Discover a fascinating state of India that has the power to lure many discerning travelers. Situated near the sea, Gujarat State boasts 1650 km long shoreline. Famous for its beaches, temple towns, and historic capitals, Gujarat is one state that shall be explored by every tourist. Wildlife sanctuaries, hill resorts, and natural grandeur, of Gujarat , makes states a breathtaking destination.
The most convenient entry point into Gujarat is through the metropolis of Ahmedabad. The city contains some very fine museums, the Calico Museum of Textiles being considered among the world’s finest. Ahmedabad’s walled city is a living testimony to its heritage of crafts as women walk by in dazzling embroidered garments and flashing ethnic silver jewellery. Traditional Ahmedabad combines mosques of inspired workmanship, wooden Jain temples, unique stone stepwells and houses with ornately carved wooden balconies and window screens. Modern Ahmedabad, just across the River Sabarmati spanned by four bridges, is a showpiece of contemporary architecture with designs by Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and the best known Indian architects. Ahmedabad is a convenient base for a number of excursions, Modhera being the best known. 106 km away, this is one of the very few sun temples in the country.
Fast Facts :
Area: 196,024 sq km
Population: 50.6 million
Languages spoken: Gujarati
Best Time to visit: October to March
Major Cities: Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Dwarka
State Emblem: Uses the National Emblem of India
State Song: Jai Jai Garavi Gujarat (Victory to Proud Gujarat!)
State Animal: Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica)
State Bird: Greater Flemingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
State Tree: Banyan (Ficus benghalensis)
State Flower: Marigold (Tagetes)
Tourist Attractions :
Gandhinagar, situated about 25 kilometers north of Ahmedabad, is the newly built capital of Gujarat. Gandhinagar, named after Mahatma Gandhi, has been built on a grid pattern. The presence of abundant foliage here has earned it the title of the ‘Green Capital’.
This artificial lake was developed by Qutb-Ud-Din in 1451 and is a popular recreational spot in Ahmedabad. Surrounded by gardens, slopes, an aquarium and a Balvatika (Children’s Park), an island palace completes the pretty picture. The palace has 34 sides, each side being 60 m long. During the Mughal period, the palace was a frequent home of Nur Jahan and Jehangir. Besides the lake, there is also a zoo.
Vadodra has a number of palaces and well-laid parks that attract the tourists. The city is known for its palaces, museums and parks. The Sayaji Bagh is a big well-laid park and an important tourist attraction. Within this park, there is Baroda Museum and Art Gallery. The Museum has a good collection of artifacts, which not only includes Indian sculptures and ancient manuscripts but also houses a collection of Egyptian antiquities, while the art gallery has Mughal miniatures and some works of European masters. The Sayaji Bagh also has a planetarium and a small zoo within it. Maharaj Fateh Singh Museum, the Laxmi Vilas Palace, and the Naulakhi Well are other tourist centers.
This legendary shore temple at Somnath is one of the twelve most sacred Shiva shrines in India. As per legend, Somnath was built by none other than Soma, the Moon God himself. The temple was destroyed seven times and rebuilt an equal number of times. Lured by stories of its fabulous treasure, Mohammed of Ghazni raided it in 1026 and walked away with camel-loads of jewels and gold. The temple is situated at 79 km from Junagadh and 25 km from Chorwad. The nearest Airport at Keshod is well connected with Mumbai.
Jamnagar is situated in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat around 302 km from Ahmedabad. Major sites here include the Lakhota Fort, Kotha Bastion, Willington Crescent, Solarium, Jamsaheb’s Palace, and Rozi and Bedi ports
Hatheesing Jain Temple
Embellished with intricate carvings and built in white marble, the Hatheesing Jain temple is one of the best ornate Jain temples in Ahmedabad. This temple was built in the nineteenth century by a rich Jain merchant. The temple is dedicated to the 15th Jain tirthankar or Jain apostle, Dharmnath.
Ahmedabad city is located on the banks of Sabarmati River. Ahmedabad is world famous for Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram. The tombs of Ahmed Shah and his queens, Ahmed Shah’s Mosque, Jama Masjid, Mosque of Sidi Sayid, Teen Darwaza are the major monuments in the city. Other important monuments include Rani Rupmati’s Mosque, Rani Sipri’s Mosque, Raj Rabri Mosque, Hathee Singh Jain Temple and Siddi Bashir Mosque. Kankaria Lake, Kutbi Mazar, Bhadra Fort, Dada-Hari-di-Vav (an architectural step well), Victoria Gardens, N C Mehta Museum of Miniatures and Calico Textile Museum. The city has a number of ‘pols’ or traditional colonies, which date back to the 18th century.
Getting There :
- By Air: Gujarat has 10 domestic airports, apart from an international airport, which is located at Ahmedabad. Most of the domestic airlines operate through Ahmedabad connecting it to the other cities of India.
- By Rail: Gujarat has a good railway network connecting the state internally as well as to other states in India. For a royal experience, travel around Gujarat through the Royal Orient.
- By Road: Gujarat has a good road network and they are in a fairly good condition. You can reach to various cities of Gujarat through both public and private transport.