Gujarat is situated at the extreme western boundary of India. Gujarat is the homeland of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. He was born in Porbandar. Gujarat has plenty to offer. In Gujarat apart from temple cities, forts and palaces one can also explore the unique crafts made in communities. Gujarat’s architectural diversity reflects the influence of its many different rulers- the Mauryans (Buddhist), Hindu Rajas and Muslim emperors who combined their skills and tastes with Hindu craftsmanship to produce remarkable mosques, tombs and palaces.
A tour of Gujarat offers a variety of mesmerizing and unique architecture from 4500 year old citadels to early 20th century palaces, havelies and art deco mansions.
Suggested Tour : Colourful Gujarat
Highlights of Gujrat :
Ahemdabad is the capital of Gujarat and an appropriate destination to start the tour of Gujarat. It harbours the first mosques built in the curious Indo-Islamic style as well as richly carved temples and step- wells
Sight seeing at Ahemdabad :
Jami Masjid, Manek Chowk, Swaminarayan temple, Mosque and Tomb of Rani Sipri, Shaking minarets , Dada Hari-ni Vav and Mata Bhava Vav, Hathi Singh Temple, city museum, Sabarmati (Gandhi) Ashram and Calico Museum of textiles. Tour enquiry
Sights to see around Ahemdabad :
Adalaj Vav, Gandhinagar, Swaminarayan Complex, Sarkhej and Lothal (The largest excavated site of Indus Valley Civilization).
The best example of Solanki temple architecture in Gujrat is Modhera where the eleventh –century sun temple was made in Solanki architecture. The sun temple at Modhera is almost 1000 years old. The temple is positioned in such a way that the equinoxes the rising sun strikes the images in the sanctuary, which at other times languish in a dim half-light. Modhers’s dance festival in January is a very famous event every year.
Kutch in Gujarat is surrounded on the north and east by marshy flats and on the south and west by the Gulf of Kutch and the Arabian Sea. The treeless marshes to the north and east, known as the great and little Ranns of Kutch can flood completely during heavy monsoons transforming Kutch into an island. Kutch is the home to rare wild ass. The Ranns are also the only region in India where flamingo breed successfully during July and August.
Kutchi Pastoral Groups :
Kutch has the most significant and conspicuous population of the pastoral community in Gujarat. Each tribe can be identified from its costume and gains its income from farming or crafts such as weaving, painting woodcarving and dyeing.
Kutchi handicraft :
Kutch is known for its unique traditional crafts, and particularly its embroidery, practised by pastoral groups like Hindu Rabaris and Ahirs and Muslim Jaths and Muthwas, as well as migrants from Sind including the Sodha Rajputs and Meghwal Harijans. Traditionally each community has its own stitches and patterns.
Bhuj is located in the heart of Kutch. Bhuj still retains the medieval flavour with its narrow streets and old bazaars of the walled town. Bhuj was established as the capital of Kutch in the mid-sixteen century by Rao Khengarji, a Jadeja Rajput. Sight seeing at Bhuj: Prag Mahal, Aina Mahal and Hamirsar Tank. Tour enquiry
Saurashtra is also known as the Kathiawar Peninsula. It is a huge lump of land scattering south from the hills and marshes of north away to the Arabian Sea, slash into by Gulf of Cambay to the east and the Gulf of Kutch to the west. Saurashtra boasts India’s finest Jain temple city at Shatrunjaya near Palitana, Krishna temples at Dwarka and Somnath and Ashok’s Buddhist capital, Junagadh. Asiatic Lion’s boom in the Gir national park, while in the flat yellow grassland northeast of Bhavnagar, India’s largest herd of blackbuck live in a national park at Velvadar. Gandhi Ji’s birthplace is honoured in Porbandar. The best place to head to enjoy sun, sea beaches and beer is the formerly Portuguese island of Diu, just off the south coast.
Southeastern Gujarat :
The southeastern corner of Gujarat is located between Maharashtra and the Arabian Sea. The places to see here are Vadodara (Baroda), the former capital of the Gaekwad rajas, the old Muslim town ofChampaner, the ruined fort and exotic Jain and Hindu temples that encrust Pavagadh hill, Surat -the sprawling modern industrial centre sporting a handful of colonial monuments and the only place of real interest in the far south of the state is the former Portuguese territory, Daman.
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