Trip to Gujarat – Winter announces the high season of tourism in the year. With the holiday season celebrated around the world with great enthusiasm, travelers from abroad rush to India with their family and friends to explore and discover the rich heritage, culture and natural diversity of India. One of these favorite tourist destinations for tours in India in winter is Gujarat. With Runn Utsav in healthy and healthy weather conditions that make it the ideal time to explore the immense cultural and archaeological wealth, we offer you the best places to visit in Gujarat to make the most of your winter holidays in India.
You can travel to Gujarat for a variety of reasons. From the fossil fields of indigenous dinosaurs, Gir with the unique abode of Asian lions outside of Africa to the art of Neolithic rock paintings up to the stone masonry of a succession of modern and ancient civil architecture.
And from the wonders of Jain architecture, the Hindu temples of Somnath and Dwarka that emerge from the Arabian Sea to the seasonal island of Kutch that arrives in the desert of hardened white salt comes summer and where local artisans weave the best fabrics in India and fight the inhospitable elements of Little Rann, Gujarat has it all. With this multiplicity of options available for holidays in Gujarat, we offer you the list of the 10 best places to visit in Gujarat. Please note that the best time to visit Gujarat is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant.
Trip to Gujarat – Rann of Kutch
The white salt desert of the Great Rann of Kutch
There is a saying that goes to Gujarat. “Kutch Nahin dekha in kuchh nahin dekha” which translates to “you didn’t see anything if you didn’t see Kutch”. Kutch is the worthy superior desolation to visit in Gujarat, especially when Rann Mahotsav is in full swing.
Set between the Arabian Sea and the boundless Thar desert, Rann of Kutch is a fascinating symphony of salt and sand. This white symphony reaches its crescendo on a full moon night. What makes Kutch even more surreal is that during the monsoon it is immersed in water.
For the remaining eight months of the year, it is a gigantic stretch of white salt that gives it the appearance of a white desert. During full moon nights, cultural programs are usually held in Dhordo celebrating the rich culture and traditions of Gujarat. A moonlight camel safari is the Rann of a Kutch is a must to do
Trip to Gujarat – Full moon night, Rann of Kutch
A fascinating view of the Rann of Kutch during the full moon night. When winter comes, the Great Flamingos arrive at the Great Rann of Kutch from Siberia for breeding, giving the white desert a rosy hue. Many other species of migratory birds such as Busturds, Blue Tailed Bee Eater, Ceraneous Vulture and Demoiselle Cranes also arrive here in large numbers.
Rann’s large flamingos from Kutch add an enchanting pinkish shade to the sterile white landscape
Another thing to do in Kutch is to visit the Wild Ass Sanctuary. Located in Little Rann of Kutch, the Wild Ass Sanctuary in Gujarat is the only place in the world where you can find the endangered Indian Wild Ass.
Trip to Gujarat – The indian wild assesi
The Indian Wild Ass in danger of extinction at the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary in Little Rann of Kutch
For history buffs Dholvira is another place to visit in the archaeological site of Gujarat. It is considered one of the modern cities dating back to the Indus Valley civilization period. It is located near Bhachau Taluka of Kutch. Important travel tips: Rann of Kutch is located near the Indo-Pak border, so all tourists need prior written authorization from the DSP office in Bhuj before traveling there. On Saturday and Sunday the DSP office is closed, so plan accordingly.
Trip to Gujarat – Kutch Rann Utsav
Rann Mahotsav is a 3-day annual affair held in the Rann of Kutch Courtesy Gujarat Tourism
To try the Kutch in its most colorful and vibrant form, Rann Mahotsav is the time to visit this destination in Gujarat. It is a cornucopia of music, dance and a myriad of colors and culture of the state. A three-day annual razzmatazz, the white desert comes alive with music, dance, live tents, camel safaris, arts and crafts on display and cultural performances during the Rann Utsav.
Trip to Gujarat – Somnath temple
Somnath is the first and most sacred of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. According to legend, the Hindu moon god known as Soma built a temple entirely in gold to pay reverence to the glory and compassion of the Lord and the temple became known as the Somnath Temple. According to the legends, the same temple was rebuilt by Ravana in silver, Krishna in wood and by king Bhimdev in stone.
Lying on the shores of the Arabian Sea, this temple was destroyed, then rebuilt on several occasions and finally after India gained independence. Every year millions of devotees seek the blessing of Lord Shiva in Somnath, considered one of the best temples in India when it comes to religious significance.
Trip to Gujarat – Bhuj
Perhaps the phrase “steeped in history” has been coined to refer exactly to Bhuj. With connection to a series of civilizations from prehistory, the Mahabharata, the Indus valley and the times of Alexander the Great to the regional sultans, British and later modern India, Bhuj with over 4000 years of habitation is a cultural potpourri and one of the best places to visit in Gujarat for cultural immersion.
Bhuj’s main attraction is the Aina Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), the Parag Mahal, the Kutch Museum with rare artifacts, the Ramakunf Stepwell and Lake Hamirsar. But Bhuj is much more than a simple tour, the cultural interactions are traditional hand-made fabrics and handicrafts, enamelled jewels and cultural excursions in the surrounding villages that attract most international tourists.
One of these cultural trips is Bhujodi. Located 7 kilometers from Bhuj, Bhujodi is a village of weavers. Another trip to the village is Ajrakhpur, located 15 kilometers from the city, a village of block printers. These trips offer you the opportunity to meet artisans, attend demonstrations and buy handicrafts.
Trip to Gujarat – Rani ka Vav, Patan
One of the rare monuments erected by a queen for her beloved king, Rani Ka Vav is a spectacularly well preserved pass. It was commissioned by Rani Udayamati in memory of the late husband King Bhimdev I in the year 1063. Shortly after completion, the passage was flooded with water and silt from the nearby Saraswati river. It was only in the 1980s that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) excavated this Vav and demolition was undertaken.
The structure that was discovered was a majestic example of sculptures carved, niches and pavilions compartmentalized with pillars. Rani ka Vav is one of the largest, most beautiful and unique wells and is currently on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The sculptures of Apsaras represent “solah shringar”, the different form of makeup
This underground well leads down through stepped corridors that are marked by columned pavilions. The central motif of the richly sculpted sculptures is the Dasavataras, or the 10 incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu. Avatars are accompanied by sadhus, brahmins and apsaras. The apsara sculpture that paints the lips and adorn themselves in a different style represents the “solah shringar” or the 16 ways to wear makeup to look more attractive. In total there are four hundred niches on the walls that show sculptures in this vav.
Trip to Gujarat – Temple of Dwarikadheesh
Located on Gomti Creek, the temple of Dwarkadheesh is one of the most beautiful temples in India believed to have been built by Lord Krishna’s nephew himself. Seems to rise from the waters of the Arabian Sea, the temple is renowned for its exquisitely carved architecture. It is considered the most sacred of Hindu temples and part of the Char Dham Yatra, the most sacred of all Hindu pilgrimages.
According to legend, Lord Krishna settled in Dwarka with his Yadava clan. At his death as an avatar of Krishna, the entire island of Dwarka was submerged in the sea. Recent archaeological excavations have supported these theories that today Dwarka is one of the 6 ancient cities existing here.
Trip to Gujarat – Sasan Gir National Park
The only place in Asia where you can spot the jungle king that wanders in the wild, the Sasan Gir National Park located in the Junagad district is one of the most visited tourist places in India. The main attraction is the Asian Lions, but there’s more in this protected area.
The park is home to hyenas, leopards, marsh crocodiles, antelope, sambar and a huge number of bird species which makes it an ideal candidate for one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India. Although people come here for lions, birdwatchers head to Gir to experience one of the best birdwatching experiences in India.
The best time to visit Gir National Park is from November to March, but for the best chance of spotting lions visit the park in the hottest months of April and May.
Trip to Gujarat – Champaner-Pavagarh Archaeological Park
Located 50 kilometers east of Baroda City is the Champaner Pavagarh archaeological park. This ancient site with its religious structures and ruins dating back to the 8th century was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. It is a place to visit for history buffs and those interested in culture and architecture. Complete with its military, religious and agricultural facilities, the site was built and expanded over a period of 600 years. Abandoned immediately after becoming the capital of Gujarat for a short time under the independent Sultan Mehmud Begda, it is the only existing pre-Mughal site.
The Jama Masjid built here during the reign of Begda is a great example of Indo-Islamic fusion architecture and later served as a model for building other Friday mosques throughout India. The ruins of this archaeological site also include residential buildings, military fences, palaces, agricultural buildings and water retention facilities.
Trip to Gujarat – Vadodara
Vododara, called the cultural capital of the state, is one of the most visited tourist resorts in Gujarat. After the waning Mughals were expelled from the Marathas i Gaekwad, the local generals of the Marathas established Vadodara as their capital. The city offers a perfect fusion of past and present. The city flourished and modernized under the aegis of Maharaja Sayajirao II and enjoyed great autonomy even during the British Rule in India.
When it comes to things to do in Vadodara, you can visit the Kadia Dungar caves, Lakshmi Vilas palace, Nazarbaugh palace, Makarpura palace, Sursagar Talav and the incredible Sayaji Baug.
Sayaji Baug was built by Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1879 and is named after him. The Sayaji Baug also called Kamati Baug comprises 45 hectares of gardens, a flower clock, two museums, a planetarium, a zoo and a small train.
Ahmedabad, the fifth largest city in India, is the commercial hub of Gujarat and also one of the best places to be in Gujarat. The city is renowned for its deep-rooted culture, exquisite architecture and exuberant people. Ahmedabad was founded by King Karnadev in the 11th century and given the name of Karnawati until the Sultan Ahmed Shah invaded the kingdom in 1411 and renamed the city by himself.
Tourist attractions in Ahmedabad include the Bhadra fort, well-established historic buildings, mosques and lakes. The ashram of the Mahatma Gandi, known as Sabarmati Ashram is one of the major attractions of the city along with the nearby modern temple Akshardham of Gandhinagar.
Bhadra Fort, Jhoolta (waving) Minarets and Teen Darwaza are the historical wonders of the city. Natural beauties include Emerald Lake Kankaria and Lake Vastrapur.
For a cultural immersion, visit Ahmedabad during the main festivals celebrated in this city. Uttarayan (Makar Sakranti) and Navratri are the two most famous festivals here that are celebrated with great zeal and taste. The International Kite Festival is celebrated here with great taste and kite flyers from all over the world come together and show off their kite flying skills.
Another specialty of Ahmedabad is the sumptuous kitchens. The city is renowned for its ice cream thanks to the white revolution and the abundance of dairy products in the state. Even the local trend for desserts is renowned. Gujarati specialties include Dhokla, Khandvi, Srikhand, Haandvo and Bhajiya. For food lovers, Khau Galli in the Law Garden area and Khan Pan Bazaar in Manekchawk is the ideal place for the authentic taste of Gujarati cuisine.
The pass good or “Vav”, as it is called in Gujarati, is a spectacular example of fusion of elements of Indian and Islamic architecture. This five-story step is renowned for its finely carved interiors.
Rich in history, Adalaj Vav has an interesting legend associated with it. According to legends, the Muslim king Mohammad Begda invaded, defeated and killed Veer Sing who ruled here. It is said that Begda after seeing the beautiful queen was in love and wished to marry her. The queen has promised to oblige him once he has built the pace well.
Begda ordered the construction of the well that was finished in record time. Completed open Begda pressed the queen to keep her promise to marry him. But the queen, who was still devoted to her slain husband, decided to end her life by jumping well into the same step. The entire episode is depicted in the walls of the Vav.
Literally means “Old Fort”, Junagad is a fortified city rich in history. Sprinkled with mosques, both Hindu and Buddhist temples and other historical structures, Junagad was ruled by Babi Nawab until India became independent. It is interesting to note that the Junagad Nawab wanted to side with Pakistan after the partition but since most of the population was Hindu, Nawab had to leave his principality and flee to Pakistan.
Junagad is mostly overlooked by tourists and serves mainly as a base for visiting the Gir National Park. But this city is home to some wonderful historical monuments. Mahabat ka Maqbara is one such example of exquisite architecture. You can also find an Ashokan Rock Eddict here. Several Jain temples are also found near the city built on the peaks of Mount Girnar, which could be reached by flights of stairs.