(Last Updated on : 21/01/2010)
Gujarat, the western most state in India, presents its tourists with diverse places of interest. This state is noted for its temples which attract millions of devotees all the year round. There are also quite a few places of historical importance which are much visited by the tourists. Ahmedabad, the capital city of Gujarat offers a wide array of tourist destinations. Wild life and beaches in Gujarat are an integral part of its tourism. Village tourism can prove to be a pretty interesting experience for enthusiastic visitors. With this wide range of most spectacular attractions, along with a vibrant culture and rich heritage, Gujarat is one of the most favourite holiday spots for the tourists. The Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited offers an all-embracing travel services to visitors to the state.
Pilgrimage Tourism in Gujara
Pilgrimage tour in Gujarat
has shown a phenomenal growth from its distant past. Today, the Gujarat tourism offers a wide array of tourist destination that attracts religious pilgrims from all over the world. Gujarat is dotted with temples and mosques hence this state is an important pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Muslims. Akshardham temple
located in the Gandhinagar
city of Gujarat is one of the renowned religious places of the state. Religious tourists from all across the country come here to offer their prayer. The Ambaji temple
, in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat is dedicated to Ambe Mata - the Mother Goddess, and is a popular pilgrim place for Hindus. Ambaji temple is also regarded as one of the Shakti Peethas in India. Devotees in large numbers throng the Ambaji Temple during Purnima
fairs held, on the full moon day, in the months of Kartika
and Bhadrapad. The Somnath temple
in Gujarat is also a major destination for pilgrims. The city of Dwarka
in Gujarat, dedicated to Lord Krishna
, is a place of great religious significance. Legend has it that Krishna had spent nearly hundred years of his life in Dwarka. The Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited, set up in 1975, provides comprehensive travel services to visitors to the state. During Janmashtami
, this place is flooded with pilgrims from every corner of India. Ahmedabad
, the capital city of Gujarat, has some of the most amazing mosques. The Sidi Sayed Mosque in Ahmedabad is the most predominant shrine for the Muslim devotees in Gujarat. It is a much visited religious site for people from all over the country. The Juma Masjid in Ahmedabad is another coveted place for the pilgrim tourists. During Fridays the mosque is flooded with devotees who come here for the prayer ceremony. There are also few churches and Jain temples in the state of Gujarat. Apart from the religious significance, these holy places are noteworthy for their splendid architecture.
Leisure Tourism in Gujarat
The land of Gujarat is steeped in history and is thus dotted with some of the most exquisite historical monuments. Gujarat has been a seat of power to a number of kingdoms and dynasties and as a result there is a lot to offer to the tourists who come here for historical interest. The architectural fervour and historical backdrop of the palaces and forts in Gujarat generate immense interest among the tourists. Pawagadh Fort in Gujarat is an excellent historical testimonial which is well-known all over the region for its architectural refinement. Situated on top of a hill, this fort draws the attention of numerous tourists visiting Gujarat. The Uparkot Fort of Gujarat is a medieval period historical monument which is endowed with well distinct battle stations in the form of defenses all around the Fort. The fort is indeed an architectural delight for the tourists. Both in terms of exquisiteness and history, the Dabhoi Fort in Gujarat is a spectacle to behold. Palaces in Gujarat are also popular visiting destinations among the tourists. The Nazar Bagh Palace located in Gujarat is of immense historical importance and a much sought after site for the tourists. Constructed in 1721A.D, this palace, at present, houses royal gold and silver guns with heavy metallic barrels. The Kusum Vilas Palace is also an interesting tourist destination. The picturesque and historically eminent Kusum Vilas Palace, presents a golden prospect to the tourists to explore and discover the historical niches of Gujarat, located in India. Hriday Kunj is one of the chief historical sites in Gujarat as it was here that Mahatma Gandhi
made his first move with respect to Satyagraha and freedom struggle for the country. The monuments in Gujarat are a significant part of the tourism in Gujarat. Museums in Gujarat are the best places to understand the long history of struggle and turbulence of the state. There are many museums and galleries in Gujarat that accommodates the rich ethnicity and legacy of this place. The City Museum in Ahmedabad in Gujarat is a major tourist attraction. Beaches in Gujarat are quite an inseparable part of its tourism. The Somnath Veraval beach offers an astounding view for the visitors. The most astonishing site from here is the fishing port, where thousands of trawlers and country expertise can be seen unloading their catch. One of the finest beaches in Gujarat shoreline is the Mandvi beach. The beach is crowded by tourists as it is an ideal place to walk and the water is perfect for swimming. A visit to the Gujarat beaches can prove to be a different experience all together. The Saputara hill station is a favourite destination for the leisure tourists. The hill station is endowed with several gardens, striking locations and a cool refreshing climate even in the hot summer months making it an ideal getaway. The Wilson hill station is another place to unwind for the visitors. The best panoramic vision of the nearby hills as well as the rich flora and fauna can be obtained from this picturesque hill station. The hill stations of Gujarat are also ideal destinations for the adventure tourists.
Nature Tourism in Gujarat
The Gir National Park
and wild life sanctuary in Gujarat is a nature lover`s paradise. Established in the year 1965, the Gir forest area was declared as a National park. This National park is renowned for Asiatic Lions
and is regarded as one of the most protected areas in Asia. The forest area of Gir and its lions were acknowledged as "protected" in the early 1900s by the then Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh. Wild life journey of a nature lover is incomplete without a visit to the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. There are about three hundred Lions in this sanctuary. These Asiatic Lions in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary draw a large number of tourists as well as wildlife devotees all through the year. Apart from lions, the other species of animals in this forest are Leopard
, Spotted Deer, Gazelle, Langur, Jackal, Chinkara, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Hares and Hyena. The Lion Jeep safari is the most interesting part of the tour to this sanctuary. The Black buck national park, in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, mainly includes, Black buck, wolves, lesser Floricans, wild foxes and jungle cats. During the monsoon and in the winter it is the ideal time for tourist to visit this park. The Marine national park
, in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat, is another must visit destination for the nature tourists. Gardens in Gujarat are also an important part of its tourism. There are some stunning gardens in Gandhinagar in Gujarat, which enhance the beauty of the city. The pleasant ambiance and the greenery all around attract people of all age group. The gardens also serve as picnic spots for visitors. Gardens in Rajkot in Gujarat are a spectacular place for tourists. The main Gardens in Rajkot are the Jubilee Garden and the Aji Dam Garden. Amusement parks and zoos boost the popularity of these scenic gardens.
Village Tourism in Gujarat
Village tourism in Gujarat will comprise a trip to the communities that are engaged in village handicrafts. A two-hour bus or taxi ride from the centre of Bhuj to Hodka or Dhorodo in the Rann area will take one to a place known as Banni. The villages consist of round mud huts or `bhungas` with a single central support pole, and a thatched or tiled roof. The women here have exquisite personal collections of embroidered quilts and garments. Some are also put up for sale. Walls, shelves, grain containers and cupboards in mud display decorative designs washed with lime paste and embedded with mirrors that have shimmering reflections when held up against light. The Bhujodi village located tem kilometers short of Bhuj displays the lifestyle of a weaving community. It is a small village with narrow winding lanes, and a pit-loom. Visitors can buy brilliantly woven blankets, shawls and woolen stoles decorated with bandhani designs from the weavers.
Visiting Information on Gujarat
How to Reach Gujarat
: The international airport of Gujarat is located at Ahmedabad. From here one can avail several flights to and from Mumbai
and other Indian metropolitan cities. Regular flights to London, New York, Chicago and Dubai are also available from here.
: There are trains to and from Mumbai and New Delhi at regular intervals going to the cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara
: The state of Gujarat is well connected with the neighbouring states through the National Highways.
Khanmasa Bazaar is a sprawling market in Gujarat and the right place to find out some of the preposterous wares for any collector enterprising enough to wander on the dusty banks. Surat is one of the finest places for shopping. From sarees to other dress materials, it is the perfect place to buy the exquisite garments at a cheap price. Today it is also the centre of the diamond cutting and zari (gold thread) industry. On one side are the crowded streets leading to Manek Chowk, Ahmedabad where rows of traders dealing in silver jewellery or printed fabrics lean against spotless white bolster-pillows, waiting for customers. Ahmedabad is also popular for utensils. While one is in Gujarat they can try out the traditional Gujarati dishes at the restaurants. As far as accommodation is concerned there would be no problem. There are both luxury and budget hotels. As the travellers tour the state he will come across a group of farmers wearing heavy silver jewellery, bright turbans and shawls as well as the quintessential urban youngsters. This cultural parallelism is typical of Gujarat.