A truncated Complete Tour of Gujarat


A true traveler does not have a fixed itinerary

Day 16, 17: (02, 03 Feb 2015):

Adalaj & Sabarmati in Ahmadabad

Back to Home-Sweet-Home

(Note: If you have come to this page while searching for some travel related information of Gujarat, I suggest you start from Page 1 of this travelogue)

As said earlier, we wanted to tour the entire state. However due to shortage of time, we were forced to skip some more places. I am listing out those places here. This is only to benefit those people, who want to make their own itinerary based on our travelogue. You may decide to include these places or leave few/some/all among these. These places are in the order in which they have to be covered.

I have not included the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar (AMD-GN) circuit in this list. It is the state capital region, and can be covered separately also. It might require 2-3 days to see all the places in this circuit, as the traffic in this circuit is more.

So, now on to other places.

Places that we skipped; and truncated our TOTAL GUJARAT tour:


{Becharaji has the temple of Bahuchar Mata, an incarnation of the Mother Goddess. Pilgrimages are undertaken to this site for vows fulfilled and boons granted. 'Bahuchar Mata' is the patron goddess of the women folk who invoke her intervention in domestic violence and problems within the family. The goddess is also principle deity of transvestites and eunuchs who flock here large numbers to seek the blessings of the goddess.

Ph: 02734286317, 09428460682; Time: 0600-12:00, 1500-2100. Source - Internet}

Ghantakarna Mahavir Temple:

{Mahudi is a village near the river Sabarmati. The main temple of Ghantakarna Mahavir was built around Vikram Savant 1980. Acharyadev Buddhi Sagarsurisvarji was inpired in a dream and drew a figure of Ghantakarna Mahavir with bow and arrow and an idol was carved accordingly. In this shrine there is another larger temple with a 22-inch marble idol of Bhagawan Padmaprabhu sitting in padmasana posture, installed by Acharyadev.

Tel: 02763 284625. Accommodation is available here. Source - Internet}

Shri Idar Tirth:

{Shree Pavapuri Jal Mandir Tirth in Idar, Sabarkatha is an exact replica of Bihar's world famous Pavapuri Jal mandir. Shree Pavapuri Jal Mandir covering an area of 20,000 sq. feet is surrounded by Beautiful Ranitalav covering an area of 110 sq mt, and is linked with 800 feet long and 11 feet wide bridge. Lord Mahavir's main mandir is 72 feet long, 72 feet high and is built on 72 stambhs. Height of Lord Mahvir's Idol is 72 cms, surrounded by 72 Carved Figures. Source - Internet}

Shamlaji Temple:

{Shamlaji is one of the largest pilgrim temples of the Sabarkantha district. It is more commonly known among locals as "Dhodi Dhwaja Vada" because it always has a white silk flag flittering on top of temple. Their unique design on the outer part of temple is one of its greatest attractions; the image becomes more interesting with the mountains in the background. The temple has a beautiful sculpture of Lord Krishna as Shamdiya bhagwan, with a piece of real diamond embossed on his chin. The Shamlaji Temple stands in honour of Lord Vishnu. The magnificence of the temple is enhanced by exquisite stone carvings, idols of gods, nymphs, musicians and celestial dancers, beautiful domed ceilings and a toweing spire.Scenes from the epic stories "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana" grace the walls of this 16th- century temple.

Time: 0600 - 1200; 1400 - 2030. Ph: 09974335693. Source - Internet}

Balasinor - India's Jurassic Park:

{In the early 1980s, palaeontologists stumbled upon dinosaur bones and fossils during a regular geological survey of Balasinor in Kheda District. Since then excavations have thrown up a veritable trove of dinosaur remains - eggs, bones, a skeleton which is now kept in a Kolkata museum - bringing hordes of scientists and tourists to the place. Piecing together the evidence in Balasinor, researchers now believe that Gujarat is home to one of the largest clutch of dinosaur hatcheries in the world. At least 13 species of dinosaurs lived here, possibly for more than 100 million years until their extinction some 66 million years ago. The soft soil made hatching and protecting eggs easier for the animals. So well-protected are the fossilised eggs found here that many researchers call them the best-preserved eggs in the world after the ones found in Aix-en-Provence in France. Source - Internet}

Ambaji temple:

{Ambaji temple is an old temple in Balasinor, which is worth a visit. This temple is quite close to the Balasinor Fossil Park. Source - Internet}

Hot Water Spring:

{The Hot Water Springs at Tua & Timba is on the Ahmedabad-Godhra highway, just before Godhra 15-20 km away. You have to take right turn when you see signboard of Timba village. It is known for hot water springs that contain sulphur which is said to have medicinal value, miraculous cure for arthritis and rheumatism. You can easily bath here in hot water. Dense forest area is starting from here. Source - Internet}


{Panchmahal refers to the five sub-divisions namely - Godhra, Dahod, Halol, Kalol and Jhalod that were transferred by the Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia Gwalior to the British. The history of Panchmahals district revolves around the city of Champaner. It was established in 7th century (647) in the territory of King Vanraj of Solanki dynasty. In the 13th century, Chauhans acquired the city from Muslim rulers under Alauddin Khilji. There are over 20 UNESCO certified world heritage structures in Champaner and Pavagadh hill combined. Pavagarh hosts a temple of Kalika mata, whose holy shrine attracts about two million pilgrims per annum. Source - Internet}

Godhra :

{One of the religious places in India, Godhra has four temples for Vaishnav Sampraday (Vaisnal community), two temples for Lord Gokulanathji, and one each for Lord Gusaiji and Lord Mahaprabhuji. Source - Internet}

Jama Masjid:

{The Jami Masjid is the most elaborate of all the heritage structures in Godhra, Champaner. The pinkish hue of Jami Masjid is from the sandstone used in its construction. The East side has a porch with a perforated stone screen. Intricately carved pillars, domes and arches with Islamic as well as Hindu motifs make it a stand out structure. Outside the masjid, there is a tank which resembles Suryakund at Modhera as its steps leading to water are similar to those at Modhera. Visit to Jama Masjid is a must to understand how the Sultan employed local material and men to construct the Masjid even though the artesans were conversant with only Hindu and / or Jain temple architecture. (This is a less crowded place) Source - Internet}

Juni Masjid:

{Juni Masjid (JamiMasjid?) is in the Champaner complex of sites. This masjid is quite near to bus stand and can be reached in just 10 minutes by own vehicle. Built in the year 1508-09 by Mehmud Begda, Jami Masjid stands truly large and magnificent till date and is considered the most prominent structure in Champaner. It encloses an area of 72 Meters by 60 Meters with a huge courtyard, arcaded corridors with 52 pillars, 62 windows with Jali work on the outer walls and 3 entrance pavilions in the center of its east, north and south walls. 33 meter high minarets adorn each side of the main entrance and prayer hall and four minarets at the corners are half its height. Notice the most prominent design i.e the Flower, Foliage motif and the Pot design, which probably was indicative of the confluence of Islamic architecture and Hindu craftsmanship. Source - Internet}

Also Visit:

Kevada Masjid, Lila Gumbaj ki Masjid, Nagina Masjid at Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Champaner, India


{Made popular by the Oscar nominated Bollywood movie Lagaan; Champaner is around 50 km away from Balasinor. This small village is home to some 1000-yr old well-preserved Hindu and Jain temples. There are a number of mosques, forts and palaces as well. In 2004, Champaner was declared the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Source - Internet}

Pavagadh Hill:

{Pawagadh has following main places to see: Pawagarh Temple on the Hill top; Fort in foothill; Forest in the surrounding area. Pavagadh is strongest hill fortress, where Kaalikaa Mata Temple is situated. The old fort of Champaner, the medieval capital of the Gujarat, is located at the southern part of the Pavagadh hill.

A Passenger Ropeway (Tel: 02676 245649, 245650, 293415, 09909925026, 09909925045) is operating from Manchi (ground station) to the hill top near the Maha Kalika Temple. Time: 6am to 6pm. After getting down from Ropeway and further climbing 250 steep, we reach to the Mahakali temple. Teliya Talav and Dudhia Talav are on the way. Some Jain temples are also seen here. Source - Internet}


A true traveler does not have a fixed itinerary

:D In the company of BAD people: :D

In this final two days we must cover around 1600 kms to reach our home. I was confident that we can do it during day time driving. And even if we are a bit late also, there was not much to worry, because we are heading back.

While I was thinking of the route back, MKR had other ideas. :) He was a good person before the start of the tour... But due to the bad company of mine for the past 15 days, he was completely spoiled.... :). I came to know about that once we started our return journey.

You all know how kids play. When they are playing Cricket on the streets, you call them inside the house. All of them will say, ‘Pappa, one last over’. And you know that, that last over will never be bowled so soon. Why only kids, take the adults also. When they are playing rummy with a pack of cards, if the Madam calls for dinner, prompt comes the reply ‘Hai, last game’. And you know, that ‘last game’ never gets over ever.

I thought that Mehsana was our 'last place'. But our ‘last place’ was not ready to die down so easily. MKR wanted to visit one more place en route.

MKR – I had seen the Chinese Premier and Modi in the Sabarmati River Front (SRF), when he came to AMD. I just want to visit this only one last place before we return back.
BPB – Ok, that is fine with me. I don't have any problem. But your office staff might scold me. Even your wife might scold me that I have spoiled you.

MKR – Not like that. I am confidant that we can visit this place and still return back before tomorrow night. But I have a bigger complaint against you.
BPB – What?

MKR – You have made my future tours less attractive now.
BPB – How come, why?

MKR – You see, you showed me the Gujarat state first in my series. I am so overwhelmed by this tour, that in future any state tour will pale into comparison with my first tour.

Yes, MKR is perfectly correct in his analysis.

He had this urge to see few more places. That is known as 'fire'. And I was there like 'ghee'. You know what will happen when ghee is poured over fire, it becomes inferno.

Soon we were nearing AMD and at the same time the inferno also started.

I noticed the road sign 'Adalaj Step Well' (ASW) while nearing AMD. I checked the GMaps, and found out that ASW is just 1 km from our 'current location'. So we decided to take a detour, and went to ASW.

It was just 7.30 am, and ASW was not yet opened to public. So we decided to finish our breakfast quickly. We went to a nearby 'chowk' and had our last breakfast of Gujarat. It was a typical Gujarati breakfast. Even though we were within the city limits of Gujarat, we could not locate proper hotel for our breakfast. We had a quick bite and returned back to ASW. By this time, it was opened. And we went in.
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A true traveler does not have a fixed itinerary
Adalaj Step Well:

{The Vav (step-well) at Adalaj derives its name from the lady patron, Ruda, wife of the Vaghela chief, Virsinh; who built it in the 15th or 16th century. The Vav, laid out in the north-south direction, has a total length of 75.3 metres. It has three entrance stairs leading to the stepped corridor. These three entrances meet in the first storey, underground, in a huge square platform. The platform rests on 16 pillars, on the corners, and two in front of each side. The four corners of the platform are marked by four built-in shrines, with doors, windows, balconies.

The corridor is entirely surrounded by a one-metre high parapet with a rounded topping. It descends with four pavilion towers for five storeys. The walls of the Vav are veritable show cases of sculptures and ornamentation. String-courses running along the side walls embellish all parts of the structure, sometimes dividing the wall into horizontal sections.

The intricate floral patterns, which are a part of the Islamic style, can be seen in harmony with Hindu symbolism, which includes depiction of animal and human forms. The profusely carved pillars on different levels of this step-well show strong Hindu and Jain influences, while the ornamentation at a number of places in this monument are influenced by mosques and mausoleum halls of the 15th-16th century Gujarat Sultans.

Openings in the ceilings above the landing enable light and air to enter the well. However, direct sunlight never reaches the flight of steps or landings except for a brief period at noon as the inner ceilings are arranged to receive the sunlight through these openings. The main attraction of this step-well is the pool of water at the lowest level.

In the vicinity of the well are graves of the six masons who were instrumental in erecting it. It is believed when Mohammed Begda asked them if another vav was possible, they replied in the affirmative. This proved to be their undoing and they were instantly put to death. Perhaps that is why the Adlaj step-well stands unrivalled till today. Source- Internet}

We went inside the Vav and took photos. No, i am not going to compare this ASW with RKV. It is not right on my part to compare each and every master piece. I will be doing injustice to those people if I start doing the comparison. You just go and see the Vav. This is also a wonderful place which one must see while in AMD.


Adalaj Step well, from top to bottom


Adalaj Step well, from top to bottom


Adalaj Step well, from top to bottom


A panoramic shot in the middle floor


And finally the actual Well, covered with a mesh grill

From ASW we started going towards Sabarmati River Front. Then GMaps told us that the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram is on the way to the SRF. In fact both of them are on either side of the river bank. This is known as inferno. “After seeing Dandi and Porbandar in our Gujarat tour so far, one should not skip the Ashram”, I said. The Ashram was just opening, and we were just in time. So without wasting any time, we went in...


A true traveler does not have a fixed itinerary

Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram:

{Sabarmati Ashram was once house of Mahatma Gandhi. Founded in 1915, it is the biggest tourist attraction in Ahmedabad. It lies on the tranquil stretch of the Sabarmati River and was referred to as the Satyagraha Ashram during the lifetime of the Mahatma. From here Mahatma began his famous 'Dandi March' in 1930 to protest against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. One can see the three wise monkeys and many more of Gandhiji's teachings at the ashram premises. The ashram today continues the work started by Mahatma and houses a handicrafts centre, a handmade paper factory and a spinning wheel factory. Source- Internet}


Sabarmati Ashram from out side


One more building from out side


Original Gandhi’s original Chakra


:)) Duplicate Gandhi :)) learning the weaving in Chakra


Neat, clean and free toilets in Sabarmati Ashram… Did Modiji’s Swach Bharat Abhiyan started from here?

Few years back I had been to Wardha where Mahatma's another beautiful ashram is housed. Some photos of Wardha for your reference.


Sevagram, Wardha in Maharashtra (Pic taken in 2009)


Another photo of Wardha

We finished the Ashram round very quickly and went to SRF, which is on the opposite side of the River. In fact it is visible from the Ashram also....


A true traveler does not have a fixed itinerary
Sabarmati River Front:

{It is being developed by the Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL) funded by GOI. The responsibility is to develop approximately 10.4 km stretch along the river in the city. The project has encountered several delays due to concerns regarding water level, flooding, rehabilitation of displaced slum dwellers and met with severe opposition from activists involved with slum rehabilitation. However the project is substantially completed. Source- Internet}

There is a saying – 'Man proposes and God disposes'. That is what happened at SRF. Today is Monday, and the SRF is closed on Mondays. It is our bad luck. However we were able to see the gardens from the gaps in between the compound wall grills. We also took some photos.


Sabarmati River Front


Sabarmati River Front


The beautiful garden at SRF

It was nearing 10 am. And finally we decided to pour Sabarmati water over our inferno. We decided to end our Gujarat tour, and say 'bye – bye' to AMD. With all sweet memories, we left AMD...


A true traveler does not have a fixed itinerary
Bye Bye Gujarat:

The traffic of the city was choc-a-block, but it is all part-and-parcel of any city; and we are not new to such things. We soon maneuvered the traffic using our skills, and entered the Expressway to Vadodara. There after we took NH 8 to enter Maharashtra. We had our last Gujarati lunch, and departed from Gujarat with a heavy heart.

We reached Thane in the evening. We took by-pass road to Panvel, and entered Pune Expressway. When we reached Pune, it was around 9 pm. The roads are not in good condition. So we went to the outskirts of Pune on the city by-pass road and halted at Hotel Amantran, BM Road, Pune (Rent Rs 600/, 09890885532)


Today's route map from GMaps

Total distance covered: 774 kms...


A true traveler does not have a fixed itinerary
03/02/2015: Jowar Rotti Lunch at Dharwad:

The Lodge - Hotel Amantran was next to some Industrial Area. And there was some guillotine machine running throughout the night. So we could not sleep properly. We left the room in the early morning. And soon we were at Kolhapur. We thanked Goddess Mahalakshmi for all her blessings for the safe tour till now.

And soon we were inside Karnataka. Once we entered Karnataka, getting Idli Vada was not a big deal. We finished our breakfast and drove on. By around 12 noon, we were in Belagavi.

What is the fun in a drive, if there are no thrills? While eating Mawa at Khavda, I had told about Belagavi Kunda to MKR. So we decided to buy some Kunda for our family. We searched the internet, found out a nearby shop off the highway. And using the GMaps, we went there. See the life is so easy with the help of these modern day gadgets. The whole job got over in less than 15 minutes.

We were back in the highway and proceeded towards Dharwad. It was nearing 2 pm and time for lunch break. MKR wanted to have North Karnataka Jowar Rotti meals. I told him that we must enter the Hubli-Dharwad city for this, and due to traffic and parking problems we might waste lot of time. He also agreed.

But again, what is the fun, if there is no thrill. I decided upon a grand idea. We were nearer to High Court bench of Dharwad. I have shown you this on our first day of the tour.


We went to the gate, and the security officer stopped us.

Whom do you want to meet Sir?
We want to meet our lawyer.

Who is your lawyer, what is his name?
(in fact we never expected this question from anybody).. Su..Su..Suresh… Suresh, his name is Suresh

Quite funny, you don’t know your lawyer’s name. Are you Govt employees?
No, we are private people. We have come from Bengaluru.

Ok, make an entry in the register, park your vehicle in the ground floor, and then you can meet your lawyer.
...I thanked God for the presence of mind, and followed his instructions.

MKR was puzzled about what I was doing.... We went to the Canteen in the Court complex. It was a neat and clean building. I was 100% confidant that we can get Jowar Rotti meals here. And God did not disappoint us. We got a highly subsidized but tasty lunch there. We finished the lunch and thanked all the staff members.

And now you know the different reasons for which people visit High Court buildings :):)....(This is not intended to make fun of the judiciary. We have high respect for all such institutions)

We resumed our journey towards Bengaluru and reached our home safely by around 9 pm.

Total distance covered: 841 kms....


A true traveler does not have a fixed itinerary

OK... How much did it costed us for this tour?

Before I complete my travelogue in the next page, I have a simple question for you. Of course, you also will be interested in that. Let me first give you the clue...

1. A typical Kutch tour of 3-4 days, consisting of 2-3 tourist circuits will cost around Rs 30,000/ per head. This excludes the to-and-fro journey tickets. And if you want to see the Vighakote border, then add another 3-4,000/ per head.

2. We have covered around 7000 kms in the tour. We went in an AC car. Considering Rs 10/ per KM for an AC car, the rent for the taxi alone would have been around Rs 70,000/

So now my question is “how much money we have spent for this tour?

I know, you also will be interested in this. Before you read the answer in the next and final page, make a wild guess and then proceed further......
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This is an Incredible Journey and even Fascinating T'Log Sir....Thanks for Enlightening us about #Stambheshar and Nishkalank Mahadev Temple...Added as Destinations for my Gujarat Coastal Drive

Have reached till #Day10...Will explore the rest later...
Thanks !!!