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Showing posts from February, 2015

One evening at Law Gardens, Ahmedabad - Gujarat Diaries

They love their street food at Law Gardens! The whole street is buzzing and alive, come evening. Shoppers, street-food lovers and lovers all throng Law Gardens, lovingly called 'Louvve Gardens' by the autorickshaw drivers!

Salt of the earth. The white Rann - Gujarat Diaries

On the road - Gujarat Diaries

How does one sum up a journey that encompasses the White Rann of Kutch, the hamlets along the way that are treasurehouses of great art and craft, the royal heritage of Bhuj, Baroda's classiness, and Ahmedabad's distinct flavours all at once? And yes, I forget to add Adalaj, a nearby town which is home to a stepwell, Patan, of the famed Patola sarees and Rani ki Vaav, Modhera, home to a sun temple that predates the Konark sun temple, according to some sources, Mandvi, the charming dusty port town, Anand, home to Amul and the White Revolution! I can only show you some pictures for now!

Bhuj landscapes - Gujarat Diaries

Typical sights on our journey to Bhuj.

The yellow of this man's kurta brightens the barren landscape just that much!
The vegetation, if any, was 'gando baval' (in the local language) or 'jaali' as we call it in Kannada and Telugu. 

Baroda delights - Gujarat Diaries

Baroda is a sheer delight. It's classy, and is the cultural capital of the state. The old and the new sit cheek by jowl here. It feels like Mysore in some respects, thanks to its royal heritage. We went to the awe-inspiring Laxmi Vilas Palace, where some members of the royal family still live. The palace is in great condition; a nicely presented audio tour is also available. We also visited the museum, which is housed in a beautiful red structure. But for me, the piece de resistance was the Tambekar Wada, a 19th century structure belonging to Bhau Tambekar, the erstwhile diwan of the princely state of Baroda. It is an old wooden building hidden in Raopura, in the lane opposite Dhuli Ram Pendawala, a famous vendor of sweets, and am sure the cab driver was amused to see us enter that crumbling old building. Wadas are typical Maharashtrian joint family homes, much like the waade manes of North Karnataka. This Baroda wada (traditional home) is in a state of disrepair. One of the port…