The Pillion Rider: Road tripping to Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple, Gujarat

“Note to self: Never ride a motorcycle in stilettos and a miniskirt.”
― Maggie Grace

Casual Abstractions, Royal Enfield, Kavi Kamboi, Gujarat, Bike
Learning to ride this beast still stands in the bucket list, but there is certainly no harm in getting on the bike as a rider for a picture while it is parked, just to feel the vibe. 2019 was a busy year yet found multiple instances to travel, to explore and visit a lot of destinations with family and friends.  

Casual Abstractions, Royal Enfield, Kavi Kamboi, Gujarat, Bike

Thanks to the COVID19, I have finally got time and thought to start penning down the travel stories for you and sincere apologies for missing in action for the longest time. 

Beach, Shiva Temple, Gujarat, Places to See in Gujarat, Travel Blog, India

If you have read my previous blog on The Pillion Rider, you must know that I have a biker buddy, GujuRider who is madly passionate about touring the world on his Royal Enfield. The first ever bike trip we made in 2019 together was to Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple which is located in the small village of Kavi Kamboi in Gujarat. It was a Sunday morning ride that we had planned, intending to be back by around late afternoon. As my friends are based in Ankleshwar, I had already reached Ankleshwar from Mumbai on Saturday so I could spend some good time with them before the trip as I had to back in Mumbai by Sunday night so I could report to work on Monday. So it was a weekend trip for me where I got to spend quality time just chilling with my friends and we managed to do a road trip too. Mumbai to Ankleshwar is about 4 to 6 hours journey via train depending on the train you choose to travel.

Road Trip, Gujarat, Highway, Bike Photo Shoot

It was approximately a 110km ride one way from Ankleshwar to Kavi Kamboi so we were expecting to reach there before the harsh lighting could take over as we wanted to do a bike shoot for bikers too. We started at around 06.00am IST from my friends place in Ankleshwar. As all of us were heading there for the first time ourselves, we trusted the routes on the google maps and followed them to reach the destination. We were 5 of us going, so we had three riders and two pillion riders. Two riders on their Royal Enfeild Himalayan and one rider on his KTM 250. The riders made sure to stay close and not disappear on the road as one would follow the other so we could take some snapshots on the route as well.

Road Trip In Gujarat, Bike Trip, Gujarat

Unfortunately we didn't have the spare biker helmets for the pillion riders but I am surely buying one for myself soon. I made it certain to have my jacket and masks to cover up in the cold climate. It was around February 2019 we had traveled and it was still a bit chilly to roam around without jackets atleast for me as I get affected by the cold too soon. I also wanted to cover up my hair carefully as I didn't want them to mess up with all the wind flowing. We only stopped by for a quick Chai break at the local stall on our way once the sun had risen as it was still dark when we left. We hit the road back after the short little break and stopped directly at the destination. The goal of this trip was to get good pictures as we were a bunch of photographers and riders on this trip, so here are some shots from the road. The photographer friend had a couple of bike photoshoot ideas in mind that he wanted to execute. The route was quite scenic and roads were decent for a comfortable ride. 

Gujarat, Gujurider, Biker, Royal Enfield Himalayan

Bikes, Road Trips in Gujarat, Gujarat

Bikes, Road Trips in Gujarat, Gujarat

We reached the Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple by around 09.00am IST and relaxed for a while as we parked our bikes to scout the place. The bikers were looking around the vicinity to check if they could do some off-roading to get some photos. The temple was at the beach area and is often called the disappearing temple as it submerges in the sea when there is a high tide.

Beach, Shiva Temple, Gujarat, Places to See in Gujarat, Biker

Beach, Shiva Temple, Gujarat, Places to See in Gujarat, Road Trips in Gujarat

I have always enjoyed the mythological stories and with having a slight favoritism for Lord Shiva, I was curious to know the history behind this one. After a little bit of research and speaking to the locals, I discovered that this shrine is about a 150 years old. The Shivalinga is said to be made by Lord Kartikeya, the elder son of Lord Shiva. As Lord Kartikeya had killed Tarakasuara, one of the sincere devotees of Lord Shiva he carried a certain guilt for the killing him. However, Lord Vishnu assured him that killing the wicked person isn't wrong. Tarakasuara was one of the demon, usually known as the Asura as per Hindu mythology, who acquired two boons from Lord Brahma after his sheer dedication that he had shown by doing Tapasya. Tapasya is a sanskrit word that means showing sincere devotion and praying to the Lord. One of the boon was that only Lord Shiva's son could kill him, and Lord Shiva was not remarried to Sati who had already been born as Parvati at that time when he received the boon. After acquiring the boon, Tarakasuara, the Asura, had turned evil and was making life miserable for the people as well as the deities. The other Gods were worried of his behavior and being aware of the boon he had received from Lord Brahma, they went asking for help from Lord Shiva and he assured the deities that Tarakasuara's days were near to end. The battle against the demons, Asuras was lead by Lord Kartikeya and according to the boon, he thus happened to kill Tarakasuara in the battle. In order to not feel guilty anymore for killing Tarakasuara, Lord Vishnu suggested that Lord Kartikeya should install Shivalingas and worship them with deep devotion to atone the sin. Out of the three Shivalingas he created, Kapaleshwar was installed at banks of the Arabian sea in the bay of cambay which is now famously known as the Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple. 

Unfortunately, we could only see the tip of the Trishul and not the complete Shivalinga as is it was partially submerged. The temple is often closed up when it completely disappears in the high tides. They say that it is mother nature who is doing the Jal-Abhishek, water-bath as known in English. There are regular rituals conducted here from time to time when the temple is not under the water. 

stambheshwar mahadev temple, Kavi Kamboi, Gujarat

stambheshwar mahadev temple, Kavi Kamboi, Gujarat

After our little time at exploring the temple, we sat down together for some refreshments at the local vendors to now figure out if we could some off-roading and just enjoy the calm at the beach. 

We were a little energetic after the light breakfast and then began the shoot plan as per the photographer friend. No questions asked, we all just did what he asked us to do and of course we did goof around a little bit!

stambheshwar mahadev temple, Kavi Kamboi, Gujarat, Shiva Temple, Gujarat, Places to See in Gujarat

KTM, Royal Enfield Himalayan, GujuRider, Gujarat, Bikers, Kavi Kamboi

Bike Photoshoot Ideas, Kavi Kamboi, Gujarat

While we were at our fun photo session, we saw a bunch of locals coming from across with horse-carts and horses to give the tourists a ride so they could earn for a living. Inspite of the multiple experiences, I am still too scared of horse rides, but the boys finally did convince me into doing it. 

Casual Abstractions, Kavi Kamboi, Gujarat,  Horse Ride, Travel Story,

Casual Abstractions

Outfit picture for the record. Kept a simple combination of Denims and Top for comfort, added the funky cardigan along to make sure I have cover up if at I feel chilly. 

That shot was right before we began to prepare for our ride back as we had to get back in town soon, so I could take my train back to Mumbai from Ankleshwar. We left from Kavi Kamboi at around 11.30am IST as the heat too was catching up. We reached back to Ankleshwar by 02.30pm IST, pit stopped at a restaurant for quick lunch and I headed back for Mumbai post lunch. That was all the fun I had in this short little weekend trip in Gujarat. I hope you enjoyed reading the experience and this little piece is helpful for you if you are looking to make a trip to Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple in Kavi Kamboi. I think, a bunch of crazy friends is all you need to make some best and happy memories. 

Until the next time... Stay home... Stay safe!