Gujarat Diary – A Missing Passenger

On the day of our return from Veraval to Ahmedabad, we boarded the train at 9 pm. When we entered our coach no body was there. We kept our luggage and indulged in chatting. After few minutes one middle aged man entered in our coach. I said hello to him. He smiled at me and started to keep his things below the seat.

We forget about his presence as we resumed our chatting . After few minutes a lot of passengers started coming to occupy the coach. As per schedule time train started. After half an hour or so we suddenly noticed that the middle aged man who came earlier not seen in the coach.

Since, Delhi has made us more security conscious, we were perturbed over his absence. We immediately inquired our fellow passengers whether they have seen that person. But everybody denied . We both got worried and feared too!

Almost one hour passed after the train started still there is no trace of that man. We started imagining worse things and started staring his luggage in suspicion.

When the Ticket Checking Staff came, we briefed him about the missing man and our possible worst scenario which bound to happen. But Ticket Checking Staff did not bother about our concern and moved to the next coach.

We could not able to sleep. We started indulging conversation with fellow passengers about the possible solutions. One passenger suggested that we can throw his luggage when the train reach next station. Another passenger suggested that we can open his luggage to check the contents.

While we were trying to find out some solution, suddenly the missing passenger appeared and we were all shocked to see him and of course got a sigh of relief. We were curious to know about his disappearance, he casually told us that he just went to see one of his colleague who was in the other coach without bothering about the scene he has created for the last one and half hours !

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Gujarat Diary – Somnath Temple

The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.  

It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat. Reconstructed several times in the past after repeated destruction by several Muslim invaders and rulers and Portuguese.

Standing on the coast of Arabian see , the temple look awesome. The moment we enter the temple a serene atmosphere enveloped us. We had a nice darshan of lord Shiva. I appreciate the temple administration for the facilities extended to the devotees and ensured that the devotees felt happy when they come out of the temple.

After having seen the fantastic light and sound show in Akshardham temple at Gandhi Nagar we had a chance to see equally awesome light and sound show in Somnath temple. Using temple gopuram (tower) as screen they presented the history of the temple in a colourful way with devotional music. See the glimpse of the show in this video.

Visit to Kankaria lake, Mahatma Mandir and Indrdo natural park

We visited Kankaria lake at Ahmedabad.  It is the second largest lake in Ahmedabad. A lakefront is developed around it, which has many public attractions such as a zoo, toy train, kids city, tethered balloon ride, water rides, water park, food stalls, and entertainment facilities. You can either stroll round or enjoy the beauty of the lake just sitting on the banks. It is a well maintained and very neat and clean and very good place for enjoying your evening hours.

  • Mahatma Mandir

Mahatma Mandir is a convention and exhibition centre as well as a memorial. It is inspired from life and philosophy of Mahtma Gandhi. It is one of the biggest convention centre of India. This memorial has got lot of rare photographs of Gandhi with audio guide.

Indrodo Natural Park

Indroda Dinosaur and Fossil Park is a precious treasure spread over an area of about 400 hectares on either bank of Sabarmati river in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. Indroda park is regarded as India’s Jurrasic Park, it is run by the Gujarat Ecological Education and Research Foundation (GEER), and is the only dinosaur museum in the country. The park consists of a zoo, massive skeletons of sea mammals like the blue whale, as well as a vast botanical garden. It also has a Wilderness Park which is home to innumerable species of birds, reptiles, hundreds of nilgais, langurs and peafowls in its vast forest.

Visit to Adlaj step well, Trinity Mandir and Vintage Car Museum at Ahmedabad

During our visit to Ahmedabad we went to see Adlaj Step Well which was built by a queen Rudabai in memory of her King Rana Veer Singh. It is an architectural beauty and worth a visit.

After that we also visited Trinity Mandir. The Trimandir is a magnificent two storey structure with a discourse hall on the ground floor and temple on the first floor. The entire structure, with a centre shikhar height of 108 feet, is set with intricate carvings on pink sandstone.

At Ahmedabad we visited one of the rare World Vintage Car Museum. It has got a great Collection of Vintage Cars from across the world, spread over a long time period. The cars appear too be well maintained, and I was told that all the vehicles are in running condition. I have never seen such a large collection of vintage cars anywhere.

Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad

While in school, I read lot about Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and at that time I never imagined that one day I will visit there. Our main aim to visit Ahmedabad was only to see Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram.

When we entered the Ashram we got goose pumps as the very feeling of our standing on the spot where Gandhiji stood once.

Gandhiji selected a place on the bank of the river Sabarmati. Gandhi used to remark, “This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for Truth and develop Fearlessness for on one side are the iron bolts of the foreigners and on the other, thunderbolts of mother nature.”

Gandhiji had driven all the major activities of independence as well as upliftment of the society from this Ashram. He stayed in the ashram for many years before he finally proceeded for a march to Dandi to break the salt law on 12 March 1930. Before starting the march to Dandi, Gandhiji declared that he will not return to the ashram before the independence of the country.

There are books, manuscripts and photocopies of his correspondence, photographs of Gandhiji with his wife Kasturba and other ashram associates, life size oil paintings and actual relics like his writing desk and spinning wheel.

After seeing Gahdhiji’s room we wondered how such a great leader led a very simple life and also inspired others to do the same.


Gujarat Diary – Vaishnodevi Temple

Vaishnodevi Temple at Katra in Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most significant Hindu temples in India. Devotees throng the temple with the faith that the goddess fulfills their wish and is considered to be one of the most sacred temples in India.

People take the tough trek of 12 km to Vaishnodevi in order to pay their obeisance to the goddess who is believed to fulfill all the wishes of their devotees.

We wish to visit Vaishnodevi Temple at Katra long time, but our wish has not been fulfilled yet. Fortunately when we visited Ahmedabad, we had a chance to visit Vaishnodevi Temple and felt the same feeling as if we visited the temple at Katra.
Vaishnodevi Temple of Ahmedabad is a true replica of the original Vaishno Devi temple of Jammu Kashmir and satiates the quest of devotees seeking a pilgrimage to the sacred Hindu temple. To give a real feel of the environment of the sacred temple, it has been set above a artificial hill.

A man made stone hill made out of yellow sandstone is in a circular shape that houses several beautiful carvings and sculptures of gods and goddess. Pilgrims have to go through the man made hill to reach the main shrine located at the top of the hill.

The only thing missing here is the monkeys !

Gujarat Diary – Water show at Akshardham temple in Gandhi Nagar

After landed at Gandhi Nagar, we went to see the Akshardam temple in the evening. Though the temple is beautiful, yet we were not impressed much as we have seen the Akshardam temple at Delhi which is far better than the one at Gandhi Nagar. But the light and sound show is incomparable and really outstanding.

As the sun sets, take your seat in the outdoor amphitheater and experience the enlightenment that is the Sat-Chit-Anand Water Show. Transport yourself to the land of death and watch fearless Nachiketa confront Yama, the God of Death, and ultimately receive from him the knowledge of immortality and eternal happiness.

The show is a breathtaking 45-minute presentation. It instantly captivates you with huge high water screen, multi‐color lasers, video and light projections, fireballs and underwater flames, water jets, and surround sound symphony. Come join the live actors as they take you through a journey aimed to inspire and enlighten. Experience first-hand an unparalleled multimedia interpretive performance. I have never seen such a amazing water show anywhere in the country. It was simply awesome to watch.

You meet the Nachiketa – a fearless and determined 9-year-old boy whose curiosity angers his father.

As a punishment, his father sends him away to Yamraj – the God of Death. Nachiketa arrives at the abode of Yamraj to learn that the God of Death is away on business. When mighty Yamaraj returns he is alarmed to see the young Nachiketa at his door and attempts to scare him away with earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, fire and thunderstorms.

Nachiketa remains unfazed through it all. Impressed by Nachiketa’s courage, Yamaraj offers him three boons. Selflessly, Nachiketa first asks for the restoration of his father’s peace of mind. He then asks for the knowledge of the yagna, a ceremony through which people attain divine wisdom. Lastly but most importantly, Nachiketa asks Yamraj to reveal the truth about life after death and the path to eternal happiness.

When earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, fire thunderstorms happens, the we the audience get the feeling that we are also standing in front of Yamraj.