10 Reasons Why You Need to Travel to Gujarat (2024)

Explore the diverse landscapes and rich cultural tapestry of Gujarat with our travel guide. From the vibrant bazaars of Ahmedabad to the tranquil white desert of Kutch, Gujarat unfolds a myriad of experiences for every traveler. Immerse yourself in the architectural allure of ancient temples in Dwarka and Somnath, or embark on an adventurous journey through the Gir National Park, home to the majestic Asiatic lions.

Several years back, a companion and I embarked on a captivating 10-day journey through the enchanting landscapes of Gujarat, and it stands out as one of our most memorable adventures. Gujarat, a stunning state, unfolds a treasure trove of experiences, ranging from historic landmarks to delectable culinary delights. In this post, I aim to convey why Gujarat should unquestionably find a place on your travel itinerary.


PIN for later reference – Travel Gujarat

PIN for later reference - Travel Gujarat
PIN for later reference – Travel Gujarat: Reasons Why You Need to Travel to Gujarat

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Where is Gujarat?

Situated on the Kathiawar peninsula, Gujarat graces the western side of India. Renowned for attractions like the Gir National Park and the Somnath temple, this state offers a captivating glimpse into rich traditions and culture.

The name Gujarat originates in the Sanskrit term Gurjaradesa, signifying the land of Gurjaras, who held sway over the region in the 8th and 9th centuries. Serving as the state’s capital is Gandhinagar.

For an optimal experience, plan your visit to Gujarat during the winter season, from October to February, when the weather is pleasantly inviting. As the fifth-largest state in India, Gujarat beckons exploration that ideally spans 10 to 12 days to appreciate its diverse attractions fully.

Additionally, historically linked to Gujarat, the serene and relaxed ambience of Daman and Diu provides an enticing extension to your journey.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Travel to Gujarat

Because Gujarat is the Birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi

Porbandar, a coastal city in Gujarat, holds the honour of being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, the revered father of our nation, India. Renowned for his leadership in the non-violent movement against the British government, Gandhi’s legacy is commemorated at the Kirti Mandir, a memorial house and museum dedicated to his extraordinary life.

The Kirti Mandir welcomes visitors daily from 7:30 AM to 7 PM, and the best part is there is no entrance fee, making it accessible to all. However, do anticipate a bustling atmosphere as the museum tends to draw crowds, often resulting in long queues for a glimpse of the house’s interiors.

Because Gujarat Serves the Best Food

Gujarat stands out as the state where I experienced the most exquisite cuisine in the realm of culinary delights. Renowned for its delectable Indian snacks, including the flavorful Dabeli, the spicy Misal Pav, and an array of enticing Farsans (salty snacks), Gujarat has left an indelible mark on my taste buds.

The street food culture in Gujarat is an absolute must-try, and to this day, it remains the most scrumptious fare I have ever savoured. A return to Gujarat is undoubtedly on my wish list for the sheer joy of indulging in its culinary wonders!

Adding to the cultural richness, Gujarati serves as the state’s official language, adding an extra layer of linguistic charm to the vibrant tapestry of Gujarat.

Dabeli; Gujarat
Dabeli; P.C. Keyur from Ramble with Nature

Because Gujarat has One of the Jyotirlinga Temples

The Somnath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. Reconstructed in the Chaulukya architectural style, the present temple, completed in 1951, pays homage to a different manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with the Jyotirlingas. Legend holds that Lord Shiva manifested as a fiery column of light at the sacred Somnath temple.

Visitors are welcomed without an entrance fee, and the temple operates in three time slots daily: 7:30 AM to 11 AM, 12:30 PM to 6:30 PM, and 7:30 PM to 10 PM. The optimal times to experience the divine ambience are morning and evening.

Reflecting on my cherished memories of Gujarat, a standout moment was my visit to the Somnath temple. The temple embraces a unique tradition where devotees, including my best friend and me, light a lamp, make a wish, and release it onto the River Sarasvati. Picture this serene ritual against the backdrop of a full moon—an enchanting and truly magical experience that lingers in our hearts.

Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Somnath Temple, Gujarat

Because Gujarat has Lions

The state of Gujarat is the only location in India where majestic lions roam freely in their natural habitat. Gir National Park also recognized as Sasan Gir holds global fame as the sole sanctuary for the endangered Asiatic lions. Open to visitors from 6 AM to 5 PM, the park offers a unique opportunity to witness these remarkable big cats.

For an immersive experience, a 3-hour jeep safari is the best way to encounter the awe-inspiring Asiatic lions. While the safari comes with a relatively higher cost, approximately INR 4500 for Indian nationals and INR 13800 for foreign nationals, every rupee spent is justified by the unparalleled encounter with wildlife. The Gir National Park’s official website is a reliable resource for the latest booking and price information.

To maximize the chances of witnessing the lions in their active state, plan your visit in the morning when these magnificent creatures are known to be more lively and engaged in their natural surroundings.

Because Gujarat has the Most Pretty Handicrafts

Gujarat boasts a kaleidoscope of vibrant and lively handicrafts and paintings, encompassing everything from enchanting toys to exquisite fabrics and unique, colourful souvenirs. My shopping spree in the state included purchasing gorgeous fabrics, focusing on the ghagra (long skirt) and choli (blouse). The distinct and vibrant souvenirs from Kutch added an extra layer of charm to my collection.

Also, Read Raja Ravi Varma’s Paintings

When exploring the local shops, be sure to engage in the age-old tradition of haggling. It not only adds a touch of authenticity to your shopping experience but also allows you to secure these captivating handicrafts at the best possible prices. Gujarat’s handicrafts are not just purchases; they are cherished pieces of art that reflect the rich cultural tapestry of the state.

Because Gujarat has Warm and Polite People

The people of Gujarat, known as Gujaratis, exude a charming and friendly demeanour, making them some of the most endearing individuals I’ve encountered. Politeness is ingrained in their nature, and they often go about their business with a warm and welcoming attitude. Engaging in conversations with the locals during my travels in Gujarat was a delightful experience, capturing candid moments that added a genuine touch to my journey.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of interacting with Gujaratis is their generosity in sharing delicious food. Their hospitality extends to treating visitors to delectable culinary delights, making the overall experience of connecting with the locals in Gujarat truly memorable.

People of Gujarat

Because Gujarat has Many Unique Festivals

Gujarat hosts many distinctive festivals, with the renowned Navratri festival being one of the most celebrated. In October, Navratri is a Hindu festival symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. This festival held immense significance for nine days and witnessed grand celebrations across the state.

A highlight of the Navratri festivities is the folk dance, Dandiya Raas, or simply Raas, which all Gujaratis enthusiastically perform. This social dance event originated in Gujarat and has become an integral part of Navratri celebrations. The vibrant and energetic movements of Dandiya Raas add a dynamic and cultural flair to the festive atmosphere, making Navratri a cherished and exhilarating experience for locals and visitors alike.

Raksha during Dandiya
Dressed up during the dandiya celebrated by the Gujarati community in Sydney

Because Gujarat has Amul

As Indians, we’ve all been raised with the familiar sight of Amul advertisements. Established in 1946, Amul stands as a trusted household brand in India and is a significant player in the dairy cooperative sector. The brand’s headquarters are situated in the Anand district of Gujarat.

Amul holds a pivotal role in India’s White Revolution, a movement that propelled the country to become the world’s largest producer of milk and dairy products. With its longstanding presence and commitment to quality, Amul continues to be an integral part of the Indian culinary landscape.

Because Gujarat has Salt Lakes

The Rann of Kutch, a vast salt marsh in the Thar desert, stands as one of the largest salt lakes globally, offering a unique landscape. Known for its scorching temperatures, this area is best explored during winter when the weather is more favourable for visitors.

Gujarat hosts the Rann Utsav, a captivating desert festival in the Kutch district. Spanning three months, this festival unfolds its cultural extravaganza during the winter season. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local traditions and culture by staying at the festival grounds.

Kutch festival, Gujarat

Because Gujarat has the Best Sunsets

Finally, but certainly not insignificantly, Gujarat offers breathtaking sunsets. Abundant locations provide the perfect setting to effortlessly enjoy and bask in the beauty of a perfect end to the day.

Bonus – Because Gujarat is Home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Gujarat proudly houses not just one but four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each with its compelling narrative of history and heritage. These distinguished sites are:

  • Rani Ki Vav
  • Champaner Pavagadh Archeological Park
  • Historical City of Ahmedabad
  • Dholavira

Also, Read Things To Do in Ekta Nagar

In addition, three more landmarks—Vadnagar (a historical town), Modhera – The Sun temple, and Rock-cut Sculptures of Unakoti—have earned esteemed recognition and have been included in UNESCO’s prestigious list of cultural heritage sites.

Salt Lake, Gujarat

How to Get to Gujarat?

Gujarat enjoys accessibility through various modes of transportation:

  • By Air – The state boasts around 19 airports, with the largest in the capital city, Gandhinagar – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport. Major airlines, including Air India and Go Air, operate frequent flights connecting Gandhinagar to various significant cities.
  • By Train – Gujarat is well-connected by a network of trains, facilitating travel between major cities and other states. For the latest train information, one can refer to the IRCTC website.
  • By Bus – An extensive bus network links cities and towns within Gujarat, with numerous government and public buses providing convenient transportation. Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) operates government buses, and fares are paid in cash, so it’s advisable to carry exact change for these journeys.

Is Gujarat Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

I found Gujarat to be notably safe for solo female travelers. Despite journeying with a friend, the overall atmosphere and people conveyed a sense of security for solo explorers. If I were to embark on a solo trip to Gujarat, I’d prioritize staying at reputable hotels, opt for reliable taxis recommended by hotel receptions or fellow travelers, and exercise caution by avoiding nighttime excursions or isolated locations. Taking these precautions contributes to a secure and enjoyable solo travel experience in Gujarat.

Kutch festival, Gujarat

Closing Notes

My affection for Gujarat knows no bounds. It’s a state that beckons me to return and immerse myself for an extended period. The captivating people, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes create a mesmerizing tapestry, offering everything a traveller could desire. Gujarat has woven itself into my heart, leaving an indelible mark that calls me back for more.

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10 Reasons Why You Need to Travel to Gujarat (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Travel Gujarat

    PIN for later reference - 10 reasons why Gujarat must be on your travel list
    PIN for later reference – Travel Gujarat: Reasons Why You Need to Travel to Gujarat