Apart from being one of the most industrialised regions in India, Gujarat is also a major tourist hub of the nation. Being an ultimate combination of nature, history, and religions monuments, Gujarat forms one of the most important tourist destinations in the Indian subcontinent.
Most attractive tourist spots in Gujarat
Somnath temple: It is an important pilgrimage destination. Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (shrines of Lord Shiva worshipped as a linga). Its seaside location is magical and the intricate carvings of its sandstone architecture are superb with its fascinating history. The temple was ransacked by Islamic invaders, and rebuilt numerous times, with the final reconstruction taking place after India achieved independence. The evening ‘Light and Sound Show’ at Somnath is worth seeing. It is located in southwest Gujarat.
Bhuj: It is the capital of Kutch region. It offers an eclectic combination of bazaars and historic buildings with atmospheric architecture dating back to the 17th century. Highlights include old royal palaces in the Darbargadh walled complex. Sadly, an earthquake caused widespread destruction in Bhuj in 2001. Its location is north-west Gujarat.
Great Rann of Kutch: It is the world’s largest salt desert, measuring 16,000 square kilometres. What makes it more amazing is that it is underwater during the main monsoon season. For the remaining eight months of the year, it is an enormous stretch of packed white salt. Full-moon nights are the best time to see it. A moonlight camel safari is magical. The tourist season runs until March every year. It is in far northwest Gujarat
Gir National Park: It is one of the top 5 Parks to see wildlife in India. It is the only place in the world where the Asiatic lion can now be found. There is plenty of other wildlife including 300 types of birds. It is located in south-west Gujarat.
Sasan Giri: It is a world-famous lion sanctuary situated at the base of the Sourashtra peninsula in the western region of Gujarat. To the north and we are the Gir hills. The Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary Project started in 1972.
Wild Ass Sanctuary: Wild Ass Sanctuary, the home to the Indian wild ass, is the largest wildlife sanctuary of its type in India. It is spread over almost 5,000 square kilometres. It is located in northern Gujarat, also known as the Little Rann of Kutch. One of the best times to visit is just after the monsoon.
Other destinations of the tourists in Gujarat
Beaches in Gujarat: Gujarat has one of the longest coastlines in India. Sprinkled with enthralling beach resorts, shore temples and blue lagoons, Gujarat provides some of the finest stretches of beaches. Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach is one of them. The crystal clear water of the sea is the perfect place for swimming.
Ahmedabad: Having immense historical significance related to its association with Mahatma Gandhi, Ahmedabad is one of the most important cities in Gujarat. Thronged by visitors from different parts of the country, this famous tourist destination is popular for its unique architecture which is a vibrant culmination of Islamic and Hindu styles. Sabarmati Ashram (Mahatma Gandhi’s home) is visited by a lot of tourists throughout the year.
Gandhinagar: It is the capital of Gujarat and offers numerous tourist sites like the Akshardham, Shamlaji, Sarita Udyan, Deer Park, Botanical Garden and the shopping bazaars.
Jamnagar: It is another gem in the crown of Gujarat. Offering some of the finest specimens of architecture in the form of forts, palaces and temples of Jamnagar never cease to allure its visitors. Some of the attractive tourist spots here are Kotha Bastion, Lakhota Fort, Jamsaheb Ranjit Singhji’s palace, Ravimal Lake, Adinath Mandir, Shantinath Mandir, etc.
Vadodara: It is known as the cultural capital of Gujarat. It is reputed for its magnificent gardens, wonderful fine arts and folk dances. Some of the popular tourist spots in Vadodara are Baroda Museum and Art Gallery, Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Laxmi Vilas Palace, EME temple, etc.
Champaner: It is nestled in the foothills of the Pavagadh hills in Gujarat, and it is reputed as the oldest rock formation in India. It serves as an archaeologist’s delight. The other important spot in this town is the Jama Masjid which is an epitome of Indo-Islamic style of architecture.
Porbandar: It is mostly frequented by pilgrims and tourists as it is home to some of the finest sacred shrines as well as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.
Anand: Anand city of Gujarat is popularly known as the ‘Milk Capital of India’. It is well known for the renowned ‘Amul’ dairy and its ‘Milk (White) Revolution’.
Bhavnagar: It is a principal trading port for the cotton materials in Gujarat. The port was established in 1743.
Junagadh: It is located at the base of the picturesque Girnar Hill. It is the point of departure for the tourists to the Gir Forest. It is quite a fascinating town with a number of temples and old buildings.
Rajkot: It owns the glory of being once the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra. Formerly it was a British Government Headquarters as well. It is the place where Mahatma Gandhi had spent the early years of his life. Here you can visit the Gandhi family home, the Kaba Gandhi no Delo. The house now holds a permanent exhibition of Gandhiji’s belongings.
So, a tourist can feel very happy visiting the tourist spots in Gujarat, one of the Western States of India.