During our road trip in Gujarat we drove until Land’s End the western tip of India that merges into Arabian Sea. We visited Koteshwar, Narayan Sarovar, Lakhpat Fort and Mata No Madh traveling about 350 kms during the day.
We left our Homestay in Devpur after early breakfast and our first stop for the day was Koteshwar which is located at the tip of India. Koteshwar Shiva Temple is located at the mouth of the creek. As the name suggests, this temple is about a million lingas which is in connection to a story from Ramayana. Lord Shiva had granted Ravana a linga in appreciation of his devotion. Ravana accidentally dropped it here and it multiplied into a million lingas. Koteshwar Mahadev Temple was built around the original while Ravana departed with one of the replicas.
The temple built on the raised platform is dated to 1820 after earthquake shook the region in 1819. The eastern side is from the old temple and the new temple extended west ward into the sea. You can see the wide expanse of the sea and the jetty ahead. We could not touch the sea but walked on the concrete path alongside generally enjoying the cool breeze. I smiled at the statue of the sun and got a smile back in return. Free food is served in a hall opposite the temple and after a quick trip to Narayan Sarovar located 4 kms away, we came back for lunch.
Narayan Sarovar is known to be one among the 5 holy lakes (Manasarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Pushkar Sarovar) mentioned in our ancient texts. It is believed to have been connected to mythical river Saraswati in the days gone by. Since I had already been to Manasarovar which left me completely overwhelmed, my expectations were very high from Narayan Sarovar as well. I had packed a change of clothes just in case I get a chance to take a dip 🙂 The lake did not look too clean from the edges and I gave my dip a miss. There were a few temples along side where I could hear bells and prayers. A few steps from the lake leads to a fortified temple complex. The 7 temples within the complex built on raised platforms in sandstone appeared very similar to Koteshwar in style. Though very close to the lake, it was spotlessly clean and dry and no one pestering for any worship.
Lakhpat or Millionaire Town nearly 2 centuries ago is now reduced to ruins and rubble. The once bustling town is now a deserted and dry area which sometimes comes to life with the visitors in the Gurudwara located inside and the footsteps of the Border Security Forces who stand guard day and night protecting the western border of India. Read my account of Lakhpat Fort : Millionaire Town now in Ruins
Mata No Madh:
Mata No Madh is a temple dedicated to Goddess Ashapura Devi. She is the patron deity of the erstwile rulers of Kutch. We reached in the afternoon and got a glimpse of the idol since the crowds were manageable. During Navratri, devotees come from far away places to pray to the every generous goddess in Mata No Madh
There are local buses connecting these places but may not be convenient to complete all the sites. We traveled in the car that we had hired for the entire 10 days road trip. There are no dhabas and restaurants in Koteshwar so carry food and water. The temple does serve simple food in the afternoons and make sure to queue up in time.
Bhuj to Koteshwar : 153 kms
Koteshwar to Narayan Sarovar : 4 kms
Narayan Sarovar to Lakhpat – 34 kms
Lakhpat to Mata No Madh – 41 kms
Mata no Madh to Bhuj – 100 kms
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