Home to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation, Gujarat is often an underestimated tourist destination. Temple towns, beautiful architecture, gorgeous beaches, lovely hill resorts, and fantastic wildlife sanctuaries, as well as mouth-watering cuisine, Gujarat is a state that offers all this and more to a traveller. One of the best things about this west-Indian state is that the people here are incredibly friendly and welcoming.
Backpacking across this state is one of the best ways to explore the sites, and experience the culture here. Explore Gujarat at your own pace, venture into new territories and discover a place that is not a tourist hot-spot. Here’s all the information you would need to make your backpacking trip to Gujarat a success.
Best Time to Travel
Summers in Gujarat are unbearably hot, so it might be extremely difficult for you to go exploring when the sun is out. During monsoons, you will not be able to access some of the most popular attractions of Gujarat, like the Little and the Great Rann of Kutch. So your best bet is to go backpacking to Gujarat in winters, between November and March, as the climate is mild and agreeable.
3 Must-Visit Places in Gujarat
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Here’s your chance to come face to face with the ‘King of the Jungle’ in Gujarat. Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is the only natural dwelling of Asiatic lions and several other rare wild animals in India. Spanning approximately 1412 sq. km, in this sanctuary you can also spot hyenas, leopards, black buck, and fish owls. Go on an open jeep safari or choose to stay inside this park’s buffer zone.
Rann of Kutch
This endless land of white sand is home to flamingos in winters when these birds fly to Gujarat from Siberia. The best time to visit the Rann of Kutch is when it comes alive during the Rann Mahotsav with music, dance, and cultural shows. However, bear in mind that this popular festival attracts hordes of people from all over the world, and tends to get very crowded.
Home to numerous historic sites such as the Hathisingh Jain Temple and the Sabarmati Ashram, head to the old part of Ahmedabad city to travel back in time and observe some restored heritage houses inside the walls of Dhal ni Pol.
3 Must-Have Experiences in Gujarat
Venture Into The Ghost Town Of Lakhpat
What was once the richest town in Gujarat, now stands in ruins. After the 1819 earthquake when the course of the Indus River changed, it turned into a ghost town. Head to this town to explore Fort Lakhpat as well as the abandoned houses.
Eat A Typical Gujarati Breakfast
Your trip to Gujarat is incomplete without tasting the local cuisine. The typical Gujarati breakfast consists of dishes like dhokla, khandvi, and fafda with different types of chutneys. Do try these and other Gujarati snack staples.
Pay Your Respects To Lord Shiva At The Somnath Temple
Located on the beachfront, Somnath temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India, is build in the Chalukya style of architecture. Rebuilt after being destroyed several times, the location and history behind the temple make it an interesting visit.
Tips For Visiting Gujarat
- When you are packing your bags, ensure that you have carried your medication, bandages, glucose powder, a torch, sunscreen, sunglasses, as well as a day pack for when you are roaming around Gujarat.
- Travelling within Gujarat can be very inconvenient if you don’t have a private vehicle or other mode of transport. This is because the average distance between two cities or villages in Gujarat is large.
- When you are look for accommodation, avoid Gir, Somnath, and Rann of Kutch (during the festival). The good hotels in these places tend to be expensive.
Create unforgettable memories by going off the beaten path and exploring the treasures of Gujarat on your own terms.
Fact File For Gujarat
Location: A state in western India, north of Maharashtra
How to Reach: There are two international airports in Gujarat, namely Vadodara International Airport and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. There are quite a few domestic airports in this state, and Gujarat is also well-connected to the rest of the country via rail and national highways.
Official Language: Gujarati
Currency: INR (Indian Rupees)
Time Zone: IST (UTC+05:30)
Climate: Very hot and dry summers, while winters are mild and pleasant
Food & Drink: Although Gujarat is a coastal state, it is primarily a vegetarian state. Most popular Gujarati dishes include thepla, khandvi, muthiya, kadhi, mohanthal, and murganu shaak (chicken curry).
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