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Journey to Gujarat

Gujarat – the home state of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of Nation. It is renowned for its beaches, temple towns and historic capitals.

Gujarat - The Land of the Legends, stands bordered by Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north east, Madhya Pradesh in the east, and Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli in the south. The Arabian Sea borders the state both to the west and the south west. The State took it's name from the Gujjars, who ruled the area during the 700's and 800's. Stone Age settlements around Sabarmati and Mahi rivers indicate the same time as that of the Indus Valley Civilization while Harappan centres are also found at Lothal, Rampur, Amri and other places. Rock Inscriptions in the Girnar Hills show that the Maurya Emperor Ashoka, extended his domain into Gujarat in about 250 BC. With it's fall, the control of the region came under the Sakas or Scythians. During the 900's the Solanki Dynasty came to power and Gujarat reached it's greatest extent. Then followed a long period of Muslim rule. Ahmed I, the first independent Muslim ruler of Gujarat, found Ahmedabad in 1411. The Mughal Emperor Akbar conquered Malwa and Gujarat in 1570s. The British East India Company set its first footsteps in Surat in 1818 and the State came in control of their rule. In 1600's, the Dutch, French, English and Portuguese had all established bases along the coast of the region. Gujarat was divided into princely states. After the Indian Independence in 1947, all of Gujarat except Saurashtra and Kutchh became part of Bombay State until May 1, 1960, when the Government split Bombay state into the States of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Ahmedabad became the chief city of the new State and housed the State Government Offices. They remained there until they were transferred to Gandhinagar in 1970.

Area196,024 sq km
CapitalGandhinagar
Population55,696,629
Official LanguagesGujarati and Hindi
Boundary

Boundary: Gujarat Share the border with Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north east, Madhya Pradesh in the east, and Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli in the south. The Arabian Sea borders the state both to the west and the south west.

      • Fairs & Festivals
        Fairs & Festivals

         

        Gujarat Is One Of The Diverse And Most Beautiful State In India. Thousand Of Small And Big Fairs And Festivals Are Celebrated In Different Parts Of Gujarat Every Year. The Festivals Are Based On The Lunar Or Solar Calendar. These Festivals Are Observed With Great Enthusiasm And Fun In Which The People Of All Caste And Religion Participate. Today, These Festivals Are Perhaps The Only Occasion That Represents The True Tradition And Culture Of Gujarat. Some Of The Fairs And Festivals Which Are Celebrated In Gujarat Throughout The Year Are International Kite Festival, Diwali, Holi, Janmashtami, Kutch Mahotsava, Navratri, Shamlaji Fair, Modhera Dance Festival, Tarnetar Fair, Bhadra Purnima And Vautha Fair.

         

     
      • International Kite Festival
        International Kite Festival

         

        The International Kite Festival Is Celebrated On 14th January, That Coincide With The Festival Of Uttarayan Or Makar Sankranti. The Festival Is Celebrated To Mark The End Of Winter. On This Day, The Kites Flew All Over Gujarat, Including Ahmedabad And Baroda. The People Eat The Special Food On This Day In The Open Field Or In The Park Or In The Garden Of One's Home. This Festival Marks The Movement Of The Sun Into The Northern Hemisphere. The Gods Who Are Believed To Have Gone In A Long Sleep For Six Long Months Awake And The Portals Of Heaven Are Thrown Open. The Visitors Visit The Temples And Alms Are Distributed Freely. The Kite Flying Starts At Dawn And Continues Without A Pause Throughout The Day. Friends, Neighbours And Total Strangers Battle One Another For Supremacy And Cries Of Triumph Fill The Air When They Cut Each Other Kites. The Thread Which Is Used To Fly The Kites Are Specially Prepared By Experts Before The Final Day. Special Mixtures Of Glue And Ground Glass Cover The Thread Which Is Dried And Then Rolled Onto Reels Known As Firkees. In The Night, Various Illuminated Box Kites, Known As Tukkals, Fly In The Sky. Today, The International Kite Festival Is Famous All Over The World. This Festival Enables The People Of Ahmedabad To See The Unusual Kites Brought By The Visitors, Some Of Which Are Truly Works Of Art.

         

     
      • Navratri
        Navratri

         

        Navratri, That Means 'nine Nights' Is An Ancient, Colourful And Religious Festival Of Gujarat. This Festival Is Celebrated To Honour The One Divine Shakti Or Force Which Supports The Entire Universe And Is Personified As The Mother Goddess. The Mother Goddess Protects Her Worshippers, Destroys Evil And Grants Boons To Her Children. Navratri Is Celebrated With Joy And Enthusiasm Throughout The Gujarat, But In Ahmedabad And Baroda, Garba And Dandia Dances Are Performed. This Festival Is Celebrated With True Devotion In The Various Temples Which Are Dedicated To The Mother Goddess. In This Festival, The Women Perform The Garba Dance Or The Circular Dance Around An Earthenware Pot Called A Garbo Which Is Filled With Water. A Betel Nut And A Silver Coin Are Placed Within The Pot, On The Top Of Which A Coconut Is Placed. As The Dancers Whirl Around The Pot, A Singer And A Drummer Also Accompanies Them. The Participants Clap In A Steady Rhythm. The Dance Usually Starts Slowly And Gets Fast With The Music. In Large Public Areas, Group Of Musicians Sing The Traditional Garba Songs. The Dandia Ras Or 'stick' Dance Is Also Performed During Navratri. Both The Men And Women Perform The Dance In Circle, Holding Small Polished Sticks Or Dandies. As Per The Rhythm Of The Dance, Men And Women Strike The Dandies Together, Adding To The Joyous Atmosphere. These Dances Are So Popular That Sometimes Competitions Are Held And Prizes Are Given To The Best Dancer. The Dancers Worn The Traditional Costumes, Alive With Colour. The Dances Usually Commence Late In The Night And Continue Until Early Morning. A Bhavai Dance Is Also Performed In The Ambaji Temple At Baroda, During Navratri.

         

     
      • Modhera Dance Festival
        Modhera Dance Festival

         

        The Modhera Dance Festival Is Held During The Third Week Of January Every Year, After The Festival Of Uttarayan. This Festival Is Celebrated At The Sun Temple In Modhera. The Style In Which The Temple Was Built Bears A Strong Resemblance To That Of The Jain Temples At Mount Abu. The Decision To Celebrate The Annual Festival Of Indian Classical Dances Was Taken By The Department Of Culture, Gujarat, And The West Zone Cultural Centre At The Sun Temple. The Idea Was To Present Classical Dances In An Atmosphere Similar To That In Which These Were Originally Presented.

         

     
    • Kutch Mahotsava
      Kutch Mahotsava

       

      The Kutch Mahotsava Is Usually Organized During February And March Each Year. This Mahotsava Is Organized By The Tourism Corporation Of Gujarat Limited In Order To Promote Tourism In Kutch. In This Festival, The Visitors Are Taken On A Six Day Tour Of Kutch. This Tour Is Known As A Mahotsava, Or Great Festival, Because Of The Great Variety Of Sights And Scenes That Are Offered To Visitors. Kutch Has Everything To Offer To Its Visitors Like The Colourful People, Historic Towns And Remarkable Handicrafts.

Gujarat Is A Flourishing State With Cultural Diversity. It Is Vibrant With Its True Colors Of Rich Heritage And Cultural Traditions. Dating Back To History With The Harappan Civilization, The State Becomes A Confluence Of Many Religions - Hinduism, Islam, Jainism And Buddhism. The Gujarati Culture Blends In Arts, Beliefs, Customs, Traditions, Institutions, Inventions, Language, Technology And Values. Gujarat Has An Ancient History And Origin To Boast Of. It Was Earlier Known As Gujarata (gurjar Rashtra), Which Means Gurjar Nation. Gurjars Was On Old Clan, Which Inhabited The Area During The Mahabharat Period. Another Opinion Regarding Gurjars Is That They Belonged To Central Asia And Came To India During The First Century. Gujarat Was Also Inhabited By The Citizens Of The Indus Valley And Harappan Civilizations. This Was Fortified By T

  • While Gujarat Has A Long Coastline And An Almost Endless Supply Of Fish And Shellfish, Strict Jainism In The Past And Orthodox Hinduism Today Have Encouraged The Widespread Adoption Of A Vegetarian Diet. The Gujarati Food Is Mostly Vegetarian. The Dishes Of Gujarat Are Not Very Spicy And Sweet Than Those Of The Neighboring States. The Gujarati Cuisine Is Delightfully Delicious With A Combination Of Leafy Vegetables And Pulses Subtly Flavoured With Spices To The Accompaniment Of Rice And A Variety Of Breads. The Typical Gujarati Meal Is Served Traditionally On Large Silver Or Stainless Steel Platters Or Thali That Consists Of One Variety Of Dal, Kadhi-a Curd Preparation, Two To Three Vegetables, Wide Variety Of Beans And Pulses, Salad Savories, Sweets, Puri Or Chappati, Rice, Coconut, Chutneys, Pickles, Papad And Sweetened Yoghurt. There Are Slight Differences In The Modes Of Preparation And Eating Habits In The Main Three Geographical Regions Of Kutch, Saurashtra (kathiawad) And Surat. Some Of The Popular Dishes Of Gujarat Are 'khaman Dhokla', A Salty Steamed Cake, 'oondhiya' A Vegetarian Dish With Potato, Brinjal, Green Beans And Other Vegetables Cooked In An Earthenware Pot In The Fire, 'khichdi' A Mixture Of Lentil And Rice, 'kadhi' A Savoury Yoghurt Curry With Chopped Vegetables And Variety Of Spices, 'debra' Flour Mixed With Spinach And Yoghurt Etc. Surat Paunk Is Made With Tender Kernels Of Millet, Sugar Balls, Savoury Twists And Garlic Chutney. Gujarati 'farsans' Or Crunchy Fried Snacks Like Chakli, Sev Ganthia Prepared From Chick-pea And Wheat Flour Is A Speciality Of The State. Eating Freshly Prepared Vegetable Snacks From Street Vendors Is Popular. Sweets And Desserts Like Doodh Pak, Gharis, Nankhatais Etc. Are Also Delicious. Surat Is Known For The Gharis Made With Butter, Dried Fruits And Thickened Milk And Rich Halwa. In Contrast To The Majority Of Hindus Who Are Pure Vegetarians, The Bohras, A Community Of Muslim Traders, Are Famous For Their Beef Preparations And A Variety Of Soups.

    You Can Experience All These Constituents Of The Vegetarian Gujarati Meal By Having A Thali At Vishala, About 5 Kms. From Ahmedabad. It Is A Restaurant And Part Of A Complex Is Described As A Gujarati Village With A Small Museum, Local Crafts And Performing Arts. In The Village Complex, You Can Also See The Craftsmen Weaving And Making Earthen Pots, The Puppet Show, And Dances. The Food Is Served On Platters Of Leaves Stitched Together That Includes Various Vegetables, Pulses, Salads, Chutneys, Yoghurt, Rice And Wide Variety Of Breads Made Of Millet And Other Flours. In The End The Buttermilk And Rich Homemade Ice-creams Are Served. Besides Vishala, There Are Various Other Good Restaurants In Ahmedabad Which Offers The Gujarati Food. Chinese And Continental Cuisine Are Also Available In Major Hotels.

    • Gujarat Has A Very Rich Heritage Of Handicrafts. The Handicrafts Of Gujarat Are Very Unique. These Handicrafts Have Been Given A Fillip By The Government And Some Private Individuals. Craftsmen And Women Who Left Their Villages To Work As Stone Crushers For The Living Have Been Brought Back To Practise Their Traditional Arts. Their Products Can Be Seen And Purchased In Emporiums In Gujarat, Delhi And Mumbai. The Excavations At The Harappan Sites In Gujarat At Lothal, Rangpur, Rozdi Etc. Have Brought To Light Some Of The Very Ancient Handicraft Articles. Gujarat Also Has A Rich Tradition Of Embroidery, Leather Work, Bandhani And Hand-block Printing. Gujarat Is Also Known For The Famous And Unique Kutch Embroidery.

Ahmedabad is a unique city, blending an ancient heritage with a vibrant present. The city’s prosperous and eventful past is embodied in its rich kaleidoscope of history, art and culture.
The city of Dwarka, renowned in myth and legend, was once the capital of Lord Krishna’s empire. He is believed to have settled here, after leaving Mathura thousands of years ago. The site is undoubtedly ancient but its association with Lord Krishna gives it a sanctity that draws millions of pilgrims even today. It is one of the seven sacred cities or ‘Sapta Puris’ as well as one of the four ‘dhams’ - supreme pilgrim centers for the Hindus. 
 
Adi Shankaracharya established the ‘Dwarka Peeth’ for spreading the message of the Hindu gospel "Ramayana" in Dwarka. Dwarka has also been visited by; the great mystic Narsinh Mehta, Mirabai and the great saints Kabir and Nanak.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
Area: 42.1 Sq. Km
Altitude: 7.3 Meters
Temperature: Summer Max: 35 Deg.C. Min: 21.1 Deg.C.
Winter Max: 27 Deg.C. Min: 13 Deg.C.
Rainfall: 35.3 cm (July to Sept.)
Season: November to March
 
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
 
Air: Jamnagar 148 Km is the nearest airport linked with Mumbai by Indian Airlines.
Rail:Dwarka is a railhead on the Western Railway, directly connected with Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Mumbai, Porbander and Rajkot.
Road: Motorable roads connect Dwarka with Ahmedabad 450 Km
Bhavnagar 399 Km Okha 32 Km
Jamnagar 148 Km Porbandar 120 Km
Junagadh 332 Km Rajkot 234 Km
Mumbai 929 Km Somnath 249 Km
Veraval 243 Km
Bhadkeshwar Temple
Dwarkadhish Temple – Timings: 0600 to 1230 hrs and 700 to 2100 hrs
Indological Research Institute
Light House
Rukmani Temple
Shri Jagatguru Shankaracharya Math
Ved Bhavan
 
EXCURSIONS
 
Vasai (11 Km): Identified with Kankavati, the fifth century Maitrak capital, Vasai has a sun temple and other ancient ruins. 
 
Nageshwar (13 Km): Famous for the Nageshwar Mahadeo Temple. 
 
Mithapur (22 Km): Mithapur is a Model township of the Tata chemical factory. The factory here can be visited with the permission of the local management at Mithapur site. 
 
Gopi Talav Teerth (23 Km): A place of religious importance
 
Bet Dwarka (32 Km): 5 Km by sea from Okha, it is also called Bet Shankhoddhar and is said to be the place where Lord Krishna lived while he ruled at Dwarka. There are regular ferry services from Okha Port to Bet Dwarka. 
 
Okha (32 Km): An important port on the west coast. 
 
Harshad Mata Temple (58 Km): Temple dedicated to the Goddess Harshad. 
 
Pindhara (72 Km): There is an ancient Purvasa Ashram and a Sun Temple.
Gir forest is the only place in the world, outside Africa, where the Asiatic lion can be seen in its natural habitat. The forest, which has shrunk to 1412 sq. km from it"s original spread of about 5,000 sq. Km, was notified a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1969. Six years later, its core area of 140 sq. km was constituted into a National Park, which has since been expanded to cover 258.71 sq. Km Though known the world over mainly for its lions, Gir is one of the few remaining forests comprising different habitats - open scrub country, dry deciduous and tropical thorn forests and an evergreen corridor along the river sides. The forest also harbors a variety of smaller animals and birds. Other predators are the powerful Panther and the ungainly striped hyena. The largest Indian deer, sambar, chital, nilgai, chinkara and the unique chowsingha are found here, along with the bear and the long tailed langur. The peacock, India"s national bird with its resplendent plumage, is among the common birds in Gir. Another attraction is a crocodile farm developed in the forest.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
 
Area :1412 Sq. Km
Altitude :157.41 Meters
Temperature :Summer :Max: 43°C.     Min: 33°C.
Winter :Max: 15°C.  Min: 7°C.
 
Season :The sanctuary is open to visitors from 16th October to 15th June and remains closed during the monsoons.
Timings: 0630 to 1100 hrs & 1500 to 1900 hrs 
 
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
 
Air : The nearest airport is Rajkot (160 Km), connected by Indian Airlines & Jet Airways with Mumbai.
 
Rail : Sasan is a railway station on the meter guage line. However, the convenient railhead is Junagadh (54 Km).
 
Road : Sasangir is connected by motorable road with Ahmedabad 408 Km,
 
Dwarka 317 KmPalitana 240 Km
 
Junagadh 54 KmRajkot 160 Km
 
Keshod 89 KmSomnath 48 Km
 
Mount Abu 567 KmVeraval 45 Km
 
Mumbai 802 Km
 
Local Transport : Jeeps can be hired from the Forest Department, Sasangir.
 
PLACES OF INTEREST
 
Crocodile Rearing Center : The centre is implementing the program of stocking the population of crocodiles in wild. It involves monitored breeding, careful rearing of hatchlings and subsequent release of 4 year olds into the wilds.
 
Interpretation Park at Devalia : 4 Sq. Km of the Gir habitat representing a cross section of wildlife, has been fenced and is being maintained as a park, which gives a general idea about Gir and the behaviour of animals in their natural habitat.
Open from 16th October to 15th June only.
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset.
Entry Fee: (includes guide and vehicle charges):
Indian - Rs.30/- (Adult) & Rs.15/- (Children below 12 yrs.)
Foreigners - US $ 5 (Adult) & US $ 3 (Children below 12 yrs.)
 
Orientation Centre : Located in Sasan, within the guest house campus, the centre with the help of photographic and pictorial displays, illustrated boards, clay models etc. provides the basic factual and scientific information about Gir and its wildlife.
 
Kamleshwar : An artificial reservoir also harbors a large population of crocodiles.EXCURSIONS
 
Sirvan (12 Km) : It is a unique village where people of African origin live, retaining their own distinct culture.
 
Satadhar (23 Km) : There is a temple here, dedicated to a saint named Appa Gega.
 
Kankeshwari Mata (25 Km) : Situated in Kankai, close to Satadhar.
 
Banej (40 Km) : There is a Shiva Temple here.
 
Somnath (45 Km) :Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India.
 
Junagadh (65 Km) : It is famous for Mount Girnar with its Jain temples on top.
 
Tulsi Shyam Hot Springs (80 Km) : In the heart of the Gir forest, well known for its hot springs and a temple, is the scenic spot of Tulsi Shyam.
 
 
 
Somnath, also known as Prabhas Patan and Deva Patan has great religious and historical significance. The Somnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (Shiva Shrines) and is one of the most important pilgrim centers for Hindus. The temple was ransacked and destroyed seven times by Muslim invaders but rebuilt at the same spot each time. The present temple is a recent reconstruction in the old style.
 
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
Area: 3.83 Sq. Km
Altitude: Sea Level
Temperature: Summer Max: 36.4°C. Min: 16°C.
Winter Max: 31°C. Min: 11°C.
Rainfall: 50.4 cm. (June to Sept)
Season: November to March
 
     
Transport And Communication
 
Air: The nearest airport is Rajkot (160 Km), connected by Indian Airlines with Mumbai.
Rail: The nearest railhead is Veraval (7 Km) on the Western Railway line connected by train with Ahmedabad.
Road: Somnath is connected by road with Ahmedabad 304 Km,
Bhavnagar 261 Km Dwarka 238 Km
Jamnagar 246 Km Junagadh 85 Km
Keshod 55 Km Mumbai 889 Km
Palitana 241 Km Porbandar 122 Km
Rajkot 188 Km Sasangir 48 Km
Udaipur 555 Km
 
Places of Interest
 
Ahilyabai Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva and built by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar.
 
Bhalka Tirth: According to a legend, this is the place where Lord Krishna, mistaken for a deer, was wounded by an arrow of a Bhil tribal and left his mortal body.
 
Dehotsarga: This is the holy place where Lord Krishna, having been injured, passed the last moments of his life under a pipal tree. A temple has been built here.
 
Junagadh Gate: This is the entrance gate of the town of Somnath.
 
Somnath Temple: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas - the most sacred Shiva shrines in India.
 
Triveni Ghat: Lord Krishna is believed to have been cremated here.
 
Museum: An archaeological museum, with relics of previous Somnath temples. 
Timings: 10.00 Hrs. to 17.30 Hrs. 
Closed on Wednesdays and gazetted holidays
 
Baldevji"s Cave
 
Daityasadan
 
Laxmi Narayan Temple
 
Mahakalika Temple
 
Maha Prabhuji"s Baithak
 
Rureshwar Mahadev Temple
 
Shashibhushan Mahadev Temple
 
Surya Mandir
 
Veneshwar Temple.
 
EXCURSIONS
 
Chorwad (25 Km): A delightful resort on the sunny coast of Gujarat. The summer palace of the former Nawab of Junagadh now runs as a hotel - the Palace Beach Resort.
 
Sasan Gir (48 Kms.): A famous wildlife sanctuary and home of the Asiatic Lion.
 
Ahmedpur Mandvi (79 Km): Ahmedpur Mandvi is an absolutely untouched and one of the finest beaches in the country. It is also an excellent centre for water sports, with facilities of water skiing and scooters, speedboats, water toboggans, etc.
Diu (82 Km): The Union territory of Diu was one of the oldest bastions of Portuguese power. It lies just across Ahmedpur Mandvi and is connected to it by way of a bridge.
 
Tulsi Shyam (109 Km): In the heart of the Gir forests is the scenic spot of Tulsi Shyam with its hot springs, and a temple dedicated to the Pandava Bhim and his mother Kunti.
The walled city of Bhuj is the headquarters of the Kutch district. The princely citadel of Bhuj is named after its Bhujia fortress, which overlooks the city from a hill nearby. The region is said to have witnessed the Indus Valley Civilization, exile of the Pandavas during the Mahabharata period and the invasion of Alexander the Great. The golden period of Bhuj came when the Jadeja Rajput rulers shifted their capital from Anjaro to Bhuj in the mid 16th century. Bhuj also serves as a base for visiting the Flamingo city for the adventurous travelers. Bhuj is most famous for the wide variety of handicrafts, which includes Kutchi embroidery with mirror work, bandhni, hand printed textiles and saris, etc.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
Altitude:98.31 Meters
Temperature: Summer Max: 40 Deg.C. Min: 28 Deg.C.
Winter : Max: 28 Deg.C. Min: 14 Deg.C.
Best Season: November to March
 
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
Air: Bhuj is connected by Jet Airways flight with Mumbai.
Rail:Bhuj is a railway station on the meter gauge line of the Western Railway directly connected with Gandhidham and Kandla. Gandhidham in turn is well connected with the rest of the country.
Road:Bhuj is connected by good motorable roads with Ahmedabad 402 Km
Amroli 353 Km    Mehsana 314 Km
Bhavnagar 391 Km   Mumbai 888 Km
Gandhidham 54 Km   Palanpur 351 Km
Gandhinagar 393 Km Rajkot 226 Km
Jamnagar 313 Km   Vadodara 419 Km
Junagadh 324 Km.
 
PLACES OF INTEREST
Dadavadi Jain: The Dadavadi Jain derasar is an old Jain shrine of Shri Adinathji, the first thirthankar of Jain religion.
Khengar Park & Hamirsar Lake:A beautiful picnic spot just outside the city.
Mohammed Pannah Mosque: Rao Shigodji - II in memory of the Muslim fakir Mohammed Pannah Sayed, built The Mohammed Pannah Mosque.Paragmahal: Rao Paragmalji’s Palace is an ornate Italian marble and sandstone building which was constructed in the latter part of the 19th century. Parts of it are now used for government offices but the vast Darbar Hall and the Clock Tower are open to the public.
 
Rao Lakhpatji Chhatri: The Royal Chhatris are monuments of Red sandstone built by Rao Lakha in the 18th century. The main chhatri has an artistically carved roof supported by decorated pillars.
Swami Narayan Temple (Old): It is a beautiful temple built by Gangabai (daughter of Jethi Ghela Trikamji) in memory of her mother-in-law.Aarti Timings:
Mangala Aarti - 0530 hrs
Shringar - 0715 hrs
Rajbhog - 1145 hrs
Sandhya - 1930 hrs
Shayan -  2030 hrs
 
Hindola is the main festival celebrated in this temple in the month of Shravan of the Hindu calendar. Kutch Museum:The Kutch Museum at Bhuj, initially formed part of the School of Art established by Maharao Khengarji III in 1877. It is the oldest museum of Gujarat. The Museum has eleven sections on inscriptions, archaeology, sculpture, paintings, coins and currency of the Katchchh state as well as from almost every country of the world, a shipping section showing models of ships made in Mandvi, sections on musical instruments, arms and ammunition, philately and a section on Natural History, added in 1978.
 
Timings: 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs & 1500 hrs to 1800 hrs
 
Closed on Wednesdays and Govt. Holidays.
Aaina Mahal: This 350 years old palace has the Maharaja"s private collection of paintings, royal furniture, textiles, arms, ivory work, manuscripts, etc.
 
Timings: 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs & 1500 hrs to 1800 hrs
 
Closed on Saturdays.
 
EXCURSIONS
 
Purneshwar (35 Km): A 9th - 10th century temple raised on a high plinth with some fine sculptures on display.
 
Anjar (41 Km): It is an important commercial center. Anjar is the venue of many popular fairs, like the one commemorating Menkan dada, a local saint, and the Jesal-Toral fair near the shrine of Jesal and Toral, the legendary lovers. Anjar is also famous for its Ajrakh Printing technique as well as metalware specialties like carved nutcrackers, scissors and knives.
 
Gandhidham (54 Km from Bhuj): 
 
Mandvi (61 Km): Mandvi founded in 1581 AD has a fortification with 25 bastions. The place is a well-known centre for the production of the country crafts. The Rukmavati bridge built in 1883, is the longest existing one of it’s kind. Mandvi is also well known for its beautiful silver sand beach and the imposing Vijayvilas Palace built in 1935.
 
Banni (65 Km): It is a grassland in the great Rann of Kutch, famous for its small villages which are a great storehouse of rich textiles and handicrafts especially embroideries, block printed fabric, leather foot wear, wood carvings, pottery and metal ware manufactured by the local people.
 
Kandla (68 Km): It is one of India’s six major ports and a free trade zone.
 
 
Bhadreshwar (75 Km): Bhadreshwar is the site of the ancient Bhadravati Nagri of King Yuvnashva mentioned in the Mahabharata. Most of the ruins of the city have been carried away, including its foundations stones which have been dug up and removed. The remains of a large stepwell, a Shiva temple and an old Jain temple are among the ancient relics that can be seen here.
 
Dhola Veera (100 Km): The Archaeological excavations here have revealed an Indus Valley Civilization site. It is one of the oldest and largest Indus sites in India. It is located on Khadir Beyt surrounded on all sides by the Great Rann of Kutch.
 
Flamingo City (100 Km): In Gujarat, Flamingoes breed in the interior of the Great Rann of Kutch, their breeding colony is being known as ‘ Flamingo City’. To reach ‘Flamingo City’ one has to travel up to Khavda from Bhuj (80 Kms.) by road and then further journey on camel back for five to six hours. Necessary clearance from the Border Security Force is required to be obtained, before visiting this area, which is given by the District Collector of Kutch at Bhuj.
 
Narayan Sarovar Chinkara Sanctuary (100 Km): Spread over an area of 765 sq. km, the sanctuary’s main attractions are the chinkara, Indian wolf, desert monitor lizard, black partridge, and flamingo. One can also see the blue bull, wild boar, jackal, striped hyena, hare, Indian fox, desert cat, porcupine, spiny tailed lizard and birds like haubara bustard, lesser florican etc.
Vadodara is a city of beautiful gardens, magnificent palaces and many institutions of learning. Formerly the capital of a princely state, Vadodara owes its development and prosperity to Sayajirao Gaikwad III and has today, developed as a thriving industrial and commercial centre.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
Area: 78 Sq. Km 
Altitude:35.50 Meters 
Temperature: SummerMax: 40.4 Deg.C.Min: 20.4 Deg.C. 
WinterMax: 33.1 Deg.C. Min: 9.8 Deg.C. 
Rainfall:93.19 cm (Mid June to Sept) 
Best Season:November to April 
 
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
 
Air: Vadodara is connected by air with Mumbai and Delhi. 
 
Rail:Vadodara is a railway station on the Western Railway broad gauge line, connected with important cities and towns. 
 
Road:Vadodara is connected by motorable roads with Ahmedabad 118 Km,
Anand 39 Km
Jamnagar 371
Palanpur 258 Km
Ankleshwar 82 Km
Junagadh 390 Km
Rajkot 305 Km
Bharuch 72 Km
Khambhat 78 Km
Surat 160 Km
Bhavnagar 271 Km
Lothal 119 Km
Udaipur 313 Km
Bhuj 486 Km
Mehsana 196 Km
Valsad 236 Km
Daman 251 Km
Mount Abu 331 Km
Delhi 1039 Km
Mumbai 432 Km
Dumas 158 Km
Godhra 78 Km
Indore 344 Km
 
PLACES OF INTEREST
Aurobindo Society
Baroda Dairy
Maqbara Hazira
Bhadra Palace
M.S. University
Dakshinamurthy Temple
Nazarbagh Palace Nyaya Mandir
Kirti Mandir
Pratap Vilas Palace
Lakshmi Vilas Palace
Sardar Patel Planetarium
Makarpura Palace
Sursagar Lake
Sayajibaug
Tambekarwada.
 
 
Timings of the Zoo - Shri Sayaji Baug Pranisangraha: 
 
0800 to 1200 hrs & 1400 to 1800 hrs 
 
Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
 
MUSEUMS
 
Health Museum - Timings: 1100 to 1800 hrs 
 
Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum - Timings: 0900 to 1200 hrs, 1530 to 1830 hrs closed on Mondays and Govt. holidays 
 
Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery - Timings: 1000 to 1700 hrs closed on Mondays and Govt. holidays
 
EXCURSIONS
 
Khambhatt (Cambay): An ancient sea port now silted up, famous for its agate industry. 
 
Nimeta (13 Km): On the way to Ajwa lake, Nimeta is a picnic spot. A water purification plant is operated here. 
 
Ajwa Lake (Sayaji Sarovar) (21 Km): The water reservoir for the city it is an ideal picnic spot with boating facilities. 
 
Tuwa (27 Km): Tuwa is known for its natural hot water springs, containing sulphur. Near the springs there is an ancient Shiva temple, built in the Orissi style. 
 
Dabhoi Fort (30 Km): It is famous for a beautifully carved gate called "Hirabhago". There is a Malika Temple in the fort with a profusion of fine carvings. The town is considered to be the birthplace of the Gujarat style of architecture. 
 
Anand (35 Km): Here one can see Asia"s largest milk co-operative, the Amul Dairy. This milk co-operative produces around 10 lakh tonnes of milk everyday and 70% of the milk produced are sent to various cities. Milk products are produced in the most modern complex. It is the finest example of co-operative ventures in the country, which has put India on the world map as a major producer of milk & milk products, in addition to transforming the life of farmers in the region. 
Halol (35 Km): Halol was a suburb of Champaner, containing beautiful gardens during the Muslim regime. There is a dargah here, of Sikander Shah, a general of Mohammed Begara. Sikander Shah was murdered in the palace of Champaner by the Umrao Imad-Ub-Mulk in 1526 and his body was buried at Halol. Over his tomb, there is a huge beautiful stone structure which is partly broken today. 
 
Malsar (45 Km): Situated on the banks of the Narmada river. The sacred shrines of Mangaleshwar Mahadeo, and Angareshwar Mahadeo and a Satyanarayana temple are situated in the village. It is said that the Pandavas had stayed for some time in the nearby forest, where there are temples of Pandeshwar and Bhimeshwar Mahadeo. 
 
Sankheda (47 Km): Sankheda, named after the demon Sankhsen is a town with an old fort. Historical facts reveal that the fort at Sankheda was built by Sultan Ahmedshah-I in A.D.1419. It is also a religious centre famous for its Jwalamukhi Mata Temple and Dharmananda Mahadev Temple. There are two mosques in the town. 
 
Today Sankheda enjoys world wide reputation for its attractive lacquer furniture, which comes in bright shades of red, maroon and ochre and makes very good bedsteads, coffee tables, low chairs, swings, divans and a wide range of furniture, which look delicate but have an astonishingly long life. 
 
Chandod (50 Km): A place of great sanctity, due to the confluence of the Narmada, Osrang and the mythological Saraswati. The Kapileshwar Mahadev Temple here is believed to be of great antiquity. 
 
Champaner and Pavagadh (47/ 49 Km): Champaner lies at the foot of the Pavagadh Fort. The ruins of its mosques and palaces, reflected in the lake are some of the most picturesque in India. The hill of Pavagadh rises from Champaner in three stages.
 
Bharuch (72 Km): This very old town was mentioned in historical records nearly 2000 years ago. In the 17th century, English and Dutch factories were established here. A fort overlooks the wide Narmada River from its hilltop location and at its base is the Jami Masjid. There is also a temple of Bhrigurishi on the river banks from which the town derived its name Bhrigukachcha, later shortened to Bharuch. 

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