The people of our age have been directed by the scriptures to visit places of religious importance that perhaps can get them a suitable place in the heavenly abode, if there is one. And with that sort of incentives, religious tourism has flourished over years. Adi Sankaracharya re-established Hinduism, and for the community created four dhams at four corners of the country- Badrinath in the north, Jagannath Puri in the east, Dwarka in the west, and Rameshwaram in the south. And this feat by him established the integrity and the span of the nation at that point of time.
We have been to Jagannath Puri in Orissa, and Badrinath in Himalayas of Uttaranchal. This time we shall be visiting only one in the west, Dwarka in Gujarat. We are leaving for Vadodara on 22.02.2007. Ashok is posted there in RPF as assistant commissioner. We shall stay with them, and visit Dwarka from there .
Dwarka has another significance. It is the capital of a kingdom where Krishna shifted to avoid Jarashandha of Magadha (present Bihar) who kept on attacking Mathura.
We shall cover Somnath, the temple of Shiva that Mahmood Gazanavi demolished and looted, and from then onward India started slipping in the hands of invaders who established empire and rules, because of the lack of one strong central power in the country and disunity in the Indian kings. Our next stop will be Porbandar, the place made famous for Mahatma Gandhi. After visiting Gir Forest, that is the only where one can see the lions, we shall return back to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. We may go to Sabarmati Ashram, established by Mahatma Gandhi, from where Mahatma led the Independence movements. And then we return to Vadodara.
Vadodara was the place where HM established its truck plant at Halol in collaboration with Isuzu Motors of Japan. I used to visit the place quite regularly in those days as General Manager, corporate project planning. It was for explaining the project to the people from financial institutes, or for discussing the project and equipment planning with the Japanese technical teams. Isuzu truck project didn’t go along for long because of high yen value. I consider the abandonment of the Isuzu truck project was a loss to the commercial vehicle sector of India. Isuzu was a great name in trucks those days. By that time, Tata Motors didn’t have commercial vehicles of world-class designs, the reason that made it acquiring Daewoo Commercial vehicle plant in South Korea. Later on, Birlas transferred the property built to GM when it entered India. Unfortunately, none of the old people from HM are there, neither I know anyone in GM plant. I wish I could visit the GM plant.
While at Vadodara, we shall also be visiting a world heritage site at Chmpaner about which I read in newspapers, though I might have gone to the place in those days. Really I don’t remember. We shall celebrate Holi with the family in Vadodara, and on 4.3.2007 we shall leave for Delhi.
Perhaps, it will not be possible to blog during the period. I shall miss something, but I can’t help. I don’t wish to inconvenience myself andYamuna while in holidaying mood.