Riding in Bhuj and Beyond…

Every time we plan our trip, we look into prospects of bike riding, be it lending from our friends (to places we have tripped) or getting it rented. 🙂 This helps us in making a sure point to opt and explore the concealed places all by ourselves. The reason lies pretty simple… Being comfortable budget traveler, rides alike helps us more in terms of economics, in addition with making the trip more thrilling and exciting.

What better way to be on Highway, other than the Royal Enfield Bullet. The legendary bullet needs no intro 🙂 A long wheel base and bigger tires provide increased stability and road grip, making it ideal for long distance travel. Its aristocratic livery and thumping engine beat remind passersby that they are in presence of automotive royalty.

Venturing to the West Coast was far beyond our reach, but we wanted to hit right on the boundaries… An ongoing festival over the White Rann of Kutch – popularly known as ‘Kutch festival’ or ‘Rann Utsav’ induced us to plan for Bhuj. Bhuj city in Kutch district of Gujarat lie approximately 330 kms from Ahmedabad and 860 kms from Mumbai. Being located in the heart of Kutch and easily accessible to other location, it became our base camp.

Day 1 started with our morning breakfast in Bhuj, and then our hunt for Wicked Ride franchise, located in Time Square Empire Building. Though booked online from wickedride.com, we were offered to choose – from 2 available Bullet Electra 350, one in shining BLUE, reminding of Neeli Bullet from Randeep Hooda’s movie ‘Main Aur Charles’, however we chose the SILVER one as appeared beasty. Argh… just followed the gut…! Nonetheless, either could be chosen coz both were in great condition. Also to mention the franchise dealer took extra care to explain each detail relating to bike, road conditions and driving direction in the new city.

Highway was calling as we embarked our journey which undoubtedly was going to be an adventurous ride. Afternoon ride to Mandavi poured in great expectation as to what our entire tour on bike would be. The ergonomics of the bike and well paved roads made our journey comfortable and timely. Less traffic tingled to explore more… Mandavi Beach is around 60km from Bhuj is located on the banks of Rukmavati River, barely one km away from Arabian Sea at the Gulf of Kutch. The beach usually remains preoccupied with local folks. But as we walked a mile to cross the Port Gate, landed to another world!!! 🙂 🙂 This beach stretch was less occupied where we sat and enjoyed, watching the swimming birds and floating jelly fishes!

At Mandavi Beach

About 5kms from the beach stood the Vijay Vilas Place…It was built in 1920 with insights of Rajputana architecture. The palace and green garden being so dreamy… made me imagine my pre wedding photo shoot… 😛 😛 And, yes the palace even offers too.. At 5000 bucks per hour!

Vijay Vilas Palace

Next day was riding to Lakhpat, the last inhabited village on borders of Gujarat, about a distance of 130 kms from Bhuj. Our first pit-stop was at Nakhratana – breakfast… tea… smokes… hit the highway. Before we could realize, we hopped across the Tropic of Cancer and headed straight to seek ‘Ashapura Mata’ blessings at Mata No Madh. The temple serves free food for all its pilgrims, an add-on topping in our break. We had our lunch and set off towards Lakhpat for another 40 kms. A ride through No man’s land.

At Bhuj Varo Nako & Toll Gate, we were welcomed quoting – “You are entering as camel caravans once did centuries ago, laden with goods destined to be shipped from Lakhpat port to far corners of the Indian Ocean, until Indus river shifted course, changing geography of this region. The fort walls overlooking the Great Rann were built in 18th century by Rao Lakhpatji”.

Entrance to Lakhpat Fort

Lakhpat Fort does segregate the portion of land between India and Pakistan. This fort also serves as 1st line security by BSF. Few remnants like Pir  Ghaus Muhammad, Gurudwara, Hatkeswar Mahadev, Jaglswar Mahadev, Saiyad Pir Muhammad still makes its presence.

Stretch of Lakhpat Fort

Our random plan to extend our bike ride till Narayan Sarovar thou messed worth making. Narayan Sarovar was approx. 35 kms from Lakhpat. This place is considered as one sacred pilgrimage destination. According to Shrimad Bhagavata Purana, Narayan Sarovar is an agglomeration of 5 holy lakes mentioned. We enjoyed the breezy air and sunset on the banks of lake over chatting with one military personnel.

The marshy Kutch, with its surrounding Thar Desert area in Sindh, is one of the most potential habitats for a different species of animals and birds in the province. We were lucky to sight some peacocks on our way to Nararyan Sarovar!

Koteshwar Temple

Google Maps was our only rescue – hardly could find vehicles crossing us. Luckily found a petrol bunk, before we completely ran out of reserve fuel as not many are present in those bewildered land.

Riding at night was just exhilarating. Twirls and turns on the road were perfectly marked with road reflectors, giving an impression of a snake. The distance to cover and enthu to ride was just enough to beat the cold. Silence of night was just mystical. There was nothing one can hear, nothing except the sound of leaves rustling as we drove past them. The shining moon playing hide and seek, trees forming dense silhouettes that fade into distance and rest of the world lying quiet and speechless – gave a new dimension to itself.

Our brain neurons sought solace riding in chilling weather conditions. 😛 😛 We headed for Kutch festival next… Read here!

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