Roaming amidst the Chapaner ruins – a day full of struggles

Chapaner, Gujarat

I was standing in the aisle of a crowded bus continuously wiping sweat off my face and tracking myself on the google map. A middle aged man taps me from the back and asks “Where are you going?”; “Where are you going?”-  a typical go to questions that we Indians ask to break ice and strike conversation with any stranger we meet while travelling. “Chapaner”, I said. The man grew more curious, “Which village?”. I didn’t have an answer to that. I replied “I am traveling to explore the ruins of Chapaner”. “Khandar !!!”, he replied Read more

Laxmi Vilas Palace at Vadodara: A royal heritage of the Gaekwads

Laxmi Vilas Palace

Think of any palace you have ever visited, how would you describe them? mesmerizingly elegant, royal, absurdly gigantic, an epitome of history and legacy. Now, what do they all have in common? a regal durbar, an ostentatious collection of jewels, an intimidating armoury, paintings. The Laxmi Vilas Palace has all these as well. So is it just another palace, there is certainly no dearth of them in India, or is it different and if so how. Now let me introduce the Laxmi Vilas Palace of Vadodara, erstwhile Baroda Read more

I conclude Char Dham yatra at Dwarkadheesh temple in Gujarat

Dwarkadheesh Temple, Dwarka

The melodies of a distant shenai are wafting in the air, I hear the drumbeats. I lift my head and I see a large maroon flag sweeping the blue sky. It’s striking, splendid; connoting majesty !!! There is a bustle around me, a sense of urgency, people are rushing in a direction. I join them. As I walk ahead, the drumbeats and the shenai melodies are getting more intense; now I hear the rhythmic beating of the cymbals and people clapping to match the tunes. I am standing at the far end of a queue that passes through a small entrance. I lift my head, raise on my toes and my eyes try to locate what’s at the end. I see a black diety in all its splendor. Read more

Nageshwar Mahadev at Dwarka: The 12th Jyotirlinga

Nageshwar Temple

Nageshwar or the Lord of Nagas is the 12th jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. This temple is located very close to the Dwarka town, the place where the iconic Dwarkadheesh temple is located. The devotees who visit Dwarka usually accommodate a short trip to Nageshwar in their itinerary. It takes about 30 mins to reach Nageshwar temple from Dwarkadheesh temple. Read more

Uperkot Fort and Mahabat Maqbara: The antics of Junagadh

Mahabat Maqbara

After an exhausting yet exciting day at Somnath, my next destination on the weekend trip was the old fort city of Junagadh. Junagadh, a small town in the foot of the Girnar hills, has an intriguing history spanning over two millenniums. The town has seen multiple change of regimes, some of them being laced with deceit and controversy before it was finally unified with India in yet another controversial move. Read more

Somnath: History, mythology & the 1st Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva

Somnath Temple

21st April, 2018; a fine dawn, I woke up for the nth time. I had been doing this for last 2 hours just to fall asleep each time. But this time before my eyelids could redo what they have been doing, I was hit with a strong pungent smell. As I looked around with dizzy eyes, everyone in the bus was struggling with the smell, either fanning their hands in front of their noses or covering it. I drew the curtains to look outside and saw factories lined up along the road. Read more