27th Dec 2022
We reached Veraval around 6 am next day. It was a good journey, but as usual it was a new place to sleep plus the train sound and movement made sleep difficult whole night. Somehow slept at around 4 am and again woke up at 6 am, as we reached our destination.
By the way we did not book any hotel as we were not planning to stay. Our thought was to go Junagarh in the evening and stay there. Junagarh is just 2 hours train journey from Veraval. One of our known stays in Junagarh, so we thought we travel and stay there.
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On the way to Veraval only, we checked with some hotel to just get us refreshed. This hotel charged some minimal amount. We directly went to that hotel and got refreshed. We kept our luggage there only and got ready around 7.30 am. Now to go to Somnath there were 2 options available for us. One was cab and other was auto. We checked with one parked outside the hotel only. He asked for 700/- for to-and-fro, for which we agreed. This charge was for showing some other places along with dropping and picking from Somnath temple. So first he took us to some triveni Sangam. As the name suggest, it is a conjunction of three rivers. It was a good place with lot duck, to take photo with them. Then went to some other temples. Then finally he dropped us near the old Somnath temple.
This temple was built by Rani Ahilya Devi some 400 years ago. After visiting this temple, we went to mail Somnath temple. It is situated at a beautiful location. Next to the temple, you can see sea. I was seeing sea for the first time, and I would say it was amazing sight.
It was a sunny day, and I was feeling hot like anything but sight of temple and see was very calming. To my surprise there was not so much rush. As it was winter vacation and being one of the 12 jyotirlingas, I was expecting too much rush and thinking that need to stand in queue for darshan for some good hours. But it was completely opposite. There was no rush. We had to deposit our electronic gadgets outside in some locker. Electronic items were not allowed inside. Then we went inside the temple campus, and we could finish darshan in hardly 20-25 mins. After this started enjoying this beautiful place and started taking photos.
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Now it was time to go to the beach, which was nearby only hardly any 200 meters away from temple. Beach was not maintained properly. But it was good enough for my kind of people who was seeing beach first time. The sight of see is just awesome, till where you can see, it just water. There is no end of it. Water, water and just water. We enjoyed this place. Took photos, camel ride, playing in water, everything was just awesome. We were there for around 3 good hours. As they say every good thing comes to an end, so was this trip to beach.
We were feeling hungry, and we had to return to Veraval as we had train to Junagarh at around 5.30 pm. We came out from beach, had our lunch at some nearby restaurant, which we did not like at all, but somehow finished the food and came out. Then called the auto guy, who came in around 15-20 mins. We returned to the hotel where we got refreshed, kept our luggage, and went to railway station.
This hotel was just opposite to railway station, so it hardly took 5 mins to reach railway station. We reached railway station around 5.15 pm and took tickets for Junagarh. Train was there on the platform. We boarded the general coach, and it started around 5.35 pm. Again, after long time I was traveling in general coach. It is like wherever you find place, you sit there. As it was unreserved, we could sit anywhere. It was a 2-hour journey, and it was also a joyful journey.
We all enjoyed this journey, as we were seeing different people coming going, there were various kind of discussions going on among people. Some were discussing weather, some were discussing religion, some were discussing their journey experiences. It was overall nice experience to meet new people and hear such discussions. Around 7.30 pm we reached Junagarh. Our host was there at railway station to pick us. We went to his home, got refreshed and came out for dinner. Junagarh is a small town as like any other town. But good restaurants were there to eat out. After dinner came back and just retired. It was just a great day. We visited one of the 12 jyotirlingas, saw beach first time and had a good train journey. Next day we were planning to explore Junagarh and visit one of famous place Girnar ropeway.
28th Dec 2022
Next day we got ready around 8.30 am, had breakfast and came out. We found nearby an auto to take us to Girnar mountain ropeway. It took around 15-20 mins to reach Girnar ropeway. Girnar is a vertical mountain, a very big one. There is one Goddess Durga temple on top of this mountain. The Ropeway service called ‘Udan Khatola’. Here ticket charges for adults are around 675/- Rs and for kids around 300/- Rs. We purchased ticket and went in queue to wait for our turn.
There carriages were coming down quickly, so it took hardly 10 mins for us to get the ropeway bogie. We sat inside and its door closed. It started moving quickly on the ropeway. It started with a jerk but later it was smooth. We started moving upwards. The view was just amazing. It was last week of this, still it was a bright sunny day, I would say a proper hot day. Ropeway cables were lying on lot of poles. The moment any pole would cross, there would be a jerk for few moments. This made us scare for a friction of seconds. It was kind of moving in straight vertical line. More we were going up, we were getting more scared. After few mins, we reached at top of the mountain.
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The view was beautiful from here. We could see till very far from here, there was lot of greenery surrounding, then we could see the Junagarh city. He we could see a big in front of the Goddess Durga temple. We enquired there and somebody told this queue was for going back. While coming there was no rush but while going back need to stand in a long queue. But anyways, we wanted to enjoy this place now, worry later about going back. We went to the temple. It looked a very old temple, did darshan and came out.
Then we sat there outside the temple and enjoyed the view for some time. There were two more mountains having temples, next to this mountain. To reach these temples, you must climb around 2000 steps. So, we decided not to go further. We would be late if we plan to go there. Then had some light snacks and decided to return.
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The struggle was in returning. There was a long queue coming from back side of the temple. We went till the tail end of the queue and stood there. As it was a hot sunny day, it was very difficult to stand there. This time was winter vacation, so lot of people coming at this time, and rush would be there.
Finally, after standing in queue for more than an hour, our turn came, and we could board a bogie to come down. Again, coming down was also very exciting. Same way while coming back also, feeling jerk whenever some pole would come. But overall, it was a very nice place to visit. Never been to any ropeway before, so enjoyed this place thoroughly.
Then we came out of this place and again got one auto who took us a dam nearby. It was a small dam, clicked some photos here and there and then in the same auto returned to home. It was around 5 pm. We took some rest and then went out for dinner. Our bus back to Ahmedabad was at 10.30 pm. We finished our dinner around 9.30. Went back home, took our luggage, and came to bus stand. This is small town so did not take much time to commute between places. Finally, around 10.30 we started from Junagarh and reached Ahmedabad around 6 am in the morning.