Part One of Three of the Column_M and MOTORSCRIBES Tour of Gujarat in a JEEP Compass.
Distance traveled: 727km (Pune – Ahmedabad – Nalsarovar)
Photos by BHUVAN CHOWDHARY and Vineet Pangtey
Winters is an absolutely wonderful time to travel in India. There won’t be a season more perfect to when you can get your bags packing and hitched onto a car or motorcycle to start exploring the vast expanses of the country and all its corners. It’s the best time to travel, not only because of the luke warm temperatures throughout the day, but also because of the landscapes being covered in lush green flora due to the recently lapsed monsoon season. Combine the elevated green hues of lands with waterbodies and lakes full to the brim everywhere with the moods of the winter sun that paints the evenings golden while you have a natural concoction of colours that keep changing through the time of day.
It had been less than a month since I’d last seen winter approaching after monsoons while driving through the lush green Western Ghats of Munnar. So this time while planning out a tour, I wanted to experience some place different. In a stroke of luck and faith, plans for October 2017 kind of unraveled in the most well-aligned way. Strange and odd, but I am thankful that it all did come together.
It all started with a small conversation between me and my cousin, who was soon heading to Ahmedabad for his Forest Department work, after which he had planned to explore Gujarat for its historic architecture and wildlife while practicing his post-retirement hobby of photography. It was immediately evident to me that this would make for an interesting tour that would also be quite apart from the typical Indian winter outing.
My cousin’s plan was to take a week off from work to head out into Gujarat’s various National Parks and Sanctuaries. So we immediately got in touch with our friends over at MotorScribes, who too, quickly agreed that this 2500km road trip through Gujarat called for an immediate collaboration. As for which car to take for the tour, we both had the same SUV in mind, with equal curiosity about how it would fare under the varied terrains of Gujarat. Now that I am back and penning down this story, it’s quite clear that our decision to take the Jeep Compass was absolutely spot on.
Pune – Ahmedabad – Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
Approximate distance of 700km driving with an overnight stay at Ahmedabad (click to expand gallery for image + captions)