We leave Dahanu early in the morning, driving on the coastal road covered with the greenery. The rains have continued into the last part of September this year and the monsoon greenery is maintained.


Tarapur town has an established industry. Just about everyone here is busy making dies for jewellery. A number of small shops supply ready-made or made-to-order dies.


Tarapur has a Portuguese fort. Now completely surrounded by the town. The growth of vegetation is unbridled; the access road has become a marsh. We had to satisfy ourselves with external views.

The side facing the sea is in reasonably good condition. The Portuguese inscriptions are still legible. I can understand 1893, presumably the year of construction.

The fort has a Lighthouse inside, not functional.


The operational tarapur lighthouse is a few kilometers ahead along the coast. One has to walk through a village called  Ghivali

to reach it.


This is a funny place. A god road leads you up to the village and then it terminates. You walk through the village and anothercement road appear that takes you to the Lighthouse through a mangrove forest hosting a lot of life.


The village has a temple of  Devi.

ghivaliIndia’s first Nuclear Power reactor and research facility is visble from here.


The vast area covered by the mangroves in the vicinity of the nuclear power facility is sued for catching crabs. here are the bikes of the crab-hunters.


We come back to Tarapur and move southwards. The next place is a village called Dandi. This Dandi is in Maharashtra.

Driving through the narrow lanes of Dandi fishing village was a challenge, overcome.

The BARC facility is more clearly visible from here. The stand is for drying fish.


29th Sept. 2016

Posted on 5.10.2016



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.




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


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



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.


Cows in Gujarat have a special liking for the sea.


The plantation on the beach and the Church at Dandi.



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.



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.


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.



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.




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.


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.


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.


27th & 28th Sept 2016

Posted on 2nd Oct. 2016.



We leave Surat in the afternoon with a plan to sleep at Navsari after covering a couple of places on the way along the coast. The first place we drive to is a popular beach named Urbat.


The beach is quite good but dirty as most of the beaches in Gujarat are.

The next place is not far away. It is at the opposite side of Urbat in the peninsula jutting into the sea. This one is called Borsi has a Lighthouse ( called Borsi-Vasi Lighthouse) and a fishing harbour. The Lighthouse design is quite interesting. One can see the staircase all the time. Yes, one can go up the top but the stairs are slippery after the rains and the persons in-charge advised us not to do so as it could lead to accidents.



The fishing harbour is walking distance from the Divadandi. The boats are on their way in. Fisher folks are busy in their activities. This is not the high season but that will start shortly. They do get a variety of fish and prawns. The place across the creak is Valsad.

7  planned we get to Navsari at the end of the day. Finding a hotel was not difficult. We decide to stay here and explore the places around. The next morning, we proceed to Dandi the place made famous by the ‘Salt Satyagraha’, led by Mahatma Gandhi and an important event in India’s freedom movement. Reaching Dandi from Navsari or from anywhere else needs travel through these overgrown thorny Babool trees. This is a feature of many of the village roads along the sea coast.


Dandi has quite a good beach with some afforestation for company courtesy Gujarat Forest Department.   Cows go there for their morning walk.


The place for prayers and Gandhiji’s statue is well-maintained.



Saifi illa where Gandhiji stayed the night prior to the event is well maintained and has a permanent exhibition of photographs and some articles of the time.


One interesting thing the caretakers told us is that the actual act of defying the tax on salt imposed by the British Government took place at the doorsteps of the Saifee Villa. This implies that the sea or at any rate the place where salt was extracted was close to the Villa. Now it is about a kilometre away. This phenomenon is observed at many places. At some places the sea has receded like here and at some other places it has gobbled up land. We can see many places along the Gujarat coast (including near the Dwarka temple) where a lot of money is spent by creating embankments to prevent this.



On the way back from Dandi we miss our way and go into wrong direction to reach a village to witness a prawns harvesting activity at Samapore.

The prawns are harvested once in two years and our visits coincided with one of those.

The prawns are large in size and are destined for the big cities and for export market after processing. These are captive bred prawns and not form the sea/creek.

A small distance away, this man is hunting crabs by the creek.


We get back to Dandi again and go to Bhutsad Lake. The area around this small lake has plenty of birds, butterflies, insects and plant species.


The next place we visit near Dandi is called Onjal. There is nothing much at this place except that it has a Lighthouse. No, you cannot visit it now. Come at 4 in the evening.



The rates for visitors are displayed.


But this appears to be a permanent fixture on the gate.


21st & 22nd September 2016

Posted on 27th Sept.