Sardar Sarovar Dam – Second Largest Gravity Dam in the World

Sardar Sarovar Dam is a 163 meter high dam built over Narmada river in Gujarat state, India. The foundation stone was laid by Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime mister of India, on 5th April, 1961. The dam was dedicated to the nation on the 17th September, 2017, by the Prime Mister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.

Sardar Sarovar Dam
Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujrat state

Sardar Sarovar Dam is a concrete gravity dam and is the second largest such dam in the world by volume, after Grand Coulee Dam in the US. It has a length of 1,210 meters.

Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan states are the major beneficiaries of the Sardar Sarovar Dam project. The dam is used generate electricity and for irrigation purposes. Close to 18,000 square kilometers of area comes under irrigation from this dam. Furthermore, 1,450 Mega Watts of power is generated from this project. Moreover, the dam provides flood protection to around 210 villages and to Bharuch city, totaling around 4 lack people of Gujarat state.

Significantly, the dam height was increased multiple times, which caused long drawn legal battles for decades. Human displacement and environmental disruption in the catchment areas were the major cause of contention. Accordingly, the supreme court of India allowed height increases at different times, subject to satisfactorily rehabilitation of the affected people.

Medha Patkar, a social activist and founder of Narmada Bachao Andolan, is the main voice of the displaced people. Narmada Bachao Andolan under Medha Patkar took the issues of the displaced people to the courts. She relentlessly fights for the rights of the displaced people of 3 states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra. She was also a commissioner on the World Commission on Dams.

Statue of Unity near Sardar Sarovar Dam

World tallest statue, Statue of Unity, with a height of 182 meters (597 feet) is situated at around 3.2 kilometers from Narmada dam. Statue of unity is the statue Sardar Vallabhai Patel, India’s first Deputy Prime Minister.

How Do I Go to Sardar Sarovar Dam

Vadodara is at around 92 kilometers from Sardar Sarovar Dam. This Dam is at around 184 kilometers from Navagam town. Anand, the milk capital of India, is at around 140 kilometers from the Dam. Bharuch city is at around 100 kilometers and the capital city of Ahmedabad is at around 200 kilometers respectively from Sardar Sarovar Dam.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territories of Republic of India

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a Union territory in Western India, consisting of 2 different geographical entities with the same names.

Silvassa, Capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Silvassa, Capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Nagar Haveli is wedged between Maharashtra state and Gujarat state. Dadra is a smaller area surrounded by Gujarat. Silvassa is the capital city of this Union Territory. Daman Ganga River flows through the union territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

Dadra & Nagar Haveli was part of the Portuguese India till 1954. In 1954, residents of Dadra & Nagar Haveli conquered the territory. They requested administrative help from the government of India. An I.A.S. Officer was sent as the administrator, who continued till 1961.

In 1961, Indian military took control of Goa, Daman and Diu; the Portuguese possessions in India. Thereafter, the administrator was temporarily assigned as Prime Mister of Dadra and Nagar Haveli for a single day, to sign an agreement to merge the territory with India. He signed the agreement with Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India. Thus Dadra & Nagar Haveli became part of India, as a Union Territory.

In 1974, a formal treaty was singed by India and Portugal to confirm the sovereignty of India over Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The union territory of Dadra Nagar Haveli is having an area of 491 square kilometers. Dadra and Nagar Haveli is rich in Flora and fauna. Nearly 40 per cent of the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli is covered by reserved forests. Its a paradise for the wildlife enthusiasts.

How Do I Go to Dadra and Nagar Haveli?

Vapi railway station in Gujarat is at around 18 kilometers distance from Silvassa, the capital city of the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Mumbai is the nearest city with an International airport, at around 180 kilometers away. Surat is at around 140 kilometers from Dadra and Nagar Haveli. There is a domestic airport at Surat, which is connected to Delhi and Mumbai.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram

Sabarmati Ashram was the Ashram established by the Great Indian independence movement leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi fondly called Mahatma Gandhi, on the banks of River Sabarmathi in Ahmedabad, Gujarat state of India.


Gandhiji's Charkha and table at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad
Gandhiji’s Charkha and table at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad.

Mahatma Gandhi lived at this Ashram spread over 36 acres of land for around 12 years. This ashram on the banks of Sabarmati river is known by different names like Gandhi Ashram, Satyagraha Ashram and Harijan Ashram.

Gandhi’s first Ashram was Kochrab Ashram alias Satyagraha Ashram, which was started on 25th May, 1915. After around two years, Kochrab Ashram was infested with plague disease. Hence Gandhiji relocated to the new Sabarmati Ashram.

Gandhi carried out farming and animal husbandry at Sabarmati Ashram. He also started a school which concentrated on harnessing the manual labor, agriculture, literacy, etc, for the country’s self-sufficiency.

It was from Sabarmati Ashram that Mahatma Gandhi started the Dandi march (Salt Satyagraha) in 12th March 1930. This led to mass civil disobedience and thousands of people were arrested all over the country. To contain Gandhi’s activities, the British Government took control of the Ashram and his pleas to return it was not allowed. On 22nd July 1933, Gandiji decided to disband Sabarmati ashram and took a pledge not to return to Sabarmati Ashram until India gained independence. Even though the country got independence on 15th August 1947, Gandhiji could not return to the Ashram as he was assassinated on 30th January 1948.

Sabarmati ashram now houses a Museum called Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya and is commonly called as Gandhi Museum. It is among the most visited Indian museums

Other important buildings in the Ashram are listed below, Hridaya Kunj is the cottage where Gandhiji lived. Nandini is an old ashram guest house which is open to the visitors for stay. Vinoba Kutir is the cottage where Acharya Vinoba Bhave stayed, which is also known as Mira Kutir after Gandhiji’s disciple Mirabehn stayed here. Upasana Mandir is an open-air prayer ground in the Ashram premises. Magan Niwas is another building where the ashram manager, Maganlal Gandhi, who was Gandhiji”s cousin, lived.

Sabarmati Ashram is a must see place to visit in Ahmadabad. It’s a place to know about Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, a title given to him by by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was a great freedom fighter and the Head of State and Government (Prime Minister) of the Provisional Government of Free India  (i.e. Undivided India – which included the whole of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) till his death. He was the only person who held that office. This post was abolished on his death.

How Do I Go to Sabarmati Ashram?

Ahmedabad is well connected by roads to the other parts of India. Delhi to Mumbai National Highway, NH 8, one of the most busiest Highways in the Indian sub-continent, passes through Ahmedabad. Delhi to Chennai National Highway, NH 48, passes through Ahmedabad. NH 47 connecting Bamanbore to Nagpur passes through this city. National Highway 64 connects the historic city of Dandi with Ahmedabad.

Sabarmati Junction railway station is the nearest railway station to the Ashram at Sabarmati at around 3 kilometers away. Ahmedabad Junction railway station is the nearest major railway station at around 6.8 kilometers distance, which is well connected to the rest of the country. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at Ahmedabad is the nearest airport to Sabarmati Ashram.

Rani ki Vav – The Queen’s Stepwell and Lord Vishnu Avatars

Rani ki Vav is a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. It is step-well with intricate works at Patan in Gujarat state, India.

Rani-ki-vav (the Queen's Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat
Rani-ki-vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat

Rani-ki-Vav means “the Queen’s Stepwell”. Rani in Hindi Language means Queen and Vav means well. The Step-well is on the banks of River Saraswati. It was built by the Queen in memory of King Bhima (r. c. 1022-1064), the Solanki dynasty ruler. The step-well is constructed in Maru-Gurjara style of architectural and is different from other water storage or water resource conservation systems. There are seven levels of steps leading to the wells. There is an inverted temple inside the Step-well. There are more than 800 sculptures among the seven galleries inside the well.

The construction of the step-well is believed to have started by widowed queen Udayamati. The step-well got flooded in course of time and was excavated and restored by Archaeological Survey of India in the 80’s. The well is not in its original condition. You can see some ruined structures along with some other parts which are still in pristine condition.

The well is 64 meters in length, 20 meters in width and is 27 meters deep. There is a small gate with an underground tunnel connecting the well to the town of Sidhpur; at 30 kilometers distance. The tunnel is currently blocked with slit, mud and stones. The tunnel seems to be the escape route for the kings, during the worst times of facing defeat.

The Step-wells hold considerable spiritual significance. Lord Vishnu is depicted in different forms (Lord Vishnu Avatars) as sculpture in the step-well. When you reach the water level at the bottom, you can see Lord Vishnu carving in a reclined posture, on a Shesha, a thousand hooded serpent. This posture means that Lord Vishnu is resting in the infinity between ages. The other avatars of Lord Vishnu can be seen at upper levels.

In earlier days, these type of wells were also used as a place for socializing rather than just collecting water or as a place of religious importance.

The title “Cleanest Iconic Place” has bagged by Rani ki Vav in October 2016 at the Indian Sanitation Conference, held at New Delhi.

How Do I Go to Rani ki Vav?

Patan town where Rani ki Vav is situated is at a distance of around 110 kilometers from Ahmedabad, the Textile capital of India and also capital of the state of Gujarat.

There is a railway station and bus station at Patan and is well connected by roads to other parts of the state. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at Ahmedabad is the nearest airport to Rani ki Vav or The Queen’s Step well.

Calico Museum of Textiles, Sarabhai Foundation

Calico Museum of Textiles is at Ahmedabad, Gujarat state, India, maintained by Sarabhai Foundation.

Calico Museum of Textiles, AhmedabadCalico Museum of Textiles, Ahmedabad. Image courtesy –Calico Textiles Museum website,,

This museum was established in 1949 at Calico Mills Premises by Industrialist Gautam Sarabhai and his sister Gira Sarabhai, along with the industrial house of Calico. The Museum of Textiles was shifted to Sarabhai House in 1983, when the collection grew and the premises was not enough to accommodate those.

Ahmedabad is the textile industry capital of India and one of the major trading centers of textile industry in the Asian sub-continent for the last 5 centuries or so. Initially, Calico Museum of Textiles was having historical and technical study of Indian handicrafts and industrial textiles. Later on, the textile museum started concentrating on handicraft textiles. The Museum also launched two publications which are well read now.

Collections from The Sarabhai Foundation are also displayed here. Sarabhai Foundation was established in 1959 by the family members of the Sarabhais, who established Calico Museum of Textiles. This textile museum is a must-see place for any visitor to Ahmedabad city. It is a unique museum in India,

How Do I Go To Calico Museum of Textiles?

Calico Museum of Textiles, a leading Indian museum, is situated at Shahibaug, a locality in the city of Ahmedabad. (Shahibaug was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 16th century, then Viceroy of Ahmedabad.) Ahmedabad is well connected by roads to other parts of the country. Ahmedabad Junction railway station is the nearest major railway station. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at Ahmedabad is the nearest airport to the Calico Museum of Textiles.