Gujarat is a large state in Western India that has multiple unique tourist destinations and experiences. Historical monuments, remains of ancient civilizations, beaches, hill stations and national parks adding to the beautiful mix that represents the state of Gujarat, a destination for any traveler.
When you travel, appreciate the culture of the land.Lailah Gifty Akita
- Destination: Gujarat
- Nearest City (Airport): Ahmedabad, Surat
- Best Months: Throughout the year (except for summer months of April to June)
- Duration: On request
- Dates: On request
- Price: On request
Gujarat, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi is full of stories and unique experiences and destinations that are strewn across the state, not to forget the delicious Guajarati cuisine.
There are many places to visit and many things to do depending on what your interests could be. You would need more than a week to explore these places in the state. If you are traveling to and exploring India, Gujarat definitely needs to be a part of your itinerary and you would definitely keep on coming back to explore more ☺
Following are some of the places and experiences we have listed. Based on your interests and time we could curate a personalized itinerary for you.
RANN OF KUTCH
Located between the great Thar Desert and the Arabian Sea lies this endless and pristine white salt flat known as the Rann of Kutch. The place is an amazing spectacle of pristine white salt and sand. During full moon nights the places shines like a diamond.
Every year during the winters typically from November to March, a mega cultural festival, Rann Utsav takes place. At the time the place is bustling with song, dance, food and a sea of colours against the snowy white salt flats. And around the same time one could see Flamingoes that migrate here all the way from Siberia for the winters.
The place is to be avoided during monsoons (July to September) when it is totally submerged in water.
Best Time To Visit: November to March
How To Get There: The best way to reach Rann of Kutch is via Bhuj, Dhordo, which is the Gateway to the Rann. Nearest airport/railway station to Kutch is in the city of Bhuj, then hire a cab from Bhuj to reach Kutch.
An ancient fortified city, as the name suggests, it is an old fort at the base of the GIrnar Fort. The place was dominated for two millennia by Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam all of which have left deep imprints on the city. At the time of independence, the Nawab of Junagadh wanted to take this state to Pakistan, a wildly unpopular option given that the inhabitants were mostly Hindus …. The Nawab finally departed on his own.
Places to visit: Uperkot, Buddhist Caves, Adi Chadi Vav ( a stepwell carved out of rock), Navghan Kuvo (a well that is deeply situated and can be reached by a staircase), Ashokan rock edicts, Mount Girnar (the highest point in Gujarat … that can be climbed through 10000 stone steps) with 866 Hindu and Jain temples spread over 5 summits, Mahbat Maqbara (one of the best examples of Indo Islamic architecture),
Best Time To Visit: November to March.
How To Get There: The nearest airport is Rajkot, 102 kms. It is 327 kms from Ahmedabad and is connected by rail.
GIR NATIONAL PARK
The only natural habitat of Asiatic Lions Gir is a unique national park. Apart from the lions the wildlife here comprises of hyenas, fish owls, black bucks and many more. This is the only national park in India that has a community living inside its perimeters completely in harmony with the nature. This is indeed an unique national park to be explored in an open jeep safari.
Best Time To Visit: November to March
Places To Visit: Great Rann Of Kutch, Kalo Dungar, Kandla Port, Dholavira Please check
How To Get There:
By Air: The closest airport to Gir National Park is Keshod, located at a distance of nearly 70 km.
By Rail: The nearest railway stations to Gir National Park are Junagadh (80 km) and Veraval (72 km).
By Road: 60 km from Junagadh, the Gir National Park is well-connected to some of the major cities of Gujarat by a good road.
Situated on the shores of the Arabian Sea, Somnath Temple is one of the most sacred of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It has been destroyed and rebuilt countless times, once by Lord Soma in gold, once by Ravana in silver, once by Krishna in wood and once by King Bhimdev in stone. Millions of devotees throng the temple every year. It is indeed a unique experience for any traveler.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year. Although, it is really special during Maha Shivratri (February or March).
Places To Visit: Suraj Mandir, Dehotsarg Teerth , Junagarh Gate, Triveni Ghat.
How To Get There:
79 kms from Junagadh by road.
By Air: You can take a flight to Diu Airport and then from there, you can hire a cab or catch a bus to Somnath.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is at Veraval, which is at a distance of 6 km from Somnath Temple.
The capital city is also the largest in the state. The city is a wonderful mix of traditional Gujarati culture and heritage, and the modernity a big city brings. The week-long International Kite festival (sometime in January) is a must see when the sky is covered with kites of different shapes, sizes, colours and hues. When in Ahmedabad one has to try the Gujarati Thali and other Gujarati snacks and delicacies.
Best Time To Visit: November to February (Winters are the best time).
Places To Visit: Akshardham Temple Complex, Sabarmati Ashram, Calico Textile Museum, and Kankaria Lake.
How To Get There: By Air (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport), Rail and Road.
The Indian subcontinent has been a land of many ancient kingdoms and civilizations. One such important and developed civilizations was the Indus Valley Civilizations that spread all the way into Western India, Gujarat. Lothal is considered one of most important sites and one of the most well preserved as well. There is also a small museum here, which is home to relics of an era gone by, including cooking utensils, jewelry, apparels, gemstones and scrolls, for an in-depth insight into the lives of our ancestors.
Excavations have revealed a tidal dockyard with a complex gate-lock system, at its peak. This was one of the most important ports in the Indian sub-continent.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year. However, avoid summers and monsoons (March to September).
How To Get There: You can get down at the Bhurkhi station that comes in the Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar railway line. From here, take a local transport to reach Lothal. 85 kms North West of Ahmedabad.
The Sun temple, built by King Bhimdeva I in 1026-27 resembles the better known Konark Temple in Orissa. The designs are similar in that, during equinoxes, the dawn Sun shines on the image of Surya ( the sun god). This temple was ravaged by Mahmud of Ghazni, but remains impressinve.The Ramayana and Mahabharata are intricately carved on pillars. For sensory pleasure, panels have erotic sculpture.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year. However, avoid summers and monsoons (March to September).
How To Get There: You can get down at the Mehsana station that comes in the Jaipur to Ahmedabad railway line. From here, take a local transport to reach Modhera, which is 25 kms away. 102 kms North West of Ahmedabad.
Located on the mouth of River Gomti and the Arabian Sea, Dwarka is considered to be the ancient Kingdom of Lord Krishna and also the very first capital city of Gujarat. The city is one of the highly revered “Char Dham” pilgrimage centres for the Hindus. Apart from the historical and religious importance, Dwarka adorns a very beautiful and serene beach with shallow waters. It is a great place to see sea turtles, sea urchins, octopuses and starfish. Archaeological excavations have revealed 5 earlier cities just off the coast.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year.
Places To Visit: Dwarkadheesh Temple, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Gomti Ghat, Dunny Point.
How To Get There: Nearest airport is the Jamnagar Airport which, is located at a distance of 45 kilometers only. You can take a bus or taxi from there to reach Dwarka easily. Else take a train to Dwarka Raiway Station.
100 kms from Ahmedabad, this is the capital of the former princely Gaikwads. Though the city has some wonderful old structures like the museum, the palace and the Tambekar Wada, the reason why people visit is to go to the UNESCO world heritage sight of Champaner.
Places to visit : Champaner and Pavagadh are 50 kms away from Vadodara.
CHAMPANER was the capital of the Chauhan Rajput kings in the 8th century. It lay on a strategic trade route and was taken by Sultan Mahmud Beghara, in 1484. Here the Rajputs committed Jauhar ( Mass suicide) in the face of defeat. The city began to decline from 1535 when the Mughals captured it. The city is remarkably well preserved, with Hindu and Jain temples which are a thousand years old, mosques from the time of the Gujarat Sultanate, and the whole workings of a well planned city still in evidence, from granaries and fortifications to stepwells and cemeteries. At Champaner you can walk the ancient streets just as its inhabitants did five centuries ago. Large reservoirs to store monsoon rains for the rest of the year were built using earthern beaks to contain the natural flow of streams coming downhill. The series of created lakes empty into each other as they susscessively overflow, eventually ending in the largest lake, the Vada Talav, on the plain below the city.
PAVAGADH: At the summit of the Pavagadh hill, 800 m above sea level is the Lakulisha temple of Mother Kali, the oldest in the area dating to around 10th/11th century. To reach the temple, you need to trek 5 kms along a footpath besides the jungle. ( There is a cable car which will take you there, too). The temple has large fortifications and a large open space in the front.
How To Get There: Vadodara has an airport and is also well connected by rail.
51 kms South West of Bhavnagar, Palitana is one of Jains holiest pilgrimage sites called Shatrunjaya ( Place of victory among inner enemies). There are 863 temples from the base of the Shatrunjaya hill to the peak. The construction of temples of Palitana spanned over a period of 900 years and was structured in two phases : 11th to 12th centuries & from 16th century onwards. There are superb views in all directions and on a clear day you would be able to see the Gulf of Cambay.
Visiting Time: 5.30 AM to 8 PM
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year.
How To Get There:
Its 54 kms from Bhavnagar and you need to take a local transport.. Bhavnagar has an airport that has flights from Mumbai/Ahmedabad. Bhavnagar has a railway station that is well connected to Mumbai and Delhi.
Apart from these there are other notable places to visit in Gujarat such as Surat (the commercial capital), Bhuj, Anand, Porbandar, Vadla and Pirotan Island (for bird watching), Marine National Park (Asha Marudi), and Gandhinagar.
Trails of Ancient India: Gujarat
- Day 1 / ARRIVAL AT AHMEDABAD
- Welcome to Ahmedabad! On arriving at the Airport / Railway Station, you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel. Once we reach the hotel, you will check into the hotel and relax for the day.
- Day 2 / NEXT STOP- BALASINOR (Ahmedabad to Balasinor to Ahmedabad)
- After breakfast we head to Balasinor and get on to the Dino Trail with Nawabzadi Aaliya Sultana Babi – who is lovingly called the “the Dinosaur Princess” or “Doctor Dinosaur You will also visit the Dinosaaur Museum which is spread over an area of over 25000 sq. feet with 10 galleries spread in the basement and the ground floor depicting various forms of displays (films and exhibitions). An exclusive 3-D film is prepared on Rajasaurus Narmadensis. Other galleries display details on Dinosaurs of India and Gujarat, Fossil Exhibits and many other features that will bring out the child in you. One can relish this museum through digital, print and static form. The state government has not only catered to those seeking information on dinosaurs and their fossils, but also a Time Machine, 3-D film, an Interactive and amusing Dino fun for kids area, a vivid display of Mesozoic times, souvenir shop etc. The museum will depict as many as 40 sculptures that will throw on a light on their size, shape, habits and habitat. The atrium features an exact replica of the habitat of these creatures.
- Day 3 / LOCAL SIGHTSEEING IN AHMEDABAD
- After early morning breakfast, we will proceed for a Morning walk to witness the beautiful Heritage Trail of Ahmedabad and some fun shopping in the evening. Ahmedabad Morning Walk – Ahmedabad is India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City. You will be taken around the old city with stories of history, royalty and culture of this great city. After a delicious lunch and a short rest, in the evening we visit the Gandhi Ashram (Sabarmati Ashram), which was one of the residences of Mahatma Gandhi, the Sabarmati River Front where you can see the river promenade, park & streets, the Kankaria Lake that includes a zoo, natural history museum and a toy train, and the Adalaj Step Well, a 5 storey step well that is built in such a way that the temperature inside the stepwell is almost 6 degrees lesser than the outside temperature.
- Day 4 / A VISIT TO PATAN, MODHERA & DHOLAVIRA
- After a hearty breakfast at Ahmedabad, we will drive to our next stop- Dholavira. In between, we will visit Rani ki Vav in Patan & Modhera Sun Temple. On reaching the hotel, we check- into the hotel and relish the folk culture of Kutch at the hotel. Rani Ki Vav – It is a stepwell situated in the town of Patan on the banks of the Saraswati river. The stepwell was rediscovered in the 1940s and restored in the 1980s by the Archaeological Survey of India. It has been listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites since 2014.Rani ki Vav is one of the finest and best examples of its kind, designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water. The stepwell is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels with over 800 principal sculptures and thousands of minor ones combining religious, mythological and secular imagery. Modhera Sun Temple- A Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya located at Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat, India, is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. Built after 1026-27 CE, the temple complex has three components: Gudhamandapa, the shrine hall; Sabhamandapa, the assembly hall and Kunda, the reservoir. In the intricately carved Halls of the temple can be heard the chanting of the prayers, the aroma of incense, the tinkling of bells as the sharp and the rays of the sun illuminate the inner core of life and light. The magnificent kund known as the Ramakund was built in a rectangular shape containing 108 shrines to various gods and demi-gods. The kund has three sides, with each side dedicated to Ganesh and Vishnu and an image of Lord Shiva dancing the ‘tandav’ facing the Sun temple that covers the fourth side. Dholavira: Dholavira is an archaeological site in India associated with the Indus Valley Civilization with ancient mysteries and tales as intriguing as the ruins. It is considered to have been the grandest of cities of its time. UNESCO has included Dholavira of Kutch in the list of World Heritage Sites in 2021, allowing Gujarat to shine again on the World Heritage Map. Artifacts include terracotta pottery, beads, gold and copper ornaments, seals, fish hooks, animal figurines, tools, urns, and some imported vessels that indicate trade links with lands like Mesopotamia. 10 large stone inscriptions were also found, carved in Indus Valley script, perhaps the world’s earliest signboard. These are some of the most important discoveries of the Indus Valley Civilization but remain engrossing undecipherable. Overnight stay at Dholavira.
- Day 5 / LOCAL SIGHTSEEING AT DHOLAVIRA
- Fossil Park at Dholavira: In a significant scientific discovery for Gujarat, gigantic plant fossils belonging to the Jurassic age found at Khadir near Dholavira in Kutch. The Fossil Park is at the banks of the Rann of Kutch Lake. The park was built by the Forest Department and has fossils of over 16 million years old tree trunks, which are visited by tourists from all over India to see and store this historical heritage in their memories. This park is also called Jurassic Park in Kutch. Dholavira Excavation Site: Dholavira is the archaeological site of a Harappan-era city and became the 4th site in Gujarat and the 40th in India to make the list of UNESCO world heritage. It is the first site of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) in India to get the tag. The site is known to be the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Harappan Civilization, dating back to about 4,500 years ago.
- Day 6 / DHORDO- A DAY IN THE VILLAGE OF CRAFTS AND WHITE RANN
- After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Dhordo to visit Gandhi nu Gam -The craft Village of Ludiya & witness the beauty of White Rann. Ludiya: Ludiya is a village in Bhuj, inhabited by the Meghwal community, about 250 years bringing with them the distinctly Rajasthani style of embroidery. The village's circular huts organized around the temple are painted beautifully, where women with the vibrant Kanjari Blouse & the men working across the various corners are carving wood. The main occupation of women in the village is making beautiful embroidery, traditional work and crafts, while the men make decorative furniture. The houses of Ludiya have a typical structure called bhunga with detailed decorations both inside and outside. These houses are an architectural marvel. The Rann Utsav, which brings many a tourist to Ludiya, is their busiest time where various craft items such as the embroidery, dupattas, bags, clothes, wooden crafts, carved low stools, tables, and even sofa sets with flowers and jali work. White Rann: The magical land of Kutch is filled with rich culture, ancient tradition, heritage values, a variety of handmade crafts, desert, sea, mountain etc. are all found in one place – Rann of Kutch or Great Rann of Kutch or Safed rann in Gujarati or White Desert of Kutch. Rann is the Gujarati word for desert, which is how the desert gets its name. The Rann of Kutch is famous for its white salty desert sand and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. The Rann of Kutch region is also home to a wide range of ecologically rich wildlife such as the flamingos and the wild ass that can be often spotted around the desert. Rann is also a part of a few sanctuaries such as the Indian wild ass sanctuary, Kutch desert wildlife sanctuary etc. It is a paradise for wildlife photographers and nature lovers. Overnight stay at hotel in Dhordo.
- Day 7 / PERFECT GOODBYE!
- After breakfast in the hotel, the next stop is to Nirona village for Art & Craft, LLDC museum, after which we stop at Ahmedabad. Nirona: The village of Nirona, 40 km northwest of Bhuj, features several distinctive crafts (lacquer work, bell-making). The village is surrounded by simple one- or two-storey concrete homes with open terraces. Some have elaborately carved wooden doors, a legacy of their original, grander facades. Many families practice Rogan painting, it is said to have come to India from medieval Persia. The Khatris are its sole practitioners in Kutch and have been committed to it for 300 years. Rogan means oil-based, and the colours used are natural dyes mixed with castor seed oil. Rogan painting is the most famous craft of Nirona is the award-winning ancient art of was brought over from Iran 300 years ago and is being practised by an extended family in India in this village. Rogan printing is used for decorating wall hangings, table cloths, curtains, sarees and skirt borders. L LDC: The Living and Learning Design Centre (LLDC) established in 2016 by the Shrujan Trust to preserve, revitalize and promote the craft heritage of Kutch. The complex is dedicated to local crafts such as textiles, pottery & woodworking. The centre showcases 42 different embroidery styles with each piece displayed being absolutely breathtaking. This showcases the full range of Kutch's creativity, from metalwork and leather-work to silver-work and Rogan printing. The shop sells embroidered items and books on Kutch embroidery. The complex also has a gallery, a library, three crafts studios and a cafe that serves local food.
- Airport transfers.
- Transport (Innova AC or similar car) for the specified duration of the trip.
- Fuel costs, driver’s allowance and stay, parking & toll charges.
- Hotel accommodation in hotels and resorts with breakfast.
- Other inclusions as per the experience/trip and/or specifically requested.
- Tickets (camera charges) to monuments, temples, parks etc.
- Meals, water and beverages unless specified.
- Guide Services.
- Personal expenses.
- Any Airfare.
- Any item that is not mentioned in inclusions.
Book or Personalize
Its interesting, isn’t it?
Its now time to go out there and experience.
Hope you liked it. Do you want to request some changes and personalize the experience – in terms of date of travel, exclusive group, additional facilities and any other? If yes, then