The distance from Narayan Sarovar to Naliya is only 68 Kms. but it is an interesting drive through the desert and within a short range of the Arabian sea and several industries.
A short distance from Narayan Sarovar and within it’s village panchayat area lies GUHAR MOTI or GUHAR MOTA or simply GUHER as per the official records. If correct, the importance of this place lies in the fact that it is the western-most INHABITATED village of India. There appear to be BSF observation posts beyond this but no permanent settlement.
My equipment recorded the co-ordinates as under:
23.630172, 68.581296 Or
23d 37’ 48.6’’ N, 68d 34’ 52.7’’ E
A few more kilometres south your map shows you Harudi Lighthouse. It also appears on the list of Lighthouses on the website of the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships. One starts looking for it without any success. Our inquiries with the village elder reveals that there is a ‘Diwadandi’ nearby but it does not have lights. He directs us to the place nearby. Yes, we find it shortly to get the explanation for the absence of the light in the ‘Diwadandi’. No, it has not been shut down. It is merely a signal relay station and not a typical Lighthouse. The officer at the station was very helpful with the explanation of how it works.
(In fact we had missed these two items when we travelled from Narayan Sarovar to Naliya on 16th and drove back to-day 18th to cover the gap)
Spent the first half day looking for a single species of bird. The Great Indian Bustard. It was an unsuccessful search at three different locations covering a vast area. No. Nothing. We had to satisfy ourselves with some commoner birds and this pretty hare jumping.
These two local guys- Charan Sinh Gadhvi and Ram Gadhvi spent a lot of time looking for the bird in the vast grassland which is being developed as a sanctuary. Our sincere thanks to them. Ram later on helped us with our internet connection. Charan is a lawyer, Ram works for Vodafone.
The next location nearer to Naliya is Jhakau (pronounced more like Jhako by the locals). It is an ancient port known to have traded with Arabia and Eastern Africa including Zanzibar. This place also appears to have been a victim of changes brought about by nature- the sea, earthquakes etc. Now it is difficult to believe that this place was once a thriving international port. Salt transportation appears to be a major activity.
This place also sports the tallest lighthouse in India at 46 meters. The one on the left is the new one. The older one is on the right. It looks brighter as it is freshly painted.
This place also appears to be the first place on the western coast of India to sport a mangrove forest. The species of mangrove here in the creak is very short in size. We found some people fishing mud-crabs using a fishing line, not nets as is the practice on the southern part of the coast.
This Blog appears to be about a lot of records. First the western-most village, then the tallest Lighthouse, perhaps the western-most Mangrove forest. Now let us wind this up with the northern-most and western-most sea beach of India. It is called PINGLESHWAR.
There is the temple of Pingleshwar Mahadev two kms. before the beach. One is expected to make an entry in the register maintained before driving to the beach. When asked the reason for the same, the security person explained that it is because people go to the beach to commit suicide. I spent a lot of time wondering how maintaining the register will prevent people from committing suicide and what about those who can walk to the beach?
The Gujarat Police use this vehicle for Coastal Patrolling.
Thank you for reading.