Exciting Ride begins..
The early morning with all enthusiasm, courage and determination, i prepared myself ready by 5 AM. Saddle bag tied, rucksack mounted over, flag pole fixed. Seeing my bike totally a travelers temporary abode, felt amazing.The early morning excited ride started off really well. With full adrenaline in enjoying the ride and to complete the upcoming hurdles, i throttled hard towards Ahmedabad. The highways are too good in Gujarat, which puts me in a shame when compared to my own state. I took the normal highway towards Ahmedabad, since 2 wheeler’s are not allowed on express highway.
Early morning ride was really chilled, somewhere near sandhana, on the highway, i stopped by for a hot coffee to quench my thirst. Unfortunately, the flag which was mounted on the flag pole just slipped off from the pole due to wind and i could not notice until very late. Felt very bad that i disrespected the national flag by making it fall on the road.
I took the route: Vadodara – Anand – Nadiad – Kheda – Sanand – Viramgam – Dasada, to reach Zainabad. As i had planned to cross through Little ROK, so zinzuwada is the entry point for this desert. Little ROK has been haunting me ever since i decided to cross it all alone. En route, i took the blessing at a temple and continued on.
Zainabad is a small village, where you shall find all good facilities available including petrol bunk. From this junction, take a left towards patdi for 3-4 kms approx (backwards to camera angle), to find Essar petrol station. That is only one found anywhere near till patdi or dasada as per the locals. So make sure you tank up here before hitting the little ROK desert. Also, i had to buy an air pump (foot or hand) in case puncture, i could only find such shops in viramgam than zinabad or dasada.
After around 20 minutes of travel towards Zinzuwada village, though roads are not that great, i was welcomed by the grand entry gate of Little ROK. Here, i stopped by for few minutes of refreshment from my backpack as the heat was high all around but bearable. I also started to inquire the locals sitting there about all the details, myths and facts about crossing Little ROK. The locals were very supportive and cordial in answering all my questions. As per the locals, one does not need any forest department permits to enter this sanctuary. Even if one is stopped by the forest rangers, informing them about vaccha dada temple visit and back, shall not create problems.
Also inquired about the validity of the hand sketched route map of this desert, which i found on a forum. This map also gave me very good confidence about the desert and crossing it all alone for next 80kms. Along with this, i also did some rough sketch on the map. Entering into the wild ass sanctuary aka Little ROK, i was welcomed by the huge vast ocean of dry desert. It look splendid and i felt elevated in perspiring the enormous beauty of this land.
I felt super excited and all my adrenaline rushed high up to head in just getting down of the bike and see around. On one side, i had a fear of being lonely in this desert and what if i require help or anything and on the other end, the daredevil in me with adrenaline just pushed me ahead with alot excitation. I looked back towards the village i am leaving behind, it felt like, i am leaving behind the most comfort zone for a while in a godforsaken land. The next few hours or till evening, it shall be Me and the mother nature. No communications and no connection with the external world till i reach the palasava.
Bowing down to the ground, with the blessings of my mother nature and of my mother, i continued my endearing saga. As per the hand written map, around 1 kms from the entry gate, there is a sign board kept on the road side to mark the path towards vaccha dada temple. This is where i needed to take a left. The road straight goes to the last village in this sanctuary which is hardly 1-2 kms away. I continued on this direction towards the temple. Still a bit of fear lingering in my mind about losing the path as there is no soul around further.
When this sign is seen, post marking the onward route for the vaccha dada temple, i was on the right course. With this visible, my mind went a bit ease as i was assured of the right path. Once again mesmerizing the vaccha dada god, i continued further on. Further 1km away, there is a V point, where the road splits. The road with red flag posts mounted on (left side) goes to some other temple, while the right side with white flags mounted on shall go towards vaccha dada temple.
All along this route, one can see the white flag posts at a certain distance where one’s eye can possibly identify. For almost next 15 minutes i spend at this place just mesmerizing the awesomeness of this heaven. There was no soul to be seen nor heard anywhere around till my vision can reach over the horizon. I was alone in the middle of no where. The tranquility here is indescribable. Further riding across this desert, i came across a burnt up crushed car. Was it a drunk drive case? High speed lost control case? I never know. No body around to ask as well It remained a mystery though.
With still wondering what could have happened about this car situation, i continued ahead. The sun was bright, and the ground was dry, yet the wind was cool and blowing, and the silence all over. I continued further singing loudly under my helmet, forgetting the clumsy worries one has in between people all around. The nature and me is just all i can see and feel around. Further down the road, i could spot some huts mining the salt on this desert. Yes this desert has salt mines hidden every where. After 1.5 hours of journey, i finally reached Vaccha dada temple.
The watchman here requested me to have lunch and also park bike inside. Post finishing darshan of the god, i proceeded towards the lunch hall. The utensils (plates, cups and glasses) has to be self cleaned and brought in from the nearby washing area. This place sits on the desert bed all around. The people are very cordial and caring and also very simplistic in their looks and attitude. Almost everyone visits this temple from around the wildlife sanctuary. Hardly few houses exists at this place.
With washing the plates and cups, i proceeded to lunch hall. There wasn’t much queue here. The food was very tasty. Enjoyed the food, later on washed the utensils at the washing area. Took some rest here for another 20 minutes or so, i decided to continue the journey. Being here felt really good as well as the food was good. Thanked the lord and continued towards the gate. The gatekeeper was very courteous again to check if everything was fine with me and also if i had food.
Meanwhile, my bull started grabbing attention from the locals. Few of them dropped by to check who i am, why i am here, from where, etc. information. Felt really happy to have conversation with them. Without wasting much time as i had to cross next 40 kms in the desert towards palasva and reach bhuj by evening, i started off bidding heartfelt adieu to everyone here. Once outside of this temple, I had to take right and continue in the road which is adjacent to this temple area. Right side of me, the greenery bush which is of temples area can be seen. I Continued on the same path.