06-Nov-2005 -- This is my Seventh confluence visit. This one was after a long span of nearly two years. My last confluence visit was to 22°N 71°E which was on 1 February 2004. The time gap was due to non-availability of time and company. Since my job involves giving 24x7 support to our customers, I hardly find time for extra curricular activities like this.
On Sunday the 6 November 2005, I along with my friends Chinmay Buch, Jayendra Sinh Gohil, and Dharmaraj Zala along with driver Vijay Bhai started from my house in Bhavnagar in a hired Tata Indicom Taxi at 7 a.m. We took the State Highway SH 25 which goes towards Rajkot. After 25 km we stopped briefly for a cup of Tea at Sihor. Then after travelling another 30 km we stopped at a Motel called ‘Navrang’ near a place called Ranghola for breakfast. We had the famous “Ghatia” and Tea. Ghatia is a gujarati dish and Bhavnagar is famous for that. It is a deep fried snack made of Gram flour and normally served with fried green chillies or raw onions or Papaya chutney or fried Cabbage seasoned with mustard. It may seem to be a weird combination but it tastes good. There are many varieties of it and my favourite is the ‘Papdi’.
We started from here at around 9.30 am and passed the villages of Dhasa, Chavand, Babra and after 70 km reached a place called Atkot. Here we took a turn towards west and took the state Highway SH 1. After travelling 15 km we stopped at the 22°N 71°E, which was my last visited CP. It was dry last time and now there were fully grown cotton plants in the field.
We drove another 15 km and found our car had a flat tyre in the rear. Luckily we had reached a village called Ramod. We found a tyre repair shop near by. It took 45 minutes to get the punctured tyre repaired. We started from Ramod at 11.20 am and after 10 km reached Gondal. This place was the capital of the former State of Gondal in the pre independence era.
Here we went to meet Manish Waghamshi who is a friend of Chinmay in his Ice cream parlour. He offered us soft drinks and Ice cream. After bidding bye to Manish and his father we left Gondal. We took the National Highway NH 8B which goes towards Porbandar which is the birth place of the great Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, our father of nation.
We travelled 70 km crossing the towns Jetpur and Doraji and reached a town called Upleta. The condition of road was totally wretched. It was jagged and full of blisters. One will really wonder if this one is called a national highway. This might be due to the recent torrential rains and floods in this area. But throughout on the way we could see people working with excavators and dozers expanding it to a four lane highway. Hope they might repair this also.
From the town of Upleta we took the State Highway SH 97 and travelled 40 km and reached Jamjodhpur. This highway was very clean and smooth. It was around 2.30 pm and we were feeling hungry. After inquiring we found only one hotel to be opened. It was a small one with limited number of seats. We waited there watching the cricket match between India and Sri lanka. As already certain people who had come before us were waiting, we thought it would get delayed further. Hence we left there without having our lunch.
After inquiring with the villagers we took a tarmac road which goes towards a village called Kadba. After 5 km we reached a place called Vasanthpur. Again we had to ask for the way to Kadba. Then after 2km the road was getting forked and we took the right side one. The tarmac road ended here and the road ahead was unpaved and was full of loose and sharp stones. We had to move very slowly and with the shakes and rattles we finally reached the village of Kadba. According to the GPS we were 5 km from the confluence point. Here again we asked a lady if any road goes in the direction we intended to go. She showed us a muddy road which leads to the next village. This road was much better and smoother than the previous one.
After 4 km we reached a place where the GPS was showing 230 m to the confluence. We thought of not going any further and parked the car in a shade. We had to cross a cotton field with brushing aside cotton plants and then a ground nut field. We finally made it to the confluence point at 3.45 pm. Took the mandatory photographs of four directions and GPS.
This confluence is situated in a harvested ground nut field in the village of Ishwaria. Later on we came to know from a passer-by that the owner of this field is Mr. Dhana Bhai Bhimsi. We rested for a while in the adjacent ground nut field eating the raw peanuts which we picked from the field where the CP is lying.
We started from there at 4.30 pm and took the road opposite to the one which we came by. After crossing the Ishwaria village we came to know that we were going towards the CP but onto the other side. It is easier to reach the CP from this side of the road which is just 60 m.
A bit further down the road we had to cross a canal with one foot deep water. After 5 km we reached a village called Vanala and picked the major road which goes towards Jamjodhpur. This would have been a better way to reach the confluence but have to take lots of turns and cross many hamlets and villages and it would be very confusing.
On the way we saw a small dam which was under construction and since the place looked scenic we had a brief halt there. We reached Upleta at around 6.30 pm. At a road side stall had some snacks and tea and thought of having dinner later on. At 11 pm we reached Sihor and at ‘Gaylord Restaurant’, we had a nice and sumptuous dinner compensating our lunch. We finally reached Bhavnagar at 12.30 am after a whole day’s tiresome journey. But we all enjoyed the trip especially my friends as this was an ebullient trip to them.
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