As the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat has gained popularity all over the world. It is little known that Gujarat is home to some of the most beautiful places in the country. Over the years, the tourist traffic to the state has increased, but there are still some little known places in the area that would surely mesmerize and amaze you. Here’s our list of top 10 places to visit in Gujarat:
Lothal is one of the most extensively excavated sites of the Harappan culture, best known for being the oldest civilization in the world. Photo from Flickr.
Lothal: ‘the mound of dead’, Lothal lies at a distance of 80 Km from Ahemdabad. Lothal is one of the most extensively excavated sites of the Harappan culture, best known for being the oldest civilization in the world. Lothal is a magical place where you will come face to face with the grandiose that once was. Do not expect to see grand palaces and forts, but ruins of one of the greatest and oldest civilizations of the world.
Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram: the ashram, founded and run by Mahatma Gandhi is a sanctuary for his ideals of non violence and secularism. The ashram stands on the banks of the river Sabarmati as a monument to the great man and offers a glimpse into his life’s work. The ashram preserves the Mahatma’s ideals and philosophies and attempts to spread them through the world.
Alang: this ship breaking yard is hardly a tourist destination. However, this one of a kind ship yard in Bhavnagar offers a glimpse into what happens to ships when they cannot be at sea anymore. The materials from the ships are salvaged and turned into scrap. Parts are sold and the wood is often used to make unique furniture pieces.
Piram Island: India’s only private island, the Piram Island is a testament to how private ownership in a country of plenty can change the face of nature. This beautiful island has seen tourism grow exponentially over the years. Once here, you will forget the silver sands of Maldives and Mauritius.
Champaner: the Champaner area is best known for the Champaner fort and the hill top shrine of Pavagarh. About 80 Km from Champaner, you can visit India’s only excavated dinosaur fossils at Balasinor. The entire landscape of Champaner is strewn with ruins of forts and palaces.
Gir National Park: Gir National Park is home to many of India’s majestic Gir lions. Gir is the only place in the world, with the exception of Africa, where you can find wild lions in their natural habitats. This is not only a wildlife park, but a magical place where the Maldhari tribes have coexisted with the wildest beasts of the forest for generations.
Somnath Temple: Shree Somnath Jyotirling Temple is one of the twelve temples dedicated to lord Shiva. This is one of the oldest pilgrimages in the country and finds its mention in some of the oldest religious Hindu texts.
Great Rann of Kutch: world’s largest salt desert, the Rann of Kutch goes underwater in the monsoons. This is one of the most amazing natural feats that you can witness. The area begins to dry up in October and the tourist season continues till March. The area is also famous for the cultural extravaganza known as Rannotsav. The month long festival begins in mid December and lasts till mid January.
Saputara: Gujarat’s most famous and most visited hill station, Saputara is a beautiful tourist destination. Saputara is lush green through the year and in the spring time you can see flowers sprouting through the mountains. The region has a dense tribal population and is ideal for those who enjoy culturally diverse holidays. You can also enjoy a picnic and a dip in the Saputara lake.
Dholavira: another excavation of the Harappan culture, Dholavira gives you a glimpse into the country’s glorious past. The Indus Valley Civilization, hailed as the earliest civilization of the country, sprouted here and the remnants can still be seen in the area.