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Asia » India » Gujarat » Bharuch December 16th 2020

Statue of Unity (SoU): World’s tallest statue and Gujarat’s one of the best tourist destination is located 90 Km from Vadodara and 210 Km from Ahmedabad at the Sardar Sarovar Dam site. Although I called it the ‘one of the best Tourist Destination of Gujarat’, it is far from access to the common man. Facilities are poor (though developing), guidance to the Tourists is non-existent – typical of (Gujarat) Government. How do you reach? Only if you are RICH – you have to have your own vehicle or afford taxi. GSRSTC (state transport) is running special buses from Gandhinagar / Ahmedabad, one always has doubts about their regularity. If you want to enjoy all the attractions, one day is not enough. Staying overnight – again expensive – but must be worth it – I have not ... read more
SoU-131220 (5)
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SoU-131220 (7)

Asia » India » Gujarat » Rann of Kutch February 14th 2020

You want to know how strong is color WHITE, well visit The Great Rann of Kutch !!!! My wife and me had this Trip in mind from long and we always wanted to visit White Desert and explore the nothingness around us... I made some inquiry about the Rann Utsav which normally starts in Nov and goes till Feb and found that the Tent City which is highly marketed by the Gujarat govt. is definitely an experience to look for but the cost..... Extortionate !!!! So when I checked they gave me a tariff of approx 10K per person per day, which means a 2 day trip to Rann Utsav with a partner would cost you 40K approximately. So, I thought of finding a competitive option to get this trip going. So, here you go..... Trip ... read more
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Asia » India » Gujarat » Vadodara March 26th 2019

Day1 I had planned a trip to Jaisalmer in the month of march for 3 days. I booked the flight from Ahmedabad to Jaisalmer on Friday morning through True jet – a new Airline. Flights are very cheap. I booked the flight @1500 for one way. I started the journey from Vadodara, I booked the cab from Vadodara to Ahmedabad Airport. We reach at Ahmedabad airport and boarded the flight @10:30am and reach the Jaisalmer Airport at 12:30pm. You will see thousands of wind mills from plane and it looks amazing. After reaching the Jaisalmer airport, it’s better to call a taxi from Jaisalmer city using internet which is cheaper than prepaid taxi. It will take around Rs. 500 to reach to Jaisalmer City and to your respective hotel. I have booked a decent hotel in ... read more
Bada Bagh
Fort View From kaus Kafe
THE DESERT

Asia » India » Gujarat » Surat March 15th 2019

From Goa I flew to Surat, where I met up with my first couchsurfer host: Archish. After he picked me up from the airport, we drove to the centre to have some breakfast. We had some idly (sort of rice cake) with coconut chutney and plain rwa (sort of crêpe). After finishing breakfast, we drove to his place. It was a long drive from Surat. We stopped somewhere to get some water and the man at that shop let me try some very sweet candy. My host has a farm in a small village, where he grows mango trees, rice, eggplant, ladies' finger & more. It was so nice, green and quiet. He showed me around the house first before going up to the water tower. There we had a great view over the farm, some ... read more
Pictures with the indian women
Hatgad fort
Sunset point

Asia » India » Gujarat » Palanpur November 24th 2018

Hanu takes us in the jeep to visit some of the local villages. He explains that the villagers are all tribal people from the Adivasis and Garasia tribes. We stop by the river, at a field growing a crop a bit like spinach. Women are filling up steel pots full of water from a hand pump, recently installed by the government. Next to that is a small shrine surrounded by armies of small terracotta horses, mostly about 18 inches tall. The tradition is to bring a horse to the shrine as an offering, with coconut, jaggery and oil, and your wish will come true. Behind the spinach field is one full of female cotton plants. All the flowers on the female plants are hand fertilised to produce seeds for the following year. Early each morning the ... read more
Mongoose
Village shaman
School lunch

Asia » India » Gujarat » Khedbrahma November 23rd 2018

We decide to pass on Achalgarh fort; apparently there is nothing left of the fort and it is more of local rubbish tip. Instead we elect to first visit the Ambaji temple. Mr Singh commends our choice. He tells he and his wife and 4 year old son visit the temple each year. They queue for five hours to see the deity. We'll be passing on that queue. The road snakes down through the Aravalli hills, Mount Abu town being at about 4000ft above sea level. The views and the hairpin bends are impressive. The roads here are being improved and progress can be slow. We arrive in Ambaji, which appears to be in the middle of pilgrimage season. There are groups of pilgrims, mainly young men, dressed in red shirts with matching bandanas and flags. ... read more
Ambaji pilgrims
Main temple at Khumbhariya
Khumbhariya temple

Asia » India » Gujarat » Modhera November 22nd 2018

We though the imam had kept us awake again last night. But no, apparently it was a cricket match at the floodlit ground down the road. The game went on till 4.00am! Music, drums, clapping, it somehow didn’t square with noise coming from a mosque. We make our regular 8.30am travelling day departure. Our first stop is the Sun Temple at Modhera. It’s a Hindu temple built in 1027 by King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty, and is now a Unesco World Heritage Site. We walk through beautifully maintained gardens, towards the deep stepped tank in front of the assembly hall, which was used for storing water. It’s 100 metres square in size, with 108 shrines situated on different levels of the steps down, where devotees would give prayers at each one before washing in ... read more
Modhera sun temple assembly hall
Looking into the Patan step well
Patan step well carving

Asia » India » Gujarat » Rann of Kutch November 21st 2018

After tea and biscuits at 715am, we start off to see the birds at the lake. It would be nice to report a good night’s sleep, but the beds were rock hard and the imam was ranting till past 1am. One of the other guests, an Indian expat living in New Zealand, tells us that the new mosque was built with Wahhabi money from Saudi Arabia, as are most new mosques in India. They bring a more fundamental form of Islam than Indian Muslims practise, and this can cause conflict both with local Muslims and with the Hindus. So it can become another source of tension between the communities. She said that over the last few years since the Wahhabis moved in, the number of little Hindu shrines has much increased in the village, as a ... read more
Pelicans taking off
Early morning cranes
Flamingos, Little Rann of Kutch

Asia » India » Gujarat » Rajkot November 20th 2018

A quiet day. We start at the Naulakha Palace, part of the medieval Darbargadh or fortified palace complex of Gondal, which was the original seat of the ruling Maharajahs. The main building was built in 1748, and is ornately decorated with stone carving and ornate jarokha balconies. It’s not clear where we go, and the only person visible speaks no English. We climb the steps up to the first floor of the main building, but everything is locked. As we descend, a young man greets us and starts to open up the various rooms of the palace. The main building was the Maharajah’s residence, and houses a large durbar hall with stuffed leopards glaring snarlingly down from the four corners. Most of the other rooms and buildings are devoted to little collections of items either commemorating ... read more
Gateway of Naulakha palace
Swamirayan Temple
Gateway of Swamirayan Temple

Asia » India » Gujarat » Rann of Kutch November 20th 2018

Today we’re headed to the Little Rann of Kutch. It’s a 4 ½ hour drive, but the roads are good. Along the way the vegetation is much as elsewhere in Gujarat, but as we near it becomes noticeably more dry and less cultivated, but still no sign of any salt flats. We arrive at the Desert Coursers EcoLodge at Zainabad just in time for lunch. A handful of circular mud build cottages – or huts - stand in a semi circle around an open area, and we’re shown to the green one. It’s small and basic, but the warm welcome and the sights of the Little Rann more than make up for that. At 4.00pm we go out in the jeep to the national park. We set off through the local village, which is poor, and ... read more
Jungle cat
Nilgai
Owl in flight




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