Gujarat in Western India is a popular destination for international travelers for its UNESCO Heritage sites, craft heritage, white desert, beaches, pilgrimages, birding and being the only abode of the Asiatic Lions. Let me summarize holiday in Gujarat in a nutshell for the first time traveler.
Access for Holiday in Gujarat
Ahmedabad is an international airport and therefore the most popular access point for international travelers to Gujarat. Gujarat is also popularly combined with neighboring Rajasthan for an extended itinerary.
Highlights of a Gujarat Holiday
Gujarat is best visited for the following:
Ahmedabad is the capital city of Gujarat and has been inhabited since the 11th century, therefore is rich in heritage. Ahmedabad old city is now a UNESCO heritage site for its ancient architecture and town planning. Jama Masjid, Adalaj Stepwell and Textile Museum in Ahmedabad are also renowned and popular with international travelers. Ahmedabad is also home to the erstwhile residence of the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Modhera Sun Temple (100 km — North of Ahmedabad), Stepwells of Patan (Rani ki Vav) (35 km from Modhera) and Champaner (150 km — South of Ahmedabad) are three UNESCO heritage sites at a drivable distance from Ahmedabad. Statue of Unity (100 km from Champaner), is the recently inaugurated world’s tallest statue (182 meters) and poised to be popular for all travelers.
Kutch is a desert area on the North West part of Gujarat, renowned for its craft heritage and the White Desert. Kutch is renowned for its villages, dedicated to embroidery, woodcraft, silver jewelry, painting, etc. The northern part of the Kutch region is known for its desert character (popularly known as the Greater Rann of Kutch). The desert here is unique for being white in color due to salt deposition and is therefore popularly visited.
White Desert Dhordo
Sasan Gir and Birding Areas
Sasan Gir is the only abode of Asiatic Lions and one of the prime attractions for wildlife travelers. Gujarat is also renowned for its birding. Exotic birds migrate to grasslands, lakes and desert areas of Gujarat in winter. Gujarat is one of the three states in India to have a birding circuit.
Gujarat is home to Palitana, the most revered of all Jain pilgrimages. Palitana is set on a hill having hundreds of intricately carved Jain Temples that are an attraction for every heritage traveler. Gujarat is home to many renowned Hindu Pilgrimages such as Ambaji, Dwarka, Somnath, Virpur, which are very popular with travelers of Indian origin.
Fairs and Festivals
Gujarat is most renowned for its festivals, each presenting a unique insight into different cultural elements of the region. Kutch Desert Festival (Nov-Feb) is a modern-day festival set around the White desert areas of Kutch. Fairs like Tarnetar Fair (August) and Vautha (January) are traditional village fairs that continue to survive in the modern age. Modhera Dance festival is where travelers arrive for traditional dance performances against the backdrop of the Modhera Sun Temple.
Kutch Rann Utsav
Diu and Mandvi are two beachside destinations in Gujarat renowned for their idyllic character. These are opted for by international travelers wanting to spend a few days relaxing in between other explorations.
Gujarat Holiday Ideas
Destinations of Gujarat are best traveled as part of a circuit. We have a popular craft heritage itinerary for Gujarat. Other itineraries can be customized as per tastes and preferences.
Handicrafts in Gujarat — Rich Craft Heritage of Gujarat — Craft Heritage of Gujarat takes you to the heart of Saurashtra, Kutch, and North Gujarat regions, renowned for their wide-ranging textile crafts such as screen printing, block printing, hand weaving, embroidery, Tie and Dye (Bandhani), Rogan Painting, etc.
Gujarat Explorer — Gujarat Explorer is where you arrive for best of heritage sites, craft heritage, cultural heritage, and wildlife. You visit four UNESCO heritage sites, experience the forests of Sasan Gir, interact with nomadic tribes and explore exquisite craft heritage areas of Gujarat.