History & Architecture of Gujarat
The 4,500 years of history has endowed Gujarat with some of the most varied and beautiful archeological monuments of India. Almost everywhere you look, you'll come across history of its industrious and colourful people - Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi - that made this State their home.
Situated southwest of Ahmedabad, Lothal was rediscovered in 1957. Seals excavated at the site indicate Lothal was an important trade port of ancient India. It also shows a very high degree of town planning.
By Road: Lothal is 90 km from Ahmedabad.
By Rail: Get off at Bhurkhi station on the Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar railway line, from Burkhi, Lothal is 7 km.
By Air: The nearest Airport is Ahmedabad.
This ancient site in the Rann of Kutch is famous for the Hydraulic Engineering skills of the Harrapans who converted the city walls into veritable reservoirs to preserve every drop of water. Of special interest is a signboard in Indus script, which was recovered from the Arabian Sea.
By Road: Dholavira is 508 km from Ahmedabad via Wankaner
By Rail: Nearest railhead is at Gandhidham
By Air: The nearest Airport is at Bhuj
Timings: 9.00 am - 6.00 pm, open all days.
Rani-Ki-Vav (The Queen's Step-Well)
Rani-Ki-Vav is the most magnificent step-well in Patan, Gujarat built during the 11-12th century. A stepped corridor compartmented with pillared multi-storeyed pavilions is a unique feature.
These have demarcated stages along the descent and sculptures of deities adorn the walls. Nearly 400 niches are on display.
By Road: Patan is 3 hours from Ahmedabad
By Rail: 50 kms by rail from Ahmedabad
By Air: Nearest Airport is Ahmedabad.
The Jamnagar city was founded in 1540 AD by Jam Rawal. The famous cricketer Jam Ranjit Singh was a prince of Jamnagar State from 1907-1933. During his reign, Sir Edward Lutyens was invited to plan the European section of the city, where he created a two-storey administrative building known as the Wellington Crescent and the shopping arcade named Chelmsford Market. Pirotan Island, Marine National Park and Khijadya Lake and Bird Sanctuary are a must visit.
By Rail: Jamnagar Station
By Air: The nearest Airport is at Jamnagar
Home to several pastoral communities the first mention Kutch goes back to 150 AD. Civilization here, however, appears to have much older roots as attested by innumerable Harappan sites that have been excavated in the region. But the most beautiful of all is the art and craft of this region that contrasts sharply with the stark desert surroundings. To explore the region head for Bhuj the headquarters of Kutch district.
By Road: Bhuj is 403 km from Ahmedabad
By Rail: Bhuj Railway Station
By Air: Rudramata Airport, 3 km from Bhuj.
Cradled in an impressive landscape the Champaner - Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site, with its ancient Hindu and Muslim architecture represents the only complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city. The Park includes the Kalikamata Temple on top of the Pavagadh hill, an important place of worship of the Hindus.
Entry to Champaner - Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Timings: 9.00 am - 6.00 pm
By Road: Champaner is located 47 km from Vadodara off NH - 8
By Air: The nearest Airport is at Vadodara.
An ancient Parsi hamlet on the palm fringed coast of Southern Gujarat, Udvada is the 'throne' of the Iranshah fire. Its fire temple is a mere 261 years old but history and belief assure us that its inner sanctum has been burning continuously for some 1,280 years.
By Road: Udvada is 217 km from Mumbai and 376 km from Ahmedabad
By Rail: Udvada Station, on the Kota - Mumbai line is well connected to Ahmedabad
By Air: The nearest Airport is at Mumbai.
The headquarters of Saurashtra region, Rajkot is a commercial and industrial town, Rajkot's many 19th century buildings give it a distinctly colonial flavour. Visit the Watson Museum situated in Jubilee Bagh, which boasts of a fine collection of portraits, tribal artifacts and archaeological finds from Harappan sites.
By Road: Rajkot is 251 km from Ahmedabad
By Rail: Rajkot Station
By Air: The nearest Airport is at Rajkot.
Situated on the banks of the Vishwamitri River, Vadodara owes its splendour to Sayajirao Gaekwad who set up the town in late - 19th century. It is a vibrant city with many interesting buildings, museums and parks. The famous Amul Diary, located at Anand, lies 38 km from Vadodara.
By Road: Vadodara is 112 km from Ahmedabad
By Rail: Vadodara Junction
By Air: Airport at Vadodara.
Gujarat's leading city was the capital of the State till 1970 when it was shifted to newly built Gandhinagar. Founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah, Ahmedabad offers a fascinating window to Gujarat's traditional culture and history. Among the sites you should visit are Adalaj Vav, Iskcon Temple, Rani no Hajra, Jama Masjid, Sarkhej Roza, Rani Sipri's mosque, Sir Saiyad's Mosque with its famous 'jali' (carved lattice window), the shaking minarets of the Sidhi Bashir Mosque and the Science City to name a few. Take some time out to pay a visit to the Sabarmati Ashram, also known as Gandhi Ashram, located on the Western banks of Sabarmati River.
By Road: NH 8 links Ahmedabad with Mumbai (545 km) and Delhi (873 km)
By Rail: Ahmedabad Station
By Air: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport is situated 14 km from the city.
Situated on the west of Saurashtra, the city of Porbandar is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. The name Porbandar comes from the combination of two words: Porai, the name of a local goddess and Bandar meaning port or harbour. Places worth visiting here include Kirti Mandir and Sudama Mandir.
By Road: Porbandar 107 km from Junagad
By Rail: Porbandar Railway Station
By Air: The nearest Airport is at Rajkot 178 km
Built in the 16th century, the Jain temple town of Palitana sitting atop Shatrunjaya Hill is famous for its 863 beautifully crafted temples. The first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath is said to have visited this site. Adinath Temple shrine, whose ceilings and walls are covered with exquisite carvings of dancers, musicians and floral motifs. Don't miss the panoramic view of the Gulf of Khambat from atop the Shatrunjaya Hill.
By Road: Palitana is 52 km from Bhavnagar
By Rail: Palitana Railway Station
By Air: Bhavnagar Airport
Gujarat is fast becoming the favoured healthcare destination for foreign health tourists.