EP 6 Gir forest to Diu - Saurashtra Gujarat Tour , Kathiyawad food on Diu highway

EP 6 Gir forest to Diu - Saurashtra Gujarat Tour , Kathiyawad food on Diu highway

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Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. We've come to the Gir Jungle in Gujarat, for a safari. The time is 6.45 am. We have just reached the Sinh Sadan and our safari will begin at 7 am. I did the online booking for Rs. 1000 and now here, I have to pay Rs. 2100 more.

The total cost is Rs. 3100, including the charge for the jeep as well as the guide. I am going to go to the reception now, show them my booking, book a jeep and take receipt. Looking at this hustle-bustle, you can understand everyone is excited for the safari.

If you look around, you will see a large parking space. So, if you come here in your own vehicle, you can easily park your vehicle here... ...and follow the procedure of booking like we did. There are a lot of benches which can be used in case one arrives early or has to wait long. I will join you again in 10 minutes.

We have with us Bhavesh Bhai, who will guide us on this safari. Namaskar! And there is Rafiq Bhai, who drive our Gypsy. Plastic bottles are prohibited around here so you can rent...

...bottles like these for Rs. 10 per bottle and carry these with you. Let us go! Bhavesh Bhai, tell us a bit about this jungle. This whole jungle is spread over an area of 1412 sq. km. There are a total of 13 separate routes through this jungle and... ...each tourist party is assigned one route each. Alright! There are almost all species of animals here, including lion and leopard.

Asiatic Lion? Yes, Asiatic Lion. Tourists come here mainly to see the Asiatic Lion? Yes Sir, they come to see the Asiatic Lion. Out of the 39 species, the first one is this Spotted Deer. So, we've spotted 3 female Spotted Deer in our first sighting here.

We've just noticed a very strange thing inside the jungle. I saw this man here rearing cattle in the middle of the jungle and... ...when we talked to him... ...we came to know that in this whole Gir jungle, there are 54 villages... ...which house people of the Maldhaari community, just like this man here. Each of these villages has 25-30 persons or say 4-5 families. And they have been living in this jungle for the past many decades. In the past few years the government tried to help them move out of the jungle since it is unsafe but... ...that couldn't happen because in a way, this community has been active... ...also in lion protection programme for years. About a 100-200 years ago, when someone would come to hunt the lions...

...they would inform the authorities and the killing was prevented. They work for the conservation of the animals as well as balance the ecosystem... ...with their cows and buffaloes. Bhavesh Bhai please help me find out what do they do with the milk from these cattle. They don't go out to sell the milk, but a milk van comes to their villages to collect the milk. Great! Thank you! It was nice meeting you! Look at this Black Ibis, just 5-7 m away from us.

So beautiful! You will see washrooms like this on all safari routes. Except for these washrooms, you aren't allowed to get down from the jeep anywhere. We have been doing this jeep safari for the past 1.5 hours now. The best thing so far has been the experience of moving through the jungle. Slight sounds of animals and birds, slow breeze are some things I am enjoying more.

As for sighting the lion, that depends upon your luck really. There are about 674 lions in this jungle and they are spread far and wide. Since the lions move freely through the jungle, they can be anywhere. It is very difficult to say anything. However, we still have 30 minutes more, if luck is in our favour... ...we might be able to spot the lion and share the visuals with you as well. We are waiting here for a possible sighting.

About 5 minutes back, a jeep driver told us that a male and a female lions... ...were spotted at this very spot. And we aren't alone here. There are 4 other Gypsy waiting with us because they also got the same information. So, we are going to wait here for 5-10 minutes. We kept waiting for 15 minutes but couldn't spot the lion here. Now we are moving on because the safari is for 2 hours only and...

...we have already done 1.5 hours out of that. Right now, we have about 20-25 Spotted Deer in front of us and... ...the closest is just 5 m from us. It is feeling so good looking at them! We've stopped our car and we are enjoying this view comfortably. It is so much fun! Our safari has ended now. The experience of jungle is unique in itself. We saw a lot of peacocks and Spotted deer.

Now let me tell you something about the accommodations available here. There are a lot of farmhouses, resorts and hotels around here. You will get to read the words 'Gir' and 'Lion' with the names of several such facilities.

Our Safari ended here and we just saw this board saying "The Gir Lion." So, I am going to go inside and find out about the charges here. One thing you need to keep in mind is that this sanctuary remains... ...closed from June 15 to October 16 every year. But Devaliya is open throughout the year. You will have to book your tour online because... ...offline booking facility is unavailable. Let us go and find out about the accommodation.

This room on the farmhouse is available for a tariff of Rs. 2500. The tariff includes 3 meals a day for two persons. There is a tent next to this room. Its tariff is Rs. 3000, inclusive of 3 meals per day. The best thing about this place is the peaceful environment. You would feel as if you are living in the middle of the jungle.

In reality too, this place is located just next to the jungle. You can spend your evenings outdoor, relaxing on these cots that are lying around. And this is where we exited from the jungle safari. Now let us leave from here. People are getting ready for their breakfast and... ...that reminds me that we have to have breakfast too. For breakfast, we've come to the Muralidhar Dhaba in front of Sinh Sadan.

They are frying fresh Gathia and Jalebi is already prepared. Bhai Saheb, please give us Gathia and Jalebi for breakfast. Which oil do you use for frying? Cotton oil.

Cotton oil! This chutney is made of coriander leaves, mint leaves, curry leaves,... ...and gathia, which we are eating separately as well. There is Sambhara too, kind of salad made with raw papaya. So, we have gathia, chutney and sambhara for breakfast. I can see fresh gathia being rolled out and we are enjoying it. It is nice! Good! Gathia is made with besan (chickpea flour) and it is... ...a famous breakfast as well as anytime snack in this region. Do you have tea? Yes! Please give me tea! I am enjoying this breakfast combo of salty with the sweet.

I wanted to find out the accommodation facility at Sinh Sadan and I've found out something. You can see the rooms in front of you. If you want to stay here, the charges are... ...Rs. 1000 for a non-AC room and Rs. 3000 for an AC room. They don't have online booking available. When you come here, if they have rooms available, you will get a booking. Weekends are a bit tight because they have only 23 rooms on the property.

At around 11 am, which is the check-out time, there are chances that you would get an accommodation. I can see on this board, information about the locations of all the... ...national parks and sanctuaries in Gujarat. Now let us go to this souvenir shop located nearby.

I've come to the souvenir shop to check out the products here. These round-neck T-shirts are being sold for Rs. 650 each because... ...each one has a unique design printed on it. The cost of these collared T-shirts is Rs. 350 each. They showed me T-shirts in green and white colours. I liked the green one more, so I am going to buy it for myself. I also liked this cargo jacket, which costs Rs. 600.

Brother, it is for Rs. 600, right? Yes, Rs. 600. I thought I must change into this T-shirt since we are in Gir for some time... ...it will add to the feel here. I am thinking of getting this white T-shirt packed as well for myself. Brother, give me a white T-shirt in the same size.

It is for Rs. 350 as well? The souvenir shop is right in front of the reception area and... ...the Gir Orientation Centre is right next to it. Let us visit the museum here. In this orientation centre, you would find information about lions along with photographs.

You will learn a lot about the richness of Gir here. Besides, there is information about the available wildlife like... ...the number of species in mammals, reptiles, etc. In another slide, you can also read information about the variety of... ...plants present in this sanctuary. Let me take you on a round of this museum.

In this section you can hear sounds of different birds by pressing on this button. For instance, Eurasian Thick-knee, we saw this bird this morning... ...or you can hear the sound of Indian Eagle Owl. A lot of shops near Sinh Sadan sell variety of pickles as well as mango pulp. So, I've come to one such shop. What is the price of this bottle of mango pulp? Rs. 100! Kesar mango is a famour local variety of mango.

If you come here in the month of May, you can even taste the fruit itself. As of now, the fruit hasn't ripened yet. This bottle is filled with the pulp of the same mango variety and.. ...it is called 'Aam-Ras.' We've been given this Aam-ras to taste. They want us to taste it before buying. It is good! Bhai Saheb, it is delicious! Too good! I will take one bottle, which you said, is priced at Rs. 100.

I was telling him that yesterday we ate very tasty variety of gur (jaggery) with our lunch. He told me that he also sells local, organic gur in his shop. He has given me a little to taste. What is the cost of this box? Rs. 50 for one kg of gur.

It is good! Very good! You can feel the difference. I will take one each of this and that. After we had travelled about 24 km from Sasan Gir to Diu... ...we reached Jambur. On our right hand side, we saw a fair going on, in which... ...we also saw quite a few African people. That made us understand that there were Siddhis living around here.

I remember when I visited Karnataka we met members of Siddhi community there as well. They are originally from Africa and settled in India hundreds of years ago. About 5000 Siddhis live in Jambur alone. I have some of the community members sitting here with me. I can call you all Siddhis? You all are Siddhis? Yes! Alright! In Karnataka, when we met some members of your community, in Yellapur,... ...I understood some facts about you all. I am going to share those with you and you can correct me if I am wrong.

About 400 years ago, a group of Africans came to India as slaves on a ship. They were hired to handle the cargo on the ship. They reached Goa and found that the Britishers used to be ... ...very atrocious towards locals & slaves. To escape the torture, some of the Siddhis went to live in jungles.

Those Siddhis spent about 100-150 years living like that in jungles... ...while raising families too. As their numbers grew, some went to settle down in Karnataka, while... ...others came to Jambur in Gujarat. Am I right so far? In Karnataka, I saw Siddhis following 3 different religions mainly - Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. But the Siddhis living here are 100% Muslims.

This means all the 5000 Siddhis in Gujarat are Muslims. Tell me something, in case of marriages, do you prefer to get married... ...within the community here or.... We marry among ourselves only. This means you prefer to get married within this number of 5000? What is your main source of income? Farming! Okay! And what do the ladies do? They also take part in farming.

As for the language, you speak both Hindi and Gujarati? Yes, we speak both the languages fluently. Right, it must be because you've been living here for so many years now. The kind of Siddhi dance that we saw in Sasan Gir... ...do you guys also perform like that? Yes, we do. From what I've understood, if you are in Sasan Gir and if you ask your resort manager... ...to arrange for a Siddhi dance performance,... ...the manager must contact you guys to send a team for the performance? Yes! Right! It felt nice meeting you all.

Whenever I'll come back to Gir, I will definitely watch another one of your performances. Alright then, thank you! After travelling for 8 km from Jambur towards Diu,... ...we've now stopped at a dhaba for lunch. The dhaba owner has asked us to wait for some time,...

...so that there is space inside because right now, the place is full. Till then, let us go towards that mango grove! Because of this wire mesh boundary, we cannot go closer to the trees. However, I can see unripe mangoes hanging by the tree branches. This variety of mangoes is called 'Kesar' and it will ripen in another 2 months.

Whenever you come to Gir, you'll find these ripe mangoes delicious to eat. We had a taste of the Kesar mango pulp (Aam-ras) this morning. A lot of people had suggested us to taste the Kesar mango pulp here...

... for its uniquely delicious taste. Anyways, we just came to watch these mango trees here. Now, let us go and have lunch. We are here for our lunch. Now, the system here is they've served us 8 different types of... ...salads and pickles first and foremost. We have pickles made out of potatoes, whole red chilies, raw mango, onion and carrot.

Let us serve ourselves some of the pickles. What is this? This dish is made with Sem (drumsticks). You mean drumsticks. Yes! You make a dish out of drumsticks! Very good! What else is in it? Chane ka atta (chickpea flour). So, this dish is made with drumsticks and chane ka atta.

What is the name fo this dish? (Inaudible) One more thing that I've noticed is that Chhaas (buttermilk) is served... ...in a small round pot like this, especially if you are travelling in the outskirts. Alright! Let us serve ourselves some other curries as well. Sev-tamatar! Baingan (eggplant) Baingan ka Bharta! What do you call it here? Oro! The meal we are having here can be called a typical Kathiyawadi food. We've got the Bajre Ka Rotla (flatbread made out of barley flour) too! So, let's start eating. Hmmm! Nice! In the past few days of travelling, I've noticed that wherever you eat...

...Kathiyawadi food, some dishes are compulsorily a part of the meal like... ...Sev-Tamatar, Lehsuniya aloo (potatoes in a garlic gravy), Baingan ka Bharta,... ...also known as Oro, Bajre ka Rotla, Chhaas, etc. Without these items, Kathiyawadi food is unimaginable. The food is very tasty. The only thing is excess of oil, as you can see here. Shrikhand! Hmmm! Shrikhand! Thank you! I didn't pay attention, there are four more food items to be had in the thali. Lobhiya (black-eyed peas), Bhindi (Lady Finger), Lauki (Bottle gourd) and Shakarkandi (Sweet potato). Bajre Ka Rotla tastes the best, in my opinion, with the Baingan ka Bharta! This is what I've noticed in the last few days of travelling.

Hmmm! It is delicious! Very tasty! Hmmm! Lovely! This dal is delicious! It has a lot going on like vegetables, green chilies, cloves, and sweetness too. Lip-smacking! Very tasty! I am impressed with the taste of the food served here. For all these food varieties that we've eaten in the thali,... ...the cost is Rs. 100 per person. Shrikhand is for Rs. 30 extra. This means in Rs. 130, you can have a sumptuous meal here.

Give me some bhindi! That is all! In the five days, there was not a single meal after which I've not had Shrikhand. That should tell you how popular Shrikhand is here as a sweet dish. It is good! Overall, I enjoyed my meal here. Now we will leave here to be on our way to Diu.

We liked the food here. Ever since we have been eating Kathiyawadi food, we've seen excess use of oil in it. What is the reason behind it? You've been travelling in Kathiyawad region so you must've seen.. ...that most of Kathiyawadi people are engaged in farming. So, these farmers indulge in hard work throughout the day,...

...ploughing the land, carrying things around, etc. After their hard-work, they love to eat oily, rich food for... ...their sustenance and taste. Two major crops grown in this region are peanuts and cotton. So, the farmers use their own crop to get oil and after that... ...they like to enjoy cooking their food in that oil. Alright! That is great! Thank you! We are right now in the Ronaj village of Kodinar Taluka (district).

Diu is 36 km away from here. Our main purpose behind making a pit stop here was to... ...meet Dinesh Bhai here. We were keen to meet him and ask about his motivation and the process... In doing so, the whales used to end up damaging the fishing nets as well.

....behind his job of rescuing whale shark. We got his reference yesterday and then contacted him for this meeting. In 1997, I was walking along the Mundwara Port, where I met... ...a filmmaker named Mike Pandey, who was shooting for his documentary at that time. It was while talking to him that he made me realize that we needed to save whales... ...otherwise, they would become extinct here. At that time, a fisherman could earn upto 2.50 lakh rupees for catching one whale.

They could get miffed if I had tried to stop them directly. But I had decided in my mind that I will save the whales. I started motivating local fishermen and their families against whale hunting. Finally, in 2004, I received a positive response from the Gujarat government... ...in the form of a ban on whale-hunting. However, despite the ban, what used to happen is that these whales used... ...to get caught up in the fishing nets usually. It was then that we decided to rescue the whales ourselves.

Since then, I have rescued about 527 whale sharks Sir. Very good! For my efforts, I have received awards from various government agencies.. ...as well as recognition from various media channels. A lot of people got connected with me over the years, and our tribe has thus grown. Sir, today, I am a proud recipient of about 450 awards and certificates from...

...the Gujarat as well as Central governments. Fantastic! This also gave me a chance to visit a number of universities and colleges... ...and motivate others to join this movement. In fact, people like you, Harish Bhai, come from far away and... ...look me up and come to meet me. It is a marvellous chance for me.

It keeps me motivated to carry on this task till my last breath. I was told that apart from whale sharks, you were also involved in rescuing wild animals. Sir, since we live closer to the forest, we come across a number of wild animals... ..who inadvertently end up within human vicinity like leopard, snakes, etc. We rescue snakes, crocodiles etc on a daily basis. We get rescue calls whenever there is a shortage of forest officials...

....we are often the first ones to reach the spot and rescue the animal. This way, we ensure that humans as well as the animal are safe. This is our main job Sir. Fantastic! Marvellous! Listening to you talking Dinesh Bhai, I am curious to accompany you,... ...whenever possible in the future, on one of your rescue missions. Most welcome Sir! August is the season when we get most of the rescue calls. If you are here at that time, I promise that I will take you with me and...

...get you to rescue one of these whale sharks. It is my promise to you Sir! Second thing, we were also told you had information about how Desi Gur (jaggery)... ...is made in this area. Absolutely Sir! One of my friends owns a gur-making unit nearby! One important fact is that gur, when consumed, has the ability to... ...detoxify your body of all the dust particles that you may have ingested. Can we go there? Absolutely Sir! We walked for 5 minutes to reach this place, known as "Rabara", gur-making unit. I have with me the owners of this unit and Dinesh Bhai is there as well. The first step in this process is extracting sugarcane juice.

In this machine, they put whole sugarcanes, extract juice from here and... ....from this side, the "Vaari" (leftovers) are put aside. The sugarcane juice is used for further process. For that, we need to go there. We saw a filter installed there, through which the sugarcane juice is passed....

....and collected here. Then you told me these large vats have burners installed underneath, which... ....heat up the juice, leading to impurities floating to the surface. The impurities are separated like this and the juice is transferred like this. The juice is again put on a boil here. So, all this process takes how much time? An hour? So for an hour, the juice is shifted four times and... ...impurities are extracted at each step. Towards the end of an hour, at the last step, the gur is ready Tell me one thing, if you have about a 100 litres of sugarcane juice at the first step.... ....after all the steps of boiling, how much gur is left at the end? For every 100 litres of juice, we get about 15 kg of gur.

So, final product would be 15 kg of gur? Yes! If the quality of sugarcane is good, we might be able to extract a couple of kilos more! Alright I also want to know how long have you been working in this field and also... ...do you use any chemical to extract these impurities from the juice? Also, what is the market rate of gur? We have doing this for the past 5 years. As for what we add for impurities.... ....there is a natural material, known as Bhindi... Is it the bhindi (lady finger) that we eat? No, this Bhindi is a separate one. We crush it into a liquid and add it to the juice.

That extracts all the impurities from the juice. Can we see that Bhindi? This is it. This is what you crush and make a liquid of its extract. What is the market rate of gur? There is no fixed rate but it is usually sold between Rs. 40-45 per kg.

We've understood the whole process. Now let us see the final product inside. Yes, let us go. Here, they are basically cooling down the gur. There is a fan as well.

How much does it take? About half an hour! After that, you will pack it into the tins here. Yes! Will we get to taste the gur as well? Yes, sure! Give me a little bit of this! I have this habit to eat gur, at least once a day, after either lunch or dinner. But I am not sure about the quality of gur that I eat back at home. Wow! Very tasty! It is good quality as well as tasty! So, how much is the weight of this packing? 1 kg! It is one kg. Yes! Great! Now we are leaving for Diu, which is about 36 km from here. A lot of tourists opt to travel from Sasan Gir to Somnath and then on to Dwarka.

One option is to travel about 100 km from Sasan Gir to Diu and... ...after spending a day there, travel another 100 km till Somnath. After visiting the legendary Somnath temple, you can then go on to Dwarka. So, this is a type of tourism triangle you can opt for. Thank you Dinesh Bhai for sharing information about what you do for the environment. Thank you very much! I will join the viewers again in a short while. We've reached Diu and the first thing that I noticed on reaching here...

...are the clean roads. I cannot show you right now since it is dark, will show you the roads tomorrow morning. We've booked ourselves the accommodation in The Grand Highness Hotel. The usual tariff is Rs. 2500 but due to off-season, we got this room... ...on double occupancy basis at Rs. 2000 plus taxes. We plan to spend tomorrow doing the sightseeing here, which we will share with you as well. In our next video, you will be able to see what all we did tomorrow.

Now it is time to say bye here! As always, tell us your views about today's episode. I shall wait for your comments Bye bye, thanks for your time

2021-06-20 23:43

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