Saturday, May 7, 2016

Gir Somnath Trip

I could visit Gir in April this year, after having it in my list for long. It was a family trip to Gir jungle and Somnath temple. We flied to Ahmadabad and went to my sister's place in Nadiad. From Nadiad we took train. On early morning we alighted at Junagadh station and went to cab which I booked online. Having car booked before reaching, is always good and one can skip bargaining with touts and save time. Cab driver was a decent person and helpful in accommodating us and guiding. In next two hours we reached to Sinh Sadan in Gir which is almost at sixty kilometers from Junagadh. Sinh Sadan is the reception office for Gir forest where safaris are being allotted. Booking need to be done in advance which we had. They have three slots and early morning slot is the best to spot a lion. I booked late morning slot as we had small children in our group. As we reached early I inquired about accommodation in Sinh Sadan but they don't take request on spot so we went outside. Just opposite to Sinh Sadan, we talked to one small hotel named "Hotel Annapurna". This was a very basic hotel with clean bathrooms and rooms. You cant expect much from them. Not highly recommended for stay but as we needed it for few hours for getting refresh, it was good for us. We got two rooms in fifteen hundred rupees. In next one hour we took shower and got ready to explore nearby locality. We had Phapda-Jalebi and other stuffs in breakfast. On our designated time we reached to reception and got two Safaris allotted to us. Open jeep safari were decent ones and a guide also accompanied us.

Gir is the only sanctuary where Asiatic lions are present. There are different routes in jungle and we were taken to one. After entering into jungles we could see numerous peacocks, dears and other species. We passed through number of routes to spot a lion. Safari drivers were asking returning safari drivers if they spotted one. Finally we reached a place where three four safari jeeps were waiting. Guide told us that a lion and a lioness are behind the tree which was little far. We waited for long but could got only a very unclear view of lion once it moved. As it was day time and sunny we were sweating a lot. After more than two hour of jungle trail we came back to reception. It is highly recommended to book early morning slot if one want to watch a lion roaming. Anyway we were satisfied with a distant view and a trip to jungle. We visited nearby Crocodile center also. After coming back we started our journey to Somnath which is at forty kilometers only. Once we reached to Somnath town we had lunch before going to temple.

We reached to Somnath temple in late afternoon. Temple view was magnificent which is located at the coast. It was very hot. Standing outside the temple was tough so we quickly moved inside. Sitting inside gave the great relief. Sitting in temple premises is always very soothing. Architecture of temple is monumental in itself. After spending one hour inside the temple we went to coastal side of temple to sit along seaside and spent another hour sitting peacefully watching sea. It was evening now and then we moved to Veraval station to catch our train. Before boarding train we got dinner packed from an outside restaurant. Next day early morning we reached back to Nadiad with beautiful memories of Gir and Somnath trip.