Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The mystery called SH71

So last weekend we went on a temple trail.  On our way back, we decided to go to Vadnagar.  Narendra Modi's hometown, and the only reason I wanted to go there was to check out the lake where he allegedly swam with crocodiles. I was so excited. :P

Anyway, so you got to take a detour from Mehsana to reach Vadnagar if you're coming from Patan. Now, on our way back, we come across a signboard which said Ahmedabad - 73 Gandhinagar 53 (straight arrow) and Mehsana was 12 km on our right.  If we would've reached Mehsana, Ahmedabad would've been 90 kms away on the National Highway.  Been on that route enough times to know the way.

But Ahmedabad straight was very tempting.  We were essentially cutting off 12+20 odd kms and after driving for over 500 kms, skipping those 32 kms was too good an offer to not take it up.

We were also in need of tea because I had decided we will stop for tea/coffee once we reach civilization (dude, Vadnagar to Visnagar road was terrible and I just wanted to reach normal road before sunset).

We go straight.  And there are no Bhagyodays or Asopalavs on the way.  (Fun fact: On Gujarat highways, you'd find more "Hotel Bhagyodays" than trucks.)

In fact, there are just trees on both the sides and very few cars.  It is a single lane road.  But very well maintained one.  No potholes, proper signboards (mostly pointing Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar).

The three of us (self and self's parents) were not sure where this road will lead us.  One signboard came telling us this is State Highway 71.  (note: at this time, we had drained out our phone batteries using Google maps to reach Vadnagar and out - so no other way to find out where we are heading except follow the signboards.)

Hmm. SH71.  Wonder where it will exit.

"Chiloda circle" - announced my dad.

where the hell is Chiloda circle.

"we may come out of the lane next to Nirma University" - I said very very confidently.

However, as we reached nearer to Gandhinagar, I saw a sign that made me immensely happy.

Mahatma Mandir - straight 12 km.

OMG. NEVER was I so happy to spot the signboard to Mahatma Mandir. (Those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may have known my love for this place.  #sarcasm)

I got very, very excited because Gandhinagar could get confusing and I know my way back to the city from Mahatma Mandir because of the countless times I've been there for covering events.

When Mahatma Mandir came in sight, I proudly showed it off to my parents and showed them how we have to talk the entire complex to enter because #security and how it is annoying and wondered if they would allow me to use the loo.   I even had my press i-card and wondered if that can allow me access.  But decided against it. Not gonna step inside that place unless I really need to.

Now I was in a known territory.  I knew my way back.

And we all now know where SH71 ends.

Apparently, all roads these days lead to Mahatma Mandir.

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