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Places of Tourist Interest in Gujarat

Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad blends harmoniously an ancient heritage with a vibrant present. The city's prosperous and eventful past and present is embodied in its rich kaleidoscope of history, art and culture, rich architecture and imposing monuments. Tourists can visit Ahmedabad throughout the year.

Palces of Interest in Ahmedabad

Ahmed Shah's Mosque, Balvatika, Teen Darwaza and Bhadra Fort, Daria Khan's Ghummat, Siddi Sayyad's Mosque, Gita Mandir, Swami Narayan Temple, Hathisinh Mandir, Jhulta Minar, Jumma Masjid, Kankaria Lake, Rani Sipri's Mosque and Tomb, Rani Roopmati Mosque, Rauza of Shah Alam, Sabarmati Ashram, Siddhi Sayyad Mosque, Dada Hari Vav.

Museums & Art Gallerys in Ahmedabad

  • Calico Museum of Textiles, Calico Mills,
  • Shreyas Folk Art Museum.
  • Gandhi Smarak Sanghrahalaya, Gandhi Ashram Sabarmati.
  • L.D. Institute of Indology, Navarangpura.
  • National Institution of Design.
  • Tribal Research & trg. Museum, Ashram Rd.
  • N.C. Mehta Art Gallery, Sanskar Kendra, Paldi.
  • Kite Museum, Sanskar Kendra.
  • Veechar Utensil Museum, Vasna Tolnaka.
  • Natural History Museum, Kankaria

Excursions in Ahmedabad

Adalaj Vav 19 km, Lothal 80 km, Patan 113 km, Nal Sarovar 71 km, Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram 6 km, Gandhi Nagar 25 km, Modhera (Sun Temple) 106 km.

Bhavnagar

Bhavnagar was founded by Bhavsinhji Gohil (1703-64 AD) in 1723 AD near the Gulf of Khambhat, on a carefully chosen strategic location having potential of maritime trade. Till independence, Bhavnagar State was ruled by the Gohil Rajput clan.

The Gohil Rajputs came to Gujarat from Marwar in 1260 AD and had 3 capitals- Sejakpur, Umrala and Sihor; before finally establishing Bhavnagar as their capital.

The old town of Bhavnagar was a fortified town with gates leading to other important towns of the region. The Darbargadh (royal residence) was located at the center of the town. The rulers of Bhavnagar subsequently shifted to Motibag and Nilambag Palace.

Bhavnagar remained a major port, for almost two centuries, trading commodities with Africa,Mozambique, Zanzibar, Singapore and the Persian Gulf. This flourising maritime trade resulted in the high rate of urbanization surplus wealth and cosmopolitan culture of the town.

Present day bhavnagarm owes much to the vision of the past ruler Sir Takhtsinhji Gohil (1869-96 AD). The town planning schemes were designed and implemented under the guidance of progressive rulers ofBhavnagar. During the reign of Sir Takhtsinhji, the British State Engineer Proctor Sims supervised the construction of Barton Library, High Court, Alfred High School and Sir Takhtsinhji Hospital.

Takhteshwar Temple (1893 AD) is located on a hill, on a high plinth, offering a commanding view of Bhavnagar. The high shikhara rising above the pillared rectangular mandapa makes it an important landmark.

Barton Library (1895 AD) is a beautiful two storeyed building, appropriately designed for a road junction. It has two wings and a central tower, constructed in ashlar stone masonary, with Gothic arch windows and a sloping roof with Mangalore tiles. It is one of the oldest libraries of Gujarat and also houses a museum.

Gangajalia (1893 AD) is a temple dedicated to Gangadevi, with a chhatri, pavilion and bridgeall in white marble. It is located in the middle of a former tank. It was designed by Sir John Griffith, principal of Sir J J School of Arts, Bombay.

Nilambag Palace, now a heritage hotel, is a magnificant building set amidist a huge estate of 10 acres. It was designed by a German architect, as a royal residence in 1859 AD. It combines elements of Indian architecture with a modern outlook.

Town Hall (1932 AD) was formerly a Darbar Hall, where the coronation of Sir Krishnakumarsinhji took place. It is an imposing structure in the colonial style, set in a well laid out garden. Victoria Park covers an area of about 500 acres with deverse flora and fauna. This park is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers.

Gandhi Smriti is a memorial, with a library of Gandhian books and photographs about the life of Mahatma Gandhi. It also has a fine collection of art objects representing the culture of the Saurashtra region.

Bhavnagar has many good educational institutes with excellent architecture- Sir P P Science Institute, Shamaldas College (Mahatma Gandhi studied here in 1884 AD), Alfred High School and Central Salt Research Institute.

Excurtions in Bhavnagar

Palitana (Jain Temples) 55 km, Sihor (Darbargadh, fresco paintings, brass utensils) 25 km, Velavadar (Black-Buck sanctuary) 37 km, Alang (ship breaking yard) 50 km, Ranpur (13th century fort) 163 km, Piram Islands (turtle breeding) 25 km, Talaja (birth place of Narsinh Mehta, a group of rock cut Buddhist caves) 54 km, Gopnath (Gopnath Temple, a heritage hotel) 89 km.

Champaner

Champaner is an ancient fort located at the foothills of Pavagadh. The town derives its name from the Champa tree or from Champaraj founder of the town, a contemporary of King Vanraj Chavda of Anhilwada.

Muhammad Begada decided to establish the new capital of Gujarat at this place in 1484 AD and changed the name of the town to Muhammadabad. It took 23 years to built the town and had a meteoric rise and attained glory as a great town of western India. Many edifices were constructed during these years : bazaars,town squares, Royal Gardens and water structures, including mosques. It also became a major trading center producing fine silk, woven and dyed textile and sword manufacturing.

Its decline started after attacks by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1535 AD. After the death of Sultan Bahadurshah (1536 AD), the Royal Capital was again moved back to Ahmedabad. Later, the fort came under control of Mughals, Marathas and British; but Champaner could never regain its glory. In 1803 AD, when the British took the town, it was overgrown with jungles and had only 500 inhabitants.

The entire landscape for miles around is scattered with remains of fort walls, ruined tombs, gardens, arches, pillars and wells. Champaner reminds the visitor of other such great deserted towns of India Mandu, Hampi, Orchha and Fatehpur Sikri.

At Champaner, one can see three fortifications the base (Champaner), the top (Pavagadh) and the area connecting both of them (Marchi).

The lower fortification is the Citadel Royal enclosure- of Muhammad Begada, a perfect rectangle enclosed by massive walls with huge bastions and entrance gates with carved Citadel a huge lake Vada Talav and the ruins of Sultan's Palace are worth visiting. Other interesting Places are : Air Manzil an excavated site showing a residential area, gardens, houses, water channels, custom house and three Gates Halol gate, Delhi gate and Godhra gate. The major mosques in this area are Shehar ki Masjid, Jami Masjid, Kewada Masjid and Nagina Masjid.

Jami Masjid is one of the finest examples of Sultanate architecture of Gujarat. It is an imposing structure on a high plinth with two tall minarets of 30 meter height, 172 pillars and seven mihrabs. The central dome, the placement of balconies and carved entrance gates with fine stone jalis and rich decoration make the visit a delightful aesthetic experience.

The ruins of Khapra Zaveri Palace are located on the way from the base to Machi. From its terrace, one can have a fabulous view of the origin of Vishwamitri river. Atak gate is one of the nine gates that leads to the hill top. It has two catapult stands for hurling stones at the enemies. Other group of monuments from Machi to hilltop are : Makai Kothar- a granary with the fort, Kalika Temple and a shrine of Muslim Saint Sadanshah are located. Kalika Mata Temple (10th-11th century) is situated on the highest peak of Pavagadh hill and is one of the most sacred center of Hindu pilgrimage for devotees of Goddess Kali. Every year about million people visit the temple is a Lakulish Temple (10th century) at Chhashia Talav. It has some beautiful sculptures depicting various forms of Shiva-Dakshinamurti, Ardhanarishvara and Kalyanasundaramurti.

Excursions in Champaner

Chhota Udepur (Royal Palaces) 80 km, Jambu Ghoda (wild life sanctuary) 25 km,Vadodara (Laxmi Vilas Palace, museum,Sayajibag, public buildings) 46 km, Dabhoi (ancient fort, gateways) 75 km, Balasinor (Dinosaur fossils) 85 km.

Gondal

Gondal is a testimony to the great visionary ruler Sir Bhagwatsinhiji, who introduced social reforms, planned the development of Gondal town and created a model state of Saurashtra in late 19th and early 20th century. Gondal, the capital of the former princely State of Gondal, was ruled by the Jadeja Rajput clan, till the independence of India. It is a fortified town located on the river Gondali.

Sir Bhagwatsinhji's high education and extensive tours to Europe enhanced his aesthetic taste, which can be seen in the architecture and planning of public buildings, parks, bazaars dn palaces builts during his regime.

One of the oldest and most beautiful of Gondal palaces, the Navlakha palace complex (17th century), is situated on a river bank, on a grand masonary base, rising to the monumental scale of at least 30 meter above the river bed. The palace is approached by the high gateway with the clock tower from the town side. The entrance leads to a huge open space with administrate blocks on height and a grand stairfcase with balustrade on the extreme left corner leading to the intricately carved pavilions on the open terrace. The grand Darbar Hall, with a series of huge windows opening onto a long balcony supported by intricately carved brackets, overlooks the river. Darbar Hall, with a series of huge windows opening onto a long balcony supported by intricately carved brackets, overlooks the river. Darbar Hall has large chandeliers, stuffed panthers, gilt wooden furniture and anitique Belgian mirrors. The private palace museum displays artifacts, gifts and messages received by Sir Bhagwatsinhji, on his 50th birthday.

Other two Royal Palaces- the Riverside Palace and Orchard Palace are converted into heritage hotels. The Riverside Palace is located at the edge of the Gondali river; built in colonial style of architecture, amidst a garden with huge trees. The living room is decorated in European taste, while the Indian room has brassware, beadwork and paintings in typical Indian style. The series of galleries and terraces ot the palace building bring nature close to the visitors of this heritage hotel.

The Orchard Palace was originally a state guest house, built in colonial style with an arcade of semi circular arches, set in the midst of fruit orchards. The garden in the front, a beautiful fountain with lily pond and marble statues enhances the beauty of the palace. The main sitting room has a collection of paintings, antique furniture, bird eggs and many interesting art objects.

The rulers of Gondal were great lovers of automibiles and one can see several vintage and Classic cars in the royal garage. Two Royal Rail saloons of the Gondal State were renovated, keeping the original decor and are availbale for accommodation in theOrchard Garden palace. The stay at saloons provides a unique experience a nostalgia of the great days of the Indianrailways combined with royal grandeur.

Sangramsinhji High School is built on the model of Eton in England. It is constructed in Gothic style with central clock tower, with beautifully designed spacious lecture halls, carved wooden ceilings, Italian marble flooring and has a laboratory with European equipments. Other intersting places to visit are the Swami Narayan Temple, Bhavaneshwari Temple, Ayurvedic pharmacy and the stud farm of Kathiawadi horses.

Jasdan: (47 km from Gondal)

The house of Jasdan was ruled by the great warrior clan of Khachar Kathis. They founded the fortified town of Jasdan on the banks of Bhadar river. The Darbargadh at Jasdan is a beautiful example compaining plaster decoration with intricate wrought iron work. The decoration above the arches and jharokhas are noteworthy. Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary int hevicinity of jasdan is a beautiful example combining plaster decoration with intricate wrought iron work. The decoration above the arches andjharokhas are noteworthy. Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary in the vicinity of Jasdan, is a creation of the nature loving rulers of Jasdan. Here, nature education camps are organised to create awareness about wildlife nad environment. The royal palace on the hilltop, is now a heritage hotel, offering a nice and comfortable stay amidst natural surroundings.

Excursion in Gondal

Jetpur (textile town known for yarn dyeing and hand printed saris)30km, Rajkot (Watoson Museum, Rajkumar College, Ramkrishna Mission, Kaba Gandhi no Delo)39 km.

Jamnagar

Jamnagar is known for its tie & dye work on fabrics, silken & gold embroidery. Tourists can visit Jamnagar throughout the year.

Junagadh

The history of junagadh is chequered by the rules of the Mauryans, Kshatrapas, Guptas, Vilabhis, Chudasamas, Gujarat Sultans and Babi Nawabs. Junagadh, at different times in history, was under the influence of four major religions. Hindu, Bhuddhist, Jain and Muslim. Both political powers and religious influences enriched the culture and created edifices leaving their mark on the architecture of Junagadh.

Junagadh was the capital of the Junagadh State under the Muslim rulers of Babi Nawabs. In Gujarati, `Junagadh' literally means an ancient fort. The junagadh town is located at the foothills the sacred hill of Girnar and occupies a special place in the history of Gujarat.

There are two fortifications: the fort walls surrounding the town and Uparkot in the west. Uparkot, an ancient citadel located on the higher level of the town, was a stronghold of Mauryans and Gupta Empire and is said tp have survived 16 sieges in the last 1000 years due to its strategic location and difficult access. The entrance of Uparkot has a fine specimen of Hindu Toran, leading to flat land dotted with archological sites. The major sites are Buddhist caves, Baba Pyara caves (2nd century), Adi-Kadi Vav, Navghan Kuvo and Jami Masjid.

The Buddhist caves are fine examples of rock cut architecture with ornamented pillars, carved entrances, water cisterns, chaitya hall, monastic cells for meditation and chaitya windows. The Khapara-Kodia caves located in the town are also worth visiting.

Adi-kadi Vav and Navghan Kuvo were built by the Chudasama Rajputs and are unique water structures among the numerous step wells of Gujarat. Both these served as sourcesf during teh sieges lasting for years and were essential parts oft he basic need of the hill fort. The Adi-Kadi Vav(15th century) has a long flight of 120 steps leading to water, while the Navghan Kuvo (1260AD) is hewn from soft rock and is 52 meter deep, reached by a circular staircase winding around the shaft.

Jami Mosque was originally a palace of Ranakdevi, converted into a mosque by Muhammad begada to commemorate his victory over Junagadh in 1470 AD. Another interesting artefact from past is `Nilam' canon, brought to Diu from Egypt to fight against the Prortuguese and it was manufactured by the order of Suleyman, the Magnificent, King of Turkey.

The Babi rulers of Junagadh, Nawab Mahobat Khat II (1851-82 AD)undertook the beatification of Junagadh and patronized the construction of several building and urban design projects like Aina Mahal, Circle Chowk with clock tower and Dewan Chowk. Other important buildings of the Nawabi period are Bahauddin College, Manoranjan Guest House, Mahobat Madresa (Narsi Vidya Mandir). The most interesting structures are the maqbaras (musoleums) of the Royal Family. The group of maqbaras represent the creative and eclectic phase of Nawabi architecture of Junagadh (1878-1911 AD). All the architectural elements are phase of Nawabi architecture of Junagadh (1878-1911 AD). All the architectural elements are highly decorative and remind one, of the last phase of architecture of Lucknow.

The 14 rock edicts (257-56 BC) of the great Emperor Ashoka, inscribed on a huge stone in Pali script, inscrption by King Rudradaman (150 AD) and Skandagupta (456 AD) are the proof of importance of Junagadh from ancient times. The city was home to one of the great poets of India, Narsinh Mehta (15th century). He was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, a scholar, philosopher and a social reformer. The `Narsinha Mehta no Choro' near Najewadi Gate was a platform for his religious discouses and Bhajans. Other places to be visited are the Sakkarbag Zoo, Welingodn Dam, Damodar Kund, Bhavnath Temple, city Rajmahal and Darbar Hall Museum. Girnar is a sacred hill with five peaks visited by millions of Hindus and Jains. The Mahashivratri fair held here is attended by naga sadhus and pilgrims from all over India.

Excursions in Junagadh

Gir National Park (the only home of Asiatic Lions)60 km, Prabhas patan-Somnath (one of eh twelve most sacred Shiva Shrines)79km, Chorwad (a delightful resort on the beach) 72 km.

Mandvi

Mandvi was originally a fortified town having a fort wall of about 8m high and 1.2m wide stone amsonary. The fort had several gateways and 25 bastion ; but at present, most of the wall has disappeared. The bastion on the southwest is largest and acts as a lighthouse.

Mandvi is located on the banks of teh Rukmavati river, barely one km away from the Arabian Sea at the Gulf of Kutch. The town has a very pleseant climate throughout the year and was a summer retreat of the Kutch Maharaos. The establishment of the town dates back to the late sixteenth century (1581 AD) and is attributed to the first Jadeja ruler of Kutch Rao Khengarji.

In the heydays of maritime trade, before the arrival of steamboats, it was a rich and prosperous, town earning four times more revenue from export than import. It was a profit making centre of teh Kutch State surpassing the capital city of Bhuj, in terms of wealth. In 18th century, the Mandvi merchants collectively owned a fleet of 400 vessels trading with East Africa, Malabar and the Persian Gulf. In the early 19th century, it was a major port of entry for the inland trade with Malwa, Marwar and Sindh, Mandvi was at the junction of two famous trade routes the maritime spice trade-route and the desert camel caravan route, acting as an important trade centre. Mandvi was a town of merchants and seamen, both mutually benefiting from each other.

Mandvi is also a 400 year old shipbuilding centre. Teh ships built here used to sail up to England and return back. One can see the small boats being constructed in the traditional techniques by master carpenters even today.

The center of attractions at Mandvi is the Vijay Vilas Palace, a Royal above set in the middle of well-laid gardens with water channels and marble fountains. The architect and craftsmen from Jaipur designed and constructed the palace in 1920 AD. The palace has all the elements of Rajput architecture and draws largely on the plan of palaces of Orchha and Datia. The central high dome on the pillars, the Bengal domes onsides, the windows with coloured glass, carved stone jalis, domed bastions at the corners, extended porch and other exquisitely stone carved elements, make the palace worth visiting. This is an example of the traditional skill of craftsmen of early 20th century.

The Vijay Vilas Palace has its own private veacg, maintained in an eco-friendly manner to preserve its priestine beauty. For these reasons, this palace has been used as the setting in many Hindi films and has now become a popular tourist destination.

Mandvi has some very beautiful houses belonging to rich merchants with stone carving and plaster decorations. Their architectural style reflects the fusion of Indian and European styles of architecture. The Swami Narayan Temple is also such an example with its brightly painted exterior and elaborate plaster decorations.

Other interesting buildings are a girls's high school (a former palace)built by Rao Lakhpat (1741-60AD)and a light house. This old palace is a replica of the Aina Mahal of Bhuj, with intricate stone carvings. There is a wind farm on a picturesque beach nearby.

The interesting religious buildings at Mandvi are the Vaishnav Temple at Sundarvan, Raneshwar Temple, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Swami Narayan Temple, Jami Mosque.

Excursions in Mandvi

Bhadershwar (Jain temples with fresco paintings, amongst the oldest in Gujarat, one of the oldest mosques in India dating back to pre-Islamic invasions)68 km, Mundra (ancient fortified town and a port) 44km, Kandla (India's only free trade port, envisioned by Maharao Kehengarji I and Madansinghji)114 km,Naliya (jain block printing works)116km, Kera (ancient Shiva Temple, shrine of Gulam Ali Shah)35 km, Gandhidham (a well planned, prosperous town, Institute of Sindhology)102 km.

Patan

The glory of Patan reached its zenith during the Solanki period the golden age of Gujarat. During these years, the city was a great place of learning and a prosperous trading center. The rulers were great patrons of fine arts and architecture and undertook construction of many civic and religious edifices in the city.

The Jain text, 'Kumarpala Rasa', describes Patan as a prosperous fortified town; 18 miles in circumference with 84 town squares, 52 bazaars, mints of gold and silver, well laid gardens with fountains and trees, grammar school of Sanskrit and Prakrit, numerous Hindu and Jain temples and Sahastralinga Talav.

After last Vaghela ruler, Karan Ghelo lost to Ulugh Khan in 1289 AD, the Muslims plundered the town, destroyed the temples and ruined the entire city. Today, one can barely find the traces of such a magnificent town. The most significant monuments in Patan are Rani ki Vav, Sahastralinga Talav and Khan Sarovar.

Rani ki Vav is an excellent example of subterranean architecture of Gujarat. This Vav was constructed by Udaymati, the queen of Bhimdev (1022-63 AD). The exisquisitely carved side walls, pillars, beams, series of steps and platforms lead to the elaborately carved water well. Every surface is adorned with finelly chiselled sculptures of maidens and Hindu deities, religious motifs and geometrical patterns. Rani ki Vav represents the finest of the Indian sculptures and architecture.

Sahastralinga Talav is among the many artificial tanks built in different parts of Gujarat, under the patronage of Siddhraj Jaisinh (1093-1143 AD). The architecture of this tank integrated the great sense of water management and sanctity of water in Hindu religion. The tank used to receive water from a canal of the Saraswati river and had spread of about five km with masonary embankments. There were thousand Shiva Shrines on the edge of the tank. Some remains of the same are even visible today. Looking at the rums, one can imagine the grandeur of this great water tank. The famous legend of Siddhraj Jaisinh's desire for Jasma Odan, a beautiful woman of the tank diggers' community, revolves around this tank. She refused to marry him and committed sati to protect her honour. It is believed that her curse made this tank waterless and the king without a heir to the kingdom of Gujarat.

Khan Sarovar, located outside South Gate, is a water tank from Solanki period with stone steps and masonary. Mirza Aziz Kokah (1589 AD) renovated this tank using the stones from ruined structures.

There are at least 100 Jain temples in Patan; the most important to visit is the Mahavir Swami Derasar in Dhandherwad with exquisitely carved wooden dome. The important Hindu temples are Kalika Mata, Sindhwai Mata, Harihareshwar Mahadev and Brahma Kund.

For visitors interested in Jainism and Indology, a visit to the Hemachandracharya Gyan Mandir is a must. It contains thousands of rare ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit and Prakrit. Hemachandracharya was a great scholar and grammarian- the first one to formulate the grammar of the Gujarati language. Patan is the only center of unique weaving craft of 'Patola' since the time of King Kumarpal (ruled 1143-73 AD). Even today, this age old traditional weaving craft is practised by a few families.

The urban structure of the town is made of several neighbourhoods called 'Pols'. 'Pols' are densely populated and are like a maze with winding narrow lanes. Some of them contain old beautiful houses with carved wooden facades in traditional Gujarati architectural style.

Excursions

Siddhapur (Bohravad, Rudra Mahalaya) 28 km, Vadnagar (Hatkeshwar Mahadev, Kirti Torana) 70 km.

Porbandar

Porbandar, originally a fortified town. with high rampart walls, bastions and five gates, lost its fortification by the order of Colonel Lally in 1888 AD. Even today, a ritual to circumambulate the fortification is performed by Hindus.

The prosperity of Porbandar was due to maritime trade and it was a thriving port in the Mughal period. It was attacked by the Portuguese in the wake of achieving supremacy over sea trade in 1531 AD. The Walker Treaty of 1807 AD between the ruling clans of Saurashtra and the British put an end to the feuds and it resulted in a favorable environment for the civic development of the Porbandar State.

The most impressive feature of Porbandar is the city planning and the stone buildings with ashlar masonary and rich carving. The facades of the houses on either side of the streets, with series of windows, carved gateways, using eclectic architectural language, invites tourists to experience the streetscape on foot. The series of vistas enriched by a skyline of temples and beautiful public buildings and edifices overlooking the sea on Marine Drive puts Porbandar on the list of coastal heritage towns of Gujarat.

Kirti Mandir is built next to the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, who was born here in 1869 AD. Lacs of Indian tourists visit the house of the Mahatma and Kasturba, his wife. Kirti Mandir has a Gandhian library and a prayer hall.

There is no Indian, who has not heard of the legendary friendship of king and devotee- Krishna and Sudama- starting from the ashram of Sandipani Rishi and culminating at the court of Lord Krishna, in the city of gold, Dwarika. The story comes alive with the sight of a beautiful temple in the middle of Porbandar town. In whole of India, this is the only temple dedicated to Sudama. The maze on the platform in the campus is an interesting feature.

Rana Sartanji built Darbargadh, the fortified palace, with a huge carved stone entrance gate flanked by high turrets and massive wooden doors. It is a typical example of such royal enclosures situated within the town of Gujarat. The nearby edifices on the left of the entrance are also good examples of large mansions with courtyards and intricately carved wooden elements.

Rana Sartanji built the three-storeyed summer pavilion, Sartanji Choro, in Rajput style as a retreat in the midst of the garden, each side representing a different season. The pillars with images of musicians, profusely carved foliated arches and a single dome at the top gives an idea of bygone days, when Rana Sartanji used to compose poems in Braj bhasha, sitting under this pavillion.

Huzoor Palace is located at the end of Marine Drive, in a huge campus. The sprawling palace, built in the European style with sloping roofs is a horizontal structure with several wings and big windows, overlooking the sea. The wings are interspersed with the back and front yards, bringing nature and the building together by gardens and fountains. The semi-circular porticos with neo-classical pillars, decorated entrance gate and commanding view makes it a must for the visitor. Other such examples of Royal and Public heritage buildings from the colonial period are public library, old Raj Mahal (now a college), Victoria Jubilee Madresa, Collectorate, Bhavsinhji High School, Natwarsinhji Sports Club.

Excursions in Porbandar

Modpar Fort 70 km, Ghumli 50 km, Gop 70 km, Harshad Mata Temple 36 km, Barda wild life sanctuary 40 km.

Rajkot

Rajkot, the former Capital of the princely state of Saurashtra was founded by the Rajput Chief Kunwar Vibhuji in the 16th century, Rajkot is famous for its Bandhani Sarees, mirror-work, patch work, bead work and silk embroidery.

Sasan Gir

Sasan Gir Forest is today the only place in the world outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in his natural habitat. The forest also harbours a variety of smaller animals and birds. Other predators are the Panther and the Hyena. The Indian Deer, Sambar, Chital (spotted deer), Nilgai (blue bull), Chinkara and the Chowsingha (four horned antelope) are found here, alongwith the bear and the long tailed langur.

It is one of the major places of tourist interests in Gujarat state. Gir Forest earns it fame as the only place outside Africa to harbor Asiatic Lions along with Indian deer, sambar, chital, nilgai, Chinkara and a variety of birds.

Season

The Sanctuary is open to visitors from Mid October to Mid June, While during monsoon months the Sanctuary remains closed.Permission to visit the sanctuary is given by Forest Department, Sasangir on arrival.

Dwarka

The sacred town of Dwarka at the convergence of the river Gomti and the Arabian Sea is linked with the myth of Lord Krishna.

Somnath Temple

The best-known temple of Gujarat is one of the 12 Jyotiralingas. The temple was plundered and destroyed 7 times by Muslim encroachers but reconstructed at the same spot every time.

Balaram

Balaram is a holy place with considerable importance as a Hindu pilgrimage. Situated in scenic forest areas, Balaram is an ideal spot for a day picnic from Ahmedabad. Among the many temples here are the Gaumukh, with a natural stream flowing from the mouth of a cow.

A river flows through the region and the mountains rise in beautiful formations on every side. Explore the famous Jessor bear sanctuary and Balaram Ambaji wildlife and spot sloth bear in natural habitat. Visit the finest clusters of Jain Temples of Taranga and the holy temple of Ambaji. The architectural excellence of the Sun Temple at Modhera is sur to leave you spellbound.

Take an excursion to Patan, which is famous across the world for its textiles and ancient monuments. And to top it all, witness the winders of tribal lifestyles. Take part in colorful fairs and festivals of Balaram and experience the summits of fun and frolic.

Siddpur

It is an ancient sacred town on the bank of the saraswati river. Siddhpur derives its name from the great ruler of Gujarat, Siddhraj Jaisingh, who Constructed a magnificent shiva temple in 12th century a.d, rudra mahalay, At this town. For all the hindus this is the place to perform the matru Shraddh ( the ritual ceremony for maternal spirits ). Rudra mahalaya as a Magnificent shiva temple with a three storied shikhara, 1600 pillars, 12 Entrance doors, central mnadapa and porches on east, north and south and Sanctum in west. Around the temple there were 11 shrines of rudra. The Eastern door gate was adorned with beautifully carved torana, with a flight Of steps. Siddhpur is a major centre of the bohra muslims from few Centuries. About a century ago, they built very beautiful mansions in a Typical architectural style, from the wealth earn abroad. The well laid out Paved streets, service a common architectural vocabulary is a direct Outcome of the collective vision of guilds of bohra merchants.

Baroda

The historical city of Baroda is often referred as Vadodara- the place of Banyan tree. Prior to independence, it was the capital of princely Gaekwad State that gave rise to the great rulers like Maharaja Sayaji Rao III. He gave a distinct look to the city and today it is reputed as a pleasant city that offers some interesting museums and art galleries.Its also known for its university and its faculty of fine arts, An institution which has been responsible for the emergence of the vadodara School of contemporary indian painting and as a thriving industrail Centre.

Bhuj

Bhuj was founded in 1548 AD by Rao Khengarji I, starting a dynasty of jadeja rulers that ruled over Kachchh for 400 years. And so, the old walled city of Bhuj is the most important town in the area. The place lies at the heart of Kutch and is linked by many roads to the rest of the peninsula.

The very old town of Bhuj retraces its past in the times of Indus Valley Civilization and now serves well as the entryway to Kutch.

Chotta -Udaipur

The rathwa community stays in chotta udepur area of guajrat. They are Described as small & marginal farmers. Their supreme deity is baba dev. The Tribal people beleive in badhas and bhuvas are the people who remove them, Using religious rituals. Pithoro also know as " pithoro baba " is an Important deity of the rathwas. For the rathwas, this deity is very much Alive, pithoro withnesses all the good and bad events of their lives. Whenever a rathwa is in trouble, pithoro is invoked. A vow is taken, the Fulfilment of which has to result in a painting on th house of vow taker.

Chotta udepur is it proximity to various hamlets of bhils, rathwas, Bhilalas and other tribes. A tour of the tribal village and hamlets offer An insight into traditional architecture, lifestyle & handicrafts of each Aboriginal community in the tirbal market called " hatt " occur at Different villages. Rathwas who can be seen & sporting colourful attires And chunky jewellery, pithora painting, pottery, terracotta figures, Langoti wearing and bamboo basket weaving and important handicrafts.

Poshina

The rulers of Poshina are descendants of the Chalukyas, who ruled much of Central India and the whole of Gujarat in the 12th century. They conquered Poshina from the Rathore Rajputs in medireview times. The village of Poshina is home to a number of artisans the tribal arrow crafters, silver, Potters, blacksimiths and the bazaar is famous for silver tribal jewerly, ORNATE sheathed daggers and terra cotta horses. Around poshina are hamlets Of the bhil and garasia tribal communities, know for their colourful Attires and artistic ornaments. The jain temple, the intricately carved Medireview shiva temple and the royal chattries ( cenotaphs ) of the rulers Of poshina are sure to leave you mesmerized.

Diu

Diu was a Portuguese colony until it was taken over by India in 1961 and was made a Union Territory rather than as part of Gujarat. The former colony includes the island of Diu itself, about 13km long and three km wide, separated from the coast by a narrow channel. There are also two tiny mainland enclaves. One of these, on which the village of Ghoghla stands, is the entry point to Diu if you arrive through the town of Una.

Palitana

Palitana is a major tourist destination for those who want to witness a unique fusion of human enterprise, architectural skills, philanthropy and religious fervor. The town was an imperial Thana during the Mughal era, which grew into the capital of Palitana State of the princely Kathiawad. Today, the temple-clad summit of Shatrunjaya offers a breathtaking spectacle for the tourists and visitors alike.

Lothal

An archaeological ruins of the 2400-1600 BC Indus Valley citadel with dockyard, acropolis, bead factory and a site museum. Explore the sight and travel back into the time of yore.

Modhera

Built in 1026 ad during the reign of the solanki king bhima -1, modhera Surya mandir marks the peak of revolution in indo-aryan hindu temple form Typology. It is positioned in such a manner that the rising sun's rays Illuminate the deity in the inner most sanctum sanctorum through the main Entrance at the time of equinox only. With its grandeur, elegance and Clarity it only rivals it contemporaries at konark and khajuraho but Arguably surpasses them in it symbolic overtones and spiritual setting with Placement of the water kund integral to the complex. This temple is Dedicated to the sun god,it stands high on an elevated plinth overlooking a Deep stepped tank,both the interiors and the exteriors have exquisitely Caved.

Nalsarovar

Situated 54 kms from the city of Ahmedabad is the bird sanctuary, Nalsarovar. It is the largest bird sanctuary in Gujarat and can boast of its scenic beauty as well as its feathered inhabitants. The Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary is the abode to a large species of our feathered friends. The sanctuary is visited by more than two hundred species of migratory birds in winter.

The bird population of the Park includes kingfishers, egrets, darters, storks, cormorants, jacanas, moorhens, coots, grebes, ducks, flamingo, pelicans, geese, cranes, storks, ibises, spoonbill, wading birds, swallows, fishing eagles, osprey, harriers and a host of other birds. Spend some time in a country boat on Nal Lake, which be a will be a refreshing change from the honking of cars and the blaring radios.

Velavadar

Velavadar in the Saurashtra is a unique grassland ecosystem that has attracted fame for the successful conservation of the Blackbuck, the wolf and the lesser Florican. The park spread over an area of 35 sq.kms, its grassland, the greenery and the quadrupeds are visible as far as the eye can see.florican.The park has more than 1,000 Black Buck that can be viewed on the open grassland from very close range, though they are very shy in the presence of humans. This exclusively Indian animal, is perhaps, the most graceful and beautiful of its kind. It has ringed horns that have a spiral twist of three to four turns and are up to 70 cm long. The wolf and the jackals are the main predators in the park. Wolves here use shrub land for lying, dinning and for rendezvous and depend on blackbuck, hare and other small animals as their prey. Another rare sight is that of the lesser Florican, which migrate and settle here to breed in the grasslands. After arrival, the male bird marks the territory and displays to attract the female. The courtship display of the male is a spectacular vertical leap up to a height of two meters and may display over 500 times in a day! Velavadar is also an excellent place to see a large number of harriers. The Park is very rich in other birdlife as well.

Places of Tourist Interest in Gujarat