It has been a fair time that I haven’t compiled any new article in series “Kutch Travel”. Click for first , second and third articles. Now it is the time to write a fresh one and it happened to be one of my favorite destination in Kutch Travel. This time only three places but it took my whole day of visit and most of time which was spend in traveling. Following are the places:
- Mata no Madh
- Narayan Sarovar
Before I write anything about these places I would like to clear certain things. All these places are distant from center city Bhuj. Mata no Madh is around 95 km and rest are around 155 km. So the best option would be a private vehicle. This time around I visited by state transportation and it was underwhelming experience. Also did some miss calculations on my part.
State transport is not bad if you plan your trip well. Let me tell you what I did and then would try to find alternative solutions. Following mistakes I did and their solutions:
- I left from Bhuj late, around 10.30 am.
- If possible try to leave as early as possible, may be in very early morning around 7.
- I decided to reach Mata no Madh (95 km) first and rest of places and take direct bus in evening from Koteshwar to Bhuj. But main problem is the BUS, last bus leaves the Koteshwar at 5.30 and I reached on 4.30 that cut the trip short.
- What can be done to solve the problem is, don’t go to Mata no Madh, instead travel to Koteshwar directly and have lunch there. Leave Koteshwar around 3 PM. You would reach Mata no Madh around 4.30 PM. Visit the place and the last bus from Mata no Madh to Bhuj is around 7.30 PM, take that and head back.
Now that we have talked about the problem and their possible solutions, it’s time to talk about destinations. So let’s began!!
First Destination: Mata no Madh
Mata no Madh is a village in Lakhpat Taluka of Kutch. It is mainly known for Ashapura Temple. It is 95 km from Bhuj. People use to visit from different parts of India by cycling or even walking every year on Navratri festival. The image of Ashapura Mata in the shrine is a red-painted stone, about six feet high and six feet broad at the base, narrowing to a point in a shape, with some rough likeness to a human form.
Number of state transport buses available from Bhuj. Try not to reach between 1.30 PM to 3.00 PM because temple is closed for the duration. You would find lots of stalls from which you can buy goods that can be devoted inside temple. Temple is crowded even on non-festive or weekends.
I reached just time. Photos are not prohibited but after sometime somebody will always disturb you. Temple also provide food for free. I also had chance to get free food and the quality was quite good.
There is another temple on hill behind main temple. After lunch I visited. It was not crowed as the main one. From hill-top-temple you can view whole area.
After wandering for 30 mins I could find a private transport. I wanted to travel all the way to Narayan Sarovar but the private bus was only available till Varmanagar a village before 20 km to my actual destination. Driver told me that I’ll get Jeeps from there on. Had second thought about but finally decided to take the bus as there was no sign of any other vehicle.
I reached Varmanagar on 3 PM. I laid my feet down and started looking for any vehicle that I could find. I was looking for shuttle (Jeep which usually take bulk of travelers together and cost is also modest) Jeep but couldn’t as there were no one other than me that wanted to go to Narayan Sarovar. They were asking Rs. 200 for only 20 km.
I tried to ask local people there about any state transport vehicle. I came to know that there is state transport vehicle on around 3.30 PM but as you know that buses and trains are never on time. It came on 4 PM. I sat and started journey to Narayan Sarovar. I didn’t know the timings of last bus which was going to left Narayan Sarovar, I asked to conductor and his reply surprised me, his reply and I quote “This is the last bus and it will head back on 5.30 PM and after this there is not State or private transport” for a second I thought it was fluke. It was 4.15 PM and I was stunned, quickly started planning how to visit both places within an hour.
I reached on 4.30 PM at Narayan Sarovar. I had decided that firs I would go to Koteshwar which was 1.4 km from where I landed and within half an hour I’ll return back and would visit Narayan Sarovar which was in front of my eyes. I was quick on my feet.
Second Destination: Koteshwar
It is a small village and the location of an ancient Shiva temple. It is the place where India’s land border ends. If someone would ask me one place to visit, that place would be Koteshwar for me.
Around 155 km from Bhuj and 1.4 km from Narayan Sarovar. While talking about accommodation facility, there is a Dharmshala between Koteshwar temple and Narayan Sarovar which provides accommodations.
After evening Aarti at the temple the area is closed for visitors. Before that try to enjoy sunset from the temple top. That 1.4 km between Narayan Sarovar and Koteshwar is the best view, both sides of road filled with water of Arabian Sea. Seeing never ending sea and wind hitting you with all its strength is a moment to remember for life.
I quickly return to Narayan Sarovar and noticed that still had 30 more minutes a moment of relief.
Final Destination: Narayan Sarovar
Also known as Narayansar. It is a village and place of pilgrimage for Hindus on the Kori Creek. It is located in Lakhpat taluka of Kutch district, Gujarat, India. It is around 154 Km from Bhuj. In same village you can visit to Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary which is famous for red antelopes or Chinkaras. According to locals the lake is filled with water whole year.
According to Hindu theology, there are five sacred lakes; collectively called Panch-Sarovar (Lake):
These famous Sarovars are Bindu Sarovar (Sidhpur, Gujarat) Mansarovar (Tibat -China), Narayan Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar (Hampi, Karnataka) and Pushkar Sarovar (Rajasthan). Arriving to the Narayana Sarovar town there are welcome arches.
6.00 AM to 1.00 PM
4.00 PM and 8.45 PM
Once I was finished (Had to finish before 5.30 PM). Engine was turned on and bus was about to leave and I just reached in time. Bus left on 5.30 and I was at home on 10 PM, of course it was late.
This is the fourth article in the series called “ Kutch Travel ” and final one for now. Couple more I had planned but due to lack time I couldn’t. May be near future I’ll travel to those destination and write about them too.