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eBay Republic Day Sale

My first e-commerce love started with eBay years back.I would fondly look at the categories,I liked.That time,those things were new to me.The whole concept of buying from eBay was ‘not so what I was used to’. Slowly my brother started telling me I got this from ebay or that from ebay. In fact during these years,he gifted me a gorilla pod,a kind of a mini - tripod which was small yet can be attached anywhere.As mom started Tanjore,I wondered if I could be one of these sellers,selling her paintings.I went through profiles,couple of reviews of people who were sellers.I didn't know then,If I can have a wish list or if deals will make way to new and interesting things at my home.

So when I got to know about eBay Republic Day Sale for this Republic Day and around,I was excited.As a Travel,Adventure and Fashion blogger;I always had a lack of certain things I could have got but didn't .Like as simple as weighing machine at home.I have one,that checks my weight : The big round one with digitals .But I wished I had a smaller compact version that I could carry to the airports or while I travel.

You can check the sale here

So here is my wish list containing 5 things I loved from the #eBayRepublicDaySale

1)Hand Suspension Weighing Scale:

Airports can be really messy with all your local shopping dumped in your checked in.As you walk in confidently at the counter,you are caught.Madam,two kg weight extra,pay this much.In that chaos,you wonder if you could stuff in your hand baggage balancing the extra.Wish you knew it before.Since it happened with me many many times over,I’d rather prefer to have a compact Hand Suspension Weighing Scale after I pack everything at my hotel.The best part is it doesn’t cost much and it’s so useful while travelling.

2)Universal Car Windshield Mount:

I saw this first time in my brother’s car.Damn,it’s an essential.I really think it must be part of accessories while buying car.As and when we use google maps while driving,which we often do so,its annoying to hold your cellphone for the other person who’s driving.More so,its even more irritating holding it yourself when you are driving.Keeping in mind the safety and other factors,this is a must device right on my wish list

3)Portable Laptop Foldable Etable:

                  Portable Laptop Foldable ETable e Table 2 USB Cooling Fans on eBay,Rs 543

I have often got these 24 hours sitting in front of laptop syndrome due to heavy work.Since I do not have a separate place to keep it while I work on it,I use it while sitting on couch or sitting on bed.How unhealthy is it,is what I recently read.But I don’t like the idea of sitting in a traditional table chair.Now with this fold able stable things will get simpler.My laptop fan won’t get hot due to cushion of bed or couch and I can easily work from anywhere.Plus since it's fold-able you can carry anywhere.

4)Sony 2TB External Hard Drive:

                                      Sony HD-E1 2.5 inch 2 TB External Hard Drive on eBay,Rs 6881

I am a huge fan of these hard drives.I can keep all pictures and videos which consumes lot of space in my hard disk.Makes my laptop slow and grumpy.So this one’s out of sheer need.I suggest to everyone,the only thing that will keep your laptop working easy,is transfer load to these 2TB ones data storage Hard drive.If do not have so many pictures and videos like me,you can always get 1TB or 500 gb for a backup,just in case your computer crashes someday.

5)Computer Speaker:

I love these small speakers.It’s like you can carry it while you are traveling and while at your hotel room you can play it in volume you want to.As for me,I love dancing and want my sound to be clear and loud.Also,if you are organizing home party or camp out somewhere,these are must haves.

With this,my wish list of 5 items for this Republic day is over.What do you think will your wish list be,out of the amazing eBay Republic Day Sale that as per your need,you want it right now!

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Backpacking Europe:Top 20 Tips For First Timers

The excitement of travelling to Europe is itself like a dream come true.For many,people save for their honeymoons or their anniversaries to enjoy 15-20 days in Europe.For the rest of us,the budget keeps us tight lipped if we ever harbored any plans such.As the blogs and travel magazines grow in heaps and bounds we wonder if every country needs to be visited.If every country is as beautiful as every printed picture.We often end up regretting the country we missed going.But are there reasons why certain countries are given more weight-age than certain others.Does the blogs or the articles convey even half the real picture?

Me,backpacking in Rome,Italy

As I researched for my trip to Europe for a month that included Greece,Turkey,Italy,France in Oct 2014 ,I found no source which warned me of what I must be careful with.Most of it,I found was an fogged up beautiful view of places to gain TRP’s and comments.People travelling solo wouldn't write about experiences they found defeating.The truth is travel is not always a happy picture.It comes with both happy and bad moments,as life.

 Today I am going to write about the real picture of when you travel Europe and what you must know before you start enjoying a place.

The intention of this article is not to bring down your hopes on planning Europe but to make more cautious choices you take/make when there.

 This trip of mine wasn't a FAM Trip.Partly,I won the Travel Shop Turkey contest wherein my 7 day tour to Turkey was inclusive(excluding airfare) and partly I won Skyscanner contest worth 1 lakh and rest was from my own money.You would ask me why rest,I would say because I booked the tickets very last minute due to Skyscanner coupon to be redeemed within 3 months from my win.Since I won in September end,I had no choice but to book tickets and accommodation very last minute as I wanted to visit Greece and the islands in Oct.I would tell you also,here tips and tricks to save just in case if you are wondering if that is even possible.I was in Turkey for 10 days,Greece for 11 days,Italy for 5 days and Paris for a day.

 1)Packaged Tour or On Your Own:

Turkey was partly on a packaged tour
Which I thoroughly enjoyed
Though sans flexibility of time 

Many of us,are often confused on this part if they want to do a packaged tour or on their own.Even on discussion with my friends and family,people told me that in one month you can cover so many countries,why do just a few?

The main motive then is to enjoy vacation as a carefree soul not bothering about penning down plans in the most budgeted way possible.As every foreigner who comes to India does the Golden Triangle,that includes Delhi Agra Jaipur or Kerala but is that it about India is the question.That just gives a peek-a-boo of important sites in India.Similarly,that goes for a packaged tour to Europe.If your idea is to cover the highlights of a place in a short span of time,packaged tour is your choice.There is nothing wrong in it.A trip for 6 countries 12 days would roughly cost you around 1.5 lakhs on a packaged tour + your own personal expenses when there.

You can also rent a car when in Europe which comes as quite cheap and at leisure both.

 Now,coming to doing it on Your Own.The best part of doing it on your own is the flexibility it provides plus you could save extra money if you plan well in advance.I say well in advance is because,if you book it last minute you wouldn't be saving much on Airfare.Travel Shop Turkey was my first packaged tour,and I loved it in Turkey as the guides were well informed,mostly on time the buses used to come,the hotels were posh and nice,but it was time bound.That meant if I liked Grand Bazaar and wanted to stay for 3 hours or more,I have to cater to other guests in the bus and most often we would run to catch the bus because we always felt we wanted to spend more time where ever we liked.Doing it on your own gives you the flexibility to choose your own stay - boutique hotels (if backpacking is not your type) or hostels(if you want to make it real cheap and interact) or couch surfing(knowing people up close and staying complimentary) and allows you to dedicate as much as you would want to at each place.You can even do backpacking in Europe for 1 lakh in a month and a half(including airfares) provided you are comfortable being on road or with hosts.Many of us,do not want to make our vacation a shared space.I find hostels the most easy way to not overdo it.However,backpacking needs a bit of planning and research.It however can be more relaxed if you plan a trip of say 10 days at one single place,otherwise a little knowledge is necessary.

2)Making a Choice: 

Where this road leads me to..
In Santorini Greece.
Greece is a perfect exotic honeymoon destination
But for backpacking..well I don't think so.

While planning Europe,we often tend to draft the same itinerary as is present online.Do not.When I was comparing my own budget to Greece vis-a-vis if I go on a packaged tour,I casually chatted with Makemytrip consultant online who told me Greece won’t be possible with Italy and France.On asking why so,she casually said mam we have other beautiful countries like Italy,France,Germany,Austria why don’t you choose that.I said her Greece to Italy is accessible by low cost ferries and flights,so why isn’t it possible?She said it doesn't happen like that.I found the answer weird.

But the thing is with your shrinking budget,you would find not this,but many other sites,give you the same answer.Unless you are ready to pay off your pockets in huge amounts,a customization is a difficult choice.Even websites like Backpacker Co which are my favorites by the way,I would say,staying in hostels is much much cheaper than planning with them.However,do plan with them if you want it to be a little more organised.

Remember you can always locally pick up a packaged tour when at a place,like in Capadoccia I found that even if I would want to cover many places and activities(I did pottery in Turkey!) I wouldn't be able to on my own,as the public conveyance were less,so I hopped in to the central area,booked my day tour through a local agent which was much less than what I could have got from here.Ditto for Paris.

3)Keeping Enough Time Gap: 

While backpacking Greece,I realized that hopping onto islands was a real fun deal.The problem just was it came with big bold sea.Airfares when booked in advance were similar to the ferry fare,so I had booked most of it on planes except one on which I wanted to experience the ferry ride.To tell you the truth,the day before my ferry was scheduled,the other ferries and all jets were cancelled due to strong winds and bad sea.The worst you would want any day is to get stranded in an island,or book last minute planes to the nearby mainland because its going to be expensive.

Secondly,you cannot be sure of everything.As an when I researched,I got to know that the Havatas bus in Turkey from Airport goes 24 hours as per online,but I had to wait for 4 hours at the airport to catch the morning bus at 5am. Most of these sites aren't updated.Things always don’t go as per schedule.Keep that blanket.Zurich Airport is so big that it takes an hour and a half to reach the gates.

In Venice,I felt in winters(that is Oct),the sun rises late and goes down early(like 4 pm).That meant,I had to plan my vacation accordingly.

4)Keep City Center as focus

Hostels in Greece are a delight
I stayed in both City Circus near Monastiraki Metro
And Athens Backpackers near Acropolis Metro
This one is Athens Backpackers,and the pic is half the 6 dorm room.

Book hotels which is located in city centre or which is connected to metros or buses.That ways your vacation will be more easy.You can book through where you have option to choose(near city centre) with some hotels with free cancellation and pay on the place,HiHostels(if you have a youth hostel card or you want to try them),Skyscanner(pretty much sums up everything - your flights,your stay,your car rentals,flight low cost alerts).Recheck reviews of hostels or hotels though through Tripadvisor.

5)Knowing a Place Before You Dive In: 

Though I liked Greece,
I would any day choose Turkey over Greece.
Ephesus in Turkey is more beautiful than Acropolis to me!

As an when I see the exaggeration everywhere,I feel some things need to be told.Like Greece has amazing hostels and stay including lovely boutique hotels/lodges with friendly hosts.However,If you are travelling solo and you have to make a choice,stick to Turkey instead of Greece.Turkey has more Greek history,its more beautiful,very similar to Greece in terms of food and drinks,the people are friendly,and it has got everything a traveler needs.So instead of spending that 1.5 lakh on a place which so and so said is nice,invest in a place which is culturally more rich.If you are travelling as a couple or with friends,Greece is a perfect destination.It’s highly romantic specially the islands.The islands looks so picture perfect that every corner can be a frame.Athens can be a backpackers choice but I would still prefer Turkey.

It has got history but I found Turkish history to have much much more history even the sites are more worth watching.Most often ‘a Sea place’ gets a little boring,when doing alone unless you are hung ho on solitude or the want of it.Because I have done that in Israel,going to the mid of sea alone,trying hard to please myself its nice,but sea needs fun.I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy dancing with random people on beach or even hopping onto local buses in Greek islands in search of the authentic local Artichokes fry(fish fry),but unless you are confident,give ‘Some places a skip’ for a better place.

6)Plan Weatherwise

You wouldn't want this to be snow covered,would you?
At Pamukkale,Turkey

Unless you are sure of being content in seeing less,as much as possible Skip countries with sea during winters.Why because,Europe can get really chilled during winters,and you might then have to carry extra luggage(jackets,sweaters,woolens) and also during winters you would be able to get onto less sites.Ferries hardly run in Greek islands during winters.Even if you get in Turkey,it gets unbearably cold.That however shouldn't stop you from venturing into common winter gateways such as France,Italy,Switzerland as these are relaxed site seeing location with much lesser activity or even better 'their summer during our winter' holiday to Australia and New Zealand. Don't worry Switzerland has snow throughout the year.You do not have to freeze in a location to be able to enjoy it.Understand a snowfall for the time being looks cool,but for a longer period of time,just messes with your plan,bang on!

7)Be Cautious,but open up:

Tanned yet loving every bit of it.
With my lovely host Marietta in Mykonos Island,Greece
who gave me simple map,picked me from my ferry venue and dropped me at the airport.

Turkey so far,remains one of my favorite countries I have visited.It’s beautiful.In terms of travelers convenience for both solo and backpackers and groups,its very well managed, friendly and even budget friendly,I liked it even better than Switzerland.Italy and Switzerland are expensive yet quite backpack-able.

To each his own,but every country has a downside.The downside with Turkey is ‘Beware of Turkish Men’.I say to all solo female travelers travelling to Turkey.In Turkey,as long as I was there for 10 days 3 days solo,and with 7 days with a friend,I would everyday hear ‘ Are you a dream or are you for real?’,’Can I have your Facebook madam’ ,and even hindi taglines 'Jaati hai tu kaha'  and even 'will you marry me' it came as a natural way of wooing a girl but it came so often even on the roads that you must be aware of that.I would be writing a post shortly on Turkish men and their ways,but sadly none of the blogs have mentioned it.

Although we did indulge in random banter for fun's sake,the attention every time was making us smile,do not in any case,listen to your heart and give in,because they know they are handsome and they are very direct with their words.That doesn't mean,you mustn't make friends when abroad.I made beautiful Singaporean couple friends in Greece who I had dinner with.I made friends in Italy and Paris as well.Even Turkey would give you great friends,if you are cautious and know which way to go.

8)Some places may give the ‘not so IT’ factor you have to deal with: 

Racism at some places,well yes!
But just move on..and enjoy the place.

 I loved Italy.Spending 5 days in Italy was so less a time.If I had to go one place again,that would be Italy.However,it came with its own share of ‘not so IT’ factor.For the first time,I faced Racism in Italy.So when travelling in a packaged tour,you wouldn't be knowing if there is anything as such,but when travelling alone,there are things you might face.One of the statement which I took as a pinch of salt was when bargaining for a cloth was “Go back to India or Pakistan,your home land,we don’t sell cheap and low quality stuff”.The attitude was no rude,that it spoilt a couple of minutes of my otherwise cool vacation.And this wasn't the only time.

9)Skip Ryan Air: 

Do yourself a favor. Next time you plan Europe,skip Ryan Air or know the terms and conditions of being in it.These are super low budgeted airlines,which comes first in the search engine.I had booked them,because I thought they would be the best.However,Ryan air has these weird rules,that will scratch your head.Venice didn't have a printing counter,that meant you have to check in your own luggage,book your seats and deal with going forward to it.The airport of Ryan air had me hoping from several islands in Venice at the middle of the night and taking a bus,that meant spending whooping 3 hours to get to the airport.

The airport of Paris where the Ryan Air lands is in countryside(intact the airport is dedicated for Ryan air) and takes around 15 euros to go to the city after you land and around 1.5 hours.I had to pay 70 euros extra for not printing my ticket at Turkey,when all they had to do is print on my confirmation of booking which I had print of.After these mishaps,I would say best take a train or a flight which is not Ryan Air. Also,these low carrier airlines do not have luggage free.And we cannot travel without luggage.So even if you want a 15kg check in,you would have to pay 15 euros.

10)Plan Your Stay: 

 I loved my stay at all the hostels.I haven’t tried Airbnb,but I have tried Bnb’s and I would say they are my second choice if I want my piece of relaxed mind to crash in.However still,I would highly recommend hostels.Greece has the best hostels with kitchenette,bar at terrace,fun activities.It might be a little off for you to live in with 7 men(or women) at a 8 bed dorm,but these are the places were you find friends,you know the best ways to travel in budget,and they are not creepy as it sounds to us Indians.It is very similar to living in hostels in colleges where people mind their own business in their very own good way.So bar hopping and dancing with 5 euros is what I have done in Greece thanks to hostels.Most of these hostels have free breakfast.

When in hostels,take your own toiletries or buy it from the local store nearby because sometimes its not there.Get your own towel,some hostels may not have it.Luckily both my hostels at Greece had it.Since I wanted to enjoy my stay at the islands more in Greece,I had booked boutique hotels which were very very beautiful.

In Rome,I stayed at Roma Scout Center where I felt,like I was in Scouts.I had to give keys down and had a common bathing space separate for girls and boys which too as I had hoped otherwise was a pleasant experience.

11)Take Less Luggage: 

Roll and put it.This was my travel checkin bag.
Do carry sunscreen.The sun in Greece is sharp.

The last thing you would want is drag your luggage everywhere.When I traveled first time to Scotland,I had a whooping 21 kgs to carry around.Hopping into trains would often require an attempt more than once which I was more often than not helped by people with kind stares.The trick to this what I have learnt is,you can still carry all your clothes,provided its lightweight plus a jacket which you can wear while at airports.Carry clothes which can couple up in layers.Usually the domestic flights in Europe has weight limit of 15 kgs,so be aware of that if you are taking internal flights.The penalties at Europe is much much higher than what we give in India.So even a kg extra can cost you 20-25 euros.Best thing is take what’s essential,skip what’s garbage.If you travelling for a month and a half or more,you can also wash your clothes and dry.If you plan every day,take your dress accordingly for each day.I don’t because I usually carry 2-3 more alternatives,but that’s indeed the way.

12)No Place is as Safe and As Unsafe: 

We all have in mind that Europe is the ultimate destination with no crime rates which is not true.I agree,you may find yourself more ‘free to do’ in Europe.However with recession,came the high crime rates.Greece and Paris are notorious for pick pocketing. While during my trip to Greece,I know two stories that happened right away in the metro of Athens,where one of my hostel mates passport and wallet were stolen who had to make several trips to the embassy afterwards,and another a guy’s wallet was stolen which he complained to Athens police but got a stern reply ‘It happens everyday’.I didn't face pick pocketing in Paris but the constant announcement in metros and stories online says it happens quite often in Paris too.In fact as a matter of thumb rule,do not leave your luggage unattended in any part of the world. Safety lies in your hands,be little more cautious when travelling abroad.

13)Managing Money

Me and Namita having a blast at a local pub in Turkey
For free!

As you read my posts on Paris,you would understand what I am talking about.While Travel card is widely accepted everywhere in Europe,its advisable to carry part cash.Why so is because,if you plan to wander places which are off beat you might not have the facility to swipe the card.Usually carrying small denominations is recommended,as you would need it in metros(1.5 euros),buses and other modes.For shopping and everywhere else,you can try your luck with the travel card.When you board a bus in Paris or Italy,validate your ticket at the validating machine in the bus,they do not have ticket conductors.You can backpack Europe in as small budget as you would want to,or more,depending on how you want to travel.Europe isn't a big deal if you are sure of your budget.It’s easier to overdo budgets with the currency,but with planning,it can be done.

Buy City Passes i.e Roma pass,Zurich Pass and etc at every country that mostly includes your transport and historic cites.That is another budget way to save money.

14)Be Flexible with plans

The idea here is to get a hint and know in detail.However,while travelling you may come across people who inspire you for a new place or places which are just random somewhere on the map.Keeping your gut feeling intact,follow your heart,sometimes the new places are more beautiful than the ones in map.And many a times,the local buses,trains go to these places.Take calculated risk while travelling keeping the above factors in mind.I have taken buses worth Euro 1.5 inside the islands in Greece,,just because somewhere I liked the name and had the desire to explore.It hardly took me 20 minutes to figure out bus routes at the stand and places it takes me too.Adding onto a quick conversation with the one who gave me tickets,I got to know which places has what exactly.

15)Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian:Most Often You'll Find A Way

Swiss Alpen Macaroni consisting of Potatoes Macaroni Cheese Onion
And with Apple Sauce

Our parents have literally fed us with a concept that most often foreigners survive on meat or rather beef,and finding a vegetarian food is a struggle out home which is crap.I myself,am not a vegetarian,but an occasional non-vegetarian(I love chicken,fish etc etc but not always and definitely not on every meal in a country!)But having traveled to 6 European countries this year,I can confidently say 'Vegetarians will face no issues anywhere'.You can always ask the cook of the restaurant to make a vegetarian dish.Better still,you can do your research,make a list of vegetarian places and go hunting! So whether in Turkey or in Greece or in Spain,it's no big deal.Most of the restaurants have vegetarian dishes.Even in place like 'Scotland in UK' I found so many vegetarians!

If you are specific on having Jain food during your tour,go for packaged tours.If you are non-vegetarian be flexible on what you are getting because we may be used to chicken and fish,the world may have something different to offer.

16)Respect culture

I see it often that when we go abroad,we have a tendency to overdo our want for the teeny meeny,considering its Abroad and its Europe.However,in places like Turkey which still is very open except few sites where the shoulders need to be covered,respect that.Respecting their culture means instant connect.

17)Language No Barrier

It was when my dad went to Paris many many years back,he said the English speaking folks are not talked to sweetly.Considering my experience in Paris now,I would say if people don't understand your language,its fine,talk in sign language.If they seem not interested,move on.Learn a bit of a language if you have to,there are small little language book in every place most often on roadside,or you can learn on Internet.Sometimes talking in two different languages can be quite a funny experience like I had with a Croatian lady in Switzerland.

18)Yes,There are needy people everywhere

Now as per my assumption,I had never assumed in European countries people who are needy perform on road (like music,dance,act) and expect a money back.In Turkey at Taksim square you would see beggars even.The good part is these guys perform,while at India we are for free give and take.

19)Expecting Europe To Be Washed Clean is a mistake

The first impression you would have of Paris is Mumbai(a better version).The second impression the not-so-clean metro gives is 'Is it really what we see on the Facebook pages'.During evenings,Athens would have jammed packed metros.Is that the Europe you knew about?These places are still beautiful but whitewashed cleaned,not so much.Accept this fact and go with an open mind.

20)Do Not Ever Go Just By Photographs: 

 The Internet is full of beautiful photographs isn't it?But sometimes it happens,when you go to a place,you realize that it isn't even half as beautiful as the photograph.I have seen thin waterfall shots taken with so much grace,that I too get inspired.And when I go there,I find it that the picture wasn't as the reality is.Capri in Italy has beautiful photographs but one of my friend was advised to not go there by a local because they said it was dirty.

So,my last word of caution is:

 Do not plan just by watching Photographs.

You have Google. Do an image search.Look at other pictures and then decide on your own.Videos speak volumes.Watch videos which are not time-lapse or heavily edited,but the ones which are uploaded by amateurs or blogger who want to show you the real picture. So hoping that,you learnt a lesson or two on backpacking Europe.

We’ll have more series on planning travel,but these are just the basics before I write about my trip to Turkey,Greece and Italy.I see a lot of posts,randomly scattered online,and none helped me plan my trip,which was rather sad. But I hope this one helped you in little understanding of travelling alone.If it did,your sweet comments will make my day.

 Backpacking Paris is already there on my site.Till Turkey and Greece and Italy comes up published in detail,tada!

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Dholavira:Ancient Harappan Site With Rann On Both Sides

I take a quick selfie @ Rapar - Dholavira Road
To know what I wore,here top by Myntra,click here

My brother said that even if he throws a stone,it wouldn’t drown in these craters due to excessive salt content but the moment he threw one,it submerged.This road was a stretch just before Dholavira.Long stretch perfect for your drive of a lifetime.Be it bike or car or by public conveyance.But apart from this long stretch of road on both sides,was there anything else to see?The answer is yes.

Watch the video below to get a hint:

Bhuj To Dholavira[218 km,4 hour 16 min] via Bhachau Hwy 

This stretch of road would be your best drive in India
For previous posts on my 3 day trip to Rann,click below

 My mom claimed that this stretch of road was far more impressive and worth visiting than Lakhpat and decided to go for a long walk along the road with white rann on both sides.Random crater like water holes welcomed us along the road at certain places while at others you can walk in and go all along the white rann as long as you want to.

The best part is there ain't many people who go there
And there isn't a permit required.

The same feeling of eternal prevailed again,this time,it was a territory not visited by many.A few times,we wondered if these craters were deep,considering the fact that on the map,this stretch is located on Khadir bet island of Kutch,which means that it may have proximity to the Gulf of Kutch,the sea.

Awesome Twosome.I told you,I just can't get enough of it!
Add dholavira in your 3 day itinerary next time.

Dholavira is one of the two well preserved largest harrappan sites in India.

Dholavira:Are permits required? 

 The answer is no.Being close to Pakistan at borders,we wondered if we again have to apply for permits,which we figured out that no,Dholavira doesn’t require permits of any sort.While driving down this road,which is a little offbeat,you would cross many small villages,barely few cars on road,bop’s(Border outposts) on your right and left within few kilometres but no permits are required to visit the touristic sites of Dholavira.

Dholavira:Essential to keep in mind 

3G's don't work after a point
While coming back from Dholavira to Rapar,you would find that your 3G’s aren’t working,the network even is not there.Since we weren’t aware of the fact,and were solely dependent on our google maps,we missed the cut for little rann of kutch from Rapar.But if you do have adequate time,it comes 25-30 km ahead of Rapar and can be easily visited enroute.In whichever case,while going to Dholavira,carry a print of maps or a saved map on your phone.As when we stopped at Rapar and asked people where was the little Rann Wild Ass Sanctuary,they were unable to understand.Dad forcefully said once "Jaha Gadhe Milte Hain" and got response "Han Kahi To Hai" with a clueless look.Last weekend we went to Little Rann of Kutch and I must say,Its worth going!
Guide upto you
As you enter they request you to take a guide.You can park the car at the compound.We didn't take a guide because we thought it was quite walkable.But guides are available in case you are interested in knowing more than a little detail which is written there.

Bhuj To Rapar Drive [ 127km, 2 hours 22 minutes] 

 Now,these days the world is such that we depend so much on internet that every word said we assume is true.Sometimes the information conveyed is time bound.Like while doing my research for Dholavira,in lot of websites its written that the stretch of road is very bad at times,so we were concerned if we would again bump into road similar to last stretch of Bhuj.Google map was showing us two directions SH51 via Bhachau taking 4 hours 21 minutes,and other NH 15 taking 5 hour 2 minute.

 As we talked to a few locals before taking the cut for Rapar,they confidently said the road ahead via Rapar has been repaired and you must take this route.The drive was pleasant throughout.So we took Route 1(SH 51) of Google map to save time and trusting what others told us to.

Bhuj To Rapar:Stop At Rapar 

The fafdas are fried

 Internet says,that there isn’t plenty of options to eat while driving down from Bhuj to Dholavira except Rapar.Rapar comes 2 hours after Bhuj.So it was our first pit stop where most of the shops were just opening…

And made

As other days,we also had fruits and Khakras and packed Parle-G’s with us.But as we saw a little activity in one of the hotels,we decided to stop and ask. So we asked them,as a regular any Indian can we get any vegetable gravy with Chapati or Puri,to which we got a reply Fafdas with Jalebis is all you get at this time.As I haven’t had tried this combo before and we were all hungry,we had to say yes.Happily,we ate,as for the first time,I realised that fafdas can go well with Jalebies and green chilies and chatni and chai.Watch the video to know how it was made.

To have it with Jalebis,Mirchi,Chutney,

 As we travelled ahead of Rapar,we found there were some other small villages with a few shops.So Rapar is not the last point where you get food.There are though very few places where you can find something.This route is a little offbeat,that passes through villages but the roads are nice so there was nothing to worry or complain about plus it was shorter.

Rapar To Dholavira 

 In between Rapar to Dholavira comes this stretch of road with White Rann which could be easily be 4 km or may be more.After the drive are small villages you pass through.There isn’t many options to stay in Dholavira except Toran which I am not sure is good or bad,but hasn’t been appreciated much online,many reviews even suggesting it to avoid if you can.
Toran is the name of Gujarat Tourism's Resorts,Stay Options,Cafes
You would see that at every Touristic Site in Gujarat
While Toran at Rann is said to be good,Dholavira has below average reviews
For those who do not know:
The word Toran comes from a decorative for doors famous from Gujarat

Photo from Indianetzone
Many people if they want to stay in Dholavira station themselves at Rapar,but its upto you how you want to do it.We chose to not stay.Leaving early,you can even come back to Bhuj or Ahmedabad .

Dholavira:What To See And Avoid 

 Harappan Site:Must 

I thought its going to be nothing,but its so well preserved

 I am no big fan of history.My mom is.But over the last two years,the places which I have seen let me admit were rather fascinating.Civilizations that lived and existed before us,had much more structure and were more organised that us.For example the water system for Harrappans are known world over.I thought the Harappan Excavated site must have been completely damaged but what I saw was rather beautiful.The similar cut rocks with which the homes and the citadels were made still remain.With the view from the top was white rann yet again.

Oldest signboard with letters yet to be decoded.
What do you think it is?

 Harappan civilisation is one of the world’s first great civilisations ,which dates back to 3rd millennium BC.Discovered in 1967-68,this major Harappan city is spread across the area of 100 hectares,one among the biggest Harappan sites in the Indo-Pak continent.

The citadel,middle and the lower town.

The excavation bought into light the remarkable city of exquisite planning,aesthetic architecture and amazing water management system.The spectacular city of Dholavira was in the form of parallelogram guarded by a fortification.The area measuring 770 metres in length and 616 metres in width encloses three principal division ie. the citadel,the middle town and the lower town.

 The citadel standing majestically on the south consists of two fortified divisions.The castle in the east and the bailey in the west.The middle town,also fortified lies to the north and is separated from the citadel by a long and wide ceremonial ground.The lower town was laid our within the general fortification in the east of the middle town.In the citadel and middle town area,interesting network of drains,both small and large are discovered.

The unique feature of Dholavira is the occurrence of series of reservoirs,of which three are now exposed.These reservoirs were used for storing fresh water,possibly filled with water diverted from a nearby seasonal nullah.These reservoirs are partly excavated into the bedrock and partly built on masonry.There is provision of steps to reach the water level.This system of reservoirs provided fresh water to the flourishing Harappan city in a region,where the present day rainfall averages from 300 mm to 400 mm.Very often many seasons may go without rains.This achievement is a high watermark of Harrapan enterprise.

A large number of antiquities were unearthed from the site.Noteworthy among those are graduated scale made on a charred rib bone of an animal.A number of seals and dealings,beads of semi precious stones,gold,copper,shell,terracotta etc.Among the terracotta figurines,the unicorn animal figure is an important discovery of it kind.Gold,silver,copper,shell and terracotta ornaments were in use at that time.A vessel of chlorite and some other antiquities of west asian origin indicate its link with the mesopotamia.

Fossil Park:Avoid 

 As per reviews of trip advisor,Fossil Wood Park is also one of the recommended site in Dholavira which I would say completely avoid.If we hadn’t bumped into BOP Karni by mistake,this journey would have had been pain.Just as you get out of Harappan site,go towards the helipad,take a left and its complete offroading on kacha road.Someplaces there are tyre marks,some places there aren’t.Google map doesn’t work in the area so it was easy to get lost.We saw a board somewhere in the off road as around 5km ahead for Fossil Park, which we kept on going in search along the kacha road with frequent up and down.We could see,fencings and walls,so we didn’t know if we were crossing anywhere to Pakistan by mistake or if we weren’t.There was simply no one to tell us.As after the bumpy ride of the 5 km which took us more than half a hour,we saw a board on our right,so ancient we couldn’t understand where it led to.

BOP Karni to find our way for fossil park
Though we could capture so much,this site needed a 360 degree panorama with rann on both side of temple and the island at far.It was beautiful

So we head straight to the BOP outpost to ask the soldier and the tea seller on where the hell was the fossil park.BOP Karni was by accident but it was a pleasant site,there is a temple,white rann and an island we could see.I wondered what the island was,and belonged to which country.Any ways,we head back on their recommendation on the same sign board we missed,the soldier told us to not drag our car lest it might get stuck.So once you cross any signboard that looks even more antique than the fossils,drive through.It takes you to another roller coaster obviously with the view of rann,and stops midway.That meant the car cannot go further with stones stopping the way and you have to walk down.

Looking down,we chose to skip,there were few stones kept at the base from where Rann started.Mom told she’s been to other fossil parks,and the wood becomes so old,it feels like stone.The site didn’t interest either of us,so we chose to head back,and that is where our car got stuck.The road ahead was narrow and very steep uphill.The car started going back,and my brother told us to get down.After he drove for a while then we got in.What an adventure you must avoid.Had it not been for BOP karni,we would have been very very disappointed. Please do not search for BOP karni though :) ,it is quite far from Harappan site,and unless you have adequate time to wander around in the hope that the fossil park might be good,head back to Rapar and little Rann of Kutch on the way.Google maps don't work in this site.

Useful References on Dholavira
Thinkingparticle(public conveyance,eatery etc to Dholavira)

I hope you liked my series on Rann of Kutch,if there's anything you'd like to know more,do give me a buzz.Next week we'll talk about Little Rann Of Kutch(Another interesting site which can be accessed while coming back from Dholavira),Nalsarovar,Modera Sun Temple,Thol Bird Sanctuary,Rani Ki Vav and Adalaj.We will also hear stories on why sarees are used as fences,what makes little rann of kutch not so white,where sonia gandhi favourite patola sarees are made and why rani ki vav is the new unesco heritage site.

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#KhudKoKarBuland:From Papa Ki Beti To Sab Ki Chaheti

Watching this beautiful video of Birla Sun Life Insurance' bought a sense of relief from struggle in my own life with a few drops of tears in eyes in retrospect.If it is so difficult for a kid suffering from ‘’ and his father,imagine us,who live their normal lives with certain ups and downs and still complain.However,at the end,it is the love with a bit of planning that keeps everyone on track.It is also the time we give to others,that makes life easy and worthwhile.This is a story on how we kept our 'Hoslas Buland' to achieve what we ever wanted from our lives.

"Main dikhti hoon maa jaisi sab kehte hai ... sab kehte hai, sach kehte hai ... par main hoon apne papa ki beti”

To the most stubborn girl in my college days who had never witnessed any discomfort thanks to people in life who surrounded me;for the last few years I was all in the open,completely nude of my thoughts,willing to trust.Often so happens that,the world isn’t fair when anything unfortunate happens but is totally in sync when there are applauds.It is then one realises who are and who would be with you forever;friends,family,spouse the true colours come out open.Sometimes you are left alone and in those times,you are reminded that your savings(Emotional and Material) can only save you.I never learnt the art of saving thanks to Dad in my teens,who would gently tell me to ‘save’,but would pamper me with so much love that I never needed the material gains.He would often gently put a blanket on me when I slept in the trains,even making my bed till the last semester of my college.I would often watch him pursue his dreams in balance with his work.Astrology as his interest was for one year,in that one year,every weekend he would come from his posting and join the class and go back.We hardly understood his passion,but his desire to write on the stars got him a medal.He even was appreciated for his command on Hindi at a national level.

                                              #KhudKoKarBuland:All Life Needs Is All.Balanced.                                              
The inspiration got into me,like a healthy disease.I would often think if I could achieve excellence in field I love but neither was the desire strong nor was the maturity to pursue them.Even though right from the beginning,I got prizes in Music,Drawing and Studies I was least interested to pursue either of them,so much so that when I joined the Engineering College it was only because everyone else was doing so.I hated Maths to the core,and I wonder if it had any significant influence in my life ever.Good part was I never felt jealous or insecure,as to me ‘My own objective was to do my best’,’rest I never cared’.

My school best friend would often suggest me to save but I would like any ‘colony’ kid would refuse to let go of my comfort level of thinking neglecting it as just another option for older people.Because as today,I was used to living in ‘now’.And as any other colony kid,I was often surrounded with naukar - chakkar for help.I even didn’t know if there was a queue for Railway tickets until I got my first ticket in my third year in college.I thought life was automatic,and everything came ready made. Often people complain on their restrictions to pursue their dreams.Dad had a softer side but his harder side was restrictive that made our movements difficult as independent.Even if I had to go anywhere,I had to take permission as every household,going solo was just out of question and tagging along someone was 90% of the times the chosen option.Most often, the answer would be no to free - spirited reckless wander,which clashed with my hopes and dreams. Learning to grow in the restriction and expand my boundaries was one thing I learnt early on.

Hoping that bad things would get better doesn't make them better
#KhudKoKarBuland to fight and act on your bad and turn them into good.

A lot of people would disagree to what I say today.But the past three years has gained me insights into things I had hidden in the corner.The change in me,started to happen a few days before my marriage.My dad said one day to mom,that the money from our savings is going to create a marriage of our dreams.That was the day I knew the power of savings.As I watched my granddad carefully,I saw balancing married life and friendship wasn’t as big deal,for even at the age of 80,he had his best friends and school friends,playing at club with him or were laughing at the silliest of jokes.At this age of Wassapp and Facebook he had his diary with phone numbers of everyone he considered his.How many of us do that today?

After struggling my way into the world of software of 5 years,neither my heart was,nor my mind was into mindless coding.I was doing so,to balance my healthy appetite for shopping to the salary I get and was content in my own world.Until one day,I left it to a better me.The better me came with a share of struggles,I call learning phase.Joining an adventure firm that didn’t let me travel,but others travel,I wasn’t satisfied with what life had to present to me.Sooner I realised I needed money to travel to places I wish to.This time,I had no source of free income.Hopping into part times,home based jobs which gave me salary to sustain,with savings to plan for my future travel was the only option.It was then I came bang on with the ideologies I resisted.Should I save for future or should I live in present?I often would see my friends and peers,invest,and would wonder why if they anyways have to pay in instalments.My passion wasn’t a new home in my name but a new destination I would love going to and that is where I invested all my energy which fetched me two awards and 17 destinations in 3 years.

Everyone goes through a grumpy face not once but many times in a year
What makes the curve from :( to :) is love.

 But often clouded with the achievements of oneself,we forget that it involves a price to pay which others call it ‘I was lucky or unlucky’.Luck is a passing phase.Last two years,to me was the struggle of the worst kind.Besides blogging which I love,I was suffering from chronic Sinus and Thyroid disorders that made my mood swing like there’s no tomorrow.I would take medicines daily,so that I do not sneeze every minute,so that my fever is low.My nose would pain,my face would be swollen,and I was groggy and irritated.One moment I’ll be happy,other moment I’ll be bursting in tears.One moment I would want to travel and leave for months,another moment I would want myself to be wrapped in love.One moment,I would love to pose for my style moment,another moment my body will resist perfumes and makeup,building in rashes. Meanwhile,I experienced hurt from people who I thought were closed allies.Stress grew into me like a climbing ‘money-plant’ tree.I would often look towards the fan and wonder ‘why me!’ and then would blog.I would eat less,talk less and was conscious if my face in the videos were perfect.I would forget lines,would stumble with every sneeze or heavy headiness.It was also when I got several interesting opportunities I had to say ’no’ to,but to me now,building up my image wasn’t my only motto in life.I had outgrown on what people talk about me,outgrown if it ever mattered.Outgrown if there was anything negative in life,only lessons we never understand.Talking to one of my friend who overcame ‘cancer’ which the world consider ‘an invite to death' by positive thinking and treatment,I was convinced the world isn’t as bad.Her funda was ‘Be brave,forgive people,do what you feel is happy,listen to what your body says to you,work out,be nice to others’ and rest leave to God.

My closest peers,would know I was so weak,but how strong my blog spelt like!

 The beauty of the virtual world is it can disguise the pain in your face with soothing words.

People who would hurt or trouble will most often be the closest ones
But once you know what their needs are,there is beauty in everyone.
And every plan with them then comes naturally.

 But during my days of struggle which others give in to,I chose to attend every wedding I thought was close,spent time with my family attending their birthdays,my friends who I sang with or listening to when I wasn’t well,my husband who even with my groggy face would kiss me and say everything will be fine,my in laws who I never had time to understand.As my medical bills rose to Ayurveda,Homeopathy,Allopathy,I felt a huge sense of responsibility to earn and contribute. I would never take my sickness as an excuse to anything,giving time to everything that was important to me,no matter what.Later I started accepting my swollen face or a rash here and there and started a blog where makeup and pose doesn’t have a place. Suddenly in spite of so much work on my blog and otherwise,I had time for everyone,because now my happiness came from them being happy,the happiness I missed in me when I wasn’t well.More often than not,we never realise how important time is for everyone,and more important love is,until we find that we are too weak to get involved.I started appreciating myself and the values I have.

 I was sure,if I give it to what nature is willing to take from me now,I would never have the strength to get up.I attended sessions which spoke of health,preventive measures,stress,talks.I read my horoscope to know if there was a time I would be fine.Like perfectly able to breathe,sleep,dance.Like rest of us.The final bang came just before my one month backpacking trip to Europe.I completely blacked out walking with a friend. I didn’t know if it was stress or something else.But I decided to solve it,going then and there to a doctor ,getting injections for a week and leaving the next week.For a day or two,I felt an effort to get up and get going,but later I ignored even little symptoms which tried finding its way in.Coming back,now I know perfect balance in my lifestyle.

 Adding fun and run,discarding bad emotional habits,ignoring gossips,balancing between real and virtual,laughing and spreading love to people who respect and value more was my mantra.If it wasn’t for my dad’s inspiration to excel and rise above,I would be still lying at any corner,crying,hoping that someone helps me.If It wasn’t for my dad’s fight for his passion,I would still be married to some stranger I never knew.If it wasn’t for my dad’s words,I would still be spending every penny on fancy clothes than my dreams.If it wasn’t for my conflict with restrictions,I may have lost myself in the routine considering it another safe option.If it wasn’t for my hubby’s generous comments and support,I would still be wondering if love came with an expiry date or endless sacrifices.If it wasn’t for my friends patience,I would still be singing my tunes alone.If it wasn’t for my swollen face,I wouldn’t be knowing what harmful chemicals do these upmarket products contain? If it wasn’t for my bad health,I wouldn’t be knowing who my true well wishers are.This to me,came as a blessing,as a lesson to make me realise important things I had been missing on.

 Do you still think,fate makes you?Think again. Chances are Grass always looks Greener on the other side.

But saving for a better life and planning it well makes all the difference backing up every risk you take,every bad thing that happens and every good thing that comes your way.

So instead of shouting ‘Lul ho gai hai hamari life” at every difficult turn,#KhudKoKarBuland and each dream will be yours!

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Lakhpat Fort:Narayan Sarovar,Koteshwar Temple

Dad looks towards the Kori Creek and The Marshland at Lakhpat

Peaking through the slightly crumbled newspaper with a look on his face as “where have we come from” as we stopped our car to ask for the direction to the only soul we saw in the otherwise abandoned village,he told us to go ahead for Lakhpat Fort.

Lakhpat was a famous port town till the 18th century,was also known as ‘Basta Bandar’ in the 6th century.The term Lakhpat meaning millionaire means the land was once so fertile that the green crops earned one lakh coins.

We couldn’t fathom the sorry state of the place and started guessing what disasters could have happened that led people to run and never come back.Anticipating the cause,we guessed could be due to excessive shelling by Pakistan in the past(due to it being super close) or due to site being some sort of Ghost town with one legendary tragic story to tell.We asked a locals we could see walking (one or two) who told us that it was a deadly disease that wiped the whole town out,while the army personal at the Lakhpat Gurudwara told us that it was the massive impact of the earthquake of 1819 that wiped out the entire village.After the earthquake the area became barren and the crops withered away due to lack of water as the river Sindhu disappeared after the earthquake.

Bhuj To Lakhpat Fort(135km,2 hours 30 minute) 

 As yesterday,if you remember we literally starved in fondness of Rann.Today we were determined to have some food along the way.So the first thing we did was ask where we get good food along the way.We were told Nakhatrana was we must stop for food.As today we left early in the morning with fruits in hand,by the time,we reach Nakhatrana we weren’t as hungry so we deliberately passed through.Further ahead,we saw many mustard fields,mostly fenced,though I jumped in one that wasn’t for a quick photo-op.If you are leaving early from Bhuj,the most popular thing you would find in the mornings would be Kachori to eat on road.

Bhuj To Lakhpat:Tropic Of Cancer 

If you live in Gujarat,you would notice sunrise happens quite late
Due to Gujarat Being On The Western
To read previous posts on Rann of Kutch and Bhuj

 It was when we were driving past this road,we saw a signboard of tropic of cancer.The tropic of Cancer at 23.3 degrees north divides India in two parts.If you look into globe,you will find this line that goes and passes through.Except at the site we wouldn’t find a line marked;to which my brother told that it is an imaginary line.Since this part of Gujarat or even whole of Gujarat is located on the westernmost part,the sunrise happens quite late by around 7:20 am everyday.So 6 am is still dark in Gujarat.

My own DDLJ moment

Bhuj To Lakhpat:Mata No Madh 

 Along the road to Lakhpat around 90kms is Mata No Madh,a temple of family god of Kutchis which is visited by many pilgrims who come to temple bare feet.

Lakhpat Fort And Tomb Of Gosh Mohammed 

The Beautiful Tomb Of Gosh Mohammed

 Now usually,I think of fort as a defensive wall in which we have some settlement or some establishment inside within closed spaces.I haven’t so far seen a fort which just has a defensive wall and inside it is a village and the tomb in the open.Climbing up a few stone stairs onto the Lakhpat Fort,we could see 360 degree views of Kori Creek,Marshland,Sand and Rann.Further ahead is said to be pakistan;As we couldn’t see any establishment on the end of our vision,we exactly do not know where it was.A few shots from the movie Refugee has been filmed in Lakhpat.

 The tomb of Gosh Mohammed just in the vicinity of Lakhpat Fort is an interesting structure with bright green doors.Gosh Mohammed was a holy man revered by both Hindus and Muslims and who lived in Lakhpat in the early 19th century.He was also known as a healer and for his songs about Krishna.

Lakhpat Fort:Can Skip , If You Visit Dholavira 

 I highly recommend a drive down Dholavira if you have a choice to make between Lakhpat and other places.If you have been to White Rann before as we did,you wouldn’t find it as exciting.But if you have 5-6 days to cover Gujarat and at your leisure you may as well include it.But if you have just 3 days,skip Lakhpat and Narayan Sarovar and head to Koteshwar and Mandvi.And the next day Dholavira.If you do so,you wouldn’t be missing much..

Lakhpat Gurudwara 

At Gurudwara Pehli Patashi

 If you still happen to travel the way we did,do not forget to visit the Lakhpat Gurudwara also called the “Gurudwara Pehli Patashi” meaning “Gurudwara Of The First Master" where Gurunanakji visited the place on his way to Mecca Madina many times and stayed there for a few days.In old times,Lakhpat was part of Sind(Pakistan).From Lakhpat Guruji crossed to Somiani port in sind for his famous journey to Mecca Madina in Saudi Arabia.Several rare treasures are preserved here including the “The Charan Paduka”(wooden footwear) of Gurunanakji.

 The Lakhpat Gurudwara was where we met many army personal and discussed the current state of Lakhpat.After the darshan,we had langar with sumptuous home type cooked prasad and food.Free langar and tea are served to the visitor around the clock. You need to wash your own utensils at the gurudwara but the food was really yummy! You can also stay at the Gurudwara at visitor’s sleeping room.

Lakhpat To Narayan Sarovar[35 km] 

Colors That Sparkle

 It was said to be coming in between Lakhpat and Koteshwar,and hence we chose to visit it,but you can easily skip it if you have not much inclination to religion.Narayan Sarovar is a very sacred place for hindus.Narayan Sarovar stands for lake of Narayana aka Vishnu,

But you can still skip Lakhpat and Narayan Sarovar and choose Koteshwar and Mandvi instead

There are 5 sacred lakes and Narayan Sarovar is built on one of them.As per the panditji,the Sarovar is dry for last 3 years.The road is straight from Lakhpat taking us to a bit of roller coaster with up and down slope along the road.We liked the colours on the temple,however the temple was closed during our visit time i.e 1:30pm.The temple closes from 1-4pm.We were told to visit Koteshwar as it is open throughout..

The black camel who was reluctant to pose but was captured by my brother in the dried up Narayan Sarovar

Narayan Sarovar To Koteshwar Temple[4km] 

 Koteshwar is a name of ancient Shiva temple and the legendary story goes like…(from wikipedia)

The view from Koteshwar Temple

1)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 linga 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. The temple is also known as Kotilingeshwar Temple.

This is by the middle of sea,the water stands quite shallow

2)Another version of story says, when Lord Shiva was delighted with the worship and forfeit of Ravana, he gave him a Ling-full of religious power. Lest Ravana should become endless as a result of this advantage, all the Gods united together and conspired to gain the Ling from Ravana through dishonesty and installed it as Kotilengeshwar.  It looked to me like a popular site,as all along the way was signboards of Gujarat Tourism.Surrounded by shallow sea on both sides with the view of the light of Karachi on a clear night,Koteshwar once was an ancient port which now is a fishing village famous for Koteshwar Temple/ There in the temple,you would see Shiv Lingas but also Nandis and Kurma.I was surprised to see a Turtle being prayed. Kurma or Turtle is the second incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu.The avatar was taken by Vishnu to help the Devas acquire the amrut during Samundra Manthan.

Mannat of Bindi Tree for jannat in present life

 One more thing that you would see is the tree with Thousands of Bindis as part of mannat by several women.I even saw a few ladies sticking bindis to the tree.

Why 'Kurma' or the turtle is prayed..

 Koteshwar Temple To Bhuj:Drive Back 

 As we drove back from Koteshwar we saw a diversion in the middle onto our right towards Mandvi for 121km.We decided to head back to Bhuj as even the time we would be reaching Mandvi would be evening. However,as suggested by one of my brother’s colleague,Mandvi is a beautiful place with beach by the windmills and Vijay Vilas Palace where sequences of movie Hum Dil De Chuke Was Shot.

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