Friday, 27 May 2011

'Some Saunterings in Saurashtra' - Book

'Saurashtra' - sounds nice and means good, for the very name means 'the good country'. Good can be twofold, intrinsic and relative. Saurashtra is good on both counts. It is good in its own right. It is situated on the western coast of India, laved by the waves and lulled by the breeze of the Arabian Sea. It is rich in marine wealth and maritime tradition; it is richly endowed by nature with varied florae and faunae. So it is naturally Su-rashtra. Now, when you come down from the arid wilderness of Rajasthan and enter the sylvan Saurashtra, it is such a relief and matter of joy by its contrast in climate and vegetation. After the rocky cliffs and the sandy dunes, the verdant hills and vales of the coastal land are so refreshing that the mind automatically exclaims, 'Ha, lovely!' Saurashtra was a constant temptation for the hordes from across the sandy tracts and it had been the frequent victim of greedy conquerors.
Saunterings in Saurashtra are a richly rewarding experience. We shall sally forth into this lovely land for a short while, through story and history, all for the glory of His story.
Saurashtra was a cluster of native states in pre-independence days, over two hundred in number. ..The new State of Saurashtra had a brief spell as a separate entity; but with the partition of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency into Maharashtra and Gujarat, Saurashtra got merged in Gujarat. Though its political destinies are thus bound up with its added size, Saurashtra still retains its cultural soul and traditional identity.

(Swami Siddhinathanandaji is a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order. The above article is an abridged version of his small booklet 'Some Saunterings in Saurashtra' published by Ramakrishna Sevashrama, Calicut, in 1989. We have added a few photographs of the places of pilgrimage and the deities associated with them.We are also grateful to Shri Rameshbhai Thakar, Rajkot for some of his)

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