Gujarat is very close to my heart. Being born and brought up in the lanes of Bhavnagar town, I always get nostalgic when my flight hovers over the city of Ahmedabad. I have been to most of the destinations in Gujarat – Gir National Park, Rann of Kutch, Dwarka, Somnath, Saputara and many more. Here, I am going to share my experience of visiting the historic cities of Somnath and Dwarka which gauge substantial interest as a part of pilgrimage trails in Gujarat.
The distance between Somnath and Dwarka is 236 KM, making it a good road trip idea as well. You can reach Junagadh which is the closest railway station from Somnath and has a direct overnight train from Mumbai. You can opt for Pune Veraval Express and you will reach Junagadh in 16 hours. From Junagadh, your road trip will start. There are cabs available for hire at the Junagadh railway station and you can bargain a good rate here. If you prefer traveling by flight, you need to land in Rajkot and start a road trip from there.
Being popular tourist destinations, Somnath and Dwarka have plenty of good accommodation options. The Hotels in Dwarka and Somnath start at a price as low as Rs 800 per room. However, these are basic lodges without any amenities. If you have a decent budget, you can opt for Mercure Dwarka. For Somnath, you can look for options which are close to the temple so that you can just walk in for the morning and evening prayers.
When I visited Somnath, I had clubbed it with Gir National Park. Located at a distance of around 70 KM, I would highly recommend visiting Gir national park along with Somnath Temple. After spotting the regal lions in their natural habitat, I headed to Somnath. When I reached this town, it didn’t impress me. The dusty roads, dotted with shops on either side, make the town look as touristy as any religious spot. But, when you walk into the temple premises, you will be welcomed by an impressive complex, plush with intricate carvings on the walls. A sea breeze accompanies the serenity at the Somnath temple. A wall perimeter is built around the temple area. However, this wall wouldn’t block the bountiful views of the Arabian Sea. If possible, check the tide timings and visit Somnath temple when it’s high tide. The waters used to splash off the wall, showering droplets on you. However, now they have placed rocks to control the ocean’s force during high tide.