A renowned actor in a travel campaign for Gujarat said, ‘You really need to spend some time in Gujarat’. And these words ring quite true, for Gujarat is one such state that is a mélange of culture, heritage and a vibrancy of life that colors the spirits of anyone traveling to the state in hues of pure ecstasy.
Let us have a look at some of its cities that make Gujarat a top tourist destination.
1) Shop till you drop in Ahmedabad
Any Gujarat travel guide that you follow is sure to start with Ahmedabad which is quite literally the heart of the state and by far the most colorful city in the country. Hotels in Ahmedabad are fully booked during the festive season which starts in October.This metropolis is also an industrial hub and a city that is a frontrunner in the educational front. You can let loose the shopaholic in you when you are in Ahmedabad and stuff your bags with some marvelous bandhani sarees and dupattas, mirror work dresses, embellished fabric, and handicrafts.
2) The white desert of Kutch
The white salt desertor the Rann of Kutch is a surreal experience. This tortoise-shaped desert ironically gives out a breath of freshness, with its pristine white landscape. December to February is the time when Gujarat is flocked with tourists who plan to attend the Kutch festival and Hotels in Gujarat are packed to the brim with guests since it is the best time to explore the state. At this time camp settlements can be seen everywhere in Kutch with tourists enjoying the cultural programs and adventure activities like hot-air ballooning.
3) Gir gives you the greens
For all you wildlife lovers out there, Gir must be on your list when vacationing in Gujarat, for Gir National Park is the abode of the majestic Asiatic lions. There are almost four hundred lions here along with other flora and fauna. Leopards, hyenas, sambar, chinkara and various species of reptiles, mammals, and birds can be spotted here in the midst of lush green surroundings.
4) Dwaraka takes you on a divine road
Dwarka’s claim to fame is the presence of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas here and it is the home of Lord Krishna. The place envelopes you in a shroud of serenity and holiness, as the faint sound of chants is in the air all the time.
The name of the city translates to ‘ door to salvation’ and it indeed is one, for it is the only city that is acknowledged as part of both Char Dham (four principal holy places) and also of Sapta Puris (seven holy cities) according to Hindu Mythology. Not only should this place be visited for its religious significance but also for the architectural wonders that grace the city in the form of grandiose temples.
Gujarat is a state that presents a complete picture of what Indian culture and heritage are, with many of its cities holding strong religious significance, and Somnath is one such destination. The name of this temple town denotes land of the moon and it has one of the 12 Jyotirlingas because of which it is flocked by devotees on a divine quest.
6) Taste of royalty at Vadodara
The royal city of Gujarat is an integral part of Gujarat travel guide, for the city has many unique tourist attractions like the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Champaner- Pavagardh Archaeological Park, Sayaji Gardens and Surya Mandir.
During the Indian festival Navratri, Vadodara turns into a city colored with festive hues, for this festival is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm here. You must travel to the city during October or November when the city is dotted with pandals packed to capacity with the city people doing the traditional dance garba or dandiya.
7) Unwind at SaputaraSahyadri range or the Western Ghats in Gujarat have given the state its serene hill station of Saputara. Nestled among the range, this little hilly town is painted with lush green forests, majestic mountains, and cascading waterfalls. The entire landscape of Saputara offers a dreamy look. It is said to be the home of serpents that can be found in the area in plenty.
8) Sight-Seeing at Patan
This one is a little offbeat destination but nonetheless quite interesting. The place has made it to the list of UNESCO heritage sites for Rani ka vav, a famous tourist attractionthat is located here. Patan was once the capital of Gujarat and is dotted with temples and Dargah which have added to its historical and spiritual significance.
The princely state of Junagadh, the beach town of Porbandar which is also known as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhinagar which is the capital of Gujarat and home to Akshardham temple which is deemed as one of the most beautiful temples in the country, Bhuj which gives a peek into the Indian history and is a city which rose like a phoenix from the ashes after the devastating earthquake of 2001are places that should be considered too as part of your Gujarat trip.