The state of Gujarat is in the Western India region of India. Lothal, near Ahmedabad and Dholavira. Near Kutch are sites of the Harappan (Indus) civilisation, which is over 4000 years old. Gujarat is known for the Stepped Wells, Jain Temples, Asiatic Lion and it's business-oriented people.
It contains the three biggest cities of Gujarat state - Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodra.
It was never incorporated into British India. Instead it survived as more than 200 princely states until Independence. It consists of the districts of Surendranagar, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Rajkot, Junagadh, Jamnagar and Porbandar.
The largest district in the state and the largest district of the country. The main city is Bhuj.
Below is a selection of eight of Gujarat's most populated cities. Other cities can be found under their specific regions.
- Gandhinagar — administrative capital of Gujarat, city of Akshardham Temple and the second planned Green City
- Ahmedabad — Manchester of the East, commercial capital of Gujarat, home of Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram and the world’s finest textile museum
- Bhavnagar — busy industrial centre, base for journeys to nearby sites
- Jamnagar — home to the world’s largest Grass-Root Refinery complex
- Junagadh — city of ancient Ashokan Stone Edicts
- Rajkot — former capital of the state of Saraushtra
- Surat — Diamond City, famous for mouth watering Surati food
- Vadodara — Cultured City, Oxford of Gujarat
- Pirotan Island
- Gir Forest National Park
- Dholavira - Harappan (Indus) Civilization Site.
- White Desert of Kutch - A desert created by nature with Salty soil in Kutchh district.
- Taranga Hills - Wildlife Sanctuary and Jain Pilgrimage Center
- Polo Forest - Wildlife Sanctuary and Archeological Site
- Champaner - UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Lothal - Well planed Harappan (Indus) Civilization Port.
- Rani ni Vav - A famous stepwell (1304 AD.)
- The Sun Temple Modhera – 1000 years old famous Sun Temple.
- The Somanath- Glory of the Somnath temple attracted Islamic looter (Mahmud of Ghazni). That time temple is so wealthy that it had 1000 priest and 300 musicians. The temple is located on beach of Arabian Sea.
- The Dwarka- The Dwarka is believed to have been built by Lord Krishna himself. The temple must have been erected during the period of Mughal Emperor, Akbar.
Gujarat is a dazzlingly diverse state that shakes up the know-it-all Indophile, and reveals treasures hidden from the tourist hordes. Gujaratis are famous for their business sense and entrepreneurship, both within India as well as abroad. Encounter an Indian entrepreneur anywhere, from Wall Street to Wellington, and there’s a good chance they hail from this wealthy, resourceful state. There are many significant sites of God Krishna’s life lie along the coast of Saurashtra.The geographic diversity and strategic location has made Gujarat home to an incredible diversity of people. With 20% of the country's total industrial output, it is the most industrialized state in Republic of India.
About 89% of the population of Gujarat are Hindu. Muslims account for 9% and Jains 1% of the population. Most of the Gujarati people are strict “vegetarians”. Amongst Hindus, Lord Swaminarayan is famously worshipped throughout Gujarat. Since Gujarat being a heavily industrialized state of India, attracts lots of outsiders from various parts of India.
The Winters are mild, pleasant, and dry with average daytime temperatures around 29 °C (83 °F) and nights around 12 °C (53 °F) with 100 percent sunny days and clear nights. The Summers are extremely hot and dry with day temperatures around 46 °C (115 °F) and at night no lower than 34 °C (90 °F) with sunshine. The time just before the Monsoon, the temperature are similar to Summer but now there is high humidity which makes things feel hotter. Relief comes when the monsoon season starts around mid June. The day temperatures are lower to around 38 °C (100 °F) but humidity is very high and nights are around 27 °C (80 °F).
Winter (October to March) is the best time to travel in Gujarat.
Gujarati is the language spoken here, although Hindi is widely understood. In main cities, English is widely known.
Ahmedabad is the only International Airport in Gujarat with regular flights to and from London, New York, Chicago, Singapore, Muscat, Kuwait, Doha Qatar, Sharjah and Dubai.Domestically, travellers can be coming from hubs such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Indore, Kolkata. Flights into smaller airports of Baroda, Bhavnagar Bhuj, Diu, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Keshod, Kandla, Surat and Rajkot will connect through Mumbai.
The route you take depends on where you're coming from:
- From Delhi Agra, Jaipur Jodhpur, and from other place of North India: Take the National Highway 8 (NH8).
- From Mumbai and from other place of North India: Take the National Highway 8 (NH8).
- From Nagpur and from other part of Vidarbh: Take the National Highway 6 (NH6).
- From Indore Bhopal and from other part of Central India: Take the National Highway 59 (NH59).
Gujarat has 1,572 Km National Highway Network.
India has very big rail network. Indian Rail has total 63,140 kilometres rail track network in India and 5,890 km rail network in Gujarat.
There is only one flight between cites of the state which is between Bhavnagar and Surat.
Most people in Gujarat travel by private buses or by Taxi. (These are excellent modes of transport as the roads are among the best in India. Check In Hotel for Travel Agent for private buses.
Gujarat is famous for its punctual public transport by state owned buses. The buses even connect to the remote villages of Kutch and north Gujarat. The major cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Baroda and Bhavnagar are connected even by luxury and a/c buses from State owned GSRTC.
Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Surendranagar, Porbandar, Kandla are Big Station to access Indian Rail Network.
- Sabarmati Ashram, is located at Ashram Road, Ahmedabad . Entry is Free
Fairs & Festivals
- Government Sponsored and organized
- The Modhera Dance Festival - The three day Modhera Dance Festival is held every year during the third week end of January after the conclusion of Uttarayan festival. The dance festival is frequently visited by art and dance connoisseurs from all across the world. Classical and folk dancers and musicians from different states of the India exhibit their talent and flair while culture enthusiasts become part of the festival to witness this splendid event.
- The International Kite Festival - The three-four days International Kite Festival is held every year during the second/third week end of January at Ahmedabad during Uttarayan festival (14-January). Visitors come from around India for the celebration and international visitors have come from countless countries, including Japan, Italy, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, France, China, and many more.
- The Rann Utsav (desert festival) - The three day Rann Utsav is held every year during the Full moon night in the month of December at Bhuj and goes around the district with a grand finale. The festival is visited and enjoyed by more than 8000 tourists from all over the world to celebrate the mystical magic of Kutch and its diversity.
- Traditional Festival
- The Uttarayan- The one-day Uttarayan is held every year 14th January at each and every cities and villages of Gujarat. Peoples from all ages go to roof and take full enjoyment of Kite fligting for full day even in night also.
- The Navratri Festival - The ten days Navratri Festival is held roughly corresponding to dates in the Gregorian calendar in September/October at all cities and villages of Gujarat. Navarati s the dance festival of Gujarat the dance form known as ras garba. Very large group of Youth enjoy dance all nine nights.
- The Tarnetar fair - The fair is held for three days every year during the Hindu calendar dates of Bhadarva Sud - 4th, 5th and 6th (during the Gregorian calendar months Aug.-Sept). The Tarnetar fair is held 8 km from the town of Thangadh, in Surendranagar District.
- The Bhavnath Fair- The fair during Mahashivaratri is held for five days commencing from the Hindu calendar date of Magh Vad 11, during the Gregorian months of February-March. The Bhavnath Fair is held at the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple near Junagadh.
- Rath Yatra - Rath Yatra is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Ahmedabad , Bhavnagar and rest of India during the months of June (Rainy Season).
- The Vautha Fair - This fair is held during Kartika Purnima, the full moon night of the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar at Dholka near Ahmedabad, corresponding roughly to the month of November. It lasts for five days.
- International Tourist Route (4 Day / 3 Night) - Start from Ahmedabad- Day one – Mahatma Gandhi Ashram - Calico Museum of Textiles – Night (Ahmedabad or Utelia Palace Hotel or Velavadar National Park gust house) – Day Two - Velavadar National Park - Palitana – Night (Bhavnagar or Diu) – Day Three - Relax on beaches and resorts of Diu or The Somnath temple – Junagadh –Night (Junagadh or Rajkot or Rann Riders Resort) – Day Four - Rann Riders Resort or Shopping or Exit for Rajasthan or Delhi or Mumbai.
- Buddhist Route (4 Day / 3 Night) - Start from Bhavnagar – Day one - Buddhist Caves at Talaja - Night (Junagadh) – Day two - Ashoka Rock Edicts, Buddhist Caves at Junagadh and Upperkot Fort – Night (Bhuj) - Day three - Buddhist caves in Siyot village via Lakhpat - Night (Bhuj)- Day Four - Shopping at [Ahmedabad and/or Exit for Rajasthan or Delhi or Mumbai]].
- Travel by Royal Orient Train : The Royal Orient train is one of the world's most exotic trains. The journey by the Royal orient train is a rare delight. It is an experience that takes you back to the times of Rajas and Maharajas. You get to explore two of the most fascinating and culturally rich states of India, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The train travel 7 days through Delhi - Chittaurgarh - Udaipur - Junagarh - Dilwara - Palitana - Ahmedabad - Jaipur and back to Delhi
- Travel by man driven Boat in Nal Sarovar (lake) Bird Sanctuary spread over 120 sq.kms to see over 250 species of migrated birds from Siberia and Europe. Best time to visit Nal Sarovar is Between November and February. In April Birds start to leave the lake.
- Safari in Blackbuck National Park to see group of jumping Black Bucks from every parts of the park. There is no wild animal in park, it is also fun to trail or Camping in park.
- Hiking on the Shatrunjaya hill and biking on Hastagiri to see devotion of Jain. There are in total 863 amazing Marble temples (largest cluster of temples in India) on Shatrunjaya hill
- Safari in Gir Forest National Park to see Remaining Asiatic Lions in the world.
- Diu is house of lots of good quality of Beach. Administratively, it is not part of Gujarat, so every one can get good quality alcohol.
- Stay at Rann Riders Resort to see and feel typical rann village life, music and culture. Resort also offer Camel safari to Wild Ass Sanctuary in the little rann of Kutch. It is very important destination of Rural tourism in Gujarat.
- Beautiful Gujarati and Kutchhy Handicraft from State government promoted Gujarati Handicraft Development Corporation’s Show rooms
Gujarat is heaven for vegetarian (Lacto-vegetarian) people. Approx. 80% people of Gujarat eat vegetarian foods only. It is very famous for variety of vegetarian and quality food. There are hundreds of Lacto - vegetarian foods verities are offered across Gujarat. Rotli (Chapati/Puri) , Shaak (Subzi/Vegetables/Curries), Mithai (Sweets), Rice and Dal are parts of Standard Gujarati Thali (Meal) in Restaurants. It might be little difficult to find non-vegetarian restaurant in Gujarat. International travellers can find multi-cuisine restaurants serving global varieties.
Alcohol is forbidden in Gujarat. Foreign tourists are partly exempted from this restriction. Drinking in public is strictly prohibited. However, if you are going to stay longer in Gujarat, you may apply for an alcohol permit. Ask how to do it in your hotel or the place where you stay.
Gujarat is a relatively safe state. To bring, buy or drink alcohol is forbidden in Gujarat. However foreign tourist can buy and drink in a few five-star hotels like the Taj and Courtyard by Marriott.
Also see Stay Safe in India.