Gujarat is the 6th largest state in India. It is one of the most popular tourist regions in the country and was visited by 20 million domestic and international tourists in 2010-11. Gujarat is incredible in sense of culture, history, wildlife conservation, archeology, festivals and food.
Here we have a list of top 8 attractions of Gujarat that will delight you! Image Source
Auto World Vintage Car Museum
Open-air museum showcasing high-end vintage automobiles, carriages, motorcycles & other vehicles. Auto World Vintage Car Museum in Ahmedabad is one of a best car museum in the world which houses a world-class collection of vintage cars, antique vehicles, utility vehicle, motorcycles, and buggies. Formed in the year 1927 by the General Motors India Ltd, the museum is a must visit tourist attraction in Ahmedabad.
The museum also offers the facility to drive any of the vintage cars. Visitors will have to pay Rs 500 for 3.5 km drive in any of the old cars of their choice. Every year, the museum organizes vintage car rally on a large scale in Jaipur, Mumbai, and Delhi. Hundreds of cars, which are preserved for decades by the connoisseur, are displayed in the rally.
YouTube link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53uQLP1_Syw
Rani Ki Vav, Patan
Rani (Queen) Udayamati commissioned this vav or step well, in 1063 in the memory of her husband King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty. The vav was later flooded by the nearby Saraswati river and silted over until the late 1980s, when it was excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India, with the carvings found in pristine condition. Rani Ki Vav is among the finest step wells in India, and one of the most famous legacies of the ancient capital city.
The steps begin at ground level, leading you down through the cool air through several pillared pavilions to reach the deep well below. There are more than 800 elaborate sculptures among seven galleries. The central theme is the Dasavataras, or ten incarnations of Vishnu, including Buddha. The avatars are accompanied by sadhus, brahmins, and apsaras (celestial dancers), painting their lips and adorning themselves. At water level you come to a carving of Sheshashayi-Vishnu, in which Vishnu reclines on the thousand-hooded serpent Shesha, where it is said he rests in the infinity between ages.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IsUXQ8xdGA
The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir and occasionally spelled Dwarakadheesh, is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Krishna, who is worshiped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or ‘King of Dwarka’. The main shrine of the 5-storied building, supported by 72 pillars, is known as Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir, archaeological findings suggest it to be 2,200 – 2,000 years old. Temple was enlarged in the 15th- 16th century.
After the 8th century Hindu theologian and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya, the temple became part of the ‘Char Dham’ pilgrim considered to be sacred place to Hindus in India. The other three include Rameswaram, Badrinath and Puri. Dwarkadhish temple is the 108th Divine Temple of Lord Vishnu on the subcontinent, the glory of Divya Pradhan is also the Holy Scriptures.
YouTube link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XMHS2gQHJE
Gir Forest National Park
The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a forest and wildlife sanctuary near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India.Besides Africa, Gir National Park in Gujarat is the only place in the world where you can spot lions roaming free in the wild.
Gir Interpretation Zone, Devaliya: Devaliya Safari Park is enclosed area of the Sanctuary that offers a good opportunity for visitors to experience a rustic beauty and wilderness of the area. The safari tour is conducted in a mini bus that takes visitors to another cross section of the Gir. Travelers can watch here a good variety of wildlife in just 20 to 30 minutes tour including Asiatic Lion.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLl6NumVG7I
Great Rann of Kutch
The Great Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India. It is about 7,505.22 square kilometers (2,897.78 sq mi) in size and is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world. This area has been inhabited by the Kutchi people.
The Government of Gujarat hosts an annual 3-month long festival during winter called the “Rann Utsav festival of the Rann” where tourists can see the various sights of the Rann. Rann Utsav gives visitors not only a chance to experience full moon on salt deserts but also get a taste of the local culture, cuisine and hospitality. Specially built local houses are also used to house tourists to give them a taste of local traditions. Many adventure clubs and travel clubs organize expeditions.
The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat.
Destroyed and reconstructed several times in the past, the present temple was reconstructed in Chaulukya style of Hindu temple architecture and completed in May 1951. The reconstruction was envisioned by Vallabhbhai Patel and was completed under K. M. Munshi, the then head of the temple trust. The temple is situated at such a place that there is no land in a straight line between Somnath seashore until Antarctica, such an inscription in Sanskrit is found on the Bāṇastambha (Sanskrit: बाणस्तम्भ, lit. arrow pillar) erected on the sea-protection wall. The Bāṇastambha mentions that it stands at a point on the Indian landmass that is the first point on land in the north to the South Pole at that particular longitude.
YouTube link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlBQNMJuC6I
Sabarmati Ashram / Mahatma Gandhi’s Home
Sabarmati Ashram (also known as Gandhi Ashram, Harijan Ashram, or Satyagraha Ashram) is located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, adjoining the Ashram Road, on the banks of the River Sabarmati, four miles from the town hall. This was one of the residences of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, generally called Mahatma Gandhi, who lived there for about twelve years along with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi.
It was from his base here that Gandhi led the Dandi march also known as the Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930. In recognition of the significant influence that this march had on the Indian independence movement the Indian government has established the ashram as a national monument.
The ashram now has a museum, the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. This had originally been located in Hridaya Kunj, Gandhi’s own cottage in the ashram. Then in 1963, having been designed by the architect Charles Correa, the museum was built. The Sangrahalaya was then re-located into the well-designed and well-furnished museum building and was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India on 10 May 1963. Memorial activities could then continue.
YouTube link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luci4VprWGo
The Sun Temple
The Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya located at Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. It is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built in 1026-27 AD during the reign of Bhima I of the Chaulukya dynasty. No worship is offered now and is protected monument maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. The temple complex has three components: Gudhamandapa, the shrine hall; Sabhamandapa, the assembly hall and Kunda, the reservoir. The halls have intricately carved exterior and pillars. The reservoir has steps to reach bottom and numerous small shrines.
The Tourism Corporation of Gujarat organises an annual three-day dance festival known as ‘Uttarardha Mahotsav’ at the temple during the third week of January, following the festival of Uttarayan. The objective is to present classical dance forms in an atmosphere similar to that in which they were originally presented.
That’s not it!!! Gujarat is well known for its rich culture. The folk arts of Gujarat form a major part of the culture of the state. It preserves the rich tradition of song, dance, drama as well. Handicrafts include Bandhani, patolas of Patan, kutchhi work, Khadi, bamboo craft, block printing, embroidery, woodcraft, metal crafts, pottery, namda, rogan painting, pithora and many more handicrafts. The Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, Mughals and British as well as Parsis have left their mark on Gujarat’s culture.
Apart from these attractions, Gujarat has much more! Please visit Gujarat Tourism channel in YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7Q1wQXsdCOs1OakD7yb-TA