Gujarat is a state on the western part of India, to the North. It is the fifth-largest Indian state by area and has the ninth-largest population in the country.
The capital of Gujarat is Gandhinagar, and the state is surrounded by the states Rajasthan (to its north), Madhya Pradesh (to its right), Maharashtra (to its south), and the Arabian Sea (to its west).
Gujarat's coastal cities (incl. Bharuch), served as ports cum trading centres through the times when the state was under the rule of the Nanda, Maurya, Satavahana and Gupta empires between the 2nd to 6th centuries. It was only after the fall of the Gupta empire in the 6th century that Gujarat became an independent state.
During the 10th century, the Chaulukya dynasty came to power and ruled the land. Later, between 1297 to 1300, Alauddin Khilji, (the Sultan of Delhi), incorporated Gujarat into the Delhi Sultanate.
At the end of 14th century the Sultanate was weakened, and Gujarat's then governor Zafar Khan Muzaffar his son, Sultan Ahmad Shah I asserted Gujarat’s independence again and re-structured Ahmedabad as its capital. Years later, after the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971, the capital of Gujarat moved from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar, which to this day is the state’s official capital city.
Mahatma Gandhi, who fought for India’s independence from the British rule in 1946-47) is from Gujarat, and had led the Dandi march from Sabarmati Ashram which is situated in Gujarat (Ahmedabad).
Gujarat has over 31 cities. Although Gandhinagar is the capital of the state, the largest metropolitan with the highest population is Ahmedabad.
Some other popular cities in Gujarat include Surat, Vadodara (Baroda), Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh, and Bharuch. The state has about 33 districts into which its cities, towns and villages are divided.
There are 6.48 crore (64.8 million) people in Gujarat, out of which 88.6% are Hindus, 9.7% are Muslims, 1.0% are Jains, and less than 1% are Christians, Sikhs or Buddhists.
The people in Gujarat state are known as Gujratis, and most of them are vegetarians.
Gujarat has a population that consists of 88.6% Hindus, 9.7% Muslims, 1.0% Jains, and less than 1% of Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and 0.03% others.
The Hindu population here is the highest, and so Hindu festivals and celebrations are predominant.
Gujarat also many traditional folk-dance forms like:
Dandiya Raas, Garba, Padhar and Tippani .
Gujarat’s official language is Gujarati, which is spoken widely across the state. There are about 30 dialects of Gujrati that is spoken in different parts of the state, based on the locations. Apart from Guajarati, Hindi is also spoken and understood in most places here.
Vegetarian cuisine is pre-dominant in Gujarat and people here barely eat meat, neither are these served at most restaurants and gatherings here. Also, Gujarat is a dry state - alcohol is not widely or freely available here.
People, especially visitors from other cities and countries will need to obtain liquor permits as this is required for anyone wanting to consume alcohol. Upscale hotels that have bars sometimes can help get a liquor permit sometimes for their customers.
Gujarati cuisine has a wide variety of delicious vegetarian foods and snacks which are usually served in the form of a Thaali (arrangement of various dishes in a large plate with bowls, etc). Some popular dishes and snacks of Gujarat include: Undhiyu, Dhokla, Khakhra, Thepla, Khichu, Shrikand, Kadhi, Bhakri, Kachori, Handvo, and so on.
Most of these use a lot of vegetables, pulses, chickpea flour, spices and sugar too! Almost all Guajarati dishes have a hint of sweetness (including snacks and main course dishes).
Trains, Planes and Buses are major modes of inter-city transportation within Gujarat. For travel within cities, there are many other modes such as taxi/cabs, buses, and private vehicles like 2-wheelers and cars, or even walking and cycling.
Airports – Gujarat has 9 domestic airports (and 2 more under construction) connecting to other states and cities in the country, and 2 International airports connecting to cities within the state as well as other parts of the country.
Railway Stations – Gujarat has a total of 454 train terminals/railway stations (at least one for each city/town, and more than 1 in some big cities) that connect to other cities and towns within the state as well as those in other states in the country. Some of the major train terminals and junctions in the state are:
Bus Terminals – Gujarat has its own line of state-run GSRTC (Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation) buses which provide the connection between all the cities and towns within the state and also neighbouring states. These buses can be boarded at GSRTC stops/terminals that are available in every division and town in the state (Ahmedabad, Surat, Jamnagar, Vadodara, Ankleshwar, Vapi, Modasa, Radhanpur, Anand, Visnagar, and so on). The prominent town/city bus terminals in the state are located in almost every city and town - they can be easily found and are conveniently accessible.
Gujarat has many temples and historical buildings with remarkable architecture, and some of these buildings have even been converted into hotels or museums.
The state is also known for its handicrafts, wildlife and bird sanctuaries and sites.
Some locations that attract lot of visitors and tourists from other parts of the country and world include:
Gujarat has many great and interesting places that people can travel to or explore; and which are perfect for a short vacation or a weekend getaway, such as -
Some thrilling activities and things to do in Gujarat for adventure lovers are -
Gujarat has many historical gems to see. Some popular sites of historical significance in the state are –