logo.png
product_banner01.jpg

location_onSTATES AND CITIES

Gujarat

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).

History

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).

Cities

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.

People

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.

Culture

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 .

Language

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.

Food

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).

travel

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.

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport, Ahmedabad
  • Surat Airport, Surat
  • Jamnagar Airport, Jamnagar
  • Bhuj Airport, Bhuj
  • Kandla Airport, Kandla
  • Bhavnagar Airport, Bhavnagar
  • Porbandar Airport, Porbandar
  • Rajkot Airport, Rajkot
  • Amreli Airport, Amreli
  • Keshod Airport, Keshod

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:

  • Ahmedabad Junction, Ahmedabad
  • Surat Railway Station, Surat city
  • Vadodara Junction, Vadodara
  • Rajkot Junction, Rajkot
  • Anand Junction, Anand
  • Palanpur Junction, Palanpur
  • Ankleshwar Junction, Ankleshwar
  • Jamnagar Railway Station, Jamnagar

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.

Attractions

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:

  • Rani Ki Vav (Queen’s Stepwell), Patan
  • Sun Temple, Modhera
  • Somnath Temple, Veraval
  • Ahmedabad Old City
  • Statue of Unity, Kevadia
  • Gir National park
  • Vadodara (Baroda)
  • Dwarka (said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna)
  • Champaner - Pavagadh Archaeological park
  • Junagadh

Weekend Getaways

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 -

  • Rann of Kutch – A white sand desert which looks magnificent on moonlit nights; great for camel safaris and camping, and some amazing foods can be tried here (like the famous “Kutchi Dabeli” – a bun sandwich with spicy potato and peanut stuffing and some fresh, flavourful chutneys)
  • Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary – A bird sanctuary with a large freshwater lake, - a picturesque spot, located 40km away from Ahmedabad city.
  • Marine national park (on the shore of Kutch) – aquatic life
  • Blackbuck National Park – Amidst preserved forest areas, this sanctuary houses a rare species of deer called Blackbuck; the place is situated 42km away from the city of Bhavnagar; a road trip to the place can be planned conveniently.
  • Dwarka
  • Somnath
  • Bhuj – Many national parks; a great spot for bird-watching (the place gets around 370 species of birds throughout the year)
  • Dakor - known for its ancient temples; has religious centres for Hindus; and many historic monuments.
  • Mehsana
  • Porbandar
  • Taranga Hills - Located 128km north of Ahmedabad; great for some peaceful time, and amazing views of the city, surrounding hills and cascading rivers like Sabarmati and Rupen from atop the hill.

Adventure Experiences

Some thrilling activities and things to do in Gujarat for adventure lovers are -

  • Jungle Trekking (at Saputara, Girnar, Sahyadri hill, Polo Forest, Zanzari)
  • Zorbing (in Ahmedabad – The Adventure zone)
  • Skydiving (at Deesa)
  • River Rafting on river Narmada (from Ahmedabad, Vadodara)
  • Water skiing (at Mandvi beach, Mandvi)
  • Rock climbing (in the town of Idar)
  • Paragliding (at Junagarh, Saputara, Pavangarh)

Historical Places

Gujarat has many historical gems to see. Some popular sites of historical significance in the state are –

  • Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad (the place which was home to Mahatma Gandhi for many years)
  • Dwarka (said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna)
  • Champaner - Pavagadh Archaeological park
  • Rani Ki Vav (Queen’s Stepwell), Patan
  • Aaina Mahal (“Palace of Mirrors” – an 18th century palace)
  • Sun Temple, Modhera
  • Laxmi Vilas Palace (residence of royal families in Vadodara)
  • Dholavira (A heritage site)
  • Prag Mahal Bhuj (a 19th century palace)