Imagine stretches of barren, salty, swampy whiteness come to life with sudden bursts of green. If the imagination seems too unreal to be true, it’s time you traveled to the land of unexpected oases and salt deserts – Gujarat. As I thought about what all this state has to offer tourists, the sheer number of wonders amazed me. So I’ll layer it up, spread it out for you, and make another 5 Senses Story.
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So much to see that you wish for an owl face!
Okay, that could read funny, but I couldn’t think of a better way to put it. There is so much to see in Gujarat that you really want your neck to rotate 360 degrees. Choose from the fascinating white Little Rann, the sun temple at Modhera, the sky full of kites at Uttaraya, the ancient sites of Dholavira and Lothal (of the days in the Indus Valley), or the mysterious yet enticing Gir National Park that comes alive with roar. Literal. History and geography both seemed to have become prenuptial agreements for Gujarat. What more can I say for its legendary stories and breathtaking landscapes. Case rested. So much to enjoy that you wish the belly of a Blue Whale!
With the reported ability of the blue whale to ingest up to 1000 kg of food, I think Gujarat’s cuisine really calls for the same capacity/capacity. I wonder if any food critic has yet managed to name a number about the dishes this kitchen has. Just to name a few, there iskhandvi, fafda, dhokla, basundi, farsans, shaaks, bajri na rotlo, biranj, chorafali, laapsiand more. If you somehow manage to get “the number”, let me know.
So much to listen to that you wish the ears of an African elephant!
Those huge, fluttering ears have always fascinated me, even though I didn’t understand their purpose. Apart from blowing yourself out. But Gujarat will make you (and me) understand the reason. This is the land of the very legendary Faiyaz Khan. Meet the Chaaran, Deviputra of Ghadhvi people and watch them reciting epics mixed with the best of folk music. Other than that, thebhajans(devotional songs) from Gujarat even Lord Krishna had shouted it. Time to pop those ears, I say. So deep you feel as light as a butterfly!
Spend an evening at Somnathof in the courtyard of Dwarkadhish Temple, and you will find the meaning of faith. Walking through the city that was supposedly Lord Krishna’s kingdom is one of those rare “once in a lifetime experiences”. For the hikers looking for a spiritual experience, there is also the Girnar trekking. Atheists can also hop in for the fascinating spectacle that takes place here during theaarti ritualsand the vibrant lights that make the buildings in Somnath come alive in the evenings. Moreover, there is the fascinating story of the sunken city of Dwarka which the priests are too happy to recite for you. So attractive are the aromas that you could gallop like a dog chasing rabbits!
Thinking about the aromas of Gujarat can make for one of the most dizzying cocktails you can imagine. There is a sweet and tart sunflower to match the refreshing smell of salt and sea, while almost every kitchen of the house will also lure you. The rich, thick scent ofghee, homemade butter, freshly ground gramsand more is coming from almost every house here. As for a homemade food experience, my choice is The Green House of Agashiye. I leave you with this story of the land of plenty and now sign my itinerary for Rann and beyond.
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