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Monday, May 21, 2012

Upcoming Somnath Trip

Initially I was supposed to travel Patna-Bihar this weekend as ConnectIT Workshop has been scheduled in Patna at the end of this month. I am not travelling Bihar this time as I’ve given commitment earlier to attend Teachers development program for Agakhan Institution which is scheduled in Somnath – Gujarat. This is consecutive second time I am not able to conduct Patna workshop but I wish all the best to all participants for best experience in IT seminar.

Attending the Teachers development program where I am supposed to take sessions, these are not IT sessions; the sessions are related to educational content overview. I am also mentoring the candidates towards excellence. I will be in Somnath for almost 10 days from 24th May although this is not my first time visit of Somanth. Somnath is just about 35 KMs away from my home and I usually visit Somnath numbers of time in a year as it is a tourist place.

Somnath History:

Somnath Temple & Sea Shore
The Somnath Temple is located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the God Shiva. Somnath means "The Protector of the Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal"; having been destroyed six times and rebuilt six times Somnath is a pilgrimage town. According to the legend, Soma or the Moon God built the temple in gold, Ravana in silver, and Shri Krishna in wood. Soma was cursed by his father-in-law Daksha to wane because Soma loved only one of his wives, all of whom happened to be Daksha's daughters. His other wives complained about this negligent behavior of Soma to their father Daksha, and thus the curse. He then built a Shivlinga at the Prabhas tirth (a Hindu pilgrimage) and prayed to Lord Shiva who removed the curse partially because asked upon by Soma's one wife (the one that he loved more than others). Thus, causing the periodic waning of moon. Pleased by the prayers Soma (Moon god), Lord Shiva decided to rest in that Lingam till eternity, and thus the Jyotirlingam. (Wikis)

People around world visit Somnath for Darshan. Somnath is also famous for its Sea beach as it is laid at the bank of Arabian Sea. You might have seen Somnath in ‘Khshboo Gujarat Ki’ ad film by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan! There are several ways to reach Somnath; State Highway 26 connects GIR Jungle and Somnath. You can travel along Sasan-Gir if you are in GIR Jungle. Generally people use this route after visit Asiatic lion’s habitat. The other way is Veraval-Kodinar highway if you are travelling from Junagadh or Veraval city along to Prabhas Patan or else if you are coming from opposite direction Bhavnagar, Una or Kodinar! There is several By-Passes way need to keep in mind! If you are travelling from Rajkot along to Junagadh and keshod or else from GIR, take left when you reach Veraval by-pass for Somnath and drive straight until you reach Kodinar By-Pass now you are almost 2 KMs away from Somnath.

You can find various hotels and resorts around Somnath area. Select according to your need and Budget. I am staying at Hotel Safari Resort near Kodinar By-Pass.

How to reach Somnath:

You can travel by train up to Veraval and then by road 30 minutes driving. Buses, Cabs, Auto Rickshaws are easily available. Few trains like intercity express and Jabalpur-Somnath express are running up to Somnath station.

Visit other tourist favorite spots if you are visiting Somanth: Diu (U.T) 2 hours driving from Somnath – Sasan Gir 1 and half hour driving. There are many bounded Jungle ranges across GIR, Jamvala forest, Devaliya lion sanctuary etc. You may have thrilling experience if you stay overnight in these jungles!

Not a long travelling, long trip indeed!

Visit of Diu Island

Two days back I travelled Diu island with family, this journey was planned overnight! We left GIR morning at 8 o’clock and travelled for 2 hours to reach Diu. There are two ways to reach Diu from GIR, first is along to Talala, Una – The Jungle route which takes almost 3 hours and the other one is via Talala, Pranchi, Kesariya – the short way which takes 2 hours. We tried both ways in our two way journey. Let me share important fact of Diu with you.

Diu History:

Diu Fort
Before the Portuguese built the fort at Diu in 1535, the ancient history of the place was linked to several Kings and Dynasties; the earliest quoted is of the Pauranic period, followed by the Mauryans, the Kshatrapas, the Guptas, the Maitrakas, the Chavda dynasty of Gujarat and Saurashtra, the Chalukyas (under the Chalukya as local Chieftains) and the last was that of the Portuguese colonial rule till Diu was taken, along with Goa and Daman, by the Government of India on 19 December 1961. For over 450 years, the coastal enclaves of Daman and Diu on the Arabian Sea coast were part of Portuguese India, along with Goa and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Goa, Daman, and Diu was incorporated into the Republic of India on 19 December 1961, by military conquest; Portugal did not recognize the Indian annexation of these territories until 1974. Goa, Daman, and Diu were administered as part of a single union territory until 1987, when Goa was granted statehood, leaving Daman and Diu as a separate union territory; each enclave constitutes one of the union territory's two districts.

English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi are the official and main languages. The use of Portuguese goes on declining because it is no longer official nor taught at school, though a number of elderly people can still understand it, some even preferring it for discourse at home. (Wikis)

Beach @ Diu
Tourist Spots:
  • Nagoa Beach
  • Jalandhar Beach
  • Sun Set Point
  • Naida Caves
  • Fort: Fortim-do-mar (Pani Kotha)
  • Gangeshwar Temple
  • Sea Shell Museum
  • Saint Paul Church
  • Saint Francis Church
  • Saint Thomas Church
  • INS Khukri Memorial

There are various water parks to enjoy water rides. You may have sea rides at Nagoa beach with amazing experience. You can get good hotels in the middle of city for comfortable stay. You may required at least a full day to visit these all spots. 

How to reach Diu:

You can travel by train up to Veraval or Somnath and then by road 2 hours driving. Buses, Cabs are easily available.


Hoka (Hyphoena indica) is the only Indian tree which has African genus. Portuguese brought them from Africa. Surprisingly Diu has a great number of these trees. Probably because it is believed that the western part of Gujarat The fruit of Hoka tree is tasty and edible.

Refer the website: 

Indeed, Best place to visit… Enjoyed with family.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

From Muzaffarpur - Bihar


I am just returning Gujarat after completing my first ever Bihar tour. Although, I was supposed to be in Bihar earlier in March of the current year! Due to few travel planning shortfalls, I was not able to come Bihar and conduct Patna IT workshop. This time it was turn of ‘Litchi City’ named Muzaffarpur.

Muzaffarpur: Muzaffarpur is one of the developing city of Bihar; it is at the distance of approximate 70 KMs from capital city Patna. You can drive on Patna-Muzaffarpur national highway which is under construction now days so it takes minimum 2 hours to reach at the destination. Second option is travel by train, though there is not any direct train from both cities for one another. You have to go via Hajipur station. Hajipur is having good train frequency for Muzaffarpur.

Muzaffarpur is known for its Litchi fruit production and exports litchi around the globe. May ending and June starting is the season to bring litchi with you at home. The city is also known for Bangles production. Islampur market is the area which is known for bangles trading. Textile (cloth trading) is also one of the top business of Muzaffarpur. Sutapatti market is wholesale area for cloth trading. Most of Textile materials are being imported from Surat-Gujarat. Apart these main economic activities, you can find small shops around city, but you rarely find big shopping malls and markets inside Muzaffarpur.

Travel within the city is the big challenge for you as Autos are not running in the streets of city. It runs at main roads only. You may have shuttle passenger tempo or rickshaw (two seater-tricycles) to go from place to another in the city but, make sure to leave early to catch your appointment! You may have various hotels to stay in; I was staying in Bihar Tourism’s Hotel Lichchhavi Vihar near the city bus station. It was quite comfortable for staying. Let me share with you about ‘Lichchhavi’! Lichchhavi is the name of ancient Kingdom. There was an empire named ‘Lichchhavi’ many years ago. You can find train named Lichchhavi Express as well.

Muzaffarpur is having its great history! You might be remembering the event of imprisoned and hanging out the Indian freedom fighter Late Khudiram Bose! Yes, that event was happened in Muzaffarpur. I have studied in my school days history class about Khudiram Bose and his colleague Prafful Chaki. Khudiram Bose attacked British Judge and ran away from city along railway line, He caught from nearby area and imprisoned and given hanging out punishment! People remember him as Shahid Khudiram Bose and having a stadium on the name of this freedom fighter.

Secondly, Muzaffarpur is having mythological history. It was under ‘Mithilanchal’ in ancient time. Sitaji’s father Janak Raja was belonging to Mithila. There is Sitamadhi district (The place where Sitaji had born) and Janakpur (Janakraja’s place – now in Nepal) The Epic - Ramayana happened in this area. Sitamadhi is very near from Muzaffarpur.

Regarding my ICT workshop, it was very good thanking God for another success. With completion of Muzaffarpur seminar, I completed my 400 sessions. I met new people once again and very happy to see satisfaction on participant’s face after completing the workshop.

I had luck to have the Bihar popular dish named 'Litti Choka.' You also try when you go Bihar next time. I thank all who have appreciated my sessions. Just completing this post and waiting for the chart preparation of the train through I am travelling insha'Allah. Praying for confirmation of my Tatkal Ticket... Ameen

Thank you, All