HOW TO REACH
Nearest Airport - Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
Nearest Railway Stations - Ahmedabad Railway Station, the Vadodara Railway Station, the Rajkot Railway Station and the Surat Railway Station.
Gujarat Tourism At A Glance
Home to several architectural marvels, Gujarat is famous for its vibrant culture and rich heritage apart from the scenic landscapes and mouth-watering cuisine. Offering a broad range of the most spectacular attractions, Gujarat, also known as 'The Land of Legends', presents a perfect blend of art, history, music, and culture.
Being the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions, the Gir Forest harbors a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Gujarat offers scenic beauty from Great Rann of Kutch to the hills of Satpura. Apart from picturesque landscapes and long stretches of coastlines, the ancient cave paintings, historic murals, holy temples, historic capitals, wildlife sanctuaries, beaches, hill resorts, fascinating handicrafts, are totally worth seeing. The cultural exuberance of the people of the state will give you a rejuvenating experience.
PLACES TO VISIT
A rapidly growing metropolis, an industrial hub, an educational hotspot, and a city with a magnificent past? Ahmedabad is one of the most important cities in Gujarat and is fast becoming a very popular tourist destination as well. Home to a plethora of remarkable temples, intriguing museums, serene lakes, good restaurants, and classy market, with a little bit of colonial history attached to it, Ahmedabad is a great example of how a city can still retain every bit of its old-world charm while still rapidly progressing on the path of globalization and commercialization. Located on the banks of the Sabarmati river, Ahmedabad is the former capital of Gujarat, and its delicious food, colorful culture, and amazing hospitality attract a huge number of tourists all year round.
Nothing portrays the extreme down-to-earth lifestyle of Ahmedabad citizens better than the Sabarmati Ashram. Situated directly beside the Sabarmati river, this quaint and peaceful ashram was built by Mahatma Gandhi after he returned from South Africa. To this date, Gandhiji's living quarters are preserved here and is now used as a museum where visitors can learn all about his life and his teachings. The infamous Dandi Salt March, which was a key point in India's independence struggle originated from this ashram. It is the most significant place of tourist interest in Ahmedabad, and a huge number of Indian, as well as international tourists, visit this place all year round to visit this ashram which holds a very important place in India's history.
Unbeknownst to many, Ahmedabad is home to the Jama Masjid, which was built during the era of the Delhi Sultanate, and is as majestic and spectacular as its namesake in Delhi. The structure is made entirely out of yellow sandstone, and its architecture depicts a beautiful amalgamation of Islamic and Hindu styles.
Ahmedabad is dotted with plenty of temples scattered all over the city, the most important ones being the ISKCON Temple and the Swaminarayan Temple. The majestic ISKCON Temple, also popularly known as the Hare Krishna Mandir, seamlessly blends Rajasthani and Gujarati architecture. Built on a sprawling area of 4 acres, with fountains and gardens spread all throughout its compounds, the ISKCON Temple sees a massive footfall of devotees daily and is one of the most important tourist places related to religion and spiritualism in Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad is steeped in history, and the Bhadra Fort is just one of more of its historical attractions that draws tourists as well as locals. Built during the Maratha rule, the Bhadra Fort comprises a beautiful palace, an expansive green courtyard, as well as a Bhadra Kali temple. After the fort was renovated a few years back, it is now managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Ahmedabad houses quite a few museums, the noteworthy ones being the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Museum, the Calico Museum of Textiles, the Vechaar Utensils Museum, and the Auto World Vintage Car Museum.
Ahmedabad is famous for its textiles and its tie-dye bandhani handloom technique, which makes it a great place to shop for bandhani sarees and dupattas, as well as mirror and embellished garments, traditionally embroidered dress materials, and other local handicrafts.
Virtually an island that resembles the shape of a tortoise, Kutch is an erstwhile princely state of India holding onto its grandeur nature from the past.
Kutch is probably one of the most beautiful, yet surreal places in India. With the vast expanses of white salt desert in the Rann of Kutch area, this is an amazing experience to witness. One would be able to see just stretches of pure white land as far as the eyesight goes. 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. Kutch is also among the largest district of India with a terribly low population density. Also, Kutch lies on the India-Pakistan border and you can see parts of Pakistan from Kutch. Kutch is also famous for crafts and embroidery works, Flamingo Sanctuary and Wild Ass Sanctuary. Bhuj is an ideal starting point to visit the Rann of Kutch. Beautiful beaches of Mandvi near Bhuj are also totally worth visiting during your trip to Kutch. Don't miss to see the ancient town of Dholavira.
Gir National Park is the only remaining home for the Asiatic Lions that are almost a definition to this park in Gujarat, which has a lot more to offer.
Gir provides you with the unique experience of visiting a place which almost singularly plays a crucial and defining role in the preservation and sustaining of a certain species. The preservation of these lions was initiated by the Nawab of Junagadh when these were just about to enter the phase of extinction due to hunting. Official count said that there were 411 lions in 2010. Also, there are roughly different 2375 species of fauna here with 38 species of mammals, over 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and over 2000 species of insects.
Other important wildlife forms found here are the leopard, chausingha, spotted deer, hyena, sambar deer and chinkara.
Somnath, literally meaning 'lord of the moon' is a pilgrim center and is home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. It is a town which derives much of its identity from the mythology, religion, and legends that surround it.
Primarily a temple town, Somnath is a place where a strong scent of religion and legends lingers around tourism and even daily life. Its spiritual environment is ornamented by the huge number of temples in the area, however, Somnath also offers beaches, museums, and other attractions. While the Somnath temple and Somnath beach are the primary places to visit here, Gita Mandir, Balukha Tirtha, Kamnath Mahadev Temple, Somnath Museum are some of the other places that one can visit.
The birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, Porbandar is a beautiful beach town with some temples and dams and is now also a popular trading hub.
The coastal city with a significant event in its history is a tourist destination which modestly offers a number of attractions. Apart from the haveli where Gandhiji was born which has now been converted into a temple, there are a few more temples, dams, reservoirs, serene beaches and wildlife spots as well to add to your experience in Porbandar. It attracts pilgrims with temples such as the Sudama Mandir, Bharat Mandir, Ram Dhoon Mandir, Hanuman temple and more.
Being the capital of Junagadh Princely State once, the town shines with historical significance with many historical monuments to see.
Junagadh is also very close to the Girnar Hills and the world-renowned Gir National Park. Catch a glimpse of the wild in the Sakkabaug Zoo and the Wildlife Museum. Also, visit the Girnar Hills and get a feel of the serene yet religious atmosphere. The fort at Uperkot is another tourist magnet.
Famous for having one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, Dwarka is best known as the home of Lord Krishna and will enchant you with the holiness that the air here carries. Located on the western tip of the Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat, Dwarka is popularly known as the "home of Lord Krishna".
The name Dwarka literally translates to dwar meaning 'door' and ka meaning 'moksha' meaning the door to salvation. And so the aura of the religious town reverberates with spiritual holiness and chants of the devotees seeking moksha. Dwarka boasts of being the only city that is a part of both Char Dham (four principal holy places) and also Sapta Puris (seven holy cities) mentioned in the Hindu religion. For this reason, it enjoys a remarkable religious significance and attracts thousands of pilgrims all year round. In addition to this, the town is replete with grandeur temples, marvelous architecture and places of cultural significance. The beachside and the seashores are an added tourist attraction.
Dwar, meaning door in Sanskrit, is believed to be the gateway to heaven. Legend has it that the city was once engulfed by the sea and recent excavations reveal that a city did exist here. Dwarka can offer you the most spiritual and holy bit of Gujarat. The temples here have a culture and significance as rich as the legends, mythology, and beliefs that surround them. They are also marvels and gems of architecture as they are of Hindu mythology. Your serene experience from the temples and the spiritual spirit of the town will only be complimented be the beaches that city has to offer.
Home to some of the most exemplary displays of architecture, Vadodara is a fitting memorial to Maratha leader Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III who had envisioned a dream to make this Big City an educational, industrial and commercial center.
With a prominent part of it being occupied by the Gujaratis, this place is the most sought after during the nine days of the Navratri festival. No city in India celebrates the festival of Navratri with as much zeal and exuberance as Vadodara does. It houses one of the premier universities of India- the Maharaja Sayajirao University, one of the most lavish palaces in India- the Lakshmi Vilas Palace and plenty more legendary monuments.
Being included in the elite list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the globe, this marvelous archaeological park set in the heart of the city of Champaner and amidst the Pavagadh hills is one of the most sought-after places in Gujarat.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park holds a lot of history as well as mythological significance in itself. The Park comprises of umpteen number of splendid architectural wonders consisting of both Hindu & Islamic styles of design. Another interesting piece of trivia regarding this place is that the hill of Pavagadh is believed to be a chunk of the Himalayas that was originally carried by Hanuman to Lanka in the Ramayana epic. With such rich history to its name, this makes up for a really intriguing place to visit.
GandhinagarGandhinagar, the capital city of Gujarat, offers a rich cultural heritage, beautiful temples, and serene environment to all its visitors.
Gandhinagar, one of India's few planned cities encompasses Akshardham Temple, one of the country's most beautiful temple. Among other attractions are an enthralling Children's Park and uniquely built stepwell. The holy places in Gandhinagar like the Hanumanji Temple and the Brahmani Temple which in spite of not being so famous, are also worth visiting for an enriching experience.
A desert city with a long history of kings and empires make Bhuj one of the most interesting and unique historical places to see.
The city has a long history of kings and empires - and hence many historic places to see. The city was left in a state of devastation after the 2001 earthquake and is still in the recovery phase. Bhuj connects you to a range of civilizations and important events in South Asian history through prehistoric archaeological finds, remnants of the Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan), places associated with the Mahabharata and Alexander the Great's march into India and tombs, palaces and other buildings from the rule of the Naga chiefs, the Jadeja Rajputs, the Gujarat Sultans and the British Raj. The vibrant and dynamic history of the area gives the area a blend of ethnic cultures. In a walk around Bhuj, you can see the Hall of Mirrors at the Aina Mahal; climb the bell tower of the Prag Mahal next door; stroll through the produce market; have a famous Kutchi pau bhaji for lunch; examine the 2000-year-old Kshatrapa inscriptions in the Kutch Museum; admire the sculptures of Ramayana characters at the Ramakund stepwell; walk around Hamirsar Lake and watch children jumping into it from the lake walls as the hot afternoon sun subsides; and catch the sunset among the chhatardis of the Kutchi royal family in a peaceful field outside the center of town.
Snuggled in the Sahyadris or the Western Ghats, Saputara is a quaint little hill station in the Dang district of Gujarat. Popular for lush green forests, undulating mountains, dazzling waterfalls, dreamy winding roads, livid landscapes and plenty of charming cubbyholes to spend time with your loved ones, the town is the first favorite among tourists. It is located at a height of 875 meters above sea level and is a perfect getaway for eco-lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and people who love adventure sports.
Located at a distance of four kilometers from the Maharashtra border and two hundred and fifty kilometers from Mumbai in Dang district, Saputara literally means habitat of snakes and the tribals of this region worship snakes, especially during Holi. It is a beautiful hilly region enriched with enormous greenery offering magnificent panorama, tribal culture of a different sort and great trekking opportunities.
Rani Ka Vav, the latest Indian entrant to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated here, making Patan one of the newest tourist hubs in India.
As the royal entrance gates open into a city comfortably residing within the huge walls that surround it, you will be welcomed by the ancient yet young and warm city of Patan. Having been the capital of the state for as many as 650 years in the medieval period, Patan and its people have a very positive approach towards learning and growth. This is where a lot of crucial political decisions were taken in the past, a number of furious battles were fought. This city has seen it all, the beauty it is, it smiles at its visitors and welcomes them so warmly that it feels like home. Patan has a lot of historical value and has been a part of the research of archaeologists in the past. Just as it has temples, it also has Dargah and Jain temples. Patan is a spiritual city and believes in the power of the Almighty, it strongly believes that it is their Kuldevi and her presence that has kept the town intact and its people happy and growing.
Surat, having its name associated with Saurashtra (the good land) is a port city in Gujarat. Surat is the second most populated city in Gujarat. Known as 'the city of flyovers', it is a commercial center of textiles and diamonds.
In the vibrant state of Gujarat, is this city of Surat which attracts tourists who are interested in the colonial history of the region and those interested in wildlife. Packed on the south bank of a sharp bend in the Tapi River (Tapti), it is located 306 km south of the state capital, Gandhinagar. This city has the reputation of being light-hearted, easy-going, and fun-loving, with a passion for food. It is an absolutely great place to visit with family and friends and have a memorable trip.
Splendid splashes of the passionate waves of the Gulf of Khambat, an ancient history of ocean trade, vibrant culture, warm locals, bazaars brimming with people and chitter chatter, the enchanting architecture makes Bhavnagar a happy developing town in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Located at the southern tip of Gujarat peninsula, Bhavnagar is known as the cultural center of the state of Gujarat. Literary achievers like Govardhan Tripathi, Kavi Kant, Narsihm Mehta and Ganga Sati have their roots in Bhavnagar. While on one side, you'd see the careless waves of Gulf of Khambat, on the other hand, you can see the busiest port of ocean trading in India.
Located near the port of Veraval, Diu is a small island which was earlier a Portuguese colony and is now guarded by beaches all around.
Diu takes up most popular given the ample number of beaches, along with Gujarat's southern coast such as the Nagoa beach, but has a lot more to offer too. Alcohol is legal in Diu.
The Diu Fort, a primary imprint of the Portuguese on the area's heritage and architecture makes up a popular tourist attraction. Another interesting place is the Vanakbara, a small fishing village whose charm has tints of colorful fishing boats and humming of day to day activity. This perfect add-on to a visit to Gujarat will complete your experience with interesting museums such as the Sea Shell Museum, temples and churches.
One of the most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization, Dholavira was one of the most developed civilization roughly 4500 years ago and makes an equally enchanting tourist destination today
Archaeological and excavation sites almost define the tourism in Dholavira. One can visit this town in Gujarat for witnessing history's share of architectural marvels and be flattered by one of the most significant and popular sites of the Indus Valley Civilization. An experience borrowed from history will charm you as much as any other destination with scenic beauty or modern day attractions. One can also visit the Kutch Desert wildlife sanctuary while in Dholavira.
Keeping up the delicate balance between the fine golden-brown sand of Gujarat?s richest desert on one hand, and the lush green of the Gir Forest on the other - Girnar - a group of mountains in the Junagadh district of Gujarat are a haven for thrill seekers and religious devotees alike due to their ability to be both - a hub for religious activity and also a retreat for trekkers, because of the hills that lead up to splendid views.
An important pilgrimage site, Girnar hills are flocked daily by many devotees. While the summit of the Datar Peak is held sacred by both Hindus and Muslims, temples like the Neminath temple and the Meravasi temple are sacred to the Jain community. Another major highlight of this place is the Girnar Parikrama Festival and the Bhavnath Fair between the months of January and February every year - when Hindu and Jain devotees, gather here in huge numbers.
Many small wonders of historical significance can be found here, for instance: Ashoka?s Major Rock Edicts and the Junagarh rock inscription of Rudradaman, from many centuries ago. Being the highest point of Gujarat - Mt. Girnar stands at 1,031 meters (or 3,383 ft) and is symbolic of the rich history and heritage of the land. It is also of major importance and so is its base which is called the Girnar Taleti, which is just 4 km east of the center of Junagadh.
Pirotan Island, Bhuj
Pirotan Island spreads over an area of 3 square kilometers and is one of forty-two islands in the marine park area, nestled within the vicinity of the Marine National Park in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat on the western coast. As part of the first marine national park - the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park, established in 1982, Pirotan Island offers an undisturbed rendezvous with nature in its abode. It is one of the two islands in the area which is normally permitted for tourists and visitors, Narara Island being the other one.
Taking from its original name, "Pir jo than", which signified the relation of Pirotan with Khwaja Khijer, Pirotan is said to be among those rare coasts in the world, where one can spot corals by just walking by the shore in low tides, dipping feet in hardly 1-2 feet of water. Undoubtedly the star attraction of the vast park, it is studded with coral reefs, mangrove vegetation, a wide variety of birds and low tide beaches. The plethora of biodiversity of both flora and fauna is just amazing, not to mention the abundance of marine life. The sacred shrine of saint Khwaja Khijer Rahmathullahalaih is situated on the island alongside the age-old lighthouse. Pirotan Island is located at about 20 kilometers (12 nautical miles) from the mainland, the closest port being Bedi harbor.
With only a handful of people living here which includes people from the forest department, Mujhavar at the Khwaja Khizer Dargah and a couple of people from the lighthouse, this enchanting island is much away from human construction and way of life and comes close to being ideal if you are looking for a secluded getaway. Although visits require permits from the local Forest Department, Customs & Ports Department, the hassle is entirely worth it. The island is a secluded getaway from the hubbub and commotion of daily life and deserves a space on your bucket list!