Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Postcard from Gujarat

We are in South Western Region of Gujarat this week on a pilgrimage cum pleasure trip with my parents and maternal uncle. Today being the last day of our week long tour, I cant help but recollect the highs and lows of our fun-filled family vacation. With its historic temples, well maintained roads, mouth watering vegetarian cuisine and friendly people, Gujarat has a lot to offer. However, when it comes to maintenance and cleanliness of the monuments and its surroundings, there is certainly room for improvement. We travelled across the Southern coast of Gujarat starting from Dwarka, enchanted by its ancient Krishna temples,then stopped by the house where Mahatma Gandhi was born that has been preserved as a museum in Porbandar on Days 1 and 2, followed by a wildlife safari at the Gir forest, the home of the Asiatic Lions and a visit to the historic Somnath temple by the seaside on Day 3, explored the Fort and museums at Junagadh on Day 4 and literally shopped till we dropped at Rajkot on Day 5 thus concluding our trip before we fly back to Namma Bengaluru tomorrow morning. Well, I must say that Gujarat certainly has been a surprise package with all of us having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in Garvi Gujarat! As far as Abhay was concerned, travelling with his favorite ajja and ajji (grandparents) and relishing his favorite dahi ( thick yogurt) served at every Gujarati restaurant, what more could he have asked for! :-)

Now that we are on vacation, trust me to ferret out a book suited to our travel location! “Gujarat” by Abhisheikh, brought out by Pratham publications is a book that I had picked up for Abhay as we left Bangalore that I read to him off and on during our stay in  Gujarat. This book is a part of the Read India series that features different states of India. The reader is introduced to the geography, history, and culture of Gujarat a state located in the Western region of India, with the help of illustrations of its people, places and its arts and crafts. Gujarat is a land famous for its folk art and crafts, embroidery and tie and dye works, erstwhile royal kingdoms, Gir National park, beautiful temples like Somnath and Modhera temple in Northern Gujarat, and not to forget, the home of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. This book refreshed Abhay’s memory of the having visited some of these sights during this trip, which hopefully he will remember in the years to come. If you ever plan to visit Gujarat, don’t forget to take this child-friendly travel guide with you!

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