Our Gujarat can be divided into the following regions:
- Saurashtra – Kutch
- North Gujarat
- Central Gujarat
- South Gujarat
Each region has many places of visits and attraction. Saurashtra – Kutch has many such places like:
- Dwarka temple
- Somnath temple
- Palitana Jain temple
- Kaliyar Sanctuary
- Hanuman temple of Sarangpur
- Tulsi – Shyam
- Girnar lions forest
- Chorwad sea shore
- Virpur Jalaram temple
DWARKADHISH TEMPLE – DWARKA
Lord Krishna, Hindu God after leaving Mathura settled at Dwarka city, on the banks of river Gomti at West end of Gujarat. The city known as Suvarna Nagri has famous Dwarka temple, where thousands of pilgrims visit to offer worship. It is believed that original Dwarka Nagri has submerged and its remnants are available below the sea near the coast. The present Dwarka Nagri is re-make of this original submerge Dwarka Nagri.
The present Dwarkadhish temple may be 400-500 years old. It is about 70 metres high supported by beautifully carved and engraved 60 pillars. The nearby attraction is the Shardapeeth which is one of the four Maths, established by Adi Shankaracharya.
SOMNATH TEMPLE – PRABHAS PATAN
This famous temple of Lord Shiva is about 5 kms. from Veraval and about 406 kms. from Ahmedabad. This temple was built, destroyed, looted and rebuilt several times so far. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlings.
Somnath temple is located at the sea coast. There is a light pillar the top of which points to the South Pole. If one travels straight from this point, he would straight away reach to the South Pole without any land in between in the sea. Somnath Trust is looking after this temple and it provides lodging, boarding and other facilities to the pilgrims visiting the temple.
PALITANA JAIN TEMPLES
This is world famous pilgrimage place of Jains. It is spread over the hills of Shatrunjaya. Palitana is about 60 kms. from Bhavnagar. There are about 863 temples here. Eevry Jain would like to visit it atleast once in his/her lifetime. The temples are at the height of about 2000 feet on hills.
These temples are mainly made of marbles and eye pleasing architectural construction. There are diamond, golden, silver and other forms of jewelleries for adorning the Tirthankars.
BLACKBUCK SANCTUARY – VERAVADAR
Veravadar is a place about 70 kms. from Bhavnagar. It is famous for its National Park where there is Blackbuck sanctuary spread over about 18 kms. and having about 2000 blackbucks. Blackbucks are found at many places in India. Out of all such places, Veravadar Sanctuary is the largest. The best time to visit it is March – April and October – November.
HANUMAN TEMPLE – SARANGPUR
The temple is well known for its blessings in overcoming difficulties. The people are also visiting for overcoming the evil effects in their life. This temple is having marble flooring and steps and silver doors. The Hanuman Idol is worshipped by Bachelor Brahmin only. The another nearby temple to visit is Swaminarayan temple and Ramkrishna temple.
TULSISHYAM – JUNAGADH
If you go about 30 kms. North of village Una, Junagadh, you will come to Tulsishyam. This is developed as a tourist spot. There are seven hot water ponds. The hot water of these ponds is believed to cure various skin diseases. The temple is visited by the pilgrims for their devotion to Shaligram (Lord Vishnu ) and Tulsi ( Vrunda – Rukmani ). The tourist department has developed this as a tourist spot. There are also lodging and boarding facilities available here. Since it is at the border of Gir forest, many times lions are also seen here.
One of the oldest historical cities, Junagadh is at the border of Girnar. There are palaces, Hindu temples, lakes, caves, Jain temples, Damodar kund, forts, huge royal canons, Navghan well, etc. The great Narsinh Mehta belonged to this place.
GIRNAR MOUNTAIN & GIR FOREST
Garnar mountain, the highest mountain in Gujarat has many stories. It is about 8 kms. from Junagadh. Both Hindus and Jains visit here. Among others Bhavnath temple is very well known.
When we think of Girnar, what immediately comes to our mind is Gir forest and lions. The lions are found only in Gir forest in India. Here the lions can be seen moving freely in their natural conditions. The government arranges jeep visits to see the lions. There are hotels, guest houses and circuit house at various places around the forest like Sasangir, Visavavadar, Talala, etc. The tents facilities are also there. Apart from the lions, there are wild buffaloes, deer leopard, etc.
The other attractions of the Gir forest are:
- Temple of Kankai Mata
- Temple of Shyamji Maharaj
- Hot water kunds where water temperature is about 70 – 80 degrees. These kunds are from 7 metres to 20 metres in size and 3 metres deep.
CHORWAD BEACH RESORT
Chorwad, about 60 kms. from Junagadh is on the sea coast. People visit this place as a picnic spot. The government has taken active interest in developing it as a picnic spot. There is a nawabi palace located there. This old nawabi bunglow has been converted into a hotel. The hotel has the capacity to accommodate 250 people to stay along with other facilities like swimming pool, garden and all other necessary modern facilities. The sea coast here is sometimes dangerous, yet people like to visit the place.
PORBANDAR – BIRTH PLACE OF MAHATMA GANDHI
When we think of Porbandar we always think of Mahatma Gandhi. This city originally known as Sudamapuri is at the East coast of Gujarat. It is said that Sudama, the friend of Lord Krishna belonged to this place. Gandhi Bapu, born in 1969 is known as Father of the Nation. His wife, Kasturba was also born here at the nearby building. Both the houses, birth place of Gandhiji and birth place of Kasturba are open to public visit.
The places to visit are:
- Kirti Mandir, built in the memory of Bapu by an industrialist named Nanji Kalidas. The height of the temple is 79 feet matching with 79 years of life of Bapu.
- Tara Mandir planetarium in the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru
- Sudama temple
- Gandhi Smriti and Gurukul
The other well-known personalities born in Porbandar are:
- Industrialist Nanji Kalidas
- Pranlal Devkaran Nanji (Founder of Dena Bank )
- Morarji Gokuldas and Sumati Morarji
DIU & AHMEDPUR – MANDVI
Ahmedpur, Mandvi at a distance of about 12 kms. from Una, Junagadh, is a coastal tourist place. It has excellent pleasing beach. Here, cottages are built in Saurashtra style giving glimpses of rural culture and bearing names of local heroes and saints. These cottages have excellent dining facilities also. There are many palm trees as well which add to the beauty and serenity of the beach.
Just at a throwaway distance is Diu. This was earlier Portuguese colony which is now part of India. The diu fort is very famous there. Apart from that there are many churches and other artistic buildings in Portuguese style.
JAMNAGAR – PARIS OF SAURASHTRA
This historical city, built in 1540 is both historical and modern city. It has gates and wall covering all sides of the city. Some of its attractions are:
- Lakhota palace in the middle of Ranmal Lake.
- First Ayurvedic University was established here
- Vaidya Zandu Bhatt belonged to this place
- Ranjit Singh on whose name Ranji Cricket Trophy tournamnets take place belonged to royal family here
- There are many historical places and buildings temples, army training school, acuirium solarium, etc.
- On one side is Ranjitsagar dam which supplies water to the city and on other side is Bedi Bandar which has airforce and naval base and sainik school
- It is also known for its Jamnagar reliance Refinery
This small town is known for:
- Mani mandir built by Waghji Thakore in memory of love for his wife Mani bai.
- Machhu dam on the river Machhu
- Ceramic and pottery units
- Watch making units
- Morbi engineering college
- The nearby places : “Wankaner” and “Than” are also known for pottery units.
KUTCH – BHUJ & KANDLA
Kutch is area wise biggest district. It has many historical places, temples and lakes. When we think of Kutch, we generally visualise desert area. There is a small desert and a big desert. The area is strategically and politically important as it is at the Indo – Pak border.
Bhuj is the main city of dstrict Kutch.
There are various temples like Laxminarayan temple, Trikamji temple, Adinarayan temple Goverdhannath temple, Dwarkanath temple, Laxmiji temple, Kalyanray temple, Shiv temple of Kera, Koteshwar temple , Neelkanth temple, Bhadreshwar Jain temple, etc.
There is Narayan lake at about 125 kms. from Bhuj.
Kutch desert is also known for kite-flying festival, horse riding, fairs and handicrafts.
Kutch museum, built in Italian style displays many historical, antique pieces, vessels of gold and silver coins, engravings etc.
Bhuj is the city in the hilly area. There are many palaces, lakes and temples.
Anjar is a place south of Bhuj. This place is known for Jesal – Toral Samadhi.
Kandla is a port and it handles tons of cargo through ships and steamers. There is a free trade zone for industries where trading and industrial units are provided many incentives in order to encourage exports