Gujarat is one those states in India that you can keep exploring and still feel like you have so much more to see. If you are trying to narrow down your choices of what to do in Gujarat, then we are here to help with our list of must-see places. Here goes:
1. Great Rann of Kutch
The largest salt desert in the world, the Great Rann of Kutch is a sight to behold. The long stretch of salty marsh is a treat to the eye whenever u visit it. There is no season boundation to this place. With a barren land that stretches out towards the horizon, surrounded by hills and some fascinating villages, this is definitely one of the must-see destinations in India.
The desert in Gujarat is a sight to behold
2. Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
As the only home of the Asiatic lion, you really don’t need any other reason to visit Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a must see place if you are in Gujarat. Marked as one of the largest province for Asiatic lions, the area is well protected due to the great stretch of vegetation and other species residing in this sanctuary. The king of the jungle reigns supreme here, but there are plenty of other reasons to visit Gir, hyenas, leopards and over 250 species of birds just to name a few.
Go spot the king of the jungle | Photo Credit: Shaunak Modi/Flickr
Gandhinagar was built as the capital of Gujarat, and is also home to wonderful temples. A home to a large number of renowned Universities, this place has a perfect blend of science merged with culture. Don’t miss Akshardham, built out of 6,000 tonnes of pink sandstone and the seven foot tall statue of Lord Swaminarayan; also you must visit the saffron idol at the Hanuman Temple.
The beachside town of Mandvi has long been a favourite holiday destination with its sandy beach and sparkling sea, it is a great place to go boating or even jet-ski. It is a unique town that captures the true colours of Gujarat- Kutchi culture. There is also the Maharaja’s Palace that has the best view in town.
5. Patan & Modhera
Both these towns can be easily visited from Ahmedabad within a few hours. Another example of the Solanki period architecture can be seen in the Anahilwada Patan. It is also famous for its patola sarees and one of the most exquisite step wells in India, the Rani-ki-Vav. Further south in the tiny town of Modhera is one of Gujarat’s best kept secrets, a Sun Temple that rivals the more famous Konark Temple in Odisha.
Patan is famous for an exquisite step-well, Rani-ki-Vav
One of the ancient cities of India, Dwarka was once the home of Lord Krishna. This fact makes Dwarka a pilgrimage site for the Hindus. The Dwarakadhish Temple is a popular pilgrimage site, but also remember to visit the Rukmini Devi Temple and Bet Dwarka Temple to get a complete feel for this magical city. There is also one lighthouse near the Gomti ghat. It is a must see place as it accounts to be one of the oldest lighthouses.
Visit the city of Lord Krishna, Dwarka
7. Lothal and Dholavira
With ruins that date back to the ancient Indus Valley civilisation, you can step back into history here. Lothal was once a trading hub that was connected to the Sindh region, and Dholavira is an ancient city that has now been excavated and is believed to be over 100 hectares. It is the fifth largest out of the eight Harappan era sites in India. It is one of the major archaeological sites in India. Located on the Khadir bet island in the Kutch wildlife sanctuary in Great Rann of Kutch, this place is a treat to eye and is a must visit for every visitor.
No visit to Gujarat is complete without spending some time in the bustling metropolis that is modern day Ahmedabad. Being the administrative capital of the state, Ahemadabad has headquarters of all the major government offices in Gujarat. With many historical sites including the Sabarmati Ashram and the Hathisingh Jain Temple, Ahmedabad also has some lovely lakes to relax by and of course the best shopping in the state.
Considered to be a cultural hub in Gujarat, Bhavnagar is famous for its silversmiths and poetry in arts circles, but it is the architecture that really leaves an impression here. Head up the hill towards the Takhteshwar Temple for views across the city and to the Gulf of Cambay, and visit the stunning sea-side palace. There are many other palaces to see like Nilambagh Palace, Mangalsinhji Mahal Palace, Bhav Vilas Palace and many more. A must see on the list should be Velavadar Blackbuck National Park as it is the only tropical grassland National Park recognised in India.
Devotees flock to this spiritual city, home to Somnath Temple, one of the most adorned Shiva temples. Built on the Chalukya style of architecture, it reflects the skills of Somaputra Salats. You can also pay visit to the nearby Kamnath Temple. Take a walk by the beach and just soak in the atmosphere of this divine and peaceful town.
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