Day #5 - Junagadh - Rajkot - Kandla - Mundra

Monday, September 26, 2011

Checking out of the Junagadh Harmony Hotel we had to drive thru the entire city before we hit the highway that would take us towards Rajkot and finally to Mundra.

Junagadh is apparently famous for the tie-and-dye "bandhini' skills of the locals as we were passing along the town we could see loads of 'pure white' cloth and a few miles later the bandhini sarees being laid out o dry on the cricket ground of the local school.

I must take a moment to talk about the cows in Gujarat. There are hundreds of them and they all seem to be sitting on the National Highways - mind you they seem to avoid the (better) State Highways! Apparently there is a law in Gujarat against the slaughter of cows and even against harming them in any way - including prodding or pushing or touching them to try and get them off the road... as a result they are everywhere and they are so terribly insensitive to the traffic - they don't care a damn!

And Prabha being Prabha she took pity on them, connected with a few cows, spiritually and found out why they were on the road and not in the fields or grasslands and pastures as one would have expected... and they told her - " all the fields are flooded... we cannot go there so we have no choice but to sit in the middle of the National Highways which are nice and dry!"

After that we stopped honking our horn at these poor 'holi' creatures and tried to navigate our way around them, as were all the rest of the people of Gujarat!

At Rajkot we were told that the best place to get a proper Gujarati meal would be at Thaker's  - after a little bit of searching we found the place and we were really glad we stopped by - for the best Gujarati meal in our whole trip - authentic and tasty!

Seeing us enjoy the meal the proactive owner Gopal who was going around making sure everything was in order stopped at our table and explained the dishes - and since he gave us such useful insights into the gastronomical delights of Gujarat we decided to give him some gyan on Public Stem cell Banking - and 10 minutes later Gopalji as well informed of the latest scientific developments in the world!

Our next stop for the day was in what is sometimes referred to as the armpit of Gujarat - the place where the Little Rann and the Great Rann of Kutchh meet. Just as expected it was flooded at this time of the year and the winds were so intense we could hardly stand... as is evident from the hair "blowing in the wind"!

Incidentally the Rann refers to the salt marsh which forms a part of the Thar desert in India. It is mostly located in the Kuchh district of Gujarat. Here is some info for the quiz-bugs who may be reading this - Kuchh district is the second largest district in the country (next only to Leh, J&K)

As we moved along another of the 'longishly names highways' towards the port town of Kandla we noticed that the only 'water free' par to the terrain was the highway - the entire Rann was flooded.

The port town of Kandla was created in the early 50's to compensate for the loss of Karachi to Pakistan and has been the hub of exports and imports for a along time in this region. Lots of smaller ports have since cropped up along the Gujarat coast but Kandla remains the largest. The traffic of container lorries (here and at Mundra) in and out of the port was a sight to see and took up a lot of time... but thankfully they were all supportive of letting 'private vehicles' pass.

In fact at one of the longest back-ups of trucks we counted 1000 trucks - almost 12kms long!

At Mundra we stayed at Shiv Nautica - which was a favorite for "business and foreigner clients who have work at the port - no tourists" according to the manager. The Chinese food here was supposed to be good so we decided to give a break to our compulsion to taste local gastronomical offerings and went with the chinese - and yes... it was very good! In fact the entire


Unknown said...

Very beautiful blog! Gujarat is really very attractive place for tourists. In Gujarat, Rajkot is one of the most interesting and attractive city. It has lots of destinations for sightseeing like Rotary Dolls Museum, Funworld Rajkot, Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary, Race Course Grounds, Kaba Gandhi No Delo, Watson Museum, ISKCON Rajkot, Sri Sri Radha Neelmadhav Dham, Ishwariya Temple, Aji Dam Garden and Khambhalida Buddhist Caves etc . You can enjoy at all these places by car rental services or taxi services in Rajkot. While travelling in Rajkot you can also rent a car for local & outstation visit.

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