Next Destination Nadiad, GJ

Himachal To Kerala : Day 4

We left Sirohi around 11 in the morning. The place is close to Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan, in the Aravali Range. Tonight, we plan to reach Nadiad in Gujarat, at my friend’s place.

I visited Nepal for the second time with Jay Patel last year. He is a vivid traveler and a wanderlust. He invited us home when he heard about our ride. Nadiad a city close to Anand, the birth place of Amul. After two days of life in hotel rooms we are finally staying at a friend’s home.

I was excited to meet and stay at his place, as it will be more comfortable for our puppies. Finally they will get some space for their own and be able to play around in open space. We were also tired of the long ride till now and wanted a day to relax.

We crossed the Rajasthan- Gujarat border around 1:30 in the afternoon and stopped for lunch at a road side open Dhaba. Let our puppies out and had food. Passed Ahmedabad around 4 in the evening. We didn’t stop to visit any other places or monuments, as we both had visited Ahmedabad several times. This city is kind of fascinating, with a lot of heritage and history, little less know to the outside world(fun fact: it’s the birth place of email, and digital camera. Some cool food joints also.

Jay playing with them

Jay called me several times, he was tensed, I guess. He shared his location and we reached the place around 7pm. On the way we passed the huge establishment of Amul milk products in Anand. Brought us the memories of Varghese Kurian, the father of milk revolution in India, who happen to be a Keralite. His project often referred as Operation Flood, is the world’s largest agricultural milk production program. Quite a brilliant idea back in the 60’s, a visionary who saw the real future and through his hardwork and dedication made it a success. Now diary farms all over India are following the same ‘Amul Model’ strategy and are running success. Milma in Kerala is just another example.

At a road side tea shop

We met Jay’s parents, got freshen up. He went crazy when he saw the puppies. He had them all the time in his hands and never let them on the ground. His very friendly neighbour aunty even came with some milk for the puppies. He brought an old box to keep them inside and made a temporary kennel inside, arranging cloths and stuffs.

Staying at someone’s home provides good food, more space to chill, and I usually feel relaxed. Where as in hotels, I don’t feel good, small rooms, less space to relax, everything feels congested. Had some snacks and tea. Then Jay took us to a nearby restaurant, which is famous for its authentic Gujarati Thali, called Kismat Khathiyavadi.

Khathiyavadi Thali

It was so tasty and with a lot of varieties to eat. A total mixture of everything. we sat there for sometime and then went for a ride in the highways. Also had lassi from another shop. There was a wedding happening in his family and we were invited. We did a quick visit. It was close to his home. Athul never saw Garba dance before. I was lucky to witness large Garba dance, actually sosme of the largest in southern Gujarat while I was working in Vapi. Garbha is a traditional Gujarati dance form originated in the state itself. People gather in a circle and dance around a pole or lamp with music. From my experience 98% of Gujarati dance Garba, and it’s there tradition to do it on every happy occasion. So we had some snacks from the wedding, enjoyed the Garbha and later returned home and slept.

Sardhar Patel’s house

The next day we woke up around 9am. Jay was already there taking care of the puppies. The puppies woke up early and started making noise, Jay let them out and was playing with them. His cousins too came to play with them. His parents were still at the wedding and Jay cooked us some tasty Khamman, made from Channa dal flour, a Gujarati speciality.

Then we went to visit Sardar Vallabahi Patel’s birth place, the house was closed and visited the place, stood outside and clicked some photos, there is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi infront of the house.

Sardhar Patel’s house

Then visited Santram Mandir, which is a famous Hindu temple in Nadiad, started by the saint Santram Maharaj. The main temple is a four storied structure which displays fine architecture skills. Jay is planning to build a small cottage in the outskirts of Nadiad city. The works started, as I write this. Back then it was just a plot, when we visited. He took us to this plot some 2,3 kilometres away form where he lives now. And discussed about the plans and construction. We also saw tobacco farm for the first time in our life there. There was a big farm, right behind his plot of land.

Then returned to his place and packed our bags. The puppies got used to the place now and don’t want leave. Somehow managed to put them in the bag and rolled off.

With Jay, just before we left Nadiad