Gujarat lies tucked away on the northwestern seaboard of India and shares a border with Pakistan. This is the hallowed land where the legendary Hindu God king, Krishna set up his capital at Dwarka, a port city now being excavated from its watery grave. In more recent times, Gujarat is revered as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation’, who was born at Porbandar, in 1869.
Though off the regular tourist beat, Gujarat is well worth a visit. It is home to people of diverse races and religions, ruins of ancient cities and some of the finest wild life sanctuaries in the country. Visit Gujarat to see the last of the Asiatic lions in Sasan Gir National Park and vast colonies of flamingos, pelicans, avocets and herds of wild asses in the Rann of Kutch; 4000-year old archaeological sites at Lothal and Dholavira; Mauryan Emperor Ashoka’s rock edicts near Junagadh (3rd century BC) disseminated the message of Buddha and several important Hindu and Jain pilgrim centers at Dwarka, Somnath and Palitana, beautiful mosques, mausoleums and monuments and the oldest sacred fire of the Parsi community in India at Udvada.
To make your visit to Gujarat, truly memorable you could pick up excellent textiles & handicrafts for yourself and let your hair down at one of the many beaches in the state. The incredible diversity and rich cultural heritage of Gujarat is highlighted in some 2000 Festivals and 1500 Fairs held each year! Over two hundred of these are on major festive occasions, rooted in religion and attracting thousands of people – and colourful tribal and rural folk dressed in their traditional finery. So plan your visit to coincide with at least one of them and see Gujarat in all its hues.
Best Time of Visit:
- Gujarat is fairly comfortable for travel almost the whole year round unless you are heading towards the Thar Desert or the Rann of Kutch. Those areas have impressively high summer temperatures and pretty cold winters. But undoubtedly the very best time to visit most of Gujarat is between October and March.
Min Days Required: 4 days
Places of Interest:
- Ahemdabad - Kankaria, Sabarmati Ashram, Calico Museum of Textiles, Sidi Bashir Mosque
- Jamnagar - Marine National Park, Dwarkadhish Temple, Khidjadiya Bird Sanctuary
- Gandhinagar – Indroda National Park, Swaminarayan Akshardham, Blackbuck National Park
- Rajkot – Lal Pari Lake, Science Museum, Watson Museum
- Surat – Ambika Niketan Temple, Iskcon Temple, Sarthana National Park
- Kutch – Must visit during the Rann Festival
- The Tropic of Cancer passes through the northern border of the state, the main reason why areas of Gujarat are either very hot or cold.
- The climate in Gujarat ranges from humid in the coastal regions to extreme in the interiors. However, the rigors of the climatic extremes are softened by the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay) in the west and the forest covered hilly region in the east and southeast.
- Hot summers and mild winters is the usual weather pattern, though the vast open spaces in the desert have pretty cold winter nights.
- In the Rann of Kutch, the summers tend to be extremely hot and winters equally cold. The coastal regions and the eastern belt of Gujarat experience a mild pleasant climate with moderate rainfall during the monsoons.
Things to carry:
- Cotton outfits, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion should be carried while on your tour to Gujarat.
- Appropriate clothing while visiting religious places
- A light jacket if you’re traveling during the winter
How to get there:
- Gujarat boasts of the best roads and highways in Western India. Well-sprung two and four lane highways network the state linking it to other parts of the nation.
- Driving into the state is a pleasure and you could do it from different directions.
- The Gujarat state transport corporation runs bus services to all the places in Gujarat and to the neighboring states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
- Buses span the gamut from comfortable air- conditioned coaches owned by private operators to rattle traps that shake and shudder their way to their destinations.
- Gujarat has more domestic airports than most states of India put together, at Ahmadabad, Surat, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Vadodara, Keshod, Kandla, Rajkot and Bhuj. Different domestic airlines fly daily to Ahmadabad, linking it to the main metros of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
- The towns and cities of Gujarat are networked to other destinations in the country by mail, express and superfast trains run by the Indian railways. Superfast trains connect Ahmadabad to Delhi and Mumbai.