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Old 2nd December 2012, 22:57   #16
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Default 2.3 Rani ki vav @Patan (continued)

2.3 Rani ki vav @Patan (continued)

We come up and my son is nowhere to be found. We find Agent Ethan Hunt instead.
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Looks like the place is a popular picnic spot. But that does not mean you can litter the place. Such a beautiful garden spoiled by all the garbage thrown around.
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I had read - Saharsraling Talav is nearby. We go searching for it.
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We encounter a dead-end and come back to ask someone. He points us to outside the premises.
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A flower on the way out.
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Just before the exit, ASI had put up a temporary exhibition. We check it out.
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Next stop -> Sahasralinga Talav

Last edited by SDP : 3rd December 2012 at 17:54.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 23:05   #17
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Default 2.4 Sahasralinga Talav @Patan

2.4 Sahasralinga Talav @Patan

The Sahasralinga Talav is around 5-7 minutes walk from the Rani ki vav. We spot peacocks.
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Should have taken the car. Most in my little group did not appreciate the small walk.
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Finally we enter another huge fenced area. More gardens.
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Another 5 minutes walk and we reach the talav.
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Before we get to see the Talav, we see a monkey.
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And more monkeys.
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That looks like a part of the Sahasralinga talav.
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The kids are obviously excited to see the monkeys, but keep safe distance.
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The talav does not look like the pictures we had seen. There must be more.
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We walk another 5-7 minutes and reach anbother section of the talav.
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A parrot in mid flight.
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Ah, now that looks familiar.
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Its almost 5:30pm. We are around 125kms away from Ahmedabad. We should have started back around this time (may be even earlier). Siddhpur which was present in the day's original plan, has to wait for another trip. I am not even sure if there is time to visit the Salvi family and witness Patola weaving.

2.5 Patola-fame Salvi family @Patan

After starting back from Sahasraling talav, at the first junction, I ask for directions to any nearby 'Patola' place. A helpful chap gives directions to one 'Patola House' nearby. In another 2 minutes we reach there, but the place is closed. We get another pointer - a place inside the walled city. We follow a yellow-board Tavera. Another 5 minutes and we reach there. Surprise, surprise! So late in the day, I am ready to settle for any place that has got anything to do with Patola. But destiny seemed to have brought us to the famous Salvi family's place!
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We observe the master at work.
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The famous pattern.
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The walls have awards, certificates and also details about the Patola making process.
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We are really running late and quickly wrap up the visit to the Salvi family. We start from Patan towards Ahmedabad at 6:15pm.

Reached Treatotel at 9pm. Luckily there is buffet dinner at Tamarind tonight, so we join in directly.
Another long day comes to an end as we hit the bed around 11pm.

Last edited by SDP : 3rd December 2012 at 17:56.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 16:49   #18
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Default 2.6 Drive, stay, food and other observations from day-2

2.6 Drive, stay, food and other observations from day-2

1. From hotel in Memnagar-Ahmedabad to Adalaj to Modhera to Patan and back to Ahmedabad. Total distance covered on day-2 -> 285kms. Total toll paid -> 130 Rs.

2. Today again the navigator took us to Adalaj through busy streets instead of using the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway.

3. For Ahmedabad-Modhera directions, MMI as well as google-maps suggest going to Mehsana and then taking a left for Modhera. The main turn in the heart of Mehsana town is a busy junction. Not sure if it is worth bypassing Mehsana.

4. Filled up diesel at Mehsana during the return journey. Emptying a 65ltr tank in 2 days flat - my first time!

5. Close to two hours spent at Adalaj vav. One and half hours at Modhera. Two hours at Rani ki vav & Sahasralinga Talav @Patan. In hindsight, should have spent more time at Modhera sun temple.

6. We visited Rani ki vav at Patan in the afternoon when the sun was partially blocked by the wall on the well side. A morning visit might show this vav in much better light.

7. The day was pretty hot when we looked at the temperatures. At Adalaj, the temperature was 42. At Modhera, it was around 36. At Patan, it was similar. And this is supposed to be the winter! The good part is you don't sweat because of the lack of humidity. The bad part is that the skin feels dry and dehydrated anyways.

8. At Modhera, there are no real options for lunch. There is one Toran cafeteria just outside the temple premises, but it serves a few snack items only. Somebody suggested Chanasma (on the way to Patan) would have better food options. Although its just 12-15kms away, the navigator wasted 10-15 minutes by taking us on a joyride through some internal roads. Even at Chanasma, there are only basic 'dhaba' grade eateries. After desparately searching for options and asking quite a few people, we finally settled at a place called Hotel Tiranga. Shabby place, average food.

9. For future trips, may be I should do some research in terms of finding out any real read-to-eat or minimum-processing options. I believe, it would be better than having food at some shady place.

10. An interesting observation from all the drive today - Lots of people in this place prefer white colored cars. Also, we hardly saw any MUVs/SUVs (except a few tourist vehicles). Even the otherwise ubiquitous Scorpios and Innovas are rare here. Might be just a coincidence.

Last edited by SDP : 3rd December 2012 at 19:09.
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:15   #19
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Default 3.0 Day-3 (20 Nov 2012) planning

3.0 Day-3 (20 Nov 2012) planning

Quote:
Day 3 (Tue-20-Nov) -> Take Ahmedabad city tour (Dekho Amdavad) operated by the tourism department. 8am till 1pm. Post lunch some shopping. Evening at Kankaria lake or take rest. Stay at Treatotel.
The day before, in the midst of all the sightseeing, I called up Gujarat Tourism toll-free number for the next-morning 'Dekho Amdavad' tour. After getting 2-3 different numbers, reached a lady who said the morning tour is full. The afternoon tour was not an option for us, but inquired about it anyways. The lady told me that for the booking I need to come down to their office in Ahmedabad city. I let it go.

Before calling up, I had checked out the site to see if I can do online booking somewhere. Apparently the tour is operated by some "Pinks Travels". With a private player involved, the hopes of online booking rekindled. Checked out the site and realized that the site has been hacked by some Nigerian hackers. All hopes dashed. Looks like we need to explore old Ahmedbad in our own ride. That's OK. After 2 days of driving in and around Ahmedabad, I am confident that I can handle the congested old city.

That's our car in the Hotel's parking.
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We get up and get ready. By 9am, all are set.
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We take one bridge over river Sabarmati to go to the other side of the city. First stop Jaali wali Masjid. Since it is decently early in the morning, traffic hasn't built up. I park somewhere and we get down.

3.1 Sidi Syyed Masjid (Jaali wali Masjid)

The back of the masjid, from where you can see the 2 'jaali's clearly.
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The IIM-Ahmedabad logo is inspired by the jaali design.
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We come to the front of the masjid and notice the Gujarat Tourism board.
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There is nobody around. We decide to get in.
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One board announced "No women allowed inside the mosque"! Really? in this age?
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2-3 minutes walk and we reach the Bhadra fort.

3.2 Bhadra fort and Darwaja

Its not in its best condition and lots of hawkers just outside.
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Another 2-3 minutes walk and we reach the Jumma masjid.
3.3 Old Jumma Masjid

Also known as Jama Masjid.
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Clicked by my daughter, while I went to get the car.
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We get into the car and drive around old city. I blurt out wikipedia information about the 21 'darwajas' of the old city.
We drive through Teen-darwaja
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We pass by another Darwaja.
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Last edited by moralfibre : 9th December 2012 at 05:05.
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Old 4th December 2012, 14:05   #20
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Default Re: The Mumbai cheetah goes to greet the Sasan Gir Lion (A Gujarat travelogue)

Note from Moderator : Thread has been moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing !!!
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Old 4th December 2012, 18:44   #21
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Default Re: The Mumbai cheetah goes to greet the Sasan Gir Lion (A Gujarat travelogue)

Hello Sanjay,

Awesome pictures & information as always.

Infact I was thinking today afternoon to send you a PM asking whether you are back from Gujarat Tour or not & here I see your thread with fantastic pictures as usual.

I am really happy to know you are back from first really long Road Trip in India & waiting to see all the pictures & get useful information.

The Dahanu - Surat stretch is really good with all the flyovers, you never know that you have already crossed Vapi & Valsad. Also Baroda - Ahmedabad expressway is really fantastic road to drive on with very few vehicles passing by. I feel it is also better maintained than Mumbai Pune Expressway.

Thanks,
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Old 4th December 2012, 22:35   #22
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Default Re: The Mumbai cheetah goes to greet the Sasan Gir Lion (A Gujarat travelogue)

Excellent wording SDP along with the snaps. Enjoyed the travelogue.For someone who has travelled on the same stretch it was like reliving the experience
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Old 4th December 2012, 22:55   #23
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Default 3.4 Jhulta Minara

3.4 Jhulta Minara

I fed the coordinates of the Jhulta Minara (as per google maps) into the navigator. When the navigator announced "You have reached your destination", there is no sign of any Jhulta Minara anywhere. In fact we are on a rail-over bridge. We continue straight and ask for directions. After 5-7 minutes of driving through unknown roads and asking more people about Jhulta Minara, we finally reach the place.

The locality is shabby, but I am surprised to find a decent parking lot just next to the Jhulta Minara.
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Its almost 10:30am. There is nobody in the masjid.
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The Jhulta minara is famous because the tower can be shaken by a single human being and the vibrations from one tower are transferred and felt in the second tower as well. The British dismantled part of one tower but could not figure out the architectural wonder. Needless to say that experiencing the vibrations would have been immense fun, so the government has locked up the minars and shaking the minars has been prohibited.
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Some intricate stone carving work.
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We bumped into this helpful gentleman whose ancestors were employed by the king to shake the minars.
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Quite a few pillars.
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Very highly detailed and polished stone-work.
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How do you carve small holes through the stone, just big enough to allow a feather to pass through?
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In this masjid, even women are allowed to pray.
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Information about the origin of the place.
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In 15-20 minutes, we start back.
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We spot another darwaja.
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We want to spend good amount of time at the Sabarmati Ashram. So there is no time to stop at any other tourist spots in Ahmedabad. We drive by the Hatheesingh Jain temple, but could see only part of the Victory tower.
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Last edited by SDP : 4th December 2012 at 23:04.
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Old 4th December 2012, 23:45   #24
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Default Re: 1.3 A visit to Akshardham complex @Gandhinagar

Great Pictures. Really impressed with your narration & attention to photography.

Really a crammed timetable. How do you manage to do all places and take these many pics?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
The stupid navigator system took us through the busy 132 ft road rather than the Gandhinagar-Sarkhej highway.
I also noticed the same in my recent trip to tamilnadu. The navigator takes us through the busy interior market roads when there are bypass available. I think it takes the shortest path available. Anyway to go around it and select less traffic roads?
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Old 5th December 2012, 07:06   #25
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Default Re: 1.3 A visit to Akshardham complex @Gandhinagar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Hello Sanjay,

Awesome pictures & information as always.

Infact I was thinking today afternoon to send you a PM asking whether you are back from Gujarat Tour or not & here I see your thread with fantastic pictures as usual.

I am really happy to know you are back from first really long Road Trip in India & waiting to see all the pictures & get useful information.

The Dahanu - Surat stretch is really good with all the flyovers, you never know that you have already crossed Vapi & Valsad. Also Baroda - Ahmedabad expressway is really fantastic road to drive on with very few vehicles passing by. I feel it is also better maintained than Mumbai Pune Expressway.

Thanks,
Hi Jignesh, thanks for the kind words. The trip was a bit hectic and I was sort of settling down in the city rhythm last week. Got to sorting/processing the snaps and penning down the experience only on weekend. Unilke the Bhanardara trip where it took me 3 weeks to finish the travelogue, I am planning to finish this one much faster. Let's see

Also, I agree, Baroda-Ahmedabad expressway is better designed and maintained than the Pune expressway. The clover-leaf exits remind you of the highway system in US. Also, the expressway seems to have lights at night as well, which would be amazing for visibility during night driving.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mm403 View Post
Excellent wording SDP along with the snaps. Enjoyed the travelogue.For someone who has travelled on the same stretch it was like reliving the experience
Thanks mm403! Thanks for the planning and driving tips, they really helped.
Are you planning to start a travelogue? Would love to compare notes and see an additional perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasuki View Post
Great Pictures. Really impressed with your narration & attention to photography.

Really a crammed timetable. How do you manage to do all places and take these many pics?

I also noticed the same in my recent trip to tamilnadu. The navigator takes us through the busy interior market roads when there are bypass available. I think it takes the shortest path available. Anyway to go around it and select less traffic roads?
Thanks Vasuki for the kind words! Yes, the schedule was a bit hectic on certain days. We used to start the sight-seeing around 9am or if possible earlier. But yes, it was a bit tiring. We generally don't compromise on the time spent at each place, even if it means covering lesser no. of places. e.g. we skipped Siddhpur on day-2, we skipped a whole bunch of Ahmedabad city attractions on day-3. There is always a next time.

About the navigator, I am going to try 'via points' to force the navigator to choose a particular route. But finding the correct route yourself and then forcing the navigator to use that route makes having the navigator completely pointless.

Last edited by SDP : 5th December 2012 at 07:19.
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Old 5th December 2012, 09:18   #26
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Default 3.5 Sabarmati Ashram

3.5 Sabarmati Ashram

11:15am -> We reach Sabarmati Ashram
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The kido missing from the above photo was more interested in a puppy!
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Gandhiji's handwriting! When I was in school, one of the teachers used to call me Gandhiji because of my equally illegible handwriting. Nowadays I have more similarities with Gandhiji besides the handwriting!
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Mail with just Gandhiji's name or photo and no address on it still reaching him! Now that's what is called as popularity!
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The Sabarmati river flowing just next to the Ashram.
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There are 2 bridges, the rail-bridge gets hidden by the road-bridge. Creates an interesting effect when a railway passes over the bridge - you can hear the railway loud and clear, but can not spot it.
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Old 5th December 2012, 16:36   #27
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Default Re: The Mumbai cheetah goes to greet the Sasan Gir Lion (A Gujarat travelogue)

Hi SDP,

You've had a great trip, quite evident from your pics.

Would have loved to meet up with you. I stay quite near to Treatotel and my office is in Mehsana.

Glad to see the old pics of the Ran Ki Vav, they are quite a stroke of luck. I have visited it atleast 5-6 times and have never been able to see them!

And to clarify.. The Ran Ki Vav is 7 floors deep and not 5 as has been mentioned in your post.

To further add, as you see straight from each level towards the wall in front of you, you will see diffrent avatars of Lord Vishnu at each level.

Looking forward to your report.

Last edited by Bapu : 5th December 2012 at 16:37.
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Old 5th December 2012, 22:22   #28
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Default Re: The Mumbai cheetah goes to greet the Sasan Gir Lion (A Gujarat travelogue)

SDP, my trip was more of a family trip, visiting my brother, so my sight seeing was restricted to Ahmedabad and with possibility of situation changing in Mumbai, preponed the return back to Pune. (Also, I did not have too many leaves to cover whole of Gujarat). Agree with Jignesh, Baroda- Ahmedabad expressway is maintained much better than Mumbai Pune expressway.
Regarding, the golden bridge, my children enjoyed the marvel, having seen it through train, but driving through it, specially after reading its construction time. Also, one more observation regarding number of restaurants along the stretch, however did not see big petrol bunks(may be missed them).
I was using map my india and it also showed me routes through the city, (I did not follow those as my brother had shared shortcuts). I will try and put a travelogue as time permits
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Old 6th December 2012, 07:17   #29
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Default 3.5 Sabarmati Ashram (continued) & Lunch at Kake Da Dhaba

3.5 Sabarmati Ashram (continued)
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Hriday Kunj- Gandhiji's house while in the Ashram
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A lesson in how to prepare a thread from cotton.
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The kido was obviously excited to operate the wheel.
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Its a simple machine. One main turn of the big wheel causes the smaller wooden wheel to rotate 5 times and one full turn of the small wooden wheel turns the even smaller metal wheel 50 times. When cotton gets twisted at high speed, it starts getting into a thread form.
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Its almost 1pm. About time to wrap up morning sight-seeing session. We head back to our Hotel for lunch, but on the way find this place that is advertising Kathaiwadi and Punjabi thali. Place looks decent. Let's try it out.

Lunch at Kake Da Dhaba
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Before the thali is served, we are served a plate of papads.
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Kathiawadi Thali. Please note the sev-tamatar vegetable, apparently a local dish.
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The Punjabi thali. No surprises there.
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2:15pm -> Lunch over. Time for some shopping before we head to Kankaria lake to spend the evening.
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Last edited by SDP : 6th December 2012 at 07:19.
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Old 6th December 2012, 16:52   #30
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Default Re: The Mumbai cheetah goes to greet the Sasan Gir Lion (A Gujarat travelogue)

Awesome trip you had there.
Some nice writhing skills. Nice set of pictures add to the joy of reading the travelogue even more.

A co-incidence, on my return from Surat, I too had taken a halt at "Sugar and Spice", and had parked my car at almost the same location as yours.

The drive from Mumbai to all the way till Ahemdabad is smooth as butter. Those 500kms are a bliss to drive.

Hooked on... Keep'm coming!
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