Gujarat has been the centre of art and culture. It is synonymous to important forts, monuments and places of historic importance. Apart from the lip smacking food and thalis, Gujarat has a lot more to offer. If you are planning a trip there in the near future, this article is a must read for you. Know a little more about Gujarat and enjoy your vacation.
1. Sabarmati Ashram
We have all heard about the very famous Sabarmati Ashram. Gujarat is almost synonymous to this ashram. Anybody who has been to Gujarat has definitely spent some time here. This Ashram was the residence of the eminent freedom fighter and the Father of our Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He resided here with his wife Kasturba Gandhi. It is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River and this adds to the tranquil environment of this place. The Ashram is visited by many foreigners and Indians and they often reside here for a day or two. The Ashram has now been transformed into a well-maintained museum where you can find portraits of Gandhi, relics, letters and books too.
2. Gir National Park
Spreading through a total area of 1412 square kilometres, the Gir National Forest is one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries and protected zones in India. Being the only house of the Asiatic Lions, this national park has been undertaken by the government and is maintained beautifully by the joint efforts of activists and government. The distribution of nature in this forest is praise worthy. Varieties of species can be witnessed in here. It is also the home to animals like Indian leopards, cobras, jungle cats, nilgai, wild boars etc.
3. Old Fort
Located in the city of Surat, the Old Fort was built back in 14th century. It stands as a symbol of the glorious reign of Mohammad Bin Tughlak. The primary purpose behind the construction of the fort was to protect the city from the frequent attacks of the local tribes. The art and architecture of this magnificent fort is demonstrated all throughout is a hub for historians to gather. Tourists are attracted every year in massive numbers. Also, during the British Rule in India, the Old Fort was a major economic and trade centre.
4. Sun Temple
As the name suggests, the Sun Temple is dedicated to The Sun God. It is constructed on the banks of river Pushpavati. Every year, pilgrims visit this place from all across the country. A ruler of the Chalukya Dynasty named Bhima I had built this temple. As of now, the temple is of national importance and is well maintained and taken care of by the Archaeological Survey of India. The shrines of this temple including Garbhagriha and Gudhamandapa are its major features. Pillars and ceilings are beautifully constructed. Another special mention is the dance festival that is organised to celebrate the festival of Uttarayan. In this three-day festival in January the various classical dance forms are performed and is a sight you will never forget.
5. Somnath Temple
The Somnath Temple in the western coast of Gujarat is considered to be one of the most visited pilgrimage place in the entire country. This temple stands as the witness to the merging of three holy rivers namely, Kapila, Hiran and Sarasvati. It is often referred to as the “Triveni Sangam” on grounds of the convergent site of these three rivers. This massive and alluring Hindu temple has been built in the Chalukya style. It is also claimed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. All year round you can see tourists crowding in this sacred place. Another interesting fact about the Somnath Temple is the Sanskrit carvings on its pillars. Such inscriptions state that there is no landmass in a straight line from the Somnath seashore up till the continent of Antarctica. If you are in Gujarat, a visit to this historic temple is a must.