Posted 13 January 2023 in Travel Wanderlust
5 of the most beautiful must-visit places in Gujarat
They say Gujarat is a whirlworld state, just a blink is enough to miss out on many things. Well, we can’t face away from the fact that there is so much happening in this state. It is a favoured tourist destination with magnificent attractions, bustling markets, and lip-smacking Gujarati dishes. Along with being the home state of Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat has an interesting history that traces all the way to the Harappan Civilization. By all means, it is a beautiful state, and gaining more popularity with new places being included in travellers’ must-visit lists.
If you are planning to visit this wonderful state, scroll down to know which are some of the most beautiful places to visit.
Let us begin with the most recent additions in Gujarat, the most recent statue in the world.
1. Statue of Unity: Go see the largest statue in the world
You read that right. The statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, an Indian independence activist, and the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India, is the world’s largest. Located in Kavadia, it is a few minutes’ drive from Vadodara. At a staggering height of 182 m, it surpasses the statue of the Spring Temple Buddha in China. Kavadia, where the statue is located is also a popular tourist spot in Gujarat for visitors to stay and enjoy activities like white water rafting in the River Narmada; exploring the Valley of Flowers which includes thematic parks like Garden of Senses, Panchatva, and Zarwani Waterfalls, a popular destination for nature lovers. All of this makes Statue of Unity a beautiful place to visit in Gujarat. What else? There are several hotels to spend a couple of nights, and Ayurvedic wellness centre for wellness retreat.
Interesting facts about the Statue of Unity
- The Statue of Unity is 89 metres taller compared to the Statue of Liberty in the US and 29 metres taller than the Spring Temple Buddha statue in China.
- Around 300 engineers from Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and 3000 workers worked to build the Statue of Unity.
- It is believed that approximately 129 tonnes of iron were used to build this massive statue.
- The Statue of Unity can withstand wind speeds up to 100 km per second and earthquakes.
- Lifts will be constructed that can hold up to 26 people at the top.
- The lifts will be one of the fastest lifts and will take visitors to the top within 30 seconds.
- It has a viewing gallery 152 metres above, which can contain around 200 people.
What can you do around the Statue of Unity?
- The Statue of Unity is dedicated to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- The entire museum contains photographs from the life of Sardar Patel.
- The premises also contain the "Valley of Flowers" exhibit with several types of flowers.
- You can explore the area surrounding Sardar Sarovar Dam by visiting the viewpoint, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the reservoir.
- Explore the Unity Glow Garden.
- See wild animals at the Sardar Patel Zoological Park.
How to get to the Statue of Unity
- Air: Vadodara has an airport that is connected to every major city across India. From the airport, you can take private taxis or a bus directly, or travel to the closest town, Kevadia, and then catch a local transport to the Statue of Unity.
- Rail: There is a major railway station in Vadodara, which is connected across India. From there, you can take a direct taxi or catch a bus to the closest town, Kevadia, and then an auto to the Statue of Unity.
- Road: If you travel by bus, you can take a GSRTC bus from Vadodara. The bus will stop close to the statue; it is walkable from the bus stand. You can also make stops in between and travel to Kevadia, then take an auto to the Statue of Unity.
Opening timings of the Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
Note: It is closed on Mondays.
Where to stay around Statue of Unity?
There is a wide range of hotel options near the statue, from camp-style accommodations to houseboats, and from luxury resorts to even eco-friendly hotels.
The Statue of Unity ticket price
- The Statue of Unity ticket price is INR 120 + INR 30 (bus charges) and INR 350 with an observation deck view.
- The price for children is INR 60 + INR 30 (bus charges), and for adults, INR 200 + INR 30 (bus charges).
Another worth exploring attraction in Gujarat is the Gir National Park, which is one of the most beautiful places to admire nature and see Asiatic Lions.
2. Gir Forest National Park: Get close enough to see Asiatic lions in their natural
Most of you must be wondering, why are Asiatic lions only found in one place in India? Well, to answer your question, Gir National Park and its surrounding areas are dry and deciduous forest, making it an ideal natural habitat for the wild cats. Now that’s out of the way, this national park is extremely popular among wildlife lovers, most of whom come during the months of December through May to see the majestic beast. It is the considered the best time to visit since the weather is rather pleasant to enjoy the safari and you can hang around your jeep for longer. The temperature in summer months make the chances of seeing Asiatic lions slim, since they spend most of the day hiding from the heat and are active during late evening or night. Gir Forest has several accommodation options, from resorts to hotels, so you can enjoy a stress-free wildlife vacation.
Interesting facts about the Gir National Park
- Gir National Park is home to the largest population of Asiatic lions in the world.
- There are approximately 2000+ wildlife species.
- The park is close to Nalsarovar, a beautiful lake, and the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary.
What can you do around the Gir National Park?
- Take a jungle safari.
- Shop at the souvenir stores for handicraft items.
- Plan a stay at one of several resorts located around the park.
- Go for a wildlife tour to see exotic birds at Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary.
- Explore the Crocodile Breeding Centre.
How to get to the Gir National Park?
- Air: There are two closest airports to get to Gir National Park: Keshod Airport and Rajkot Airport. Keshod is the closest airport, from where you get taxis to get to the national park.
- Rail: Like the airport, Junagadh and Veraval railway stations are the closest. From there, you can get taxis to get to the national park.
- Road: Gujarat has seamless road transport. Several buses run from one city to another. State buses and private buses offer frequent service to Gir.
Opening timings of the Gir National Park
The Gir National Park is open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where to stay around Gir National Park?
There are numerous hotel options near Gir National Park, ranging from luxury forest resorts to eco-friendly hotels.
The Gir National Park ticket price
The gipsy safari prices for Gir are INR 800 during the week and INR 1000 during the weekend. The entry fee for Indians is INR 75, while the fee for foreign visitors is INR 100.
While visiting the national park can be a wondrous thing to do while travelling in Gujarat, the Rann of Kutch can take your breath away. Let’s learn about it below.
3. Rann of Kutch: Wander along the largest salt desert in the world
Not far from Bhuj, lies one of the unique and beautiful places in Gujarat, Rann of Kutch, sometimes described as the Wild West of India. This expansive stretch of land is largely saline mudflat in the Thar Desert. It is said to be the largest salt desert in the world. The Wild Ass Sanctuary, located in Little Rann of Kutch, is home to the Indian wild ass population. But, the major highlight to visit this place is the Rann Utsav, a festival of crafts, art, dance, music, food, and nature. While in Rann of Kutch, you can also explore the Dholavira ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan city. With the Rann of Kutch, in addition to the Statue of Unity, the state has two iconic sites. Do you still need more reasons to visit Gujarat?
Read more about - How to plan a trip to Kutch’s Rann Utsav this year
Interesting facts about the Rann of Kutch
- Rann of Kutch is one of the largest salt desert in the world spreading to over 30,000 Km2.
- You can witness some of the oldest civilizations, like the Indus Valley Civilization.
- The famous Rann Utsav is celebrated here from October to February.
- Ports in Kutch were the prior gateway for trading in Gujarat.
What can you do around the Rann of Kutch?
- Explore the expansive white salt desert.
- Visit the highest point in the Kutch region at Kala Dungar.
- Roam around the Kutch Museum at Bhuj.
- Dive into the beauty of Kutch heritage at Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal.
- Visit Vijay Vilas Palace in Mandvi, a famous site used for several Bollywood movies.
- Enjoy a camel ride at the Mandvi beach.
- Go watch the sunset from the Narayan Sarovar.
- Explore one of the oldest civilizations at Dholavira.
How to get to the Rann of Kutch?
- Air: The nearest airport to the Rann of Kutch is located in Bhuj. From Bhuj, you can get a taxi or an auto to reach the Rann of Kutch.
- Rail: There are direct trains from across India to Bhuj. Taxis and autos can be easily found from the station to the Rann of Kutch.
- Road: Rann of Kutch is easily accessible by road from major cities. There are private and government bus services that may make round trips.
Opening timings of the Rann of Kutch
The Rann of Kutch is open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where to stay around Rann of Kutch?
The Rann of Kutch has villages and towns nearby, and there are plenty of lodging options in Bhuj.There are also tents in the desert that will give you an unforgettable experience.
The Rann of Kutch ticket price
The entry fee for the Rann of Kutch is INR 100 per person; if you have a car, it will cost an additional INR 50. To enter Rann of Kutch, you will also require a permit from the official website.
Rann of Kutch is a beauty in itself, but the state also has another destination that is bounded by rich history, fascinating culture, holistic traditions, and an old submerged city, Dwarka. If you want to learn more, keep reading.
4. Dwarka: Explore the abode of Lord Krishna
Religious seekers, here’s one of Gujarat’s beautiful and holy cities, Dwarka. It is a city of temples and one of the four most sacred Char Dham where Hindu pilgrims come from across the country. What makes Dwarka important for Hindus is because it is considered to be the kingdom of Lord Krishna. One of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in Dwarka is Krishna Janmashtami, birth of Lord Krishna. Amongst the many places devotees visit, Dwarkadhish Temple is most popular. It was built in approximately 200 BC. While in Dwarka, you can also visit Shivrajpur beach, which just north of the city, and watch the sun set in the distant horizon.
Interesting facts about Dwarka
- According to a legend, the original city built by Lord Krishna is submerged in the sea.
- It has one of the oldest temples, the 15th-century Dwarkadish Temple.
- Inside Dwarkadish temple, it has a black coloured idol of Lord Krishna.
- Dwarkadhish Temple is considered one of the four dhams of worship, other than Badrinath, Rameshwaram, and Puri.
What can you do around Dwarka?
- Witness the intricate design of the Dwarkadish temple.
- Ride on a camel on the banks of the Gomti River.
- Go for a little souvenir shopping at Dwarkadhish Market.
- Ride the ferry and get a fantastic experience.
- Go for birdwatching at the Charkala Bird Sanctuary.
- Watch the sun set from the Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Temple.
- Enjoy a stroll at Dwarka Beach.
How to get to Dwarka?
- Air: The closest airport to Dwarka is Jamnagar. It is about 137 kilometres away. You can get taxis and buses that will drop you off in Dwarka.
- Rail: Dwarka Railway Station is connected to several cities in Gujarat and India. From the station, you can get taxis to Dwarka. You can also catch a local bus to Dwarka.
- Road: Both private and state run buses make regular trips to Dwarka. You can also rent a car from the city for a comfortable ride.
Where to stay at Dwarka?
Dwarka is one of the prime pilgrimage sites. You can find a variety of accommodation options, from guest houses to homestays, from hotels to resorts.
Dwarka may be one of the most beautiful places in Gujarat, and most importantly, it is stunning and fascinating with the submerged city and the history of Lord Krishna. However, the Sabarkantha District as a whole is a nature lover's paradise.Let's read more about it below.
5. Sabarkantha District: Gujarat’s best kept secret filled with nature
This district in Gujarat is located in the northern part of the state, close to Rajasthan. With scenic landscapes, it has beautiful places to enjoy nature. What’s best about this district is that it is easily accessible from two metro cities in Gujarat: Vadodara and Ahmedabad. Sabarkantha District has several places of interest. Idar is two hours east of Patan, and a must-visit for history and nature enthusiasts, especially the Idar Hill Fort. Once you get to the top, after a strenuous climb to this ancient remain, you get a lovely view of the town, surrounded by nature. Idar is famous for handmade wooden toys. An hour from this town is the Polo Forest, where you can enjoy hiking, camping, and rekindle with nature.
Interesting facts about Sabarkantha District
- Sabarkantha District of Gujarat has many hiking places.
- Idar is famous for handmade wooden toys.
- An hour from this town is the Polo Forest, where you can enjoy hiking, camping, and rekindling your relationship with nature.
What can you do around Sabarkantha District?
- Travel to the Polo Forest, which is a favourite place for nature lovers.
- Climb around 600 steps to the Idar Hill Fort and get a panoramic view of the town.
- Explore the interactive museum of Dandi Kutir.
How to get to Sabarkantha District?
- Air: The closest airport to Sabarkantha district is in Ahmedabad. You can get taxis, buses, and trains to one of the cities in this district.
- Rail: Himmatnagar is a municipality in Sabarkantha district, so, a majority of trains travel to this municipality from different cities across Gujarat.
- Road: Roads are the most convenient way to travel. Several buses both private and state services traverse across Sabarkantha district.
Where to stay at Sabarkantha District?
There are a variety of hotel options in Sabarkantha's towns and cities, ranging from luxury resorts to hotels.
Gujarat Tourist Information
- Capital of Gujarat: Gandhinagar
- International Airports: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport and Surat International Airport
- Language: Hindi and Gujarati
- Must-try dishes in Gujarat: Khandvi, dhokla, handvo, gathiya, thepla, undhiyu, fafda, jalebi, and Gujarati khichdi
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