The perfect itinerary for a holiday in Gujarat

Adalaj Vav stepwell attracts many tourists to Ahmedabad
Image courtesy: ©Tukaram.Karve / Shutterstock.com

Unfairly overlooked by many travellers scurrying between Mumbai and Rajasthan, Gujarat is an easy side-step off the well-beaten tourist trail. While the capital, Ahmedabad, can draw you in with its remarkable architecture and excellent dining scene that transcends its chaos, the countryside holds most of this state’s many treasures. Traditional artisans in tribal villages weave, embroider, dye and print some of India’s finest textiles, and pristine parks harbour unique wildlife, including migratory birds, wild asses and the last remaining prides of Asiatic lions. For the spiritually inclined, sacred Jain and Hindu pilgrimage sites sit atop mountains that rise dramatically from vast flatlands. And colourful festivals burst with a cornucopia of culture.

Falling among the top 10 regions in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel for 2019, Gujarat is bound to attract a large number of tourists. If you too are looking at exploring the place, this itinerary will be useful.

Also Read: The vibrant festivals of Ahmedabad & Gandhinagar

Also Read: Shopping and entertainment guide in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad

 

Mahatma Gandhi's visitor room at Sabarmati Ashram
Mahatma Gandhi's visitor room at Sabarmati Ashram
Image courtesy: ©Tukaram.Karve / Shutterstock.com

Kick off the Gujarati odyssey in Ahmedabad, enjoying its museums, mosques and mausoleums. Some significant places to visit are- Calico Museum of Textiles, Sabarmati Ashram, Adalaj Vav Step-Well, Hutheesingh Temple and Jama Masjid. Pause to sup on delectable Gujarati street food in the alleyways of Bhatiyar Gali.

Patan

Rani Ki Vav is an intricately constructed stepwell, also a Unesco world heritage site.
Rani Ki Vav is an intricately constructed stepwell, also a Unesco world heritage site.
Image courtesy: ©Leonid Andronov/Getty Images

Take the bus north to Patan, to feast your eyes on the architectural wonder that is the Rani-ki- Vav stepwell. The little town is famed, far and wide, for its beautiful Patola silk textiles, produced by the torturously laborious double-ikat method.

Kutch

Indian wild asses in the Rann of Kutch desert
Indian wild asses in the Rann of Kutch desert
Image courtesy: ©Photocech/Getty Images

Kutch, India’s wild west, is a geographic phenomenon. The flat, tortoise-shaped land, edged by the Gulf of Kutch and Great and Little Ranns, is a seasonal island. During the dry season, the Ranns are vast expanses of dried mud and blinding-white salt. Come the monsoon, they’re flooded first by seawater, then by fresh river water. The salt in the soil makes the low-lying marsh area almost completely barren.

Encounter tribal culture in colourful Kutch
Encounter tribal culture in colourful Kutch
Image courtesy: ©CRS PHOTO / Shutterstock.com

Encounter tribal culture in colourful Kutch, where villagers cover everything that isn’t nailed down with miniature mirrors and embroidery.

Gir

The Asiatic lion is a lion subspecies that exists as a single population in Gir
The Asiatic lion is a lion subspecies that exists as a single population in Gir
Image courtesy: ©Shutterstock/kongsak sumano

The last refuge of the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) is this forested, hilly, 1412-sq-km sanctuary about halfway between Veraval and Junagadh. Taking a safari through the thick, undisturbed forests would be a joy even if there wasn’t the excitement of lions and other wildlife to spot. The sanctuary access point is Sasan Gir village, on a minor road and railway between Veraval and Junagadh (about 40km from each). The best time to visit is from December to April.