It all started when my parents talked about wanting to visit Dwaraka and Somnath- two temples they had not had a chance to cover in the several religious trips that they had done. My brother and I thought that this was a good opportunity to do a family trip. The planning was set in motion four to five months back. The flight tickets were the first to be booked after monitoring the rates for a week. The hotels followed thereafter based on reviews in TripAdvisor as well as the offers available in various online portals (like ClearTrip and MakeMyTrip).
Winter gave way to summer and schools closed. (Did we even have winter? The days were unusually hot). As the day of our trip neared, we saw that the temperatures all over India were higher than normal. Gujarat was sizzling in 40s (degree celsius). We hoped that it would not affect our trip much, though we realized we needed to have plenty of fluids and take precautions.
The morning of Tuesday, 11th April saw us taking flights to Mumbai. While I started from Bangalore, my brother and parents started from Kochi. Our flights reached Mumbai around the same time. We had booked the same flight onward from Mumbai - the destination was Rajkot. We had plenty of time in Mumbai, which we spent catching up, and trying in vain to find cheap eating options. (The Terminal was awesome though, and a total contrast to the older domestic terminal that is used by Indigo, SpiceJet, GoAir, etc.)
|Mumbai International Airport Terminal|
The nearest Airport from Dwaraka is actually Jamnagar, but we did not have a good flight deal to this place. We chose the next best option - Rajkot. Air India had already announced a half an hour delay of their flight to Rajkot. It took off around 4.15 PM and it was around 5.45, when we got out of the Airport with our luggages and all. It was probably an hour later than what we would have liked.
We had arranged for an air-conditioned car for our trip and the driver was waiting. He said it would take about four hours of driving time to cover the 230-odd kilometres to Dwaraka. We started right away and with a tea and dinner break, reached our destination around 10.30 PM. The State and National Highways in Gujarat are pretty good. Interestingly there is no toll for cars in many of the State Highways (from 15th August 2016) and this included the Rajkot-Jamnagar one as well. Though dark, we saw a number of windmills on the horizon, close to the coast. (Not surprising since Jamnagar and nearby areas are focus of wind energy generation) . The last few kilometres saw us pretty much travelling close to the coast.
|Windmills of Gujarat|
By the time we checked into Shree Darshan, Dwaraka and tried to get some sleep - it was 11 PM.
Read about our day in Dwaraka on Day 2.