To TRAVEL is to LIVE !

Blink of an eye and January is gone. January went by fast, with full of good stuff. Sorry for not posting in a couple days as I was travelling a lot last month for various reasons. But the most beautiful of all, was the vacation with my family. Sometimes it is very essential to take a break and go offline and be on a trip with your loved ones; it helps to refresh you from your daily routine. There’s nothing like being together – all electronic devices away – without any interruptions.

We were 9 adults (brother, sisters, brother-in-laws, sister-in-law) and 3 kids (My nieces; under the age of 6) on the trip. So now you can imagine how wonderful it was to be in Gujarat for 5 days. Out of which we stayed at hotel Starottel in Ahmedabad on the first day .We booked a mini bus to explore the city and got ready and left for sightseeing in the city by 11.30 am. It is also the first Indian city to be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the presence of numerous age-old complexes and centuries-old temples and monuments.

Adalaj Vav Was the first place to visit in our list. The term used for step wells in Gujarat is Vav. The walls at the step well are decorated by carving of various Hindu and Jain gods. The best time for a visit is early morning, the light is great and crowd is less. We did not miss a chance to have the very famous mouthwatering dhoklas, phafadas, sweet and crispy jalebis of Gujarat. Then we visited Hutheesing Jain Temple which is dedicated to Lord Dharmanath. This major specialty of the temple lies in its architectural beauty. It took around 2 years to complete the overall formation. This wonderful masterpiece costed more than a million dollars at that time which was a huge sum in the 19th century. We were roaming all throughout the day and covered various spots like Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram, Sidi sayed mosque that consists of ten semi circular windows. The famous ‘tree of life jali’ or the latticework done the semi-circular arch has become the symbol of Gujarat’s architectural magnificence and has in fact been adopted by the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad as their official logo.  

On Day 2 of our trip to Gujarat, we decided to start the day with a journey By Rail to Dwarka and checked in to cygnet inn hotel. Dwarka – The mesmerizing kingdom of lord shri Krishna. Dwarka is the only city that is a part of both Char Dham (four principal holy places) and also Sapta Puris (seven holy cities) mentioned in the Hindu religion. Dwar, meaning door in Sanskrit, is believed to be the gateway to heaven. It is a land of different spiritual beliefs and customs, Dwarka is among the seven religious cities of India where lots of festivals are being relished every year by thousands of devotees thronging from different parts of the world it is a great religious place with much historical significance, We had been to the beautiful temples in the charming city of spiritual enlightenment. The beachside and the seashores are an added tourist attraction.

Next morning we ferried by boat to the Bet Dwarka Island. Which is located about 20 miles from the town. It is believed that the family of Lord Krishna lived here. The place derived its name from the ‘bet’ or ‘gift’ that Lord Krishna received at this place from his friend Sudama. It features temples of Vishnu, Radha, Lakshmi, Satyabhama, Devaki and Jambavati. The experience in Bet Dwarka was wonderful. Weather remains pleasant enough and thus travel-worthy in winters. From there we left for Somnath where we stayed at Lords inn hotel. Somnath Temple is the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas i.e the symbolic representation of Lord Shiva. The temple treasury was overflowing with a vast amount of treasure all the time. Somnath is regarded as a structure in Gold, made by Moon God himself. An interesting fact about Somnath temple is that though it has been destroyed a number of times; it has always been rebuilt. In the words of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, “Somnath Temple signifies that the power of creation is always greater than the power of destruction”.The temple is located in such a manner that no mass of land can be seen from Somnath seashore till Antarctica.  The site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times as it was said to be the confluence point known of three rivers, Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Saraswati.

Finally our last spot for which we were extremely excited was the Gir National park and dreamed of being there from the day trip was planned. The main reason for highest excitement to be here was Besides Africa; Gir National Park in Gujarat is the only place in the world where you can spot lions roaming free in the wild. On the first day we had one hour safari in Gir Interpretation Zone: Devaliya Safari Park which is enclosed area of the Sanctuary for visitors to experience a rural beauty and wilderness of the area ; wherein we got to see two lioness resting and as our jeep went near them one of them opened her eyes when se heard sound of vehicle but she closed her eyes (she might be thinking“ohh its not new for me daily you people come to see me”)But it was for the first time we could see lioness from so close. We then got to see Jackals, spotted deers, Leopards, Nilgai and birds of different species. We relaxed and played games that evening at our booked resort Amidhara.

Our first day short safari doubled our excitement and increased our hopes of watching the King of Jungle. We started early morning 6’o’clock and it was 3 hour safari in open jeep. Wow it was such a beautiful chilly dark winter morning when the sun was about to rise in the sky hence was more refreshing and pleasant that boosted our energy high. We started with our driver & guide who were narrating episodes of lion that was making us more and more excited. After half an hour we got to see lioness that had hunted buffalo and was having her breakfast with her cub. The smell of meat had spread in the atmosphere and all the jeeps waited patiently to see her. There she was omg so huge! On our route we got to see various wild species and we were so lucky that we got 2 lionesses playing at a distance long from the one we got to see first. People were so excited that they shouted with excitement seeing them play irrespective of the rules of not to shout that resulted in lion ran to deep trees and jeeps standing behind us could not see them. We did not have a chance to see Lion as our guide said he was resting 2 kms away from lioness as he was little injured being involved in a fight last night. This way, it was a fantastic safari experience at Sasan Gir.

Fill your life with experiences not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show. Take vacations, you can always make money but you can’t always make memories. Traveling is always a widely fulfilling and exciting experience.  I am sharing pictures from our camera of the trip , Will soon share our official photography website link.By the time ‘Happy Reading’ !

Adalaj Vav
Sabarmati Riverfront

Sidi sayed mosque
Somnath Temple
Dwarka Temple
Leopard on the top of tree

Lioness (Devaliya) Day one safari
Lioness walk(Day two safari)
Bet Dwarka


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