Saurashtra Coastal Tour by Car 

Diu was a Portuguese colony until 1961. It has many beaches, huge fort, Portuguese architecture, verandas and cheap beer. It is goverened from Delhi, as a Union Territory. 

Somanath Temple near Veraval has a chequered history. It was destroyed many times; first by Mohd Ghazni in 1024 and then again in 1297, 1394 and finally in1706 by Aurangzeb. Each time it has been rebuilt.

Sasan Gir Sanctaury is 59 Kms from Junagadh . The 1400 Km Sanctuary now has about 320 Asiatic Lions. Apart from lions there are leopards, hyenas, foxes, wild boar, deer (Nilgai), barking deer, chinkara gazelles etc.
 


St Paul's Church (1807) Diu

Entry to Diu Fort

 Sea view from Diu fort

After a swim in sea, beer and lunch I drove (2-4pm) to eastern-end of Island and did the sights of Diu in the Portugese areas and saw the St. Pauls Church and visited the Diu Fort. Later in drove the length of the island to the west on a nice peaceful road and returned to hotel by 6pm.

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1st September 2005 :

Diu - Somnath - Gir - Junagadh 

Left Diu at 6 am and went to Una and then turned west on NH8E and headed to Veraval along the coastal road. At 8:15am stopped at Somnath and visited the Somanth's famous Mandir. 

Then went past Veraval and took NH8D north, towards Junagadh. Around 10:30 reached GIR Lion safari park. Went inside the park on a Safari Jeep tour and saw a family of Gir Lions resting.

****  Gir Sanctuary  ****

Spotted Deer at Gir

Indian Nilgai ..... at Gir

The Gir Park Main entry & Interpretation Zone Museum



31st August 2005 : Day-4 >> Mahua - Diu  

I left Mahua 6:30am and arrived at Hotel Gangasagar (on the beach) at Diu 9:30 am. A DBL Room was Rs 400. Walk downstairs to bar, beach & sea!    

Sea, beach, trees, bar, restaurant .... all from my hotel room window!

Sea view and Fort ramparts and canons .... of the Diu Fort

 Diu Fort ... ramparts and canons


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Somnath Temple - current temple built in 1950 by Sardar Vallabh Patel

The original Somanth temple here was ransacked, in 1024, by Mahmud of Ghazni, after reading glowing accounts of its riches, by the arab traveller Al-Biruni. The temple was sacked any times by Muslin invaders in 1297, 1394 and finally by in 1706 by Aurangzeb. The current  temple ahs been built as per traditional design on the original coastal site.


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GIR Lion family in the jungle bush - dad, mom and 3 cubs

 

Asiatic Lion ..... at the Gir National Park & Sanctuary, Gujerat


Reaching Gir sanctuary at 10:30 am and was lucky to find a Safari Tour just waiting to start. Rushed and bough ticket for that. Saw Spotted Deer, Nilgai and a family of Asiatic Lions rseting in the shade in the jungle. Our closed Jeep went almost within 0 feet of this group of luions an dwe could get somewhat decent pictures of the Lions. Within 1 hour the tour got over and at 11:30 am, I drove off to Junagadh town.