as most Gujarat roads that we have seen - long and straight.

This bridge connects Koteshwar/Narayan Sarovar to the mainland.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4608.jpg

We reach Koteshwar at 4:00PM and walk towards the pier that is owned by the BSF patrolling the waters. We come to know that 65kms from here, into the waters, is Indian territory and beyond that lies Pakistan.

From Koteshwar, Kutch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
Quote:
The temple is situated on a high plinth overlooking the sea. Koteshwar Temple is the last outpost of human construction at the westernmost limit of India, is the breaking point of the skyline from the flat brown horizon to the east and the wide blue horizon to the west. From this point, the glow of light from Karachi, Pakistan can be seen in a clear night. It is an excellent sunset point. Koteshwar is a tourist-place that is situated in the Kori Creek of the Arabian Sea on the western end of Kutch just opposite to Karachi-Pakistan.
Civilians are not permitted to go to the end of the pier. We take some photos from here and move on to the temple premises. The view of the sea from here is breathtaking, but photography is prohibited so the scenes cannot be captured or shared. One has to be here to enjoy it.

We see the captured Pakistani fishing boats that strayed into Indian waters, before moving on to Narayan Sarovar – one of the five holiest kunds in Hinduism. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu here and we see that as well.

From Narayan Sarovar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
Quote:
Narayan Sarovar is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus.
...
It is one of the five holy ponds in India mentioned in Shrimad Bhagvat. Narayan Sarovar means the Lake of Narayan, a name for Vishnu. As per legends, one of the holy rivers of India, Sarasvati River had an out let in to sea near present day Narayan Sarovar and waters of lake were filled with holy waters of River Saraswati, that is why this place was and is still considered as one of the five holy lakes by Hindus.
The Koteshwar temple.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4619.jpg

A captured fishing boat.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4610.jpg

Alone...
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4621.jpg

The temple at Narayan Sarovar.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4627.jpg

After biding farewell to the westernmost point of India, we race towards Bhuj over the long, straight excellent roads of Kutch.

We stop at Nakhatrana for a quick bite of – what else but - dabhelis. These are a bit sweeter than their Bhuj cousins but are yummy nevertheless. Forty minutes later we resume our journey towards the capital city of Kutch.

With absolutely no points to complain, we say our thanks and bye to the driver for the day, and switch off for the day after a quick dinner at the in-house restaurant of our hotel.

Last rays of the sun on the GMDC quarry en route to Bhuj.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4633.jpg

Last edited by aryasanyal : 22nd February 2012 at 23:54.
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Old 25th February 2012, 12:57   #29
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Default Re: Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.

It's beautiful, really beautiful, thanks for this, now I have made it a point to visit kuchh this year.

You have good eye for detail and the wildlife is breathtaking, just lovely.
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Old 28th February 2012, 00:22   #30
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Default Day 8: Bhuj - Mandvi - Bhuj

A leisurely morning.
Today we plan to visit the port town of Mandvi. No taxi bookings.

Near the bus-stand, we are pointed to the Toofan stand. Upon asking for the Mandvi Toofan, we are pointed to one of the vehicles, which is supposed to leave next. The Toofan is a Force India Trax Toofan.

The rear door of the Toofan opens. It's crammed with people like Sardines in a tinned box. We tell him that we'd prefer taking the next Toofan.
He gives us a deal – Take the front seat, but pay for 3 and it's all your's.

It's tough for the two of us with the kid to seat comfortably, and this actually seats three!! How I miss my bus!

We take the road south of Bhuj and after crossing the city limits, enter the hills.
Small hamlets are crossed, the most prominent of which seems Daisara.

An hour later we leave the hills and are back in the plains – the fertile coastal plains of southern Kutch. The vegetation is lush green here compared to the arid semi-desert vegetation of the northen and western parts of the district.

We join the National Highway 41 and enter the town, cross the Rukmavati river and stop at the Toofan stand.

I book an auto to take us to Vijay Vilas Palace – 9 kms from town – but before that I ask auto driver to wait -
Wait till I have my fill of the massive wooden ships being built here.

We are right next to the historic ship building yard of Mandvi.

A ship under construction.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4636.jpg

I have never seen such huge wooden ships earlier. The ships of Mandvi used to lord over the Arabian Sea till the Arabian coast in the west and the African coast in the south couple of centuries back. They are still in service albeit much lesser in number.
A Mandvi ship was what Michael Palin took from Dubai to Bombay in his famous television series - Around the world in 80 days.

I walk under the massive wooden structures and fondly touch the underbelly of the ship. What experiences lie ahead for it. What shores will it touch.

Silhouette.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4637.jpg

You don't realize the size of these ships from the photo.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4640.jpg

Ship ogling done, we are back on our way to the Vijay Vilas Palace, mostly famous for the numerous scenes of the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, which were shot here.

We take the National Highway west of town, but soon leave it and take a smaller road to the left. We pass by the Mandvi airstrip and reach the gates of the palace.
There is a charge for the auto-rickshaw. We pay that and drive in to the parking lot outside the main entry point. Tickets are bought, and we enter through a shaded area till we reach a clearing housing the palace.

From Vijay Vilas Palace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
Quote:
The palace was built during reign of Maharao Shri Khengarji III as summer resort for his son & successor, the Yuvraj Shri Vijayaraji and is therefore, named after him as Vijay Vilas Palace. The construction of palace started in year in 1920 and was completed in year 1929. The palace is built with red sandstone. It has all the elements of Rajput architecture and draws largely on the plan of palaces of Orchha and Datia. The central high dome on the pillars, the Bengal domes on the sides, the windows with colored glass, carved stone 'jalis', domed bastions at the corners, extended porch and other exquisitely stone-carved elements, make the palace worth visiting.
The Vijay Vilas Palace.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4642.jpg

The structure is grand, and different. It doesn't awe you like the Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore, but is a stately mansion no doubt.
Leaving our shoes outside, we enter the palace and walk through the corridor peeping occassionally into the large rooms on both sides, which are out of bounds to tourists. The king still lives here, and the palace is managed by his royal estate.

A room abutting the corridor.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4647.jpg

A sit out overlooking the garden behind.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4652.jpg

We take the narrow stairway inside the turret to the upper deck of the palace. This is much more wonderful compared to the dark corridors down below. It's open to air and offers an awesome 360 degrees view of the surroundings.

The central dome with the Bengal domes on the side.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4662.jpg

Windmills of Mandvi beach from the palace.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4680.jpg

Forty minutes later, we climb down and walk back to our waiting auto rickshaw.

A final look.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4694.jpg

Hunger pangs have started arriving, and after looking at the famous, pricey and uninteresting Beach at Mandvi Palace resort buffet menu, we ask the auto driver to take us somewhere in town. After a detour of the Mandvi beach, he takes us to Osho Restaurant in down town Mandvi.

We, probably, have the best lunch of our entire stay in Gujarat at this humble restaurant.
The menu is simple – there's no menu card. They have just a single item – the thali.

Unlimited, filling and wonderful vegetarian spread - Rs.70 per plate.
Efficient service done with much care, attention and passion - Priceless.

The thali.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4697.jpg

Next on the agenda – the public beach of Mandvi.

Rest of the afternoon is spent in this colorful beach with horses, camels and the windmills giving us company.
The windmills on this beach are said to be the first ones installed in India.

Camel, sand, sea and ship. Mandvi at a glance.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4707.jpg

The windmills on the beach.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4716.jpg

We spend jumping the waves and kicking the water. Around 5:30PM we take an auto back to the bus stand – no more Toofan for me.

En route, I visit a place near the port, which sells model ships. The shop is a modest one displaying ship models – which are exported to places in India and abroad.
I would love to take home a couple of the models on display, but the starting price tag runs into the upper four-figures. These aren't the affordable ones that I am looking as a memento of my visit to Mandvi. These are museum stuff - wonderfully crafted.

The Mandvi port.
Captivating Kutch: A trip to Gujarat's outback.-_mg_4731.jpg

Back at the bus stand, we get a non-stop bus to Bhuj. By late evening we are back in the capital city of Kutch, and pack in some yummy gulab-pak to eat post dinner.

Dinner is light and we hit the sack after a memorable day.

Last edited by aryasanyal : 28th February 2012 at 00:26.
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