Places to visit in Gujarat- Gujarat Tourism
Gujarat, located on the western coast of India between Maharashtra and Rajasthan, wasn't on the tourist map until fairly recently. Several successful ad campaigns featuring Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and the addition of the Statue of Unity have changed this. There has been a substantial increase in tourist interest in the state. A very interesting and extensive history of Gujarat can be traced back to the Harappan Civilization and their establishment of coastal trading ports between 2400 and 1900 BC. Later, warrior communities established kingdoms in the state. They were followed by the Delhi and Gujarat sultanates, the Mughals, and the British. However, Gujarat is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.
Temples, palaces, mansions (many of which have been converted into hotels), and handicrafts are all part of India's heritage. The state is also home to some rare wildlife and many bird-watching spots. Getting out of the big cities and exploring the countryside is worthwhile. You'll be surprised by what there is to see and experience. Gujarat is one of the most underrated destinations in India! If you're serious about birding and wildlife, archeology, or textiles, Soar Excursions are highly recommended for guided trips.
It is important to note that vegetarian cuisine is the norm in Gujarat, and the state is a dry one, so alcohol is not widely available. Visitors from outside the state can obtain liquor permits from upmarket hotels in Gujarat that have liquor shops
Ahmedabad is a rapidly growing metropolis, an industrial hub, an educational hotspot, and a city with a glorious past. Located on the banks of the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad is the former capital of Gujarat, and its delicious food, colorful culture is making it a fast-growing tourist destination. The historic city of Ahmedabad or the old part of the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ahmedabad is such an excellent example of a city that can retain its old-world charm while still progressing rapidly along the path of globalization, thanks to several remarkable temples such as Swaminarayan Temple, fascinating museums, and classy markets. It is famous for its textiles and its tie-dye bandhani handloom technique, which makes it a great place to shop. From bandhani sarees, dupattas to traditionally embroidered dress materials, and other local handicrafts.
The Sabarmati Ashram, situated beside the Sabarmati River, is a quaint and serene ashram built by Mahatma Gandhi after returning from South Africa. Gandhiji's living quarters are still preserved here today, and they are now used as a museum where visitors can learn more about his life and his teachings. The infamous Dandi Salt March, which was a crucial point in India’s independence struggle, originated from this ashram.
Baroda (renamed Vadodara) is known for its royal heritage. In the 18th century, the Gaekwad royal family established their kingdom there, and their expansive Laxmi Vilas Palace is dominated by Indo-Saracenic architecture. There are 500 acres of parkland surrounding the palace, making it the largest private residence in India and four times larger than England's Buckingham Palace. The Coronation Room, Gaddi Hall (which houses the thrones of past kings), Darbar Hall, and the Royal Armoury are open to the public daily. An audio guide is included in the ticket price of 200 rupees. Madhav Baug Palace homestay offers an authentic heritage experience.
Baroda is also known for its art scene and vibrant Navratri festival Garba dances.
Statue of Unity, Kevadia
2018 saw the completion of the world's tallest statue, dedicated to Indian independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950). With a height of 182 meters, it's twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. He is highly regarded for his role in bringing together the 562 princely states of India as the First Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India. With enough activities and attractions to fill three days, the area around the statue has been developed as a comprehensive tourist destination for the whole family to enjoy. Apart from the statue, these include a sound and laser show, butterfly garden, cactus garden, Ayurvedic wellness center, eco-friendly and medicinal plant nursery, handicraft stores, the valley of flowers, forest with native trees, children's park with train and mirror maze, safari park and zoo, zip-lining, white water rafting, cycling, and boating on the lake. Through training and employment, there has also been a heartening focus on the empowerment of local women. Accommodations are provided in luxury tent cities, hotels, and local homestays.
An island that resembles a tortoise, Kutch is an erstwhile princely state in India that retains its grandeur from its past. Kutch is probably one of the most beautiful, yet surreal places in India with the vast expanses of the white salt desert. The place comes to life during the winters when the Rann Festival is held during December-February everywhere in which there are huge camp settlements with cultural programs, functions, and adventure activities like hot-air ballooning.
Moreover, Kutch is one of India's largest districts with a low population density. Kutch lies on the India-Pakistan border, so you can see parts of Pakistan from here. The Kutch region is also known for its embroidery works, Flamingo Sanctuary, and Wild Ass Sanctuary. Bhuj is a great place to start exploring the Rann of Kutch. The beautiful beaches of Mandvi near Bhuj are also totally worth visiting during your trip to Kutch. Don't miss seeing the ancient town of Dholavira.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
UNESCO World Heritage Site Champaner and Pavagadh is filled with historical, architectural, and archeological treasures from both Muslim and Hindu traditions dating from the 8th and 14th centuries. Among them are hill fortresses, palaces, places of worship (Jama Masjid is one of Gujarat's most spectacular mosques), residential areas, reservoirs, and step wells. Spend some time in nature at Champaner Heritage Resort or Jambughoda Palace hotel.
Chhota Udepur District
As part of Gujarat's tribal belt, Chhota Udepur is ideally visited during the Holi festival, when tribal fairs erupt all over the district. On Saturdays and Mondays, tribal markets are also held there. Bhasha Research and Publication Center's Adivasi Academy in Tejgadh village of Chhota Udepur is a must-see for anyone interested in India's tribal heritage. Its Vaacha Museum of Voice documents tribes from all over the country. Its collection includes musical instruments, paintings, sculptures, textiles, images of worship, and agricultural equipment. The Bhasha Van forest of languages is another highlight of the museum.
Sun Temple, Modhera
Modhera village is home to one of India's most significant sun temples. A temple dedicated to Surya the Sun God was built by Solanki dynasty rulers in the 11th century. The structure consists of a stepped tank, assembly hall, and main shrine. It is decorated with intricate stone sculptures. At the equinox, the sanctum receives the first rays of the morning sun.
Rani ki Vav, Patan
It is an ancient abandoned stepwell dating back to the 11th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also built during the Solanki dynasty, apparently by the widowed wife of ruler Bhimdev I. The stepwell has stairs on seven levels, as well as panels with more than 500 main sculptures and over 1,000 minor ones. Until the late 1980s, the stepwell was flooded by the Saraswati River and silted over. Archeological Survey of India found its carvings in pristine condition when it excavated the site.
Idar Hill Fort, Sabarkantha District
Idar, at the southern end of the Aravali mountain range, has been guarded by giant boulders for centuries. On the way up the hill (Idariyo Gadh) through the rocks, you will pass the ruins of various palaces and temples. Additionally, the town is known for its handmade wooden toys. The market near the clock tower sells them.
Gujarat is a place full of history; enjoy your vacation with all those amazing places we mentioned and many more. Keep Reading Travographer for more