When we started out from Velavadar, the idea was to end the day at Khambat. However it was quite late by the time we reached a place called Tarapur which has highway accommodation and we decided to make a halt there.
It turned out to be a good decision. The drive from Tarapur ( not to be confused with the town with the same name in Maharashtra) to Khambat is something to cherish. The scenic beauty of the 22 Kms. road with greenery on both sides is unforgettable.
Khambat is steeped in history. Once a major port, the town lost its importance in the course of time perhaps due to silting of the seashore. The difference between the low tide and high tide sea level is huge. There is nothing like a port any longer.
A few old buildings are still seen. The time we spent in the town was very little largely due to the fact that the day was Ananth Chaturdashi, the last day for immersion of Ganesh idols.
We saw one being carried on a camel cart. This must be unique. Is there any other place where camel is used to carry Ganesh?
We decide to proceed and visit another place by the sea called Dhuvaran. Dhuvaran has a two-year old gas-based power plant which never started. Perhaps they made some mistakes. They certainly made one on this signpost showing the direction.
By the sea there are two temples. We have posted too many pictures of temples on this blog. For a change let me post some signboards.
Sometimes old dilapidated structures, including industrial ones look cute. This pumping station for an old power plant is by the sea rendered useless by the new power plant which is not functional. Tragic.
By now we have decided on Jambusar as the place to make the night halt. That is the best option we have as Bharuch is a bit too far and we have one or two places to cover which are accessible from Jambusar. Before we reach Jambusar we come across a scene to remember. Sarees, hundreds and thousands of them hanging from the trees on both sides of the road for nearly half a kilometre. A sight that would make even the most disinterested person to stop and take a note.
We make enquiries about the phenomena. The explanation came out very easily. This is the shrine of Chudail Maa. You go to this deity and make a wish. It will be fulfilled. You have to come back and offer a saree to Chudail Maa. The saree will be hung up there. Consequences of not offering the saree are serious.
Going by the number of sarees hanging there, it appears to be a serious business and worth trying. By the way, you need not go there with a saree, they are available with the local vendors. Incidentally, did you hear the women in Hindi movies calling each other ‘chudail’ ? They don’t know what they are talking about.
Jambusar is a very ordinary small-town. ONGC is active nearby. Nothing to write home about, a stopover place like it happened for us. The place we go and see from here on the sea is called Kavi. Kavi is on the opposite side of the Gulf of Khambat and one can see Khambat. The actual seashore is 5 kms from the Kavi village and has a mosque, a Jain derasar and the famous Stambeshwar Mahadev temple in the sea.
The temple is operational only during the low-tide and is immersed in water at high tide exactly like the Nishkalank Mahadev temple. The difference between the two is the distance. Nishkalank is far out in the sea, Stambeshwar isquite close on the beach. Therefore, Nishkalank is more famous and has more devotees than Stambeshwar. Those planning to build temples in the sea, kindly make a note of this.
These are the fruits of Dhattura which are offered to Stambheshwar Mahadev by the devotees. He must be the most gracious God to accept poisonous fruits as offering.
Gods have the monopoly to grant us wishes, not financial institutions. Here at Stambheshwar Mahadev, Bank of Baroda has thrown an open challenge to God(s). It is publicly offering to fulfil all (tamam) manokamana (wishes). This is an affront to the divinity. The Gods should take immediate action against the Bank and Government of India, it’s owners.
14th & 15th September 2016
Posted on 17th September 2016.