Tuesday, September 25, 2012

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Land of Gandhi - Gujarat



Here I am back with a trip I took around 3 years ago in December of 2009. In the winter break, I was visiting home from my MBA school and it was then we planned a good short family trip to the land of Gandhi - Gujarat !!
The first city we landed in was the city of Ahmedabad, a metropolitcan city and former capital situated on banks of Sabarmati River. I had been to this city a number of times but this time it was different. The entire family together in a holiday mood was a different feel altogether and enthusing in itself.
The first place we visited was the  Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya which is a memorial built to preserve the memories of our father of nation - Mahatma Gandhi. The place provided a glimpse into the life of the person respected most in this nation of over a billion people. We got to see the famous threat making equipment - "charkha", the wooden footwear - "khadau" and other numerous things used by him and it was indeed a good to gain a much deeper knowledge into life of such a great person than I ever had. Indeed the quote from him does keep ringing in my head -  "My life is my message" and I hope we do keep the message alive.
We visited a number of other local tourist spots around the city though none of which was as in-depth as the first one. The only other I remember profoundly is the Akshardham Temple. The grandeur and the architecture of the temple is simply overwhelming, of course along with the grand security arrangements. We ended the day with an entertaining musical fountain at the riverfront.
And there came in the next day with new opportunities and new places to visit and so we were on the road. This day was going to be exciting because of the wild life safari it was going to offer. It was the morning and we were off to the Gir Forests - the house of Asiatic Lions. It took some time to reach the gates of the sanctuary.  We took a short break the forest department's guest houses built up there. They were pretty decent facilities they had built out there. We then embarked on some nice open roof gypsy ready to take us on our safari. And off we went on our ride. The place offered a glimpse into the natural habitat of the being that we have always considered the king of jungles - The Lion the hindi translation of which comes to "Gir" .. the aptly named sanctuary. To add cherry to cake we were taken through herds of deer leaping back and forth through out the area and variety of vegetation all around. Gir was simply a house to rich flora and fauna which is preserved in their natural environment and protected from human destruction. No one felt like going back after that wonderful day.
Next day we visited some other places of tourist interest. There were some temples and parks on our list that we covered around. We finally landed in the city of Porbander - the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi. Yeah no matter where you go, you cannot be far from the influence of this great leader. Though he was not confined to this only state, but his aura was definitely evident in this part of the country. We got to visit the house where the he was born and nearby sites. Next day was going to be a long road trip on the scenic coastline.
We started next day early to get the maximum out of that lovely day. We drove on the coastal highway along the sea shore presenting amazing view. We took a good number of breaks on the way to get our feet inside the cool sea water. On the way we visited a grand temple - it was indeed grand for a temple by any scale. Broad staircases, vast gardens and an exhibition gallery were some of the things housed within this temple premises. The road trip ended in the city of Rajkot - well this city may have more significance other than influences of Mahatma. This humble writer of this blog was born here in this town city. We visited the railway hospital where I took my first breath and did some memorabilia shopping around the city. This was going to be the end of this awesome getaway and we boarded the train back. We were going to land home the next day and I was due back to school a week later.


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