EP 12 - Jamnagar Saurashtra Tour, Jamnagar food, places to visit, Gujarat Tourism
We have now been travelling through Kathiyawad region for the past fortnight or so. Right now, we are in Jamnagar, as you can see. We are at the home of Trupti Behan, with whom we have been talking, discussing... ....the history of this whole region. She gave me this pagadi (turban) to wear. Thank you for that! For the past few days, I've been noticing that the level of... ...hospitality, called 'Mehmaan-Nawazi' in Urdu, is quite high in this region. That is what I've felt wherever we've visited so far.
Please tell us something about the Mehmaan-Nawazi of this region in your own words. (Speaking in Gujarati) The limit of hospitality in Kathiyawad can be gauged from the following lines - Our guest is dear to us even more than our lives. And we aren't too keen to hoard more, we are happy with whatever we have in our lives. Wow! So beautiful! Although we haven't spent too much time in Jamnagar, we reached here only last night... ...so tell us something about Jamnagar. Jamnagar was established by Maharaja Ranji Singh and this whole place is full of 'Jam.' Everybody is happy in this city.
The reason behind everybody's happiness is that we value human relations and... ....we believe in speaking good always. That is a good way to live life. We believe that we must spread happiness around us.....Wonderful!
You have beautifully explained both the Kathiyawad region as well as the Jamnagar city. Thank you. It was nice meeting you! Thanks also for the way you have elucidated the beauty of this region and this city. Jai Dwarkadheesh! Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. We've reached Jamnagar. I want to introduce you to Nikunj.
Hello friends! Nikunj is also a YouTuber and we've met today. We are standing near Lakhota lake right now. It is called Lakhota Lake. What is that beautiful building right there. It is a museum!... ...Museum! Okay! Nikunj is going to help us explore Jamnagar.
The time is 6.45 pm. We had left Dwarka at 3.45 pm and it took us approximately 3 hours to reach here. We took a short break on our way here.
Looking at the ambience of this place, it seems that people love to come here for walk. People love to come here for walk during mornings as well as evenings... ...Is this walkway a full circle? Yes Sir, it is a full circle!... ...Oh great! Fantastic! The weather is pleasant here. So, what can we do in Jamnagar at this time of the day since it is very late? Since it is late in the day, we will explore some street food right now... ...Street food!
I've heard a lot of birds visit here during the mornings? Yes, they do! Okay, so we will do bird-watching tomorrow. We walked for 10 minutes from Lakhota lake, ...to reach here. What is this place called? It is called J.D. Bread Wala. But there is 'Vinayak' written here. Vinayak is the name of the apartment building. The shop's name is J.D. Bread. So, what are we going to eat here? We will be eating a local street food here called "Bread Katka."
What? Bread???... ...Bread Katka! And we will also eat Jota... ...Let's go! The first thing I saw when we went into the shop was these small pav (bread loaves).
These were so small loaves. I haven't seen such small buns ever in my life. You are right Sir. You won't find it anywhere else......Right no? There is chutney inside as well as crushed peanuts......Great!
So, we will sprinkle lime juice over it?... ...Yes Sir! Ohh now I see! This is lehsun (garlic) chutney. I can smell this chutney from far.
Well, you get such peanuts everywhere and buns too. But this chutney is unique in taste. If you just look at it, nobody would believe that this bread could be this tasty! And this pav is unique as well... ...You can't get this everywhere. Brother, let me tell you we just ate Jota at your shop.
I mean it when I say it was delicious. I am so happy I got to eat Jota here today. What? Katka!... ...Yes, please make bread katka for us now. What are the timings of your shop?... ...4.30 pm to 9.30 pm! This Katka means "in pieces"... ...Am I right?......Yes!
So, they divide the same bun into smaller pieces, add a piece of boiled potato.. the chutney is different this time. Yes Sir. In fact, it has four different chutneys. One is sweet chutney, then spicy chutney, which is made of garlic,... ....the third one is green mint chutney and the fourth one is khajoor (dates) chutney. Really!!!... ...Amazing! It is written on the board here that this shop has been running since 1980... ...Yes!
So, this is an old establishment... ..Yes, very old! Amazing! Wonderful! First we ate Jota, which was extremely spicy. Now this dish is on the sweeter side, though it is slightly sour... ...and then there is the khajoor chutney too. The pieces of bun have soaked all the chutney. Since the bread has soaked up all the four chutneys,.... ....we can enjoy all the four flavors at once. So, it is mandatory to have this peanut masala in the street food here? Yes, we use a lot of peanut masala.
This must be because groundnut is grown in abundance around here?... ...Yes! Usually, popular street food joints are located in the middle of......or closer to the main market. And it is after a long time that I've seen this shop, which is located... ....in the bylanes. One reason behind this is that this used to be an old industrial area...
...because of which a lot of labourers used to come and eat at this shop. This place is generally very busy between 5 and 7 pm. Then, it is a matter of chance that there are no crowds today!... ...Yes! This taste, however, is highly impressive! And the main thing, which I've not mentioned so far is that... ...both the chutneys as well as the bun taste absolutely natural.and not artificial. The natural flavor of the street food is really amazing. We've returned to the Lakhota lake.
We had come here to watch musical fountains but... ....we got to know that the fountain timings are 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. The fountains are operated for 30 minutes and there is ticket of Rs. 25 per person. Besides, you have to purchase a ticket for Rs. 10 per person to enter the Lake area. So, we missed the fountains because there was a 30-minute window only.
However, you told me that earlier, the fountain timings were longer. Yes, there used to be more fountain shows but now due to Corona, the timings have been reduced. One more thing, there is a light and sound show going on right now. ...they have decorated with beautiful lights and installed speakers too. Usually the speakers play folk and other songs during the day but in the evening... .... if you sit anywhere along this path, just as we've been sitting here... ...you'll get to hear the whole history of Jamnagar city through these speakers. A while ago, I heard about the erstwhile King Jam Rawal, who came here from Kutch... ....was a very popular ruler of his time. His subjects loved him.
And he fought many battles against the Mughal invaders of those times. We were also told that the ancient name for Jamnagar was 'Nawanagar State." I spent about 20-25 minutes listening to the city's history and.it felt good. . In fact, I really liked this place where you can just sit and chat and enjoy the ambience. One more thing, this middle part of the circular track has a spongy surface. So, if you want to do a brisk walk or jog, you can do so here easily.
That is what I noticed a short while ago. We are going to end this day here. Tomorrow, we are going to do local sightseeing in Jamnagar and.... ....we will meet tomorrow morning. Okay Nikunj Bhai?.....Yes!...So we shall meet in the morning now! Good morning!.....It is 7 in the morning and we are ready for sightseeing.
The hotel behind me is called Hotel President and we spent the night here. The room tariff of this place is Rs. 2000 plus taxes on double occupancy basis. We are ready to move now.
The first place we are going to visit is the Lakhota Lake. Nikunj had told me that the time between 7 and 8 am is right for bird-watching. Although the lake is at a walking distance but in car, it will take us just 2 minutes to reach.
We've reached Lakhota lake. I walked a short distance on this path... ...and saw this beautiful view of the lake and the museum in the distance. The primary purpose of my visit was to watch the migratory birds. Although, you cannot see them with the naked eye but let me zoom in the camera ...and you can see that there are a lot of birds flying around here. Morning time is a good time to be here. I was told a lot of locals favor coming here for their daily walks. We cannot visit the museum, which hasn't been reopened yet after the pandemic.
But whenever you'll come here, you must visit the museum. Right in the centre of the lake, you can see the statue of the king of Jamnagar... ...and a lot of migratory birds flying around, as I can see. This place is so lovely that in my opinion, you can come here post-dinner... ...or in the evening and spend 1-2 hours enjoying the environment. While walking along the path, The building that you see is called "Bhujiyo Kotho." Let me share some more information about this place.
The building in front of me is called City Museum. There used to be a large aquarium here, but the museum has also been shifted from here. Now, we are going to Bala Hanuman Temple, which I told you already... ...is located right outside the lake complex. We are outside the Bal Hanuman Temple. Let me tell you the specialty of this temple. It was built in 1964 and since that day, to this day, the devotees...
...have been singing the "Ram Dhun" (prayer of Lord Rama) 24x7, 365 days of the year. This fact is also mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records. Isn't it amazing! Let us go in and have the darshan. After paying my obeisance, I sat down to listen to the Ram Dhun being recited.
Being here feels good. On this board is written the total number of days since the Ram Dhun is being recited. This count goes up every day. This is the tomb of Shri Bikhshu Ji Maharaj, who got this temple built.
Let us pay our respects here.....After that we are going to have breakfast. We met fellow Youtuber Nikunj last night and now for breakfast... ...he has brought us to the same place where we had the snacks last night. This address is Digvijay Plot, Juna Udyog! What is the name of this shop?...This shop is called Amdavadi Dal Pakwan shop So, here we are going to try two dishes - Dal Pakwan and......Bhareli (stuffed) poori So, here is Dal Pakwan and this, as Nikunj said, is the Bhareli Poori.
I saw the second dish being prepared. These are small poories, which were stuffed with Gathiya (fried chickpea snack) and chutney. Chutney and Dal!... ...Chutney, Dal and Sambhara (local salad). This is a combination of sweet and spicy. You pick it one by one and eat. Very good!.Let us taste Dal Pakwan first. Very soft! The crisp Pakwan tastes well with this Moong Dal and chutney! I remember I ate Dal Pakwan last about 2 years ago in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
So this Dal Pakwan is famous here as well, I maen people love to eat it a lot. A popular local breakfast? Yes, Dal Pakwan, Bhareli Poori and Gathiya. Look at the softness and crispiness of this Pakwan.
It breaks with minimum effort. Whenever someone mentions Dal Pakwan, I am reminded of my time in Ulhasnagar, There, we used to eat Dal Pakwan for breakfast as well as evening snack. That reminds me that in the coming one year, when I will plan a Mumbai tour... ....I would definitely visit Ulhasnagar and make a video on the local food there. The food of Ulhasnagar is quite famous. There is a lot of variety in their food.
Very different food. Let us have some more dal, now what I am going to do... ...is I am going to add this spicy and this sweet sambhar to the dal. And now I am going to taste it with a bite of pakwan. This taste is totally different from what this dish tasted earlier. This Sambhara, made with unripe papaya, is delicious too. Adding Sambhara to the food elevates its taste.
The food tastes better with it. The name of this dish is Bharela Poori! Bhareli Poori!...Bhareli means stuffed. Let us try it as it is first and then we will try with Sambhara. The combined taste of chickpea curry and this poori is wonderful. We have been travelling through Saurashtra for the past 12-13 days.
And I've noticed wherever you go, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner... Two things that will be served everywhere are - Sambhara, which is served everywhere... ....and second thing is Chhaas (buttermilk). But I didn't see as many restaurants or eateries serving Chhaas in.Ahmedabad or Surat, as I saw here. Your breakfast, lunch and dinner would be incomplete without Chhaas.
You must be drinking Chhaas at least 3-4 times in a day! You will get Chhaas here as well... ...That is what I thought. Chhaas is compulsory. Let us finish the meal and then decide what to do further. Ashish Bhai told me that 90% of scrap copper and zinc required to make brass... ...comes from outside India and only 10% is procured from within the country. Right now, I have copper in my hand and there is more copper lying behind me.
And lying in that corner is zinc. You told me that copper and zinc is used in the 60:40 ratio. Now the first step is to make a structure, also known as a frame. It starts with filling a mould with clay and adding about 3-4 rods to keep a space empty. Once this step is taken, the mould is sent into the furnace.
Now look at the furnace and how bright it is burning. Ashish Bhai told us that the copper melts at a temperature of 950 degrees. And Zinc needs 600 degrees temperature to melt. This is the first time in my life that I am watching the metal melt in front of my eyes. This is a job that needs to be done with utmost caution.
The melted material is being transferred into the moulds. Once inside the moulds, the metal takes about 5-10 minutes to become solid again. So, this casting unit prepares brass bars like this and... ...sends it further to the machining-unit. It is the job of the machining unit, to put these brass rods to further use. Since there are a number of machining units around, I will ask them to refer any one of those to us. It would be good if we could watch how that unit works.
Ashish Bhai, thank you for your time and for showing us this process. Since I've seen it today for the first time, it has been very knowledgeable for me. Okay then, thank you! We have come to visit another unit nearby.
It is run by Tushar Bhai. A while ago, this place was filled with the sounds of these machines running at once. So, I have been learning the whole process from him for the past 15 minutes. And since it is lunch time, the units have been shut down for a break.
Now I am going to repeat what I've understood from you. In case I make a mistake, please correct me. We saw that the final product of casting unit, which is a brass rod...
...is the raw material for this unit. Now Tushar Bhai's clients need different things to be made from this brass. like taps, bolts, etc. So, they feed the brass rods into the machine, which is fitted with a tool kit. Then the machine churns out the needed item further. So, what you have in your hand, what is it called? It is forge base and this is the club that goes into it. Your unit has made this for a client? Yes, we've manufactured this... ...Hmmm! Correct. So, you see, the factories keep churning out such items for clients.
Tell me, whose number is more, that of casting units or machining units? Machining units are more in number... ...Machining units must be more. The kind of brass work that we see happening here, a similar type of work.... ...I've seen happening in the vicinity of Muradabad and Aligarh cities too. Do you have any knowledge about what kind of work goes on in those cities? No, I don't have much idea about those places.
In future, I will try to organize a similar visit and tell our viewers about the kind of work done there. For now, we've understood how the system works in this unit. We saw how the casting and machining units work.
Thanks for showing us the whole process. It is 1.45 pm so let us go for lunch. Harish Bhai, this is Brahmaniya Dining Hall, right next to the hotel you are staying at.
The place might be a bit crowded because of today being Sunday. But we will try to get a table in another 15-20 minutes. These dishes are - Undhiyu, peas curry, potato curry, dal and kadhi. I am going to begin with tasting dal. Do they put peanuts into this dal?... ...Yes!
Peanuts in the dal, slightly sweet flavor and tempering with mustard seeds!... ...Very tasty! What is this?... ...Undhiyu! Though Undhiyu is a very delicious dish but for the past few days, since I've eaten...
...it at least 3-4 times, I've been trying to understand that.... ...all the four times, why this dish tastes different. And by different, I mean totally different. Basically Undhiyu is made with a lot of vegetables mixed together. In the past few days, whenever I had lunch or dinner.... ... the dishes were high in both oil and spices. But here I see that dishes are less spicy. The reason for that is that till now you were eating Kathiyawadi food...
...and this is Gujarati food. And this food is generally low on oil as well as spices. Now going for the peas and tomato curry. The price of this meal we're eating here is Rs. 160 per plate.
I've been seeing in Gujarat, you can get a proper meal even at Rs 60 or Rs 80. The rates keep going up depending upon where you want to sit and what you want to eat. And now, only last few hours of our tour are left. So, I am really relishing my food here because I don't know when I can visit Gujarat again.
So, this is kind of last Gujarati thali of our whole journey. One thing I have to say, if you have to enjoy the Kadhi best, it has to be with khichdi. Isn't it so? Yes, definitely... ...It doesn't taste that good with plain rice. It feels so soothing. This Chhaas really kills the summer heat.
In my whole life so far, I haven't had so much Chhaas in a fortnight. Let us finish the meal and we will join you back in a short while. ...I wanted to see the famous Bandhani work of Jamnagar. For the past 15 minutes, we've been roaming in this market Nikunj has told me that in Jamnagar, the markets close for a few hours in the afternoon. The shops reopen at 5.30 pm. And on Sundays, the shops don't reopen at all after closing in the afternoon.
Usually, anywhere in India, we see markets staying open on Sundays... ...with some other weekday being the weekly off day. But it is the opposite here. Shopkeepers take an off on Sundays. Anyways, now we've reached here, and I can see two shops selling Bandhani. This shop, Mahavir Bandhani, is closed. The second shop, Kala Sanskruti, is open right now.
We will check out Bandhani in this shop... ...Let us go in. We are inside the shop and he is showing us some designs in suit fabric. Sir, this is cotton fabric.
This fabric has minute work. Basically, in Bandhani, knots are tied into the fabric with hands. The design in this fabric is made with very small boonds (knots).
This fabric is sold in the range of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 3000. This is a party-wear design. This range costs between Rs. 3000 to Rs. 5000. What is the price for this one? It is Rs. 6900 for this whole set Sir.
This one is partywear. What we saw earlier was casual product. And there is another piece, a bit more eloquent, with handmade mirror work. This is another semi-partywear concept. Its price is Rs. 2000. Its dupatta is the best. For Rs. 2000, you get, top, contrasting bottom and double shaded dupatta.
This is a Bandhani saree in our traditional colors - red and green. You will see playing dolls in its Pallu. The Pallu of this saree is also handmade, in yellow and white dots. What is the price of this saree? This is in the range of Rs. 10,000.
These designs are awesome!... ...Thank you Sir! Though I am not a subject matter expert on Bandhani, but I sure liked these designs. Thank you so much Sir! It is the same work. But still, on the face of it, the designs are beautiful. This saree is a fusion between Bandhani and Paithani! The middle of the saree is traditional Bandej and the border is in Paithani design.
Paithani means?..Just like Bandej Sir, Paithani is also a traditional weaving art. The pallu and border was made in Varanasi and the Bandej work was done here. Let me show you a sample of this dupatta here. This is one of our best pieces. It is known as Rajwadi dupatta and it is completely handmade.
What is the cost of this dupatta? This dupatta is for Rs. 21,000. Ohh! This has a premium look! What is the material?..This dupatta is made in Banarasi Crepe Sir. And this red color is in neon shade, which is the oldest, evergreen, traditional color in Bandhani. The Bandhani of Jamnagar is so famous that sometimes, you see it...
....written on the boards that it is Jamnagar Bandhani. Nikunj here has told me that Jamnagar is not that big a city. I mean you can travel from one end to another in just 20 minutes. But in the market, I could see at least 150-200 shops selling Bandhani. Now I will join you back in a short while.
Nikunj Bhai, I have to talk to you about one thing... ...before we leave this place, i.e., Mukhwaas (traditional mouth-freshener)! Since the market remains closed for the day, will we be able to purchase some? That is an important thing to do because the Mukhwaas of Jamnagar is quite famous. I have been eating Mukhwaas at different places in the past 15 days. Someone told me if I wanted to purchase some to take back home... ...I should purchase it from Jamnagar because the Mukhwaas is special. These 3 types of Mukhwaas are paan-based with different flavors. Ths is the main Jamnagari Mukhwaas, which is quite famous.
I came to know here that Mukhwaas is made with pumpkin seeds, fennel seeds, ... ...carrom seeds, sesame seeds, which are roasted and blended together, with.... ...a special masala, which you can see here. This masala is made with asafoetida, black pepper, turmeric, etc. It is added to mukhwaas before you eat it. Nikunj told me that many people purchase raw mukhwaas, and add the masala at home... ...Great! What is the price for 1 kg of Mukhwaas?... ...Rs 260.
So, give me half a kg of Mukhwaas, with the masala separate. Let us taste some mukhwaas before getting it packed. It has a good taste! Please pack this for us. We've come to eat the famous kachori of Jamnagar at Jain Vijay Farsan.
Let us go inside. We are eating two types of kachoris. One is the plain kachori and the other is dry fruit kachori. To be very frank, I am eating this type of kachori for the first time. And this kachori is a challenge to the usual definition of the dish in my mind.
Yes, this kachori is totally different in comparison to what you get in the Northern part. This is a totally different concept. This kachori is stuffed with slightly sweet, slightly spicy filing. Does it have besan (chickpea flour) in it? Yes! The main difference is that this kachori is farsan and that kachori is fast food. So, its shelf life would be longer? Yes!..
...I had assumed that this kachori wouldn't taste as good with the dry fruits, but that is not the case. Both the kachoris are different in taste. You are right!... ...Hmmm! Tasty! Highly impressive! This 500 gm packing is for Rs. 140. The shelf life of this kachori is 5 months... ...very good! Now we are going back.
Today's episode will end here. Let me tell you some basic things about this tour. There is a 90% chance that you will begin your Saurashtra tour from Rajkot. Like we travelled from Rajkot to Junagadh. Then, passing through Diu, Gir, Somnath, Porbandar, Dwarka, we reached Jamnagar. This whole journey takes 10-12 days to complete.
However, our tour was a bit longer. Second thing, if you want a shorter version of this journey,... ...with select destinations like Somnath and Dwarka... ...you can begin your tour from Porbandar, because it has a nice airport. You will find railway stations at many locations through this journey. So, you can decide upon the starting and ending points of your journey as per your preference. Now I am trying to recollect, which were the 2-3 main dishes that I liked eating the most.
In Jamnagar, I feel we should have visited two more spots. One of those would be the Kachori that we ate 10 minutes ago this is beyond comparison. Second is Rasik Bhai's chutney, which I ate in Rajkot. Third is we ate Osaman with Khichdi in Dwarka.
There are zero chances of you getting to eat a better Osaman-khichdi combination anywhere else. I ate a lot of new dishes but these 3-4 items remain on top for me. And yes, also the Mukhwaas that we had earlier today. I can never forget the taste of these few items. I have serious doubts that I would get to eat better dishes anywhere else. Anyways, tell me your views about this whole series.
As always, I shall be looking forward to your comments. Looking forward, we are planning to go to Arunachal Pradesh in May. We will start planning for that in the coming few days. And I will keep updating you about my plans.
Nikunj Bhai, thank you very much! we missed 2 places in Jamnagar One is Khijadiya bird sanctuary and the second is Narara fishing spot. The bird sanctuary hasn't reopened after Covid, so no chance of visiting there. We could have gone to visit the Narara Marine park, but it needed some pre-planning. You can only visit it during low-tide. So, practically, that is a whole one-day visit. But the truth remains that you won't get to have such an experience anywhere else in India.
So, maybe we can visit there some other time, if we get to visit again... . This time i could not extend my tour It is time to say bye-bye! Nikunj Bhai, thank you again! Bye-bye to you all. We will meet again soon. Thanks for your time!