Tourism in Gujarat

Gujarat, the most attractive destination place because of its culture, tradition, different way of celebration of festivals etc. The Guajarati food is primarily vegetarian. It is believed to be one the healthiest cuisine in India. Over the ages, Gujarat has seen a succession of races-settles as well as conquerors and amalgamated their cultures into its own. The result has been a wonderful fusion of new ideas and old world traditions. Rich in crafts, history and natural beauty, this home state of Mahatma Gandhi continues to attract artists, scholars, intellectuals and businessmen from the world over.

Location

Gujarat situated in western coast of the India promontory. The state is bound by the Arabian Sea on the west, Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north and northeast, Madhya Pradesh in the southeast and Maharashtra in the south.On the basis of physiology and culture, Gujarat can be divided into several regions like Kutch, Saurashtra, Kathiawar, and Northeast Gujarat.The capital, Gandhinagar is a planned city. Gujarat has an area of 75,686 sq m dotted with 41 ports: one major, 11 intermediate and 29 minor.

History

Situated on the western coast of India, the name of the state is derived from Gujjaratta, which means the land of the Gujjars. It is believed that a tribe of Gujjars migrated to India around the 5th century AD. The real cultural history of these people, however, is believed to have begun much earlier. Many Indus Valley and Harappan centers have been discovered in the state like Lothal, Dholavira, Rangpur, Lakhabaval, Amri, and Rozdi and established the earliest known history of Gujarat to around 3000 BC to 2200 BC. At that point of time, Lothal was the main port of this civilization. With the advent of the Yadava tribe led by Lord Krishna, some 3,500 years ago, came the glorious days for Gujarat. It was followed by 10 years of Lord Krishna’s rule.

It is believed that Ashoka, the Mauryan king extended his kingdom to Gujarat. The fall of the Mauryan Empire led the small kingdoms to establish their power in this state from time to time. The state achieved a high level of prosperity during the time of Solankis from the 9th century. In the 12th century AD, Allauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi defeated the Waghela king of Gujarat and a long era of Muslim rule over Gujarat started. The Marathas ended the Muslim rule in the 18th century only to be handed over to the British in the early 19th century. Surat was the center of the first factory of the East India Company in India and after the First War of Independence in 1857; the region came under the British monarchy along with the rest of the country.

Fairs & Festivals

Navratri, literally nine nights, is celebrated for the 10 days preceding the festival of Dussehra-usually in October. The most eagerly awaited festival of the year, which celebrates harvest time, Navratri is an occasion when both rural and urban Gujaratis worship the nine incarnations of the Mother Goddess, Shakti, denoting cosmic energy.

Celebrated on January 14, the festival of Makar Sankranti heralds the kite-flying season and the International Kite Festival is held in Ahmedabad on that day every year.

The small hamlet of Tarnetar, about 75 km from Rajkot, is the site for one of Gujarat’s most well known annual fairs, held here during the first week of Bhadrapad (September-October). This three day long fair is primarily a ‘marriage mart’, called swayamwar, where gaily attired young men, in their traditional attire, come to be chosen by village belles dressed in colourful finery.

Tourist Attractions

Ahmedabad, the city of Ahmed Shah, is known for its rich past and its association with Mahatma Gandhi. The city the traveller a unique style of architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles. The monuments of Ahmedabad mainly date back to the 15th century. Ahmedabad has been known for its industry since medieval times. Presently it is famous for its textile mills and is often referred to as the ‘Manchester of the East’.

Gandhinagar, situated about 25 km north of Ahmedabad, is the newly built capital of Gujarat. Gandhinagar, named after Mahatma Gandhi, has been build on a grid pattern. The presence of abundant foliage here has earned it the title of the ‘Green Capital’.

Vadodara lies in the south of Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s cultural capital, which has a long tradition of music, fine arts and education. The credit for this cultural awareness goes to Maharaj Sayaji Roa Gaikwad who made primary education mandatory for both boys and girls and encouraged artistes.

Founded by a Rajput chief in the 16th century, Rajkot had been the scene of many a clash between the Mughals and the British. Located in the center of the peninsula further northwest of Surat, the city is mainly known for the handicrafts it produces. Especially famous are its bead and minor work, tie and dye (bandhani), silk embroidery and appliqué work.

To the west of Bhavnagar, situated at the base of the Girnar Hills is Janagadh. Its special claim to fame is the rock edict of Emperor Ashoka, dating back to 250 BC.

Known popularly as the gateway to Kutch, Bhuj is the important town in this region. An old walled city, the gates of which were locked from dusk to dawn, it encloses within itself not only the palace but also the entire bazaar and a lake too.

Best time to Visit

Gujarat has sweltering climate with hot summers and cold winters. The summer months are from April to June temperature ranging from 27 degree C to 42 degree C. Winters are better with a temperature variance of 14 degree C to 29 degree C. Monsoon touches the state in June and remain till September.

How to Reach

By Air- Gujarat have 10 domestic airports from an international airport at Ahmadabad. Most of the domestic airlines operate out of Ahmedabad connecting it to rest of the country.

By Rail- Gujarat has a good railway network that not only connects the state internally but connects the state to other places in India also.

By Road- Gujarat has a better road network than most of the other Indian states and they are in a fairly good condition. The total road length in the state is 68,900 km out of which 1,572 km is the share of National Highway, making the state easily accessible.

 

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