Road Trip across Vibrant Gujarat - Temples, Wildlife, Beaches & the Rann

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
We settled in to our room at The Fern Residency, Vadodara and got freshened up. I wanted to start our Gujarat trip with some Gujarati snacks/farsan so went down and asked if there was any sweets shop around. I was pointed to a sweet shop right behind the hotel (in fact, it could also be seen from my room).

I did not know the names of the farsan items and my ignorance was obvious to the sweet shop employees. However, they were more than happy to help me.

I always thought that the very popular Dhokla (steamed cake) is yellow in colour and made from gram/chickpea flour. However that actually is called Khaman. Dhokla is a steamed cake made from rice flour and white in colour. Both are topped with a tadka or musturd seeds, dhaniya (coriander leaves) & grated coconut.

I got Dhokla, Khaman, Khandvi (roll made of gram flour and yogurt) & Patra (we call it aluwadi in Marathi. It is made from Taro leaves coated with gram flour, rolled and steamed.). These farsan items were cold, but tasted delicious along with the chutney given with it.

I wanted to visit the Laxmi Vilas palace in Vadodara, but it closes at 5PM and hence could not visit. While researching for places to see in Vadodara, I came to know about the EME temple which is a temple for religious tolerance and is run by the Indian Army authorities. After reading the reviews of the place, we had decided to pay a visit.

There is a lot of road contruction/repair work going on in Vadodara, so we were stuck in traffic although the distance from the hotel to EME temple was very less. By the time we reached, it was dark. The temple is located inside a cantonment area, and entry is strictly monitored. We were asked to park our car next to the entrance and get an entry pass to go inside. The army personnel asked many questions like "where are you from", "what is the purpose of visit", "which hotel are you staying" etc. and kept our PAN card before letting us inside. They asked us to take the PAN card on our way out.

EME Temple, often referred as the Dakshinamurti Temple, was built by the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) Corps. Featuring an unusually modern geodesic architecture, this temple is dedicated to Dakshinamurti, a form of Shiva as supreme teacher. It is run by Indian Army Authorities, and incorporates holy symbols of all religions in one place as they do not have separate places of worship for different faiths. Depicting army architecture, the aluminium structure of this temple is ringed by a garden featuring a rich collection of 106 ancient statues from the 6th to the 16th centuries. The statues are absolutely brilliant and no less than what you would expect to see in top museums all over the world.

This is uncommonly modern-looking temple, however, is built with holy symbols from various religions. The five main religions in India are represented by different symbols in the structure and design of EME Temple.

The ‘Kalash‘ on the top of the dome symbolizes Hinduism.
The ‘Dome‘ stands for Islam.
The ‘Tower‘ represents Christianity.
The ‘Golden-structure‘ above the tower represents Buddhism.
The ‘Entrance‘ of the temple stands for Jainism.

The EME temple houses an idol of Lord Shiva. The idol faces the south and is believed to impart his teachings to the world, facing that direction. The whole place is surrounded by acres of lush green peaceful environment drives you through a true holistic experience.

This is an ideal place of worship. Very well maintained by the Army and such beautiful, clean and peaceful surroundings. An absolute must visit when in Vadodara and an example of how a place of worship should be.

Photography is not allowed, so do not have any pictures to show. We were very happy to have visited such a unique temple and proceeded to the VIP road to have our dinner.

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Having seen nice reviews of "Raju Omelet Center" in the NDTV Goodtimes show "Highway on my Plate", we proceeded to Karelibaug, VIP road and found the place. There was a steady stream of people lined up to place their orders. The place does not have any seating but there are a few tables where you can stand and eat.

I ordered butter boiled tikka (something similar to egg masala with loads of butter), crushed bhurji & butter omelette. The dishes are served with small and very soft pav's which are dipped in butter.

Overall the food was ok, nothing great. We had ganna (sugarcane) juice afterwards at a stall next to Raju Omelet Center. There are quite a few food stalls next to each other around this area including dabheli stall. So a nice place to have street food.

We went back to the hotel and retired for the day. End of Day 1.

Some pictures of Raju Omelet Center.



Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
I had severe body ache and fever after reaching Jamnagar yesterday probably caused by exhaustion. Took complete rest in the hotel yesterday without going out anywhere. Fortunately, was carrying fever/flu medicine from our family doctor. Feeling good today morning and ready to proceed to Bhuj.

Unfortunately, this meant that I had to let go of my plan to visit Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary :(. I was raring to go today morning on feeling better, but was strictly warned by the better half against it last night. So did not raise the topic at all in the morning :).

But the good thing is that I am feeling much better and raring to continue with the journey. One has to put behind little disappointments in the larger interest and carry on :).