Travel Diaries: Gujarat

Happy dusserah to all my friends, family & extended family! We spent a few days of the Navratri at Gujarat and had an amazing time. 

For the food lovers:  We ate samosas and fafdas, dhokla, lapsi fada, chola batura and lots of shrikhand. We sampled an authentic Gujarati thali at Atithi. Jalebi was missed out so we save it for the next trip! 

For the sight seers: We went to an age old famous stepwell called the Rani ki vav (the Queen’s step well) and admired the architecture of it. Check it out on the new purple coloured 100 rupee note. We visited the Statue of Unity and the Sarovar dam next to it, although the area may take some more time to develop as a fully tourist friendly spot. 

For cultural immersion: We visited the United Way garba at Baroda….. it is the largest garba in the world, and we can only view dancers there, as you really need to be pro at dancing to dance there (and a season pass!). So the next night we went to the Heritage palace ground, also an impressive garba ground and boy, did we have fun dancing ! It’s stressful to be a non Gujarati and not a pro dancer and keep up the rhythm and line within the circles. Our nephew helped us and it was simply exhilarating for me to sing, shout and dance with an alien crowd, a dance that I’ve been admiring for about two decades now. I went there 4 years ago with a little 6 month old in my tummy and couldn’t dance last time so this time it was worth the blisters in feet and drenching sweat. 

In strange ways I’ve always felt connected to Gujarat, with my name itself being inspired by Gujarati neighbors at Chennai (my mom liked the name, my dad selected the Carnatic raaga Poorvi Kalyani so both were happy). My CA days were spent with many a Gujarati friend, and my first introduction to garba and dandia was at Hyderabad in the late 90s. From my marriage, there’s influence of Marathi and Gujarati culture, as my mother in law was born and raised in Gujarat. 

The melting pot of Indian diversity and cultures makes me so happy and I am so glad to be able to give glimpses of these to my amazing girls, who had so much fun too. Some pictures from the visit