I took short cuts through narrow streets and found that the temple was not more that 300 mts away from my place of stay. Outside the temple long queues were found waiting for the gates to be opened for the public. At around 05:30 the gates were opened and a huge influx was there. Another waiting was there at before the deity as the curtains were still there. By the time the crowd keep on accumulating. It was really hard to stand straight there because of the waves of the buffet of the rush. After a little while the curtains were raised but it was really hard to see the deity even if you are on your toes. Just a guess is there with the buffet of the rush and Jaikara dwani getting strengthened. I also could not see the deity from my place and getting cue from some clever ones who were using one of the pillars just nearby to me, I somehow caught hold of it and climbed on its step, which of course was also not easy as all wanted to take help of that, and got the glimpse of the deity, at that moment arti was going on. After having darshanam, I returned back to the bhadrakali crossing, took tea there and went to the lodge and took some rest.
At around 07:45 AM I reached to the travel agent’s office, from where, I was informed, the bus for dwarka darshan will originate. A mini bus was standing at a little distance for which I was told to occupy a seat in that. Person travelling single is given least preference here, however I managed a seat inside the driver’s cabin. The bus started at around 08:30 AM, I was little worried as I also have to board the train scheduled for 1510 hrs from dwarka though I was assured from the driver that we will be back by 1:30 PM as they have to do another round from 02:00 PM. At a distance of about 2 kms our first stoppage was Rukmini Devi Temple. The legend behind the distance is the annoyance of Durwasaa Rishi, who cursed Rukmini that she would remained separated from her husband as she had not offered the Rishi the water which she took while pulling the Chariot of the Rishi, and hence this temple is said to be located at a distance of 2 kms from Dwarkadheesh’s temple. At the time there was a rush at the temple and it took more than half an hour to have the darshanam of the devi.
At about 09:45 AM we reached Nageshwar Mahadev temple that is about 15 kms from Rukmini Devi Temple and is considered as tenth Jyotirlinga, where Lord Shiva is believed to have appeared in the form of Linga from the earth to save one of his devotees, Supriya from the hands of demon couple Daruka and Daruki. Here a Huge Statue of Lord Shiva had been constructed and lot of renovation work had been performed by T-series Company. You can have the darshanam of the Lord from outside the sanctum. However if you wish to have a closer darshanam and even touch the Jyotirlinga, you can do that subject to the condition that you purchase a Puja thal at least for Rs. 151/-. I got a thal for Rs. 151 which also contained a pair of silver Naga and Naagin, considered auspicious here to be offered to the Lord. This Puja thal will serve as entry pass and I was then directed to a room where I put on a dhoti, removing my trousers (of course no rent was charged for the dhoti). I got inside the garbh griha (sanctum), performed darshanam and even sat for some one minute there. There was not too much rush and all this was over within half an hour. Then we proceeded for Bhet Dwarka and on the way we also visited Gopi Talab where Lord is believed to play with Gopikas.
We reached Okha boat jetty at about 12:00 in the noon, from where the bus driver told us to return by 01:15. From here we proceeded for Bhet dwarka about 5 kms from here. Bhet dwarka is supposed to be the residence of Lord Sri Krishna and is on a small island. I took ferry boat costing Rs. 10 per passenger to reach there, the journey of about 20 mins through Arabian Sea. After visiting the temple there (not too much rush) I have completed the darshan quickly decided to have my lunch, which I thought would be a time saving exercise, in a bhandara being conducted there which as of now I am not being able to recollect the Organisation conducting it (as this story is being concluded by me after a long gap i.e. today being 08.11.2011). It took some time waiting out in a queue for the persons having their food inside to finish followed by some 10 mins clearing and cleaning activities. The food was bit ok keeping in view the rush they have to cater to. There are no mandatory charges for the food and yes no limit for voluntarily donation. I offered Rs. 50 for it and got a receipt in turn.
Then I rushed for getting back, again took the boat ferry charging Rs. 10 and reached the point where I left the bus, which was waiting there. It was around 01:30 and still for 2-3 persons no one arrived till then. I was bit worried that I may miss the Train from Dwarka. Eagerly waited for all the passengers to board the bus. Not less than 02:00 was the time when our bus started. And after barely going just 1 or 2 km it started coming to halt with jerks. The driver apprehended the diesel of the bus being exhausted and pleaded for some ½ an hour’s time to bring the diesel and get the bus restarted. I just calculated that how long will this man’s ½ an hour would be and also now was sure that instead of the train I have to take some bus. Immediately I got down seeing another bus approaching, heading towards dwarka side. I waved the bus to stop. The driver acceded to my request and made me board his bus. On the way (direct route from Okha to Dwarka i.e. different from one we took while going okha from dwarka) the large unit of Tata Chemicals can be seen. This bus also stopped at Rukmini Temple instead of dwarka for its passenger to have the darshanam of the temple. I have to pay only Rs. 50 for it. From Rukmini temple I took the auto for my lodge. When I reached there it was still quarter to three. I did not lose hope of missing the train immediately started checking out. However to my surprise the girl managing there was rigid upon asking the xerox of the id proof. I ran out to a nearby shop and got it done and handed it over. By 3:00 I was able to check out of the hotel. Took auto and rushed straight to the railway station to find the Bhavnagar Passenger late by half an hour.
I had got booked a seat in sleeper bus from Rajkot for Ahmedabad scheduled to start at 23:15 hrs, now I got worried of the apprehension of the train getting late keeping in view of the track record of Indian Railway’s Passenger (not express) train. However on talking to the Railway Personnel I was assured that but for some unforeseen circumstances, the train would reach Rajkot at around 09:00 PM which was later also confirmed by the TTE of the train. I boarded the train, which started around 03:45 PM and yes it reached Rajkot at 09:00 PM. On the way I took some rest mixed with sleep. In the same compartment a troop of ladies also boarded for some destination which I do not know as I was fast asleep when they got down. These ladies sang lot of bhajans in very melodious voice, one of which I still remember, SAAWRAA GIRDHARI…….
At Rajkot, I went to a waiting hall, cleaner than one can expect, changed to short and tee-shirt. Had food just outside the Rly Station and proceeded for bus stand in an auto charging Rs. 20. Reached Bus stand at around 10:30. Waited for the bus there, which came on time. As soon I boarded the bus, I realised that the purse (wallet) which I was having was not in my pocket. I thought it might have been dropped there at the place near the bench I was sitting and waiting for the bus, I requested the bus conducted to wait a little and let me check that out to which he agreed. I tried a lot to trace it but in vain. Luckily the bus ticket, flight ticket and one id proof was there in my bag and also i was having some money provision for emergency circumstances in my bag. I guess I lost Rs. 2,500 along with some important papers with the wallet. On boarding the bus I realised that the ticket I was having was for a seat not for the sleeper berth. I paid the difference i.e. Rs. 50 and got it converted to a sleeper one. At around 04:00 in the morning the bus reached Ahmedabad. Before getting down I changed the dress to the formal one of trouser and shirt. The taxis/autos in Ahmedabad charge 1.5 of the fare as night charges up to 05 in the morning. So I waited till 05:00 AM and then took a metered auto for terminal 2 of Ahmedabad Airport. On reaching Ahmedabad when I enquired about the fare, the auto driver told Rs. 335. Assuming this to be quite high, I had to argue a little and threatened to call the police. The auto man then immediately took a u-turn and said that when did he tell the fare is 335 rupees it is the meter point instead and showed me a fare list in which against 335 points 180 rupees was mentioned. I handed over to him the said fare and went for check-in formalities and boarded the flight AI 982 which took off at 07:50, the scheduled time of departure. Via Hyderabad I reached Chennai at around 12:00 in the noon on 12th.
On reaching home, the first thing I did was that I cancelled the tickets for Chennai to Ongole (journey date 13.10.2011) and return, which I booked for having the darshanam of Mallikarjun Swami Temple at Sri Sailam. I was somewhat exhausted and moreover was not comfortable having lost my wallet.
Now today (09.11.2011) I am seriously thinking over to visit Mallikaarjun also.