Amitabh Bachhan, one of the iconic actors of Bollywood, has been promoting brand Gujerat for more than a decade. This has resulted in catapulting Gujerat as a tourist destination and our PM is too from that state. Aavo Padaro is a welcome greeting for all tourist to Gujerat. In fact the actor has been lending his baritone voice and visuals Aavo Kuch din bitao Gujerat me ! ( Come and spend a few days in Gujerat )
We decided to spend discovering Gujerat in Circuits which we have identified as Jamnagar, Bhuj, Ahmedabad & Vadodara. Jamnagar is credited with being the fifth largest city in Gujerat.
Jamnagar : Some of the famous tourist spots of Jamnagar are as follows :
1. Lakhota Lake & Garden : A huge lake with less water is the favourite tourist attraction since it has a huge walking track and garden. One can preferably visit in the evening and have a leisurely stroll around the lake.
2. Bala Hanuman Temple : This temple is located on the southern edge of Lakhota lake. One can find people chanting people continuously uttering Shri Ram Jai Ram. It is fabled that chanting has been 24 hours since first August 1964.
3. Shantinath Mandir : This Jain temple is located near the Bedi gate Jamnagar. The temple has intricately carved pillars and adorned with fine murals which depicts the lives of Jain saint.
4. Vardhman Shah temple : This Jain temple is close by and dedicated to Lord Adinath the first thirtankara. It was built in 1620 during the reign of Jam Jasaji I.
5. Khambalia Gate : One the main gateway of Jamanagar is located in the middle of the old city. This complex has a private museum ticketed museum. It looks beautiful once it is lit up in the evening. One can get an idea of other historical places to visit from this museum. We got a clue to visit Rozi Mata temple and fort.
6. Rozi Mata Temple and Fort : One can visit early morning in the winter months and spot plenty of birds hunting for sea food. One needs to travel past the naval base wherein the photography is prohibited even though there are no signboards. If caught one is asked to delete the clicked pictures.
7. Khijadia Bird Sanctuary : This place can be visited only if there is plenty of rainfall wherein the migratory birds are seen. When we visited thankfully the gatekeeper warned us not to enter since there was no rainfall and birds were literally absent. We did not mind since we had seen plenty of birds in the salt pans and lakes enroute to Rozi mata fort.
8. Cremation park : There is cremation park called as Manekbhai Muktidham at the edge of the city enroute to Khijadia Bird sanctuary. One can witness that the cremation ground is well landscaped and decorated with various statues of saints and gods. It removes the mortal fear of death or burial ground.
9. Ranjith Singh Cricket Ground : The first cricket ground was built by in 1908 and it is known as Ajith Singh Pavilion. It is really nostalgic to visit this cricket which has nutured the father of Indian cricket RanjithSingh who represented England in 1902. He was known for his fine leg glance. He was followed by Duleepsingh who was his nephew. Other notable cricketers Jamanagar are Ajay Jadeja, Vinoo Mankad and Ravindra Jadeja.
10. Pitron Marine Park : We skipped visiting this isle which is supposed to have a lighthouse without much guidance and want of time.
Dwarka : It is convenient to cover Dwarka from Jamnagar, which is just 60 kms away. It is fabled town which means gateway to heaven. Lord Krishna migrated from Mathura to Dwarka after killing his demonic uncle Kansa. Lord Krishna’s family resided in Bet Dwarka.
The famous temple of Dwakadish is dedicated to lord Krishna. It was built around 2500 years ago and was destroyed by muslim invaders. Again the temple was rebuilt in the sixteenth century.
After visiting this temple we proceeded towards Bet Dwarka enroute we were taken to Rukumani temple & Nageswar temple which is supposed to be a Jyothilinga temple, but i doubt its veracity because it does not feature among the 12 jyothilinga’s.
Another Hanuman Dandi temple is located enroute Bet Dwarka. One can visit all these temples by a share rikshaw or one or two buses too take tourist around these places. We did travel by share riskshaw by occupying the prime place by paying Rs 400/- for two of us exclusively. Otherwise the auto guys charge Rs 80 to Rs 100 per pax depending on the bargaining power. They take you to Bet Dwarka and drop the passengers near the stand and one has to walk it upto jetty.
Bet Dwarka : This isle is located around 3 kms away from Okha Junction. One needs to take a ferry or launch to visit this isle and return. At the ferry point one has to take a shared rikshaw to the temple or walk a km in the bylanes. The main temple is Keshavraiji temple which is also dedicated to Lord Krishna
Archeologist have discovered ancient traces of Harrapan civilisation and shipwrecks discovered reveal trading with Roman empire.
Enroute to Bet Dwarka one can come across the Reliance Refinery and Tata Salt factory at Mithapur. On the return we had booked by train in the night but we decided that we should catch the noon train itself to Jamnagar from Okha station which is near the auto or bus stand in Bet Dwarka.