Yet another place ,yet more beautiful sights to capture.This time I visited a state called Gujarat located in the western coast of India.Not fully but partially and despite its dry and arid terrain it left me with pictures full of colors and life that is vibrant.Both as a pilgrim and a tourist it left me satisfied to a great extent.The one thing that really made me ponder is the basic instinct of survival or to live through the usage of colors in an otherwise plain life.The local architecture speaks by itself the artistry skills that can be seen in structures dating centuries back or the native handicraft work which truly is a blend of creativity and dedication.
Historically, the state of Gujarat has been one of the main centres of the Indus valley civilizations. It contains major ancient cities such as Lothal, Dholavira, and Gola Dharo. The ancient city of Lothal was where India’s first port was established.My first stop was Ahmedabad and it truly gave me a taste of gujju lifestyle which I had seen only on smallscreens till now.The city is the largest of all located on the banks of Sabarmati.
The Indian independence movement developed roots in the city when Mahatma Gandhi established two ashrams – the Kochrab near Paldi in 1915 and the Satyagraha Ashram (now Sabarmati Ashram) on the banks of the Sabarmati 1917 – which would become centres of nationalist activities.
People of all age groups, from all classes throng this place to catch the glimpse of the Great,’Mahatma Gandhi’ and his principles of life.It was from his base here that Gandhi led the Dandi march also known as the Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930.It has a well kept museum that tracks Gandhi’s life in Ahmedabad.
The visit was completed with a visit to Law garden market which offers a wide open platform to shop everything related to handicraft and clothes.Many such places visited and few of them enthralled me by the work of famous architects.Next came the food part.I guess, Gujarat is one place where I was very comfortable with the food.Lots of snacks on offer ranging from Dhokla to Thepla of which the tastes have been developed and above all the thaali that remains ever ready to be offered. While traveling ,I realized that Gujarati cuisine varies in flavor and heat, depending on a region of Gujarat to which they belong. Many Gujarati dishes are sweet, salty, and spicy at the same time.
Our next move was towards the shore temple of Somnath. An important part of our history involving religion,myth,sacrifice along with a majestic piece of architecture.The Somnath Temple is located in the Prabhas Kshetra in Saurashtra, and happens to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the Lord Shiva.
The next destination was ever so old ,’The Dwarkadheesh Temple’.According to tradition, the original temple was supposed to be built by Krishna’s grandson.A place where you turn around and see a pool of humanity eager to pay a visit to their dear lord, Shri Dwarkadheesh Maharaj,as he is dearly called.
The ‘dhvaja’/banner that can be seen at the top of the temple shrine is changed five times a day.It is usually offered by diiferent families and the whole procession is carried out with lot of pomp and show.The Dhwaja measures some 52 yards of woven cloth which in itself looks majestic.
Nearby is the old Dwarka nagari or the Swarna nagari built by Lord Krishna himself.Though now it remains submerged beneath the sea but pilgrims visit this island to pay their visit.
Here, I completed our pilgrim and the next leg was to discover the Rann of Kutch..which I’ll be covering in my further post.Understanding the history of any given place adds a new dimension to your visits.It simply enriches you and makes your travel fruitful.
Happy discovering new places.