Also called Amdavad, this place happened to be the former capital of the state of Gujarat. The third largest of all the cities in the state, it is situated on the banks of the famous Sabarmati River and happens to be the industrial and economic hub of the state. The Ahmedabad Stock Exchange is also the second oldest one in the country and the city second when it comes to cotton production. There are some very famous places like the Sabarmati Ashram and Kankaria Lake that one can visit when in Ahmedabad.
One of Gujarat's most beautiful places, Kutch is nature's masterpiece. The vast barren land with spurts of colour is an enchanting sight and the White Desert, as it's fondly called, is what travellers' dreams are made of. The Rann of Kutch is filled with sea water during monsoons and with salt water, immediately after. Only on a few islands will you find signs of vegetation enough to sustain the life here. The Rann is made of almost 16 tribes and most tribes have distinct cultures, different languages and a way of life that is drastically different. During your trip here, do make sure to spend time with the tribes here. Not only will you learn a little more about the locals here but the experience tends to become quite memorable. Do visit Aina Mahal, Bhuj Museum, Prag Mahal and Mandvi beach. For adventure enthusiasts, do try the camel safari, stay at the camps under the stars and experience everything one usually doesn't. Of course, a visit here during Rann Utsav is unmatched. For shopaholics, there is a plethora of goodies to take back home, including silver jewellery, handicrafts, bandhani and applique work. Do choose your stay option carefully since that will add to your experience here in Kutch. Numerous options have been added to this town's growing list of hotels and you can easily choose the kind of holiday you want.
The city of Junagadh in Odisha, is a popular religious destination as well as an interesting tourist city. It is situated at the foothills of Mount Girnar with the Arabian Sea on its southwest, and fort walls surrounding the entire city. It is not a surprise that the city is loaded with architectural remnants and a pleasure for history buffs to explore. The Uparkot Fort, Tomb of Nuri Shah and Junagadh Museum will arouse that historical shiver within you and tell you the story of the past. Jama Masjid is worth visiting for an arresting panorama of Junagadh. Snippets of the Chudasama Rajputs are evident in the architectural styles of relics like Adi-Kadi Vav and Navghan Kuvo. If you are an adventure seeker, the Holy Hill of Girnar offers a remarkable trek. The Jain temples, Amba Ji Mandir, and Dattatray Mandir are pit stops that you can use to catch a breath during this 5-6 hour steep trek. Once you are at the top of the hill, you will realise why the exhaustion is totally worth it. Another wonderful opportunity that Junagadh offers you is close proximity to the stunning Gir National Park. If exploring the world is something you simply can't resist, then Gir definitely has to be on your list. Perhaps the only place where you can see the mighty, shy lions going about their daily business, Gir offers you an experience that is hard to forget. Leo Resorts is a good choice if you prefer to stay a night, though there are other budget and luxury hotels depending on your preference. For shopaholics, there are gold and silver embroidered items and perfumes available in the local markets. Don’t forget to pick up a tin of Kesar Keri on your way back – the taste of the mango pulp will keep you wanting more.
Rajkot today may deceive you with its congested roads and new heights, but the soul of the city still screams Gandhi. The narrow lanes, marketplaces with farmers selling bottled ghee at corners keeps the ethos intact. At Alfred High School you will see the reminiscences of the cultural setting where Gandhi pursued his education and at Gandhi Smriti, the recollections of his childhood. Founded in the colonial times, traces of the British Raj are still prevalent here. Prominent places to visit include the Watson Museum, Rotary Dolls Museum and Aaji Dam. Situated in the heart of Saurashtra, Rajkot is probably the centre with Gir Forest, Somnath Temple, Mount Girnar and even Diu all within a range of 200kms from it. If you want to spend the night, consider the Seasons Hotel or Marasa Sarovar Portico. From a cultural point of view, Rajkot is not inadequate either. The Kathiawari is an inherent form of folk music and Dayro too is Rajkot’s very own native genre. And how can one possibly forget the Garba? That is what keeps the city lighted during the festival of Navratri, through the night till dawn. Try the mouth-watering cuisine, which includes dishes such as fafda, poha, jalebi, dabeli, spicy ghughra and chikki before leaving the city.
One of the most visited cities in Gujarat, Bhuj is home to a number of historical monuments, a lively culture and a historically rich past. Taking you back to a time of simple living, Bhuj is a traveller's delight. From the enlightening Kutch Museum to the bedazzling Aina Mahal, this small city welcomes travellers with forgotten stories, intriguing escapades and numerous hidden corners. There are a number of popular temples here including the Shree Swaminayan Temple; the Swaminayan temples were actually first built in Bhuj. Enveloped in white, the temple is a must visit even if religious sites are not a part of your itinerary. You should also visit one of the oldest museums in Gujarat, which is the Kutch museum. Taking you through Gujarat's exciting past, the museum is also home to Kshatrapa inscriptions and the now extinct Kutchi script. The museum is located along the beautiful Hamirsar Lake and is a must-visit. Do also head to Aina Museum. One of the best examples of Indian architecture under the influence of European architecture, this one is fascinating to visit. True to its name, the best feature of the mahal is the Hall of Mirrors. The palace also houses a number of rare and stunning artefacts and paintings from around the world and is a treat to explore, especially if you are an art enthusiast. This small city packs in a lot for travellers and a couple of days here is enough to take back a beautiful experience unless, of course, you fall in love with the city's magic. Reaching Bhuj from Ahmedabad is quite easy since it's a major town and buses, taxis ply almost throughout the day.
Diu is very unlike India's other beach destinations. Located on a small island linked by a bridge to Gujarat’s southern coast, it is quiet, clean, full of Portuguese history and free of tourist-traps. Life on this small, sleepy town begins at around 5am, and by 9pm, streets are mostly deserted. Diu is a favourite with writers and artists, who often come here to enjoy the silence, found almost everywhere on this tiny island. But that doesn’t mean it is devoid of things to do. To explore Diu, you can rent a bicycle for a small cost and move around at your own pace. The Diu Fort and the view that it offers of the Arabian Sea is an unmissable adventure. There are also the Naida Caves, full of a labyrinth of paths and rock staircases, making for a thrilling experience. Evenings can be spent strolling around on the unique Gomtimata Beach, and then in the bylanes of Diu sampling the delectable seafood.