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GUJARAT
By Mohan Shenoy

Gujarat is a vast region with many historical places to visit.

Where is Gujarat?

Gujarat is the name of one of the States in the Indian Union. It forms the boundary with Pakistan on the westside along with Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, but differs from them by having a seashore all the way from Rann of Kutch to the northwest corner of the State of Maharashtra.

The important cities in the State of Gujarat are Ahmedabad (Amdavad), Amreli, Bhuj, Dwarka, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Navsari, Patan, Porbandar, Rajkot, Surat, Surendranagar, Vadodara and Valsad.

The heritage places are:
Prabhas Patan where Somnath temple is situated;
Dwarka where Lord Sri Krishna lived his last years of life and where he was killed by a stray arrow from a hunting tribal; Palitana where important Jain temples are located;
Porbandar where Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian nation was born;
Rajkot where Gandhi grew up and also went to school;
Amdavad where Sabarmati Ashram is located (Gandhiji lived and ran his campaign against the British occupation); Gandhinagar the new Capital of the State of Gujarat and also where a big modern temple known as Akshardham is located.

In undivided India before 15 August 1947, the Sindh province formed the western neighbour of Gujarat but separated by the marshy inhospitable land known as the Rann of Kutch. The Rann is in India and forms the western boundary of Gujarat and therefore of India. It is like a large wide fence keeping away the marauders from the West.

Our Tour in Gujarat - 6th Dec 2012

OUR TOUR consisted of traveling by train from Bangalore to Ahmedabad by bus. (GSRTC: Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation). From Ahmedabad we went by GSRTC bus to Porpbandar.

OUR TOUR continued from Porbandar to Somnath by GSRTC bus.
From Somnath we went to Dwarka by GSRTC bus.
From Dwarka we went to Bet Dwarka by GSRTC bus.
From Bet Dwarka we went to the Temple Island by boat.
We returned from the Temple Island by boat and then visited by autorickshaw three other temples around Dwarka, viz. Nageshwar Temple, Gopi Chandan Temple and Rukmini Temple.

From Dwarka we traveled to Jamnagar by GSRTC bus and further to Rajkot.
From Rajkot we traveled to Palitana by GSRTC bus.
From Palitana we traveled to Vadodara by GSRTC bus.
From Vadodara we traveled to Ahmedabad by GSRTC bus.
From Ahmedabad we returned to Bangalore by Spicejet flight.

Our tour lasted for eleven days in all. One can book bus tickets online at www.gsrtc.in and train tickets at www.irctc.in.

SARDAR VALLABH BHAI PATEL

No one can miss Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel in Gujarat because his name is well known there and all of India and because he was a saviour of the downtrodden and distressed public in Gujarat and in the rest of India during the British rule before 15 August 1947, and after Independence as the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of the Government of India in Delhi.

Narendra Modi the chief minister of Gujarat has taken the Sardar Patel as the icon of development, social justice and communal harmony during the BJP rule in the state although Sardar Patel belonged to Congress.

The Sardar belonged to Congress but he like many Congressmen worked for the revival of heritage in Gujarat. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was very much responsible for the restoration of the Somnath Mandir in Prabhas Patan south of Veraval on the coast of Gujarat soon after India gained Independence.

The new Somnath temple construction was started by the Sardar but unfortunately he died before the construction was completed. The people of Gujarat were the most impoverished until recently because of exploitation by unscrupulous administrations throughout history. Because the culture of Gujarat taught tolerance and non-violence, the cruel war-lords made the most by plundering Gujarat bare to its skin and bones.

Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel championed the cause of the population of Gujarat and said enough is enough' now we must move forward with democracy, human rights and reservation for the backward people, and reversed the trend of neglect and ignorance. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel is called the Iron Man of India from Gujarat.

PHOTOS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Image from Gandhi Memorial Museum Sabarmati Ashram

MAHATMA GANDHI WAS BORN IN GUJARAT

MAHATMA GANDHI WENT TO SCHOOL IN RAJKOT

Gandhi's revolutionary method was non-violent, which is why there was no armed struggle in India during its fight for Independence from the British rule. Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi was a religious man. He had come in contact with very few Muslims during his lifetime. It is a fact that we deal with others on our own terms. Mahatma Gandhi dealt with staunch Hindu but not a fanatic. He believed in all the morals of Hinduism including truthfulness, belief in Lord Raama, and other Hindu gods, and non-violence. He opposed slaughter of cows for meat. He had compassion for poor people and downtrodden like the Daliths. He hated untouchability being practiced in India.

Mahatma Gandhi wanted to abolish child marriage completely. He was progressive looking in adopting inventions in science, medicine and other fields.
Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi was respectful of women and supported education for women. His wife Kasturba was of the same age, as Mohandas and she remained a faithful Hindu wife to him. She died in 1944 that is about 4 years earlier than Mohandas.

Mahatma Gandhi was a messiah of peace and wanted the Hindus to refrain from reacting to the carnage committed against them either in Pakistan or in India. This led to severe hatred for him among Hindus. Some hard-liners among Hindus decided that the only way now to stop Hindus being sidelined is to finish the Mahatma. On the 30th January 1948, about 5 months after he was successful in his life's mission of making India independent from foreign rule, the Mahatma was shot and killed by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu born in Maharashtra state.

The Mahatma was 79 when he died.

MOHAN PRODUCTIONS YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Gandhi Memorial Museum Sabarmati

Gandhi Kutir in Sabarmati Ashram

Gandhi Ashram grounds.

Autorickshaw ride in Gujarat

Schools Gandhiji went to in Rajkot

Bus rides are convenient in Gujarat

MAHARISHI DAYANANDA SARASWATHI

Swami Dayanand Saraswathi was born in Morvi district of Gujarat and he as a young teenager discovered that idol of Shiva was not shooing away the rats which defiled the deity. The rats defecated freely over the idol and made merry with the ample food kept nearby as the offering. Later the boy Mulshankar became the Swami.

It was on a Shivarathri night that the Hindu reformer Swami Dayanand Saraswathi was struck with a doubt in his mind as to the capacities of Lord Shiva in the form of Linga.

Mulshankar was 10 years of age, when he stoically followed the reprimand of his father that he should fast on Shivarathri and perform Jappa (Meditation).
As he was doing Jappa he saw many rats run all over the Shiva Linga and eat the various food items and other stuff kept nearby.

The rats were dropping their feces as they moved on the Shiva Linga. He wondered if Shiva was as strong and powerful as he was said to be, in the Puraanas, then how come he tolerated the defiling by these rats.

Then and there he determined to study Hinduism in depth and learn everything about God and Nature. He later established a society of Hindus by the name of Arya Samaaj. People who join Arya Samaaj do not believe in Idol-worship.

Arya Samaj was started in Mumbai in 1875.

MOHAN PRODUCTIONS YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Maharishi Dayananda Saraswathi 1

Maharishi Dayananda Saraswathi 2

PHOTOS OF GUJARAT

Gujarat breed of cow

Gujarat is Famous for Fine Textiles

Gujarat breed of cows

LORD KRISHNA TEACHING GEETHA TO ARJUNA
IN GEETHA MANDIR IN DWARKA

MARYLIN MURPHY AND SHENOY COUPLE

GARDEN IN THE COURTYARD OF HOTEL IN GUJARAT

MARYLIN MURPHY AND HER COMPANIONS IN GUJARAT

MOHAN PRODUCTIONS YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Agashiye Restaurant in Ahmedabad

Gandhi went to school here

Bus Ride in Gujarat

From Dwarka we went to Okha by GSRTC bus and from Okha we went to Bet Dwarka by boat.

In Bet Dwarka we went to a few places of interest as seen in the videos.

We returned from the Temple Island by boat.

Now a bridge is being built to connect the Bet Dwarka island to the mainland.

MOHAN PRODUCTIONS YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Ahmedabad Express train passageway

Watch this YouTube video of roads.

Watch this YouTube video of Okha

Ahmedabad Express train- country side

Jain Mandir in Palitana

Up the hill in Palitana

MERA BHARAT MAHAN - MY GREAT INDIA

POLITICS AND HINDUISM

There are 5,68,000 villages in India. There are 619 districts. India has 31 states and Union Territories, There are at least 1618 languages spoken in India of which Sanskrit is the solid base. Although the International Linguists suggest that the Sanskrit language is a dead language that is not true. Sanskrit is very much alive in India and among the Hindus.

The people are professing castes among the Hindus and there are 6400 different castes recognised. Hindus have at least six ethnic origins. At least 29 festivals are celebrated all over India but many more are celebrated exclusively in towns, districts and states. (source: Janardhan Bhat).

Most of the Hindus are educated and rational people. The participants in the Independence struggle were practically all Hindus. There were a few Muslims among them. Most of the Muslims who took part in the Independence struggle migrated to Pakistan soon after partition of India.
The Constitution of India was authored by Hindus. They passed the secular laws of India. They hold high ranks in the armed forces. The silent majority acts off the limelight. Their hand is unseen. They will do what is best for the country. Their patriotism cannot be questioned.

Hindus may or may not believe in God, Ganesh, Gayathri or Ganga but they are Hindus. They may not go to temples to worship idols, or to Mandirs to perform Homa, but they are Hindus.

Their colour could be any. They could be red, green, blue, or even saffron, but they cannot be branded in terms of Saffron Brigade or Sangh Parivaar. They will uphold the saffron colour in their religious rituals and processions. They will uphold Hindutva of Hindu religion.

NON-SAFFRON HINDUS

SANATHANA DHARMA

Most of the Hindus in India are politically independent in the sense that they do not belong to any political party. They focus their attitudes towards good administration, maintenance of law and order, provision of good food grains at competitive prices, supply of electricity, water and properly maintained high class roads, affordable health care, education, housing, etc. The list is endless and contains everything required for a happy life.

There are Hindus who do not belong to RSS, VishwaHindu Parishad, or the Bhajaranga Dal. There are all castesand creeds of Hindu people who are not connected with
Right from the time British governments were established in different parts of India, the term Hindu was used to describe the Indians that practiced Vedic or Sanaathana Dharma. The Government of independent India accepted and adopted this name "Hindu" for everyone regardless of his or her caste.

All the low caste people including the untouchable groups were included in the term Hindu. This is because the deities such as Deva, Paramaatma, Shiva, Shankara, Durga, Paarvathi, are worshipped by every Hindu.

MORE PHOTOS OF GUJARAT

AHMEDABAD, GANDHINAGAR, SURENDRANAGAR, RAJKOT, JETPUR, PORBANDAR, SOMNATH, DWARKA, JAMNAGAR, PALITANA

Civilian Structures in Chowpati
Beach in Porbundar

Anti-erosion Structures in Chowpati Beach Porbandar

Auto Ride in Bet Dwarka

Beach in Porbandar

Bull in Dwarka Street

Somnath Prabhas Bus Stand

Rural Bus Stand near Dwarka

Clock Tower in Jamnagar

ISCKON Dwarka Darwaaza

Agashie Restaurant

Gopi Talav (lake) Temple Complex in Okha

Entrance to Guest House Complex

Modern Hair Style of Gujarat

Entrance of Sabarmati Ashram

Entrance of Palitana Temple

Modern Hair Style of Gujarat

Horse drawn coach in Palitana

Big Jain Mandir in Palitana

Footwear and other articles are deposited here before entering the temple in Somnath

Library located upstairs in Kirti Mandir Porbandar

Early Morning View from Hotel Balcony in Jamnagar

Wind Mills along the coast of Gujarat, Veraval to Porbandar

Painting of Mahatma Gandhi in Rajkot Museum - South Africa

Motor Bikes waiting for travelers in Porbundar

Okha Port - Boat passengers waiting rooms.

NAGANATH STATUE IN NAGESHWAR NEAR OKHA

NAGANATH STATUE IN NAGESHWAR NEAR OKHA

GUJARAT IS THE WORD OF THE DAY

Gujarat state is a melting pot where humans belonging to all races came and intermarried creating a diverse population.

However, everyone learnt the local language Gujarati and adopted the mild peace-loving manners of Hinduism. Even the most cruel Muslim rulers softened their stand when the Gujarat Hindu declared that "I will not kill you but if you wish you can shed my blood here and now."

Such was the upbringing which made many sons and daughters of the land of Gujarat lead not only their state but also India.

Of the history we know, the earliest instance was when Lord Krishna pardoned the tribal hunter who shot the lethal arrow into his (Krishna's) foot. The tribal hunter is said to have mistook the moving figure in the bushes to be a wild animal.

Subsequently there have been many astonishing stories of heroic sacrifices for culture, language and religion.


Parrots fly around freely in Palitana rivaling doves elsewhere. A parrot on the window sill of the guest house

Train Journey (inside train)

Modified motor cycle goods carrier

Rukmini Temple near Dwarka

Porbundar Bus-stand

MORE PHOTOS OF GUJARAT

Entrance to Somnath Temple in Prabhas Patan

SOMNATH MAHADEV SHIVALINGA
IN THE SANCTUM SANCTORUM

After visiting many Mandirs on the street level one can climb about 600 steps to the main temple on the hill in Palitana.

Two Mandirs (Temples) in Porbandar

Courtyard of a temple in Palitana

Big Jain Mandir in Palitana

Porbandar - Chowpatty Beach (1)

Toll booth near Jetpur

GSRTC Bus Travel Somnath to Dwarka

Veraval Road in Prabhas Patan

Palitana skies

Train Journey (outside train)

Gandhi Residence in Sabarmati Ashram

Mohan Shenoy at the door with Indian flag

Our Tour in Gujarat - 6th Dec 2012

OUR TOUR consisted of traveling by train from Bangalore to Ahmedabad by bus. (GSRTC: Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation). From Ahmedabad we went by GSRTC bus to Porpbandar.

OUR TOUR continued from Porbandar to Somnath by GSRTC bus.
From Somnath we went to Dwarka by GSRTC bus.
From Dwarka we went to Bet Dwarka by GSRTC bus.
From Bet Dwarka we went to the Temple Island by boat.
We returned from the Temple Island by boat and then visited by autorickshaw three other temples around Dwarka, viz. Nageshwar Temple, Gopi Chandan Temple and Rukmini Temple.

From Dwarka we traveled to Jamnagar by GSRTC bus and further to Rajkot.
From Rajkot we traveled to Palitana by GSRTC bus.
From Palitana we traveled to Vadodara by GSRTC bus.
From Vadodara we traveled to Ahmedabad by GSRTC bus.
From Ahmedabad we returned to Bangalore by Spicejet flight.

Our tour lasted for eleven days in all. One can book bus tickets online at www.gsrtc.in and train tickets at www.irctc.in.

MOHAN PRODUCTIONS YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Porbandar beach

Train-Road level crossing in Gujarat

Rural bus-stands in Gujarat

Toran Hotel from Porbandar beach

Nageshwar and Rukmini temples.

Palitana Jain Mandirs

Palitana Streets

Dwarkadish temple at sunset.

Road to Sabarmati Ashram

Roadside food stalls are everywhere

Roadside stall carts - Somnath Temple

Sunset in Gujarat

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