Narayan Sarovar : Kutch

Originally there were five lakes surrounding the temples located in the area. This location was know to Alexander the great . Most of the lakes went dry due to parched weather and came alive once again after the earthquake of 1819. Adinarayan temple was built around the lake in 1550. A yogi named Naranagar seems to have provided facility for bathing on all sides of the lake by creating a stepped embankment. There are seven temples in the paved courtyard which is bound by fortress type of wall.

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However the wife of the Rao was dissatisfied with the management of the temples by the priests. Vagheli Mahakunvar, wife of Deshalji I, ordered the construction of Laxminarayan and Trikamray temple 1734 on the model of Dwarka temples. She endowed the temples with revenue from the surrounding villages for its maintainence. The taxes collected were used to run the temple on day to day basis.
The temple of Trikamray was modelled on Koteswar temple. 1819 the earthquake destroyed the central dome of the temple and it was rebuilt subsequently. The doors of the temple were silver plated and over the idol of Trikamray gold plating was undertaken by the devotees.

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Five temples were added on in the subsequent rulers time, they are Ranchhodji temple, Kalyanray temple, Goverdhannath temple, Adinaryan temple and Laxminarayan temple. These temples are located in a line, which was built by Rao Deshalji in 1828. Besides the temple there were two caves.
Two Fairs are celebrated one during April May another during Nov Dec. Many devotees come and conduct the last rites of the dead and gone. Basic accomodation are available in Narayan Sarovar, and Bus service is available from Bhuj.

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There is notified wild life sanctuary around the temple which is known as Naryan sarovar sanctuary. Chinkaras are found the sanctuary. There were number of species of fauna such as Procupine, Nilgai ( Blue Bull ) Indian Boar, Wolves, Mongoose, Hare, Striped Hyena, Cinkara, Black Buck, Desert cat and Pecocks found in the sanctuary. There was a proposal to introduce Cheetah’s from Africa into this arid zone but the proposal has been kept in abeyance since the African breed is very agressive compared to Asian, which might endanger further the existing fauna.  Reading the history of Cheetah’s extinction in India can be fascinating check this link Cheetah’s extinction

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We witnessed  a fox cross the road while travelling to Mandvi from Narayan Sarovar. There is 20 odd km short cut and the Birla cement plant Ultratech is located in between after the land for the sanctuary was denotified. The area is supposed to rich with limestones and a thermal plant too was inaugrated to produce electricity. Both these plants produce fine dust which makes the environs hazy. So it answered my curiousity why the environ is so hazy particularly when the environ is clean. Probably for the polluting industries the skies would have been rich blue like the Ladakh region.

Ack Photo Amit &  Wiki.

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