The Top Ten Tourist Attractions in Gujarat!
With Covid playing a hide and seek game with us, we have somehow managed to sail through this tide and are learning ways to take it in our stride and lead a complete and fulfilling life. And yes, a fulfilling life – requires a change or a break from these challenging times of our lives. But, have you noticed that, whenever we dream or plan our holidays, subconsciously, we always look forward to an international destination or a domestic hill station or the northern part of India? Many of us, for some reason, overlook the ones that are close to our cities. One such state is Gujarat.
Until recent decades Gujarat did not feature on the tourist map. It has been one of our country’s most elusive tourist destinations. However, a successful ad campaign featuring the legendary Amitabh Bachchan and the creation of the highest statue in the world changed the perspective towards this state. Gujarat tourism has shown substantial growth. Gujarat has an extensive and fascinating history traced way back to the Harappan Civilization and the coastal trading ports of the state.
The legacy of the heritage of this state includes mesmerizing architecture, palaces, mansions, temples, bird-watching and wildlife sites, and handicrafts. Explore the unique and enthralling places spread across this state. To know more about these places, seek advice from our destination experts at Flamingo Transworld and create your customized Gujarat tour package.
With such a wide range of holiday options available in Gujarat, Let me enlist some of the unique places in Gujarat as below:
- Statue of Unity
- Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park
- Sun Temple
- Velvadar Black Buck
- Idar Hill Fort
- Narara National Marine Park
- Kutch region
- Gir National Park
1. Statue of Unity
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The Statue of Unity is a well-known tourist attraction or national monument in Gujarat. Have you visited this historic site yet? The Statue of Unity is approximately 7 kilometers from Kevadia village. It would be a lot of fun and a thrill to visit the world’s tallest statue. This statue honors and remembers Sardar Vallabhai Patel, our country’s Iron Man.
The Statue of Unity dwarfed the Statue of Liberty in size. It’s worth noting that the statue’s height is 182 meters, which is equal to the number of assembly constituencies in Gujarat. Another impressive thing is that the statue’s base is made of tonnes of scrap iron donated by millions of Indian farmers. Over 3400 workers and 250 engineers worked on the Statue of Unity for five years. It was inaugurated on October 31, 2018. Learn more in detail about the construction and history of this place at the in-house museum. During the Light and Sound Show, see this landmark from a distinct perspective.
The Statue of Unity’s tickets must be purchased through their official website. The entire area surrounding the statue is developed as an all-inclusive tourist spot with several attractions and activities. Aside from the statue, there’s more to discover. Check out the butterfly garden, sound and laser show, handicraft store, medicinal plant nursery, children’s park, the valley of flowers, forest with native trees, white water rafting, zip-lining, lake-boating, and cycling.
The winter months of October to February are ideal for a visit. Except on Mondays, the restaurant is open every day, from Tuesday to Sunday.
2. Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park
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49 km from Vadodara lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the ancient city of Champaner – Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park. This park is one of the renowned heritage places in the state and is included in our Vadodara Tour packages. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park covers an area of 1329 hectares. This park was founded in the eighth century by Rajput King Vanraj Chavda. The strategic position of the park lured many invaders like Khichi Chauhans, Solanki Kings, and Khalji Dynasty. In 1484 Mahmud Begada conquered the city and rebuilt it into new capital. In 1535, Champaner fell into ruins. Then, ASI rediscovered Champaner with 39 monuments that reflect the confluence of Jain, Hindu, and Islamic architectural styles.
The area includes palaces, fortifications, mosques, Hindu and Jain temples, agricultural structures, residential precincts, and water installations like tanks and step wells dating from the 8th to the 14th centuries. From the 15th to the 16th centuries, the park documented the transition between Muslim and Hindu culture and architecture.
There are several monuments here such as Kalika Mata Temple, Jami Masjid, Tomb of Sikander, Kevada Masjid, Tomb of Sikander Shah, Nagina Masjid, Citadel Walls, and Sahar ki Masjid. The timings to visit this park are from 08 AM to 5 PM.
3. Sun Temple
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100 km from Ahmedabad in Modhera village is the ancient Hindu temple – Modhera Sun Temple. It is one of the renowned heritage places of our country situated on the River Pushpavati banks. Gujarat vacation packages should include a visit to the Modhera Sun Temple.
Modhera’s Sun Temple is dedicated to the Sun God. King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty constructed it in 1026 AD. The temple reflects the architecture and the devotional zeal from the Solanki ruler’s era.
The temple is built on the Tropic of Cancer with an east-facing entrance. On equinox days, the first rays of the sun fall straight on the temple illuminating the idol. Another intriguing fact about the temple is that it was constructed without the use of limestone or plaster. The assembly hall of the temple is perfectly aligned and structurally well-balanced. There are 52 pillars in the temple that signify the weeks in a year. The carvings depict the tales from Ramayana and Mahabharata and the four elements – Water, Air, Earth, and Fire. Surya Kund, also known as Ram Kund, was visited by Sita and Lord Ram while they were in exile. There are approximately 108 small shrines accessible via staircases. The Modhera Sun Temple was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2014. Modhera Sun Temple is one of the most important Patan tourist attractions in Gujarat.
The famous Modhera Dance Festival takes place each year in January. The Gujarat Tourism Corporation is hosting this three-day festival. It highlights the region’s rich cultural legacy, as well as the temple’s architectural splendor. You can visit the temple from morning 07 am till evening 06 pm.
4. Velavadar Blackbuck National Park
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Velavadar is located in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, in the Bhal region. The park has a distinct grassland environment and is the country’s only tropical grassland designated as a national park. The blackbuck population in Velavadar Blackbuck National Park is well-known. The royal blackbuck is prevalent in our country, and one of its prime territories is Velavadar. The park is also popular amongst birdwatchers.
The park is also renowned as the largest roosting site of the harrier in the world. This reserve was established in 1976 to save the Blackbucks. The park is located between the rivers Alang and Parvalia. It covers an area of around 35 square kilometers that comprise mostly flat grasslands. The park is close to the Gulf of Cambay and lies between two rivers. Thus, it has fertile soil. The open grasslands of Velavadar rears around thousand blackbucks. Among all Indian antelopes, they are the fastest. Jackals and wolves are the main predators. You can also spot other animals in this park, such as jungle cats, fox, Nilgai, jackal, wild pig, the black-naped hare, 140 bird species, and other rodents.
From November to March, you can visit this park at any time. From June to October, the park is closed. A safari is a great way to see the region’s abundant wildlife and have a memorable experience. If you want to hire and learn more about it, contact our consultants at Flamingo Transworld. The park is one of the most popular wildlife places in the state and is often; included in Bhavnagar Holiday Packages.
5. Idar Hill Fort
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Idar is a town in the Gujarat district of Sabarkantha. It is approximately 120 kilometers from Ahmedabad. It is located in the Aravalli foothills. The fort was earlier known as Ilva Durga. It is a perfect illustration of a naturally fortified hill fort that has never been conquered. The town of Idar is beautiful and perched on a hill. The entrance to the fort is through a three-story clock tower. The beautiful sculptures and carvings along the fort ramparts are reminiscent of the royal structures of Jodhpur and Bikaner.
During the British Raj, Idar was the capital of the Idar state, which was ruled by the Rathore Rajputs. Idar fort got its name from the Mahabharata. Raja Anand Singh and his brother Rai Singh discovered the fort in 1200. In 1728, he established himself in Idar. Both Idar town and fort are popular amongst tourists. The Old palace located at the foothills of Idar reflects the architecture of the bygone era. The delicately carved balconies, brackets, pillars, and foliated arches lend the palace; a majestic charm.
A climb to the top of the hill will take you through the remains of the old temples and palaces. Idar is also well-known for its handcrafted wooden toys.
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Dwarka is synonymous with Lord Krishna. It is located in Gujarat in the Saurashtra peninsula. It is one of the seven ancient cities known as Sapta Puris and a part of the Char Dham pilgrimage. Dwarka is also known as Dwaravati. The name is derived from the word-dwara – which means the door, and the alphabets Ka refers to Brahma. Thus, the name Dwarka means the gateway to Moksha or Brahma.
After leaving Mathura, Lord Krishna established Dwarka as his kingdom on the banks of the Gomti River. After Lord Krishna’s death, the entire Dwarka city submerged under the sea. ASI states that the city; existed back to two centuries. The excavation work took place from 1983 till 1990. They had unearthed a fortified wall that extended more than half a mile. The present-day city is a popular pilgrimage site and boasts of many shrines. Amongst all the temples, the two-thousand-year-old Dwarkadheesh temple; is the most prominent one. The Janmasthami festival is the main event in Dwarka.
Do not miss the Gomti Ghat; explore the local life – tea stalls, decorated camels, seashell jewelry sellers, etc.
Besides the temples, the city is also known for its beaches. Shivrajpur beach is one of the most well-known beaches in and around Dwarka. It is one of the prominent Blue Flag beaches in India. Gujarat Tourism has been strongly promoting several eco-tourism initiatives in Dwarka. Shivrajpur beach is a destination in itself. There are tons of activities to explore. Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, Jet skis, boat rides, ATVs on the shore, parasailing, etc., are some of the activities to enjoy and explore at the beach. The winter months are ideal for a visit here. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dwarka city is also a shopping paradise for alcoholics. Check out the Bandhni fabrics, Patola Silk Sarees, embellished footwear, embroidered handicraft items, and local souvenirs.
7. Narara National Marine Park
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The Narara Marine National Park is located 56 kilometers from Jamnagar Railway Station. It is a marine wildlife sanctuary in the Gulf of Kutch near Jamnagar. It is the country’s first marine national park and one of the best places to visit in Jamnagar. This park is one of the few in the world where you can observe the corals without diving into the water.
From Okha to Jodiya, the park spans 458 square kilometers. In 1980, it was declared a marine sanctuary. According to the provisions of India’s Wildlife Act of 1972, approximately 163 square kilometers of land were designated as a Marine National Park in 1982.
Out of the 42 tropical islands in the marine national park, around 33 islands have corals reefs. Some of these islands are Narara, Pirotan, Karubhar, and Poshitra. There are islands in this park with mangrove swamps and sandy beaches. The vital ecosystems are available here; are mangroves, coral reefs, creeks, mudflats, estuaries, saline grasslands, rocky shores, and marshy areas. All these ecosystems support rich birdlife and marine life in this park.
As the sanctuary lies in the intertidal zone, visitors get to see the rich diversity of marine life, especially during the low tide. Crabs, octopus, pufferfish, sponges, lobsters, sea turtles, jellyfish, ray fishes, starfish, beautiful corals, unusual marine plants, and more can all be found among the diverse marine life. Remember that this is a protected zone. Hence, tourists are not allowed to pick things like stones, shells, marine creatures, and dead corals.
After obtaining permission from the forest department, visitors can only enter the park during low tide. A coral walk is possible between two high tides. You are not allowed to enter the park during the high tide. Hence it is imperative to check the tidal timings before visiting this park. Ensure to include this beautiful location in your Gujarat holiday tour packages.
8. Kutch region
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Kutch, a land of culture, color, rustic beauty, and spectacular topography, is a visual delight. It is the land of infinite variety and myriad colors, a place where time has stood still. The name Kutch means something that alternatively becomes dry and wet. Kutch in Sanskrit means tortoise. The Rann of Kutch encompasses a large portion of the Kutch region. During the winter, it is dry, and during the rainy season, it is submerged in water. Each historical dynasty has gifted this region its share of the legacy of architecture.
Kutch region entails places like Mandvi, Bhuj, Gandhidham, Anjar, and Dholavira. The most well-known location in Kutch is Bhuj, the state capital. Dholavira is an archaeological site that has the ruins of Harappan city. Mandvi is renowned as the port city with a vast shipbuilding yard. The marshlands of this region attract several domestic and migratory birds that include pelicans, flamingos, and cranes.
This location is a lovely mix of desert and sea that entices everyone with its attractiveness. The main feature – the Rann of Kutch spans over 7505 square kilometers. It is the largest salt desert in the world, covered with water during the monsoons, and during winters, the water evaporates, making it dry and dazzling under the sun.
The cherry on the cake is the Rann Utsav – a carnival marked by music, folk dance, and local art. The carnival is brimming with traditional flavors, an extravaganza for three months. It is a kaleidoscope of dance, music, culture, and myriad colors of the state. During this annual three-day festival, the white desert comes alive with folk dance, music, camel safaris, live tents, cultural performances, and arts and crafts on display.
Experience this mesmerizing place in myriad ways – by walking on the Mandvi beach, check out the local art, palaces of Bhuj, and shop till you drop in the local markets. The place is so enigmatic, and thus the tourism tagline for this region is Kutch nahi Dekha toh kuch nahi Dekha.
Some interesting facts about this region include; the fact that it is the world’s largest flamingo breeding ground and that Dholavira – an archaeological site – is part of the Indus Valley Civilization. Mundra Port is our country’s largest private port. Trace the journey of Salt – Explore Rann of Kutch, the largest salt desert across the globe. Some interesting things to do here are purchase local kutch artifacts, walk-on Mandvi beach, Jeep Safari in Rann of Kutch, go for a wildlife sanctuary, visit the Indo-Pak border, etc. Know many more amazing things to do in detail from our destination expert for your Experiences-filled Gujarat tour package.
9. Sasan Gir National Park
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The Sasan Gir National Park covers an area of around 1412 square kilometers of dry and hilly land. The park is 60 km from Junagadh in the Saurashtra region in Gujarat. Sasan Gir National Park is synonymous with the Asiatic lions.
This wildlife sanctuary for Asiatic lions is the only place where this creature still exists. Asiatic lions were hunted almost to extinction and, in the year 2000, were listed as endangered species. Due to conservation measures, the population of Asiatic lions has increased significantly. According to the most recent census, the park’s lion population is estimated to be approximately 674. The park provides these Asiatic lions with a more secured habitat. Most of the area has high ridges, rugged hills, vast grassland plateaus, isolated hilltops, and densely forested valleys. The park has savannah-type grassland that offers a range of vegetation for the animals to feed.
Not just lions, but you will spot other animals such as Sambar, Chital, Chinkara, Leopard, Blackbuck, Langur, Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Striped Hyena, crocodiles, monitor lizards, Indian rock python, and wild boars. There are around three hundred bird species such as Paradise flycatcher, Malabar whistling thrush, king vulture, crested serpent eagle, pelicans, painted storks, etc.
There is a forest rest house in the center of the national park. Explore the Gir Interpretation Zone at Devalia, 12 kilometers west of Sasan Gir. This zone has been established as an eco-tourism zone to decrease the tourist footfall in the Gir national park.
The winter months are the best time to visit the park. Do not miss the morning safari to have a memorable experience for life.
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The only hill station in Gujarat – Saputara – the dwelling of snakes, is located in the Dang district of Gujarat. It is the state’s least developed district. The name of this place – Saputara, is given by the local tribals. Saputara sits at an elevation of approximately 875 meters above sea level. It is close to the Maharashtra state line. The beautiful waterfalls, undulating slopes, meandering roads, lush green forests, and vivid scenery of Saputara are well-known. The lack of commercialization and the quiet, leisurely pace of life are the most appealing aspects of this location.
Each year they celebrate Nag Panchami on the banks of the Sarpaganga River to worship the snake god. You would not find any mansions or cliché’ points named after the Britishers. Mist falls over the place in the evenings, and the air is chilly. Saputara is a tourist-friendly city where you can get around.
Activities you can opt for are leisurely surreal walks around the hills and lakes, trekking, or just relaxing in the gardens. You can also opt for an experience of the ropeway. Unwind near the Saputara Lake, opt for a paddleboat, visit the Saputara Tribal Museum or, the best part of any trip is to shop in the local markets.
After reading the above list, I am sure the travel bug in you would be all set to pack your bags and hit the roads. A word of caution, the prevailing pandemic is still lingering around us, but that should not dampen our travel spirits. Take a leisurely tour of Gujarat, explore each place at a pace wherein you will be able to soak in the air and feel the enchanting place around you. Get set for the tour with all the safety precautions and follow the necessary protocols. Do not be aversed in booking your personalized Gujarat tour package. Seek advice and best tour planning from destination experts at Flamingo Transworld Pvt Ltd. We have a great range of travel options, specially curated Gujarat tour packages to suit the choice and preference of one and all.