• Aditya Sharma

Top 10 Tourist Spots in Gujarat

There are many reasons of why one need to visit the princely state Gujarat, the coastal state located in the western part of India. It is home to the Asiatic Lion, witnessed in all their glory at Gir National Park. The roar of the Asiatic Lion rings through your ears as you entered this state, while the sight of the feisty Blackbuck is a sheer delight for the visitors. With a historic background of thousands years, it is dotted with temples, mosques and many other historical monuments that transport you back in time and shed light on its glorious heritage. One can also witnesses various eras of history there, whether at the excavations at Lothal and Dholavira or at Sabarmati Ashram from where Mahatma Gandhi planned several freedom national movements. Gujarat is also home to several natural wonders such as Rann of Kutch, the largest salt desert in the world.

From temples to parks, there is no dearth of places to visit in Gujarat that one can explore on their holidays. In fact, there are many surprising number of tourist places to visit in Gujarat, which is also the sixth largest state in the country. Some of the favourite places to visit in Gujarat are –

. Rann of Kutch – Not to be missed Gujarat Destination

Rann of Kutch is probably one of the most beautiful erstwhile princely state of India holding onto its grandeur nature from the historic time. Nestled comfortably between the endless Thar Desert and mighty Arabian Sea, this place is one of the mesmerizing wonder of sand and salt. On full moon night, this desert shines as bright as diamond and brings a surreal sense of calm with it. Various cultural programs are held on full moon night, tents are pitched and this wondrous land is yours for the full moon night. This is one of the most mesmerizingly beautiful places to visit in Gujarat.

During winter season, Rann of Kutch is home to flamingoes, here all the way from Siberia! The white desert turns a delicate shade of pink and brings with it the chance to enjoy proximity to these elusive birds and many more others things. Rann Mahotsav is the best time to visit Gujarat, with Rann of Kutch coming alive with musical shows, cultural events, dance shows, delicious food, safari and artisans flaunting their ware.

Places to Stay: Mahefeel e Rann Resort, Rann Village Resort, Kutir Craft Village Resort, Dharani Village Resort and Rann Utsav – Tent City

Places to Visit: Great Rann of Kutch, Kalo Dungar, Kandla Port and Dholavira

How to Reach: The nearest railway station or airport to Rann of Kutch is located in Bhuj from where one can board a taxi so as to reach Rann of Kutch

Things to Do: One can attend Rann Mahotsav and can watch cultural performances

Famous For: Scenic beauty and lively ambiance

. Gir – Popular For Its Fauna

Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary are the only remaining home for the Asiatic Lions. Located in Talala Gir in Gujarat, this Sanctuary Park is a part of Kathiawar – Gir dry deciduous forests Eco region. Gir National Park is closed from 16th June to 15th October every year and the best time for wildlife spotting in this National Park is in the month of April and May. This Gir national park is also the home to variety of many other rare wild animals such as hyenas, fish owls, black bucks and many more other wild animals. Gir National Park is spread across nearly 1412 sq km of land. This is the only national park in India that has community living inside its perimeters and that too in complete harmony and happiness with each other.

Places to Stay: Gateway Hotel Gir, Gir Vihar Resort and Amidhara Stay

Places to Visit: Devalia Safari Park and Gir Jungle Trail Park

How to Reach: In order to reach Gir National Park one need to go to the airport in Keshod or by taking a train till Junagadh or Veraval. After this, you can take a taxi so as to reach your destination

Things to Do: Safari and Bird Watching

Famous For: Gir National Park and its flora and fauna

. Somnath Temple – Pay a visit with your family to this religious place

Somnath, literally meaning “lord of the moon” is a pilgrim centre and is a home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Somnath Temple is a town which derives much of its identity from Hindu mythology, religion and legends that surround this place and is also a place where the strong scent of religion and legends lingers around tourism and even in the daily life. Its spiritual environment is ornamented by the huge number of temples in the area, however, Somnath also offers beaches, museums and other famous tourist attractions.

This place lay on the rough shores of Arabian Sea. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times, once by Lord Soma in gold, once by Ravana in silver, once by Krishna in wood and once by King Bhimdev in stone. It is a stone edifice that stands tall now and attracts millions of devotees from all over the world and seek the Lord’s Shiva blessings.

Places to Stay: Imperial Somnath, Fern Residency Somnath, Bliss Hotel, Lords Inn Somnath and Hotel Somnath Atithigruh

Places to Visit: Suraj Mandir, Dehotsarg Teerth, Junagadh Gate, Triveni Ghat, Gita Mandir, Balukha Tirtha, Kamnath Mahadev Temple and Somnath Museum

How to Reach: In order to reach this temple you can take a flight from any of the major cities of Delhi to Diu Airport which is located at a distance of 65 Km away from Somnath Temple or can take a ride in the train till Veraval which is just at a distance of 6 Km away from Somnath Temple.

Things to Do: Beautiful Suraj Mandir, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Witness Dehotsarg Teerth and Somnath Temple

Famous For: Religious Sites

. Dwarka – For a beauty vacation

Dwarka is one of the famed and highly revered “Char Dham” Hindu pilgrimage located on the western tip of the Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat. Dwarka is also known as Devbhoomi Dwarka. Dwarka boast the only city that is part of both Char Dham (four principal of holy places) and Sapta Puris (seven sacred cities) mentioned in the Hindu religion. This city is also part of the ancient kingdom of Lord Krishna and Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, is also located in this city. For these reasons, it enjoys a remarkable religious significance and attracts thousands of pilgrims all the year round all across the world. The beachside and the seashores are the other added tourist attraction of Dwarka.

Places to Stay: Chouki Dhani Resort, Regency Lagoon Resort, Ashirvad Club Resort, Nirali Resort and Emerald Club

Places to Visit: Dwarka Dhish Temple, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Gomti Ghat and Dunny Point

How to Reach: Take a flight till Jamnagar Airport which is located at a distance of 45 Km only. You can take a bus or taxi from there so as to reach Dwarka easily.

Things to Do: Shree Dwarka Dhish Temple, Tulabhara – Observe the Ancient Tradition, Gomti River – Ride a camel and Chhakda – Ride a Tuk-Tuk

Famous For: Religious Place

. Ahmedabad – International Kite Fest

Ahmedabad is a city steeped in culture and with a rich heritage, making it a must-visit city for people from all over the world. Ahmedabad is located on the Sabarmati river bank and is also a former capital of Gujarat state and its delicious food, colourful culture are making this city one of the fastest growing tourist destination place in India. Notable attractions of Ahmedabad city may include Akshardham Temple Complex, Sabarmati Ashram and Kankaria Lake. International Kite Festival is a must see sight if you arrive during this amazing one day fest. On this international kite festival, sky swells up with kites all over the sky from gigantic to minuscule, from simple to the most complex and bizarre ones and from the bland ones to the rainbow colored ones. This place is probably one of the best place to enjoy a delicious Gujarati meal, full of all the Khakhra, Dhokla, fried chillies and Fafda that you can find there.

Places to Stay: Palm Green Club, Shanku’s World Resort, Madhubhan Resorts and Spa, Radhe Upavan Resort and Rann Riders

Places to Visit: Akshardham Temple Complex, Sabarmati Ashram and Kankaria Lake

How to Reach: One can reach this place by train. There are many trains that ply between the major cities of India and Ahmedabad. So, you can take a train ride from your city to Kalupur Railway Station and then can hire a taxi so as to reach your destination

Things to Do: Sabarmati Ashram – Feel the Silence, Jhulta Minara – Quite a sight, Law Garden – For the Shapaholics and Victoria Garden – Feel the Vibe

Famous For: Shopping, Temples and Lively Ambiance

. Saputara – The Only Hill Station

Saputara is the only “hill-station” in Gujarat that comes as a breath of fresh air in the otherwise hot and humid clime of the state. Sprawled beautifully on a densely forested plateau, this is one of a hot new tourist destination place in Gujarat, with a gigantic lake surrounded by resorts. It does not get very cold there, but monsoons can be the best time to visit this place when the mist rises out of the lake and covers the nearby area. Boat club, an artisan village, a tribal museum, cable car and a couple of other things are the famous attraction of this place.

Saputara is located at a height of 875 metres above the sea level and is a perfect gateway for the eco-lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and for the people who love the adventure sports activities. It is located at a distance of 4 Km from the Maharashtra border and 250 Km from Mumbai in Dang district. Saputara literally means the habitat of snakes as the tribals of this region worship snakes, especially during the festival of Holi. It is a beautiful hilly region enriched with enormous greenery offering magnificent panorama, tribal culture of a different sort and great trekking opportunities for the adventure seekers.

Places to Stay: Aakar Lords Inn, Patang Residency, Sai Leela, Savshanti Lake Resort and Hotel Hilltop Regency

Places to Visit: Gira Falls, Vansda National Park, Hatgadh Fort and Artist Village

How to Reach: To reach Saputara, you need to reach Bilimora Railway Station first which is connected to the major cities of India. From there, you can hire a taxi so as to cover a distance of 50 Km to reach Saputara

Things to Do: Saputara Lake – Go Boating, Artist Village, Hatgadh Fort and Vansda National Park – Trek

Famous For: Famous for the forested plateau that sprawled beautifully on a densely forested area

. Girnar – Heaven for Adventure Seekers

Girnar is a mixture of both – fine golden brown sand of Gujarat beautiful desert as well as the lush green environs of Gir National Forest. Girnar is more of a set of mountains located in the Junagadh district of Gujarat that offer the endless thrill and excitement to the adventure seekers and for the wildlife enthusiasts. It also has many religious sites that attract the pilgrims from all over the world from time to time. Neminath Temple and Meravasi Temple are one of the two most important and sacred shrines of Hindu religion in this town. It is a great spot for a weekend getaway where you can enjoy Gujarat sightseeing from atop scenic hills.

Places to Stay: Bellevue Sarovar Portico, Fern Leo Resort and Club and Click Hotel

Places to Visit: Mahabat Maqbara Palace and Neminath Temple

How to Reach: As there is no railway station in Girnar, the best way to reach this place is by taking a train journey to Junagadh which is just 5 Km away from Girnar

Things to Do: Jungle Safari and Temple Tour

Famous For: Scenic beauty

. Pirotan Island – Go For Bird watching

Pirotan Island is essentially a small island located inside the Marine National Park area and spans over an area of just 3 sq km. This small yet charming islet offers tranquil and undisturbed rendezvous with nature in its lush environs to everyone who sets foot here and is beguiled by its scenic beauty. It has some fine and rare beaches where you can find corals on the shores during low tides. This place is studded all over with coral reefs, mangrove vegetation, plenty of birds, as well as gorgeous low tide beaches that make it one of the finest places to visit in Gujarat for 2 days. You will be thrilled by the variety and abundance of biodiversity of both flora and fauna present here, as well as with its vast marine life.

Places to Stay: Royal Orchid Hotel and Sarovar Hotel

Places to Visit: Lakhota Lake, Lakhota Palace and Museum and Bala Hanuman Temple

How to Reach: You can only reach Pirotan Island via waterways. You need to hire a boat from a nearby port in Bedi which will take you to this island in 2 hours

Things to Do: Sightseeing, Photography and Water Sports Adventures

Famous For: Coral Reefs, Mangrove Vegetation and Plenty of birds as well as gorgeous low tide beaches

. Vastrapur Lake – A Perfect Picnic Spot

For those who wish to embrace tranquillity and serenity, Vastrapur Lake is one of the famous tourist place in Gujarat that is perfect for this. This lake was named after Nasingh Mehta and is now an extremely popular picnic spot of Gujarat. One can see an extensive number of families enjoying their quality time, playing around and just having the time of their lives. This is also a great picnic spot soaking in the sun and escape from the busy city life. Vastrapur Lake happens to appeal numerous joggers and city walkers who are in search for solace.

Places to Stay: Hotel Shital Inn, Country by Marriott Ahmedabad, Double Tree by Hilton and Suba Star

Places to Visit: N/A

How to Reach: In order to reach this lake one can easily board a bus from Ahmedabad to Palanpur. The total distance to cover is around 143 Km which take around 3 hours

Things to Do: Boating and Picnic

Famous For: Refreshing Ambiance

. Iskcon Temple – For Krishna Admirers

This is one of the enchanting places to see in Gujarat. Iskcon Temple or International Society for Krishna Consciousness is an organisation that is synonymous with the Hare Krishna Movement. The architecture of this temple exhibits a fine amalgamation of Gujarati Sompura and the Rajasthani Khamira. The temple adorns marble flooring, ornate pillars and beautifully decorated ceiling. The structure blankets a library, a meditation room, a hostel and a restaurant. Iskcon temple comes alive with dances and bhajans of Lord Krishna every evening.

Places to Stay: N/A

Places to Visit: N/A

How to Reach: Iskcon Temple is located at a distance of around 6 Lm from Ahmedabad. You can only reach Iskcon Temple by bus from there or from other states to reach the temple

Things to Do: Visit Temple and can attend aartis

Famous For: Religious Site

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