37. UMBERGAON & SANJAN

We leave Daman and enter the State of Gujarat once again for the last leg of the journey ( in this state) of this tour. The distance is short but the countryside is enjoyable. Umbergaon is the last Taluka of Valsad district which is the southern-most in the state.

The places on the way from Daman to Umbergaon are small villages. Kalay, Phansa, Maroli, Nargol, Tumbh and Dandi. Incidentally this is the third Dandi we are coming across on the coast.

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I wouldn’t  mind driving forever if the roads are like this.

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On the western side the sea and the creeks continue their presence.

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This is the area from where the Western Ghats or Sahyadris announce their presence. Note the hills in the background in the picture below which are towards the east. The main range is not far away.

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Cows in Gujarat have a special liking for the sea.

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The plantation on the beach and the Church at Dandi.

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Nargol comes before Umbergaon and is separated by a creek to be crossed by two bridges. Nargol has sizable Parsi population and an Agiyari- Fire Temple.

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As we cross the bridges towards Umbergaon we see this structure at a distance towards South East on the mouth of the creek. We are told that it is an observation tower for the Customs. I wish they allow me to stay there for a few days.

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Umbergaon by itself is a commercial place with a lot of industries. We stayed at Umbergaon Club Resort which is frequented mainly by business travellers.

One important historical place near Umbergaon is Sanjan. Parsis perhaps consider it more important than Udvada. Apparently their  alighting at Sanjan was the largest. Sanjan along with Udvada and Umbergaon and important places in Parsi history.

The Agiyari, Fire Temple at Sanjan is very close to Maharashtra border, separated by only a small stream. In fact one can walk across, have a drink and come back into Gujarat.

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When the Parsis decided to record their presence in India and store their history, they chose Sanjan. The commemorative tower and the Time Capsule (buried) are here, a couple of hundred meters from the fire temple.

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Difficult to read what is written up there but I am sure the Paris surely can spend some money to clean up this important place.

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The fishing harbour which is just across the Lighthouse from Umbergaon has a beach with Mangroves on very dry land at low tide. Please note the grass growing around the Mangroves, very unusual.

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Umbergaon itself has a Parsi Agiyari and surrounded by some old Parsi homes some distance away from the beach.

 

The beach at Umbergaon has the pines planted by the Forest department like at many other beaches in Gujarat. The Lighthouse is close by. It is an unique triangular structure. We are welcome to go up on payment of a fee. No, there is no lift but it has been ordered. You can come back when it  is installed. Meaning- please go away.

I make some new friends at the tea stall on the beach. No, I am not an ex-serviceman.

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27th & 28th Sept 2016

Posted on 2nd Oct. 2016.

 

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