This is the 1st part of the Gujarat trip, covering Ahmedabad, historic site Lothal and the Blackbuck Sanctuary in Velavdar (near Bhavnagar). Initial content is taken from my Facebook posts and reviews in another site on 12-Jan-2016. I will be enhancing this to add a proper flow to the narrative.
Sabarmati Riverfront: Great Development
Talk to the locals to understand how these areas have been transformed. It is amazing to see what India can do to such spaces. I viewed these areas from the Sabarmati Ashram and it was pretty hot to venture out. Probably an early morning or late evening walk would be a better choice.
Sabarmati Ashram: Serene
A very nice place to have a leisurely view. There are ample trees and view of the Sabarmati river. There are Bapu’s original accessories, write-ups on Dandi march and several portraits.
Gujarati food is a must to try everywhere – there are several flavours across the state. There are similarities to Rajasthani as well as its uniqueness. Chaas (buttermilk) is something I liked and had repeats almost everywhere. You can find restaurants with a range of ambience. We tried the ones with local flavour.
Adalaj Ni Vav (Step-well): Cools you down
We reached here when it was extremely hot outside. There are a few beggars and touts outside – I wish this can be avoided. But once inside, within minutes this place cools you down 🙂 Just like a temple, people automatically lowered their voices. And as you step down, you can feel the temperature drop by a few degrees. There was a guard at the bottom – possibly to avoid people from throwing things into the water. The water seemed very calm. Don’t miss the views from the top. I ventured out even though it was quite hot.
Please visit the museum first. Entrance was free for kids and Rs. 5 for adults. They have excavated artefacts, pictures, and history (get a free brochure from there). The museum gives a better perspective of what you are about to see. Its truly amazing that they had artificial canals, water and waste system, burial systems and so many advanced capabilities nearly 5000 years ago. Please view YouTube documentaries about IndusValley Civilization – you will be blown away. A walk around various areas in the site will tell you many stories – they have signboards throughout the site to help you navigate on your own. Despite the heat, I got an energy boost by just the awesomeness …
Velavadar: Blackbuck National Park: Unique experience
If you are on the road from Ahmedabad to south Gujarat (Somnath, Gir) or even Diu, this may be a good point on the way. They have guest-houses within the park, but we decided to stay in Bhavnagar. Velavdar park, is an enclosed area, and we paid an entrance fee of Rs. 1300 for a van. I think this includes a guide fee of 200 and camera fee of 100 – not sure. The guide explains about the colours of the blackbuck and also shows you various types of birds in this area.
To be continued in Part 2 – covering Southern parts including Gir, Somnath and Junagadh.