Gujarat, also known as ‘The Land of Legends’, is located on the country’s western coast. The state stretches out into the Arabian Sea, with a hint of the desert. It is a popular tourist destination and is famous for scenic landscapes, lip smacking cuisines, rich culture and vibrant heritage.
Gujarat is the home to the Asiatic Lions and Indian Wild Ass. It is famous for the white desert of Rann of Kutch, many religious sites, archaeological monuments and handicrafts.
So, if you are planning a vacation to the incredible ‘Vibrant Gujarat’, note down the top 20 places that shouldn’t be missed when in the splendid state and just experience the colourful paradise.
Rann of Kutch – The White Desert
Designated as world heritage site, Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh in the Thar Desert. It is the largest salt desert in the world. Amazing place to experience especially on a full moon night, the vast expanse of white salt land will leave you awestruck. Great Rann of Kutch is the absolute beauty of nothingness.
Dholavira – A Harappan site
It is an amazing archaeological site associated with the Indus Valley Civilization. It is an ancient wonder having Fossil Park, Museum. A very unique place, an island surrounded by salt. For history buffs it’s a must visit. Another famous attraction is its sanctuary, a resource for bird watchers. One can witness thousands of migratory birds including some of the world’s rare species.
It is a little sea side town in Kutch. For some relaxation and fun, Mandvi beach should be on everyone’s list who are on trip to Gujarat. It is a Windmill Beach as the beach has windmills on the shore. It’s a unique combination of sea shore and a desert nearby. Second attraction is the Vijay Vilas Palace, with marvellous Rajput architecture with royal retreat. A beautifully made summer palace, feels cool as the surroundings are very green along with a lovely view of the sea from the palace.
The westernmost city of India, Bhuj is famous for its palaces, temples and also has the oldest museum of Gujarat. It is one of the historical sites in India and a paradise where tourist can visit to attractions like Aina Mahal, bell tower Parag Mahal, Kutch museum and Hamirsar Lake. It is also renowned for fascinating handicrafts.
Junagadh city lies near the Girnar hills, part of the Kathiawar peninsula. It’s a hidden gem with attractions like Mahabat Maqbara Palace, Uparkot Fort and Dattatreya Temple. Junagadh is not only famous among history lovers but also a place worth to be visit by nature lovers.
Girnar is a group of mountains. Mt. Girnar is the highest point in Gujarat, and at the peak there is Dattatreya temple. Datar peak is considered to be sacred by both Hindus and Muslims. It an important pilgrimage site for the Jains also as there are temples of Jain community there such as the Neminath temple and the Meravasi temple. Girnar parvat is older than the Himalayas and has an extremely rich history.
Gir National Park
Gir forest national park is a wildlife sanctuary, established to protect Asiatic lions. Here, the jungle is very well preserved. Apart from asiatic lions, many other red species can be seen. The place is remote but accessible. The experience of jungle safari in Gir national park is highly recommended.
The Somnath temple is located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval. It is the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is an important pilgrimage spot. The majestic temple is intricately carved from yellow sandstone. Here, one can reach another world of spirituality and meditation. The temple beside Arabian Sea is attractive and a must visit.
Dwarika is an ancient city of Gujarat. It is one of the Chardhams, and one of the Sapta puri. This town has remarkable importance in Hindu mythology, believed to be the ancient kingdom of Krishna. The Dwarkadhish temple is the main reason for visiting the city along with some fine stretches of beach. Nageshwar jyotirlinga temple, one of the 12 jyotirlingas is also located in the city.
It is the largest city of Gujarat, situated on the banks of Sabarmati river. It has been declared as the first heritage city by UNESCO. Top sightseeing places in Ahmedabad are Swaminarayana Temple, Sabarmati Ashram, Dada Hari Wav, Auto World Vintage Car Museum, The Adalaj Stepwell and Kankaria Lake. Nestled in the heart of Gujarat, this mesmerising city should not be missed while on the tour to Gujarat.
Modhera – Sun temple
The sun temple, dedicated to the solar deity is located at Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat. Situated on the banks of the river Pushpavati. This is an ancient temple, noted for its elaborate sculptures and sacred reservoir. Architecture of the temple is extra ordinary and without any doubt a must visit. The place away from the hustle – bustle of city life, provides you with a sense of calm.
Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary
Thol lake is near Thol village of Mehsana district. It is a fresh water lake surrounded by marshes. It is a habitat of 150 species of birds, of them about 60% are water birds. Two most prominent of birds recorded in the sanctuary are flamingoes and sarus crane. For bird lovers and photographers, it’s a paradise. One can feel the true colours of nature here.
It is a lovely hill town in Sahyadris. It is situated on a plateau in the Dang forest. Saputara is the only hill station of Gujarat. Top attractions are Saputara Lake, Gira waterfalls, Saputara Tribal Museum. The charming hill station is the ideal romantic getaway for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Full of lush surroundings and heaving mountains, the hill station is small but nice for a calm and serene experience.
Vadodara city is located on the banks of the Vishwamitra river. Vadodara is a famous city that oozes architectural brilliance. It is famed for its palaces, parks, temples and museums. Top sights in Vadodara are Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Sayaji Baug Zoo, Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery, Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, EME temple, and many more.
Champaner – Pavagadh Archaeological Park
The ancient city of Champaner is UNESCO World heritage site. It is located in Panchmahal district. There are many historical monuments and palaces. The landscape of the park includes archaeological, historic chalcolithic sites. There are mosques, tombs and temples – making it an important pilgrimage site. The place is a concentration of largely unexcavated properties cradled in an impressive landscape.
Rani Ki Vav – Patan
Rani ki Vav is situated in the town of Patan. It is a historical landmark, a stepwell with elaborate carvings and pillars. This site is also the UNESCO archaeological World Heritage Site. The intricate art is overwhelming. An exceptional craft work of ancient time can be witnessed here. The surroundings are lush green. It is an amazing location truly promoting old heritage of Gujarat.
Lothal is located between the Sabarmati river and it’s tributary Bhogavo. It is a historic ruins of an Indus Valley civilisation. Here, one can get an insight into our hoary past. The location has local museum which is a must visit. Excavations are very well preserved here, to witness the change happened in the sea level.
Marine National Park
Marine national park is situated in the Gulf of Kutch near Jamnagar. It is a nature sanctuary offering beach walks and snorkeling among coral reefs & diverse marine life. It is beautiful, knowledgeable and a rare national park where one see marine ecosystem without going underwater. The park also promises some extraordinary sightings of exotic birds. The place is mind blowing and should not be missed at any cost.
Diu is a spot for beach lovers. It is an island situated near the port of Veraval. It is famous for its pristine beauty with swaying palm trees all around. Nagoa beach, Naida caves, Diu fort, Gangeshwar Mahadev temple, Ghogla beach are some must visit top sights of Diu. Incredible Diu is a perfect holiday destination, especially for those who fancies Portuguese culture and architecture.
The Palitana temples – Shatrunjaya
Shetrunjaya are hills located by the city of Palitana, Bhavnagar. They are situated on the Shetrunji River. The Palitana temples of Jainism makes it one of the most sacred place. It’s is the world’s largest Temple complex. This sacred site on a hill top features architecturally notable, marble – carved Jain temples.