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Old 8th May 2009, 09:58   #1
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Default Dwarka-Gujarat: A long drive to the lost city of atlantis

Sometimes a single photograph makes 2000 km of driving worth the journey.

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Old 8th May 2009, 10:05   #2
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Fantastic photograph.
But aren't you planning to write about this trip? If not then we'll remove this picture to Non auto image thread.
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Old 8th May 2009, 10:10   #3
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what timing. lovely photograph! true a single photograph can make the trip worthwhile
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Old 8th May 2009, 11:10   #4
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Election day in Mumbai and the family is done with voting by 10am. Sitting around the house moping that there is no place to drive to from Mumbai where one wont feel like a fried egg (we Mumbaikars like to be boiled eggs in our steamy sauna of a city), I start going through maps and weather readings of places, trying to find a destination which I can convince my elderly parents is a place which sane people visit in this climate.

A tiny spec on the western corner of the map beckon's: Dwarka, the legendary capital of Krishna, which many historians believe the lost city of Atlantis is based on. The temperature there shows 36c. (I do not elaborate to my parents that this was the night temperature!) We call my aunt who lives in Jamnagar two hours away from Dwarka and she says, yes the thermometer shows 42 C but it is really windy and nice (More about this later), why dont you come over.

Decision made, I scuttle the idea of taking a night train for the 835 km to Jamnagar (wont be able to see anything!), my driver (who assumes the 'cleaner' role on long journeys) takes an auto home to get his clothes and bid his family adieu and my parents begin packing. I call a friend who has a place in Udwada near Daman to tell her that we would be crashing there tonite in prep for a early morning start. Armed with blessings (triplogs) from the Lord of the highways (hvk) we take off in the Innova for the 180 odd km evening drive.

The ride from Mumbai to Udwada is fairly uneventful on good divided highways, other than spotting a beautiful classic mercedes crammed with smiling kids and some sightings of winged and finned creatures crawling on the highway.

Mannoo Bhai's Motor (Link to the separate thread for this car)
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I am sure Lufthansa does not know they have a surface transport arm
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Amphibious Vehicle
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Three hours later, my friend takes us for a stroll to the windy Devka beach in Daman. The quaint atmosphere and breeze make me note this place as a place to visit on its own merit, but for tonight the great food at the Sandy Resort lulls me into a deep slumber in preparation for a early morning start...

Last edited by Rehaan : 8th May 2009 at 18:43. Reason: Link to merc thread added.
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Old 8th May 2009, 11:42   #5
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I suppose we have to assume in the last picture that Indani = Indian and not a Sindhi Name !!
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Old 8th May 2009, 16:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
there is no place to drive to from Mumbai where one wont feel like a fried egg , trying to find a destination which I can convince my elderly parents is a place which sane people visit in this climate.
I suppose Dwaraka is not cool at summer, i may be wrong.
Earlier, i had planned to visit Dwarka[ one of four dham] with my parents in this summer but canceled it due to hot weather at Dwarka.
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Old 8th May 2009, 19:07   #7
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Day 2- Udwada to Jamnagar

A 6am start leads to some good speeds but soon the dreaded 'under construction' of NH8 stretch rears its head, we slow down and soon come to a dead stop near Ankleshwar, where all I can see is the back of trucks lined up wall to wall.

My 'cleaner' gets despatched to enquire about an alternative route from locals and animated gestures point towards a sharp left down a dusty road. We leave the highway and then a right puts us onto the alternate route to Bharuch. We cross the mighty Narmada over a narrow 100 year old bridge where I have to fold in the side mirrors of my portly innova to avoid the protrusions from tempos and sumos, hurtling from the other side

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Once in Bharuch we are escorted by Hrithik, Ash and Sharukh through parts of town to rejoin the expressway.

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Someone somewhere is missing a wagon R logo!

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The road after Bharuch is a freshly tarred three lane dream and our next halt is for chai at the mouth of the Baroda-Ahmedabad expressway, where a friendly local tells me not go down my planned diagonal route through Vasad but instead take the expressway and exit on the outer ring road.

We fly down the expressway, (the only car to overtake me was a swift ) and take the outer ring road where I am even more amazed by the quality of the roads in Gujarat and even more, the number of industries dotting the road. Stopping occasionally to let four footed friends cross the road we make good time on smooth wide roads towards Rajkot.

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Splashes of color start to dot the landscape and along with the colorful sarees of the women, I have multiple sightings of a new beauty and realise that I have fallen in love with another colorful creation of Gujarat, the chakada!

Check out the ice system!
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A quick lunch break at Limbdi in a great neat and clean restaurant called Honest (love the name) and we soon pass Rajkot from where a undivided 80km long highway puts us in Jamnagar by afternoon.

The sun sets late in the west so there is enough time to run some errands and the brisk evening breeze gives us hope that the weather will hold the next day. Good conversation, a home cooked meal of dal, rice, fish and tarkari and I go off to sleep dreaming of my voluptous new love from Gujarat!

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Old 9th May 2009, 08:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
I suppose Dwaraka is not cool at summer, i may be wrong.
Earlier, i had planned to visit Dwarka[ one of four dham] with my parents in this summer but canceled it due to hot weather at Dwarka.

The drive was through incredibly hot terrain especially between Ahmedabad and Rajkot.

Dwarka was hot during the day but the early mornings and nights were cool with a lot of breeze since it is next to the sea.
In short: One goes into hibernation between 10 am and 4 pm. Which worked for me since dawn and dusk are the best time for taking photos.
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Old 9th May 2009, 12:38   #9
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genesis, great pics and great travelogue. The road looks amazing
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Old 11th May 2009, 11:56   #10
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Day 3 - Jamnagar: Palaces, Temples, Mosques and Museums

Chasing the first cup of Lipton green label tea with the thick milky sugary chai of Jamnagar, I stepped out in brisk morning breeze to go hunt for breakfast, which I soon figured out from the scores of people lining up in front of the shop, was going to be Jalebi and Fafda

Fafda and Jalebi
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Was all set to order when a glance down a side lane revealed a glimpse of a magnificient dome sitting on top of a exquisitely crafted tower. 15 minutes and many photographs taken by sliding a hand through the wrought iron gate, later, I discovered from the shopkeeper that my aunt's house was a stones throw from one of the major attractions in Jamnagar, Pratap Vilas (aka the king's palace)

Palace
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Palace Carvings
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Palace Spire
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Mission accomplished and breakfast polished off, we then got into the car and went to Ranmal Lake, in the center of which stands the Lakhotia Palace and Museum overlooking a Hanuman temple and the old arsenal the Bhuj Kothia

Ranmal Lake
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Lakhotia Palace
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Lakhotia Place Stairwel
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Bhuj Kothia
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Seeing the numerous birds still flocking the lake in the midst of summer, one could just imagine what an awesome sight winter would be for bird lovers in Jamnagar. (Note To Self: Go Back in Dec!)

Birds Of A Feather
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Next stop was the center of the old city, the majestic Willingdon Crescent and its neighbors the Jumma Masjid and the Jain Temple

Jumma Masjid
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Jain Temple
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A quick post lunch siesta and we took off on the 160 odd km to Dwarka, arriving at the majestic temple just in time to catch the majestic sunset followed by evening arati at the Dwarkadeesh temple where I think I may have started a minor women's liberation movement (more to follow...)

Sunset Point
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Sunset Point Temple
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Dwarkadeesh Mandir
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More photos of Jamnagar can be found at

Genesis - soumya.org: Jamnagar, Gujarat - Architectural Vignettes
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Old 14th May 2009, 11:05   #11
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Day 3 (continued) - Evening In Dwarka

Two incidents make me grin as I write this...the pandas and the women's revolution.

The pandas:
As our car gets into dwarka and we ask for directions, the person casually asks..kahan se ho-Delhi? (where are you from-Delhi?). I mumble mumbai and he keeps going down the delhi track (my innova still has delhi plates)...are you agarwal or khatri and we soon realise what his game is.

Deciding to keep my lineage private we start off again only to be followed by 2 guys on a scooter who keep honking until we stop. Our hopes that they are well meaning samaritans showing us the way are dashed...when they start asking...aap delhi se ho? Agarwal/Khatri?.
Not willing to have the Bengali - are you Banerjee/Chatterjee discussion, I lose it and reply, no we are Parsis! and he quickly backs off despite my parent's obvious bengali looks and bangles/sindoor!

The women's revolution:
The evening arati was incredibly crowded and the crowd was in a frenzy of clapping and chanting. People were literally climbing on pillars to get a darshan. There were two lines: One for men and the other for women and both were packed to capacity with people squashed in like chips in a pringles box.

We tried tiptoeing from behind, caught a glimpse of the idol and then wandered around the temple complex until the arati was done.

Arati over, the diya's come out and everyone runs after them to touch the flames. We head over to the idol, and lo and behold, while the women's line is still packed with ladies bearing gifts for the lord, the men's line is: EMPTY with not a single soul. My dad and me quickly head down right in front of the idol, we move out and i get my mom and aunt and ask them to go down the men's line which is still empty (these lines are right next to each other!). They have darshan (my aunt later tells me that they have been there three times earlier but never have they been this close) and are ecstatic.

Seeing their sisters in the empty queue, the women's line revebrates with pent up desire and soon emancipation, a few of them move over to the other side, a trickle turns into a flood, the guards realise that this is actually a good thing and all become equal in front of the lord...

I smile inwardly and we step out of the temple complex...

Some more photos (cameras are not allowed in the temple complex):

Dwarkadheesh Temple Spires
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Another entrance to the temple
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Alleyways near the temple
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Dharamshala For Pilgrims
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Pilgrims at the Gomti Sangam
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My favorite object of affection in Gujarat
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to be continued...
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Old 23rd May 2009, 18:02   #12
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Picking Up The Thread Once Again:

Day 4- Bet Dwarka
A 30 km drive and twenty minute ferry ride from the port town of Okha, takes one to the island of Bet Dwarka, where Lord Krishna was supposed to have met his friend Sudama. Dotted with many temples of religious significance (a trip to Dwarka is not considered complete without visiting Bet Dwarka), the island also has immense historical heritage with excavations revealing it to be a center of Indo Roman trade many centuries ago. With the gentle sea breeze giving relief from the hot summer sun, the humming of the motor and the blue waters of the Arabian sea provided a new dimension to people watching as we spent a magical morning on a colorful journey across time

Ferry To Beth Dwarka
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Why Drive When You Can Float
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Pretty Woman
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Guardian Of Pretty Woman
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A Learned Man
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A Holy Man
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The Captain
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The Only Photos Of God That One Can Take
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Guarding The Border
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Good Bye Bet Dwarka
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Old 24th May 2009, 11:22   #13
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Lovely pics, genesis. A million thanks for sharing the pic of the Golden Bridge. I have lived in and around Bharuch for a few years but carry hardly any photograph of the place. Those were the earliest years of my professional life, and a camera was just a dream then.
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