41 310 000
196 000 km²
time to visit
October - March
The state experiences an intense hot or cold climate.
With a coastline 1650 km long, Gujrat is renowned for its beaches,
temple towns and historic capitals.Added attractions are wildlife
sanctuaries, hill resorts, and natural grandeur. Sculpture, handicrafts,
arts also make the state rich.
Gujarat has always been a major centre for the Jains, and some
of its most interesting sights are Jain Temple centres like those
at Palitana and at Girnar Hill, near Junagadh. Apart from its Jain
temples, Gujarat's major attractions include the last Asian lions
and the fascinating Indo-Saracenic architecture of Ahmedabad. The
colourful tribal villages of Kutch make a visit to this barren land
Gujarat is situated in the west coast of India. The state is bounded
by the Arabian sea on the west, Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north
and north-east respectively, Madhya Pradesh in the south-east and
Maharashtra in the south.
The name 'Gujarat' is said to have been derived from the Prakrit
Gujjar Ratta or Gujjar Rashtra - the land of Gujjars - a tribe that
entered India with the Huns in ancient time and wandering through
Punjab and Rajasthan, settled in western India. Gujarat had a great
civilization even before the arrival of the Aryans. It had trade
links with ancient civilizations of Sumer, Babylon, Assyria and
How to get here
Airports at Ahmedabad and Vadodara
Rail & Bus
Stations at Ahmedabad • Gandhi Nagar • Surat •
Rajkot • Junadagh • Porbandar
Gujarat has 4 national parks and 11 wildlife sanctuaries.It's a
unique state that has many kinds of habitats. These varied land
forms include the famous dry deciduous forests like the Gir, majestic
grasslands like those found at Velavadar, vast landscapes harbouring
rare animals in habitats like the Little Rann of Kutch, wetland
habitats such as the Nalsarovar, marine ecosystems such as those
found near the Pirotan Islands and the rich moist deciduous forests
like those found in the dense forests of the Dangs.
.: Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Gir today is the only place in the World, outside Africa,
where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat. From Biblical
times till a hundred years ago, the Asiatic lion roamed over a vast
area ranging from Greece through West Asia to Bengal and Bihar.
The last lion seen outside Gir was in 1884, and the king of the
jungle has taken his final refuge in Gir.Even in Gir the number
of lions had dwindled to as low as just 15 around 1910. Serious
and timely protection measures have raised their numbers to just
It is said that had Gir not been a lion sanctuary, it would have
been termed one of the finest bird sanctuaries in Gujarat. Some
of the typical birds of Gir are the creasted serpent eagle, creasted
hawk eagle, brown fish owl, king vulture, jungle bush quail, painted
sandgrouse, paradise fly-catcher, white breasted minivet, pigmy
woodpecker, black headed oriole, creasted swift and pitta. Adholia,
Valadara, Ratanghuna and Pilipat are places rewarding for bird watching.
.: 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 corals create fantasies in stone and are the master builders
of the Park. Their limestone fortresses - each one the work of a
colony of countless tiny animals - come in an amazing variety of
shapes and sizes, from the convoluted brain coral to corals that
look like horns. Here you will 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 colours that are unknown, unseen and unimaginable
.: Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
If we had the task of designing a multi-purpose animal that
could exploit many habitats, we would be hard pressed to improve
upon the birds of the wetlands. We can see that they are at home
in water, land and ofcourse superb in the air. In places like the
Nalsarovar and Thol lake they are seen in great numbers, the variety
of shapes and sizes being simply amazing.Gujarat has some outstanding
places for viewing birds of the wetlands. Just 80 km. from Ahmedabad
is Nalsarovar, and Thol Wildlife Sanctuary is also just 40 km. from
Ahmedabad. 10 km. from Jamnagar is Khijadia Bird Sanctuary. Within
the Porbandar city itself is the Porbandar Bird Sanctuary. The sheer
variety that can be seen at such places is rewarding by any standards.
.: Wild Ass Sanctuary
Gujarat is as famous for its large herds of wild asses as
it is for its lions. To protect this rare animal, a Sanctuary covering
an area of over 4953 q.kms. was created to offer protection to more
than 2100 wild asses inhabiting this area.
In India the horse tribe is represented by the Indian wild ass.
In the Little Rann of Kutch, the asses are attracted by the flat
grass covered expanses known as bets or islands where coarse grasses
spring up in monsoon. With the advent of summer, the asses move
to other bets in which there is perennial supply of water and grass.
Places to visit
Gandhinagar -Rann of Kutch - Bhuj -
Baroda - Dwarka
Gandhinagar, the capital city of Gujarat, is situated 32 km north-east
on the west bank of the Sabarmati River and named Gandhinagar, after
the Gujarat-born Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhinagar is India's second planned
city after Chandigarh. Its sole tourist site is the splendid Akshardham
Temple of the Hindu Swaminarayan sect, constructed out of 6000 tonnes
of pink sandstone.
Once known as "Pragiyotishpura" or
Light of the East, the most striking feature of Guwahati, is the
Brahmaputra, whose swollen sandy channel is so wide that the far
shore is often rendered invisible.
.: Rann of Kutch
Kutch, in North-Western Gujarat, stands out in splended isolation
among Gujarat's other districts by it's colourful assortment of
flora and fauna. It's rich traditions take provenance from eighteen
different tribes, cultures and language zones. Kutch offers a delectable
fare, in complete collaboration with nature. The people of Kutch
are renowed for their temperate nature and warm hospitality.
Bhuj, a major town of Kutch, is an old walled city. There are walls
within walls, crenellated gateways, old palaces with intricately
carved wooden pavilions, and brightly decorated Hindu temples. To
visit villages north of Kutch, including Khavda, Bhirandiara and
Dumaro, foreign nationals require permission from the District Collector.
An intricate maze of streets and alleys make up this fascinating
town. The large Hamirsar Tank adjoins the old town to the west .
The ancient sacred city, on the edge of the Saurashtra peninsula
was once the capital of Lord Krishna's empire where he had shifted
from Mathura thousands of years ago. The main attraction is the