nndp87

Well-Known Member
D4 / 22nd January 2018 / Monday
Good Morning from Dholavira
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We all are early risers especially on trips, so we were all awake before sunrise. After small photo session of the hotel, we were ready to move for the day ahead. The plan was to touch Bhuj by 4 PM after covering few places en-route. So lets go.

Car Washing in progress
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Windmill made by children of School adjoining Flamingo Resort
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The Flamingo Resort
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Our next place of interest was Vrajvani Temple. Small story about the Temple.

Vrajvani Temple: The Story goes like this during a Janmansthanmi celebration an Ahir (caste in Hindu Religion) man took to play the dhol and 140 Ahir women, started dancing on the rhythm. It is said that the women kept dancing on the beats for days or even a week. It was like Raasleela of Lord Krishna with his Gopis. The above scenario angered the husbands of the Ahir community, who came over to ask the ladies to stop and get back home. It didn’t work, so one of the husbands beheaded the dholi (lord Krishna). Women couldn’t bear this so following his death, 140 women cremated themselves on his pyre. The temple compound has 140 stone slabs marking the positions and details of women who gave up there life. Inside the temple there are 140 statues of Ahir women bowing to Lord Krishna.

Sanctum of Temple
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The Statues of the womens who gave their life for dholi
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The stone you see on the left hand side is marking of the women who gave her life for dholi
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After a quick darshan at the temple we moved back to main road towards Rapar, slowly we passed by Rapar Town and moved towards Chitrod, Chitrod is the point where you touch the 4 laned state highway going towards Bhuj. Our next place of interest was Samadhi of Jesal and Toral, Anjar, From Chitrod one needs to touch Samkhyali thereafter Bhachau, If one wants to skip Anjar and directly wants to touch Bhuj, then leave state highway at Bhachau and directly proceed towards Bhuj. Samadhi of Jesal and Toral has a story behind it, so lets here it out.

Jesal Toral Samadhi: Jesal was a dacoit in 14th Century, he terrified people of Kutch. One day he came to know about Toral charming wife of Sanstiyaji and a saint poetess. He had a desire to snatch Toral away. Toral agreed to Jesal on a condition that he would give up wrong path and turn into decent human being, lured by the desire Jesal agreed and they set their journey towards Kutch by sea, on the way they were trapped in a fierce storm, Toral saw Jesal shivering due to fear of death, at that moment she asks Jesal to confess all his crimes and turn to pious life and ship would not sink. Jesal agreed and they safely reached the shore. Settling in Anjar, Jesal spent his life as a saintly person, dedicating himself to prayers and service of poor. For rest of his life Jesal remained Toral’s dedicated comrade. When Jesal died, Toral also decided to give her life with him. The Samadhi of Jesal and Toral are situated close to each other. People believe that Samadhi of Jesal and Toral are moving close to each other, the day these 2 Samadhi’s will touch each other will be end of the world.

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Samadhi of Jesal and Toral
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Lot of options of buying old age weapons, Anjar Market.
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It was time for Lunch, and in gujarat, an option of gujarati thali is best in my view, good, healthy and cheap food. So after a relaxed lunch we were on our way towards Bhuj, the roads in Gujarat are fantastic and as a result we made it to Bhuj in 40 minutes. Our first task at hand was to obtain permit for Vigakot International Border and Bedia Bet Hanuman Temple and Border. The BSF office is located on other side of the town, so it took us some 20 minutes to locate it. At BSF Headquarter we were asked to wait in Parking lot, thereafter we were told to visit the office. To our surprise, the permits were ready and handed over to us immediately after verifying our identity. That was one moment of joy for us, with this joy we moved to our accommodation for the night, the special thing about this accommodation was it was apartment system with in-house restaurant as well.

"Procedure for obtaining the permit for visit to International Border"
Permission for Vigakot / Bedia Bet Hanuman / Bedia Bet International Border can be obtained from BSF Headquarters located at Kodki Road in Bhuj GMap Link: A written letter is to be given along with Date of Visit / No. of Persons / Vehicle Number / Driver Details, photocopy of Photo and Address Identity Proof, while applying one need original Photo and Address Identity Proof, the permission would be handed over only to you (the one who is visiting the above mentioned area)

GMap Link for BSF Permit Office: https://goo.gl/maps/keZjpMbgjyC2
Accommodation: Viable Residency, Bhuj
Location: Google Maps
GMaps Link for Today: Flamingo Resort Dholavira to Viable Residency
 
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nndp87

Well-Known Member
D5 / 23rd January 2018 / Tuesday
Long day ahead, lot of places to cover, so let's begin, post breakfast we quickly proceeded towards our first destination for the day.

Mata-No-Madh: Its 14th Century temple and one of the famous temples in the Kutch Region. It was my mother's wish to visit this temple.

Mata-No-Madh also known as Ashapura Mata Temple is 100 kilometers drive from Bhuj. Again roads are fantastic throughout, however getting out of Bhuj during busy hours is little time consuming. Enroute Mata-No-Madh you pass through Nakhatrana, a small town famous for it's street food like Dabeli and Onion Samosa. In 2 hours time, we made it to Mata-No-Madh and post darshan at the temple we moved towards our next destination Siyot Caves.

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Siyot Caves: It’s the caves believed to be from 1st Century Siyot must have been one of the 80 monastic sites reported at the mouth of Indus River. , however one can skip this place because there is nothing interesting except the caves. Also the road taking you to caves is covered by trees and it will definitely scratch your vehicles, further the entire place is in bad shape, hidden and stinking.

Siyot is some 30 kilometers drive from Mata-No-Madh. For visiting Siyot Caves, one can leave the main road towards Lakhpat at Gaduli Village and thereafter reach Siyot Caves, from Siyot one can connect directly to Lakhpat, the drive was through small villages. Relying on GMaps, at one point we got lost and went onto offroad trail, I immediately sensed that road is incorrect, so we traced it back towards the last village and inquired about the correct route and finally made it to Lakhpat.

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An interesting thing happened here, we reached a point where it was marked as BOP 1175, what is this BOP 1175, this is the last recognised International Border Pillar between India and Pakistan, it is located in Marshy Land of Kori Creek, the access to this Border Pillar is through ATV (All terrain vehicle), It's my wish to visit this Border Pillar, however it's not easy to get permission for this place, maybe in future.

Watch this 2 videos for more details in Border Pillar 1175

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Next we moved towards Lakhpat, the best part about this circuit is that roads are decent all the way, so we made it to the last village on the western border of India, Lakhpat, now a deserted town, once upon a time was sprawling town with various commercial activity. It's different feeling, once you reach such places.

Lakhpat: Lakhpat is a small town and sub-district in Kachchh district in the Indianstate of Gujarat located at the mouth of Kori Creek The town is enclosed by walls. The literal meaning of Lakhpat is the city of millionaire as historically town was bustling with port activities. Today it is sparsely populated Ghost town, a city of ruins of buildings and a magnificent fort surrounding them. Historically it has been very important trading post connecting Gujarat to Sindh. The waters of Sindhu River used to flow into Lakhpat, Rice used to be cultivated and Lakhpat used to generate large revenues. It is also said that Lakhpat used to generate large revenue every day from maritime activities. After the earthquake of 1819 a natural dam known as the Allahbund was formed, Sindhu changed its course of flow and started flowing into the Arabian Sea further north. Thus Lakhpat lost its importance as a port. One can visit Gurudhwara, Tomb of Pir Ghaus Muhammad, Fort and BSF Post thereon.

First we climbed the fort wall of Lakhpat, the view from the top is amazing, the vast expanse of Rann of Kutch gives you goosebumps, Post darshan at Gurudhwara we were offered lunch at Langar, which was basic in nature but it made us happy, since you have no other option. It is believed that Guru Naka started his Haj journey for Mecca from Lakhpat in 16th Century. There after we made our way to Tomb of Pir Ghaus, a beautiful structure. Few scenes from Refugee movie was shot here in Lakhpat.

Lakhpat Fort
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View of Lakhpat from Fort Wall
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Tomb of Pir Ghaus Muhammad

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Gurudhwara
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Entrance of Lakhpat Village
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Leaving behind Lakhpat, we moved towards our next destination, Koteshwar Temple, the westernmost point of India, as they say, the roads were not that great for first 10 kilometers, thereafter it was decent. Enroute Koteshwar you first pass through Narayan Sarovar, once you leave Narayan Sarovar and move towards Koteshwar, the view completely changes, it has light house on the left hand side and beautiful Gujarat Tourism hotel on the right hand side. Even the temple has different aura, from temple you can see endless waters of Kori Creek.

Koteshwar: Koteshwar is Western most point of India. It’s a small village with Huge Temple, which overlooks Kori Creek. The story of Koteshwar begins with Ravana, who won it as a boon from Lord Shiva for an outstanding display of piety, this Shiva linga of great spiritual power. But which Ravana, in his arrogant haste, accidentally dropped and it fell to earth at Koteshwar. To punish Ravana for his carelessness, the Shivlinga turned into a thousand identical ones, some versions of the story say ten thousand, some a million. Unable to distinguish the original, Ravana grabbed one and departed, leaving the original one here, around which Koteshwar Temple was built. It is said on a clear day, one is able to see the lights of Pakistan villages, and I don’t know how true it is. Koteshwar has Border Outpost manned by BSF.

Koteshwar Temple
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Koteshwar Temple
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The Floating Border Outpost (BOP)
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The fishing vessel, in the background you can see BSF Patrol Boat, regular patrolling is done in order to ensure there is no intrusion through "Harami Nala" route
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View of Kori Creek from Koteshwar Temple, somewhere in the distance even water is disputed.
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Light House, Koteshwar
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History of Koteshwar Temple
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Our next and last point of the day before we turn back towards Bhuj was Narayan Sarovar, a small but beautiful village with Pond or Lake surrounded by Temple.

Narayan Sarovar: Narayan Sarovar is basically a lake with Temple surrounded by walls. It is regarded as one of the five sacred lakes as per Hindu Mythology.

Temple at Narayan Sarovar
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Narayan Sarovar
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Interesting Design
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After visiting Narayan Sarovar, we started our return journey towards Bhuj, some 160 kilometers, the drive was quite as everyone was tired I guess. The route remains same post Dolatpar, so slowly we crossed Mata-No-Madh, Nakhatrana and touched back to Bhuj. The restaurant served delicious dinner. I think we were in love with this accommodation, very cheap rate for room, in house restaurant which served amazing dinner, what more you can ask for.

Accommodation: Viable Residency, Bhuj
Location: Google Maps
GMaps Link for Today: Viable Residency to Viable Residency
 
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nndp87

Well-Known Member
D6 / 24th January 2018 / Wednesday

Places of interest around Bhuj (Prag Mahal, Aina Mahal, Swaminarayan Temple, Bhujodi): Since Kutch was a princely state before Independence, it has its own sets of rulers, with their traditions, customs, rules and currency. The same is displayed in the Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal. For Shopping one can visit Bhujodi Village on the outskirts of Bhuj. Also visit Bhujodi Park.

Flat tyre, the first thing I observed it in the morning, luckily today's day was for local sight seeing in Bhuj, so there was not much of a problem, quickly I changed the tyre. After late breakfast I dropped my parents to first spot of the day, Bhujodi - A textile hub, thereafter I came to tyre shop for repairing the puncture. Once puncture got repaired, I went back to Bhujodi, where shopping was still in progress. Adjacent to Bhujodi, there is Vande Mataram Museum, which is quite interesting, it depicts the important events of our independence struggle. The entire shopping thing and visit to park took us more than 3 hours and now I was furious because other important place of interest were still pending, so we quickly moved towards Swaminarayan Temple, the huge structure with clean campus and option for accommodation as well. After Swaminarayan Temple we moved towards palaces and forts of Bhuj. Kutch region was a princely state and after independence it was annexed with India, so it has this culture of maharajas, palaces and forts. Finally, again we proceeded towards market area of Bhuj for second round of shopping, luckily this time it didn't take much time.

With this we went back to our accommodation. Post dinner, we met owner of Viable Residency, we had great discussion about Kutch, Bhuj, etc. He was follower of Morari Bapu, a largely followed spiritual orator.

Post discussion, we quickly moved back to our rooms, tomorrow is the most important day, so before sleeping, I checked tyres, electrics, fuel, permits, documents, etc and thereafter went to sleep.

Vande Mataram Museum
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Handicraft work at Bhujodi
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Gandhiji
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Museum
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Selfie with Gandhiji
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Swaminarayan Temple
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Gallery of Prag Mahal
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One of those weapons
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Old structure definitely needs some maintenance
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On the top of Clock Tower
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See how the palace is surrounded by Cement Structures.
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Accommodation: Viable Residency, Bhuj
Location: Google Maps
GMaps Link for Today: Viable Residency to Viable Residency
 

adsatinder

explorer
Allah Bund :


Map of Sind :
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FKdmQzLu0Ng/UMqdjT92iLI/AAAAAAAAFG0/SWfsIGaKAnw/s1600/1908+map+of+sind.jpg

1908 map of sind.jpg




https://chandrashekharasandprints.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/allahbundandtsunami.jpg?w=640&h=440

1563611132102.png


RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS 208 CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 103, NO. 2, 25 JULY 2012
*For correspondence. (e-mail: [email protected])
Terrain response to the 1819 Allah Bund earthquake in western Great Rann of Kachchh, Gujarat, India
M. G. Thakkar1,*, Mamata Ngangom1 , P. S. Thakker2 and N. Juyal


https://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/103/02/0208.pdf
 

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nndp87

Well-Known Member
D7 / 25th January 2018 / Thursday

7.30 AM Departure was essential. It was long day ahead and we were suppose to reach White Rann, Dhordo before sunset. We had to carry our luggage as this was our last day in Viable Residency, since tonight we were staying somewhere in the village near White Rann.

So let's go, today, first we will visit Vigakot International Border, the distance is 171 kilometers, one needs special permit for visiting points beyond India Bridge. We quickly crossed Bhuj Town before city wakes up, again the roads were super fast all the way, has to be, since it's the main road connecting International Border. we touched Khavda, the last town before India Bridge, had quick breakfast and were on the way towards India Bridge. You will be stopped at the beginning of India Bridge and a message will be conveyed by officer that "stopping on bridge and photography is not allowed hereafter". Once you cross India Bridge, BSF Guys will check your permits and vehicle, they will also give you bag to deposit your phones and cameras. They will also ask you whether you have enough fuel and water for the day. It just takes 5 minutes for the entire process and you are good to go, beyond these point I don't have any images, however be sure I will narrate things in equally good manner.

The next point after India Bridge is small BSF Colony. Adjacent to it is BSF War Memorial, this place is called Dharamshala, the entire area is for just few kilometers bang in the middle of desert. You will be asked to sign and enter your details here. The next point is Chidiyamore, the road is double lane till this point, Chidiyamore is the last point where you will see human beings, the name Chidiyamore came into existence because the entire area looks like crow. So from here you are supposed to take left turn to reach Vigakot and Right turn will take you to Bediabet Hanuman Temple. So we took left, now the road was good single lane, however it has inclines and declines at regular interval, if you are too fast, than you are bound to fly at decline. We didn't come across single soul from Chidiyamore to Vigakot, the drive was fantastic and everyone was exited. After one point we started getting goosebumps as well. so finally around 10.30 AM we made it Vigakot International Border. Jawans welcomed us, offered us water, etc.

The guy at BSF Colony, Dharamshala asked us to carry 2 bottles of buttermilk for the officer posted at Vigakot International Border. So we inquired about the officer and gave it to him. Thereafter he ordered one of his jawan to take us to the viewpoint. We followed the jawan and there we were standing 100 meters away from fence. The officer explained us about the history of this location, Sardar post, life in this area, villages on the other side, Pakistan ranger's checkpost. As we were getting down from the view point, the officer asked us about our experience of this place, surprisingly he asked us, "are you interested in watching the flag meeting", I said "why not". So he told us to wait for sometime.

So how does this flag meeting works, A white flag is raised by the Border outpost who wants to communicate, thereafter opposite border outpost responds with white flag and thereafter meeting is fixed, the meetings are generally held in respect of matters related to construction work around the border pillar, repairing of border pillar, sometimes for exchange of sweets on occasion of festival, etc. Meeting hardly lasts for 5 minutes.

The strange thing about this border is that, for 90 kilometers running up-to the border, there is no civilian population on the Indian side, however the first Pakistan village Rahim Ki Bazar is 2 kilometers away from International Border and Pakistan Rangers's Checkpost is beyond that village, while Indian Chekpost is bang on International Border.

We were anxiously waiting for the meeting, after half and hour we saw movement in our camp area, a vehicle got ready with officer occupying the front seat and remaining jawan were on the back side of ISUZU, one of the jawan at the camp asked us to come to the view point. The jawan gave us binoculars and asked us to see in the particular direction and we could see a white Pakistan Rangers's Jeep approaching the fence, once they were near, our vehicle left from the camp and in 2 minutes reached the gate, thereafter gate was opened, letters were exchanged followed by handshake and the gate was closed, the meeting lasted for 3 minutes, we could see Pakistan Rangers's jeep going back to it's post for next five minutes. I think we were not just happy but super happy. Finally we were ready to leave from the Camp, when the Camp Second in Command Officer met us, he asked us about our border experience, job, qualification, travel, etc. I narrated him my previous experiences of visiting the International Border, he was surprised and joked away saying, "aap log pagal ho, itna lamba, dur is registan me bhala kaun ghumne aata he" meaning "you guys are mad, who comes to travel in this arid deserts". With this he invited us inside his office for a cup of tea, looking at his position, we couldn't say no and we went along with him to his office. A tea was ordered for us, thereafter he tested my knowledge, he looked at a map in front of him and asked me to locate where are we sitting, I was like, "yeh toh mere baye hath ka khel he" meaning "that's easy for me". I not only identified our current location, but I also gave him the location of other posts and most importantly the location of Border Pillar 1175, thereafter I also told him about my Kashmir Travel and this group called "BCMTouring" he was impressed, than he asked his jawan to bring different kind of weapons, his jawan bought 3 weapons, one had long range, one had medium range and one had short range, he personally explained the pros and cons of each weapon and gave us to handle it in our hand (PS: It wasn't loaded) after half an hour, he asked us to have a lunch?, we politely declined saying we have another border waiting for us. He asked me what more can I do for you?, I was taken a back and surprised. Without hesitating I told him, I want to visit the fence, he was like "that's it", he immediately ordered his jawan to accompany us and came all the way till gate to drop us off.

In that half hour we discussed about relations with Pakistan, Location of all sensitive places available on maps, satellite systems, jobs, travel across India, why there are no civilians for 90 kilometers on the Indian Side of the Border. He advised me to visit International Borders in the state of Punjab, since they are more interesting.

Off we drove in my Pirate towards fence and that was one of the happiest moment for us. The jawan who came along with us located the Border Pillar and explained us about how the camp works, he got emotional at the end, telling us that "we feel really good when we see people are interested in life as well". With this we bid goodbye to the jawan and were on the way towards Chidiyamore, It was close to 2.5 hours at Vigakot International Border, in no time we touched Chidiyamore, our next place of interest was Bediabet Hanuman Temple, there is a history about it as well, the road from Chidiyamore to Bediabet Hanuman Temple was extremely bad, but we persisted and made it to the temple. The road from Chidiyamore to Bediabet runs close to International Border and if you are able to see properly, you will see a blur image of fence running along the border. The jawans posted there were not only surprised to see us but they were shocked as well. Hardly anyone visits this place, I think 90% of the travelers are not even aware of this place. After checking our permits we were offered water. Even they offered us lunch, we politely denied, we asked for the way towards Bediabet Border, they were in the dilemma whether to allow us or not, since Bediabet border was not mentioned on our permit. One of the officer in his wireless set spoke to someone and told us, you can go ahead till the border. The border was 6 kilometers from the main road, we were equally exited for it, 50 meters before the road, we were asked to stop by the BSF guard and park the vehicle, we went walking to see the fence and were extremely happy to see one more border pillar. However my car didn't touch the border, how is this possible, so I made officer feel that it's difficult to take the U turn, so he happily told me to go all the way till fence and then take a U turn from T junction. Now it was getting late, so I will have to skip Kalo Dungar for today and straightway proceed towards White Rann. Our progress was slow till Chidiyamore, thereafter we were flying and made it to India Bridge in no time. After collecting our phones, we quickly headed towards Khavda, just at the entrance of Khavda we saw roadside stalls having dabeli, vadas, cutlets, etc. We stopped and ate here, remember we didn't have our lunch, so this small snacks break helped us. Post Lunch we were literally flying towards White Rann, I overtook every vehicle I saw on this route. Finally we made it to White Rann just in time. We took a long walk towards the White Rann viewing point from parking, and believe me sunset was mesmerizing. Post sunset, we came back to parking via camel cart and made our way to Gorawali village. Enough of talking by me, now let pictures do the justice.

Accommodation: Surkhaab White Rann Resort
Location: Google Maps
GMaps Link for Today: Viable Residency to Surkhaab White Rann Resort

Vigakot International Border: Vigakot International Border is located some 160 to 170 kilometers from Bhuj. Gujarat Tourism’s Initiatives in respect of Border Tourism have resulted in many civilians visiting the Vigakot. Kutch was one of the disputed regions back in 60’s, the brief about the dispute is Pakistan started claiming some parts of India as their territory and thereafter occupation of few posts, During that time, border was guarded by CRPF and they were very less in number. However the courageous Indians fought their way back and reoccupied the area. One such battle is known as Battle of Sardar Post. One can view Sardar post from Vigakot with the help of Binoculars. Once you reach Vigakot, BSF soldiers will welcome you, they have created a stage for the tourists who visit. (Permission from BSF Headquarters, Bhuj). We were lucky to visit this place of pride and speak to our jawans there!It is a pride feeling to walk near the border fence and view the Border pillar so near!!

Hanuman Temple, Bedia Bet: This temple has a history; the original temple was located in Pakistan which was built by Indian Forces during war. Once the peace was restored, the idol was supposed to be bought back to Khavda, however during an overnight stay at Bedia Bet, the idol stuck itself firmly on the ground. Believe me this place is beautiful, quite and peaceful. (Permission from BSF Headquarters, Bhuj). The idol of Lord Hanuman is mesmerizing. The temple rituals are taken care by the BSF jawans who are posted here.

International Border in Bedia Bet: It was another Border like Vigakot, but be it any border, the feeling of visiting is just amazing. It is a pride feeling to walk near the border fence and view the Border pillar so near!! (Permission from BSF Headquarters, Bhuj)

White Rann: It’s a salt marsh land, wherein water dries up from November to February which enables us to visit. Gujarat Tourism has made a huge setup at this place; one can do everything at White Rann, starting from Adventure Activities, shopping local stuffs, food stalls, and not to forget click your prospective DPs, etc. A huge tent city has been developed by the GJ tourism which has huge AC tents and lot of planned programs and local visits during your tenure of stay with them. The sunrise and sunsets are magical here.

Somewhere on the road
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White Rann
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Sunset
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Jump
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Finally White Rann for them
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Photographer in me
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The viewing point
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From the top
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Happiness
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He took us back towards parking
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