|Having already visited three of the four Dham's, it was now the turn of Shri Dwarkaji, the last Dham to be visited. |
We took the Duronto from Alld to Mumbai (atrocious food) from where we took the Air India flight to Jamnagar (10th Jan). Jamnagar airport is shared with the IAF which has a major presence there. However, the civil terminal, though small, was neat & efficient. The first thing which struck me in Gujarat was the beauty of the roads.Our drive from Jamnagar to Dwarkaji was a zip amid a landscape lined with scores of windmils.The 130 km drive barely took 2hrs 30 mins.
After darshan in the evening, we went hunting for authentic Gujarati food, but being tired, settled to eat at the hotel only which did not offer anything Gujarati.
Early next morning (11th. Jan) , we left for Byet Dwarka which is about 32 kms from Dwarka & 5 kms in the sea by boat.The boatman charged 1500/- for a to & from ride.On our return, we visited Nageshwar Mahadev. We left Dwarkaji at about 3.30 for Somnath. The 250 km drive took just about 4hrs 30 mins and we were in Somnathji at 8 p.m.
Luckily, in Somnath ji we were booked in the Sagar Darshan atithigrah which is run & managed by The Somnath Trust. This is a beautiful place to stay & is just a few metres from the Arabian sea.The second floor rooms offered a breathtaking view.
In Somnath, there are two temples of Lord Shiva. The original small temple & the newer main temple built by Sardar Patel after Independence. Unfortunately, the beach of Somnathji is not developed & was a let down. However, the main temple was majestic, clean & orderly. After darshan & lunch at Lilavati Guest House, we left for Gir National Park.
Gir National Park is about 44 kms from Somnathji & we stayed at the Gir Jungle lodge. This place has been tastefully designed in a mango orchard & offers some pretty good smells late in the wintry evenings. On our arrival, we discovered that our permit for entry into the park had been mishandled by the hotel & now wee had to manage it on our own. Luckily our driver went very early in the morning & obtained one. It was our luck that we were able to spot a few lions inside the park. The safari ended at 9 (13th Jan) & after breakfast we left back to Jamnagar from where we had our flight back to Mumbai in the morning.
One thing we missed throughout our trip was good Gujarati food. You got better stuff elsewhere but not here! Well, as they always say, the best mangoes & guavas are always exported, hence you tend to find good Gujarati food not in, but out of Gujarat. Is Mr. Modi listening?