Palitana has 900 marble temples sitting on top of a mountain. And the Jain community believes that every member must visit this city at least once in their lifetime to attain nirvana. Situated in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, Palitana is associated with the Jain history and legends. The Palitana temples, located on the Shatrunjaya hills, are perhaps the most important religious landmarks of all. A walk up on around 3500 steps will take you to the temples. The Shri Adishwara Temple is a fascinating structure consisting of beautifully complex carvings. The Chaumukha temple of this region, with its imposing gateway and sprawling confines, is a humbling sight indeed. The carvings on the marble within the temples is spellbinding. The Shri Vishal Jain Kala Sansthan Museum here houses an excellent collection of artefacts, excavated idols, ancient manuscripts and an exhibit on the history of Jainism and the life of Lord Mahavira. There are several eating places here, but be warned, all are strictly vegetarian. Bhavnagar is about 56 km away and Ahmedabad. Private and ST buses travel to Palitana from both of these cities as well as from several others around Gujarat and even from Mumbai. A revered religious spot, visit Palitana and rediscover yourself.
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301 Kms from Palitana
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Perhaps the largest metropolis in the country, Mumbai is a multi-faceted city with something to offer everyone. From the imposing architecture of Gateway of India to the crystal clear waters of the Marine Drive, from the modern architecture marvel of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link to the Elephanta Caves, the city brings the old and new together. It is also home to the very popular Hindi film industry and most Bollywood celebrities have residences here. The most famous spot here is probably the Chowpatty Beach, which remains packed throughout the year, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival which sees thousands of Mumbaikars get together to immerse an idol in the waters. The Siddhivinayak Temple of Mumbai is a famous place that is frequented by believers in large numbers on a daily basis. Lying along the salty waters of the Arabian Sea is the Juhu Beach, which is another popular beach in the city. The Essel World Amusement Park here is an ideal picnic spot to cool off in the hot summers of Mumbai. The city, being a metro, offers all kind of food from different parts of the world. The local pao bhaji and vada pao can be sampled at any local eatery. Popular restaurants here are LSD, Indigo, Cafe Churchill and Cafe Leopold.
188 Kms from Palitana
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.
287 Kms from Palitana
Best time to visit - February,March,November,December
The city of Thane is a great getaway from Mumbai. Its beautiful lakes, lovely locales, boat rides and old forts makes it a popular weekend spot for tourists. The most popular lake here is the Upwan Talao, which is also famous for hosting the Sanskruti Arts Festival. This sparkling lake also houses a Ganesha temple near its confines. Enjoy the thrill of water rides at the Suraj Water Park, which also doubles up as a picnic spot here. The Masunda Lake is another famous lake, which offers boating and water scooter facilities as well. Don't forget to try out the delicious local snacks that are sold here! Thane offers a chance to discover the unique flavours of Maharashtrian cuisine. Lodging here is not a problem with numerous hotels and guest houses available as per the tourist's requirement. If nature is something that you wish to explore, Thane is the place to be!
277 Kms from Palitana
Best time to visit - January,February,March,July,August,September,October,November,December
Famous for its many temples and ghats, Nashik is one of the holiest cities in India. And for those looking for something more, there are the Sula Vineyards to explore. The eventful history of Nasik is evident in its various forts, including Harihar Fort and Ramshej Fort, that are sprinkled all over the city. The Sita Gufa or the Cave of Sita is believed to be the spot from where Goddess Sita was abducted by Ravana, while Panchvati is believed to be the asylum of Lord Rama during his exile. The Timbakeshwar Temple of Nasik is as much an architectural masterpiece as it is a religious centre. Carved intricately, this much-celebrated temple is perched on top of the Brahmagiri hills. Indulge your senses at the Sula Vineyards, which offer an insightful and entertaining tour that offers information on wine manufacturing and a chance for wine tasting. Nasik offers an impressive assortment of Maharashtrian food that is lightly influenced by the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Popular restaurants include Barbeque Ville Veg Aroma and Aster The Coffee Shop. For accommodation, Nashik has options in all segments – budget, mid-range and luxury hotels.
175 Kms from Palitana
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
Popularly known as Baroda, Vadodara is great travel destination for history buffs and art enthusiasts. The town is known for the grand Laxmi Vilas Palace and the Fatehsingh Museum (both located in the same premises). Do keep aside an entire day if you are fond or art and culture since the palace is huge and deserves that kind of time. You can also visit Sayaji Baug, a lush, refreshing garden in the middle of the city. It is the perfect place to visit if you are travelling with children since it has a small kid's zone, a cafeteria, a small museum and a zoo. If you are in the city for more than a day, do visit Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum since it houses numerous rare and beautiful paintings, sculptures and murals from all over the world, collected by the royal family. Vadodara may not be a traveller's perfect destination, but it does have its fair share of history, culture and art.
224 Kms from Palitana
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Examples of Rajput architecture and a prominent pearl fishing centre distinguish Gujarat’s lesser known gem, Jamnagar, from other cities. The age-old decaying buildings, narrow lanes and colourful bazaars make up for the lost charm inflicted by tall buildings and the brimming crowd. The scenic Lakhota Fort stands in the middle of the lake and is a fort like palace that now houses a museum of old collectables. It looks beautiful at sundown when the lake glitters in the yellow light that reflects from the monument. The Darbargadh Fort, constructed with a mix of European and Rajput architectural styles, is mesmerising to explore. Other must visits here are the Pratap Vilas Palace and Bhujio Kotho, a five-floor monument believed to be constructed for protection during invasions. There are also many Jain temples around the Chandi Bazaar that grant the place an old world charm. With a coastline that stretches till Dwarka, Jamnagar also offers some unspoilt beaches with white and golden sand. Shopping in Jamnagar is a treat and you must not forget to buy the world famous, multi-hued Bandhani fabric, which can be used as a dupatta or dress or even a sari. Taste the Gujarati delicacies of ghughra and dry fruit kachoris and consider the Express Residency or J R Avezika for a comfortable stay in the city.
118 Kms from Palitana
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
An integration of historic monuments and modern skyscrapers, Surat is a quaint town located along the banks of river Tapi. The ISKCON temple here, standing on an area of around 13,000 km, is frequented by devotees from all across the world. The Dutch Cemetery, Shahjahan's Fort, Parsi neighbourhood and colonial building are beautiful symbols of the history of this city. Dandi is a popular destination among tourists visiting Surat and is a place made famous by the Indian independence movement. When it comes to food, Surat offers lip-smacking Gujarati flavours, albeit only vegetarian. Popular eateries here include the Leonardo Ristorante Italiano, Jalaram Khichadi and Kansar Gujarati Thali. Accommodation here is easily available and sits well within in your budget. If you want more, travel to the Dumas Beach, which is located about 18km from the city.
297 Kms from Palitana
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
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.