Exploring the Land of the Legends

In April, I went on a three-day trip with my family to Gujarat. Gujarat is a great state to visit as it offers many interesting places to visit. It is the home to many important temples and forts. 

Day 1

After enduring the pain to wake up at 5:30 am, I got ready to catch the morning flight to Gujarat. In an hour or two, we reached the airport. After the usual processes, I reached Terminal 3. It was the first time I had gone through it. Going through it was a significantly better experience compared to the other terminals I had gone through in the past. Most of the initial part of T3 was completely carpeted and a magnificent marble sculpture was placed along the way.

I utilized my flight time reading the Vistara magazine but I found it to be spammed with ads. I remembered my time in an Indigo flight. It had a better magazine with much more meaningful content and fewer ads. But the general flight experience of Vistara was significantly better than the Indigo one.

In about an hour, we reached the destination airport. After eating and resting for a bit, we started sightseeing. We set out to see a stepwell. It was magnificent. Its first glimpse satisfied me. It was in great condition and you could easily observe the meticulous details in it. There were abundant opportunities there to click amazing shots. Take a remarkable shot utilizing the stairs or the pleasing symmetric design of the place, it's up to you. We spent quite a time there. Just beside the stepwell was a small temple. After visiting the temple, we relieved ourselves with sugarcane juice.

Stepwell Picture
Top view of the stepwell
A closer look at one of the designs

We went for lunch at a place called the Dada Sahib Bhawan. The food there was good. There you get unlimited authentic, hygienic, and affordable Gujarati food. Seeing the dishes I had my fears. I believed I wouldn't like them. But when I started eating them, they turned out to be good. After having lunch, we headed to Science City.

We had taken an auto-rickshaw to reach there. During the whole auto journey, the hot wind and the scorching heat inflicted excruciating pain on everyone. All the way we complained to each other. What an interesting way to use your commute time!

Science City was amusing. Even though we didn't have the time to explore it completely, I was pleased and inspired by it. Visitor fee was around Rs. 20 per person. First, we went to the theatre. The movie we watched was Born to be Wild. It revolved around the lives of two animal preservationists. It was good. After that, we went to another building which had science exhibits. The building's ground floor was called The Hall of Space. It had exhibits telling about the journey of mankind into space. The first floor was called The Hall of Science. It was entertaining as it had many interactive setups. They were organized topic wise. At one place there were experiments related to mechanics and at another place related to optics. After spending some time tinkering and observing the exhibits, we headed out. We had about an hour before our train was to reach our station so went to the nearby Kanni Lake to spend the time. A ticket of Rs. 13 per person leads you inside. Sit by the lakeside, take a motorboat, have fun toying around with your friends or siblings in a plastic sphere floating in the lake or just rent a bicycle (tricycle or/and quad-cycles were also available). There was also a zoo further inside. After rejuvenating ourselves, we headed to the railway station to take our train which was destined for Dwarka.

Day 2

We reached Dwarka. Dwarka was the kingdom of Lord Krishna, a Hindu god. We went to see the Dwarkadhish Temple. A priest gave us a tour of the mandir and explained things in detail. After the darshan, we had breakfast at a place just outside the Mandir. After visiting the temple, we found an autorickshaw driver who could take us to visit the nearby important places. It turned out to be a very good decision to take his service. for visiting Beyt Dwarka, Rukmani Temple, and other places. Before going with the auto, my brother and I went to the nearby bridge to capture some shots.

It took about 20-30 minutes to reach Rukmani Temple. After going inside the temple, the priest there will tell you the great mythological story of the origins of the temple.

Rukmani Temple
Rukmani Temple

Now it was the turn to visit another important temple. The temple was part of Dwadash Jyotirling Temples i.e. 12 religiously important temples. After visiting the temples, we went to Beyt Dwarka. To reach Beyt Dwarka you will need to take a ferry. Beyt Dwarka is an island which was gifted by Lord Krishna to his childhood friend Sudama. We visited the main temple there. There also you would get to learn about the history of the temple from a priest. It was the place we visited the day and headed to the station.

Picture of ferry
A typical ferry at Dwarka

Day 3

Today was the day to visit the Somnath temple. It is an ancient temple which has a great history. We took an auto to reach the temple. It was a magnificent temple which had it one of its section completely covered my gold. It was situated on the shore so could lean on the exterior walls and feel the cool breeze and see the ocean to relax. After coming out of the temple, I went to the shore with my brother. It was optimally packed with people. I was relaxed by the cool breeze and the view of the ocean.

I had been wanting to visit a fort. Much to my delight, we went to see Uparkot Fort in the afternoon. There you have the option of having a car tour of the fort. We availed that and the car driver took us to the various important spots and explained the details in brief. At the top of the fort are old cannons. There is a 15+ floors deep stepwell there. From the very top, you can a view of the entire city. Uparkot Fort was the last location we visited.

Entrance of Uparkort Fort
Entrance of Uparkort Fort
Uparkort Fort
Uparkort Fort
Buddhist Caves at Uparkort Fort
Top of Buddhist Caves at Uparkort Fort
Buddhist Caves at Uparkort Fort
Inside Buddhist Caves at Uparkort Fort

In the early morning of the next day, we reached the airport and flew back to our city. It was a remarkable trip. The places we visited were great. I would recommend them all. Just remember to plan your trip when the weather is cooler at Gujarat.