Okha, facing the Gulf of Kutch is western-most point of the Kathiawad Peninsula, not of India as the impression is given by a cursory glance at the map. Well connected by Rail and Road, Okha was once an important port. The port activities still continue but fishing appears to be the major industry.
Despite being a port and a major railway terminus, some parts of Okha are very neat and clean which includes the beach near the port. The beach has a temple.
The seashore at low tide is a place to visit to see a number of live creatures of the sea which we normally sea as dead sea-shells.
Here is a crab stranded at low tide.
Okha has two sets of Lighthouses 2X2, one set on shore and the other on a small island. Two are new and operational and two disused. Here is the one on shore.
And this is the beauty off-shore. The disused one is to the extreme right. The island also has a temple and a mosque. The Lighthouse is operated remotely from the shore and hence do not have people living there.
Perhaps the first church on Coastal India on the western side appears in Okha.
Okha town is the only gateway to the island of BET DWARKA. All pilgrims visiting Dwarka also visit Bet Dwarka by default. They are carried across the water in heavily overloaded boats.
On the other side, people walk to the temple or rather temples. If you cannot walk, you can be carried in the vegetable vendors’ carts. Rickshaws are abundant in the Bet Dwarka town.
The access to the temple is through a full-fledged market with colourful wares on display.
This is the backside of the Dwarkadhish temple. Maintenance is poor.
Apart from this the island also has a Hanuman Temple (below) , Chandramandir and several others.
The island is quite a religious place, complete with the famous Dargah of Haji Dawood Kirmani.
And a nice little Gurudwara with a garden and place to stay.
On the secular side the island has a few beaches. A cove named Dunny Point appears to be popular but it also double up as a harbour for fishing boats.
On the commercial side people try to sell almost anything to the unsuspecting religious tourists mostly in the name of God(s). This includes a wide variety of sea-shells and corals. This happens in Bet Dwarka as well as Okha. Both these places are within the geographical scope of Marine Sanctuary which is supposed to be policed by Department of Forests.
Let us wind up this post with some beautiful flowers from the compound of the Gurudwara on the island.
Suryakiran & Veena Naik
27th & 28th August 2016
Posted on 30.08.2016