Skip to main content

Gujarat Diaries - 5

Overview: We had booked a safari at Devaliya Interpretation Zone at Gir at 9am. So we started from Diu at around 5:30am so that we could reach their on time. The distance from Diu to Sasan Gir is around 100kms so we kept a driving time of 3 hours and 30 mins buffer. We had some confusion on whether to book a 3 hour safari into the Gir forest or 1 hour safari to the Gir Interpretation Zone, where a smaller fenced area of Gir has been created so that more animals can be spotted. The decision proved good in the end after we spotted the Asiatic Lion, Jackal, Vultures, Wild Cat, Leopard and a few migratory birds. Spotting these animals in their natural habitat was a great experience early in the morning. It took around 1.5 hours from the safari starting point to return to the same place. The ticket cost is Rs 200 per head, and Rs 200 for camera. We had to pay an additional Rs 1900 for the gypsy.

Gir

Gir

From here, we headed to Junagadh, around 1.5 hours drive from here. We first saw the 3rd century Girnar Ashokan inscriptions. The rock is well protected in an enclosure, and contains the inscriptions of Ashoka, along with Rudradaman I and Skandagupta.

Girnar Ashokan inscriptions

From here, we went to the Uparkot fort, and first saw the Jama Masjid inside the fort, followed by the Buddhist caves. The Buddhist caves are 3 tiered, and date back to the 3rd century BC built in Satavahana style of architecture. Several carvings are worn out due to the age of the structure and some seem to be damaged during excavation.

Cannon at Uparkot Fort

Uparkot Caves

Uparkot Caves

There are other important monuments inside the fort, but we decided to skip the rest and headed towards Mahabat Maqbara, one of the most prominent structures in Junagadh. The elaborate structures in the complex were home to the Nawabs of Junagadh in the 19th century. The Mahabat Maqbara has its unique style of twisted minarets outside the main mausoleum.
We had the traditional Gujarati thali in Junagadh before we left the town.

Mahabat Maqbara, Junagadh

Next we went to the Khambalida Buddhist caves, and worth a visit for the Bodhisattva figures on either side of the main cave. The following is the description of the sculptors as per Wiki -
'On the left, the figure is probably Padmapani under Ashoka-like tree with a female companion and five attendants. There is a yaksha-like dwarf on the left of it holding a basket. The figure on the right is probably Vajrapani under Ashoka-like tree with similar attendants. The broad belts of female are similar to that of figures at Uparkot Caves of Junagadh. They are comparable to late Kushana-Kshatapa period sculptures elsewhere as well as features some late Andhra mannerism.[1] The caves are believed to have come into existence in the 4th or 5th century AD.'
Inside the cave is pretty dark and is also filled with bat droppings.
After admiring the caves, we headed towards Rajkot where we checked into our hotel.

Khambalida Buddhist Caves

Day 5: Diu - Sasan Gir - Junagadh - Khambalida Caves - Rajkot (270 kms)

Comments

  1. Visiting Gujarath is in my bucket list. Very beautiful photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a beautiful and lovely place. Loved the picturesque landscape, great historical sites and the long stretches of coastal lines.

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

The forgotten story of a migration: Nacharamma of South India

This is a story of Nacharamma (fictionised by me to some extent), which is not documented in any inscriptions or ancient texts, but has been told by the ancestors of the community, and also been researched by some historians like M Keshavaiah, Dr Pranarthiharan and a few others.

Overview: Around the early 17th century, the Pilgrims set to sail across the Atlantic to become the first settlers of America. Much before this, a small but no less interesting migration took place in the Southern India of a community called the 'Sankethis'.
It was the summer of 1420 CE, in a place called Sengottai, in Tamil Nadu, along the foothills of the Western Ghats bordering Kerala. The place was flourishing with knowledge of the Vedas where Agraharams were set up. One of the prominent communities of learned people was the Sankethi Iyer community, also known as Sangeethi, derived from the name of the place- Sengottai or Shankotta. Another theory says that they were  The group followed Adi Shankara…

Clock Towers of Bangalore

Overview: In the middle of the 18th century, when home clocks and watches were not so common, there was the practice of having huge clocks on top of iconic buildings or religious places having visibility from all the corners. Clock towers were in fashion all across the globe in the 18th to 20th centuries, and some of them had bells as well, which used to ring at every hour. Bangalore too, has had its share of clock towers, though the city has never been known for its clock towers. The iconic Clock tower once stood at the Russell Market in Shivajinagar, which no longer stands today as it was brought down sometime during the middle of the 20th century.
A few standing clock towers can be seen at the City Market, Baldwin Boys school, Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic, Central College, Police training grounds, St John's Church, Corporation office and the newly constructed towers at South End circle and Omkar Hills. Most of these clocks have been provided by HMT.

Know your neighbourhood-3: Madivala, Agara, Koramangala, Bellandur

Overview: Now famous for high rises, branded showrooms and startups, the villages of Madivala, Agara, Koramangala and Domlur are the villages which have seen an ancient past.

Madivala village was a flourishing agrahara under the Cholas and Hoysalas. There is an ancient Chola era temple, which was later expanded by the Hoysalas behind the road opposite to the Silk Board. This Someshwara temple is of high historical importance, with Tamil inscriptions all along the outer walls of the temple. The most important being the 1247 CE inscription which talks about the grants of some lands near the big tank of Vengalur (2nd inscription of the city name after the one in Begur). This inscription is by an official Pemmataiyar of Veppur (Begur) for the deity Sembeshwaram (Someshwara) at Tamaraikkirai (Tavarekere).

Agara is situated at the junction of the ORR and Sarjapura Road, and is in existance since the Gangas. A 870 CE Ganga inscription mentions about the fixing of sluices to 2 tanks (Agara Lake…