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.
Thanks for sharing the experiences of your visit to Dwarka.
Your wrie up will be of great help to the ghumakkars intending to visit this holy place.
hope so….. try my level best to come out upto ur expectations.
Thank you, Ved Prakashji, for your detailed write-up; it is very informative for people who plan to visit it, like the fact that trousers are not permitted when visiting the Nageshwar temple.
Sorry about the lost wallet. The worst thing that can happen to a traveller is loss of important stuff while travelling. One has to take precautions and make contingency plans for such eventualities.
Never keep all your cash in one place while travelling. Stash it away in different places so that you will always have some money with you. It doesn’t make sense to keep all eggs in the same basket.
Do not put too much cash in your wallet; about Rs.1,000 in low denomination notes will be sufficient to meet most expenses. Keep the rest of your cash, credit and debit cards in a small bag which can be worn around the neck or waist.
Carry your passport /ID cards and other valuables on your body. Scan the relevant pages of your passport, credit/debit cards and send them as email tattachments to yourself; you can also carry soft copies on a USB stick. Also keep their photocopies handy. Also keep a list of important telephone numbers handy, either as an email attachment or on a USB drive. If possible, keep a spare SIM card with you, in case you lose your mobile.
Always report such losses to the police and insist on a copy of the FIR (First information report). This is an important document, which is usually asked for in case one applies for replacement cards/passport etc.
thnx a lot Narayan Sir for the admiration and also for the lovely but must tips for a traveller …hope all the ghumakkars are well prepared taking cue from the tips to overcome any eventualities….
A very interesting description of a place very close to my heart and mind.
Ghat reminds us of young boys who would sell ‘freshly excavated pearls’ etc. Boat ride to Bhet Dwarka from Okha , across unending rocks and rolls and the joy of being able to visit the temple, this really brings alive our own memories..
That factory is located at a place called Mithapur – its Tata salt factory – [namak in mithapur].
And that ‘ run against time’ of yours makes it further interesting’.
thnx Aurojit ji… really ur two words “further interesting” are sufficient enough to boost up the morale and also it provides immense pleasure…….and yes it is a matter to ponder upon as to y Tatas opted to put Namak in Meetha….. (of course to blend upon the taste and provide the tinge of salty sweet……… ha ha)…….thnx a lot..
sharing of your experience of journey to Someswar & Dwarka will be most valuable for me as I do such journey always lonely…thanks Ved
Thanks for sharing your experience, i am planning to visit the above three religious places, and your information is very valuable in this regard. You are earning the blessings of devotees by guiding them.
Thanks a lot Ved Prakash ji for sharing the details of yr visit to Somnath & Dwarika, as I am planning to visit the both places. I am sure, it is going to help me. You have done a good thing for the society.
i dont know anything about gujarat tourism so plz guide me
really impressive bro…….. I may visit these all places soon… read all…vry nice..thank u
thanks for sharing details. It really help people visiting this place. In fact I am planning to visit and your blog has provided lot of information. Just need to check with you, shall I start first Dwarka,nageshawar and then somnath. Which way is better and will cut time also.
Thanks a lot sir. Myself and my sister planning to visit Ahmedabad,Somnath and Dwarka by train. I booked the Tickets.It is helpful to me. You have done a good work.
I am from Chennai. This month 21st we are going to start from Chennai to Ahmedabad by train. Do u know any serviced apartment in Ahmedabad. Thanks in advance.
Sir, I have planned to visit Somnath & Dwarka in the month of Dec 14. . Thank you a lot for giving exhaustive information and your valuable experience sharing with people like me. So … so much information. Thank you once again.
Thank you Ved prakashji for ur detailed information regarding somath & Dwaraka trip
We ar senior citizens ,myself longing to have Darshana of dwarakadishji.i was wondering if I could take my husband (along with my son )as my husband is suffering from muscular wasting with no will power to go to temples.i can’t go alone also as I am his care taker. After visiting Dwaraka is there a direct train to ahemadabad?
That way we can cut short the time & exhaustion.
I thank u v. Much for a detailed description of your trip.this has given me scope for making the trip by self planning & not joining the group travels as these are not suited for my husband.