Gujarat derives its name from the initial immigrants, the Gurjaras, who moved through Northern India and settled in some parts of Western India and ruled the land for centuries. Gujarat is one of the liveliest coastal states of India, harmonious in crafts, history, and natural beauty. It is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the west, Pakistan, and Rajasthan in the north and northeast respectively, Maharashtra in the south, and Madhya Pradesh in the southeast. Gujarat with the largest coastline (1290km) in the nation.
It is believed that Lord Krishna fled from Mathura and established his new capital on the west coast at Dwarka. Besides its diverse destinations, this industrially superior state is also known for its beautiful handicrafts, textiles, exciting fairs, festivals, and colorful lifestyle. Gujarat tourism attracts a good number of pilgrims and wildlife lovers from all parts of the world.
Gujarat is also the only home for the Asiatic Lions. One of the largest contributors to Gujarat tourism is Gir National Park in Sasan. It is known as the natural habitat for tigers after Africa. The Rann of Kutch is another tourist enjoyment that has been at the lead of Gujarat tourism. The annual Rann Utsav(festival) is a major crowd puller and welcomes travelers from all over the world. UNESCO World Heritage Site Rani Ki Vav has progressively become a popular tourist destination. From the striking architecture of Jain temples, Laxmi Vilas Palace, historical Dwarka Temple, Somnath Temple, and Sun Temple of Surat.
Gujarat is famous for its ancient temples, virgin beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and historical towns. I have created a list of Gujarat tourist places with Photos for your better planning of the Gujarat tour. You can pick from heritage holidays that focus on the forts and historical monuments, or an eco-friendly holiday that will take you to thundering waterfalls, deserts, and forests.
Top 10 Best Gujarat Tourist Places to Visit
Great Rann of Kutch/White Desert
The Great Rann of Kutch is a salt quicksand in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India. It has spread in 7500 sq km (2900 sq miles) area and is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world. If you want to know the best time to visit the Rann of Kutch, then you should visit the Rann during the Rann Utsav, a festival that is held annually between December and February. A tent city is set up amidst the desert for tourists during the Rann Utsav and cultural festivals are organized. One can also enjoy camel safaris and can witness the traditional handicraft of Gujarat. It is a must-visit places list of Gujarat tourist places.
Mostly tourists visit Dwarka for Dwarkadhish Temple, it is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Krishna, who is worshiped here by the name Dwarkadhish. Dwarka can be mixed with nearby wonderful destination like Nageshwar Jyotirlnga, Bet Dwarka, Gopi Talav, and Sudama Setu by adding one additional day to your Religious trip.
The Somnath temple located in Veraval, the western coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines dof Shiva. A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirlingam is a divine representation of the Hindu god Shiva. Somnath Temple is a major pilgrimage place of Gujarat. It is reconstructed several times in the past after reiterated destruction by many Muslim invaders and rulers. The Sound & Light show featured every night from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm is worth watching and making this holy place in the top list of Gujarat tourist places. Apart from Somnath Temple, you can visit Somnath beach, Triveni Sangam, Bhalka Teerth, Girnar Hills. Usually Pilgrims tourists cover this temple along with Dwarkadhish temple.
Ahmedabad Old City
Ahmedabad is one of the largest cities in India. This city is situated on the banks of the Sabarmati river and is famous for its cotton textiles, a variety of mouth-watering snacks, diamond cutting, and handicrafts. In a single day, you can cover famous places like Kankaria lake in the morning, Sabarmati Ashram/Mahatma Gandhi’s Home in the daytime, Sabarmati riverfront and law garden in the evening, and Lal Darwaza market at night, which is famous for budget shopping of handicrafts, electronic items, and clothes. If you want, you can visit other places like Kite Museum and Hathee Singh Jain Temple.
Gir National Park
Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, sometimes referred to as Sasan Gir, is a forest and wildlife sanctuary located near the coast of the far west-central part of India in the state of Gujarat. The Gir Forests is created in 1913 to protect the Asiatic lions, was granted sanctuary status in 1965. Several hundred Asiatic lions have been bred in the sanctuary since it was established. Other faunas lives here are leopards, wild pigs, spotted deer, four-horned antelope, and chinkaras. The park remains closed from 16th June to 15th October. The best time to visit the national park is in winter, from November to March. April and May months provide the best animal viewing as wildlife focuses on water sources because of the heat, ideal for wildlife photography. The largest draw of the park is the Asiatic lion which makes this place as one of the best gujarat tourist places. Most people think of Africa when they envision lion encounters, however, there are over 500 lions found within the boundaries of the national park.
Sabarmati River Front
Sabarmati Riverfront is a waterfront developed along the banks of the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad. Gleaming channels and notable mood makes Ahmedabad extraordinary compared to other waterfront goals in India. You can enjoy morning and evening walks or jog here. There is a riverfront park spread in a 1.2km area which allows a number of linearly arranged themed sections within it, providing different choices, activity levels & age groups. These include a Lotus pond, Children’s play areas, and various small pocket parks. An intricate food court has been created next to the park with a shopping street.
Adalaj Stepwell is a stepwell located in the village of Adalaj, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, and is regarded as a subtle symbol of Indian architecture work. It was built in 1498 in the memory of Rana Veer Singh, by his wife Queen Rudadevi. In the Gujarati language, the stepwell is called a vav, in other Hindi-speaking regions it is also known as a ‘baoli’, or ‘bawdi’. Three entrances can be used to enter this stepwell. Till the current date, the enigmatic carvings on the columns that support the five floors are mostly intact. There are some interesting features of the stepwell that make this an important symbol of excellent architecture. The opening in the ceilings above the landing allows light and air to enter the octagonal well, but direct sunlight never reaches the steps except at noon. It is said that the temperature inside the well is cooler than outside.
Kankaria Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. It is located in the south-eastern part of the old Ahmedabad city. A lakefront has many public attractions such as a toy train, zoo, tied balloon ride, water rides, food stalls, and entertainment facilities. Garden in the center of the lake with a summer palace called Nagina Wadi. Go for laser shows and boating during the evening as you enjoy the beautiful sunset at Kankaria Lake.
Timings: 4:00 am – 8:00 am, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm every day, except Monday. No entry between 8:00 to 9:00 am.
Entry Fee: Free for all between 4:00 am to 8:00 am. Rs. 10 for kids below the age of 12 and Rs. 25 for everyone else.
Akshardham is an amazingly carved stone structure that stands between beautiful gardens set in a 23-acre plot at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Akshardham temple of Gandhinagar was built in worship of Swaminarayan by the BAPS Swaminarayan organization, the same organization that built Akshardham in Delhi. The complex took over 13 years to build and was inaugurated on October 30th, 1992. Akshardham mandir is situated in the center of the 23-acre complex, built from 6,000 metric tonnes of pink sandstone from Rajasthan.
Timings: 9:30 am — 7:30 pm (Closed on Mondays)
Entry Fee: Free
Statue of Unity: World’s Tallest Statue
The Statue of Unity is a gigantic statue of Indian statesman and independence activist Vallabhbhai Patel. The Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue at 182 meters (597 ft). It rises 54 meters (177 ft) higher than the previous record holder, the Spring Temple Buddha in China’s Henan province. The statue cost $430m (29.9bn rupees) to build, located 125 miles from the Ahmedabad city. I would suggest to visit the Sardar Sarovar Dam, Valley of Flowers, and other nearby places during daylight hours, and visit Statue and Museum during or 1 hour before the sunset. Make sure to not carry food items and get there early on more crowded days. There are four types of tickets to visit or enjoy Museum, Gallery, Sound and Light show, Valley of Flowers, and Sardar Sarovar Dam Viewpoints. Visit official website www.soutickets.in for booking tickets.
Timings: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm except Monday