Gujarat has something in it to for every tourist, as this place is brimming with architecturally brilliant temples, colourful fairs and festivals, innumerable rivers, beautiful beaches with fine sand, historic monuments and a dedicated industrial sector. Tourists who come here have so much to see in the state that they never seem to get enough of it. One must carefully plan their trip so that one can cover at least the major tourist attractions here.
In Gujarat - The Bling Cities Offering Tourism
Ahmedabad is the most important city of Gujarat and it is the hub of administrative activities. As per the prestigious Forbes Survey of 2010, Ahmedabad was ranked 3rd in the world in terms of cities with the fastest growth rates. Ahmedabad boasts of some major attractions like Jama Masjid, Parimal Garden and a temple dedicated to Sri Swaminarayan temple. The areas on the coastal Ahmedabad are a visual delight as they are adorned by the mystic Sabarmati River that flows across the city.
Surat is their hub of diamond and textiles. This is an industrial yet a scenic city which is on the shore of the Tapti River. It is the commercial centre of Gujarat. One of the major tourist attractions of this place is the Chintamani Jain temple, which is famous all over the world for its intricate wooden carvings and painting masterpieces. The other attractions that Surat has got to offer are the Dutch gardens and the Suvali, Hazira and Dandi beaches. There is also a hill station here, Saputara on the base of Sahyadri hills for unwinding as they are located in remote places, far from the maddening pace of the urban life.
This city is situated on the banks of the Vishwamitri River. Some major tourist spots in the city are the Maharaja Sayajirao University and a beautiful palace named Lakshmi Vilas. This palace is famous for its exquisite floor made of Venetian mosaic, artistic work on the walls and the glass windows and doors imported from Belgium. A section of this palace also serves as museum which speaks volume about the Royal culture. Some famous paintings from Raja Ravi Verma are displayed here.
Gujarat - A Religious City
This temple where Lord Krishna is the main deity is situated in the town of Dwarka on the coastal lines, with a view of the Arabian Sea. This is a historic temple with wonderful architecture and beautiful paintings.
The main inspiration for this Gandhinagar temple is the main Akshardham temple in New Delhi. The main deity is Lord Swaminarayan. The idol is 7 feet in height and the statue is in the shape of a gold leaf and it is the largest temple in Gujarat.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this ancient temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of the country and is addressed to as “Shrine Eternal”. While in the Veraval city, tourist must visit the renowned Arrow Pillar.
Modhera Sun Temple
This main temple has around 108 small temples and it is dedicated to the Sun God. The design and structure of this temple has attracted many tourists to this place from all over the globe. There is a pond in the centre of the temple.
Cultural Flavour of Gujarat with its Fairs and Festivals
Bhavnath Mahadev Mela
The Bhavnath Mahadev temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, at the base of Girnar Mountain. Every year, during the Mahashivarathri festival during February, the Bhavnath Mahadev Mela is held and goes on for five days. As the prayer ceremony progresses, the naked saints, also known as Naga Bavas who live in the vicinity, ride on elephants and come to this venue and blow away conches as they hold flags in their hands. Free food is provided to tourist.
Chitra Vichitra Fair
This is one of the biggest and most colourful tribal fairs of Gujarat. The Adivashis organise this fair every year in the Gunbhakhari village in the district of Sabarkantha just touching upon the state of Rajasthan.Every year, this fair witnesses around 60000 to 70000 tribal people who come here and offer some excellent cultural performances. These groups that gather at the venue bring drums with them and keep beating their dreams rhythmically as women keep singing interesting folk songs.
Modhera Dance Festival
This dance festival is organised in the month of January every year at the famous Sun Temple at Modhera. The Tourism Ministry of Gujarat organises this festival which goes on for 3 days. Through this fair, the classical dances of India and other historical monuments are made aware to the hundreds of tourists who visit here.
This festival goes on for 9 days and the last day of the festival is celebrated as Dussehra. There is a lot of singing and dancing during this period as this is the time when the famous dances of Garba and Dandiya are performed by men and women.
Visit the Heritage via Museums
The Gandhi Smarak Sanghralaya
This museum is the best place to know about Mahatma Gandhi. Set up in 1955, this museum holds some of the rare possessions of Gandhiji like books, photographs, copies of letters written by him to many people, his paintings and relics.
The Vadodara Museum
This is the museum that houses the personal collections of Maharaj Sayaji Rao Gaekwad. This museum is located in Sayaji Bagh in Vadodara. It is home to some of the rare artworks from Greece and Rome, paintings from Europe, exquisite pottery items made from ivory, wood, bronze and other materials collected from countries like Sri Lanka, Burma, China and Japan.
The Watson Museum
This museum is run and controlled by the Gujarat State Government and it is situated in Rajkot. It displays items that speak volumes about the geographical and cultural richness of the city. This museum has libraries and photography facilities for the benefits of tourists coming here. Some precious statues are also displayed here.
The Lakhota Museum
Situated in Jamnagar, this museum displays the artefacts and collections of the royal Jamnagar family. A visit to this place will give the tourists a clear idea about the cultural heritage of the royal clan.
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Gujarat
Gir Forest National Park
This park in the Junagarh area of Gujarat is a must visit place as one find the largest variety of lions. The other animals seen here are Asiatic lion, leopard, chinkara, spotted deer, hyena, and many others.
Blackbuck National Park
This national park, situated in Bhavnagar is famous for its collection of the rare Blackbuck species of birds, Fox and Houbara Bustard.
Vansda National Park
Situated in Navsari, this national park is the abode for animals like leopard, hyena, spotted deer and chausingha.
Other than the above mentioned tourist attractions, Gujarat also has many other places that are a visual delight for the local and international tourists who visit in large numbers here. Some other places that need to be visited in Gujarat are the Rann of Kutchch, dry and arid deserts, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace, Porbandar, the ashram at Sabarmati, Ahmedabad Ashram set up by Gandhi in 1920s and many more.
Gujarat is situated on the western side of India country and has gone through various evolutions over the years. History and culture lovers find Gujarat a haven as they have a lot to explore and learn about. This state is one of the hot tourist destinations in the world. While in Gujarat, tourists not only have the option of visiting many attractions in the state, but also can access various other major attractions that are easily accessible from the state. Some major attractions around Gujarat are explained here.
Tourist Sites Near Gujarat
This is a place of many beaches and is situated at a distance of 67km from Ahmedabad. The Daman Union Territory is situated towards the south eastern direction of Gujarat. Lots of tourists who visit Gujarat also go to Daman as the latter houses many attractions like Devika beach and Jampore beach near Nani Daman’s Devika colony and Jampore Village respectively. Moti Daman is also a must visit place.
Diu, a Portuguese colony in the earlier days, is situated around the district of Junagadh and quite near to the coastal place of Saurashtra. This place is home to some of the scenic beaches like Jallandhar, Chakratirath, Ahmedpur, Mandvi and Gomtimala. Some of the beautiful attractions here are the Diu Fort, Delwada’s Gupta Prayag, Forte do Mar, Nagao Beach, Gangeshwar Temple and Shaking Tower.
This is a beautiful resort perfectly sandwiched between the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. It belongs to Dadra & Nagar Haveli. This is a perfect weekend getaway from both the states as it is located in a calm place, flanked by the Deer Parks, Shiv Mandir, Dudhani waterfalls, tribal museum and the Vanganga Lake.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Along the western side of Gujarat, in the remote city of Vapi, one can find this, at a distance of 15km from the town. This is also a famous railway station for the areas of Daman and Silvasa.
This is a scenic place nicely embedded in the small town between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. It was earlier ruled by the Portuguese rulers and still carries on the legacy of those rulers at certain places. This place is adorned with beautiful waterfalls, green gardens, lush and sprawling green lawns, architecturally brilliant temples and monuments and many more attractions.
The state of Maharashtra is situated in close vicinity to Gujarat and is famous among local and international tourists due to the remarkable attractions it hosts.
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