Gujarat


Gujarat is a very beautiful & colorful place. The state is blessed by God with Its fertility, lush green forests, various enchanting rivers, beautiful plains, the hill ranges and exotic villages & friendly people. Gujarat is a study in contrasts - Between Tribal Culture and Modern Cities , Between the Desert and the Seas and between a Rural based and Urban Economy.

Gujarat is situated on the Western Indian coast having a 1,600 kms long Arabian Sea coastline. Gujarat is surrounded by the states of Rajasthan to the north-east, Madhya Pradesh to the east, Maharashtra and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the south. It shares the international border with Pakistan , in the north-west. It stretches from Kutch in the West to Daman in the South and the hilly tract from Aravalli in the East to the Western hills with lush green forests, rivers as well as plains. The western cost of Gujarat faces the mighty Arabian Sea.

Gujarat derives its name 'Gujaratta' meaning the land of Gurjars. The Gurjars passed through the Punjab and settled in some parts of Western India, which came to be known as Gujarat.

Gujarat has a long historical and cultural tradition dating back to the days of the Harappan civilization established by relics found at Lothal. According to the Hindu epics, Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balarama, evacuated Mathura and established them selves at Kushasthali, now known as Dwarka and started what is known as the Yadava dynasty.

Among the earliest Europeans in Gujarat were the Portuguese who settled in Diu, a small island off the southern coast of Saurashtra . After them came the British who set up warehouses in Surat in 1612.

Gujarat is the birthplace of many who played an important role in shaping modern India . Prominent among them are Shri Dadabhoy Navroji, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Nation.

Gujarat is home to four National Parks, and there are twenty one Wildlife sanctuaries. Gujarat is also the home to the almost extinct Asaiatic Lions. Another reason to visit Gujarat will have to be its rich culinary interests. Gujarti cuisine is one of the best tasting vegetarian cuisines in the world. Third reason to visit Gujarat will have to be its rich shopping of exquisite clothes, textiles and hand made or woven or hand decorated fabrics and clothes, beddings and wall decorations.

What to See
Ahmedabad Daman Diu Gandhinagar Jamnagar
Rajkot Sasangir Silvassa Surat Vadodara
Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is the largest city in Gujarat and the sixth largest city in India with a population of almost 5 million. Ahmedabad is Gujarat's largest city and the headquarters of Ahmedabad district. It is located on the banks of the River Sabarmati. Ahmedabad was the former capital of Gujarat State from 1960 to 1970, when Gandhinagar replaced it.

The city was founded in the 15th century by Sultan Ahmed Shah on the Sabarmati River, and served as capital of the Sultanate of Gujarat. Ahmedabad is presently a thriving business district. It is mainly divided in two parts, the old city, and new city . The old city has developed rather haphazardly. In addition to its role as a commercial center, Ahmedabad is also an important industrial center, with chemical and textile industries.

Ahmedabad enjoys a thriving cultural tradition, being the centre of Gujarati cultural activities and diverse traditions of different ethnic and religious communities. Popular celebrations and observances include Uttarayan, Navaratri, Deepavali, Holi, Eid ul-Fitr and Christmas are all celebrated with enthusiasm. The annual Rathyatra procession on the Ashadh-sud-bij date of the Hindu calendar and the procession of Tajia during the Muslim holy month of Muharram are integral parts of the city's culture.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Ahmedabad airport is located 10 km north of the city center. Indian Airlines & other private airlines have daily flights to Mumbai and Delhi. The city is also connected to Bangalore, Goa and Chennai by regular flights.

By Rail - The city also has a good road network with good network of National and State Highways. Ahmedabad is well connected by trains with Delhi, Mumbai, Vadodra and Udaipur.

By Road - The city is well connected with Bombay , Delhi and other major cities.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to visit Ahmedabad is during the Navratri time i.e. October.

WHAT TO SEE

Juma Masjid - It is amongst the most popular tourist sights in the city. Built of yellow sandstone this mosque stands on 260 pillars which support 15 domes at varying elevations. The mosque was built by Ahmad Shah in 1423.

Jhulta Minara - Quite an unusual structure, Jhulta Minara or swaying minarets are a part of the mosque of Siddi Bashir and can be moved back and forth by applying a little force at the topmost arch. The mosque was built by master craftsmen and the crucial mechanism that leads to the vibration is still a mystery. The other interesting fact here is that these minars stand the test of the rumbling trains that pass not very far away from them

Hathising Jain Temple - An impressive white structure, the Jain temple built of white marble and elaborately carved is dedicated to Dharmanath - the 15th Jina or Jain Apostle. This temple is rich in intricate carvings.

Bhadra Fort - To add special charm to the varied sights of the city there is the Bhadra Fort, which once housed royal palaces and well-laid gardens. It boasts of the temple of Bhadrakali and was built in 1411 during the Maratha rule.

Sidi Sayed Mosque - Sidi Sayed Mosque is unique for its exquisite screens, which are praised for their amazing Jhali screen, framed, in the ten semi-circular windows. The screen carved out of one rock is just exceptional. A visit to this superb and outstanding example of delicate carving is an absolute must.

Sabarmati Ashram - The ashram was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1915, and today without doubt it is the biggest tourist attraction in Ahmedabad. It lies on the tranquil stretch of the Sabarmati River and was referred to as the Satyagraha Ashram during the lifetime of the Mahatma. One can see the three wise monkeys and many more of Gandhiji's teachings at the ashram premises. The ashram today continues the work started by Mahatma and houses a handicrafts centre, a handmade paper factory and a spinning wheel factory. Besides, there are several other attractions for the tourist.

Kankaria Lake - A circular lake built in 1451 by Sultan Qutub-ud-Din. In the centre of the lake is an island garden with a summer palace known as Nagina Wadi. The lake is a popular recreation centre surrounded by parks, 'Bal Vatika' - an aquarium, a boat club, a natural history museum and a zoo

WHERE TO EAT

Gujarati thalis are very famous and you can get it anywhere.

Vishalla, opposite Vana Tolnaka, serves delectable Gujarati food.

Sankalp, C G Road , is perhaps the best place for South Indian dishes.

Café Upper Crust, opposite Maharaja Palace , Vijay Cross Roads: A good bakery, it also specialises in continental dishes.

Banjara, between Rajpath Club and Thaltej Cross Roads: Excellent Chinese and Continental cuisine.

Chills Thrills Frills has branches all over the city: Very popular for ice creams, fast food and Chinese food.

Pizza Hut, Abhijay Complex, Swastik Cross Roads.

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Daman

Daman promises you a refreshing holiday. It is a destination favored by all and visited all through the year. Tranquil sunbathed-beaches, impregnable forts and churches and a rich local heritage and culture - tourist attractions in Daman are myriad and diverse.

The history of Daman dates back to some 2000 years. It even finds mention in the Mahabharata, that the Pandava brothers spent a few days here during their fourteen years exile. Daman attractions also include visiting this auspicious place. Owing to its matchless beauty, Daman was often gifted to winning kings and princes.

Daman boasts of some major tourist attractions which leave every tourist spell bound. One of the major tourist attractions in Daman is the Devka Beach which has an amusement park with several colorful fountains and is a place to frolic around.

The other Daman tourist attractions include the huge fort which dates back to 16th century. A large number of Portuguese gentry used to reside within the confines of the Fort with their families. Nani Daman has an ancient church, a fort and a fishing dock. The lighthouse offers that magical charm to its lovely beach.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Nearest Airport is Mumbai. Domestic and International flights are available.

By Rail - Nearest railhead is Vapi just about 12 Kms. Vapi is on the main railway line between Delhi and Mumbai. All major Express/Mail and Local trains stoppage are accessible at Vapi. Taxi Service is available between Daman & Vapi on charge per head basis. Other nearby railway head is Valsad Jn. just about 35 Kms.

By Road - Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway No. 8 connects Daman via Vapi. Some prominent distance:
Mumbai - 193 Kms.
Ahmedabad - 367 Kms.
Diu - 763 Kms.
Panaji (GOA) via Mumbai - 787 Kms.

WHEN TO GO

The best time to visit, however, is between October and May, when the weather is cool and inviting, and just right to enjoy the great cuisine of the region.

WHAT TO SEE

Fort of Moti Daman - The Fort is protected by a moat on the land side and also connects the river to the sea. It is basically polygonal in plan with projections at regular intervals of about 500 feet and carrying splayed angular bastions. The terraces close to the top of the wall are connected to the top of the wall are connected to the inner ground surface by open flight of steps at many places.

Jampore Beach - It leads on to the border of Gujarat . It is a pleasant spot, where one communes with nature in sublime solitude. This beach is most suited to swimming as it is danger - free. During low - tide, one can walk on the soft wet sand right into the sea. Don't miss a picnic with your family in the shade of Casurina plantation on the sea - shore.

Fort of Nani Daman - The small fort with high stone walls encloses an area of 12,250 sq. meters. It has three bastions and two gateways. The most conspicuous part of the Fort is the giant gateway facing the river with a large statue of St. Jerome and two giant human figures, on either side of the gateway. The imposing church of Our Lady of the Sea is the principal building within the Fort. Nani Daman offers some wonderful sites to the traveler : Gandhi Park near Nani Daman jetty, Nani Daman Fort and the church inside and the fishing jetty where boats are anchored to name a few.

Damanganga Tourist Complex - An unique integrated project with a Cafeteria, Cottages, Conference Hall, Health Club (under construction), Amphi Theatre, Giant Water Falls, Water sports, Island Gardens, Fountains which provide the visiting tourist all facilities in one location. This complex will mesmerize any tourist visiting Daman with its beauty, facilities and size.

Kadiaya Lake Garden - A Wholly man-made wonder offering a variety of cuisine, the restaurant excels in the panoramic view it has to offer. There is a lake surrounding the two islands connected by a bridge. Fountains and beautiful boats add to the remarkable greenery which meets the eye in every direction. Various interesting features like computer games, toy train make it a favorite family tourist spot. The Kadaiya Lake Garden is a famous tourist spot for shooting of many films.

Pargola Garden - It is a monument raised in memory of the Portuguese soldiers who fell during the liberation up rising at Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It has the resemblance of the Pantheon at Athens .

Church Of Bom Jesus - Bom Jesus is one of the most impressive holy places in Daman. It was completed in its present form in 1603 AD and is a living tribute to the excellence achieved by Portuguese architects and artisans in ornate and intricate Church buildings. The richly carved doorway and the highly, decorated interiors together with the lofty ceiling are aesthetic and pleasing. There are six finely made statues in the best traditions of Roman Church art and architecture.

Collector House - Portuguese regime at present office of Collector and District Magistrate situated in this building.

House Of Bocage - At the entrance on the left side of the Pargola Garden almost attached to the Fort Gate is the modest dwelling where Bocage, an 18th Century Portuguese poet lived.

The Paryatan Bhavan - It was constructed in 1995. At present the office of tourism department and OIDC are situated at Paryatan Bhavan. Tourist Information Center is also situated at Paryatan Bhavan.

Devka - The beautiful and well tended amusement park with its musical fountain and kid's corner has become very popular. When the park is illuminated on festive days, it provides an enchanting sight. Most of the food joints and posh hotels are just within walking distance. Children enjoy the facility of a pony - ride on the sands. The traveler can beat the summer heat by taking a swim in the cool waters of the sea.

Mirasol Water Park - Enjoy Go-Carting, Jumper-Boat, Striking Car & other Thrilling Rides at Mirasol Water Park situated within the Kadaiya Lake Garden.

WHERE TO EAT

Martha's Place (opposite the Museum): Excellent home cooking and good views

Kadliya Lake Resort: An island resort run by Daman Tourism, with beautiful lawns, gardens, waterfalls, fountains and boating- a great destination for families

Damanganga Lake Garden (Daman-Vapi Road): Lake facing restaurant with a kitschy, Mughal theme bar.

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Diu

Diu is an island of breeze and beauty. A Portuguese colony like Goa, Diu is an off - shore island on the western coast, off the Gulf of Cambay . The coast has limestone cliffs, rocky coves and sandy beaches, the best of which are at Nagoa. A massive fort built by the Portuguese dominates the skyline.

It is an exquisitely beautiful getaway with golden sand beaches, dense palm-groves and historical monuments sans commercial exploitation and environmental degradation. Diu stands out, in marked contrast to other places, as a tiny island, where people have an excellent civic sense. With the magnificent serenity of its ambience, it is perhaps one of India 's last undiscovered jewels.

With a pleasant climate throughout the year, it affords unprecedented peace and tranquility to tourists. The word ' Diu ' has been derived from the Sanskrit word 'Dweep' meaning an island. During the period from the 14th to 16th century Diu was one of the best Sea Ports and a naval base.

Nagoa beach which is horse-shoe in shape could well be one of the best beaches of the world. The other equally beautiful beaches are Ahmedpur, Mandvi, Chakratirath, Jallandhar, and Gomtimata all having their own charm and thrill. The administration has provided water-sports facilities. Diu is all about lazy days and hazy nights.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Diu is connected by Vayudoot services with Bombay and Ahmedabad.

By Rail - Nearest railhead is Delwada (9 km) connected via Veraval by metre gauge line. However Veraval (85 km) is the convenient railhead connected to Bombay via Ahmedabad.

By Road - Diu is well connected by road via Una (30 km), to Ahmedabad (495 km), Bhavnagar (225 km), Bombay (930 km), Daman (763 km), Sasangir (128 km), Rajkot (261 km), Somnath (87 km), Veraval (77 km).

WHEN TO GO

Diu Can be Traveled Round The Year. but its better to plan your tour between October To May as this is the most ideal time for all visitors.

WHAT TO SEE

Nagoa Beach - A perfect semi circle beach where the gentle lapping waves beckon you to wade into them for a fun filled time of swimming, gamboling or just lolling around the soft sand shores or to find you napping under the palm trees filled with the soothing breeze. The Nagoa beach is the most famous in Diu . Gomptimata, Chakratirth and the beautiful Sunset Point are the other famous beaches. A 20 min. refreshing drive from the town through the open arid land and dense coconut groves brings you to the Nagoa Beach . Gangeshwar Temple - is situated 3km away from Diu town in Fudam village. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, there are five lingas here that are located in the midst of the rocks on the seashore, and are washed by the waves of the sea. It is believed that these lingas were established here by the five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata during their exile. The gentle sea waves offering their obeisance to the "Shiva Lingas" in stone have a mystic aura around them in the cave temple of Gangeshwar where the Lord makes his presence felt.

Ghoghla Beach - Ghoghla Beach is among the six beautiful beaches in Diu District. It also has facilities for water sports like parasailing, water scooters etc. The Golden sand beach undulates into the horizon while the Arabian Sea laps away at the edge as though imploring the sands to let it find its own peach. You can do swimming, sunbathing, parasailing, surfing etc.

St. Thomas Church - Museum - St. Thomas's Church that has now been taken over by the authorities and converted into the Diu Museum. A huge edifice in gothic architecture was built in 1598. A part of it has been converted into a museum - an archaeological treasure house. It houses wooden carvings, statues, idols, shadow clocks and other important artifacts collected from various sites.

Diu Fort - Diu Fort is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541.The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. Rugged yet gentle, fierce yet loving. Inside, you are overwhelmed by the gaunt majesty of the ancient stone work which transports you to a bygone era of gallant soldiers where time stands still.

St. Paul's Church - St. Paul's Church is the only active church till date. The church adorned with curiously treated volutes and shell - like motifs and the magnificent wood carving is considered to be the most elaborate of all the Portuguese churches in India. St. Paul Church, built in 1691 is consecrated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The dominant features are, no doubt, Gothic.

Gomtimata Beach - is one of the best beaches of the region. Secluded and spread with natural white sand, it is located at the western corner of the island

Panikotha-Fortim Do Mar - Legend has it that this ship shape structure was one connected with land by an under sea tunnel. You can see this monument in famous bollywood movie "KAYAMAT". It is a magnificent stone structure in the sea, built right at the mouth of the creek. It can be reached only by a canoe or a motor launch. Approximately one nautical mile from the Diu jetty, it also has a light house and small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea. The fortress makes for a beautiful view whether seen from the jetty, from the Fort, from the village of Ghoghla or from Diu proper.

Jallandhar Shrine - Jallandhar Shrine is located on a hillock close to the beach. This small shrine crowned with a dome, contains a niche wherein a stone carved face of Jallandhar is seen. Near by there is also a temple of Goddess Chandrika . The beach is at a distance of 1 km from Diu Town . This small shrine crowned with a dome, contains a niche wherein a stone carved face of the demon Jallandhar is seen. Nearby, is the temple of Goddess Chandrika .

WHERE TO EAT

Le Jardin d'Hoka Garden Restaurant located in Diu Town . They serve large portions of food, have fresh coffee, fresh bread, homemade jam, fresh pasta, grilled tuna, smoked kingfish, crepes, and more.

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Gandhinagar

Gandhinagar are Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, the city is the administrative centre of Gandhinagar District. It is the capital of Gujarat State, India . It is one out of the three planned cities of India . In 1960 when the old Bombay State was partitioned into Maharashtra and Gujarat, the city of Bombay went to Maharashtra . It was then decided to construct a new capital for Gujarat . Thus was the genesis of Gandhinagar, the second planned city in India after Chandigarh . Gandhinagar occupies an area 57 sq. kms. It presents a spacious, well designed look of an architecturally integrated city. It has 30 sectors with each sector having its own shopping, health, housing colonies and community centre. Extensive planting of trees and large recreational areas along the river gives the city a fresh, green garden city atmosphere. The famous temple of Swaminarayan is also built in Gandhinagar.

Gandhiji was born and brought up in Gujarat . There are many institutions named and associated with the Mahatma. His statues have been erected all over the town.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Nearest airport is Ahmedabad.

By Rail - Nearest railway station are Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad.

By Road - State transport buses connects various centres of Gujarat . It is situated 32 Kms north-east of Ahmedabad.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to visit Gandhinagar is October to March.

WHAT TO SEE

Akshardham - It is the famous temple of "Swaminarayan Sect" which is the richest sect in the world. It is a unique cultural complex built in Gandhinagar in memory of Lord Swaminrayan. It is an intricately carved, majestic monument of 6000 tons of pink sand stone awash with spiritual stillness. The entire monument was built without the use of steel. Besides a 7 feet gold leafed idol of Lord Swaminarayan and his holy relics, there are three exhibitions on Indian Culture with light and Sound shows, a multimedia show and an animatronic show. Games, rides and food refreshments are other attractions of Akshardham.

Capital Complex - In the heart of the capital, in Sector 10, is the well-laid-out complex of buildings housing the legislature and government offices. Vithalbhai Patel Bhavan, a magnificent domed building, stands majestically on a high podium in the centre of a circular lake and houses the Vidhan Sabha and the legislature offices. Flanking it, and linked by hanging corridors, are two modern multi-storied buildings. Sardar Bhavan, which is to house the various departments of the State Secretariat, and Narmada Bhavan, where the offices of all the heads of departments are situated.

Children's Park - A major attraction for children and holiday, makers of the Children's Park in Sector 28 has a mini train and a lake with boating facilities.

Sarita Udyan - In sector 9 and along the river front is the lovely Sarita Udyan, an ideal spot for picnickers. The entire area is being developed to provide full recreational facilities. Deer Park - Adjacent to Sarita Udyan, at Indroda village, on the outskirts of the capital city, is the sprawling deer park - a big draw for both children and adults.

Craftsmen's Village - Located near Gandhinagar, on the Sabarmati River back, is Pethapur village, only 7kms from the capital. Once famous for its colorful `Bandhani' saris, the village also used to export wooden printing blocks to Singapore . The wooden blocks, with exquisite patterns carved on them, are used for the hand-printing of cloth. They are still in demand in the major hand, printing centers of India . The Architectural Marvel - Adalaj Stepwell, 15 kms from the capital on the National Highway, is famous for its unique architecture with a huge artistic edifice and a flight of steps that enables one to reach the water, whatever be its level. The Adalaj stepwell is considered to be the best of all stepwells in Gujarat .

WHERE TO EAT

Gujarati thalis are very famous and you can get it anywhere.

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Jamnagar

Jamnagar district is in the peninsular region in the North West, in the state of Gujarat India, known as Kathiawar or Saurashtra. The founder of the princely state of Jamnagar was the Jam Rawal, who descended on the northern coast of Kathiawar in 1535 A.D.

Jamnagar has shot to prominence as Reliance Industries, India 's largest private company established the world's largest refinery near Moti Khavdi village. It is also home to Essar Oil, another important oil refinery of India.

The climate of Jamnagar district is generally pleasant. The summer season extends from March to June.The monsoons are from July to September. Winter season sets in during October and extends till February.

Gujarati is the mother tongue of the major population of Jamnagar district.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Indian Airlines service connects Jamnagar with Bombay and Bhuj.

By Rail - Jamnagar is directly connected with Ahmedabad and Bombay . Hapa Jn.(9 km) from Jamnagar is another convenient Railhead on the broad gauge terminus

By Road - Jamnagar to Palitana 246 km, Rajkot 86 km, Ahmedabad 304 km, Somnath 257 km, Dwarka 148 km. Gujarat State Transport services connect Jamnagar with Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Porbandar, Rajkot, Junagadh, Somnath.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to visit Jamnagar is between October To March.

WHAT TO SEE

Lakhota Palace - Lakhota Fort is Jamnagar 's Museum and its terraces display a fine collection of sculpture that spans a period from the 9th to 18th Century. It is situated in the middle of the lake of jamnagar .

Pratap Vilas Palace - Pratap Vilas Palace was built according to foreign architecture but the carvings on it are very much Indian. It was built as a mimic of Victoria Memorial Building of Calcutta but the domes built on it are according to Indian architecture out of which 3 domes are made of glass. Carvings of creepers, flowers, leaves, birds and animals on the columns make the palace lively. Balconies in the palace add further beauty to it.

Marine National Park - Gujarat has the distinction of creating the country's first Marine National Park spread over an area of nearly 458 sq.kms. in the Gulf of Kutch, 30 km. from Jamnagar . Here one can find plants that look like animals and animals that look like plants. Turtles, shrimp, sponge, eels, sea urchin lurk among the corals and huge schools of fish create a brilliance of colors that are unknown, unseen and unimaginable to us.

Dwarka - It is situated in picturesque surroundings of Jamnagar . Dwarka is famous for the temple of Dwarkadhish , the "Lord of Dwarka" also known as Jagat Mandir or temple of the world. The temple has seven floors and is beautifully carved from base to pinnacle. The temple of Jagat Mandir , with the presiding deity of Shri Krishna, is an imposing edifice and a superb architectural monument. Having a plinth area of 1800 square feet, the temple consists of a shrine that is supported by 60 pillars of granite.

Ranjit Sagar Dam - It is Located 13 Kms. away from the Jamnagar . His Highness Jam Ranjitsinhji commenced the construction of 'Ranjit Sagar' dam. Foundation stone for this dam was laid by His Highness, King of Bikaner, Sir Gangasinhji and hence was named 'Ganga Sagar' after him. But for reasons unknown was later named as 'Ranjit Sagar' dam.

Jumma Masjid - During Aurangzeb's rule in the year 1664, Qutbuddin attacked state of Jamnagar and during which His Highness Jam Raisinhji died. Qutbuddin entered the city with his army and looted it. He built the first mosque in the main bazaar of Jamnagar city. This mosque was later beautified and made bigger and named Jumma Masjid. The present face of Jumma Masjid was given by His Highness Jam Vibhaji's muslim wife Dhanbai.

Jain Temple - The foundation stone for Vardhman Shah's Jain Temple was laid in 1612 during the rule of His Highness Jam Jasaji and completed in the year 1620. Surrounding this temple 52 'Deri' (very small temple) were built in 1622.

WHERE TO EAT

President (multi-cuisine, veg and non veg), New Aram (Indian-western veg), Rangoli, Kalpana, numerous good thali places.

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Rajkot

Rajkot is one of the fastest developing cities located in the center of Saurashtra region of Gujarat State situated on western part of India.

Rajkot was founded by Vibhoji, the younger son of Ajoji. The city, also a former British government headquarters, has a number of impressive colonial buildings and educational institutions. It is famous for silver, textiles and a National weaving institute which promotes traditional weaves. The pleasant town is an important industrial area and a religious centre of the Arya Samaj.

The city is famous because this is the ancestral home of Mahatma Gandhi. Manatma Gandhi spent the early days of his life here in Rajkot . He attended Alfred High School which is now known as Mahatma Gandhi High School.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - There is an airport in Rajkot and the major domestic airlines run flights between Rajkot and Mumbai. Indian Airlines has four flights a week to Mumbai while Jet and Sahara have daily flights.

By Rail - Rajkot is a main railway junction of Saurashtra, trains for the all the major cities of India is available from here.

By Road - The State Transport Corporation runs regular buses to and from Rajkot to other cities of Gujarat . There are buses for Jamnagar , Junagarh, Porbandar, Veraval, and Ahmedabad. There are a number of private bus operators connecting this city with Mumbai, Bhuj, Bhavnagar, Una, Mt Abu, and Udaipur.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to visit Rajkot is during the Navratri time i.e. October.

WHAT TO SEE

Swaminarayan Temple - This temple is built in 1998-99 by Swaminarayan Sampradaya. It is situated onfast developing Kalavad Road near Mahila College.

Mukti Dhama - It is an electric crematorium located in Ramnath para area. It is run and maintained by NGO under grant of Rajkot Municipal Corporation. It has number of small temples, prayer halls, library and beautiful garden displaying historical events which attracts number of people.

Race Course - This is a large garden located in heart of the city. It accommodates various places of interest like Bhalbhavan, Children Traffic Park, Fun World etc. Race course also has various sports facilities like Olympic standard Indoor Stadium, International quality Cricket ground, Football, Hockey & Volleyball grounds, Gym and swimming pool etc. Race course is also famous for beautiful gardens named Love Gardens.

Ramakrishna Aashram - This temple was built in 1934 on the land donated by Late Shri Dharmendrasinhji, then king of Morbi state. It is situated on Dr. Yagnik road of Rajkot. It is second most important place for followers of Swami Vivekanand after Kolcatta.

Community Science Center and Planetorium - It was constructed in 1992. Different audio-video shows are being arranged for the citizens and visitors for getting the idea and information about the planets, their positions, movements and their effects on nature.

Kaba Gandhi no delo - This house was built by Karamchand Gandhi, the father of Mahatma Gandhi, in 1880-81. near the Dharmendra road market. This house is purchased by State Government and has been declared as National Monument. Gandhiji lived in this house from 1881 to 1887 during his study at Rajkot.

Aji Dam - This dam is build by Government of Gujarat for water supply to city area. The down stream side of the dam and surrounding area is developed and maintained by Rajkot Municipal Corporation. A beautiful step garden with amusement park for children, zoo, bird aviary, Crocodile Park has been provided for entertainment of the citizens of the city.

Watson Museum - It was inaugurated in the year 1888 in Jubilee Garden of Rajkot city. It has excellent collection of archiological and ancient traditional items. This musium along with a huge library are located in Jubilee Gardens.

Jam Tower - Jam tower was gifted to Rajkot by then King of Jamnagar in 1880. It is located in old city area near Jamnagar Road adjcent to G. T. Sheth Orthopadic Hospital . Sir Woodhouse was the political agent of British Government during 1880 who was pleased to receive this gorgeous gift for the city.

WHERE TO EAT

Gujarati thalis are very famous and you can get it anywhere.

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Sasangir

Sasan Girn Lion sanctuary lies at the bottom of the Saurasktra peninsula in the western state of Gujurat. The forest is generally of a tropical dry deciduous type with teak as the principal species of the crop.

The Gir Forests are usually dry and arid. The greenery in the forests can be seen during the monsoon season. The summers, from April to June, are harsh and the winters, from December to February are cool and comfortable.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Sasan is 100 kms from Diu, 160 kms from Porbander and 160 kms from Rajkot . All three points are connected by air.

By Rail - Sasan is the railway station on the meter-gauge line. However the most convenient railhead is Junagadh (65 kms).

By Road - The roads in Gujarat are average and average driving speed is 50 kms/hour for most parts. Sasangir to Ahmedabad 895 km, Rajkot 160 km, Junagadh 65 km and Veraval 43 km.

WHEN TO GO

The Sanctuary is open to visitors from Mid October to Mid June, while during monsoon months the Sanctuary remains closed. Permission to visit the sanctuary is given by Forest Department, Sasangir on arrival.

WHAT TO SEE

Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary - The Gir lion sanctuary project was initiated in1972. Sasan Gir Lion sanctuary is definitely one of India 's success stories. From a pitifully small number of around twenty lions at the turn of the century there are now approximately three hundred lions in the park. If we compare this number to the populations of 20 to 30 tigers in most Project Tiger parks we can see that our chance of a lion sighting is good.

Gir is also home to one of the largest leopard populations in any park in India and especially in the hotter season they can sometimes be seen at night close to the lodges. Other wildlife to look out for are the Four-Horned Antelope, Wild Boar, Wolf, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Chinkara, Blue Bull, Marsh Muggers as well as a wonderful variety of bird species.

The park is one of the best protected sanctuaries in India. There are a number of unique and fascinating cultural sites nearby.

WHERE TO EAT

Sinh Sadan Forest Lodge has comfortable rooms and there is a good thali restaurant.

Gir Lion Safari Lodge near the river is a Taj Group hotel which has comfortable rooms and also has a restaurant.

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Silvassa

Silvasa is the town capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territory, western India. The town is located about 13 miles southeast of Daman on the Daman Ganga River some 15 miles (25 km) inland from the Arabian Sea . It is a magical land of 70 villages sandwiched between the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat near Daman was under the Portuguese till it attained freedom in 1954.

Silvassa even today retains the traces of Portuguese rule. It is a `Garden Beautiful' with the roaring waterfalls, misty cascades, rustic stone walls, twin arches, tiny kiosks and springing lawns interspersed with islands of flowers. Silvassa has lush green forests covered with tall trees, meandering rivers, large waterfronts, the gentle gurgle of streams, the distant hills, and a gorgeous kaleidoscope of flora and fauna. The serene and sylvan land of silvassa is Nature at her best.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Mumbai is the nearest airport.

By Rail - The nearest Railway station is Vapi about 17 Kms where road transport is easily available.

By Road - By Road: From mumbai- Ahmedabad N.H. No. 8, Silvassa, the capital Town of Dadar Nagar Haveli is about 180 Kms. Mumbai and about 120 Kms. from Surat and about 14 Kms from Bhilad or vapi.

WHEN TO GO

Best Time to Visit Silvassa is November To March.

WHAT TO SEE

Vanganga Lake and Island Lake - It is a lovely lake garden where more than 25 Hindi feature films have been picturised. The rustic wooden bridges, jogging paths, thatched huts and paddle boats make it an ideal picnic spot.

Tribal Cultural Museum - This museum has masks, hunting tools, fishing gadgets, musical instruments and life - size statues.

Portuguese Church - In Silvassa one can see traces of the Portuguese rule an old church made by Portuguese.

River Sakartod Chauda Khanvel - It is 20 kms away from Silvassa on a road lined with tall trees in midst of forest, it is Khanvel. The beautiful verdant land surrounded by lush green hills beckons you with its rolling meadows, terraced gardens, cottages in native style and river Sakartod flowing past it.

Water sport and tentage complex - Water sport and tentage complex is 20 kms drive from Khanvel where the large waterfront of river Damanganga provides breathtaking view of the water spread of Madhuban Dam.

Lion Safari, Vasona - Vasona is 10Km from Silvassa on the way to Khanvel. It is a home away from home for asiatic (Panthera leo). One can move around in special vehicles and stare in to the eyes of Jungle King Kush and his consorts Silky and Sonal.

Vandhara Udyan - A riverside park with sprawling lawns dotted with exquisite pavilions, an ideal site for picnic-buffs.

Piparia Udyan - The Piparia Udyan is really a park with a difference. The roaring waterfalls, tiny kiosks and sprawling islands of flowers are a feast to the eyes.

WHERE TO EAT

Silvassa is full of newly opened eating places, but the finer dining places belong to the hotels. Daman Ganga Valley Resort's Chingari serves up an eclectic mix of South India , Mexican, Thai, Pakistani and continental. Garden Restaurant, Hotel Greenwood, serves regular fare whereas the chef at Patio, Hotel Pioneer, is a seafood specialist.

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Surat

Surat is a port city famous for Sarees and textiles manufacturing. The city is situated on the left bank of the Tapti River, 14 miles from its mouth. The city is largely recognized for its textile and diamond businesses. Surat is also a district in the state of Gujarat . Surat city is the administrative headquarters of this district. This district is surrounded by Bharuch, Narmada (North), Navsari and Dang (South) districts. To the west is the Gulf of Cambay.

In the year 1496, a Hindu trader called Mallik Gopi settled in Surat. According to the Portuguese chronicles, he was considered the governor of Surat but could not prevent the city from being looted at least seven times. In 1861, Zafarali Mills took the plunge in the field of textiles. Nowadays, Surat is the main textile market of India and it has grown tremendously.

Surat will probably never forget the donation of Sir Ferdunji Sorabji Parekh to the Government of Surat. Sir Parekh donated about five million Rs in the year 1915, i.e. with a value of about 2500 million Rs these days. The fund was raised for the development of educational and cultural activities in Surat.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Surat city is well connected by the major cities like Delhi and Mumbai with regular flights provided by Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Sahara, Spicejet and Air Deccan.

By Rail - Surat is well connected to major cities like Mumbai & Ahmedabad with express and regular trains.

By Road - Surat is has a good road network, well connected to the other cities. There are frequent buses avail be from Mumbai.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to travel Surat is between October and March.

WHAT TO SEE

Dutch Garden - The ancient Dutch gardens, the Dutch cemetery and Makaipul, the original port from where the ships sailed to other parts of the world.

Textile Market - The market is famous for fine silk fabric.

Rangupavan - It is the open air theatre.

The Old Fort - The fort is worth visiting, it was built in the 14th century.

Dumas - It the famous sea-side health resort.

WHERE TO EAT

There are so many good restaurants serving regional Gujarati, Indian, continental and Chinese cuisnes. is also famous for its 'Ghari's' (a type of a sweet).

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Vadodara

Anshuman Gaekwad might be the best known of the distinguished royals of Vadodara (earlier Baroda ) but the city owes its fame and prosperity to another magnanimous member of his family. Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, who made Baroda a Sanskari Nagari (cultured city). Sayaji Rao lived in the magnificent Laxmi Vilas Palace . Seek and you will find his illustrious legacy preserved in the many museums and art galleries strewn all over the city.

Once the capital of the princely Gaekwads, Vadodara is a graceful city of palaces, parks, temples and museums. It boasts of one of the finest palaces in India . Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad commissioned the famous British Architects, Major Mant and Chisolm to work on Laxmi Vilas Palace one of the grandest palaces in India.

HOW TO REACH

By Air - Both IA (0265-794 747/ 48) and Jet (0265-337 051/52) fly daily from Mumbai while IA also flies daily from Delhi.

Airport - 6 km from the downtown Sayaji Ganj area.

By Rail - Lying on the main Delhi-Mumbai route, Vadodara is very well connected with the rest of the country. Frequent express trains link Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Railway station: In downtown Sayaji, Ganj. Autorickshaws and taxis available at the station will drop you at the city centre.

By Road - Excellent highways link Vadodara with Ahmedabad (113 km), Surat (154 km), Bhavnagar (300 km), Indore (323 km), Nasik (335 km), Ujjain (378 km), Bhopal (509 km) and Pune (547 km). Apart from the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation buses, government services of neighbouring Maharashtra , Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan also operate regular services to and from Vadodara.

WHEN TO GO

Varoda can be traveled throughout the year but the cooler months of October to March are the best.

WHAT TO SEE

Laxmi Vilas Palace - This is the residence of the royal family that was built by Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1878 in the Indo-Saracenic style completed in 1890. The palace has an extensive collection of sculptures (bronze and marble) as well as some old armour pieces that are interesting. The Fatehsingh Rao Museum on the grounds is good for those interested in old paintings and other art objects.

Baroda Museum - Was built in 1894 and has an extensive art collection including several works by reputed British and other European artists. Other attractions are the Egyptian mummy, a skeleton of a blue whale, elegant Akota bronzes (5th century AD), Mughal miniatures and a gallery of Tibetan Art.

Nyaya Mandir - It is a splendid example of Byzantine architecture and is well worth a visit. Today it doubles as the Baroda District Court. This medieval structure is imposing both in proportion and style and makes for a great visit especially on weekends when the courts remain closed.

Aurobindo Society - Dedicated to Shri Aurobindo and contains memorabilia related to his life and work. There are halls for meditation that are open to the public.

Sayajibaug and Sardar Patel Planetarium - A park built by Sayajirao III in 1879, situated on the banks of the Vishwamitri. Spread over 113 acres, the attractions other than the greens are many - including a zoo, the Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery, the Museum of Health and Hygiene and the Sardar Patel Planetarium. Kids get a kick trying the toy train that traverses the park.

Nazarbaug Palace - The royal art collection is brimming with works of masters like Raphael, Titian and Murillo. Also displayed are pieces, which can be classified under modern western, Indian paintings, Greco-Roman exhibits, Chinese and Japanese art. The extensive collection of contemporary Indian art is noteworthy.

WHERE TO EAT

Kansar in Sayaji Ganj gives you great Gujarati food.

Maruti Restaurant in Nand Complex serves original Kathiawadi cuisine. Try the Undheu, which offers as many 15 vegetables cooked together over the coals in an earthen handi!

Periyar in Ambrosia Complex serves cuisine from all four South Indian states -- both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights.

Picasso at the Ambrosia Complex is good for multicuisine, especially for kebabs. The studio kitchen is entertaining.

Mirch Masala on Race Course Road gives you the typical Punjabi 'dhaba' experience!

Lazeez in Vishwas Colony is good for Mughlai food, particularly the biryani.

Chung Fa on R C Dutt Road is the place for Chinese food.

Snappy (Vishwas Colony), Freiz Temp and Tipsy Topsy, both in Fatehgunj, serve fast food.

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