“Kuch din to gujariye Gujarat main”
We all must have heard the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan repeat this line on TV. He talks of Gujarat Tourism while inviting people to visit this vibrant state in the western ghats of India. Gujarat is India’s 6th largest state, rich in art, architecture, culture, food, and history. Home of the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat has many wonders satiating the travel desire of tourists.
Stretched along the Arabian Sea, Gujarat also has a vast desert land which is famous for its white sands. Beaches, temple towns, wildlife sanctuaries, hill resorts, historical monuments, and festivals, make it renowned.
The state also produces some of the best handicrafts and handloom in India. This includes Khadi, Bandhani, Patola, Kutchhi, Block print, Pithora art, Rogan paintings to name a few. The designs have a touch of Arabic, Portuguese, Dutch, Mughal, British, and Parsi craftsmanship. This immensely influenced the art and culture of Gujarat during their stay in earlier times. It also made the culture of Gujarat vibrant and varied, making it more interesting for people to visit and experience. Here we have shortlisted the top 7 reasons how Gujarat Tourism has something for every kind of tourist.
7 must-do things in Gujarat
1.International Kite Festival
Ahmedabad has been hosting the International Kite Festival since 1989. It is a unique festival, celebrated with great splendor year after year. Also known as Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti, kite festival is an important event as it marks the onset of summers. Starting from dawn till late in the night, skies get laden with beautiful kites and lanterns of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
People start preparing for the week-long celebration months in advance. Patang Bazaar is an exclusive market in Ahmedabad famous for its kites and lanterns. It remains open for 24 hours during the festive time. Master kite makers and flyers from across the world come to the festival to showcase their designs and flying skills. It is a must-do event and if you need help in planning, our Scout can help you. The next International Kite Festival is from 6th to 14th January 2020, organized by Gujarat Tourism.
2.The Great Rann Utsav
The Rann of Kutch or the Great Rann of Kutch is the world’s largest salt desert, measuring about 10,000 sq km (3,800 square miles). Located in the Kutch district of Gujarat, the desert passes through the Tropic of Cancer and forms a border between India and Pakistan. The most interesting fact about the Rann is that it remains submerged in water during monsoon season and begins to dry from October onwards, post which it is a land of white salt.
Gujarat Tourism organizes the Rann Ustav festival from November till February every year for tourists to enjoy the beauty of the desert in full moon night. During these months, a tent city is created for tourists who come from all over the world. The highlight of the Rann Utsav is the camel ride that happens on a full moon night on white salt beds. The desert shimmers like a star.
Some other ways of enjoying the majesty of the Rann of Kutch are to view it from the Kala Dungar (Black Hill) which is the highest point in Kutch – 458 meters above sea level. The old Lakhpat Fort, 140 km from Bhuj also provides a fabulous view of the desert.
You can also listen to our #MarkAndEmbark podcast on Road tripping in the Rann of Kutch. It will give you adequate information on how to go about the road trip.
3.The Statue of Unity
In honor of Bharat Ratna Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Statue of Unity was built . He was the First Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India, and a respected leader. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity on October 31, 2018.
Built on river Narmada, at 182 meters (597ft), it is the world’s tallest statue. It faces the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Vadodara.
An outreach drive was started to collect iron for the construction of the statue. Farmers gave over 135 metric tonnes of scrap iron, by donating their used farming equipment. Out of this, about 109 tonnes were processed and used for the foundation.
Today, the statue ranks in the list of must-see statues and monuments of India. Other points of attraction nearby are the 17 km long Valley of Flowers, the Narmada main canal gate, Zarwani waterfalls, and the temples located within a 10 km radius of the statue.
Gujarat is a land of temples. To add to that, Dwarka is a holy city. It is one of the four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites (char Dham) and seven most ancient sapta puri religious cities in India. It is believed to be Lord Krishna’s kingdom and the first capital of Gujarat. Furthermore, the Dwarkadhisa temple, also known as Jagat Mandir, is located here, built on the banks of river Gomti. Other notable temples in the area include the Samudra Narayana (Sangam Narayana) temple, the Chakra Narayana temple, and the Gomati temple.
Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated every year, with great love and devotion.
5.Rani ki Vav, Patan
Rani ki Vav or the Queen’s stepwell is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in Patan on the banks of river Saraswati. In memory of ruler Bhimdev I, his widowed wife had this constructed during the Chaulukya Dynasty in the 11th century.
Rani ki Vav is a fine example of great architecture. Designed as an inverted temple, it highlights the sanctity of water. The stepwell is divided into seven levels of stairs leading to a deep circular well and is surrounded with sculptural panels containing more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones depicting religious, mythological, and secular imagery. For those who enjoy intricate sculptures and carvings, this stepwell is a delight for them.
6.Little Rann of Kutch’s Wild Ass Sanctuary, Kutch
The Little Rann of Kutch is famous for the Wild Ass Sanctuary, built in 1973. It is India’s largest wildlife sanctuary (5000 sq km), home to the wild ass, which is a cross between a donkey and a horse. It is larger than a donkey and as fast-paced as a horse. You also find wolves, desert foxes, jackals, antelopes, and snakes here, apart from the ass. This is also the world’s largest breeding site for the magnificent Lesser Flamingo.
The best time to visit the sanctuary is just after monsoon – October, and November. The fresh grasslands are tender for foals for grazing. Need more details about this? Our Scout will reach you.
7.Gir National Park, Gir
Gir National Park, also known as Sasan Gir, is the only wildlife sanctuary in the world which has the Asiatic lions. It is one of India’s top national parks and is considered to be western India’s largest dry deciduous forest. Apart from the lions, you can also find other wildlife animals like leopards, red-headed vultures, pythons, and chausinghas here. Also, 300 different types of birds and insects are said to exist here. One can easily enjoy the splendor of the jungle in a safari and most likely spot a lion roaming in the lush forest.
While we have shared 7 reasons why you must visit Gujarat, there is more to the state. The food, dance, music, and hospitality are incredible here. There is something for every tourist here – be a child or an adult. It just requires the right planning. When it comes to planning the perfect trip, our Scouts are the best guides. Hire a Scout and get yourself not just an amazing itinerary but a trip to remember!