Inside Vishala - the best restaurant I ever visited. Some know names having eaten here - Indira Gandhi, Mukesh Ambani, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar
The picture shows inside view of Vishala with my son in the picture. Yes, there are swings, village games, old village charm & awesome pure vegetarian food
End of Day 3 - Ended the day seeing so much in Ahmedabad and satisfying dinner. We drove back to Vadodara for a good night sleep.
Sorry guys, wanted to give the trip updates for the past 2+ years but not able to do it. At last I have started now. Here is the summary -
My wife & I had a long cherished dream to go around whole of Gujarat for the past 20+ years. We kept moving places but never realized the dream. Well, when it has to happen everything starts falling in place. After 4-5 months of planning in 2011, we were all set to go all out. Children vacation, my leave, hotel bookings, route map, key restaurants on the way everything was planned and documented, advances paid. The D-day came on 17th Dec 2011 and we concluded our journey of the following states - KA, MH, GJ, RJ, UP, BH, JH, WB, OR, AP in 18 days covering 8325 KMs to return on 3rd Jan 2012. The start of the trip had created doubts if we are going to have a safe trip without issues. But once we got past first 2 days, it was a trip to remember.
Day 04 Vadodara – Lothal – Rajkot – Junagadh Start – 9.30 am Stop - 6.30 pm KMs covered – 250 On the road for - 9 hours
We had stayed in "Prakruti Resorts" in Vadodara. I strongly recommend this to anyone travelling there. This is a huge resort but very reasonably priced. Provides good food and greenery all around. Had a good breakfast and started our day. We took it easy since we did not have to travel much today. This was the day to visit historic site of India - Lothal.
We are found of visiting places that shows India’s wonderful history. Lothal and Dholavira (described in detail later) are two such Harappan sites history lovers should not miss. There is NH8 parallel to NE-1 that goes from Vadodara to Ahmedabad. This is undivided highway but ok. We took it till Vasad to turn left onto State highway. We took this state highway passing Borsad and Vataman onto Bagodara Vataman link road. At one point you get a small sign board to turn right for Lothal. We a bit surprised to see the only sign. Well this area of Gujarat is quite peaceful and Lothal props up from nowhere. There are no villages or habitats nearby except a small Archaeological Survey of India museum at the site. There aren’t any guides either. Photography in museum is not allowed. You can see the beads, pottery and other items belonging to Harappan civilization some 5000 years old. I was very impressed with the perforated jar they used to make to hold the light inside.
From Lothal we started for Rajkot to have lunch. Well, we had identified a restaurant but could not reach before lunch time got over. By the way, Rajkot has small and busy roads. So, we decided to move to our final destination of the day – Junagadh. This city has an old fort and history from 15th century. It is not a very clean city but we were glad to find that the hotel ‘Harmony’ we chose in front of bus stand was very neat and clean. This was end of our Day 4 of the trip.
BTW, If you visit Lothal please see the ASI museum first before walking to the site. This will give you much better understanding of the ancient era.
Good thing about Junagadh. We had booked in hotel Harmony which is on the 3rd or 4th floor of a commercial complex right in front of bus stand. My family was very hesitant to get into the complex thinking what kind of hotel can there be in a bus stand. Well, it turned out to be very good, tastefully decorated rooms, clean interiors and comfortable. I would love to stay there again if I ever visit Junagdh.
That was end of day 4. Day 05Junagadh – Somnath - Veraval – Junagadh Start - 9.30 AM Stop Time - 6.00 PM KMs covered - 250
This was a day to cover some more important places in India’s history. We were all excited to see Somnath temple which is about 90 km from Junagadh. The NH8E takes you almost all the way to Somnath. We had read how Md Gajni had destroyed this temple 14 times and imagined we will be able to see that somehow. To our surprise we could not see any of that but a temple at western corner of Gujarat. After the temple visit we decided to return since there wasn’t anything else to do there. Moreover, they do not allow you to take pictures. We came back and went to see the Junagadh fort, Ashoka edicts, Adi-kadi-vav. It is interesting to see how they used to store water even during summer. You go down hundreds of steps in a cool place where water is stored. We took the day for some relaxation and stayed in the hotel for the evening to start afresh for next exciting day of the trip.