Beautiful rivers, sandy beaches, lively temples, colorful fairs, fun-filled festivals, artistic and historical museums, and a powerful Industrial sector, this is Gujarat. Welcoming the tourists to have a peep into its cultural and historical authenticity, with innumerable options.
You can choose to visit the ever growing industrial section, popular in its own, but you wouldn't stop just there, as you have just begin your sojourn in Gujarat, so take a ride with us and explore the places worth including in your tour itinerary.
Ranked 3rd in Forbes 2010 list for the World's fastest growing cities, Ahmedabad is the administrative centre of the state, with its share of tourist places to visit like Jama Masjid, Parimal Garden in Ellis Bridge area, Shri Swaminarayan Temple. Also a splendid sight of Sabarmati River and the adjoining bridges can be enjoyed from the coastal areas of the city of Ahmedabad.
Situated on the banks of Tapti River, Surat is another commercial capital of the state, known for its textile and diamond business. The Chintamani Jain Temple, exquisite in its wooden carvings and paintings is a place of huge interest and the ancient Dutch gardens is a famous attraction. You can also find a lot of beaches in Surat city like Suvali, Hazira and Dandi beach, where one can enjoy the peace and isolation, away from the city hustle-bustle or you can enjoy the charm and beauty of a hill station, in Saputara on the Sahyadri hills.
Also famous as the cultural capital of the state, the city of Vadodara is located on the banks of River Vishwamitri. The few best places that one can see in Vadodara are the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, famous for its Venetian mosaic-floor, Belgium stained glass windows and delicate decorative work on the walls. One section of the palace has been transformed into a museum , where various art works belonging to the Royal family are displayed along with the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma.
Situated along the coast of Arabian Sea, in the town of Dwarka, The Dwarakadheesh Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, and is rich in architectural value because of various sculptures and carved pillars.
The original inspiration of the Akshardham in New Delhi, this one in Gandhinagar is the largest temple in the state of Gujarat, focal point being the 7 feet high, gold-leafed statue of Lord Swaminarayan.
Known as “the Shrine Eternal”, The Somnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, as it is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga, a shrine of the Lord. Located near the city of Veraval, its Arrow-Pillar is very famous.
Modhera Sun Temple
Uniquely designed for the worship of the Sun God, The Modhera Sun Temple's position has been taken care of very acutely, with a pond and beautifully designed structure in the centre, surrounded by 108 small temples.
Bhavnath Mahadev Mela
During Mahashivratri celebrations in the month of February, the Bhavnath Mahadev Mela is organized in the premises of Bhavnath Mahadev Temple, Junagadh, for 5 days. After the midnight worship, the naked- sages enters, seated on elephants, waving flags and blowing conch-shells. Free meal is served to the visitors and lot of miniature figures of Lord Shiva and other souvenirs are sold in the fair.
Chitra- Vichitra Mela
A purely tribal delight, this fair takes place in March, a fortnight after the festival of Holi in Sabarkantha district, Gunbhakhari village. The main highlight of the fair is the constant music of drum beating and folk songs, by men and women, who are dressed in colorful attires. Varieties of food and traditional silver jewellery could be bought here, with rides in the merry-go-round to enjoy.
Modhera Dance Festival
An annual dance festival, organized in the month of January, by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat, in the Modhera Sun Temple. The festival is celebrated for 3 days to promote the Indian Classical Dance forms along with the promotion of tourist and historical sites.
The Government of Gujarat organizes the Navratri festival by having a huge festival for nine days, during Dussehra, amidst music and dancing. The famous Garba and Dandiya- Raas Dance of Gujarat is a huge hit during these nine days and the sparkling traditional costumes also.
The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya
Established in 1951, in Ahmedabad, the museum has preserved various personal possessions of Mahatma Gandhi. Books, photographs and photo-copies of his correspondence with many people are present along with his paintings and relics.
The Vadodara Museum
Located in Sayaji Bagh, Vadodra, the museum treasured the belongings of Maharaja Sayaji Rao of Gaekwad. Various Greek and Roman art works, and European paintings, that were Maharaja's own collection are on display and also wood, ivory, bronze and pottery items from countries like Burma, Sri Lanka, China and Japan.
The Watson Museum
The museum in Rajkot, depicting human history and culture of the area, possesses a lot of valuable items from colonial period. Run by State Government, this museum offers permission of photography, and facilities of guides and reference library and also has brilliant statues as its invaluables.
The Lakhota Museum
This museum in Jamnagar is all about the history of the royalties of Jamnagar, and hence gives a detailed cultural insight to tourists about the place.
Gir Forest National Park
Gir Forest National Park in Junagarh, must be explored for its variety of predators like, Asiatic lion, Leopard, Spotted Deer, Hyena, Chinkara
Blackbuck National Park
Blackbuck Natinal Park in Bhavnagar, is exquisite in its preservation of Blackbuck, Fox, and Houbara Bustard, a large bird
Vansda National Park
Vansda National Park in Navsari, is also a comfortable place for Leopard, Hyena, Chausingha, and Spotted Deer.
Gujarat has enough of heritage and importance in history, to fascinate any tourist who comes here, and if these places are not sufficient , take a tour to the Rann of Kachchh, the dry, desert area in Gujarat, or Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, or Sabarmati Ashram, the Ashram in Ahmedabad, that Gandhi ran in 1920s and which now, is a historical monument. Take your pick, but do not miss out on a unique experience of travelling Gujarat.
Last Updated On: 2011/09/01