Gujarat tourism Best 15 place list:- Gujarat has some of the most important religious sites in all India. Ancient ruins of the Harrapan Indus Valley Civilization, and the last reserve of lions in Asia, yet is somehow neglected by the major tourist groups. It offers a wealth of surprises and is an experience not to be missed out on!
Gujarat tourism Best 15 place list
Called the ‘Manchester of the East’ for its massive mills. Ahmedabad is the sixth largest city in India and is one of the industrial nerve centers of the country. Historically, Ahmedabad was the center of numerous kingdoms, and the center of the city has several very old buildings constructed by Sultan Ahmed Shah, who doted on the city, including the Siddi Sayyad Mosque and the Jumma Masjid, both fascinating bends of Indian and Saracen architectual styles. Ahemedabad’s turbulent past has destroyed many of the ancient buildings that covered it, however. The center of Gujarati culture, Ahmedabad is close to about everything in the state and is a good place to explore the countryside from.
2. Sabarmati Ashram
The former of home of Mahatma Gandhi, this ashram was a center of the Indian Independence Movement. Where Gandhi started his march to the sea to pan salt, beginning the non-violent Salt Satyagraha. Sabarmati Ashram is also where Gandhi lived in simplicity for years, weaving his own clothes and leading the Indian Independence Movement.
3. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
The global headquarters of the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism, this mandir is a major destination for pilgrims visiting Ahmedabad. The temple features shrines to many gods, and it is the first temple of the Swaminarayan Sampradey.
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A former princely state itself, Bhavnagar has little of itself to offer, although it does have some temples and scenic lakes within its boundaries. For the tourist, it very close to the magnificent Jain temples of Palitana, and it is also nearby the world’s largest ship-breaking facility, Alang, where thousands of people tear apart massive oil tankers.
Palitana is essentially two mountain tops absolutely covered with some 900 temples of every size. It is one of the most impressive sites in India, the summation of hundreds of generations of Jains’ work. To reach the shrines, one can choose to hike the 3745 steps leading up the hill, although the disabled can reach the top with sling chairs. No one can bring food to the top, including during the hike, making the journey itself a trek for those not accustomed to physical activity.
Gandhinagar was built in 1960 to be the capital of Gujarat, along with the other planned cities of India, chandigarh and Bhubaneshwar. In 1971, after construction was complete the capital moved from Ahmedabad to the city. It is by far the cleanest and safest city in Gujarat, and is remarkably easy to get around in having taken its street labeling system from cities in the United States by using letters and numbers to mark the roads.
7. Akshardham Gandhinagar
The massive Akshardham is built entirely of pink sandstone and is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan. The temple is visited by millions and stresses a philosophy of universal peace and harmony.
The town of Ambaji is at the base of the Arasur hill, where a famous temple dedicated to the Ambe Mata is. Many Hindus visit this site every year to pay homage to the mother goddess, and it is one of the 64 Shatki Piths. Coming here during the major festivals of Chaitra, Bhadrapad and Navratri is especially interesting and rewarding.
Dwarka is the one of the most amazing temple complexes in India, Hindus believe this is the site of Lord Krishna’s ancient earthly kingdom, and its easy to see why. It is a major tourist and pilgrimage site and almost appears to be more of a palace than a temple. It reaches a height of 170 feet and has extremely intricate carvings, a true architectural masterpiece.
10. Mt. Girnar
Mt. Girnar is a sacred site for Hindus and Jains, and on the top of it are five Jain temples and several Hindu shrines. It is a popular pilgrimage site for newlyweds seeking Mataji’s blessings. Pilgrims have to climb over 4000 (!) steps to reach the top, and many recommend starting the hike in the morning, as it can get very hot by mid-day.
11. Somnath Temple
One of the tallest temples in India, Somnath temple, also called Someshwar Mahadev, is dedicated to Lord Somnath. It towers at 155 feet and is made entirely of stone, and the current temple, built in 1950, is on top of the ruins of three others that had been destroyed by invading Muslims.
Modhera lies in ruins but still manages to dazzle its visitors. It is famous for its architectural design, where the rising sun puts its many images in relief. The temple was destroyed by the marauder Mahmud of Gazni, and nowadays is surrounded by a park, hundreds of temples, and a library.
One of the largest cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, Lothal is arguably the best place to see the sites since many of the other sites are deep inside Pakistan and frequently unsafe to visit. The city existed some 4500 years ago and was a center of trade in the ancient world, with relics from as far as Bahrain found in the site. It is still under excavation today and it is a very educational experience to visit.
Saputara is a popular hill station in Gujarat and is turning into a frequent getaway location for businessmen from Mumbai. It is one of the most scenic places in India and is renowned for its picture perfect lakes, rivers, forests and mountains, and boats are available for rent to fish and relax on the lakes.
15. Gir National Park
The only place outside of Africa where wild lions still live, Gir is one of the largest wildlife reserves in India. In addition to its famous lions, Gir has a large population of jaguars and is one of the best bird sanctuaries in India.
Gujarat, which means Gujjar nation, gets its name from an ancient tribe of nomads who travelled from modern-day Caucasian Georgia, then known as Gurjistan, thousands of miles away. Gujarat had some of the earliest contacts with the Middle East and Greek world, and it was part of the Indo-greek kingdoms that cropped up after Alexander’s invasions of the 3rd century BC.
The ancient port Bharuch was a centre of trade during the Mauryan and Guptan empires, and thousands of coins from Rome have been found, showing the cultural exchange that happened on ancient Gujarat’s shores. When the Gupta empire dissolved, Gujarat enjoyed a long period of prosperity and received many Zoroastrians feeling from Iran in the 6th century AD who have stayed there to this day, still practising their religion.
Just as Gujarat was among the first regions in India to meet Greek civilization, it was the first to meet the Arabs, who invaded from neighboring and in the late 6th century, and was periodically invaded for hundreds of years until its incorporation into the Delhi Sultanate, who ruled the area for centuries until gradually losing influence in the area. Sultan Ahmed Shah re-established Ahmedabad as the capital of the state, and Gujarat again became a centre of trade, with Cambay overcoming Bharuch as the economic centre of the area. Portugal brought more wealth to the area after taking the towns of Daman, Diu, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli. The Mughals conquered the region in 1576.
Britain came into the area in the early 19th century, and the region remained under British rule until Independence in 1947. Gujarat was a major centre of the Indian Independence Movement with leaders such as Mohandas Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Narhari Parikh, and Ravi Shankar Vyas came from the state and was the site of Gandhi’s March to the Sea.
Gujarat is largely flat and is mainly a desert in the north and sub-tropical in the south due to the heavy rains during monsoon season. It has some of the finest beaches in the country, although parts of the coast are marred by extreme poverty and unregulated industry, as the state is a major industrial hub.
Most Gujaratis speak Gujarati, with sizable minorities speaking Hindu and Urdu. Muslims form a large minority in the state, and it is one of the only places where Zoroastrians, also known as Parsis, still practice their religion.
Gujarat is the only place outside of Africa where wild lions can still be seen, and Gir Forest National Park is where most of these are. Panthers can also be seen in the state.
Gujarat has many ruins in it, including some from the Indus Valley Civilization of some 5,000 years ago. The Port of Lothal is considered by many to be the first major Indian port, and the city of Dholavira is a major archaeological site of the civilization. There are also hundreds of famous temple complexes in the state and it is a major centre for the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism.
Today, Gujarat is largely ignored by foreign tourists, in spite of its long history and nuanced culture, but it can be very rewarding for intrepid tourists seeking to see its many attractions and rare wildlife.
Gujarat tourism Best 15 place list:-
- Sabarmati Ashram
- Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
- Akshardham Gandhinagar
- Mt Girnar
- Somnath Temple
- Gir National Park