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Old 30th November 2010, 11:50   #31
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Great Going Ashish. It feels wonderful taking your parents to religious places. I have been trying my luck with Uttaranchal circuit (Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath) since last 2 years but one or the other thing comes in way. Let’s see if I can do it in 2011 along with my parents. I am even targeting to do it partially (Places I can drive – Gangotri, Badrinath)

Thanks again for sharing the details and pictures.
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Old 30th November 2010, 14:44   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
first visited the temple of Somnath built by Ahilyabai Holkar,
small and beautiful temple,
She was the ruler of Indore. Never knew she built a temple in Somnath.
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Old 30th November 2010, 14:55   #33
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Nice snaps AP sir.. waiting for more.
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Old 30th November 2010, 14:56   #34
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somnath has a huge history which makes for some interesting read.

ashish bhau. if ok with you I shall put across a bit about somnath.

did you see the ruins of the old temple there? did you see the structure with an arrow pointing to south direction? did you go to the prathishtan and see historic photos of the iron man on india?
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Old 30th November 2010, 15:31   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaykaul View Post
Thanks again for sharing the details and pictures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_3306 View Post
Nice snaps AP sir.. waiting for more.
thanks for comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
She was the ruler of Indore. Never knew she built a temple in Somnath.
She had done remarkable work in restoring and building the temples and ghats 300 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post

1]if ok with you I shall put across a bit about somnath.

2]did you see the ruins of the old temple there?
3]did you see the structure with an arrow pointing to south direction?
4] did you go to the prathishtan and see historic photos of the iron man on india?
1] Go ahead man, it will be interesting.

2]and 3] yeah, the arrow is pointed in south direction , it says that there is no land in between south pole and that temple and thats true.

3]I did not see the pics of iron man but saw the pics of ruins and reconstruction of temple during 50es.
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Old 30th November 2010, 16:16   #36
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The distance between Somnath to Dwarka is @ 250 km ,
can be traveled via Porbander through coastal route and we had done the same.

I was bit worried about route condition as HVK had pointed it in my route query thread.

Initially, the route condition is ok upto Chorwad, the native place of Dhirubhai Ambani.

Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00215.jpg

As it is coastal road, lot of palm tress along the road,

Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00217.jpg

stopped at one dhaaba to have Gujrati lunch,
excellent fresh food,
after that, road condition is mixed,
some times lot of pot holes,

Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00218.jpg

sometimes great seashore road,
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00234.jpg


lot of windmills in this area,
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00236.jpg

somewhere near Porbandar,
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00239.jpg

stopped at Porbandar to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi,
visited Kirti Mandir,

Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00242.jpg
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00243.jpg
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00245.jpg
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00249.jpg

birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi

Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00250.jpg
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00248.jpg


Further moved toward Dwarka,

visited the temple named Mul Dwarka at the village named Visawada,

Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00252.jpg
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00251.jpg

visited Siddhi Mata temple at the town named Harshad,


excellent road from Harshad to Dwarka,

Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00254.jpg
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00256.jpg
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00257.jpg

I see very less traffic or any towns and villages on this stretch of road between Dwarka and somnath.


first glimpse of Dwarka,
Mother and father became very happy with the first glimpse of the town of Dwarkadhish
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00262.jpg

At @6pm, entered in the Dwarka, the western tip of India.
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00263.jpg



Next post tomorrow at 11am.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 30th November 2010 at 16:21.
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Old 30th November 2010, 16:20   #37
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AP, looks like the Veraval-Porbandar-Dwaraka road was not that bad after all. I had received some feedback sating that it was in very bad condition.

Did you get to hire a taxi easily for the trip?
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Old 30th November 2010, 16:31   #38
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@AP Bhau. Thanks. Here you go.

A brief history of Somnath.
Soma - Moon
Hence Shiva here is the lord of the moon. Legend has it that Soma was cursed by Ganesha to teach him a lesson for being impudent and boastful about his resplendant nature. Also there's a legend that it was Daksha who cursed Soma to utter darkness. And to absolve off the curse, Soma built a temple in gold for Shiva and prayed. His prayers were answered and we have the waxing and waning of the moon.
Later, Ravana is supposed to have built the temple with Silver in the Treta Yuga and Krishna with wood in the Dwapara Yuga.
Finally in Kaliyuga, there was a person called Bhimdev Solanki in 11th century in stone. He embellished the walls with precious metals and the shivalinga was also metallic.
Cut to around 1000 odd a.d. we have Gazhni raiding Somnath. Now below is a piece of history I read in a manuscript in the museum.
The walls of the temple were embellished with precious materials and the temple was resplendant. And the Shiva Lingam was floating in mid air. Now when the invaders tried looting, they were terrified to see Shiva floating in mid air and ran for their dear lives.
But the lure for wealth got them and they first tried to scratch off some of the precious metals from the outer walls.
And when they did, Shiva swayed to one side. This made them more frightened and they ran away again. Slowly when they gathered courage, it made them understand there was no magic holding the shiva lingam in mid air. Materials in the walls were responsible.
They started literally chipping off pieces of the walls which were having elements magnetic in nature, and that disturbed the magnetic equilibrium, the forces which were making the magnetic shiva hang in mid air.
With the shiva lingam firm on the ground, it was party time for looters who made various conquests that are famous in history to completely destroy the temple and leave it in utter ruins.
And coming back to the arrow on the pillar that reads that there's no land mass between somnath and southpole in this direction with nearest one being the tip of Antarctica, this paves way for the magnetic south north axes. Now the temple was also magnetic and all fell in place to make this a scientific marvel.
Later many islamic rulers ruled over saurashtra, literally reducing the temple to rubbles. The final credit of complete destruction of the temple in 18th century, is attributed to Aurangazeb, where he had the mosque built over what was once the holiest place of India for hindus, much like mosques in Ayodhya, Kasi, Mathura and other such places.
Then Queen Ahilyabai built a temple besides the mosque in 1738. Queen Ahalya Bai also similarly built the Kasi Viswanatha Temple in Varanasi by the side of the mosque constructed by Aurangazeb with the destructed material of Viswanath Temple. Each and every time the temple was destructed, it was rebuilt. But, it could not be built the way it was existing in 10th Century i.e., the idol hanging in the air in the middle of the Sanctum Sanctorium. However, the Darshini Gates of Somnath Temple taken by Muslim Rulers to Afghanistan were brought back by the mighty Sikh Army of Maharaj Ranjit Singh and appears to have been installed in the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
Cut to 1947, the Nawab of Junagarh declared in a letter of accession that Junagarh along with somnath is integral part of Pakistan.
Now how did the Iron Man of India bring us back our legacy? Wait for the rest of history to unfold. This part I heard it from the mouth of none other than Lal Krishna Advani who was there when all this happened.
For this I'm ever indebted to Shri Mukund Purohit (if my memory hasn't faded), who was helming the affairs of the Somnath Prathistan in 2000.
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Old 30th November 2010, 16:32   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
1]AP, looks like the Veraval-Porbandar-Dwaraka road was not that bad after all.
2]Did you get to hire a taxi easily for the trip?
1] It is not bad, out of 250 km, i can say only 40 km is in bad condition.
Road between Chorwad to Madhopur/Madhonagar[ please correct me] has some patches and potholes and thats it.
Porbandar to Dwarka is in excellent condition.
One can do this 250 km stretch in 5 hours easily.

2] I got taxi at two way fare of rs 2500.
The taxis plying between Dwarka and Somanth charge two way fare.
There is a luxury bus at 8 am and 2 pm from somnath which stops at Mul Dwarka and Harshad for temple darshan.


@MX6,
thanks for posting the info about Somanth,
looking forward for additional info.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 30th November 2010 at 16:41.
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Old 30th November 2010, 17:07   #40
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It's Madhavpur. Home to a ganesh temple that's archealogically dated over 5000 years. A temple which is believed to be prayed by none other than Krishna.
It is also the place where Krishna married Rukmini. There's also a temple of Krishna and Rukmini at Madhavpur. I'd have loved to see photos of the old Ganpati temple through your lens AP. The photos I have are in Udupi at my parent's home. I shall this time search the treasures out. Hope the moisture of the last 10 monsoons didn't spoil them.

Wait for the "Highly moving" second part of Somnath tonight! Too much to type.
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Old 1st December 2010, 10:26   #41
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@6pm, we entered in the town of Dwarka,

Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00265.jpg



as i had pre reserved a room at Hotel Damji,
there was no need to go anywhere rather than straight to the hotel,
quick check in at the best hotel in Dwarka,
it was time to quick freshen up and run to the temple to have darshan and aarati at 7 pm.

I highly recommend this Hotel Damji [ Search Google for further details].

Though the temple is at just 5 min walking distance, i opted for auto.

Reached to temple at 6:45 pm,
deposited handbag/mobile/camera at the counter,
after security check [ as good as airport security check] we entered in the temple premises,

though the premise is small compared to other famous temples, the temple itself is really beautiful,
not much rush,
had relaxed darshan and aarati,
[ The pic posted here is of portrait of dwarkadhish and not actual idol],
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00277.jpg


i see satisfaction on the face of mom and dad,
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00267.jpg


the temple during day time.
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00370.jpg
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-image00372.jpg


returned back to hotel,

had dinner,
the hotel has very good dining hall,
the food quality is really good,

reserved a taxi for next day sightseeing,

it was time to rest.

End of day 4.



Next post before 5pm today.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 1st December 2010 at 10:28.
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Old 1st December 2010, 11:42   #42
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1947. The Nawab of Junagadh, Muhammad Mahabat Khan declared that he'd like to accede with Pakistan. On 13th of September Pakistan accepted this offer too, much to the displeasure of Hindus who formed the majority of population of Junagadh by a large margin, something over the effect of 80%!
Indian government was furious at Pakistan's acceptance of Junagadh, especially since Mohammad Ali Jinnah had vociferously declared that Hindus and Muslims can't live as a single nation earlier to make Pakitan separate islamic country.
Sardar Patel started his Yatra to Junagarh. The Indian forces seiged Junagad from all sides and cut it off from rest of the world. An Interim government was formed with Samaldas Gandhi governing it. Sardar Patel and rest of India wanted to establish a plebiscite and let the people of Junagadh decide whether they want to go with pakistan, join India or remain free.
Soon food supplies were cut off and the nawab of Junagadh fled to Pakistan for fear of his life.
As per Lal Krishna Advani, he fled to Pakistan for the fear of Sardar Patel!
Given below are his own words.
The Nawab had a passion for dogs. So over night he took a few of his wives and lot's of his dogs and fled to Pakistan.
Sardar Patel finished his Yatra and stood looking at Somnath, which was in ruins.
File photo of Somnath temple in ruins (1860s) - photo courtesy - Wiki.
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-ruins_somnath_temple.jpg

This moved the iron man of India to tears. As he took water from the Arabian sea in his hands, with tears flowing from his eyes, he vowed to reconstruct the temple back to it's initial magnificence!
And the populace of Junagadh couldn't beleive what they saw. Sardar patel in tears. I took a photo of a file photo of him standing on the shores with water in his palms cupped up, taking a vow. Unfortunately, that photo of mine is lost somewhere in my rubbles back at native.
In dec, a plebiscite was formed and the mandate was clear! over 99% of voters chose India as their home, as their country.
Sardar Patel expressed his wish and sought blessings from Mahatma to start on construction work of the temple.
Gandhi blessed him and requested that the money for the construction came from the people of India and not from the government.
Soon the Somnath trust was formed. And Sardar started unifying India along with generating funds for bringing the glory back to Somnath.
Alas, Sardar didn't live to see the completion. However, the work which he started was entrusted to another great man. A man called Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi! KM Munshi continued the work with greater vigour and headed the Somnath Prathistan. Soon the temple was completed and dedicated to all people of Hindustan.
What we see now is what was constructed 60 years back. Buy the great leaders who sacrificed all for India. People like KM Munshi are accredited with many acheivements for commons, including starting Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
If not for those legends, we'd probably have lost one more of our rich legacy.
I was a regular at Somnath and ran in to the gentleman called Mukund Purohit (hope I remember his name correctly). And many an interactions fetched me permission to clamber up a nearby building to a precarious place on a sloped roof that overlooked the arabian sea. With strong gusts of winds, a minor lapse of balance would see my plummet over 60 feet in to raging waters and I'd probably be washed ashore in Antarctica only. Remember that between somnath and southpole, there's no other land mass at all and this arrow stands testimony to it. Such great was our science and geographic knowledge of past!
The pillar. Picture courtesy - Wiki.
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One such photo frenzy captured Somnath in all it's brilliance and I donated a 18x24 inch print of that to the temple free along with the negative. So much moved by my humble contribution, Shri Purohit surprised me with a special invite to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the temple! The invitation is also lost now in the rubbles. I didn't know small deeds also bring big recognitions. But then when it is Somnath, shiva ensures that anything good you do to him never goes unanswered.
Sardar having done so much for the nation, proudly stands there today too overlooking Somnath.
Picture courtesy - Wiki.
Four Shiva and one Krishna: A pilgrimage-sardar.jpg

Ashish Bhau's pics of somnath got back those memories dormant for over a decade. I should probably retrace my steps and go back to those regions again.
Saurashtre Somanatham. This concludes the brief history of Somnath. There is more to Somnath. But that would derail AP's log. So stopping with relevant details.
Thanks again Ashish Bhau. I shall search out for photos when I go to Udupi this time for sure.
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Old 1st December 2010, 15:58   #43
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MX6, Indeed an interesting & an impornat piece of history about Somnath temple. Glad you took time to post this information for fellow readers including me.

AP, This one is a different kind of a travelogue traversing through different states on different modes and specially religious places.

It is mostly after my marriage that I have travelled to Rajkot, Junagadh, Porbandar, Somnath and etc and I was overwhelmed by the rich temples in the state of Gujarat.

Jetpur, Veerpur, Somnath, Dwarka, Pavagadh, Chotila and more to follow when I plan my big roadtrip to Gujarat in March 2011 and my intention is to cover most of these religious places.

Rajkot is certainly a very well developed city with immense industrialization, specially Diesel Engines and Machine tools. In fact even the famous Ajanta has its base in Morbi town in Rajkot District.
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Old 1st December 2010, 16:03   #44
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@Parag. Thanks.
And I'm very much tempted to join you on the Gujarat road trip. Many factors will have to fall in place. If things go well, then you'd have a vehicle tailing you at every turn!
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Old 1st December 2010, 16:32   #45
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@Parag. Thanks.
And I'm very much tempted to join you on the Gujarat road trip. Many factors will have to fall in place. If things go well, then you'd have a vehicle tailing you at every turn!
You are invited then. AP's thread has already tempted me to plan things but I am yet to know the exact dates in the month of March.

It would be great to have you as a company when we drive together!
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