place where Mahatma Gandhi was born, Porbandar, is in Gujarat.
Some of the holiest places and temples of the Hindus are also
located in the State. Gujarat is the only place one can sight
the Asiatic lion. It is also rich in natural beauty from Rann
of Kutch to the Satapura hills. Gandhinagar is the new Capital
city, while the earlier Capital Ahmedabad is the largest.
To Gujarat's west is Arabian sea and Pakistan province of
One of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. This
ancient temple is believed to have been built in four phases:
first in gold by Lord Soma, in silver by Ravi, in wood by
Lord Krishna and in stone by king Bhimdeva.
temple: The legendary Ambaji temple is situated on the
Gabbar Hill, near the mythological Saraswathi river in the
Arasur forest. A holy lamp is continuously burning in the
This abode for the Gods is situated on the Shatrunjaya
hills. There are 3,800 steps to reach the temple. It is supposed
to be the most sacred pilgrim centre of the Jains. There on
top is a cluster of 1,300 Jain temples and over 27,000 idols
of Jain gods. The main temple, carved in marble, is dedicated
to the first Tirthankar, Lord Adinath.
Pavagadh is a major tourist attraction and pilgrim centre
in the State. It is a forest area 55 km from Vadodara. Maa
Mahakalika temple, Machi haveli, Kali temple and Sadanshah
Pir Dargah are some of the sites people visit.
Dwaraka is said to be one of the seven holiest places
of the Hindus. The Dwarakadhish temple has two 'dwars' or
doors. One is called 'Swarga Dwar' or door to heaven and the
other is 'Moksha Dwar' or door to salvation. Through the first
the pilgrims enter and through the other they exit. The temple
is situated at the 'sangam' or confluence of Gomati river
and the Arabian sea. It had been submerged by sea six times
and resurrected from the ruins each time. Rukmani temple is
A world heritage site, Champaner is situated at th foothills
of Pavagadh.The main attraction here is an ancient fort surrounded
by hillocks and escarpments formed by volcanic eruptions and
thier lava. Other sites around are Shehar ki Masjid, Jami
Masjid, Kewada and Nagina Masjid. Champaner was founded by
king Vanraj Chavda in the eighth century. Pavagadh and Champaner
were captured by Chauhan Rajputs in the early 14th century
and later became the capital of Gujarat for some time but
to be captured by the Mughals in the 16th century.
Vilas Palace (Maharaja Palace): Built by Maharaja Sayajirao
Gaekwad III in 1890, this palace is four times the size of
the Buckingham Palace of London. Old armory, bronze sculptures
and terracota by Fellici can be seen here.
Gir: The forest abounds in rich flora and fauna. Lions
are a speciality.
or Trineteshwar Shiva temple: The hand-embroidered parasols
carried by tribal bachelors in the three-day festival held
here is an attraction. The fair commemorates Arjun's arrival
in Panchal to win the hands of Draupadi.
The silver sand desert here is mesmerising. One can go
for bird-watching here. Also shop for traditional items like
Kutchi embroideries, jewellery, Bendhani fabrics, enameled
silverware and other handicrafts at Rann of Kutch.
(400 km from Ahmedabad): Called the Abode of Serpants, this
hill station is located on the plateau of the Dang forest
along Sahyadri mountain range. During the monsoon rainy months,
the rich greens are more beautiful with blooms. Good time
for walks, ropeway trips, shopping, trekking and water sports.
There is also a week-long paragliding festival. Excursions:
Vansda national park, Purna sanctuary, Boating, Sunrise
Point, Ropeway, Gir falls, Girma Falls, Shabari temple, Vaghai
botanical gardens, Vaghbari botanical garden, Mahal forest,
Situated 40 km from Ahmedabad, Dholka has great historical
importnace. It is said, the Pandavas, alongwith Draupadi,
stayed here, at that time a forest town called Virat. It's
here Bhim killed Kichak. The remains of their palace and the
kitchen used by Bhim are some of the surviving monuments here.
There is an ancient math of Adi Shankaracharya in Dholka town.
The animal fair held here in the month of Chaitra is attended
by thousands of people. Dholka's gauva, red inside and without
seeds, is famous.
Ten km away from Dholka, Vautha is where seven rivers
meet and therefore is called Mahatirth by the Hindus.
Sarovcar Bird Sanctuary: 65 km from Ahmedabad, it has
a huge lake and marshy lands visited by birds in winter and
spring - between November and February. 250 species of wetland
birds can be seen. It is one of the largest wetland bird sanctuary
in India - in 123 sq km. Rosy Pelicans, Flamingoes, White
Storks, Brahminy Ducks and Herons can be sighted here. One
can also see endangered mammalians like wild ass and black
Dasada is on the edge of the Little Rann of Kutch, an
extension of the Rann of Kutch. A bird-watching destination
(October-March), it is 90 km away from Ahmedabad. Wild ass
can be sighted here. Languages: Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi,
by Sultan Ahmed Shah, Ahmedabad is situated on the banks of
Sabarmati river. It is also known as the 'Manchester of the
East' because of the textile industry. The old city's bylanes
are called pols and the wooden mansions are called havelis.
The city is a big commercial centre today.
lake: The place is a recreational spot. The lake was constructed
by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din
Darwaja: This was the royal entrance to the Royal Square.
Jain temple: Dedicated to the 15th Jain apostle Dharamnath.
Sarkhej Roza: It is an architectural complex without the arches.
Masjid: Built in 1423, one of the best mosques in western
Minarets: The two minarets of Sidi Bashir's mosque are
built in such a way that if one shakes, the other also trembles.
Saiyad mosque: Is the most famous of several mosques in
Ahmedabad. It was built in 1571.
Hari Vav: This is one of the step-wells that can be seen
in Gujarat. They provide travellers cold water. It has a unique
type of architecture.
ashram: On the banks of the Sabarmati river, this
was the centre from where Mahatma Gandhi organised
the freedom movement.
Dham temple: In Gandhinagar, the new Capital city, the
temple, in pink sandstone, was built in memory of Lord
Swaminarayan. It is more of a cultural complex.
Vav: Built in 1499, it is an underground well, five stories
(80 km from Ahmedabad): A township dating back to the
Indus valley civilization.
Also famous for its architecture of the Solanki dynasty,
Patan is a weaving centre for geometrically patterned Patola
sun temple: Modhera sun temple is dedicated to the Hindu
Gor, Surya. The temple has such architecture that during the
equinoxes the sun's rays illuminate the sanctum sanctorum
at dawn. The sculptures are similar to those of Khajuraho
and Konarak temples.
elesewhere in north India, Navratri is celebrated in
Gujarat also. Dandia, Garba and Raas are forms
of dances associated with the festival here; Makar Sankranti;
Rathyatra (July) - A procession is taken out from Jagannath
temple with idols of Lord Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra
in in a chariot; Kite festival is especially an attraction
of Ahmedabad when winter comes to a close. It is known as
There is a delicate balance of sweet, sour, bitter, salt and
spice; Some dishes are Undhyoo, Paunk, Khichdi, Kadhi, Khaman
Dhokla, Doodh Pak, Shrikhand Poori
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