Gujarat State in India is full of most beautiful picnic spots and the places of tourist’s interest. There are also many holy places that are visited by many pilgrims all throughout the year. River Narmada offers many such beautiful and holy spots for the picnic as well as pilgrimage. Narmada River is considered the mother of the people of Gujarat State. It meets the Arabian Sea near Bharuch, one of the vital and important cities of Gujarat State in India. I have visited one spot near Bharuch on the bank of River Narmada that has its own ancient history as well as the beauty of a picnic spot. This place is Shuklatirth that is around 17 miles away from Bharuch.
You can very easily reach Shuklatirth by bus or taxi from Bharuch or Vadodara. It is around 65 miles away from Vadodara and it takes around couple of hours to reach Shuklatirth in car. There is an old, historical temple of Lord Shiva here, which is around 2000 years old. There is a ghat of Narmada here, where you can take a bath. However, make sure to be very careful while taking a bath here as the water is very deep here in the River Narmada. Once you are through with the darshnas and the bath at Shuklatirth, get ready to visit one of the oldest trees of Vad in the world known as Kabirvad. This famous kabirvad is the biggest and oldest tree of the Gujarat State.
It is said to be around 1000 years old. It has grown so big that the branches of this tree are spread in the area of around 2 square kilometers on the Narmada bank. It has been said that this kabirvad was put by the saint Kabir in around 12th century. Kabirvad is situated on the other side of the River Narmada from Shuklatirth. The Narmada River is quiet wide here and you will need to travel by a rowing boat to reach to kabirvad. The entire boat can be hired at the price of Rs.200 ($5) for the round trip. The boat has a capacity of around 20 people. It takes around 30 minutes to cross the river if it is not too windy. If there is a high wind, it can take time to the tune of around 60 minutes or so. Make sure to be very careful while traveling in this boat as it may not have all the safety appliances as specified by the government. The boats are also very old and may have many small punctures in it. We ourselves were little scared during this travel by boat. However, in spite of this, it is worth visiting this Kabirvad. This journey is more thrilling during rainy season as there may be flood situation in the River Narmada. The view of the river Narmada is simply gorgeous during such rainy season as Narmada is flowing full of water at this time.
Kabirvad is the biggest tree covering the large area and no sunshine can enter through this tree even on the sunniest day. We were a big group of around 15 people. Hence, were able to enjoy various sports on this tree. We played running and hiding game for around two hours and then, started consuming our food items that we had taken with us. Make sure to carry your food and the bottled drinking water with you as these are not available here. The hot beverages like tea, coffee are available but the food items available are not very clean and pure in restaurants here. You can take bath here at kabirvad but again, be sure to be very careful and remain near the shore only, as there is a danger of crocodiles here in the river water. Once you are through with the fun at Kabirvad, start your return journey by the same boat for Shuklatirth. You can reach your final destination of Bharuch or Vadodara by the same day evening.
The visit to Shuklatirth/kabirvad can be the most pleasant one full day picnic from morning to evening and outing in the most natural scenic surroundings of the holy River Narmada. In spite of some limitations as explained by me, I would still strongly recommend all of my AC friends to visit this scenic pilgrimage place.