Road journeys – Diu to Porbandar, Land of the Father of Nation

After plying smooth for few days on NH-8, our next destination was Dwarka. Diu to Dwarka is a long distance through the most wonderful coastal HW. Retaining the mystifying visit of the fairy land Diu, we were on our way to reach the revered Porbandar and Dwarka. Distance between Diu & Dwarka is around 320 km via Veraval- Madhavpur-Porbandar. NH 8-E has a dead end at Bet Dwarka another 25 km from Dwarka upto the coast of Arabian Sea.

On the way to Porbandar

On the way to Porbandar


We planned a must visit to Porbander hence an escape to Mul Dwarka was decided which is at a diversion after Kodinar. As decided we started as early as 7 am and get set go, except for fueling and picking some Gujrati snacks simultaneously on the way. Soon we reached Mangrol, an over-crowded fishing town with rows of fishing boats in swamps adjacent to the road. A very pungent smell of dried fishes in the air forced us to escape the scene on top gear. On the way hurriedly captured few photos of large fishing boats getting constructed by local craftsmen.

Fishing boats at Mangrol

Fishing boats at Mangrol

Boat Manufacturing at Mangrol

Boat Manufacturing at Mangrol

Om Namah Shivay at Mangrol

Om Namah Shivay at Mangrol

About Mangrol (Compiled from wikipedia)

“Mangrol is an important harbour as far as the fish industry is considered. There are many fisheries located here and exports to many European nations. The fishermen of Mangrol are infamous for being caught many-a-times by the Pakistan Coast Guard for entering their naval territories in search of fish”.

We were looking forward to see the much heard and boasted coastal highway running parallel to the Arabian Sea. Though almost the entire highway runs along the coast but the sea or its shores is visible only for a stretch of one kilometer. After long wait we finally reached a concrete fly-over kind of bridge at Madhavpur. The sight of infinitive majestic blue of Arabian Sea on our left at a hand shaking distance and rows of palms and greenery comprising tall pillars with massive blades of the wind mills standing erect with pride & humility on the right was like reaching a dream land. The SUZLON wind-mills claim providing 24 hour power to the state. According to official data, wind power generations capacity in the state has increased a staggering ten times in just six years. As per C-WET data, the total installed capacity in Gujarat stood at 3093 MW.

Coastal Road

Coastal Road

Wind Mill

Wind Mill

An irresistible and compelling stopover with many other vehicles on the road side beach enjoying fresh coconut was one of my most memorable drives. Porbandar, another 60 km from Madhavpur and further reaching Dwarka the same day forced us to leave the magnificently hilarious spot, gloomily.

After sipping the fresh coconut while grasping the majestic view and clicking photographs of the breathtaking scenery, we were back on wheels.

Porbander is a bustling town, a narrow lane reaches to the entrance of Kirti Mandir,

Welcome to Porbandar

Welcome to Porbandar

Way to Kirti Mandir

Way to Kirti Mandir

About Kirti Mandir (Compiled from wikipedia)

“The original three storied house is built like a Haveli, purchased by the great grand father of Mahatmaji, Shri Harjivan Raidas Gandhi, some two hundred years before, in the seventeenth century, from a local woman and the upper stories were added over the years. It was this house where Gandhiji’s father Karamchand, uncle, Tulsidas and grandfather Uttamchand lived, who had been Prime Ministers (Dewan) to the Jethwa Rajput rulers of the princely state of Porbandar.

Kirti Mandir

Kirti Mandir

Courtyard of Kirti Mandir

Courtyard of Kirti Mandir

The foundation stone of modern structure and attractive Kirti Mandir was laid in 1947 during the lifetime of Gandhiji by Shree Darbar Gopaldas Desai. The whole credit of constructing this national memorial of Mahatma Gandhi goes to the famous industrialist, Nanjibahi Kalidas Mehta, who not only initiated the idea to build a memorial but also donated the whole money purchase the ancestral house and also to build new complex called Kirti Mandir.

Birth Place of Mahatma Gandhi

Birth Place of Mahatma Gandhi

The memorial was completed in 1950, by which time Gandhiji was no more. The memorial was named Kirti Mandir and then Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel inaugurated and declared open this place for public on May 27, 1950. Afterwards this beautiful memorial was handed over to the Central Government of India.

The height of the temple is 79 feet symbolizes the 79 years of lifespan of Gandhiji. The monument Kirti Mandir is a symbol of religious integration of six religions, the architectural elements of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi temple, Church and Mosque are symbolized at Kirti Mandir integrate, which symbolize Gandhiji’s respect towards all religion.

The whole architecture of the Kirti Mandir was done by Shri Prushottambhai Mistry, a resident of Porbandar. He completed construction within two years of time limit by working for days and night himself.

There are life size oil paintings of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba kept side by side in the centre of Kirti Mandir. Gandhi wanted that he should not be made a God and so, keeping his wishes, floral garlands are not used. The auspicious words, ‘The Truth’ and ‘Non-violence’, symbolizing his life and preaching are placed near their feet.

Worshipping Prohibited

Worshipping Prohibited

Way to up-stairs

Way to up-stairs

Kirti Mandir from back-yard

Kirti Mandir from back-yard

On the right side there are two rooms as the memorials of Maganlal Gandhi and Mahadev Desai, and the room on the left hand side is meant for the exhibition of the museum. These three rooms contain articles of Khadi Bhandar, things of handicraft, the centre is for the sale of books, the office-room and the reception hall. Kasturba-Mahila Library situated in the Kirti mandir.

House where MKG was born

House where MKG was born

The Kirti Mandir is the main tourist attraction of the town. As well, many foreign dignitaries and Indian politicians visit Kirti Mandir, which houses the ancestral house and birthplace of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The place where Gandhiji was born is marked with a Swastika for identification.”

Swastika marking Gandhiji's Birth Place

Swastika marking Gandhiji’s Birth Place

Back lane, lies the parental house of Kasturba Gandhi, least visited though, now a preserved and protected monument. Known to all, the prominent role played by Baa, in Gandhiji’s life as his wife and later in his mission is indispensably distinguishing.

Lane to Parental House of Baa

Lane to Parental House of Baa

,

Facade of Baa's house

Facade of Baa’s house

Parental Home of Baa

Parental Home of Baa

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay back to visit the other sites in Porbandar and were back hitting the shining tar of NH 8E in a haste to reach Dwarka, before it was too dark. The landscape suddenly turned more charming, greener and refreshing as we rolled further. Dense palm trees alongside the straight black road with flocks of migratory birds flying high in formation were exhilarating the already excited hearts.

Serene-Green & Good Tar

Serene-Green & Good Tar

Birds in formation

Birds in formation

The journey continues……

15 Comments

  • enjoying ur series of post on Gujrat !

  • MUNESH MISHRA says:

    Hi AJAY SHARMA ji.
    Enjoyed another interesting post of the series.
    Very nice and informative post refreshes memories of ‘father of nation’ with knowledgable details. All photos are really very good quality.

    Enjoy journey, keep sharing experiences.

    best regards.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Dear Munesh,
      Its my pleasure for liking the series. Much to come yet, please find time to read them too.

      Keep travelling
      Ajay

  • Very Nice Ajay ji, good to know about the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi. I am just imagining myself on driving this highway, beautiful write up.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Dear Upanshu ji,
      My pleasure that you spared time to read and comment. Believe me its really ecstatic to drive on this track. If your are not in haste then go slow and enjoy the mesmerising beauty in the serene atmosphere on the good tar.

      Keep travelling
      Ajay

  • Anupam Chakraborty says:

    You refreshed my memories of Gujarat tour. I too stopped near a boat making unit at Veraval. Your photos of Mangrol remind me of Varaval…….Boats…..Fishes. I missed Porbander at that time, but will surely go there as it is in my wish list, in fact many parts of Gujarat are in my wish list.

    Like Upanshu I also imagine myself on driving this highway. Very nice Ajay Ji.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Dear Anupam,
      Thank you so much for so much appreciation. Yes, Veraval also has boat manufacturing units. Mangrol is a prime town engaged mainly on fishing.
      You may see rows of fishing boats on your left swaying in the saline swamp, a diesel filling unit is also located at the harbour.
      Good, keep driving with me and enjoy the picturesque track.

      Keep travelling
      Ajay

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Thank you Ajay for taking us to Kirti Mandir, I believe this is probably first post on Kirti Nagar at Ghumakkar. And good to see pic of Baa’s house. Of course, the drives are the most tempting amid everything.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Dear Nandan,
      Thanks for mentioning, its FOG. I too believe that. One more previous post on Diu was FOG, I understand.
      Kirti Mandir, is definitely the first log here. True, the best part was driving on NH-8 & NH-8E. My stories are thus focussed on the drive with occasional write ups about the sites we visited.

      Regards
      Ajay

  • Ashok Sharma says:

    Kirti Mandir is really the temple of India.beautifully presented post with nice pics.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Dear Ashok Ji,
      Thanks a lot for liking the post. Rightly said, “Kirti Mandir” is the only Temple where we shall bow in pride.

      Keep travelling
      Ajay

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Ajay,

    This is one road stretch I so want to do – Diu to Dwarka!

    I am seeing the photos of Gandhiji’s birth place for the first time and Baa too used to live in the neighbourhood – amazing!

    As always an enjoyable account. Keep Sharing!

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Hi! Nirdesh,
      Thanks a lot for reading the log and sharing your views. Yes indeed, Bapu and Baa lived as close as next door neighbours. But once you be there, you will be sad to note the apathy and discrimination in up-keeping the both.

      Keep travelling
      Ajay

  • panchal dhrumil says:

    Dear Ajay,

    Would like to know the conditions of road from porbandar to diu as I am planning to drive soon. Is it 2 lane or 4 lane?

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