Gujarat

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Introduction

Gujarat, also called the ‘Land of Legends’, is a state located in the north western region of India. It shares its borders with other states, in the north east by Rajasthan and Pakistan, on the east by Madhya Pradesh, and on the south by the Union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. It is surrounded on the south west and the west by the Arabian Sea. It derives its name from the word Gujara meaning the land of the Gujjars who had ruled the region from the period 700-800.

The Gujjars were people of the ethnic group from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. During the Huna invasion, the clan appeared in Saurashtra and Northern India. The Maurya Dynasty ruled Gujarat during the ancient times, then the Sakas, Greeks, Mohemmadedans, Solanki Dynasty, Muslims and the Maratha, Chhatrapati Shivaji. In the 1600s the Dutch, English, French and Portuguese played their part in ruling Gujarat. With the Independence Movement by Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and many others began a new era in Gujarat.

Gujarat, also called the ‘Land of Legends’, is a state located in the north western region of India. It shares its borders with other states, in the north east by Rajasthan and Pakistan, on the east by Madhya Pradesh, and on the south by the Union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. It is surrounded on the south west and the west by the Arabian Sea. It derives its name from the word Gujara meaning the land of the Gujjars who had ruled the region from the period 700-800.

The Gujjars were people of the ethnic group from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. During the Huna invasion, the clan appeared in Saurashtra and Northern India. The Maurya Dynasty ruled Gujarat during the ancient times, then the Sakas, Greeks, Mohemmadedans, Solanki Dynasty, Muslims and the Maratha, Chhatrapati Shivaji. In the 1600s the Dutch, English, French and Portuguese played their part in ruling Gujarat. With the Independence Movement by Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and many others began a new era in Gujarat.

 

Best Time To Visit

Tourists can access Gujarat any time during the year. Winter time is the best time to visit Gujarat, however to have a fulfilling holiday. Outdoor activities can be enjoyed without feeling heat pangs and without getting dehydrated during winter. Summer and spring are the best times to visit the hill stations when the weather is ideal and pleasant.

 

How to reach

By Road

As compared to many other states in India, Gujarat has an excellent network of roads. The National Highway makes Gujarat very accessible. Private operators and Gujarat State Transport Corporation run buses to all major regions of the state and India.

By Rail

The railway network is good in Gujarat and connects it well to other places in India.

By Air

Gujarat has one international airport and ten domestic airports. Many domestic airlines connect Ahmedabad in Gujarat with other cities of India. Taxis and cabs can be taken from the airport to the hotels.

 

Availability Of Hotels And Restaurants

World class accommodation is offered at the Gujarat hotels and that too at very reasonable rates. To make the stay pleasurable and comfortable, services are provided in a wide range at the hotels. People of all classes can make bookings at hotels as per their choice and budget. If budget is not a constraint, the heritage hotels are a great choice to experience the comforts and royal pleasures of a queen and king. Distinguished guests can make the most of top quality services offered at the heritage hotels.

It does not matter what the budget is, the hotels are sure to capture the attention of every tourist. The best of arrangements, facilities and amenities are offered at all times. At most of the hotels, free high speed internet, free breakfast, excellent room services, suites, shuttle bus service, restaurants and modern amenities, warm and friendly services are provided to suit the needs of both the domestic and international traveler. Restaurants in a wide array serve both local cuisine and international cuisine. Distinct flavors and sweet aromas can be enjoyed after a day of touring and sightseeing.

 

Best Places, Locations, Monuments

History of this diverse state Gujarat stretches from the old civilization of the Harappas to the period of the Mughal rulers. The state is indeed glorified by the cultural and historical traditions of the old civilizations. Freedom fighters like Mohanchand Karamdas Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhai Patel were born here and fought for the India’s freedom infusing qualities of non violence, brotherhood, tolerance and patriotism. Many great archaeological and historical monuments can be seen here. Indo-Sarcenic specimens of architecture, Jain styled profusion of temples, the Buddhist caves at Junagadh and greatest architecture of the Rajputs can be seen at various places in Gujarat. Some of the greatest religions of Asia namely Sikhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Islam and Jainism are represented in the historical monuments here.

In Gujarat there are many fabulous destinations and diverse attractions ranging from wildlife, handicrafts, temples and architecture. The Hodka handicrafts village is a must see for any tourist. The capital of Kutch, that is Bhuj, offers a range of handicrafts, historic buildings dating back to the seventeenth century and colorful bazaars. Sharadbagh Palace in Italianate style and the Darbargadh complex which has been walled and is a royal palace is worth visiting.

At Shroff Bazaar located on the eastern side of Darbargadh, one can find hundreds of dealers dealing in textiles. Seven kilometers from the Bhuj area is located Bhujodi village where weavers weave some of the most beautiful items. Block printers and artisans can be seen demonstrating their handicraft work and can also be met at the Ajrakhpur village.

Another destination located near the seaside is Somnath temple where Lord Shiva is worshiped. The temple’s history is fascinating and architecture in sandstone with intricate carvings is simply superb. On Kartik Purnima a big fair is held and Mahashivratri is celebrated with great pomp and in a big way.

The largest salt desert of the world, called Great Rann of Kutch is truly remarkable to visit during the full moon nights. The most amazing thing about this salt desert is that during the rainy season it gets submerged under the water and then for the rest of the months it builds white salt in enormous stretches. At Dhordo, cultural programs and Rann camel safari held in the moonlight is truly magical.

Not to miss is the Gir National Park, located in the largest deciduous and dry region of India and which is the only park in the world where one can find the Asiatic Lion besides other wildlife. To increase their numbers a lot of efforts are being taken for conservation by the government. Safaris are available regularly and the best time to spot the lion is March to May. December to May is also a comfortable time to visit the park.

India’s largest wildlife sanctuary the Wild Ass Sanctuary is home to the rare Indian wild ass. October to November, which is just after the monsoons, is the best time to visit the sanctuary. Foals can be seen playing and grazing on the tender grasslands. Camping can be done at Little Rann of Kutch and minibus safaris and jeeps can also be taken to go around the sanctuary.