We have done with much of Naliya and its surroundings. We are about to leave when we hear about a Heritage Village surrounding an old fort built by Jadeja rulers at a place called TERA, about 15 Kms. from Naliya. We decide to have a look. It was a disappointment. There is nothing like a Heritage Village except for the tourism department’s sign post at the entrance to the village. With some difficulty we could access the Fort. It was closed, locked. We could see the cows through the chinks in the main door. It is quite clear that it is used as a cowshed. Nobody could tell us anything about the fort and it’s history.
The next place we are going to visit is Mandvi, another historic place and an ancient trading and shipbuilding centre. But before that we need to visit a Lighthouse which is located between Jakhau and Mandvi ports. The Lighthouse is about 18 Kms. from the Naliya- Mandvi road. Finding the place was an adventure. The lighthouse is majestic, the beach in the front is alluring and the babhul forest between the Lighthouse and the village is amazing. The person in-charge of the Lighthouse stays alone at this place, the nearest human beings about 2 kilometres away in the Chhachhi village
During the return journey we lost our way and wandered in the forest for about an hour until Abbas rescued us and showed us the way out of the maze. He left his buffaloes and came to show us the way out. He refused to sit in the car. He has a phobia of automobiles. Does the English language have a word for this?
Even the smallest villages in Kutch offer extremely good quality tea, made on coal fire. Here is such a small place between the Lighthouse and the main road.
Back on the main road, the drive to Mandvi is a pleasure on the beautiful, smooth and straight road. As we enter Mandvi we get the first glimpse of the Coconut palm since we started. For those born in brought up in Goa, like both of us, the seashore is unthinkable without the coconut palm. However, the first about 150 kilometres of Indian coast does not have coconut palms. The ones appearing in the picture are tall plants and one of them has grown in a Zigzag fashion.
We start looking at the Mandvi shortly after our arrival. This is the bridge on Rukmavati river which divides the town into two parts- one in the old fort (which no longer exists) and the other side, on the way down south towards Mundra.
The Vijay Vilas Palace of the Jadeja rulers made famous by Bollywood movies ( including HDDCS) is billed as a highlight of the town. It is located about 3 kms from the town.
On display in the palace are many photographs, paintings, stuffed animals hungted by the Maharaja. The admission to the palace is as under. At the gate for the vehicle rs. 20/-, visit to the palace Rs. 30/- (pp) , Still Camera Rs. 50/- Mobile camera Rs. 15/-, Movie camera Rs 100/-. They are not abreast of the technology.
Among the displays is this beautiful painting.
On the way back we came across this group of deer. The rainwater accumulated in the ditches attracted quite a few species of birds as well.
Mandvi is an interesting place. Will touch on the remaining aspects in the next Blog.