Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary is spread over an area of 120.82 square kilometers. A large lake and marsh lands forms a large portion of this bird sanctuary. This bird sanctuary is habitat to many a migratory birds during winter and spring.

inside Nalsarovar Bird SanctuaryBoats leave at sunrise to take bird watchers out on the lake inside Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary was declared as a bird sanctuary in 1969. The lake is home to 210 bird species  in the winter.  Winter is the time when many of the migratory birds like flamingos, rosy pelicans,  white storks, ruddy shelducks and herons makes this Bird Sanctuary as their second home.

This Bird Sanctuary attracts thousands of waterfowls, immediately after the monsoon season.

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary offers boat ride to hose interested to go deep into the lake. Horse ride is also available on the banks of the lake.

This Bird Sanctuary was declared as a Ramsar site on  2012. It is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat.

How Do I Go to Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary?

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary is at a distance of around 63.5 kilometers from Ahmedabad city, the capital of Gujarat state.

What are the timings of Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary?

This Bird Sanctuary is open from 6 am to 5:30 pm.  There is an entry fee to be paid. There is a separate charge for camera. Boating charges are extra. It is negotiable. Please confirm the rates before boarding the boat.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Statue of Unity (SOU) – World’s Tallest Statue

Statue of Unity (SOU) is the  statue of ‘Iron Man of India’, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It is the world’s tallest statue in  Narmada district, Gujarat state, India. It has a height of 182 meters (597 feet).  The total height of the structure including the height of the statue is 240 meters (790 feet). Base of the statue is 58 meters high (190 feet) . It is eructed on a river-island facing the Sardar Sarovar dam alias Narmada Dam.

Sardar Patel statue (Photo courtesy | Twitter @PMOIndia)

Sardar Patel (31 October 1875 – 15 December 1950) was a freedom fighter and the  Deputy Prime Minister of India. He was also the First Minister of Home Affairs. He also served as the First Commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. This post was abolished  and merged with the post of President of India, on his death in 1950. He passed away on the 15th of December, 1950.

Sardar Patel was very much instrumental in persuading the 565 princely states of India to accede to India, after they have been released from British suzerainty in 1947. This earned him the sobriquet “Iron Man of India”. (While agreeing to accede to India, Royal family members were given ‘Privy Purse‘, an annual payment from the consolidated funds of India. This was abolished in 1971.)

The statue of unity or SOU is surround by a lake with an area of around 12 square kilometers. The monuments and allied infrastructure occupies an area of 20,000 square meters (220,000 sq. ft.).

Larson & Tubro (L & T), a leading Indian multinational company, bagged the contract for design, construction and maintenance of the statue, for a sum of  ₹2,989 crore (US$420 million).  Construction work  was started on the 31st October 2014.

The completed statue was dedicated to the Nation on the 31st of October 2018,  by Honorable Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi. 31st of October 2018 was the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's Statue of Unity - World's Tallest Statue

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Statue of Unity (World’s Tallest Statue) in Gujarat, India

There is an Observation deck at 135 meters height.

How Do I Go to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Statue of Unity (SOU)- World’s Tallest Statue?

The statue of Unity (SOU) is on an island named Sadhu Bet. It is at a distance of around  3.2 kilometers (2 miles) away  Narmada Dam. Rajpipla is the nearest major town to the statue of Vallabhbhai Patel, at around 25 kilometers away.

Vadodara (Baroda) railway station  is at around 90 kilometers distance from the statue of Patel. Ankleshwar railway station is at around 93 kilometers distance from SOU.

Ahmedabad, the capital of the state of Gujarat, is at around 197 kilometers from the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

SOU Tickets i.e. Online Ticket Booking to Visit Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Statue of Unity

Online tickets to visit the tallest statue one earth can be booked at the website of Sardar Vallabh Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust. There are separate SOU Tickets for entry and observation deck If you buy any of these two tickets, then the bus ticket (to travel inside) is free.

How About Going Back in History to 3700 BCE To Harappan Indus Valley Civilization Site at Lothal?

Lothal is the site of ancient Indus valley civilization dating back to the Harappan Period, 3700 BCE. Lothal is a treasure chest of relics that has helped in revealing numerous insights about the Indus Valley Civilization. It is situated in Gujrat state, India.

Ancient Archaeological site at Lothal
Ancient Archaeological site at Lothal

This historic site was discovered in 1954. Excavation started from 13 February 1955 and lasted till 19 May 1960, under  Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Excavation was resumed in 1961. The site has been nominated to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site; application is still pending.

Lothal’s dock is the World’s earliest known dock. This dock was used to connect Lothal to an ancient course of Sabarmati river. A township and  marketplace has also been found underneath here.

The tools and techniques found here shows that beads, gems and other ornaments were made in this region.  Metallurgy and bead-making techniques of those days have stood the test of time for over 4000 years. These products were in demand in West Asia and Africa, with which this area had trade link, even those days.

The archaeological site at Lothal has proved that, washroom drainage system existed in those days.

Archaeological Museum at Lothal

There is an archaeological museum at Lothal adjacent to the Archaeological Site, which has Indus-era antiquities on display. The archaeological museum shows various artifacts like utensils, seals, jewellery and so on, that shows how people  lived those days.

Pottery from Lothal Archaeological site
Pottery from Lothal Archaeological site

There are three galleries in the museum. The front gallery shows introductory write-ups and map of the site along with an artist’s projection of Lothal. To the left of the front gallery,  on display are  beads,replicas of seal, terracotta ornaments, copper and bronze objects. shell and ivory objects,  tools and potteries received during excavation. To the right of the front gallery, on display are animal and human figurines, objects recovered from burials and ritual objects, game objects, weights, painted potteries, miniature potteries, bricks, etc. There is also a replica of a joint burial ground and a scaled down model of Lothal site. 800 objects out of the total of 5089 objects unearthed are on display in this museum.

There is also a reference library and a small publication counter, which sells publications on the Archaeological Monuments.

How Do I Go to Lothal, Harappan Period Archaeological Site?

Bagodara  is the nearest major city at around 19.2 kilometers distance. Dholka is at around 43.7 kilometers distance. Lothal is well connected by roads to all these cities.

Ahmedabad is the nearest major railway station to Lothal, at around 78 kilometers distance.  There is an international airport also at Ahmedbad. (Technically, Lothal Bhurkhi railway station is the nearest railway station at around six kilometers distance,  on the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar line. You need to have super natural powers to get down here, as there are no platforms at this station!)

Bhavnagar is at around 97 kilometers distance. Vadodara is at around 143 kilometers away. Rajkot is  at around 174 kilometers.

What Everybody Ought To Know About Gondal Palace Heritage Hotel

Gondal is historic city and one of the eight first class princely states of Kathiawar Agency, political unit responsible for some 200 small princely states of current Gujarat state, under Bombay Presidency in British India. The princely state of Gondal was eligible for The 11 gun salute  from the British and was ruled by a  Rajput dynasty of the Jadeja clan.

Naulakha Palace at Gondal
Naulakha Palace at Gondal

His Highness Maharaja Bhagwat Sinhji, who reigned from 1888 until his death in 1944, was the most prominent of the rulers of this princely state. He introduced wide ranging social and economic  reforms. He was also instrumental in establishing many educational and public institutions along with good infrastructure. He also made girl child education free and compulsory. He abolished many taxes. He was also a leading personality in the development of railway industry in Saurashtra.

Naulakha Palace is the oldest palace among the Gondal palaces. It was the palace of the royal family at that time. It was built around 1748 AD and underwent extensions during the region of successive rulers. The former living quarters of the royal family is now being converted into a private museum. It exhibits some of the rare royal belongings. Naulakha palace also houses a vintage car museum, which has some of the rare vintage cars on display.

Orchard Palace was constructed as an extension of the Huzoor Palace, the royal residential palace, in the late 19th century, to host personal guests of the Maharaja.

Riverside Palace was  the residence of the Crown Prince of Gonda. It was constructed in 1880’s. It is now converted into 11 large and high-ceiling hotel rooms. A large number of resident and migratory birds can be seen here in this palace. The galleries  in this palace displays some of the rare family collection of the Royals.

Orchard Palace and Riverside Palace are now converted to a heritage hotel. The Royal Railway carriage  of Maharaja  is also converted into a luxury hotel room.  Residents of Orchard Palace and Riverside Palace are taken for a guided tour of these museums.

These properties are managed by HGH GROUP Riverside Palace & Orchard Palace.  These hotels are one the best hotels in Gondal.

How Do I Go to Gondal?

Gondalis at a distance of around 40 kilometers from Rajkot, a major city in the state of Gujarat. The state capital city Ahmedabad is at a distance of around 250 kilometers away. The refinery capital of India, Jamnagar, is at around 130 kilometers distance.

Teen Darwaza

Historical Monument Teen Darwaza at Ahmedabad

Teen Darwaza is an ancient gateway built in 1415, on the east of Bhadra Fort in Ahmedabad, India. These three Darwazas were constructed by Ahmed Shah I. The work was completed in 1415.

Teen Darwaza
Teen Darwaza in Ahmedabad.

Teen Darwaza (Darwaza means door) consists of three arches which leads to a larger area, which was once the outer courtyard Maidan Shah Palace. The center arch has a width of 17 feet. the outer arches has a width of 13 feet each. It has a height of 25 feet. Once the gateway is crossed, there is a a fountain at the center.

The gateway was a roofed structure earlier. In 1877, repair works to the gateway were undertaken. The roof was removed as part of this work.

Head of the erstwhile Gujarat Sultanate used to hold court hearings on top of this Darwaza, on the terrace.

In 1459, Sultan Mahmud Begada or Mahmud Shah I, the young King of Gujarat Sultanate, aged less than 15 years at that time, marched through this historic gateway with 300 horsemen and a bow in hand. This was when he was confronted by rebel nobles of his own sultanate numbering around 30000. The king ordered the roads leading to the fort to be guarded by elephants and marched slowly along the main street, with Royal band playing music. Even though the juvenile King was trembled at the sight of the rebellion forces, his act of bravery earned him support of many of his subjects. He succeeded in destroying the rebellion leaders and won the attack on his kingdom.

There is a plaque with inscriptions on the arch with details of the decree from Maratha governor, Chimnaji Raghunath. declaring equal right to women in inheriting their ancestral property. The inscriptions are in Devnagari script and dated is 10th October 1812. It reads

“Let the daughter get her due share of fathers property without any hitch. So is Lord Vishwanath’s command. If you defy, the Hindu will have to answer Mahadev and the Mussalman will have to explain to Allah or Rasool.”

Teen Darwaza area is now houses a market.

How Do I Go to Teen Darwaza?

Teen Darwaza, one of the main places to visit near Ahmedabah, is situated at the heart of the city of Ahmedbad.

Ahmedabad Junction railway station with 10 platforms, with station code ADI, is the main station in the city. Ahmedabad MG with station code ADIJ, is another station in the city.

Sabarmati Junction railway station, situated near Sabarmati Ashram, is at around 7 kilometers away. Sabarmati Ashram was the residence of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Great Freedom fighter and father of the nation (India). Sabarmati Ashram is at a distance of 6 kilometers away from the 3 Darwazas. It is one of the main places of interest in Ahmedabad.

Ahmedabad airport is at around 9 kilometers distance from the famous Teen Darwaza arches.