Recently in one of your rallies you had raised concerns about Hindi film actor Amitabh Bachchan endorsing “Gujarat Ke Gadhe”. Gujarat does have a wild ass sanctuary and thanks to you, more people now know about it. So, thank you for helping Gujarat Tourism in your little way.
Meanwhile, I am currently in Uttar Pradesh.
Sir, the expansion of national highway in your state, leading to Agra (my visit is limited to Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra, so please excuse. As you know, Uttar Pradesh is almost as big as a country) is great. I believe once complete, the traffic congestion would come down drastically. Is it true that these projects were approved many years ago, but they were stalled because the central government at that time (UPA) sat on those projects? And that it was only in 2015 most of the work started? Gadkariji should be given gold plated samosa for this, I think.
Sir, Mathura is where Lord Krishna is believed to have taken birth. I was so excited to visit the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple. I am not a very religious person, but recently have come to realisation that though I had little choice in what faith I am born to, I am proud to be a Hindu. The lanes of Vrindavan and Mathura have people banging on the window of your car, in a threatening manner, telling you how they will ensure you get to do the darshan. They would be sitting coolly in a corner, smoking, chewing paan, and as soon as your eyes meet, even by mistake, they will rush towards your car and bang the doors.
We decided to check out the Kesi Ghat (since there was time for temples to open for darshan). The lanes to Kesi Ghat are narrow (not a problem, since it is an ancient city, and there’s little you could do about it), but these narrow lanes have open gutters (which, btw, is across Vrindavan, what’s the deal? you’re sitting on an epidemic time bomb), pigs, dogs, cows who chase and worst of all, shady looking men, clearly high on some substance following you, walking threateningly close. What’s the deal, Yadavji?
Gujarat, too, has Somnath and Dwarka and Bhalka Teerth (where according to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna left the mortal world after being wounded in the heels) and Ambaji. Ancient temples with very high religious value. People flock these places every year, and I have been to all these places and after seeing the filth surrounding the temples in Vrindavan and Mathura, Dwarka and Somnath look extremely sterile temples!
We were so disheartened, disappointed and scared of the local public threatening to take us for darshan (now I don’t want to know what darshan they were taking us for) that we left without seeing anything. Just saw the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple from the road on our way to the highway. Oh, and the mosque right next to it which was constructed to be higher than the temple.
The Taj Mahal is the only saving grace. Beautiful, beautiful monument. Is it because its management is being taken over by Archeological Survey of India (which falls under Central Government and not UP state government?) Let me emphasise, only the Taj Mahal is the redeeming factor, not Agra. Only the 5 km radius around the Taj is well developed (which is mostly hotel properties). Oh, sorry. I almost forgot the Yamuna passing next to the Taj Mahal. I take back my words. Yamuna looks and smells worse than the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad ever did at its peak worst phases.
Sir, I would request you to visit Gujarat for a few days. Travel on our roads. Visit our touristy places. Enjoy the hospitality, and learn.
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