(Last Updated on : 13/06/2013)
Museums and several others historical buildings will be a part of the leisure tourism in Gujarat.
The right place to know more about the rural heritage of Gujarat is the Shreyas Folk Museum in Ambavadi and the Tribal Museum
on Ashram Road. Tattoos and kites carry stylized folk designs too.
is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi
. Needless to say that he was the greatest nationalist leader that India has ever seen. Hridey Kunj, Mahatma Gandhi`s Ashram at Sabarmati is a set of austere yet beautiful buildings nestling amidst mango trees. The walls of this ashram tell tales of nationalist struggles. The museum, that was added later, is stunningly simple and a fitting tribute to the great man. Designed by Charles Correa, a well-known Indian architect, it displays Gandhi s spectacles, spinning wheel, sandals, photographs, and cloth spun by him as part of the movement for Swadeshi.
is famous as the birthplace of Gandhi. Travellers can check out his ancestral home. With its small rooms, trellised windows and carved balconies, niches in the walls for kerosene lamps, the house has an air of peace and tranquillity.
Adalaj Vava, a 15th-century step-well, an architectural delight with its geometric and floral patterns on the stone pillars and lintels that line the steps that lead down to the rectangular well.
Apart from these there is the Kutch Museum. It has the largest collection of Kshatrapa (Indo-Scythian) inscriptions. The museum also has a fine collection of coins and jewellery, apart from gold and enamel work, textiles, woodwork, old utensils, arms and accoutrements and a section on the communities unique to Kaccha.
The Calico Museum of Textiles in Shahibag is located in the Sarabhai Foundation. The Museum has an exquisite collection of fabrics from all over India. Rich brocades and fine embroideries from Kashmir, Gujarat and the southern states are laid out with aesthetic simplicity.
Other place of interest in Gujarat is Bhuj where one can explore the Aina Mahal has walls of marble covered with minors separated by gilded ornaments with shades of Venetian glass. This place is also famous for its handicrafts. Hand block printing and the techniques of tying and dyeing fabric known as bandhani can be seen in tiny shops.
Village Tourism in Gujarat
Village Tourism in Gujarat will comprise of 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 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.
For the less intrepid there is Bhujodi. It is located 10 km short of Bhuj. It 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.
Tribal Tourism in Gujarat: In the hinterland of Vadodara lies the exclusively tribal belt of Gujarat with its tribal architecture and lifestyle untouched by modernity.
Shopping in Gujarat
Khanmasa Bazaar is a sprawling market 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. Some of the most exquisitely carved wooden balconies, windows and doorways of old havelis stand in Doshiwada-ni-Pol. Ahmedabad is also popular for utensils.
Visiting Information on Gujarat
The cities of Gujarat are well linked by rail, road and airways. As they say `While in Rome do as Romans do`; hence 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 travelers 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 one ngsters. This cultural parallelism is typical of Gujarat.