Place to visit in Gujarat
The vibrant and culturally-rich state of Gujarat has an exquisite charm, which makes it one of the best tourist destinations in India. Due to its various allures, it is fairly termed as the ‘Jewel of Western India’. The list of places to visit in Gujarat has myriad of options for the visitors.
Here we gather a list of top places to visit in Gujarat. Your visit to Gujarat cannot be justified if you miss these important places in Gujarat.
So, let's check out the list -
Dwarka, Dwarkadhish Temple
Dwarka is known to be the ancient kingdom of Lord Krishna. It is also one of the seven most ancient Sapta Puri religious cities in India. This sacred city needs no introduction and is visited by a huge number of devotees. Peaceful environment and the divine air sweeps you off your feet. Dwarkadhish Temple and Bet Dwarka are the two most important attractions here. Go down towards the Gomti Ghat to enjoy a hot cup of tea, observe decorated camels and get your hands on seashell knick-knacks. Some other things that you can visit here are Jagat Mandir, Rukmini Devi temple, Okha, and Shank Narayan temple.
Situated in Ahmedabad, this is one of the biggest lakes in the city. Nagina Wadi, a summer palace is seen in the island garden, which is at the center of Kankaria Lake. Kankaria Lake was constructed by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din in the year 1451. The lake would be a natural choice of tourists as it has something to offer for all age groups. Kankaria Zoo is spread over a massive 21-acre land and it houses various animals like tigers, elephants, anaconda, python and a lot more. Parks, children’s gardens, recreational center, boat club, zoo, and a museum are the top attractions here. The children’s park has various entertainments for children such as boathouse, mirror house, planetarium, and toy house. Toy trains are available to take you around the lake. Balloon safari near Kankaria Lake attracts tourists in great numbers.
Junagadh, Mahabat ka Maqbara
Literally meaning the “Old Fort”, Junagadh is a fortified city steeped in history. Sprinkled with Mosques, temples both Hindu and Buddhist and other historical structures, Junagadh was ruled by the Babi Nawabs till India’s independence. Interestingly, the Nawab of Junagadh wanted to side with Pakistan after partition but since the majority of the populace was Hindu, Nawab had to leave his princedom and flee to Pakistan. Junagadh is mostly overlooked by tourist and serves mainly as the base to visit Gir National Park. But this city is home to some marvelous historical monuments. Mahabat ka Maqbara is one such example of exquisite architecture. You can also find an Ashokan Rock Edict here. Several Jain Temples are also located close to the city build on the tops of Girnar Mountain which could be reached by the flights upstairs.
Gir National Park
One of the most popular attractions in Gujarat, the Gir National Park is the only place in India where the mighty Asiatic Lion resides. Other wildlife species that can be spotted here include chinkara, spotted deer, sambar, wild boar, striped hyena, jackal, black knapped Indian, rusty spotted cat, and porcupine etc. Wildlife safaris are offered twice a day. With 250 species of birds, bird watching is a popular activity here. Latest statistics state that the park has 300 leopards and 523 lions. This jungle is the former hunting grounds of the Nawabs of Junagadh. The national park is close to Somnath and Junagadh. Its wealth comprises 200 insect species, 38 species of mammals, and 37 reptiles’ species.
Sardar Sarovar Dam, Narmada
Sardar Sarovar Dam is located in the district of Narmada in Gujarat. If you are planning for one day or two-day trips to Gujarat, then it is the perfect place. We are 100% sure that, you would have a memorable experience by seeing one of the largest dams of India. If you are living in Gujarat, then it is one of the best places to visit for a short trip with your family members or friends.
The Somnath temple is located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat. It is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The Somnath temple is known as the eternal shrine whose glory and fame is extraordinary. It is believed that the Somraj, the moon god built the Somnath temple out of gold. It was rebuilt by Ravana and Lord Krishna. further, it was rebuilt by king Bhimdev Solanki in stones. The temple's imposing architecture includes intricate carvings, silver doors, an impressive Nandi idol, and the central Shiva Linga. In the vast courtyard stand the massive mandapa (hall), as well as the main shrine, whose gently curved pyramidal forms tower over the whole complex.
Triveni Ghat in Somnath is one such spot in Somnath where three Rivers namely Hiran, Kapil, and Saraswati meet with the Arabian Sea. These stages of rivers where they meet and then flow together to the sea symbolize human birth, life, and death. Triveni Sangam is a very sacred Moksha Tirtha for Hindus. It is believed that a dip in the river at this holy-ghat cleanses the body and spirit of all sins committed in his life. Triveni Ghat is also known as Triveni Sangam. The popular temples Gita Mandir and Lakshminarayan temple are located on the banks of Triveni Ghat. Several ghats and changing rooms have been made to provide assistance in bathing. People who have 'Pitra Dosha' regularly come here to perform shraddha tarpan or ancestral worship. Triveni ghat in Somnath deserves special mention as a holy place as per Indian mythology since it finds mention even in epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It is considered to be the place where Lord Krishna was cremated. A temple has been dedicated to him to mark the place. This is also the place where the Chattri of Lord Krishna is constructed. Krishna is said to have visited this holy spot after being hit by an arrow.
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 salt marsh is a treat to the eye whenever you 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.
Akshardham Temple, Gandhinagar
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.
Lothal and Dholavira
With ruins that date back to the ancient Indus Valley civilization, 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 the eye and is a must visit for every visitor.
Patan and 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 Anhilwad 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.
Sabarmati Ashram, which is located at banks of the Sabarmati River, was found in 1915. This ashram was the residence of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi till 1930. During the time of independence movement, the ashram was referred to as the Satyagraha Ashram. This ashram was the inception point for famous Dandi March in 1930, due to which it has been declared as the national monument. This ashram is basically a museum, known as Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. Along with the museum, this ashram houses a library, auditorium and photo galleries depicting the life of Mahatma Gandhi. The exhibition in the museum consists of 8 life-size painting and around 250 photo-enlargements historic events of Gandhi's life. Visitors can also see the archive of letters written by Gandhi, displayed in the galleries of the museum.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
the deserted city of Champaner provides a glimpse of the kind of prosperity which must have existed at one point of time. Located in the foothills of Pavagadh, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that rests on a rocky hilltop and is dotted with mosques, forts, temples, and palaces. The architecture of many old mosques reflects a blend of Islamic and Jain tradition. You also come across various heritage monuments belonging to the 16th century including mosques, temples, fortresses, and palaces, among others. Some of the famous attractions worth checking out on your visit to Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park are Jama Masjid, Lila Gumbad ki Masjid, Lakulisa Temple, Pavagadh Fort, and Helical step-well, among the others.
The only “hill-station” in Gujarat, Saputara comes as a breath of fresh air in the otherwise hot and humid climate of the state. Sprawled beautifully on a densely forested plateau, Saputara is a hot new tourist destination, with a giant lake surrounded by resorts. It doesn’t get very cold there, but monsoons can be the best time to visit when the mist rises out of the lake and covers the nearby area. Attractions in Saputara include a boat club, an artisan village, a tribal museum, cable car and a couple of others. One of the perfect places to visit in Gujarat if you are looking to relax for a little while on an otherwise hectic trip.
Ahmedabad Old City
Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat for many centuries, was declared to be India's first UNESCO World Heritage City in 2017, beating both Delhi and Mumbai. Its walled Old City was founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century and is home to diverse Hindu, Islamic and Jain communities. The Old City is divided into numerous pols (historic residential neighborhoods with winding lanes and carved wooden homes). Plus, it has some of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture and Hindu Muslim art in India.
Palitana Jain Temple, Bhavnagar
Located atop the Shatrunjaya Hill, Palitana temple is one of the most sacred Jain temples in India and is known for it's 3000 brilliantly carved temple. It is believed that the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath, is visited this hill while his chief disciple Pundarika attained enlightenment here. According to the records, there are approximately 108 large temples and 872 small shrines with about 7000 images total that have been built over 900 years from the 11th century by the Jain community. To reach the temple, one will have to climb 3800 steps. For the elder, palanquin (palki) service are easily available. The panoramic view of Palitana unfolded itself as one progresses along to the temple. From the top of the temple, you can see the panoramic view of the Gulf of Cambay and the countryside.
Marine National Park
Isolated and off-the-beaten-track, Marine National Park lies along the coast on the way to Dwarka. It was established as a national park in 1982 and is the first of its kind in India. Yet, not many people know about it. The national park is made up of 42 islands, 33 of which are surrounded by coral reef, and is home to diverse marine and bird life. Tourists are only permitted to visit a couple of the islands though. The main one, Narara Island, is accessible by car and a long walk during low tide. Visit during the winter, and be prepared to wade through ankle deep water on the seabed.
Bhuj, Prag Mahal, and Aina Mahal Palace
Bhuj is also a major tourist attraction of Gujarat. The city can trace its roots back to the early 16th century when it was an independent state. The city is famed for being home to ancient monuments, such as the Cenotaphs Complex that houses tombs of the royal family. Other places of interest in Bhuj include the Prag Mahal, a magnificent palace, and the Aina Mahal Palace, a marvelous creation with the interiors covered in mirrors. The Kutch Museum is also worth a visit, as well as Hamirsar Lake. An ancient Shiva Temple in Kera is another place to visit in Bhuj.
Visit Gondal to see the royal side of Gujarat. Gondal, a city-state located almost 35km from Rajkot, was once ruled by a royal family whose passion for cars was legendary. That passion resulted in a wonderful collection of automobiles which are today exhibited in the museum located inside the palace premises. Like most states ruled by royalty whose main attractions are their palaces, one of Gondal’s main attraction is the Riverside Palace commissioned in 1875 by Bhatwat Singhji. This palace has since then been converted into a heritage hotel. Exploring the palace grounds, which is actually a private forest reserve, is a treat.
Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara
Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of the most beautiful royal palaces in India. The royal palace is located on J N Marg in Baroda. The palace is considered as the largest private royal residence in the world. The Royal Palace is a perfect example of India’s royal families luxurious life and royal residences. It is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Gujarat and you should not miss an opportunity to explore it.
Velavadar Blackbuck National Park
The largest population of Blackbuck, the unusual spiral-horned Indian antelope, lives at Velavadar. This untamed area is the only tropical grassland in India to be given the status of a national park. It's also home to many species of grassland birds. The Blackbuck Lodge, one of India's top jungle lodges, is an outstanding place to stay there.