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Best things to do in Gujarat

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Where in the world: Asia  /  India  /  Gujarat

Top 15 things to do in Gujarat

1. Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad

Pay a visit to Gandhi Ashram, a former residence of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, and the site from where he led the legendary Salt March of 1930. The ashram was built in 1917, nestled on the banks of the Sabarmati River, and was Gandhi’s home for 12 years. Take a walking tour of the ashram and its museum to learn more about Gandhi’s life and the independence movement, visit his living quarters and seeing numerous artifacts from his time there.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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2. Akshardham, Gandhinagar

Akshardham serves as a grand complex dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the prominent Hindu civic organization BAPS. A massive and intricately carved pink sandstone mandir--a Hindu place of worship--stands as the centerpiece of the 23 acre (9.3 hectare) complex. Standing at a height of 108 ft (33 m) and covering a floor area of 32,427 sq ft (3,014 sq m), this mandir features over 6,000 tons (5.5 million lbs) of pink sandstone. After you finish marveling at the main mandir, stroll through the complex's series of decorative mandapams--pillared outdoor halls used for public rituals. The complex also features artistic and historic exhibits meant to educate visitors about the path to spiritual enlightenment.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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3. Sabarmati Riverfront, Ahmedabad

At Sabarmati Riverfront, see the waterfront infrastructure created for environment improvement, sustainable development, and social gatherings. Since the city was founded in 1411, this site was an important source of water and provided a backdrop for both cultural and recreational activities. Explore the urban riverbank and all the amenities which surround it. Access the river via one of 31 ghats (riverfront steps) where you can go on boat trips. Refrain from swimming, however, as years of intensive use have made the river unpalatable.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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4. Kankaria Lake, Ahmedabad

The second largest lake in Ahmedabad, Kankaria Lake hosts a renovated pedestrianized lakefront, a vibrant hub of activities and entertainment. Built in the 15th century by Sultan Qutbuddin, in 2008 the polygon-shaped body of water underwent a regeneration project to develop numerous attractions, including an amusement park, children's play center, and a mini golf course. A walkway to the lake's center leads to a lively garden, hosting numerous food vendors and laser displays. Circling the lake, a mural park features some 292.6 sq m (3,150 sq ft) of colorful murals on pink sandstone, depicting the history of Gujarat.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Somnath Mahadev Temple, Somnath

Somnath Mahadev Temple is the first of twelve temples where, as legend has it, Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light to prove his supremacy in the Hindu pantheon. This temple, which dates from 1951, features curved pyramidal forms and elaborate carvings. The main shrine with nearly 15 m (50 ft) tall shikhara (main spire) towers over the vast courtyard. Look for Deep Stambha--the tower on the embankment--and see the arrow marking the invisible line that points directly at the South Pole.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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6. Adalaj Step-well, Ahmedabad

At Adalaj Step-well, explore the water building which served as a resting place for many pilgrims and traders for hundreds of years. Built in 1499, its carved ornamentation depicts mythological scenes that represent the Indo-Islamic architecture. Enter the mystical site via one of three stairs which meet at a huge square platform underground, while an opening in the ceilings invite sunlight. See the spots where villagers came to fill their pots with sacred water from the octagonal well, offered prayers to gods, and socialized. The site has well-connected routes, so you can reach it by via train, car, or bus.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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7. Lukshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

Admire the extravagant architecture of Lukshmi Vilas Palace and learn the history of the Maratha family that once ruled the state. Still the official residence of the Maharaja of Baroda, the palace dates back to 1890 and features an Indo-Saracenic style, combining both Indian and Muslim influences, as well as European Gothic features. The onsite museum contains works from the family's private art collection, while several of the main rooms open to the public each day, displaying rich interiors replete with mosaic floors, Belgian stained glass windows, and impressive chandeliers.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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8. Shree Dwarkadhish Temple, Dwarka

Admire the contemplative atmosphere and ceremonial design of Shree Dwarkadhish Temple, an interesting and prominent Hindu place of worship. Tradition has it that Krishna's grandson built the temple, while archeologists have dated the main shrine as far back as 2,000 to 2,200 years ago. Greatly expanded in the ornamental Chalukya style in the 15th or 16th century CE, the temple features five stories and rests on 72 tall pillars. The 78.3 m (256.9 ft) spire dominates the surrounding urban area, and photographs particularly well from the main street of the adjoining market.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Sasan Gir National Park, Sasan Gir

Explore the habitat of Asiatic lions at Sasan Gir National Park, the only place outside of Africa to spot lions roaming freely. The park and wildlife sanctuary encompasses an area of 1,412 sq km (545 sq mi) of dry scrub land and open deciduous forest. Thankfully, the population of lions has been rising in recent years, with over 500 currently living freely within the park. The habitat also supports over 2,000 other animal species, including leopards, cobras, sambars, and chitals. Take a safari trip across the park, where the guides will point out the best places to spot all the park's most famous inhabitants.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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10. Sun Temple, Modhera

Take in the imaginative beauty of Indian architecture dating back to 1026 CE at Sun Temple. At the sun temple, dedicated to Hindu sun-god Surya, you'll see three distinct architectural features. The Suryakunda, a pool that stores pure water used by devotees to perform ablutions, features four terraces adorned with 108 miniature pyramid sculptures that act as steps and lead to the base. The second architectural piece is the Sabha Mandap: an open, pillared hall that serves as a meeting place, consisting of 52 intricately carved Hindu gods. Finally, the main temple, Sanctum Sanctorum (no longer used for prayer), represents the shape of an inverted lotus-base plinth.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. EME Temple, Vadodara

Run by the Indian Army, EME Temple is dedicated to Dakshinamurti, a form of Shiva. Known for its modern architecture, the temple was designed by the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) Corps and feature five different symbols representing five major religions in India. Aluminum plated and surrounded by a meticulously kept garden, the temple hosts a collection of 106 statues dating from the 6th to the 16th century.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Statue Of Unity, Kevadia

The Statue of Unity is the world's tallest statue, with a height of 182 metres (597 feet), located near Kevadia in the state of Gujarat, India. It depicts Indian statesman and independence activist Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950), who was the first deputy prime minister and home minister of independent India and an adherent of Mahatma Gandhi. Patel is highly respected for his leadership in uniting 562 princely states of India to form the single Union of India. The statue is located in Gujarat on the Narmada River in the Kevadiya colony, facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of the city of Vadodara.
The project was first announced in 2010, and construction started in October 2013 by Indian company Larsen & Toubro, with a total construction cost of ₹27 billion (US$422 million). It was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar and was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on 31 October 2018, the 143rd anniversary of Patel's birth.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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13. Rani Ki vav

Explore the intricate construction and ornate carvings at Rani Ki vav, a World Heritage-listed stepwell built in the 11th century to memorialize a king. This ancient Indian system of water storage is built like an inverted temple and descends 27 m (88 ft) into the ground, with every inch meticulously rendered. Some 500 major sculptures and 1,000 minor figures speak to the stepwell's religious and practical function, depicting mythology and secular scenes. Do some background reading before visiting, as there is little information on site.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. ISKCON Temple, Ahmedabad

One of the busiest locations in the city, ISKCON Temple features stone domes hand-carved with images of Krishna. A blend of Gujarat Sompura and Rajasthani Khamira building styles, the shine encompasses 1.3 hectares (4 acres) and includes one of India's biggest temple rooms, which can receive about 4,000 people at any given time. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), headquartered at the site, offers daily lectures on scriptures.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Auto World Vintage Car Museum, Ahmedabad

Head to Auto World Vintage Car Museum to observe a comprehensive collection of antique cars, built by a local family over the last century. The cars sit elegantly presented in several cream-colored pavilions and next to a neatly maintained courtyard garden. See over 100 vehicles from all over the world, including Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Mercedes, Cadillac, Buick, Lincoln, and Chrysler automobiles. Pick up a souvenir at the gift shop followed by a hot beverage at the onsite cafeteria.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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