Ok Mitron, it`s going to be Rani ki Vav in Patan, the Salt flats of Kutch, the Somnath temple, onwards to picturesque Diu, the Sabarmati Ashram, a trip to a lesser know marine wildlife sanctuary and back. (Plus a detour or two)
I`ll be sharing the entire detailed itinerary at the end of this article so stay stuck
- We set out in early morning,
- Reach our destination before sundown, check in at the hotel
- Check out the place and the attractions next morning (it`s less crowded and You look fresh and the pics turn out great)
- Leave for the onward destination, fix Your lunch midway
- Go to step 2
No serious detour required and hours to go before sundown we drove right in.
I was there, before sundown, so it was very crowded, wish it was morning cause the riff raff are mostly late risers.
Onwards to Patan, for our visit to the wonder of Rani ki Vav. Imagine inverting a temple by starting at the surface and then going downwards as You progress. Rani ki Vav is not just a step well, but a unique temple showcasing the entire famly tree of divine superheroes, plus a few from the league of extraordinary Ladies.
I`m told there are massive temples dedicated to Viraha in other parts of the country.. So I guess it`s not just the Cows, the entire animal farm is sacred.
But the most interesting is this, "La Belle Dame sans Mercy",
as the guard describes her - Beautiful as a Peacock, Intelligent as an Owl, and Vicious as a Cobra.
Random carvings or rather cravings by the sculptor, to create a "gallerie de la femme fatale" with little or no connection to mythology or religion.
Sadly, large parts of this sub terranian wonder are out of bounds because the bhuj earthquake rendered the structure unstable and hazardous, but don`t miss it on Your trip to Gujarat.
Even while passing through towns the place seems somewhat depopulated, but totally safe.
Yes, safety was never a major concern.
The Rann to some, might turn out to be somewhat underwhelming or overhyped. If You don`t find beauty in a land which is stark barren and desolate, then Kutch is not the place for You.. in that case You can get all touristy and stuff and visit the nearby village Haats for some local pottery and try out the local costumes for a price. The Rann is worth Two nights, not less, not more.Points to remember-
- You`ll need a permit to enter the Rann, and that is available online(always carry a few hard copies of the same)
- Stay clear of the Rann Utsav
- You can drive all the way to the Border(get prior permission)
|Kala Dungar Hill near Rann
|The Co Driver www.allwhatshewants.com
|the Famous Khavda Pottery
Actually, the best part is further ahead, towards Jamnagar, 325KMs away, at the Narara Marine National Reserve.
This one place was the crowning jewel of the entire trip, infact it is worth a one way ticket to Jamnagar and Back, if You can bring Your kids along. Cause that is a real crab that I plucked out of the water just like this Octopus, with my bare hands at this very place.
You basically wade into ankle deep shallow waters during low tide and keep looking. Crabs are an easy find, and I found a total of four octopuses, and one grumpy Puffer fish, Plus a lot other stuff
|The author with the Octopus
Holding Doc Ock is a unique experiece,
Yes, it feels gooey and yucky and You can also feel the powerful suction from it`s tenctacles on Your skin. If You don`t want it to slither away, just keep Your hand rolling to keep it on top
- Hire a guide.. Helping You with the Tide timings, to keeping You safe, He`ll be worth ever penny(I can share the contact)
- Book a stay in Beed(30KMs), not Jamnagar(70KMs) It`ll help If the LowTide comes early morning.
- Pick the kind of footwear that don`t mind getting wet.
- It`ll be slightly chilly in the morning but will get bright and and sunny and Warm as the day progresses
- Carry a bottle of water, and a few snacks, You`ll need it.. cause at this place, Time Flies. Three to Four Hours.. before You`re done(Kindly Do not Litter.. Please!!)
And the fact that it is situated bang on the wind washed beach adds to the overall experience.
Sadly, the Somnath Temple is also, No Mobiles, No Photography! So I have absolutely no pics to share. But take my word, come to this place, You`ll be convincing others to do the same for all time to come.
during the period 1537 - 1961 (for 424 years, the longest period by any colonial rule in the world)
Having fended off all invaders and sea bandits, the Fort now and it's artifacts now fall to erosion, corrosion and Neglect. Forget ticketed entry and paid parking, there is not a guard manning any gate in sight.
These Cannons on the west coast of India, once fended off Ottomans.. Yes.. Ottoman Turks, who sailed from Egypt to lay siege to Diu.
We are so overawed with the History of the Delhi region alone, that it's astounding to know that the Portuguese built this place during the reign of Humayun.. Yes Humayun.. that long ago..
More than Goa,
it is at Diu that the Portuguese left an everlasting impression in India.
But Diu is so much better , cause this is Goa minus the crowd and the long travel distances. Everything here is just 30mins away.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Naida Caves.. the most photogenic rock formations.. straight from a children's story book
This was not even on the itinerary, and I just happened to find it on the net while I was Diu.. and what a find it was.again, No ticketed entry or any restrictions whatsoever, this is popular with wedding and prewedding photographers.. Absolutely Mind blowing. Yes.. Diu can blow You away And You`ll need two full days to take in most of Diu. There is lot more in Diu and a second trip is clearly overdue
|Shot on Huawei Honor 6x
like I had to because, Pushkar my final pitstop, had to be reached before sundown
|The Pushkar Lake
This was a trip that we feel immensely proud of. Initially while planning for this trip we were anxious and scared of missing out something unforseen, but there were no unpleasant surprises.
We also wanted to make this trip a healthy one and also plastic free. So through out the trip, we did not buy snacks or water bottles.
For munchies we bought fruits of which there was not shortage on the trip,
and for water we carried our own bottles which we got refilled during our stops.
Having fruit on the road had a surprising advantage apart from the clear health benefits. We would generally be topped up with enough calories, to let us skip a lunch break and save valuable driving time. On the road, we were rarely hungry for a food break.
You just have to trust Your instincts to make it happen and also Your car to carry You through. And if You still feel a little nervous just follow the itinerary pasted below. I preplanned it finalised it before I set out and stuck to it.
Day 1 (31st Dec)
Dep at 6 am
Delhi to Udaipur-650 km-11 hrs
(Rishika Clarke`s Inn) Booked
Day 2 (1st Jan)
Sightseeing at Sahastrabahu Temple, Udaipur
Udaipur to Patan-261 km-4 hrs
(Patan Stay) The Grand Raveta Hotel Booked
Day 3 (2nd Jan)
Sightseeing in Patan
Patan to Dhordo-387 km- 7hrs
(stay at Rann) Gateway Resort Booked
Day 4 (3rd Jan)
Khavda and Rann of Kutch
(Stay at Rann) Gateway Resort Booked
Day 5 ( 4th Jan)
Rann to Jamnagar – 325 km- 6.20 min
(MNP night Stay )
Day 6 (5th Jan)
Marine National Park – Somnath – 230km – 4.30 hrs
(Stay at Somnath) Lord Inn Booked
Day 7 (6th Jan)
Somnath – Diu- 84km
(Stay at Diu) Rasal Beach Resort Booked
Day 8 (7th Jan)
Diu- Ahmedabad – 360km – 8 hrs
(Stay at Ahmedabad) Booked
Day 9 (8th Jan)
Ahmedabad – Pushkar- 542 km- 10hrs
(Stay at Pushkar)
Day 10 (9th Jan)
Pushkar - Noida- 415 km- 7 hrs