Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kabirvad

River Narmada
Last day in Baroda, we planned to go to Kabirvad, 80kms from Baroda near the city of Bharuch city. It is an island on the river Narmada. We started after 12 in the noon so we hit the humid weather just for a few hours. The weather was not that bad or maybe I just started getting used to the hot humid weather. On reaching the place, there is a small boat ride to the island. We took are tickets & waited for the boat to arrive. In the meantime we bought star fruit – first time for me, they taste like pears, very juicy & crunchy. But the shape is very interesting and tempting to buy and eat :D
Motor Boats at the banks
Getting into the boat was a bit scary as the boat guy (..can’t call him sailor) was busy collecting water in the boat & pouring it out! Yikes! Well, we had no choice & we got into the boat…we as in 20+ people! The boat ride was really quick like 5mins. The ride is very exciting with water all around. I guess the super hot desert-like weather of the state brings that thrill to see so much water! It was fun, water splashing in as the boat cruised through! Oh that’s how the water got into the boat! Eureka!
Star fruit

There is a cement walkway from the water to the island. We went straight to the banks of the river. Too tempting and we got into the water right away. Oh we’d already bought a big ball to play in the water. The water is not very deep but very muddy. The volume of the water is very good for shallow waters…I bounced in the waters like a rabbit! What fun for a non-swimmer! We played for a longtime. The crowd was so much better than what I had experienced at Muthathi. Very decent boys in the waterJ. The banks have local people with carts of tea, roasted corn. A hot cup of tea after playing in the water was so refreshing.  Also saw a camel; it should feel so awesome to see so much of water!
The gigantic Banyan tree

Bats in the tree

Roots from branches into the ground
Then we walked to the kabirvad entrance. The instant striking scene is of hundreds of bats hanging upside down on the banyan tree. It must be crazy traffic at night on the island! From the entrance itself you see the gigantic Banyan tree which is the main attraction here, covering an area of 3.7 acres. According to legend, it is at this place that saint Kabirdas meditated and the tree grew from a meswak stick (used for brushing the teeth) that was thrown here by the saint. There are hundreds of roots coming down from the branches & going into the ground. Many of the roots are protected with long metal cubes. Other added attractions are the lotus shaped marble temple, it has a marble idol of the saint. The surrounding area had cows and buffaloes and most interestingly monkeys! The Langurs. People were feeding them kala jamuns. We ate our home packed lunch at a distance making sure the monkeys didn’t catch a scent of our delicious food.
Lotus shaped temple of Saint Kabirdas
We started back to return and the cement walkway I mentioned before was all flooded with water. I really have never seen a flood before but the water was rising fast! We got into the boat quickly. Drove down to a dhabba – something I have always wanted to do. We ate delicious Kathiyawadi cuisine. Got to see a small traditional Rajasthani puppet show.
The Langurs
Flooded walkway
Traditional puppet show
To summarize about Baroda – super hot & humid even in July; pretty dusty and dry weather; cows on street are like dogs, they are all over the place and in large numbers and they have very artistic horns; every second tree is a Banyan tree hence the name of the city Vadodara/Baroda. My husband had a point to say about the people – nobody really gets pissed at one another here. If you say something out of anger, people just smile and nod along & move on instead of starting a fight, something about the Mahatma left in the state?

1 comment:

  1. FYI: "Star Fruit" is called "Kamrak" in local language.

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