On the western coast of India, the state of Gujarat is the “Jewel of the West” in India. In Gujarat, one of India’s most industrialized and prosperous states, you find the modern milieu and the age-old traditions happily married.
The state derives its name from ‘Gujjaratta’ – meaning the land of the Gujjars, a tribe who migrated to India long back in 5th century AD. But some archeological findings from areas like Lothal, Dholavira, Rangpur, date back to the period of the Indus Valley Civilization. Since then, the state has seen the rise and fall of a number of mighty empires like the Mauryas, the Khiljis and other Muslim rulers, the Marathas till the British.
The people of Gujarat reflect the vibrant culture of the state. They love to wear colorful dresses and the women prefer wearing a lot of ornaments. Most of the people speak in Gujarati. Hindi, Urdu, Sindhi and English are also spoken in Gujarat.
Gujarat enjoys a more or less moderate climate throughout the year. However, some parts of the state like the Kutch region witness dry and extreme climate. The best time to visit the state is between the months of October and March.
Places to Visit
Mandvi Beach – Mandvi Beach is among the most beautiful Gujarat beaches. Situated along the Gujarat coastline in the port town of Mandvi, this is a private beach which once belonged to the erstwhile Maharao of Kutch. An ideal destination for a perfect holiday Mandvi Beach in Kutch is known for its pristine waters, sun kissed shores, enliven birdlife and enchanting fishing hamlets.
Somnath Beach – The Somnath Beach is counted among the finest Gujarat beaches. It is situated 6Km to the east of Veraval. Veraval is a town in Gujarat which is well connected by air, road and rail way. Visited by a host of pilgrims who visit the Somnath Temple this beach in Gujarat is known for its peace and tranquility. Away from the common din of daily life the Somnath Beach is a hub for nature lovers and bird watchers.
Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach
Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach is situated between Junagarh and Ahmedabad. It is ranked as one the most popular beaches in Gujarat. Characterized by dancing waves, crystal waters, soft white sands and a wide variety of some of the finest bird life this beach in Gujarat is a definite once in a life time visit. If swimming is what you like then do not hesitate to step into the water as this is also one of the safest Gujarat beaches.
Ahmedabad The city is associated with Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, whose simple Sabarmati Ashram on the banks of river Sabarmati is now a site of national pilgrimage. Ahmedabad is a great textile and commercial centre and known as the “Manchester of India”
Steeped in history Ahmedabad is a city which ahs still been able to maintain its old world charm despite the rampages of modernization. Run into any corner of the city, you would find some or other monument, temple or mosque with a story to tell you.
Ahmedabad basks in the memories of Mahatma Gandhi and freedom struggle. Apart from the historic appeal, vibrant festivities, exquisite art and crafts – the city has manifold charms to bowl you over. Travel to Ahmedabad during the time of Navaratra. The pulsating beats of Dandiya would have you swaying in the rhythms.
Gandhinagar The city of Gandhinagar is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River in the north eastern region of Gujarat. This is the capital city of the western state of Gujarat. It is a part of the industrial hub of the region.
There are several places of tourist interest in Gandhinagar. Some of the names are: Akshardham temple. Craftsmen’s Village and Sarita Udyan.
Porbandar Travel to Porbandar is made easy by the presence of an extensive network of roads and railways. This coastal city of Gujarat can also be reached by air or by sea. Porbandar has a historical and mythological significance. The city has produced many famous personalities and has developed as one of the tourist destinations in the world. For the Indians this place is no less than a pilgrimage in terms of importance and reverence, as it is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.
Vadodara It is a fascinating travel through Vadodara or Baroda, as it was earlier called, the former capital of the erstwhile princely state of Gaekwad. Baroda is an important cultural center of India and is known for its art galleries and museums.
Baroda or Vadodara is also the industrial hub of Gujarat with many automobiles, engineering, chemical and other industries.
The tourist attractions in Vadodara are many as Vadodara is known for its palaces, museums and parks like the Sayaji Bagh, the Vadodara Museum and Art Gallery, the Maharaj Fateh Singh Museum, the Laxmi Vilas Palace and the Naulakhi Well are worth visiting. Excursions from Vadodara can be made to the town of Champaner, Dabohi, Dakora and Bharuch with history trapped in its temples and ruins of forts. Vadodara city, 100 km north of Vadodara is known for its rich past and its association with Mahatma Gandhi.
Travel to Junagadh involves visiting the various attractions located in this ancient city of Gujarat.
The city, which is also the headquarters of its namesake district, is located at the base of the Girnar Hills. A visit to Junagadh will include a visit to some of the following tourist attractions that dot the city:
Ashok Shilalekh – This is an edict of Emperor Ashok inscribed on the surface of a rock, constructed as early as the 3rd century BC.
Sakkarbag Zoo – This zoo is the oldest in Gujarat and the third oldest in the country. The famous Gir lions preserved in this zoo are bred and supplied to other zoos. Makabara – An excellent specimen of medieval structure, Makabara is a place where Nawabs were buried.
Jain Derasar – This is an excellent temple on the Girnar Hill, located at an elevation of 3100 feet.
Narsinh Mehta Choro – It is believed that Lord Krishna held a traditional Rasleela dance for his devotee Narsinh Mehta in this region. The tourist attraction is frequented by the devotees of Lord Krishna.
Upperkot Fort – A visit to Upperkot Fort is an important itinerary during the tour of Junagadh. The strategic location of the fort helped the fort in surviving over 16 sieges in a span of 1000 years.