34. TITHAL, VALSAD, DHARAMPUR, BARUMAL, UMARSADI

Tithal is the beach close to Valsad town, quite famous and highly overrated. As we have decided to stay on the beach, we try our luck at three different hotels and decide not to stay there. Every hotel wanted to know if the room was required for the day or for the night.

Another reason for our Tithal visit was the existence of a Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located at the extreme end of the beach and takes quite an effort to drive through the fishing village on the way. The lighthouse is a lattice structure and not the typical lighthouse.

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In the creek close to the lighthouse one can find these large mudskippers at low tide.

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Valsad town by itself does not offer many interesting places to visit. The centre of the town has this Jyoti Minar in a small park. A very nice structure of 1962 vintage. It is not maintained well.

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Morarji Desai the Prime Minister of India has a museum dedicated to him at Valsad. may be there are more such places in town which we did not come to know.

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During our conversations with the hotel manager at Valsad, the name Dharampur appears. Further inquiries reveal that it has a Tribal Museum, quite an interesting subject. We decide to visit although the place is not on the sea coast.

We reach the place too early for the museum to open. It opens at 10.30 m and we have two hours to go. Someone advises us to visit Barumal a nearby place which has the 13th Jyotirling. We had heard of 12 and since we have the time, we decide to go in for this one.

Not a great temple and photography is not allowed. Hence no pictures.

Dharampur is a vintage princely state originally created in 1262 as Rampur. The museum is called Lady Wilson Museum named after the wife of a British governor of Mumbai.

 

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The museum has the ground floor displaying articles of Natural History, obviously from the hunting and collecting days of the Maharajas. The first floor displays exhibits related to various tribes of India and other countries. Quite good.

The museum displays a number of dolls from European countries as also a stamp collection, both appear to be the results of royalty travelling abroad.

We make inquiries about the royal family and are told that there are no descendants are active, at least not locally. Yes, there is a palace somewhere but not maintained. No access.

The Museum is run by Government of Gujarat and the entrance fee is re. 1/- No photography is allowed. fair enough.

We are back on the coast and move southwards. The destination is Udvada, the religious capital of the Parsees but we have decided to go through a couple of fishing villages on the way, before we make a halt at Udvada.

The fishing village we land in is called Umarsadi- Machhiwad. Here are the glimpses.

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In the village we come across this thorny plant. the stems as well as the fruits have thorns. The villagers warn us to keep away from it as the thorns can be painful.

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Only this reptile species can use this plant as its hunting ground.

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23rd/24th September 2016

Posted on 30th September 2016

 

33.NAVSARI, BILIMORA, DHOLAL PORT, TITHAL BEACH, VALSAD

Navsari town is an old place but does not have much by way of monuments. The major landmarks are the Parsee temples. Parsees have lived here for close to ten centuries. The major monuments are the two Fire temples. (only Parsees are allowed inside, hence no inside pictures)
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AND This school.

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AND This famous library which is said to contain historical documents and has the reputation of being storing data in the electronic form from an early date.

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Indira Gandhi, who was married to a Parsee has a statue in the town.

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The HDFC Bank has a branch at a place called Lunsi Qui.Does anyone know what it means and which part of China it belongs to?

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The Satya Saibaba has presence in the town. The Parsee fire is represented as among the religions his teachings incorporate. Good PR.

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In Navsari they provide benches for the goats to sit on.

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The ‘meduvada’ made at the hotel we stayed at are oversize, the biggest I ever saw. Compare with the Times of India below.

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We move on towards Valsad another town with Parsee history. On the way one can see some beautiful villages. Please note that when I say ‘On the way’ does not mean we take the shortest and fastest highway. We take the small ‘coastal’ roads so that we are close to the sea. After all this is the Blue Drive.

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Bilimora is another Parsee town. The movie ‘Mother India’ was shot here. We don’t get to see much of the place. We visit a temple on the way. Somnath Mahadev.

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In the temple compound I noticed a tree which we used to call ‘badam’ tree in my childhood. There are on fact two different trees- one male , one female, growing nearby.

We move on to the next place along the coast before we reach Valsad. It is called Dholal port, a nice little fishing village.

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It has a couple of islands in the creek, the smaller one is here.

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Valsad follows.

23rd/ 24th September 2016

Posted on 28th September 2016.