Sep 15, 2014

Jand Hanuman, monkeys and makai ki roti in the jungles of Gujarat!


Jambughoda WLS Jand Hanumaan Vadodara Gujarat

Deep jungle, temples, millions of monkeys and a woman cooking food! Well, Yes! I was visiting a temple dedicated to Hanumaan in the deep jungles of Gujarat. Just within 80KM from the city of Vadodara this temple sits in the middle of Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary. The fun is neither in visiting the temple nor the wildlife which is always elusive, but in driving a Mahindra Bolero on the riverbed! Well, there is no particular road to the temple other than a dirt rocky road which is sometimes the riverbed too!

The sanctuary was formed in the year 1990 and is full of teak, mahua trees and bamboo. Well, our Bolero went over the rocks with no problems. After many rains the forest was lush and full of life! I knew it was nearly impossible but still hoping to sight a panther and that elusive four horned antelope! The jungle has other wildlife too like, hyenas, jackals, bears, common antelopes and snakes. But, it was difficult to concentrate on surroundings when the vehicles was giving a thrilling experience by tossing us! At one point the tyres got stuck in the sticky mud at one of the stream crossings. We all had to push it to get it out!

Jambughoda WLS Jand Hanumaan Vadodara Gujarat
Clockwise from top-left: Bhima ni Ghanti, A tree grown over a mosque, a small shrine believed to be built by Pandavas, Arjuna's well, Shops selling pooja items

After all those little adventures we were at the temple. I was surprised to see few shops selling pooja items and tea! Soon we visited the temple where a huge deity of Hanumaan is worshiped. The legend says that Pandavas from Epic Mahabharatha days spent some time in this forest during their 12 years of exile. And the Hanumaan deity was carved by Bhima, second one of Pandavas, who was a great worshiper of Hanumaan. There are many other smaller shrines and ruins which date back to those days. There is even an ancient garganti (hand operated flour mill) which is believed to be used by Bhima again. Also, there is a well which is now covered and a hand pump is fixed atop. It is believed that Arjuna, third one of Pandavas, created it by hitting the ground with an arrow for water supply during their days of exile here. It is believed that this stream never dries, even in the severe draught!

After all the trekking around hunting for more artifacts from the days of Mahabharatha we thought of taking rest under the cool shadow of the trees. It is one of my favorite things to do ... sleeping under the trees! And there was this woman with her dog! She had a primitive chula (stove) on which she cooked and her dog took a nap royally. He woke up promptly when monkeys troubled the woman. She served us delicious Makai ki roti (corn bread) and papdi ki sabzi (side dish prepared with flat beans) for a nominal price which was almost like free! It was unbelievable! In a jungle after the trek some woman appears with a stove and provides you food!

Temple of Hanumaan in India and no mention of monkey menace? Impossible!! There were millions of monkeys here ... in big groups ...Notorious they were ... one little monkey came and rested on my feet hugging my limb. My brother-in-law who was nearby tried to shoe it away. And we heard a 'thud' ... we all screamed when we saw a big monkey who was the leader of the group that little one belonged to ... actually that thud sound came when the big monkey hit my b-i-l's back! We could see the pain in my b-i-l's face. The little one ran away with all the screaming going on ... I didn't take my camera out in the presence of monkeys because right in front of us one monkey snatched someone's little camera!

After the delicious simple food reluctantly we got back on the dirt road heading home ...
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Related articles-
The magnificent Sun Temple at Modhera
Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati
Ajwa-Nimeta, A Fountain Garden near Vadodara
Vadodara Attractions
Backpacking India

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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

9 comments:

  1. Oh what a wonderful experience with all the mishaps and misadventures.

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  2. I'm sure the woman was delighted to be cooking for such appreciative diners.

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  3. What a neat place to visit.. I would think it would be best to be careful around those monkeys.. Great post, thanks for sharing.

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  4. I do so agree with the others! Wonderful experience indeed and what a terrific place to visit -- with all the mishaps and misadventures as well! A great post for the day!! Enjoy your week!!

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  5. Wonderful post and photography of one of your journeys ~ fascinating post for OWT

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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  6. Anew place to me. Thanks for showing with pics.

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  7. Unexplored and beautiful. Nice to know about this.

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  8. had read about this somewhere, good to read the detailed report :)

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