Have you Ever been to Kabirvad once in your life?
Have you ever been to a place where you can only after river crossing or a place full of banyan trees? Kabirvad is the answer if you seek some nice outing.
During one of the summer vacations, my cousins had came home and wanted to explore a nice place near the riverside. My father asked them if they would like to visit Kabirvad near Bharuch town, where they could get picnic fun and also an outing in itself. All of the family agreed, and so it was decided to go early next morning by car.
My father has always taught us to search about the place we are going so that we have some information about it. At that time, Internet was just new and so we decided to search the internet for Kabirvad. We searched about basic history and how can one go to the place.
Early next morning, we set out in our car by 6:30 am in 2 different cars. Since we were going to give our first boards of our life (10TH STD exams), we were quite excited to enjoy the picnic before the exams.
We had taken music CDs and food with us to entertain us on the way.
DISTANCE TO Kabirvad From Baroda
The Road distance to Kabirvad from Baroda is about 64 to 70 km while the distance from Ahmadabad to Kabirvad is 200 kms. The distance from Bharuch to Kabirvad is only 15 to 20 kms. You can travel by car or rent a car. You can also take the state transport public bus. If you are coming from Ahmadabad then turn Left at “Jadeshwar Chowkdi” before the Toll plaza on national highway 8 towards Ankleshwar city.
Sacred HISTORY OF KABIRVAD.
On the way, my dad asked us about Kabirvad and its history. We were in no mood to give history as we wanted to know the history of the song playing on the CD in the car, but parents will be parents. We were threatened to come back home and abandon the picnic if anyone among us would not tell the history. So we started telling history. The history goes like this:
Kabirvad,Narmada and Saint Kabir
Kabirvad is located on the banks of river Narmada which meets the Arabian Sea, near Bharuch in Gujarat. Kabirvad means the Banyan Tree in name of poet and philosopher Saint Kabir. Kabirvad is spread in over 2.5 acres. It is said that the original tree grew up with the touch of Saint Kabir or grew up from an ancient brush ‘Datun’ that was thrown by saint Kabir. The main trunk’s roots over the years have grown into many woody trunks and have now become unrecognizable from the main trunk. The mother tree is believed to be over 600 years old.
Another story is that Saint Kabir had meditated under a Banyan tree. That tree has never aged and gradually multiplied in number. Banyan tree is also the national tree of India and also the tree which Lord Krishna vouched for in Bhagwad Gita.
That is the history of Kabirvad. After reaching Bharuch, we stopped for a short time near a restaurant at 8 am, where we had morning breakfast and cold drinks. We then resumed our journey and proceeded to Shukaltirth one of the destinations before proceeding ahead to Kabirvad.
Shukaltirth & Kabirvad
shukaltirth and Kabirvad are two sides of the river. To go to Kabirvad, one has to reach shukaltirth and take a boat from there to reach the destination.
When we reached shukaltirth, we were strictly ordered by elders, not to do any mischief in the boat journey. We were told that the water was deep and the boat was weak for any mischief. We readily agreed. One has to sit in the boat from Shukaltirth & after 15 minutes, one reaches Kabirvad. The boat is a desi version of a boat or fisherman’s boat. Shukaltirth is famous for its shiv temple called ‘Shukleshwar Mahadev” Temple.
The boat ride can cost you anything from Rs 10 to Rs 25. You have 15 passengers with you on the boat. If you are lucky, you can see tortoises and fishes in the muddy river. We reached there in few minutes and we were the first ones to reach the ground and race towards the entrance. We have to walk for some distance before reaching the place.
Finally When we reached Kabirvad, there were many people who had come during the holidays like us. Kabirvad is maintained and under supervision of forest department of Gujarat. There is also a Kabir temple dedicated to poet Kabir and Kabir museum in the vicinity. Other then trees spread around the whole area; there is a small dusty ground where cricket and other sports can be played. I had made a bet with my family and cousins that we would find out the original tree, but even after searching for 3 hours, no one could find out the tree and we ended the bet by having some food for lunch.
The trees were obviously under the ownership of the local monkeys. The monkeys have become accustomed to the public coming here and take food from their hands directly.
People and the monkeys have abolished fear from their minds and live mutually.
There were local shopkeepers there who sold tea and sweet corn. I just relished on the corn with some spicy ‘masalas’. There were also people selling fruits like Bananas and apples.
Other then monkeys, there were dogs, cows and lots of crows who were seen on look out of some food there. Plastic was seen lying around like all other Indian sites.
We saw bats hanging upside down from the branches of the trees. I guess they were waiting for their ‘daytime’ (night) to come out and play. I wanted to go closer to them, but my mother pulled me back angrily. I saw that the banyan roots were coming down from their branches and were protected with some metal rings by the authorities. A proof that the local authorities are looking well after the place.
The Kabir temple is also worth seeing. It is a round temple supported on pillars from all sides with image of Saint Kabir in it.
GOING BACK FROM KABIRVAD.. What a Journey It Was
By the time, we were done with seeing all the Kabirvad spots, it was already 1 pm. We decided to have lunch by the natural shade of the banyan tree. What an experience. Lunch outside in the nature with monkeys and squirrels jumping around and birds chirping away. When we finished with Kabir temple, it was 3 pm. We decided to go back to Bharuch. It was fun again going into the boat and splashing the water into cousins. We went back to Bharuch, where the ladies did some local shopping and we saw a cricket match at one of our relatives place. At 6 pm, we headed back to Baroda and decided to eat dinner early opting for kathiawadi food.
What days they were!…
For Travellers From Ahmedabad… here is a Map for Ahmedabad to Kabirvad.. just for a refernce.. it is around 200 KM from Ahmedabad.. so you can easily visit it in a day or can plan for a weekend there..