Biking Pune-Great Rann of Kutch-Pune Part I

First things first..we went to Great Rann of Kutch and visited Dholavira, Hodka and Dhordo white desert, and Mandvi.

This is Part I of the travel diary with details about our ride to Dholavira and the stay there. Links to Part II and III are given at the end of this post.

We skipped the Little Rann of Kutch, wild ass sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar, Koteshwar temple, and Lakhpat fort.

Day 1, November 22 (Sunday).Pune to Baroda: 552 km
As planned, we left from Aundh at around 5.15am. Aai-Baba had come to see us off. Ovee was already told that we are going on bike for a week and she was ready with all the activities she had planned with grandparents. We did not wake her up in the morning...while leaving, we just kissed her on the cheek, whispered to her that she is a very strong and brave baby, and left.
We met our biking partners and my cousins -Sukhad and Alka at Jagtap dairy chowk, and left from there at 5.45am.
We had to cover a long stretch, so we waited only for breakfast, lunch, and evening snacks. All the photos that we have taken are from our mobile phones and the HTC re camera that was attached to our bike for on-the-go photos and videos.
Karizma, Me, Sukhad, Alka. Thunderbird. Tejas taking the photo. 

We were in Bharuch at around 5pm andgot stuck in traffic for about 15-20 minutes, but managed to maneuver through. The road construction is going on and with heavy trucks passing through, i guess it would take another few years to get rid of this messy stretch.

Day one reading.

At around 8pm, we reached Prakruti resort on Channi road in Baroda. Took and bath, dinner and crashed!


Day 2, November 23 (Monday)
Baroda to Dholavira (491 km)

We left from Baroda at 6am. Again, it was a long stretch to cover with state highways. On the way, we missed the Sardar Patel ring road -again a messy stretch with little or insufficient signboards. We went about 3 km ahead and then realised through navimaps that we had missed our turn. 
For a long stretch to cover, even six km could have cost us a lot. Fortunately, it didn't this time. 
Once, back on the highway, we were pleasantly surprised to find the Gujarat state highway 7 -two lanes, with divider, moderate traffic, and superb road condition. 

Gujarat State Highway 7
It is because of roads like this that we could cover 2000 km in four days
On the way to Dholavira is the picturesque Khadir Bet road with white Rann on both sides. We reached there at around sunset time and waited for about 30 minuted to take pics.

Parallel riding on Khadir bet road


Serenity and power!
We reached our destination Dholavira at around 7pm. It was pitch dark, no connectivity, and in the interiors of Gujarat. We borrowed cell phone from one of our waiters and called home to convey that we had reached safely. We kept borrowing their phones for the next day to stay in touch at home since only BSNL prepaid had connectivity.

Dholavira Tourism Resort -the only place to stay in Dholavira -the largest Harappan site in India

Day 3, November 24 (Tuesday)
Dholavira harappan site seeing

We had our breakfast and went to the Dholavira harappan site at about 10 am. It is about 200 meters walking from this resort. Our resort manager -Jilubha had already recommended and booked a guide for us to show the harappan site. It takes about two hours to see the site and museum. Only 20 percent of the site has been excavated, while the rest is in slow progress for lack of funds. 

The Citadel wall of the site. This was runs all round the site, as the entire town can be seen beyond. This is as-is after excavation and nothing has been restored.
Pots found at Dholavira are kept at the museum. You can still find smaller pieces scattered at the site,
After returning, we had lunch and slept for a while, In the evening, we had planned to see a fossil park, about 20 km in Dholavira village. Huge fossils found at the harappan site are kept in the fossil park. However, we our rear tyre got punctured on the way, and had to return to the hotel. Fortunately, it was a tubeless tyre, so we could ride ...Tejas on the petrol tank and me on the rider's seat!

Although we missed the fossil park, one of the most memorable incident happened to us: When we returned, Wasim -one of Jilubha's helper boys was there. We told him about the puncture and asked if there was any puncture shop nearby. He said there is none for 30 km, but the resort had an air compressor. We had the puncture kit, so we decided to fix it ourselves. Wasim said, "I can help you because I used to run a puncture shop in Bihar for seven years." He had cooked us breakfast that morning so we asked him how come he works as a cook here? To which he replied, "I actually drive the JCB here whenever required. The head cook at the resort is not there that is why I cooked." And we were left stunned. Because he had prepared the tastiest of meals for us without that even being his job. 


Wasim, Tejas, and Sukhad fixing the puncture 

After temporarily fixing the puncture
It was a very nice, chatty evening spent at the resort with the other boys -Rajan, Gunawat, and others dropping in between, while we fixed the puncture. It was a temporary solution and we were planning to change the tyre in Rapar -the nearest place where we could do so about 100 km from Dholavira.

Biking Pune-Great Rann of Kutch-Pune Part II: White Rann, Kalo Dungar, India Bridge, 1962 war memorial

Biking Pune-Great Rann of Kutch-Pune Part III: Mandvi and return journey

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