DWARKA AND SASAN GIR

We started off for a holiday on 22nd March 2014, to Dwarka and Sasan Gir. We boarded the train at 2 am. We reached Dwarka at around 3 pm, the same day. We parked ourselves in Shankracharya Dharamshala. The main temple of Dwarka and Gomti Ghat were both walkable distance from there. Then we went off to see the Gomti Ghat. We walked to a length from where we could board the ferry. And we went to the opposite bank. We headed towards the beach. I drenched my feet into the seawater for more than an hour or so. After that we went off to see the main temple of Dwarka. Wow loved it. It was a temple that was architecturally well designed with a huge quadrangle outside the temple with the temple building sitting on the North edge of it. It has a majestic Gopuram through which we entered into a yet smaller quadrangle. In the middle of the quadrangle, is the main temple of Ranchod Raay. This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna as the one who left the battle ground. Ran means battle ground and chod means left. This temple is meant to be completely of Lord Krishna, with His Mother Devaki, Radha Krishna, and His Wives. This temple is of less importance then the Dakor temple. There was a devotee named Bodhana from Dakor. Every six months Bodhana would make a tulsi garland and journeyed in his bullockcart from Dakor to Dwarka. He kept doing this for a very long time. Lord Krishna was moved by his devotion and told him that He will travel from Dwarka to Dakor in Bodhana’s cart. And then after going to Dwarka Bodhana, did all his rightful duties as a devotee for Lord Krishna. Till date, the house of Bodhana still exists in Dakor. As the legend says, that initially when people were allowed to go in the sanctuary where Lord Krishna’s idol is placed and we could touch His Feet. His Feet felt as if there were of a human being. When I went in for the first time, I got a holy cloth from the temple which is auspicious. And both the times, I had a chance to pray for a few seconds and I was with God. What else does a devotee need? Whether we know stotra, bhajans or not, just closing our eyes and doing namaskara with gratitude for God is all that He wants. He Listens, Speaks, Feels, Smells and touches us in a way that nobody can. He knows us inside out and outside in and His understanding is just so perfect to help us face every situation fearlessly. He feels the agony of our plight and gives us a situation which has the key to solve all our problems. He will always be there with us no matter what situation, place, hour of the day, what religion we belong, what language we speak and what caste and creed we are. The moment His Children are in danger He comes to shield us foremost. Then we called it a day, after having dinner. The following day, we get up early to go Rukshmani Temple, Gopi Talav, Nageshwar Mahadev, Bet Dwarka. Firstly we visited the Rukshmani Temple. This temple has been cursed that upto 20km radius there will be no portable water. Hence the water is transported here through tankers. The importance of this temple is that for the peace of our ancestral souls, jal daan is done. Jal means water and daan means charity. Charity is done by donating portable water. 1

Then we went off to see Gopi Talav. Here we had a rarest of the rare chance to see some migratory birds with Gopi temple nearby too. Thirdly we saw the Nageshwar Mahadev temple. It is one of the main 12 jyotirlingas. The temple has a huge courtyard with trees and chotras created around it. Finally, we started off for Betdwarka. We went to a point from where we could board the boat to go and visit the Dwarkadhish Temple. The temple was just the ordinary one. Betdwarka used to be a civilization with Lord Krishna as its king. Since after the Mahabharat fight, all the Kauravas were killed and there was no heir to the throne because of Lord Krishna’s teachings to Pandavas. At that time, Gandhari, Kauravas Mother cursed Lord Krishna that even His Kingdom would perish. Today the whole civilization has been submerged into the sea. The actual site of Betdwarka is situated still 5 kilometers still further into the sea. Then we came back to Dwarka, had lunch in Dwarkesh, went back to the dharamshala and rested. In the evening we had a chance to meet the Swamiji, who is in charge of this temple. Then we moved around in the market, had dinner and packed off to bed. Next day we started off for Sasan Gir. On the way we visited Muldwarka and. We reached Sasan Gir at about 1:30pm. Got fresh, had lunch and rested for a while. In the evening time, I went off for swimming. After coming back from a nice swim, I went off for karayoke (Old Songs). Then we had dinner and packed off to bed. The following whole day we spent relaxing in the resort. This time we found a new place for having meals, a Kathiawadi Dhaba run serving home-made food. So we had all our lunches and dinners there during the stay. In the evening, I swam for more than an hour. Now in the fun zone, there was karayoke and I sung my lungs out! The last day at the resort was the most interesting one. We got up really early to get the permit for visiting the Sasan Gir Forest. The place from where we were supposed to get the permit was about half an hour’s drive from the resort. The queue for getting the permit started from 12 midnight the previous night. There is a facility of getting an e-permit which covers 50% of the total people allowed (90). The first and the foremost batch of visitors got their permit from 5 am. They were to visit the forest between 6am- 9am time slot. Our turn came in the 9 am to 12 noon batch. The queue for this batch of visitors started at 7:30 am. Between 7:30 to 9 am, we saw the crocodile park. Even we had a chance to see the museum and buy postcards from the souvenir shop. The experience was a unique one. The pristine forests of Sasan Gir with crystal clear waters with snow white clouds kissing the mountains and where the Silence sings of love. The song of Silence was a brave proclamation that air, water, fire, earth and space were free. No boundaries were attached to them within their boundary. The most interesting fact was people from every walk of life, every religion, every caste creed, language came in to see the royal highness of the jungle-The Lion. We saw a lot of Spotted 2

Deer, Peacocks, Sambar, but the Royal Highness was just lazying out in the shade and preferred to keep away from us. After we came back, we had our lunch and went in to rest for a while. In the evening, after packing up the bags, I went off to see the African Dance performed by the African natives. These African Natives have migrated here since a very long time and have adapted to our culture. That was a different experience altogether. At the end we all danced to the tunes and took awesome photographs. Even had a chance to sing to Karayoke. After dinner, I spent some time with the family and then into the dreamland till 3am. As we had to board a train at 4:30 am, from Junagadh. Hence the following day, everyone got up and freshened up to bid our final adieu to the Sasan Gir Club Mahindra Resort at 2:30 am. We reached the railway station at 3:45 am, boarded the train at 4:45 am and finally returned home at 1:30 pm.

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