Gujarat is a perfect example of classic culture infused into a bunch of getaways. From epic temples that speak legend to lush turf wildlife sanctuaries, from white desert glimmering in the scorching sun to national parks that are home to fearless lions, from roads running along the coast to some amazing forts overlooking the shores – Gujarat has everything needed for a perfect vacation.
Gujarat doesn’t settle for housing just a myriad list of holiday picks, it also boasts of homing the most fun people you’ll come around on your trip. Gujaratis are as much known for having a zest for life as the countless number of Gujarati snacks. Come weekend and you’ll find not a single parkland where Gujaratis are not hanging out with their families, carrying a picnic basket with them.
Living in Gujarat does give you a lot of incredible insights about the dry state. You get to witness their colorful festivals and, believe us, Gujaratis are always more than excited to make you a part of their celebrations. Countless kites spruce up the sky on the International Kite Flying Festival, and later that day you get to witness thousands of lanterns embellishing the sky ready for sunset.
We’ve made pleasant rendezvous with every popular destination in Gujarat. So today, in this article, we’ve brought together a combined list of all the popular tourist picks in Gujarat that’ll make you want to explore the place every bit as much. We’ve covered every nook and cranny of Gujarat and jotted down all the popular destinations that should be on your itinerary when you visit the place.
We’ll start with our favorite one. 🙂
The Great Rann of Kutch
The vast white stretches of salt flats are quite popular not just in Gujarat but outside the state as well – and, why shouldn’t they be? The magnificent barren land took our breath away the minute we witnessed the earth glittering brightly in the sun. The first time we went to explore the Great Rann of Kutch, it was all submerged in the water. Yes, we didn’t get to see the white earth but that, too, was nothing less than an experience. We mingled with the locals and got to know the place a little better – you know we love to travel the local way.
We went to the Great Rann of Kutch for the second time, and, my, did the earth look so surreal! We’d never seen the land so beautifully adorned in nature. The desert was snow-like, resting gracefully in the lap of Mother Earth. Arriving early did us some advantage of relishing the desert’s charm without any hordes of tourists. We chose to stay in Bhungas the first time and in a camp the second- different, yet equally amazing experiences. Do relish the Kacchi cuisine.
Fresh coconut water, bamboo shacks serving delicious Gujarati snacks, and a number of water sports to make your day – yes, this is what describes Mandvi port. Grab a corner and a laid back chair, and you’ll have yourselves a perfect beach day. We spent a day in Mandvi on our way to the Great Rann of Kutch.
Dwarka and Somnath
Gujarat is an amalgamation of national parks and sanctuaries, bleached deserts, spotlessly clean beaches, forts and castles telling stories of valor, and holy places that go way back in time. Few such getaways are Dwarka and Somnath.
Revered to be the second home of Lord Krishna, Dwarka is an abode of countless big and small temples reciting stories of the Lord. It is amazing to see the devotees spread throughout the city with all their enthusiasm to pay their respects at the Dwarkadheesh temple. While we missed the chance to celebrate Holi in Dwarka, the after effects of the celebration clearly established the charisma of the city. Do take out few hours to make a visit to Bet Dwarka. It is a small island not far from the main city. A forty-five-minute boat ride with hundreds of devotees struggling their way to the temple makes for a quite a trip.
Somnath, one of the Jyotirlingas, is one beautiful temple standing tall and proud, overlooking the Arabian sea. The intricate carvings on the stone and spotlessly green temple grounds together add to its stunning location, making it a must on the list of getaways in Gujarat. Keep a watchful eye on the road near Madhavpur, for you will witness the road running adjacent to the coast – a marvelous experience rarely observed in India.
Sasan Gir National Park
Gir National Park marks as the last refuge to the Asiatic Lions. Harboring over 500 Asiatic Lions, Gir National Park is the perfect choice for tourists looking to spot wild lions in their natural habitat. What’s strangely interesting about this national park is how the lions live together in the same territory with the humans. Known as the Maldharis, there are over hundreds of villagers living inside the Gir National Park, and they seem to share a peaceful living with the wild beasts of the jungle – ain’t that something?! While people say it is rather a matter of luck to spot a lion, we, on the other hand, saw fifteen lions and lionesses.
Thrilled already? Wait till we tell you the most exciting part of our rendezvous in the national park. Not to brag, but we, actually, witnessed their mating! It was amazing to witness the sighting and we consider ourselves really lucky to have experienced this rare episode.
Gir National Park might be acclaimed for housing more than 500 Asiatic lions, but there is more to it than just the lions. The spotted deer and few rare birds are a rather common sight. If you’re lucky enough, you might get to spot a leopard too.
Daman and Diu
Daman and Diu are not only a destination much unheard of, but it is also a destination loved by those who know. Ruled by the Portuguese eons back, the districts’ colonial architecture is well preserved.
Diu, more famous out of the two, isn’t usually on a traveler’s list – perhaps owing to the assumption that there is little when it comes to the list of things to do there. Diu is turning out to be the next popular beach destination after Goa – though much more solitary. The beaches in Diu bear no other sound apart from the sea waves’ crashing on the shore, perfect for a laidback nap in the sun. Hire a bike and roam around the deserted roads of this solitary Portuguese settlement for a leisure holiday. Impressive churches, handsome walkways with narrow well-paved roads, few deserted beaches, few Portuguese cafes serving Portuguese cuisine, a fine spread of Gujarati cuisine on every corner, a seashell museum, a tangle of caves, and an amazing fort with a lighthouse overlooking the Arabian Sea will make you fall for Diu.
Once the capital city of Gujarat, Ahmedabad preserves its old roots in a way that can only be experienced when you make a visit to this colorful city. From city monuments dated centuries back to festivals celebrated in all merry, from thousands of options to go on a shopping spree to even more choices of snacks for foodies, Ahmedabad did not disappoint us at all. Living in Gandhinagar, we were able to approach every corner of Ahmedabad in no time. Spend 2 days in the city and we bet you’ll fall in love with Ahmedabad.