Showing posts with label Dwarka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dwarka. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Travelog: Seven Jyotirlings and other stuff, 14 days

In summer of 2013, we decided to drive to Seven Jyotirlings and back in 15 days. This travelog tries to capture the drive, experience and anything else that I found interesting. It is divided in 15 parts with each devoted to one day. The trip was done mostly in continuation with few day rest in between. The return journey was done after a gap of 11 days.

  1. 06-April-2013 Bangalore to Pune, Part 1/14
  2. 07-April-2013 Pune to Aurangabad, Ghrusneshwar Jyotirling and other local sightseeing, Part 2/14
  3. 08-April-2013 Aurangabad to Nashik with Bhimshankar Jyotirling on the way Part 3/14
  4. 09-April-2013 Nashik to Ahmedabad with Trimbakeshwar Jyotirling on the way Part 4/14
  5. 10-April-2013 Ahmedabad local stay, visit to Gandhi Asram Part 5/14
  6. 11-April-2013 Ahmedabad to Gir National Park Part 6/14
  7. 12-April-2013 Stay in Gir National Park, Safaris Part 7/14
  8. 13-April-2013 Gir to Dwarka via Somnath Jyotirling Part 8/14
  9. 14-April-2013 Visit to Nageshwara Jyotirling, Dwarkadhish Temple, Bhet Dwarka Part 9/14
  10. 15-April-2013 Dwarka to Surat Part 10/14
  11. 16-April-2013 Surat to Ujjain Part 11/14
  12. 17-April-2013 Car repair in Ujjain and Indore
  13. 18-April-2013 Visit to Omkareshwar Jyotirling and Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling Part 12/14
  14. 19-April-2013 to 28-April-2013 return trip postponed
  15. 29-April-2013 Ujjain to Pune Part 13/14
  16. 30-April-2013 Pune to Bangalore Part 14/14
The total journey took 14 days and total of 128 hours of driving time and completed almsot 700 kilometers. The total diesel consumed was approximately 550 litres. The fuel consumption was 12.8 kpl. The total toll amount paid was Rs. 4933/-. Here are the details of the tolls.
In summary, the whole trip was fantastic. We always preferred better road even if we had to travel longer. We found driving on bad road very tiring.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Travelog: Seven Jyotirlings and other stuff, 14 days Part 10/14

7:50am We left early morning back. The destination of the day was Surat. We started back towards Jamnagar on GSH947 or GSH41.
8:30am Crossed Nandana
9:20am Crossed Jam Khambaliya
9:50am We stopped in a Highway hotel called Hotel Panthi for small break for tea.

10:30am Crossed Jamnagar. We just continued driving. Roads in this area are fantastic. The road surface quality is the best that I saw in whole of Gujarat.
11:20AM We crossed the Rajkot town.
12:50pm We reached at Limbdi, we stopped here for lunch. Hotel Honest, seemed like a decent restaurant.

As we were sitting here for lunch, my Android phone's Google Now service informed me that I am very close to a place called Lothal which is a Indus Valley Civilisation site. We decided to make an impromptu visit to this place. That required making a small detour to our originally planned route.
1:42pm As we were travelling on NH8A, we turned right on to SH 1 which would eventually take us to Lothal.
1:51pm We turned extreme left to take the road that goes to Lothal. It is a small and narrow road and there are sufficient signages to indicate its direction.

There is a museum where the artefacts from the excavation are kept and the actual excavation site is also adjacent to it. There is a Rs. 5 ticket to visit the museum, the site entry is free. The place was empty. The museum was really interesting.

2:55pm Finished with Lothal and then decided to continue our journey. We got out of the place with the help of Google Navigation. At 3:15pm we joined Bagodara Vataman Road or GSH 8.
4:51pm We got into Anand City. The city is in mess and completely dug up. There seems to be a big flyover being constructed on the road that we were taking so we ended up taking quite a few diversions. Eventually we were out of the city and towards NE1.
5:00pm Got into NE1. As soon as we got into NE1, the segment near Anand is under some maintenance so both direction traffic was diverted into one side roads and the traffic was extremely slow.
5:55pm Crossed Vadodara.
6:50pm Crossed Bharuch
7:50pm Crossed Kamrej. City was jammed packed with traffic.
9:30pm Drove across the city and checked into Hotel Gateway at Athwalines. Here is my review of the Hotel on Tripadvisor.
Here is the map of the route that we took.

View Larger Map

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Travelog: Seven Jyotirlings and other stuff, 14 days Part 9/14

The plan for the day was to visit Dwarka town. The first top was Nageshwar Jyotirling.
9:45am We left the hotel after breakfast.
Nageshwar Jyotirling Temple
10:35am Reached Nageshwar Jyotirling
The temple was not very crowded and we were in and out in 30 minutes. We started driving back straight away. The temple was probably most peaceful and if you are inclined, you actually get to spend time with the god. Unlike most other jyotirlings you actually get ample time in the sanctum sanctorum.
11:20am We reached Dwarkadhish Temple. This temple seemed the most security paranoid about security. They won't even let me take the remote for car lock inside. You can leave other things in your car, but what do you do about car lock remote. You basically need to go to two different set of lockers, one that would contain shoes and another one that would contain other stuff like mobile phones.
Dwarkadhish Temple
This place is also full of priests selling their service to you and telling you and the temple is too complicated and you won't be able to reach yourself anywhere. Anyway, I got more a vibe of a good commercial establishment, rather than a place of god.
12:10pm We got out of temple and decided to go back to hotel since it was too hot outside.
We decide to spend good part of afternoon in the hotel.
5:30pm We again left towards Dwarka town. The destination was Bhet Dwarka this time. We had to drive right up to Okha Port from where one can get a ferry to go to Bhet Dwarka.
The road to Okha Port is actually in shamble currently but work is going on. Actually because of work underway, they have completely scraped the road in all the places so that when the it is newly tarred, it sticks better.
You need to continue driving on NH6A or GSH947 to reach Okha Port.
The drive to Okha port is very nice. You can see water bodies on both sides of the road which are full of birds.

7pm We arrive at Okha Port. You need to find a ferry that would take you to Bhet Dwarka island. There are ferries that run on regular interval and you can find a seat in one of those. Since we were short on time, we asked one of the boat guy to just take us and he charged us Rs. 1200/- for that. I am sure general ferries cost much much less and we would have opted for that if we had reached here earlier.

The ferry ride is around 20 minutes to half an hour. We reached around sunset time so there was a magnificent sunset as we were going towards Bhet Dwarka island.
By the time we reached the island, the sun had set and it was dark. The temple closes at 8pm, so we had to be quick to go into the temple.
After reaching the port, there is a 15 minutes walk through by lanes to reach the temple. The temple itself was not very crowded. As usual, you have to leave all your belongings outside, so we took turns going inside the temple.
We took our ferry back around 8:00pm and were back in port at 8:15pm.
We started back towards Dwarka and reached the town by 9:15pm. We decide to have dinner  in Aarti Restaurant in the Hotel Damji. It serves typical Gujarati and Marwari meals. Here is my review of the place.
We started back 9:30pm and reach our hotel back by 8:55pm.

Travelog: Seven Jyotirlings and other stuff, 14 days Part 8/14

We left Hotel Gateway, Gir Forrest for our onwards journey. The hotel serves breakfast only after 8AM, so we planned to leave early and find breakfast somewhere else. Anyway by the time we got up, got ready and left, it was 7:30am.
7:30am Left the hotel, we were running low on fuel, so the plan was to get some place to fill up, but after asking around, we found that only petrol bunks in Gir are in opposite directions. We were told that if we drive around 10Kms towards Somnath, we would get petrol.
The road from Gir to Somnath, is narrow and not great but motor-able.
8:08am Got the petrol bunk, filled up the car. Did not find places here who would accept credit cards, so had to use cash. The town's name was Talala.
8:45am Reached NH 8E, turned towards Somnath Temple.
Somnath Jyotirling Temple
8:55am Reached parking. On this day, police did now allow up to go to parking near the temple, the place where we parked was around 800m from the temple and then we walked up to the temple.
Somnath temple, probably has the best location of all the jyotirlings. Sits very close to the sea. Temple itself does not give a vibe of a well  constructed old temple like other Jyotirlings. It looks like a modern construction, made of concrete etc.
Somnath temple is also paranoid about security, You have to leave everything (that means everything except wallet) at a storage counter before the temple. If you parked in the parking closer to the temple, you could leave all the stuff in the car, in our case, the car was too far off, so we had to leave the stuff at one of the cloak rooms near the temple.
Restaurant in Lords Inn
The temple itself was not very crowded, we were in and out of temple in around 45 minutes. We tool a walk around the temple and the whole atmosphere is grand.
10:05am We reached the parking and took off, as we were driving towards dwarka, we saw this hotel called Lord's Inn. Appeared decent from outside, so we decided to have our breakfast here.
The breakfast service was over in the restaurant, it seems they close at 10am. But they said that they can make our order for us. Since we reached at an odd time, it took quite some time for us to get our breakfast.
They do accept credit cards, so that is always good thing on long drives.  The rest room facilities are clean in this place, so that was one thing taken care of.
11:10am We left the hotel and continued on NH 8E. The national highway is under construction in many places, most of the places on two lanes are  open but the surface quality is good. We did not find any potholes and broken road along the way. The roads are full of tempo and two wheeler traffic and that makes overtaking extremely difficult. So the average speeds are low in this section.
11:30am We cross Supasi.
11:45am We get on to NH8D.
11:52am We cross Chorwad.
12:10pm We cross Mangrol
12:34pm The road comes very close to the coast line and one can drive for about an kilometer just adjacent to the sea. Looked fantastic.
1:12pm We reach Porbandar. We did not plan on staying and visiting any place in Porbandar, so we just drive on.
2:25pm We reach Barodia, just 7 kilometers before Dwarka. We had planned on staying at Goverdhan Greens Resort. Here is my review of the place.