06-Jun-2012 -- 24N 72E is located right in the middle of a small private field in the village of Lakshmipura in Kankrej province of Banaskantha district in Gujarat, India. The journey began in Brookings, SD, USA and was inspired by a good friend, Gray Tappan, who has visited several confluences in West Africa.
The local journey began from Udaipur in the state of Rajhastan, heading south west past Mount Abu along the Aravali range and into Gujarat along an excellent four lane highway through the cities of Palanpur and Disa. From Disa, we drove south west along increasingly narrow but paved roads. The landscape changed to farmland, largely dairy and the population density reduced considerably. Most of the farms included water buffalo, but also present were goats and cows. Lakshmipura, which has about 2,000 inhabitants, is located just off the main narrow road, some 40 km from Disa.
Finding 24N was easy as it was located right on the main entry road into town, but according to the GPS, 72E was over a hundred meters to the west of the main road and was not accessible as it was within a fenced area. We introduced ourselves to personnel in a local health center in town and explained our mission. They were excited and accompanied us into the interior of the town, jumping over fences and on to a private farm where the Confluence was located.
The visit took place in the afternoon on a hot summer day (42C) and every property we went past offered us water, a common courtesy in this area. The owner of the field was delighted to have this Confluence on his field and in fact marked it with a stake. At this time of the year, just before the monsoon, the field was dry with no crops but shortly after the rains the field and the whole region will be a lush green with crops.
Our local companions from the health center introduced us to the city chief who was pleased to hear of his town’s new found spot. As we headed south east to Ahmedabad, our final destination 120 km away, we crossed the Tropic of Cancer. On the return trip to Udaipur two days later we discovered that the marker along the highway for the Tropic Cancer is placed 4 minutes north of the actual line as identified by the GPS.