Known for its culture, heritage and history, Gujarat is one of the most favoured destinations in India. Boasting the longest coastline in India, Gujarat is surrounded by the Arabian Sea and is dotted with 41 ports. The state holds a lot of attractions including the Great Rann of Kutch, the largest salt desert in the world.
On your Gujarat tour, you will come across remnants of Harappan civilization in Lothal and Dholavira. Witness the rich cultural and historical legacy of this state in its various palaces and monuments, some of which are Laxmi Vilas Palace in Baroda, Rani ki Vav in Patan, Sidi Saiyad Mosque in Ahmedabad and Vijay Vilas Palace in Mandvi, besides others.
While Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat is famous for the famous Akshardham, Ahmedabad, the largest city of Gujarat, is declared India’s first heritage city by UNESCO. Moreover, it was founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah almost 600 years ago and today, you will come across various historical structures that shed light on its cultural value.
Sabarmati Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi’s first ashram in India is also located here, which casts light on various aspects of his life. Other major cities in Gujarat are Somnath, Dwarka, Sasan Gir, Surat, Bhuj, Porbandar, Junagadh, Bhavnagar, and Vadodara that cannot be missed on your Gujarat tour.
Gujarat is the home of the Asiatic Lion, whose abode is the Gir National Park. Gujarat also has religious monuments known for their splendid architecture and history. The most famous of all is the Somnath Temple, majestic in its proportions and grand in its appearance. The Dwarkadhish Temple is another attraction, impressing visitors with its architecture and appearance.
If you want to know more about the famous attractions, things to do, how to reach, the best time to visit, some money-saving and travel tips, then we have curated this comprehensive Gujarat travel guide for you.
Languages Spoken in Gujarat
Gujarati is the official language of Gujarat. It is almost 700 years old and is the 26th most widely spoken language in the world.
Where is Gujarat located?
Gujarat, the fifth largest city in India by area is located on the western coast of the Indian Peninsula. It shares borders with the Indian states of Rajasthan to the northeast, with Madhya Pradesh, territories of Dadra Diu, Nagar Haveli, and the state of Maharashtra to the south. Gujarat also shares international borders with the country of Pakistan.
Why should you visit Gujarat?
If you wish to experience the rich cultural heritage, then Gujarat is one of the best states to visit in India. Cities like Ahmedabad and Saputara are the best places to visit in Gujarat when it comes to learning about the state’s culture and traditions. Most importantly, the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Gujarat is a major attraction in the state and cannot be missed on your Gujarat tour. For all the history buffs and architecture admirers, places like Rani ki Vav, Modhera Sun Temple, Lakshmi Vilas Palace, and the Adalaj Stepwell are a trove of treasure.
Wildlife is also a big part of Gujarat and if you love to spend time in nature and spot the Asiatic Lions along with other creatures, then a Gir National Park is a must-visit place. Gandhi followers should visit Sabarmati Ashram and all the attractions that display the works and life of Mahatma Gandhi. If you are a beach baby, then there are some beaches in Gujarat where you can enjoy thrilling adventures.
Whether you love to see architecture, witness the wildlife, visit religious sites, explore historical monuments, or indulge in adventure activities, Gujarat has everything stored for you.
Best time to visit Gujarat
Winters are the best time to visit Gujarat for a vacation. The months from October to February experience cool weather and allow you to explore tourist attractions with ease. While monsoons can also be a good time to travel to Gujarat, summers, on the other hand, can be quite harsh. Therefore, plan your trip with the help of this Gujarat travel guide accordingly. Read more here.
Summer (March to June)
Gujarat in summers welcomes scorching heat that lasts from March to June. The temperature in Gujarat in summers may vary between 29°C and 41°C. However, to get a respite from the heat, you can visit Saputara to relax in peace. Dwarka and Vadodara are good places to visit at night.
Monsoon (July to September)
Monsoon in Gujarat brings relief from the sweltering summer heat. The temperatures during this time range from 27°C to 35°C. It is a good time to head to a wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat and enjoy the rainfall in the deep jungles of the state.
Winters (October to February)
The best time to visit Gujarat is from October to February. The weather during this time is pleasant with temperatures ranging between 12°C and 29°C. This makes it comfortable for you to go on sightseeing tours and have the best time on your Gujarat trip
Learn more about the attractions of Gujarat with this detailed Gujarat travel guide.
- Forts and Monuments in Gujarat
Navsari, Sanjan, Old Fort, Dada Hari Vav, Sabarmati Ashram, Aina Mahal, Adalaj Vav, Dholavira Ruins, Harappan Ruins, Lallubhai Haveli, Rani ki Vav, Statue of Unity, and more.
- Holy Places in Gujarat
Dwarkadhish Temple, Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Bala Hanuman Temple, Adinath Temple, Shantinath Temple, Sun Temple, and more.
- Beaches in Gujarat
Gopnath Beach, Hajira Beach, Tithal Beach, Rozi and Bedi Ports, Bet Dwarka Beach
- Museums in Gujarat
Lakhota Museum, Junagadh Zoo Museum, Darbar Hall Museum, Rotary Midtown Doll’s Museum, and more.
- Wildlife in Gujarat
Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Gir Forest National Park, Blackbuck National Park, Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch, Wild Ass Sanctuary, and more.
- Shopping in Gujarat
Wall hangings, Bandinis and traditional Ghagra-Cholis, Embroidered footwear, Patola Silk sarees, Lacquer Furniture, Curios, and more.
- Popular Local Food in Gujarat
Khaman, Thepla, Khandvi, Undhiyu, Muthiya, Handvo, Fafda-Jalebi, and more.
Places to Visit in Gujarat
With one of the largest white deserts in the world, India’s longest coastlines, the largest habitat of Asiatic lions, and the first marine national park, there is no dearth of places to visit in Gujarat. Along with this, this state also houses one of the Chardham Temples, Shakti Peethas, and Jyotirlingas. And now the tallest statue in the world resides in this state.
From the colonial ambience and marvellous architecture of Rajkot to the ultra-modern city of Ahmedabad, historical sites like Lothal that takes you back to Indus Valley civilization, the ancient Hindu city of Dwarka, and architectural sites like Sardar Sarovar Dam, the list of tourist places in Gujarat is never-ending. Make sure to take your time on your Gujarat travel and explore the major tourist attractions in Gujarat.
Things to do in Gujarat
Gujarat is a vast state and has plenty of things for you to choose from. From witnessing architectural marvels to seeking blessings at magnificent temples, relaxing at the gorgeous beaches to spending time in nature spotting the wild, there are a lot of things to do in Gujarat.
Apart from sightseeing tours, you can also indulge in numerous adventure activities in Gujarat. These include paragliding, river rafting, jungle trekking, skydiving, rock climbing, and more. This comprehensive Gujarat travel guide will help you gain insight into the various things available in this colourful state that you can experience on your trip to Gujarat
Where to Stay in Gujarat
The state welcomes a mass of tourists all year round and therefore, there are abundant hotels, resorts, and more to make their stay comfortable. From budget-friendly to luxurious ones, you can find accommodation on your Gujarat travel according to your convenience and requirements. If you want to explore the most famous attractions in a particular city in Gujarat, choose a stay near the attractions for easy reach.
What to Eat in Gujarat
Gujarati food is well-known and is consumed in most parts of India. The cuisine of Gujarat is amongst the oldest culinary treasures of India and not indulging in drool-worthy Gujarati Thali on your Gujarat trip is inappropriate. Some of the famous Gujarat dishes that you must eat are Khandvi, Thepla, Gujarati Samosa, Undhiyu, Aam Shrikhand and Mango Salad, Gujarati Kadhi, Dhokla, and Bardoli ki Khichdi.
Festivals and Fairs in Gujarat
Vivid, beautiful, and colourful are the terms that best describe the festivals and fairs in Gujarat. Navratri is a major festival in Gujarat that celebrates female divinity in the forms of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Raksha Bandhan, Bhadra Purnima Fair, Janmashtami, Urs, Diwali, and Holi are other festivals that are celebrated with much enthusiasm. Apart from this, you can partake in the Kite festival, Bhavnath festival Mahashvratri, Modhera dance festival, Rann Utsav, and Chitra- Vichitra Fair on your visit to Gujarat.
Nightlife in Gujarat
Due to the strict liquor ban, there are not many pubs, nightclubs, and bars in Gujarat. Apart from the intoxicating factor, you can visit the beautifully lit temples at night, enjoy street food, and enjoy long walks by the beach.
Is it safe to visit Gujarat?
Yes, Gujarat is safe for tourists. However, you must avoid going on isolated roads alone at night. Before planning a trip, do some research to avoid any scams. Always read reviews about a particular place, hotel, or restaurant for a better holiday experience.
How to save money on a Gujarat trip?
- Move around the state or any particular city through local bus or rickshaws.
- Choose to stay at affordable hotels and eat in locally-owned restaurants.
- Avoid unnecessary shopping.
- Plan in advance to avoid paying for extra at the moment of travelling.
- Book your hotels, train/ flight tickets, monuments ticket price (if possible) in advance for discounts.
- Travel in the off-season to get discounts on flights and hotels.
Being a popular tourist destination in India, Gujarat is well-connected to the major Indian states and respective cities. Let’s check out how you can reach Gujarat by air, rail, road, and sea.
- By Flight:
Gujarat is one of the states which has the maximum number of domestic airports. However, the international airport of Gujarat is situated in Ahmedabad named Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport. You can also catch daily and weekly flights from major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai to Surat, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhuj and many other parts of the state.
- By Train:
You can easily reach Gujarat through Indian railways. Vadodara railway station is, however, one of the busiest railway stations in Gujarat as it lines on the Mumbai - Delhi line. Railway stations in Surat, Ahmedabad, and Rajkot are among the important ones in Gujarat.
- By Road:
The state of Gujarat has several two to four-lane highways. The road connectivity is great and is connected to all the important cities in India. You can also take the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation that operates regular bus services within and to the other states of India.
- By Sea:
Kandla Port in Gujarat is amongst the biggest ports in Western India that serve as a major international shipping terminal. Port of Navlakhi, Port Pipavav, Port of Veraval, etc. are other important ports in Gujarat.
How to get around Gujarat
The most convenient way to travel around Gujarat is to use State Transport buses. These connect all major cities of Gujarat and offer a comfortable journey at affordable prices. You can also use other means of transport such as private taxis and auto-rickshaws to move around different places in Gujarat. Cycle-rickshaws can be used to cover shorter distances.
Gujarat Travel Tips
- Don't carry excessive cash with you as you move around in the state.
- Learn about the place/ attraction you are visiting beforehand so that no fake tour guide can scam you.
- Carry mosquito repellent creams with you
- Alcohol is strictly banned in Gujarat. So, stay away from any hard drinks or you might have to pay a heavy fine.
- Avoid wearing revealing clothes in Gujarat as the people are traditional-minded and you might (unknowingly) hurt their sentiments.
- Cover your knees and shoulders especially while visiting pilgrimage sites.
- Beware of pickpockets.
- Check the opening time of temples, museums, etc. beforehand.
- Do not cause any harm to the wildlife while visiting wildlife sanctuaries or national parks in Gujarat.
- Do not accept food from strangers even if it is packed.
- Do not do any damage to the property like museums, monuments, zoos, etc.
- Follow the rules (if there are any) at a particular attraction or place.
- If any major document gets lost or stolen, immediately inform the local police stations. Your documents can be misused.
- Learn some phrases in Gujarati, it will help you interact better with the locals.
- Go with a registered tour guide, if needed. Some local tour guides can charge you way more with inauthentic information.