Gujarat is popularly known as ‘Jewel of the West’. This name has been derived from ‘Gujar-Rashtra’, i.e., Gurjar nation (country ruled or protected by the Gurjars) or Gurjarabhumi (land of the Gurjars) for centuries before the Mughal period.The boundary of Gujrat; Rajasthan, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Arabian Sea and the Pakistani province of Sindh. Its capital city is Gandhinagar, which is known as the greenest capital city in the whole of Asia. It has the longest sea shore compared to any other Indian state. Besides, it has 17 airports which make it the state with the highest number of operating airports in India. Interestingly, Gujarat has the highest number of vegetarian people compared to any other state in India.
10 Top Places to Visit in Gujarat
1. Dwarka – Dwarka located in Jamnagar district, the western tip of the Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat. Dwarka is famous and popularly known as the “home of Lord Krishna”. ‘Dwarka’ literally translates to; ‘Dwar’ meaning ‘door’ and ‘ka’ meaning ‘moksha’ i.e. the ‘door to salvation. It enjoys a remarkable religious significance and attracts thousands of pilgrims because Dwarka is the only city that is a part of both Char Dham (four principal holy places). mentioned in the Hindu religion. The other important fact is the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, is also located in Dwarka.
2. Somnath – Somnath temple is situated in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat; in ‘Prabhas Patan’ near ‘Veraval’. ‘Somnath’ the name means “Lord of the Soma (an epithet of Lord Shiva)”. The Solanki king Mularaj was built this temple before 997 CE. In 1024, was destroyed this temple just to plunder the gold by Afghan ruler, Mahmud of Ghazni. Other places to visit here; Gita Mandir, Balukha Tirtha, Kamnath Mahadev Temple, and Somnath Museum.
3. Gir National Park –The famous National Park is located 43 km north-east of Somnath, which is famous for the temple, looted by multiple invaders in the ancient and medieval times. It is the only remaining home for the Asiatic Lions, which plays a crucial and defining role in the preservation and sustaining of a certain species. It is also known as Sasan Gir. It was initiated by the Nawab of Junagadh. According to the official record; there were 411 lions in 2010, also there are roughly different 2375 species of fauna.The important fauna found here include leopard, spotted deer, chausingha, hyena, chinkara and sambar deer.
4. Junagadh –Junagadh is situated at the foot of the Girnar hills, 355 km southwest of the state capitals Gandhinagar. Junagadh is the 7th largest city in the state. Junagadh translates, “Old Fort”. Once it was the capital of Junagadh Princely State. Junagadh joined India on 9 Nov 1947, after a brief struggle in between India and Pakistan.
5. Dholavira–Locally known as ‘Kotada’ (which means large fort), it sprawls over 100 hectares of semi-arid land at the north-west corner of Khadirisland in the Rann of Kutch. Roughly 4500 years ago, it was one of the most developed cities. It is also one of the most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization.
6. Bhuj – Bhuj is a desert city with a long history of kings and empires. The ‘Bhuj’ means a type of knife or dagger, commonly called an ax-knife, the weapon takes its name from the city of Bhuj in the Kachchh district of the state of Gujarat, where it originated. This city has a long history of kings and empires – and hence many historic places to see. It was left in a state of devastation after the 2001 earthquake and is still in the recovery phase.
7. Porbandar – Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi is the administrative center of the Porbandar District. It’s also famous as the former capital of Porbandar princely state pre-independence. Porbandar is well known for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and Sudama. The mansion where Gandhiji was born which has now been converted into a temple. The other tourist attractions are; Sudama Mandir, Bharat Mandir, Ram Dhoon Mandir, Hanuman temple, etc.
8. Gandhinagar – Gandhinagar is the capital city of Gujarat, which is situated at the banks of the Sabarmati River a distance of around 23 km from Ahmedabad. Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar is one of the country’s most beautiful temples. It is India’s tree capital with a 54% green cover on its land area. Other attractions area uniquely built stepwell, Children’s Park, Hanumanji Temple, and Brahmani Temple.
9. Champaner Pavagadh –Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is in around the historical city of Champaner, Panchmahal district in Gujarat. It set in the heart of the city of Champaner and amidst the Pavagadh hills, Champaner city was founded by VanrajChavda, the most prominent king of the Chavda Dynasty, in the 8th century. Pavagadh hill is believed to be a chunk of the Himalayas that was originally carried by Hanuman to Lanka in the Ramayana epic.
10. Dandi – Dandi is a beautiful beach in Surat. Dandi is well known for its historical significance in Dandi march. The march was the famous movement launched by Gandhiji to break salt law. Gandhiji walked for 24 days from the Sabarmati ashram to the Gujarat coastal town of Dandi to break the salt law.