Paradise found!

Yes! I found my paradise !


SAND , SEA , SHOR (sound of the sea) and us ! Still I get goosebumps reminiscing me tete-e-tete  with Gopnath Beach ! there is this turmoil in my head , should I share the secret gateway to this paradise ?


Pic : Sun rise , Near Vijay Villas Palace.

The innocence of the rising sun! the over enthusiastic high tide waves…..the power of the dispassionate morning chill and the warmth that it flames in your heart the very next second ! The morning , Macho Wind , ahh…. so well built !  (I would call it morning wind and not breeze….  because that would , lower its status !


PIC : VIJAY VILLAS @ Gopnath beach

If you want to experience….Fresh morning with the sound of chirpy migratory birds. Enjoy your first cup of tea with the view of roaring, lashing  sea from your window! If you have the guts, to stay in a semi haunted Royal house..almost 80 years old, all by yourself ! If you dare to face the highest tidal waves in the world ! ( Gulf of khambhat is infamous for having the highest tidal waves in the world) head straight to GOPNATH BEACH …….


We choose Gopnath bunglow ( near Gopnath beach) to celebrate our 6th Anniversary !  My decison was commendable , I have to say…..

A private beach, Royal summer Palace converted into hotel…sea engulfing the area from three sides ! what else can you ask for ?Gopnath Bungalow was the seashore retreat of the royal family of Bhavnagar. Built in a European colonial style with cottages and mansions surrounding a courtyard, the whole complex faces the sea. The tidal waves here are among the largest in the world. Blessed with lovely white sand beaches it is a nature lover’s paradise. You can see marine life in the rocky shoals, extensive coastal bird life including oystercatcher and plovers, stripes hyena and jackal in the coastal scrublands.

Golden sand, beach full of corals and sea shells !



and yes , Caves !


Sand castles , shell collection, talking long walks to discover this virgin beauty , we did all !


whenever I sit to watch a sun set, I feel nostalgic…All the good, bad,happy ,sad moments of my life flash in front of me…and when I debit(unhappy moments) and Credit(happy moments) and make the final balance sheet, I always find my life has been in profit phase so far ! (touchwood)…The calm of the setting sun, always sets my heart beat to the right pace !


The scariest part of my trip has to be those 2 nights  we spent at the hotel !

The howl of the screeching sea, the powerful wind making spooky noise every second….the pitch darkness outside….the revolving light from the light house ! Perfect plot for a ghost movie ! but, We were so tired from all the beach side masti…We slept like logs( Broken from ship wreck)  floating on sea….aimless…

If you have a brave heart, with a burning desire to experience nature,adventure, some spice ! you should be here….It was a thrilling experience to sum it up…Would love to visit again…

Places to see around, If you get time

  • Gopnath Mahadev temple:  Gopnath Mahadev temple is located here close to beach. The temple is big and well maintained. Nearly 700 years old, the Gopnath Mahadev Temple is the temple which hoists two flags, where the first flag which is of white color banderole indicating the aristocrat Vishnu Temple while the saffron black banderole symbolizes the temple of God Mahadev. This Shiva temple is where the devotional poet Narsinh Mehta supposedly had his spiritual experience almost 500 years ago. Set on the seashore
  • Jhanjmer Beach
  • The Talaja Caves The rock cuts are carved out into deserted conical rocks. The rock cut group include 30 caves among which about 15 are water tanks. The cave has unique architecture known as Ebhal Mandapa. The caves belong to 1st century BC. Talaja is 20kms from Gopnath.

Alang: if you love to collect antique !


  • HOTEL :

GOPNATH BUNGLOW ( we made our bookings from

Address: Gopnath Road, Talaja, Gujarat 364135

Phone: 096017 62352
  • How to reach?  It is around 240 kms from Ahmedabad.

POLO FOREST…Archaeological paradise hidden inside a jungle full of lets polo !

One of the lesser known Archaeological paradise of Gujarat, If you love adventure/Trekking ,flora ,fauna and are crazy for ancient architecture and history.. This is the place to be… Polo forest lies in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat. The (anokha) name  comes from ‘Pol’ which means housing complex in Gujarati…

The place is just 145 kms from Ahmadabad.. This Holi ( 2017), We chose Polo as our secret Hideout from our overenthusiastic Holi fanatic neighbors …..and yes we freaked out like mad….We savored different shades ( raang) of nature ( Site is rich in Flora and fauna) , relished local folk tales, got high on rustic architecture and archaic temples…We were treated with a lot of local cuisine, Full moon night, tent , bonfire and the temperature outside freezing cold…What more can you ask for ??

We had made our bookings with POLO SAFARI. I wanted to relax and luxuriate this Holi and Team POLO made this dream happen for me..complete trip was planned by them..We had to pay a total of 4700/- and rest was taken care of ( Boarding , Food , Guide). It was a relaxing /informative / venturesome two days trip……

polo 2

DAY 1:

We reached our destination early around 10:00 am..My baby had just woken up from her sweet sleep…We settled in our allotted room. We were informed that the trek starts at around 2:00, we had a good numbers of hours with us to rest and for me..complete all task related to my little devil( 2 year old daughter). We had our lunch and started our adventure with a big group ( Other residents/tourists of the resort).

and the fun begins..

Spot 1 : SARNESHWAR TEMPLE -Where Nandi is greater than Shiva….


A concept very unknown to the world…According to Mr Chirag from POLO SAFARI.. The temple was made in 4th century….It was made by parihar kings from Idar.


The outer wall or the main gate /fort like gate of the temple…can you spot Nandi…What is unusual ? Nandi is placed on a pillar..That is Nandi is placed above his lord Shiva….very peculiar ain’t it ?



Who is Nandi ? He is Shiva’s gate keeper…He is Shiva’s Main attendant.. He was born to Sage Shilada from a Yagna performed by the sage. Nandi’s Bhakti and Penance earned him a place in Kailash..He is the gate keeper and the Mount(Vahan) of Shiva. Nandi is depicted as a seated bull in almost all of the Shiva temples..At Sarneshwar , Nandi is seated on a pillar.If we try to decipher this ancient mystery ( why the butler is placed above the master)..There is a lot that can be said..One theory is..The time at which the temple was made..worship of Nandi was of greater importance than that of Shiva…This is quite possible , as they say, worship of Nandi and Shiva is as old as Indus Valley Civilization….Nandi or Bull is a symbol of male untamed Virility and being and agrarian society worship of fertility/virility was and still is a common practice in India.


To your extreme right, Notice the statue of (Kali) like god, She is locally known as Rakht Chamundi…She loves to quench her thirst by drinking human blood, She is draped in minimal clothes and has a garland of skull around her neck…After even resorting to cannibalism, Torso of Rakht Chamundi is depicted malnourished…This is basically a symbolic figure and points out the political scenario of Polo Forest during 4th century..The place belonged to tribals or Bhils..There was not much education around, food must have been a big problem . There was a lot of chaos and dispute within locals.Taking advantage of the situation and following the famous principle of ‘Divide and Rule’…Kings of Idar , then Mewar and finally the Mughals invaded the place..



Not much history is known about this Surya Mandir. I could spot sculptures of Aditiyas around the outer walls of temple…( There are a total of 8 Aditiyas or solar deities according to Vedic traditions)


polo harnav river bridge

Locals say, Maharana Pratap was somewhere near Harnav River, when he was hiding out and preparing for a come back against Mughals…He had sparred a baby Fawn Hiran(deer) his life after seeing his innocent eyes and that is how, the River got its name..

After crossing Harnav river and trekking for a bit, We were bombarded with a truck load of age old temples to our delight…




Sadly,the temple is in complete ruins…



Kund- Placed behind the Shiva temple…Wont you agree with me , if I dare say ,this kund is a micro mini sized ChandBaori – Step well ?This is what I felt…You may have a different opinion….That’s okay..let me know..Some more snaps of the kund (akka) Stepwell..

(Stepwells, also called bawdi or baori, are unique to India. These wells acted as the reservoirs or the storage tanks that can store large amount of water and keep it cool as well.)

In both the pictures, Chambers are visible, According to Mr. Chirag, These were used by the pilgrims to rest and change clothes after holy dip in the kund( abolition) , before visiting the temple ! If you watch closely it is a four storied step-well, pyramid shaped steps lead to each storey…Moving ahead, I am sharing a downloaded of ChandBaori and will highlight few observations that I believe is true….


Source :Chandbaori Step well – The largest and oldest step well of India and probably most famous !

Another fascinating thing that I noticed, Location of both the place has a striking similarity…Chand Baori is located in a place called Abhaneri ( city of brightness) and The step well at Polo forest is located in a village called Abhapur( city of brightness).. If you still don’t agree on their (rishta) relation with each other… Both the step wells have chambers for people to change clothes and rest ! The basic plan is same…(I am no historian ,but I am an Indian and I love to explore and analyse my heritage.)

Moving ahead…we reached Spot 5..

The grand Parshvanatha temple….The temple, from the top ( helicopter ) looks like a human body we were told !


Parshavanath  is 23rd Tirthankar of Jainism.

parshavnath  Source:

A major default in the architecture of this temple is…The mul swami or the main deity at the Garbha Griha is not visible from the entrance.. This is very typical and a prime requirement for a Jain temple….

They say this is the reason why the city perished( local superstition)…Nevertheless the architecture is worth a mention..Delicate detailing has been done, but due to lack of care and erosion over the years…our past is fading /washing out….

We were shown a secret door, (surang) in the assembly hall of the Derasar..

This Surang we were informed was mighty 45kms long! This was a secret escape route in case of attacks..and connected Idar to polo forest…The main idol is missing and few of the idols kept in the temple complex are in a very heartbreaking /dilapidated condition…The place has seen many Invaders including Mughals…

Spot 6: Lakhena Temple..

Interesting fact about this temple is.The architecture of the temple is a unique blend of Hindu, Muslim and Jain architecture…The amalgamation of cultures ,visible in the craftsmanship, is delightful to watch…



A photo tour of this Derasar…

Geometric /symmetric Jali work – a typical feature of Muslim architecture, Gomukh – a must for Hindu Shiv temples, We were even shown an idol of Krishna on one of the walls…If you are a history maniac like us ( My husband , me and my lil baby) will love the place..(The moment she( My baby) enters a temple..she says namho namho with all due respect and bhav . She even gestures namaskar mudra..)

we moved ahead and reached the final destination of this Ancient temple complex and thus our Spot 7: Jain temples ( 15th century)

The first temple is made of marble and the second one made of bricks…Both the temples are in complete ruins …

The last destination for day one was Vanaj Dam…





Water was leaking from the Dam….People around were murmuring.. MohenJo Daro..( the last scene from the Bollywood movie flashed in my filmy brain ).!

It was end of Day one and we returned back to our resort…It was a moonlight night…The resort and the place around was looking heavenly…I have never seen such darkness in city….( The resort is placed in the  middle of a farm and circumferenced by hills…

We ended the day by enjoying, Gujarati meal..There was Bhakri, Tamater ni sev, Khechri, Kadi and some sweet…(Shudh) vegetarian food…

Day 2 of my journey in polo forest in my next blog…

To be continued…



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