Of all the tourist places in India, Gujarat is indeed amongst the most enchanting. The entire length and breadth of the state are speckled with tourist destinations that suit travellers of all types. There is something for every traveller: temples, forts, beaches, wildlife, beach resorts, palaces, etc.
Gujarat can be divided into five major tourist circuits:
1. The Saurashtra Circuit:
Somnath, Dwaraka, Bhavnagar, Palitana, Velavadar, Ahmedpur, Mandvi, Veraval, Rajkot, Gondal, Porbandar, Wankaner and Jamnagar are the major tourist destinations in this circuit.
2. The Kachchh Circuit:
Little Rann Sanctuary, Dasada, Narayan Sarowar, Koteshwar, Mata-no-Madh, Bhadreshwar, Kera, Bhuj, Mandvi, White desert, Khavada, Banni and Kaladongar are the prominent tourist destinations in this circuit.
3. The North Gujarat Circuit:
Dasada, Mehsana, Modhera, Patan, Siddhpur, Balaram, Ambaji, Kumbharia, Poshina, Danta, Taranga and Vadnagar are the chief tourist destinations of this circuit.
4. The South Gujarat Circuit:
Bharuch, Surat, Tithal, Udwada, Vapi, Navsari, Saputara and Narmada are the key tourist destinations in this circuit.
5. The Central and South Eastern Gujarat Circuit:
Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Balasinor, Dakor, Dahod, Santrampur, Jambughoda, Chota Udepur, Chandod, Rajpipla and Pavagadh are the important tourist destinations in this circuit.
Each of these zones offers a gamut of choices to the traveller. For example, a wildlife enthusiast is drawn by the Rann of Kachchh, the only place where the wild ass is found or by the Asiatic lions of the Gir Forest. People who love the hills can find solace in the Saputara hill station which is situated on the Gujarat-Maharashtra border. With a long coastline stretching around 1,666 km, the Arabian Sea offers plenty of options to the tourists yearning for picturesque views and serene beauty.
Who doesn’t love a relaxed holiday on a beach? One might spend hours staring at the clear azure waters; build sandcastles or maybe just go for a leisurely stroll. In Gujarat, tourists have access to many seashore destinations, fine beaches, exotic coastlands, shore temples, sea-facing palaces, historic sea forts, coastal villages, amazing shipyards, princely cities that came up along the coast and India’s first Marine National Park in the Gulf of Kachchh. Most frequented beaches in Gujarat include Ahmedpur, Mandvi Beach, Chorwad Beach, Dwarka Beach, Gopnath Beach, Kachchh Mandvi Beach and Somnath Veraval Beach.
The state was one of the main seats of the Indus Valley Civilization. Major ancient cities of the civilization such as Lothal, Dholavira, and Gola Dhoro are present in Gujarat. India’s first port was established at Lothal. Dholavira is one of the most prominent archaeological sites in India. The ancient history of Gujarat is marked by the large-scale commercial activities which took place there. Trade and commerce ties were established with Persia during the time period of 1000 to 750 BC. Presently, Gujarat is the most flourishing centre of trade and commerce in the country.
The colourful fairs and festivals of vibrant Gujarat are sure to take your breath away. Numerous such events are organized all throughout the year and they leave the visitors spellbound. Fairs like Ternetar, Shamlaji, Chitravichitra, Madhavpur, Vautha, Bhavnath and festivals like Navratri, International Kite Festival, Kachchh Festival and Dang Darbar are very popular among the locals as well as the tourists.