Thursday, October 30, 2014

The tranquility of Dharasena mudflats and the loneliness of Dandi

Travelling to offbeat destinations fascinates me.
Google search doesn't throw up many articles about Dharasena. Yet it is a beautiful place and a great birding spot. Waders, water birds and flamingos.
From Navsari the road ambles past thick mango orchards and verdant groves. Lush greenery and huge ancient trees flank the road. Traffic is minimal. The road though single lane, is in excellent condition. Smooth and freshly tarred.

The scenic Navsari Billimora road

At Billimora it crosses the quaint railway track (Don't miss the man on the extreme left!).

Exiting Billimora, the road veers across a slow moving, winding river. 

Beyond the river, the landscape changes. Gone are the fruit farms and thick orchards. 

Instead the countryside opens up as the road, running parallel to the coast and just a few kilometres inland, cuts through the mudflats. The seaward side was covered in a couple feet of water – probably tidal.

A grey heron majestically trolled the tidal waters.

While across the road, spread out were the classic, squishy mudflats that waders love. A solitary whimbrel searched for tasty bites in the mudflats.


A flock of flamingos wheeled gracefully in the sky – their rosy hue clear in the light - before settling down in the far flats.


Dandi was close by. Almost 2500 men had raided these salt marshes during the Dandi march. But we never felt we were at a historic site. No memorial, no museum, no signpost. And the earth hides all historical events in its folds. Perhaps it was all for the better. Because this way at least the natural beauty of the place has survived.
We drove past to the fishing village of Dongri – the fishing boats  were anchored on the beach because of the monsoon. Drove on slowly till we reached Dharasena village. Beyond Dharasena the road turned away from the salt pans. 

Happy with our decision to take this diversion while travelling from Delhi to Poona,we too turned back.

For other stories of the trip check out Miracle at Billimora and Snakes Alive! and Holy Cow! 


Anonymous said...

Nice. Looks like an amazing road trip you had! :)

SA6591 said...

Yes Jatin. That's true. The side alleys of India are amazing