After leaving Saurashtra, the western peninsula of Gujarat, the landscape became more luxuriant and fertile. We passed fields of grain, cabbages, banana palms, and other crops. There were also plenty of trees. We drove through Borsad, a place through which Mahatma Gandhi walked on his famous Salt March (Dandi Satyagraha) in 1930. It was also the centre of the district where the great political leader Sardar Vallabhai Patel, who facilitated the merging of the Princely States with India after 1947, led a satyagraha against a punitive tax levied on the district by the British. In recognition of his success, Gandhi dubbed Patel ‘King of Borsad’.
At Borsad, we slowed down to snail’s pace. The traffic was held up by numerous large flocks of sheep and goats being herded along the main road. On one narrow bridge east of Borsad, which crossed a fast-flowing river lined with dense vegetation, overtaking was impossible. Traffic had to travel in single file in both directions. A line of heavy lorries moving in the opposite direction to us was held up by a cow in front of them. She was ambling across the bridge at a very leisurely pace.