When talking about Gujarat, the first things comes to our mind is Asiatic lions and why not, it’s the only home left for the Asiatic Lions in the world. But after attending a promotional event from Gujarat tourism, I was sure that Gujarat is not just about king of the Jungle. It has lot more to offer and I set out on a quest to explore Gujarat tourist places. After an extensive travel of 3 weeks, I realised that I was not wrong and the tremendous potential this West Indian state has.
There are so many gems hidden in the pockets of Gujarat tourism that it cannot be covered on one trip. Which makes me think that what tourists should visit on their first trip to Gujarat? Hence I came up with this article which features the best places to visit in Gujarat.
Starting from Ahmedabad, which is the biggest city in Gujarat. It can be seen as the gateway to this state as it is well connected with other parts of India through al modes of transportation. Some beautiful museums including the Sabarmati Ashram (belongs to Mahatma Gandhi) and some magnificent heritage buildings are on the show case here. An excursion to Modehra sun temple is must, which is around 100 Kms from here. Created by Solanki rulers the temple is fine example of ancient art and technology. The temple is designed in such a manner the first rays of the sun cast on the Image of Lord Surya (sun).
Moving on to Rann of Kutch, which is a marvel in itself. It is the largest Salt desert in the world which remains under water during Monsoon. Salt covered piece of land stretched to miles is the best description for the other months. On a full moon night when the whole land gets drenched with the moon light, it appears to be a surface of moon which makes it a truly magical experience. The place is also the venue for vibrant “Rann Utsav” which is 3 month long festival (from jan-mar) celebrating the art, heritage and culture of the region.
Bhuj is another beautiful place, which is quite popular for its rich cultural heritage and magnificent art works. A tour of the city will take to you some of fine heritage monuments, great museums, and colour full markets. If you are an art lover than don’t miss on exploring the nearby villages which are famous for centuries old art of weaving, block printing and embroidery. If you have some time you can have some relaxed time at the unspoiled beaches of Mandvi which is around 60 Kms from Bhuj.
No, we haven’t forgotten Gir National park- The land of Asiatic Lions. Undoubtedly, it’s the symbol of Gujarat tourism and I cannot imagine any Gujarat tour without it. I am sure no one would like to miss the opportunity of getting a glimpse of this ferocious creature. Other than these the park is also home to more than 300 types of birds.
Situated on the confluence of Arabian Sea and Gomti river, lies an important Hindu pilgrimage site known as Dwarkadheesh temple. Dedicated to lord Krishna, the temple is one of the four major pilgrimage sites, widely revered by Hindus. It’s a 5 storey structure standing on 72 Pillars. The town of Dwarka has its names mentioned in the mythological books of Hindus too. Many legends and tales are associated with this temple which are worth listening.
When talking about temples, you cannot miss the Palitana temples, which is a major pilgrimage site for Jain community. A complex of more than 900 temples, elegantly carved from marble on a hill which makes it the largest temple complex in the world. Make sure you are fit enough for climbing more than 3500 steps to reach there. However the sensational views of the temples and sourroundings from the hilltop are worth all this effort. It is said that first Jain tirthankaras (spiritual leader) has meditated on these hills.
These are some of the highlights of Gujarat tourism which you can consider on your next Gujarat tours. Or if you are looking for tailor-made Gujarat tour packages than ask your operator to include some of these in your itinerary. There are lot more interesting sites in this western state but it is better to leave few things for next time.