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The breathtaking state of Gujarat on the western coast of India, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The state, rightly known as the ‘Jewel of the West’ has a lot to offer for everybody. Located on the banks of river Sabarmati, Gandhinagar is the capital of Gujarat. Exploring Gujarat will be an excellent experience and rewarding also. Gujarat is renowned for its rich history with culture, tradition and heritage. There are actually some superb tourist places in Gujarat, with various attractions like handicrafts, architecture, temples and wildlife.

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Popular for its legendary forts, grand palaces, national parks and shrines, Gujarat is one of the most stunning and popular states of India. A land of romance, charisma, mysticism, vivacious colours and infinite natural beauty Gujarat never fails to charm its many guests. Mix with modernity, the progressing State has become Tourists’ Paradise and  allures travellers from all across the globe. It is a tough task to shortlist some attractions among the countless tourist spots. However, here is an earnest and humble effort to give you with a list.

Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary

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Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is in a very huge 1412 sq km  compact tract of dry deciduous forests with a large variety of plants and animals in the semi-arid western part of India. The Sanctuary spreads over Amreli and Junagadh districts of Saurashtra. It’s the last abode of the big and royal predator Asiatic lion, an endangered species.Asiatic lions are in large numbers here. For successfully saving this precious species from the brink of extinction the sanctuary is internationally acclaimed. Gir  has a topography created from succession of rugged ridges, isolated hills, plateaus and valleys.The place is rich in water bodies and hence it’s home for crocodiles and a range of birds. Some of the animals found here embrace hyenas, wild boar, antelopes, sambhar, jackals, hare, Indian porcupine, fox and a lot more. Lion shows organized by the park are very renowned.

Somnath

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Somnath Temple is found about seventy nine kilometers from Junagadh in the Prabhas Kshetra close to Veraval and the most revered temples of the western coast of India. It finds its reference in the most ancient texts. A vital pilgrimage destination, Somnath is one of the twelve jyotirlinga(shrines of Lord Shiva), in India. Its seashore location is powerful, the intricate carvings on its sandstone architecture are excellent, and its history is fascinating. The temple was looted by Islamic invaders and restored various times, the final reconstruction take place after India achieved Independence. Mahashivratri is celebrated in a big way there with small children dressed up as Lord Shiva and lots of bhaang. A colorful religious fair is also held once a year on Kartik Purnima (usually in November). Don’t miss the evocative evening Sound and Light Show at Somnath.

Great Rann of Kutch

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Wedged between the Arabian Sea and the boundless Thar Desert, Rann of Kutch is attractive symphony of salt and sand.  It measures over 16000 sq. kms and this is the biggest salt desert in the world. There is a Little Rann of Kutch also.This white symphony reaches its crescendo on a full moon night. What makes Kutch more surreal is that in the monsoon, it gets submerged in the water. For the remaining eight months of the year, it’s a large stretch of white salt lending it the look of white desert. The sunrise and sunset on Great Rann of Kutch is a feast to your eyes and they elevate your spirits also. It would be nice if you visit this place by the end of December to experience the Rann Mahotsav, cultural extravaganza organized by the government. The luxury tents established by the government will make your stay comfortable. A moon light camel safari is the Rann of a Kutch is one of the must to do things. Other attractions in the Kutch region embody historic Bhuj, villages and traditional handicrafts, the ship building in  Mandvi and the Dholavira ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan city.

Laxmi Vilas Palace

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Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of the notable monuments in Vadodara that is high on tourist value. This palace was built by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III. Built between the years 1878 and 1890, Laxmi Vilas Palace is a superb example of architectural brilliance of the past. The palace is in a huge 700 acre of land. The gorgeous interiors of the palace and furnishings are awesome. The museum in the palace includes a rare assortment of sculptures, artworks, armory and many more. A number of Raja Ravi Varma’s famous paintings are seen here. The zoo in the palace homes peacocks and crocodiles.

Saputara

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Saputara, meaning “Abode of Serpents”, an attractive Hill Station is on a densely forested plateau on top of the Sahyadri range. Nearby Surat town, Saputara is perched at an altitude of 1000 m, with scenic view of the verdant valley and cool bracing climate. It has been developed as a planned hill resort with all the required amenities like hotels around a big lake, parks, swimming pools, cable car, artist village, boat club, theatres and a museum to ensure a pleasant vacation in the cool of the hills. It’s a known weekend getaway, particularly throughout the monsoon season once it’s misty there.

Rani ki Vav

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A UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, Rani ki Vav at Patan in Gujarat is a rare monuments erected by a queen for her beloved king. It was constructed by Rani Udayamati in memory of her deceased husband King Bhimdev I. It is an ancient spectacular stepwell dating back to the eleventh century, in very well preserved condition.The stepwell has stairs going down seven levels, and panels containing five hundred main sculptures and over 1,000 minor ones. Soon after completion, the stepwell was flooded by the nearby Saraswati River and silted over till the late 1980s. After excavation by the Archeological Survey of India, its carvings were found in pristine condition.

Kankaria Lake

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Kankaria Lake in the southern district of Ahmedabad in Gujarat was made by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din in the year 1451. This is one of the biggest lakes in the city. Nagina Wadi, a summer palace is seen in the island garden, that is at the centre of Kankaria Lake. Because of the scenic beauty  and its surroundings it has now become the most popular picnic place. Parks, children’s gardens, recreational centre, boat club, zoo and a museum are the highest attractions here. Kankaria Zoo is spread over a huge 21-acre land and it homes varied animals like anaconda, python, tigers, elephants  and a lot more. The children’s park has varied entertainments for youngsters like mirror house,  boathouse, toy house and planetarium. Toy trains are accessible to take you round the lake. Balloon safari close to Kankaria Lake attracts tourists in large numbers.

Dwarka and Dwarkadheesh Temple

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One of the most sacred char dham Hindu pilgrimage sites and 7 most ancient sapta puri religious cities in India, Dwarka is taken into account to be the kingdom of Lord Krishna and the first capital of Gujarat. According to the legend, Lord Krishna settled down in Dwarka with his Yadava Clan. After his death as Krishna avatar, the complete Dwarka Island was submerged in the sea. The archaeological excavations have supported these theories that present day Dwarka is one of the six ancient cities that existed here. Placed on the Gomti Creek, Dwarkadheesh Temple is one of the best temples in India believed to have been built by the grandchild of Lord Krishna. Appearing to be rising from the waters of Arabian Sea, the temple is renowned for its delicately carved architecture. It is considered the holiest Hindu Temples and part of the Char Dham Yatra.

Sabarmati Ashram
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Nestled on the banks of the Sabarmati River, the Sabarmati Ashram was the residence of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi made Sabarmati Ashram his home on 12th March 1930 and from here he sowed the seeds of non violent revolution in the heart of millions of Indians.Considered to be one of the nerve centres of Indian political struggle throughout the pre independence period. Mahatma Gandhi preferred this serene place on the banks of the Sabarmati River for a variety of reasons. One of the important tourist attractions of Ahmedabad it has still preserved vital anecdotes, collectibles and letters of that period.

Mandvi beach

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The Mandvi beach is in the town of Mandvi, and in the Kachchh district of Gujarat. The town of Mandvi is also renowned for the shipbuilding industry near the Rukmavati river. The town is about 450 km from Ahmedabad and only about fifty five km from Bhuj.  The Mandvi town has also a private beach known as the deluxe camp. This beach is property of the exrulers of the town. People in thousands visit the beach to enjoy the varied amenities like massage, swimming, beach games, horse and camel rides and for everyday picnic. Other activities like beach volleyball, nature walk by nature clubs and occasional boating is also undertaken by people. The beach is known for its sea shells found nearby. The Mandvi beach is also famous for water sports like para sailing, skiing and surfing for adults, not to mention the fishing activities.

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Accomodation

The Hotels in Gujarat offer tourists with world class accommodation at cheap rates. The hotels of Gujarat supply customers with a large range of services which makes their stay very comfortable and enjoyable. Whatever may your budget be, hotels in Gujarat will attract your attention and supply you with the best arrangements and much better.The Gujarat Heritage Hotels provides tourists with a chance to experience the royal comforts and pleasures of a king and queen. Set amidst the picturesque surrounding of the attractive state of Gujarat, these Heritage Hotels offer varied services to its distinguished guests.

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Transport

Gujarat has an international airport at Ahmedabad and ten domestic airports. There are frequent international flights to countries in Middle East, Europe and America. Different domestic airlines fly daily to Ahmedabad, linking it to the main metros of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. A decent railway network not only connects the state internally but also links all prime cities of Gujarat to rest of the country. A wonderful network of roads, state and national highways connects Ahmedabad, the capital city to the various important places in the state of Gujarat and the major cities of India. The Gujarat State Transport Corporation, private operators and Gujarat Tourism operate regular buses to all the most important places in Gujarat and to the neighbouring states.

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