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Old 8th December 2018, 18:19   #1
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Default With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

After 9 yrs and exactly 100,000 kms of loyal unwavering service it was time to retire the XYLO. With a heavy heart we entered the market looking for a worthy replacement. The XYLO was always a big car for a couple so we decided to go in for a smaller compact SUV narrowing down to the DDIS 1.3 ZDI+ Brezza primarily due the mileage figures...yeah, we couldn't overlook the promised 24.3kmpl fuel efficiency number and took the plunge.
So with the new car in hand I was itching to stretch its legs on a longish highway drive. So with 850kms on the ODO we preponed the first service to match with Thanksgiving holidays (yes we have US holidays in India...sue me )

The new ride!
With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch-20181122_113558.jpg

The tallest statue in the world had just been unveiled and given the condition of the roads in Gujrat sounded like a good first drive for a new car. But we had 4 days in hand so decided to hop down to the Little Rann to spend a night in the wilderness.

So, nothing much to do as the first service had just been done. Tanked up and started out from Mumbai at around 5am. Traffic was sparse and I could even use the cruise control on the brezza (locked at 90kmph) for upto 15-20 mins at a stretch after crossing the state border into Gujrat.

Android Auto helps pair Google maps into the display and it directed me to turn off the highway near Ankleshwar and put us onto a state highway with was not at par with other roads in Gujrat. Patches of really horrible roads paired with butter smooth new tarmac greeted us for almost 50kms till we joined the main highway towards Kevadiya which branches out from Baroda.

The First View
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This is Humongous to say the least - really massive and well structured. We walked around the place and then took the elevator to the Viewing Gallery.
Let the pics do the talking.

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and thats my better half looking tiny
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Had bought "express" tickets worth 1000 bucks each online; while they saved us the trouble of standing in the queue for the elevator for around 30-45 mins, they are not worth much at any other point.

The viewing gallery though well placed is nothing to rave about as the views are obstructed first by the huge iron grills of the main statue and then by some poorly placed railings which further the agony by pushing us further away from the views.

Jail with a View
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The view after some physical jugglery!
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The museum too is just some information and videos with poor audio running 24*7 without any structured information, could have been much better.

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Lastly, the food - just 3 shops have been opened with a Subway on the way. For a place that claims 10,000 footfalls a day its really under equipped.


The additional attractions include a Valley of Flowers - essentially a flower garden with a few species of flowering plants thrown in for good measure; additional patches of flower beds are being added. And then the Sardar Sarovar Dam - should go in the monsoon when they release water. As of now, nothing.

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Bhajiyas made by Prison inmates...YUM!!
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From the Valley of flowers parking point we can take our own car for a spin around the narmada canal for a few more viewing points of the Dam, the drive is good!
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Narmada Tent city - swiss tents for those who wanna spend a night here.
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Coming back to the statue we waited till 6.45pm for the laser show and this was the best part of the trip as yet! The sunset also afforded some good views.
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Very very well done, informative.. finally something good, really good!

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Started from Kevadiya around 7.30pm and decided to take a break ahead of Ahemdabad on the highway towards Zainabad which was our next destination. Somehow Google aunty decided to take us on the old highway from Baroda to Ahemdabad which was just as good as the expressway if not better. Found a neat hotel on the highway near Sanand and after a quick dinner crashed for the night!

LROK Tomorrow

Last edited by benbsb29 : 11th December 2018 at 06:43. Reason: Post edited slightly to reduce the dotty posting format.
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Old 9th December 2018, 10:37   #2
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Default Stretching the new Brezza....Statue of Unity and Little Rann of Kutch

Started from Sanand at around 10am after a hearty breakfast on the house. Lovely highway till we are asked by Google Aunty to veer off the highway and cross a railway crossing towards Zainabad. It’s a simple 2 lane 'okayish' state highway with sparse traffic and we cover the 130 kms with ease.

Reach our intended night stay "Desert Coursers" by lunch time. It’s a quaint village theme based resort with ‘mud’ huts decorated with traditional Kutchi mirror art. After a scrumptious chicken meal we rambled around the property till it was time for a evening safari into the Little Rann.

With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch-20181123_121230.jpg

With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch-20181123_123941.jpg

With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch-20181123_131348.jpg


Right off the bat we started spotting a few birds here and there….entering the vast desolate Rann was quite an experience. Though not as sparse as the Thar in Rajasthan , this one does have a charm of its own. As soon as we entered we spotted a Nilgai and its young offspring, a view quite rare according to our guide as the Nilgai young rarely come out in the open when jeeps are around. Tried to get a few shots but the young kid was just prancing around making it a tough chore and then the guide suggested that we could even get off the jeep to try to get a better view. As soon as we stepped off….both the Nilgai’s sped off view and we lost them
Moving on we went further into the Rann….spotting groups of Wild Ass. One thing we noticed that was there guys were always facing away from us showing us their a**@@s….may be that’s where they get their name 

With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch-20181123_164737.jpg

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Some Wildlife

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The guide then took us to some huts rights in the middle of the Rann. Yes…people stay there!!!... TV, Fridge, Solar Power, et all.
The men there were kind enough to show us the salt making process and it sounded really tedious. A huge 20 metre deep well dug into the marshy land and then bunds created to move the water into the pans to eventually evaporate and make salt. Was told that they make 200 rupees for 1 ton of salt and the annual produce was 100 tons…so they make 20k rupees at the end of it all and still seemed so content and happy…beats me 
The sunset was lovely and moving back we saw a moonrise too as it was a full moon night

With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch-20181123_174404.jpg

The Well
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Dinner was an elaborate affair and after some chit chat with the gracious host we called it a night.

Early Morning!
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Had an early breakfast as we had decided to make a run all the way back to Mumbai. Left from Zainabad at around 9am and reached Ahemdabad around lunchtime. Decided to visit a friends restaurant called Vishalla and asked Google aunty to direct us and she did it quite ably.
Now, this college friend of mine from Mumbai had been asking us to visit this place that he owns or quite some time but we didn’t really get down to it. The place is village themed and they have nailed it and how. The ambience, server costumes, artifacts strewn around the place and then the Vechaar museum, a private collection of utensils, locks of all shapes and sizes and then supari cutters. There is a chair collection as well coming up which we were privy to see upfront and it promises to be quite a show.
And then there was the food…Satvik food…no ginger garlic onions but still so yummy and these being Undhiyo time we got to sample the best Undhiyo there is . A must visit place if you are in and around Ahemdabad.

Traffic of the bovine kind!
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and the Yummy Food!
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Moved out from Ahemdabad around 4pm and after an uneventful drive made it back to Mumbai by around 10.30pm.
The Brezza performed really well….kept the speedo around 90-100kmph and it returned 22kmpl for this 1275km run and that makes me real happy!!!

Last edited by GTO : 11th December 2018 at 07:15. Reason: small typo
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Old 9th December 2018, 10:45   #3
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Default re: Stretching the new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

One for that perfect Sunday read! Very nice!
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Old 10th December 2018, 11:40   #4
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Nice write-up nix1976in accompanied with really good photos! Hope I get to visit the Statue of Unity. The surrounding areas and amenities look bare-bones. Any idea what plans are in place to improve the facilities?
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Old 10th December 2018, 12:16   #5
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Great to see the first travelogue around the Statue of Unity. Thanks for the photographs of the laser show. It looks interesting. Zainabad & Dasada hava many village themed resorts which offers amazing food along with mud huts for night stay.

Thanks, nix1976in for sharing an amazing travelogue with excellent photographs.

Last edited by Zappo : 12th December 2018 at 14:31. Reason: Typos corrected
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Old 10th December 2018, 18:52   #6
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Lovely little Travelogue of a well spent weekend.
Review of the Statue of Unity is like an enthusiast's review of a car - straight from the heart and calling a spade a spade (the good and the bad).

Very good captures as well on the camera, thanks for sharing

Loved the place of stay you chose and the friend's village themed place, has a very unique and rustic charm to it
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Old 10th December 2018, 18:56   #7
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Wow. Loved the thread.

I just opened to see the pics but ended up reading it all the way to the end.

Looks like you had a really nice trip. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10th December 2018, 22:10   #8
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

A sweet and short travelogue supplemented with beautiful pictures of Statue of Unity and Little Rann of Kutch.

22kmpl is really a good number and no wonder this car occupies one of the top position in sales chart consistently.
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Old 11th December 2018, 00:21   #9
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Really nice description of both locations. I too stay at Bombay so my next trip route is fixed thanks to you. I'll probably travel in Mid Jan. So the Narmada would have even lesser water I guess.

This is the first realistic description of the Statue and it's campus that I have come across.
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Old 11th December 2018, 05:33   #10
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Lovely and informative. Planning a winter drive in the next year to that part of the country.....but your idea of visiting in monsoon is striking a chord.

Vishala....night visit for dinner is some thing else. First visit was in 1983/84 and its always been my must visit advise to all going to Ahmedabad ever since. Glad they have kept up not been there for 10 yers now.
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Old 11th December 2018, 08:08   #11
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Hi Nix, short, interesting and crisp travelogue! Loved the combo of cultural and natural landscapes. Pictures of wild asses and birds are quite sharp. Which camera and lens do you use?
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Old 11th December 2018, 15:04   #12
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Thanks nix1976in, that is really a nice and informative write-up coming just in time for I am contemplating a 4000+ km road trip in January 2019 and intend to touch "Statue of Unity" on my return journey.

I intend to leave from my hotel in Mumbai in the morning for "Statue of Unity" but knowing that it would be evening by the time I'll reach Kevadia, I rather wish to take a night halt just before Kevadia (but no Ankleshwar as it is still 2 hours away). The idea is, next day I can quickly drive to "Statue of Unity", spend a hour or so and then drive ahead to reach Udaipur before the sunset.

May you kindly suggest me a place for a night halt not more than an hour to the monument? Thanks in advance.


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Old 11th December 2018, 19:37   #13
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrodoOfTheShire View Post
Nice write-up nix1976in accompanied with really good photos! Hope I get to visit the Statue of Unity. The surrounding areas and amenities look bare-bones. Any idea what plans are in place to improve the facilities?
Thanks Frodo (Did the ring come to you too?), while I did see a few places under construction, I guess nothing major is coming up as such.

Auto-walks and escalators are in place, a few eating options (Subway coming soon but will be probably a veggie place), a few water dispensers strewn around and adequate loos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Lovely and informative. Planning a winter drive in the next year to that part of the country.....but your idea of visiting in monsoon is striking a chord.

Vishala....night visit for dinner is some thing else. First visit was in 1983/84 and its always been my must visit advise to all going to Ahmedabad ever since. Glad they have kept up not been there for 10 years now.
Yes, was being asked to stay back at Vishalla for dinner, since they light up the place with lanterns and there are some local art shows as well.
Glad to know you are a old patron of Vishalla. my friend is striving to maintain its charm and quality. The food and museum is really good...hope it stays that way for a long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nohonking View Post
Thanks nix1976in, that is really a nice and informative write-up coming just in time for I am contemplating a 4000+ km road trip in January 2019 and intend to touch "Statue of Unity" on my return journey.

I intend to leave from my hotel in Mumbai in the morning for "Statue of Unity" but knowing that it would be evening by the time I'll reach Kevadia, I rather wish to take a night halt just before Kevadia (but no Ankleshwar as it is still 2 hours away). The idea is, next day I can quickly drive to "Statue of Unity", spend a hour or so and then drive ahead to reach Udaipur before the sunset.

May you kindly suggest me a place for a night halt not more than an hour to the monument? Thanks in advance.

Live To Drive!
Simmi
Simmi, If you leave Mumbai early enough you should be at Kevadiya by lunch time. However by the time you are done with the laser show it will be 7.30pm so it makes sense to stay back at the Narmada tents overnight if you dont have any plans to return back same day.
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Old 11th December 2018, 23:12   #14
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

I believe this is the first Statue Of Unity travelogue in TeamBhp
I am also planning a trip with friends from Pune in coming months, and this post will surely come to use ! Youtube blogger Mumbiker Nikhil also posted a video on this recently which is pretty informative:

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Old 12th December 2018, 12:47   #15
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Default Re: With my new Vitara Brezza: Statue of Unity & Little Rann of Kutch

Extremely well written travelogue and the pictures are just wow. Rated a well deserved 5 stars. By the way, is your Brezza an AMT or a MT? If it is the former, how would you rate the performance of the transmission over the course of your drive?
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