Lakhpat Fort in the Haunted City of Rann of Kutch

Lakhpat is a haunted city in Kachchh district of Gujrat at the mouth of Kori Creek. It was once a busy port city and the center of trade. It lost its prominence after an earthquake in 1819 changed the course of Indus River, after the formation of the natural dam, Allahbund.

As per 2011 census, only 566 people lives in this ghost town, in a total of 108 households. In 1818, when the city was at its heydays, 15,000 people lived here. The revenue generated that time was to the tune of £6000. After the earthquake in 1819. the population of the town was reduced to 6000 next year. Most of the houses were ruined, even though the fort was intact. Its an ideal haunted tours location.

Lakhpat fort gate
Lakhpat fort gate

Lakhpat fort is an 18th century seven kilometer long fort built by Fateh Muhammad, The fort erected in 1801, is still intact, to a great extent. The fort gives excellent view of the Great Rann of Kutch. Night sky view is spectacular, especially around the new moon day for its stargazing. Views of the Sunrise and Sunset over endless horizons are the beauty of haunted places like this.

Pir Mohammed Kubo tomb at Lakhpat, Kutch, Gujarat, India
Pir Mohammed Kubo tomb at Lakhpat, Kutch, Gujarat, India

Pir Ghaus Muhammad tomb is there in the town. He was a Sufi saint & Syyed of Lakhpat, and was half-Muslim and half- Hindu, who died in 1855. The tomb made of black stone in octagonal shape is built on a platform of 54 square feet in area. The grave of Pir Ghaus Muhammad is covered with a white marble canopy with verses from Qua-ran on the walls.

Lakhpat Gurudwara Sahib is another major historic place for Sikhs. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, is belived to have stayed here on his way to Mecca.

Sayyed Pir Shah Dargah has intricate carvings and is a 9 domed mausoleum. Nani Mai Dargah and Hatkeshwar Temple are some of the other structures, which reminds us of the past glory of this haunted city.

How Do I Go to Lakhpat?

Lakhpat is connected by SH 42 to nearby cites like Kotada, Jadodar, Deshalpar, Bhuj, Kukma, etc.

Union Territory of Daman and Diu

Daman and Diu are two coastal districts, which are part of the Union Territory of India , on the Arabian sea coast. Daman shares its border with Maharashtra state and Diu with Gujarat state.

The View of Water Fort Prison from Diu Fort with watch tower of Diu Fort
View of Water Fort Prison from Diu Fort with watch tower of Diu Fort.

Daman & Diu were part of the Portuguese colonies in India even after Indian independence and were made part of India on 19th December 1961, by military conquest. This Union Territory was known as Goa, Daman and Diu until 1987, when Goa was granted statehood.

Daman and Diu are known for its historic buildings, churches, forts and beaches. Tourism is the major industry in Daman and Diu. St. Paul’s Church, Diu fort, Water Fort Prison with watch tower overlooking the Diu Fort, Nadia Caves, etc, are some of the main tourist attractions in Diu. Moti Daman Fort, Daman Freedom Memorial, Nani Daman Fort and the church inside the fort, etc, are some of the main tourist sites in Daman.

St. Paul's Church, DiuSt. Paul’s Church, Diu.

Daman and Diu are having an area of 72 and 40 square kilometers respectively. Daman and Diu lies at around 650 kilometers distance from each other.

How Do I Go to Daman and Diu?

Vapi railway station with station code “VAPI”, is the nearest railway station to Daman at around 12 kilometers distance, on the Western railway line. Diu Airport with IATA code DIU, has commercial flights to Mumbai and Porbander. Daman has an Airport; there are no commercial flights from here and is used as a Indian Navy air base.

Surat and Mumbai are at around 125 and 150 kilometers distance, respectively from Daman.


Laxmi Vilas Palace – The Largest Dwelling Unit in The World

Laxmi Vilas Palace situated at Vadodara (Baroda), Gujarat, India, is the largest dwelling unit in the world built till date. Laxmi Vilas Palace Vadodara is of four times the size of Buckingham Palace, London. Laxmi Vilas Palace also has the only golf course in a palace complex in the world.

Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace Photo.

Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara was constructed by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Gaekwad dynasty of the Marathas in 1890 and is named after the Queen Laxmibai Chimnabai I. Laxmi Vilas Palace Vadodara is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture.

Top Floors of the Vadodara Palace was the home to the Seven members of Royal family of Badora. The Baroda Royal family has moved from the Laskshmi Vilas Palace and the palace is now converted into Laxmi Vilas Palace Heritage hotel.

A portion of the Palace complex can be visited by the general public. The Palace grounds are let out for events like Weddings. There is also a Museum; Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum; in the Palace complex, which has a large collection of paintings from the great artist, Raja Ravi Varma.

There is miniature railway line which connects the Museum to the main Lakshmi Vilas Palace. Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum was constructed initially as a school for the children of the Royal family, which was later converted into a Museum. The train engine is currently kept at the entrance of the Museum.

Notable among other buildings in the complex is the Moti Baug Palace. There is also the remains of a Zoo. Makarpura Palace, another notable building in the complex, which currently houses a defense installation. Pratap Vilas Palace, another main building in the Laxmi Vilas Palace complex, is now home to the National Academy of Indian Railways (formerly known as Railway Staff College of India).

The entire Palace complex initially covered an area of 700 acres or 2.8 square kilometers, which now covers an area of around 500 acres.

How Do I Go to Laxmi Vilas Palace Vadodara at Vadodara alias Baroda)?

Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara is well connected by road, rail and air. National Highways and Railway line connecting Mumbai and Delhi, passes through Vadodara. Vadodara Junction is one of the major railway Junctions in India, where railway lines to four different directions namely Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kota and Mumbai meets. More than 150 trains pass though this Railway Junction at Baroda alias Vadodara. There are 5 major railway stations at Vadodara namely Vadodara Junction (BRC), Pratapnagar (PRTN), Makarpura (MPR), Vishwamitri and Bajwa.

Vadodara has the best bus terminus in India named Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Bus Station.

Vadodara alias Baroda Airport’s IATA Code is BDQ. Vadodara is at around 140 kilometers from the Gujarat state capital. Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park is at 45 kilometers distance from Laxmi Vilas Palace Vadodara.

Saputara Hill Station

Saputara Hill Station is a beautiful hill station in the Dang district at an altitude of around 1000 meters in the Gujarat state in India, very close to the Maharashtra state border.

Saputara Hill Station
View of the Saputara Lake from the rope-way in Saputara Hill Station.

This Hill Station is the only hill station in the Gujarat state. It is part of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. The word ‘Saputara’ means ‘Abode of Serpents’ and the local tribal people worship the image of a snake on the banks of the river Sarpagane.

There is a museum, boat club and rope-way for the tourists. Sunrise Point gives a panoramic view of the Saputara and Malegoan towns(tough the name ‘sunrise point’ seems to be a misnomer). Sunrise point can be visited during any time of the day or evening. There is also a ‘Sunset point‘ at ‘Gandhi Shikhar peak‘, which is also a tourist spot, which can be accessed only by the crossing the valley by the rope-way, organized by Hotel Vaity. Rose Garden (Garden with Rose flowers), Step Garden (steps are decorated with flowers and plants) and Lake Garden (on the Saputara Lake side) are some of the other tourist attractions in the Hill Station.

At 52 kilometers from the Hill Station is the famous “Gira Falls‘, which is beautiful fall during the months of June to November.

Hatgad Fort, a historical monumental fort, is a nearby tourist attraction at 5 kilo meters away. This fort is linked to the The great Maratha king, Shivaji. Vansda National park is another ear by tourist destination, which has a large population of Leopards, Tigers, Pangolin, Giant Squirrels, four-horned antelope, etc. Situated 60 kilometers north of Dangs at Mahal, you find the Purna Sanctuary.

“Pandav Gufas” and “Sitavan” are some of the places at Saputara, which are closely linked to the great Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharat. Swaminarayan Temple, Nageshwar Mahadev Temple and a Jain temple are some of the famous temples in this hill station.

How Do I Go to Saputara Hill Station?

This Hill Station is easily accessible by road. Surat city is just 170 kilometers distance from the hill station Saputara Gujarat. India’s commercial capital city of Mumbai (or Bombay as it was known earlier) is 250 only kilometers away. Surat and Mumbai have the nearest airports to this Hill-Station. Maharastra state border is at just 4 kilometers from the hill station.

Bilimora railway station on the Western railway network of Indian railways, is one of the the nearest and convenient mainline railway stations for the travelers to the hill station town of Saputara. From Bilimora, you can either take a bus or a cab to Saputara; Or go to the an intermediate town Vaghai, by the small narrow gauge train services, which is at 62 kilometers distance from Bilimora, on the way to Saputara. From Vaghai, you can then go to Saputara Hill Station by cab / bus, which is at around 53 kilometers away.

Nashik railway station also is conveniently located at 80 kilometers distance from the Saputara Hills.

Ahmedabad is at 400 kilometers and Vadodara is at 300 kilometers distance from Saputara. Famous Dwarka temple is also in the same state, Gujarat.

What About Accommodation at Saputara Hill Station?

There are many hotels catering to tourists at Saputara Gujarat. Patang Lords Eco Inn is a good hotel in Saputara hill station and is very close to the Saputara lake. Hotel Sejal Inn is oen among leading hotels in Saputara hill station, very close to the Bus Depot. Thsi hotel at around 0.5 kilometers from the sunrise point. SidArchie Palace Hotel and Hotel Kansar Palace are two hotels at the hill station, situated near to the Rose Garden. Hotel Gokul, Savshanti Lake Resort, Shilpi Hill Resort, Aakar Lords Inn, Hotel Sidarchie Palace, Hotel Lake View, Hotel White feather Toran Resort, etc, are some of the other best hotels at Saputara.

Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple is a famous Shiva temple on the Western Coast of India. It is situated in Gir Somnath district, Gujarat state.

Somnath Temple Somnath Temple. Photo Source : Creative commons Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The meaning of the word Somnath in English is “The Protector of (the) Moon god”. The Temple has been destroyed many a times by non-Hindu kings or rulers in the past and were re-built many a times. The last restoration/ renovation was immediately on attaining Indian Independence in 1947, under Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s (“Iron Man of India”, who was the main force in the integration of India on its Independence, by making almost all of the Princely states existing at those time as part of the Indian Union; the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Mister of India) plan of restoration for the temple. The restoration / renovation continued under K. M. Munshi, on Sardar Patel’s death on December 1950. A statue of this great leader, Patel, is there in front of the temple. Somnath finds a place in the great epic Mahabharata. This Temple is considered as the most sacred jyotirlings among the 12 jyotirlings of India,

Somnath has a Museum and beach which attracts millions of tourists every year. Junagadh Gate is another tourist attraction here.

How Do I Go to Somnath Temple?

Veraval station with code VRL, is the nearest railway station at around 5 kilometers distance to this temple in Gujarat, Rajkot with station code RJT, is at around 190 kilometers distance , which is well connected to other cities of India. Ahmedbad is at 400 kilometers distance from Somnath town. Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, home for Asiatic Lions, is at 42 kilometers distance from the temple.

Where Do I Stay at Somnath?

There are many guest houses around the temple at Somnath. Those guest houses run by the temple trust offer free accommodation on first come first served basis. There is also a VIP Guest house which offer advance booking. There are also many other guest houses in Somnath town.

What is the Ideal Time to Visit Somnath Temple?

October to March is the ideal time to visit Somnath temple, as climate is good during that time of the year.