Locally known as the Jewel of the West, Gujarat is indeed a state filled with many wonders and surprises. To begin with, although Gujarat is considered a dry land with a number of deserts like its neighboring state of Rajasthan, it is also home to the longest seashores in comparison to all Indian states.
This is just a sneak peek of what the vast state has to offer. From rich heritage and vibrant culture to delicious cuisines and lively folklore, there’s nothing you should miss out on during a trip to Gujarat. And when you’re in Gujarat, make sure you don’t overlook the Union Territories of Daman and Diu too! If you’ve already begun planning your itinerary, make sure to include these top 7 things to do in Gujarat and Daman and Diu to make the most out of your visiting experience.
Situated in the Thar Desert in the Kutch district of Gujarat, the Great Rann of Kutch is known to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world, attracting tourists from all over. Evening and even the nights are the best time to visit the desert to witness the surreal sunsets and shining stars with the moon. The marshy salt lands present a white, snowy look of the desert that every visitor wishes to capture in their heart forever.
If you happen to visit Gujarat around mid-November, make sure to witness the famous Rann Utsav that will leave you with a one-of-its-kind experience of our rich culture. From traditional music and dance to finger-licking Gujarati cuisine, the festival is a vibrant celebration of our diverse traditions. You can also shop around for some unique handicrafts and embroidered clothes. A visit to Gujarat will be incomplete without witnessing the enthralling experience that the Great Rann of Kutch leaves you with.
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Gujarat is a sprightly state with a number of ancient sites, places of pilgrimage, and inheritance. As a major tourist attraction, these temples of Gujarat witness heavy footfall almost throughout the year. One of the most renowned structures is the Somnath Temple, believed to be built during the prehistoric times. The seven-story structure of this temple is built in Chalukya style of construction and is known to be one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The Akshardham Temple located in Gandhinagar is one of the other prime temples in Gujarat. An example of fine artistry and exemplary architecture, the temple hosts a water show after sundown which is a delight for kids and adults alike.
Another must-visit temple of Gujarat is the Dwarkadhish Temple, popularly referred to as Jagat Mandir. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is believed to attract devotees from all across the globe. Located close to Jagat Mandir is the Rukmini Temple, built in honor of Rukmini, the partner of Lord Krishna. Not to miss out on exploring the temples of Gujarat is the Sun Temple located in Modera. Divided into three parts – Sabha Mandap, Surya Kund, and Guda Mandap, this temple is one of the few Sun temples in India. All these temples in Gujarat are not just places of worship but also structures representing the rich history and architecture of our country.
Also read: Visiting The Ranakpur Temple In Rajasthan.
Will the shopper inside you be able to resist the urge of shopping when stepping into the colorful markets of Gandhinagar? The answer won’t be an easy no, especially for shopaholics who are enchanted by the wooden carvings and handicraft items. One of the most popular destinations in Gandhinagar is the Craftsmen’s Village. From the exquisite handcrafted fabrics to wall hangings and embroidered quilts, the markets here have everything to please your shopping desire. The Teen Darwaza Market, the Gandhinagar Wholesale Market, and the Gandhinagar Ravivar Market are some of the best shopping destinations in the city.
Gujarat is a culturally rich state and the markets at Gandhinagar are a colorful representation of the same. If you’re looking for some traditional Ghagra-Choli or some block-print and Bandhani sarees, a visit to the Gandhinagar markets has to be a must on your itinerary. Complete your shopping experience at Gandhinagar by investing in some ethnic khadi clothing. Apart from its markets, Gandhinagar is also famous for the Akshardham Temple, Puneet Van, Trimandar, Indroda Nature Park, and the Adalaj Stepwell.
Also read: Exploring The Adalaj Stepwell In Gujarat
Located between the Sabarmati River and its tributary Bhogavo, Lothal is home to several ruins of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. The city was excavated around 1954 and is considered to be about 4,500 years old. The ruins of Lothal tie the past to the present and is a paradise for all lovers of history, geologists, and archaeologists. The city is believed to be a hub of industrialization for neighboring nations as one of the early successful civilizations. The more you discover the fascinating excavations at Lothal, the more engrossed you get with the colorful tales of the people who once inhabited the land.
Out of all the ancient ruins, a few noticeable and famous structures include the well, the dockyard, the warehouse, and the bead maker’s factory. Make sure to trace the drainage system of Lothal that was considered a marvel way ahead of its time. The citadel, also known as the Acropolis, is another noteworthy structure. It is the place where the chief used to live. A few other places that you could visit in and around Lothal are the Utelia Palace, Archaeological Museum, Pushpawati Ganga, and the Bhogavo River.
Also read: Spending A Day At The Golden Temple In Amritsar.
Considered to be the lifeline of the city of Ahmedabad, the Sabarmati Riverfront is a treat for both your mind and soul. Built over the Sabarmati River, the waterfront is a 22 km planned promenade, with a few parts still under development. The popular tourist attraction offers an all-around soothing ambience and is among the must-visit destinations in the bustling city of Ahmedabad. While the riverfront is accessible from sunrise to sunset, the best time to visit is during the evenings when the entire waterfront is beautifully lit, giving you a mesmerizing view of the city at night.
A number of bridges are built over the Sabarmati River connecting the old Ahmedabad settlement to the new city. The Riverfront was conceptualized on sustainable development and social upliftment and offers a satisfying experience to everyone visiting it. After a fun-filled day tour of the city, you can take a walk along the lush green promenades of the Sabarmati Riverfront to soak in the calm ambience and feel refreshed. While in Ahmedabad, you can also choose to visit the Sabarmati Ashram, popular for being one of the residences of Mahatma Gandhi.
Also read: Places To Visit In Shillong.
From the Moti Daman Fort to the Cathedral of Bom Jesus, Daman is a land filled with pieces of architectural grandeur. Built around 1559 CE, the Moti Daman Fort is a must-visit to admire the commendable colonial-style architecture and to explore the Portuguese connection to this Union Territory. Another interesting marvel to explore is the Sao Jeronimo Fort located in Nani Daman. A chapel, as well as a church of the Lady of the Sea, is located inside the fort that gives a further glimpse into the architecture of the 17th century. While in Daman, you can also pay a visit to the lighthouse that offers a magnificent view of the setting sun in the sea.
Apart from these famous forts, Daman is also home to a number of temples and churches including Kunteshwar Mahadev Mandir, Jain Temple, Somnath Mahadev Temple, Church of Our Lady of Rosario, and the Cathedral of Bom Jesus. A visit to these places will leave you enchanted with their unique carvings and engravings. Daman isn’t only an exciting place for architecture and history buffoons, but it is also home to a number of scenic beaches and picnic spots. Jampore Beach, Devka Amusement Park, and Jetty Garden are some of the interesting places to visit in Daman. An exciting note for some: Gujarat being a dry state, you can also head to Daman if you’re craving for some booze and nightlife at the local pubs.
Also read: Best Road Trips In India You Must Go To.
Located around 15 km from the main town of Diu, Ghoghla Beach is the perfect place to unwind from the cacophony of city life. Although it is considered to be one of the best beaches of the district, Ghoghla Beach is also one of the least explored gems out there. What makes this place more special is that it can satiate your thirst for peace and adventure, both at the same time. Whether you want to stay aloof and away from the crowd or you want to indulge in some adventure-seeking water sports, Ghoghla Beach can cater to all your moods and desires.
The tourist complex of Ghoghla Beach has all the amenities needed for a family holiday including food and accommodation. Some of the restaurants located close to the beach offer some tasty delicacies worth indulging in. You can enjoy water sports like parasailing, surfing, water scooter, water skiing, and banana boat riding. If it's calmness that you’re looking for, then you can also peacefully enjoy the clean waves gushing along the shores. Ghoghla Beach is accessible all throughout the year, but the winter months are a good time to enjoy the scenic beauty with the pleasant weather. If you’re lucky enough, you might also get to catch a glimpse of a few dolphins that seldom visit its shores!
Also read: 12 Places To Visit In November In India.
Which Is The Famous Part Of Gujarat?
Gujarat is filled with tourist attractions waiting to be explored. And it’s not just the bustling city of Ahmedabad that draws attention, but a number of small towns rich with culture and destinations worth paying a visit to, that attract people to the state of Gujarat. Attractions like the Great Rann of Kutch and Sabarmati Ashram among others, as well as flavorful foods like dhokla, khakra, kadhi, and dabeli are all aspects that make Gujarat famous among people from all over.
What Is Special In Gujarat?
Surrounded by beautiful deserts, man-made marvels, and bubbly people, the vibrant vibe you experience in the state of Gujarat is what makes it special among people. Along with some well-known tourist attractions; delicious foods and the enchanting dandiya and garba dances, add the special touch to Gujarat and make it one of the must-visit places out there for a number of people.
Which Is The Most Beautiful City In Gujarat?
Ahmedabad is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Gujarat as per popular opinions. Known as the commercial hub of Gujarat, the city is known for its exquisite architecture, lively people, and deep-rooted culture. Bhadra Fort, Sabarmati Ashram, Jama Masjid, and Kankaria Lake are some of the top attractions to visit in Ahmedabad.
Which Food Is Famous In Gujarat?
Khakra, dhokla, jalebi, fafda, Gujarati kadhi, khandvi, methi thepla, dal dhokli, this list can just keep going on because Gujarat is a land full of lip-smacking delicacies. People from all over know some of these popular Gujarati dishes, but when visiting Gujarat, you surely have to treat your tastebuds to the flavorful and authentic cuisine the state offers.
What Is Special In Daman And Diu?
The Portuguese-style colonial architecture, unique churches, scenic beaches, and diverse culture, all encompass the beauty of the Union Territory of Daman and Diu. Situated between Gujarat and Maharashtra, these places are perfect for a quick getaway from city life. Moti Daman Fort, Jampore Beach, Devka Beach, Somnath Mahadev Temple, Nagoa Beach, Seashells Museum, Diu Fort, and Cathedral of Bom Jesus are some of the must-visit attractions in Daman and Diu.
How Many Days Are Enough For Daman?
Ideally, around 2 to 3 days are enough for exploring the marvels of Daman. The beaches and attractions of Daman are spread over two main parts – Nani Daman and Moti Daman. Both these parts are well connected by road as well as ferry services, so you can easily plan a weekend getaway to unwind at Daman. You can extend your trip by a day or two if you plan on visiting Diu as well.
Which Is Better: Daman Or Diu?
Daman and Diu, more often than not, are both names taken together. For years now, the two places have been strongly associated with each other, only separated geographically by the Arabian Sea. While Daman is known for its rustic beaches, scenic views, and rich cultural diversity, Diu, on the other hand, has pieces of architectural marvels and a long coastal stretch with picturesque backdrops. Both these places are filled with exciting tourist attractions and can be explored together within a week’s trip.
How Many Beaches Are In Daman?
There are around 6 beaches in Daman.