Velavadar Blackbuck National Park, BhavnagarOnce the hunting playground of the Maharaja of Bhavnagar, the 34-square-kilometre park was created in 1976 to preserve this habitat of flora and fauna. The park has the largest population of the endangered blackbuck in India, and is also home to Lesser florican, one of the 50 rare birds in the world. Other birds that are speciality here are saras crane and Stolikza’s bushchat. You will also find quails, harriers, falcons, wheatears, and eagles.The Details: The nearest airport is Bhavnagar, located an hour from Velavadar. Ahmedabad airport is another option since it is only a two-and- a-half-hour drive. Book your stay at the Blackbuck Lodge (theblackbucklodge.com), which has 14 cottages, a restaurant, and a library. The entry fee is Rs 400 per car; additional Rs 100 for camera.
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123 Kms from Velavadar
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.
293 Kms from Velavadar
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.
291 Kms from Velavadar
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Mount Abu is the only hill station in the deserts of Rajasthan. Among forts and palaces, this quiet hill station is quite popular with local tourists as well as visitors from across the country. A place of great religious reverence to the Jain community, the Dilwara Jain Temple is a set of five temples, all belonging to a different century. The temples are carved out of white marble and depict scenes of Gods and Goddesses and are a must visit for their architectural brilliance. You can also spend a day at Nakki Lake. Lying in the hills, this lovely lake offers boating opportunities to visitors. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is another wonderful way to spend your time on this hill station and can take up your entire day, so do keep yourself free. For trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, the Guru Shikhar is the highest peak in the region and trekking here is a memorable and adventurous experience, though if you aren't an experienced trekker, you may need a little help! There are numerous hotels and guesthouses here, though depending on the type of traveller you are, it might be a good idea to do a little bit of research before settling on a place to stay.
123 Kms from Velavadar
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.
181 Kms from Velavadar
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,October,November,December
Part of the famous Daman and Diu islands, Diu is a lovely town for those who are looking for a quiet, laidback beach vacation. You will experience traces of Portuguese history and culture and it's quite a delight to discover. Do visit Ghoghla beach for the water sports and also the delicious local cuisine. Nagoa beach is another famous beach close to Diu. It's famous for its water sports and it is also perhaps one of the few beaches where you can enjoy swimming. The best way perhaps to discover Diu is on a scooty. The roads here are very well maintained and there isn't too much traffic so it's a delight to ride here. If you have a little time on your hands, do visit the wonderful Sea Shell Museum. Though you may feel the collection is a little repetitive, it is definitely worth a visit. The hotels and guesthouses here are exceptionally welcoming and warm. Do a thorough research before you decide on a place to stay since it can make all the difference!
206 Kms from Velavadar
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.
242 Kms from Velavadar
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Saputara is a picturesque hill station located in the Dang district of Gujarat. Known as the 'womb of nature', Saputara is wrapped in greenery and boasts of untouched beauty. Perhaps the most famous hill station in the region, it offers a respite from mundane city life. Similar to most hill stations, Saputara has tons of places for you to explore. Do visit the pristine Saputara Lake, the Nageshwar Mahadev Temple, the sunrise point and the sunset point, which offers panoramic views of the entire region and are a photographer's delight! The hill station, situated on a plateau of the Western Ghats, has an interesting tribal culture with an 'Artist Village' that offers a peek into tribal culture and way of life. Saputara is natively known as the 'abode of serpents', and the beautiful Sarpagana river that flows by it has sacred relevance for the tribals. Saputara is also home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, including the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary. The Gira Falls located in the periphery is another must-visit and so are the myriad gardens surrounding the falls.
126 Kms from Velavadar
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.