Gujarat Tourism

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Gujarat Travel Essentials



Ideal duration: 4 - 12 days

Best Time: October to March Read More

Major Airports: Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat

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"Vibrant Gujarat"

Gujarat, India

The westernmost state in India, Gujarat, is a land of immense natural beauty, rich culture and heritage, and historical significance. The state attracts tourists with its multitude of historical sites, beaches, hills, wildlife sanctuaries, vibrant festivals, scrumptious food, and more. Known as the 'Land of Legends', it is a superb destination for a vacation, whether with friends, family or alone.

One of Gujarat's major metropolitan cities, Ahmedabad is an urban centre with a touch of old-school charm owing to its colonial past. It is most popular for the Sabarmati Ashram and for being very close to the Statue of Unity. A visit to the state capital of Gandhinagar is a must since it houses many beautiful temples like the magnificent Akshardham Temple and lush green gardens like the Indroda Nature Park.

Kutch is also a must-visit destination in Gujarat. It offers tourists a unique experience to explore the renowned salt desert, Rann of Kutch, and attend the joyous occasion of Rann Utsav, which features dance and music shows, crafts displays, local food etc. And of course, for those looking to escape the bustling city life, there is no better choice than Diu, a small island and a former Portuguese colony. This island town is known for its laid back atmosphere and is a popular getaway for short trips. Some of its most popular attractions are the serene Nagoa Beach, majestic Diu Fort and Naida Caves.

Gujarat is undoubtedly a treat for food lovers because it is synonymous with tasty food like khandvi, muthiya, lilva kachori and fafda-jalebi. Given its vibrant culture, it goes without saying that attending festivals like Navratri and Uttarayan would only add to the experience. And speaking of culture, the state is renowned for its exquisite handicrafts, including bandhani work, zari work, leather products, pottery craft and more. Gujarat is easily accessible via car, bus, train or flight from most parts of India.

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Holidify's opinion on Travel to Gujarat

What's Great about Travelling to Gujarat?

Very well connected domestically and internationally by road, rail and air. Highly industrialised cities with modern amenities. Varied types of destinations suitable for all.

What's Not So Great about Travelling to Gujarat?

It has now become commercialised and sees a large number of tourists in peak season. Alcohol and non-vegetarian food are banned in this state which may discourage some visitors.

Who should Travel to Gujarat?

The vast number of natural habitats in Gujarat are excellent for nature lovers, while ancient ruins dating back to over 4000 years along with temples and palaces are sure to attract the history buffs. The cities are beautiful and ideal for sightseeing.

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FAQs on Gujarat

What is the Gandhi Circuit in Gujarat?

The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi was born in Gujarat and returned to his land from South Africa in 1915 to propagate his philosophy of non-violence. As a result, Gandhi and many of his followers have built ashrams and monuments in his name in and around the country that are popular among tourists who want to get a peek into the life of the man responsible for India's mass movements. His birthplace, Porbandar has been developed as a tourist destination and has a museum chronicling his deeds. Dandi, the place where he led the famous Dandi March also lies on the coast of Gujarat. Kocharab Ashram near Ahmedabad was one of the first Ashrams set up by Gandhiji, and till today, retains the relics he used in his daily life. Sabarmati Ashram, also known as Gandhi Ashram, is a destination that every Indian must visit as the ideas of Swadeshi and khadi germinated here.

What is the history of Gujarat?

The history of Gujarat dates back to the earliest civilisation in India - the Indus Valley Civilisation. Several major cities from this period were located on the coast of Gujarat and flourished because of trade with the Persian Gulf. Today, the sites of Lothal, Dholavira and Gola Dhoro offer some of the best-preserved ruins of this period. There are old signboards, ingeniously designed seaports, ritual tanks and cities that are protected as world heritage sites. Gujarat was also a prominent area for various vast empires and has palaces and forts from different eras like the Lakshmi Vilas and Vijay Vilas Palace, the Tomb of Ahmed Shah, Prag Mahal, Shaking Minarets and many royal bathing houses called Vavs. The Surya Mandir at Somnath too is a miracle of architecture and sculpture.

Why is rann of kutch popular?

Recognized as one of the largest salt deserts in the world, The Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is not only known for its splendour, but also for one of the biggest festivals that take place in the state, the Rann Utsav. As a way to celebrate the culture and flavour of this region, an annual festival of music, dance and culinary talent called the 'Rann Utsav' is held every year in winter between November and February. Guests get to stay in luxurious tents that are put out in the middle of the desert and re given a chance to enjoy the Gujarat culture to their heart's content. If one wants to have the real Gujarat experience, then one should definitely visit the Rann Utsav. Activities like dance, camel rides, paramotoring and cart rides are available for the tourists to enjoy. For those who want some time out of the chaos of the Rann Utsav, can take part in yoga and meditation routines as well.

Which animals are found in Gujarat?

The deciduous forests, grasslands and marshy swamps- all spread over acres and acres and combine to contribute to rich wildlife that Gujarat has today. The wildlife in Gujarat also includes very rare and endangered species, the most famous one being the Asiatic Lion. The Gir National Park has become a home to many of these Asiatic Lions. Gujarat takes pride in the abundance of wildlife sanctuaries that it has, which are all worth paying a visit to. The Rann of Kachchh shelters animals and birds ranging from black bucks, hyenas, wild asses to innumerable migratory birds who make their way to the flatlands and marshes of Gujarat from all over the world. This includes flamingos, different types of ducks, seagulls and Arctic Terns who fly to Gujarat from the North Pole. The Jamnagar Marine Sanctuary is the first of its kind in India and is famous for the shallow lagoons where tourists can spot amazing animals like stingrays and rockfish while casually strolling through ankle-deep water.

How are the local people of Gujarat?

In terms of religion, the majority of the Gujaratis are Hindus, Muslims and Jains. Gujarati, Urdu and Sindhi are some of the few languages that are widely spoken in and around Gujarat. The Gujaratis are known for their professionalism and bussiness-like mentality. The Jains are also found in most parts of Gujarat. They are known for their textile and chemical mills. They are mostly known for the interest they show in temples and charities like school and religious trusts. Gujarat is popular for its diverse, yet vibrant culture. The Charans and Gadhavis are communities who have managed to pass along the knowledge of folk music and folk arts from one generation to the other. These folk songs are mostly in the form of a lullaby, nuptial songs, festive songs and Rannade songs. Folk instruments adorn the folk dances and songs. Several big and small fairs and festivals are observed through the year based on lunar or solar eclipse calendar. People of different caste and religion celebrate these festivities together with enthusiasm and devotion. The Kites, the decoration, the local stalls blended with the kirtans, bhajans and dances are some of the few prominent things that represent the true tradition of Gujarat.

What is the history of Gujarat?

The history of Gujarat can go back to as far as the Indus Valley Civilization. Its cities, notably Bharuch served as a major port and trading centre during the Nanda, Maurya, Satavahana, Gupta as well as Western Kshatrapa empires. The Solanki Dynasty and The Vaghela Dynasty are other empires that had a hold over Gujarat for a few long years. Muslim rulers too had an eye on Gujarat, and Alauddin Khilji invaded the place in 1297 AD and paved the way for Muslim rule in the region for the next 400 years. Mahmud Ghazni too invaded the area in 1026 intending to loot the wealth from the temples.

Gujarat later shifted to the hands of the Mughals after Bahadur Shah saw faced defeat against Emperor Akbar. The Mughal reign lasted only until the rise of the Marathas. Shivaji attacked Surat twice, once in 1664 and 1672 and established created a strong foothold over various parts of Saurashtra and Gujarat. Later, the East India Company took over as Madhavrao Gaekwad aligned himself with the British in 1802. Gujarat became one of the crucial areas during the British rule where most of the freedom struggles led by Mahatma Gandhi took place.

What is the landscape of Gujarat?

The western state of Gujarat has a long coastline of 1660 kilometres and is one of the most diverse states in the country. The topography varies from dense forests to grasslands, deserts, marshlands, mangroves and coastal habitats that are home to a large number of marine animals. The capital city is Gandhinagar and Ahmadabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot are the other main towns. It shares a border with three other states - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and also shares an international boundary with Pakistan along the Rann of Kutch. Many major ports like Kandla and Porbandar are located in this state, and it also has one of the largest ship-breaking yards in the world.

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