|STATE BIRD OF Gujarat||Greater Flamingo|
|STATE ANIMAL||Asiatic Lion|
|MAIN TOWNS||Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar etc.|
|TEMPERATURE||Summer(March to June)(29℃ to 41℃) Monsoon(July to Sep)(27℃ to 35℃) Winter(Oct to Feb)(12℃ to 29℃)|
It is state located in western India. It covers an area of 196.024 km2 and is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east and the Arabian Sea to the west. It is also known as ‘The Land of Legends’ and also ‘Jewel of India.’ The Sabarmati is the largest river in Gujarat and Narmada covers the longest distances in its passage through the state. Sardar Sarovar Project is built before the Narmada River and is one of the biggest Project of Gujarat.
Culture of Gujarat is one of the most famous in India. Gujarat is famous for not only its culture but also for its festivals, cultural dresses and its simplicity that is untouched. Gujarati people are very calm and get easily mixed with everyone. Gujaratis has also preserved their culture and tradition. Gujarat is famous for its rich architecture which can be reflected in their buildings and forts. This state is famous for its affection toward all the people. The Cultural diversity of Gujarat is because of Gujarati population. There are 2 main groups in Gujarat that are:
1) Indic that is derived from the north.
2) Dravidian that is derived in the south.
Nagar Brahman, Bhatia, Bhadela, Rabari and Mina castes come under Indic group and Bhangi, Koli, Dubla, Naikda and Macchi – Karwa come under Dravidian origin. People of Gujarat have different nature and is related to the place where they live like people living in Kutch region of Gujarat are hardy and rude by nature as this region is a low and arid zone. Ras and Garba are the main dance form of Gujarat. Gujarat’s population consist of SC (Schedule Castes). Gujarat consist of 70% of Hindus and remaining are Muslims and Jains.
Gujarati is the main language spoken in Gujarat. It is an Indo – Aryan language. Gujarati is ranked 26th in most spoken native language. Maximum of the population speaks Gujarati. There are also many other languages that are spoken in the different region of Gujarat such as Memoni in Kathiawar and Sindhi Memons, Kutchi and Sindhi. Gujarati Muslims also speaks Gujarati and some of them speaks Urdu. Tribal groups speak Bhili and Gamit language. Some of the people speak English, Marwari, Sindhi, Punjabi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali, Odia, Malayalam and Marathi.
Major Festivals of Gujarat
1) Navratri: This festival is celebrated for 10 days with great enthusiasm and people take part in various dances like dandiya, garba and Durga pooja.
2) Rann Utsav: It is one of the most popular festivals of Gujarat and desert of Rann which is a sparkling white sand desert is decorated with the festive avatar. Gujaratis men are also dressed in traditional dresses with their legendary mustaches and pagris.
3) Shamlaji Melo: Also known as Kartik Purnima Fair. The fair is celebrated in Shamlaji Temple and is celebrated for three weeks. During this festival, people bathe in Meshwo River and sing songs and celebrate with great enthusiasm.
4) Vautha Mela: It is animal trade festival and is very popular. Khichu is made on this occasion. One can enjoy shopping in local stalls.
5) Bhadra Purnima Fair: Goddess Ambaji is worshipped for three days. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy. Garba and Bhavai are the dances that are performed during this festival.
6) Rath Yatra: It is the most famous festival of Gujarat. This function begins with Pahind Vidhi that is cleaning the route for chariot and is done by CM of Gujarat.
7) Bhavnath Mahadev Fair: This fair is celebrated for five – day fair. Lord Shiva is worshipped during this festival. This festival includes dance, music, prayers and a lot of fun.
8) Modhera Dance Festival: This festival is celebrated for three days and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Modhera Temple is famous for its beautiful architecture.
9) Janmashtami: This festival is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Krishna. The festival is celebrated in Dwarka, Gujarat with great enthusiasm. Makkhan and mishri are offered to Lord Krishna. Dahi Handibreaking is also a great part of the celebration.
Main attractions: Sun temple Modhera, Rani ki Vav, Kutch, Sabarmati Ashram, Dwarka, Marine National Park, Somnath, Gir National Park, Champaner, Pavagadh, Palitana, Saputara.
Main Attractions In Gujarat:
- Sun Temple Modhera: In the 11th century by Solanki dynasty rulers and is dedicated to Surya the Sun God. The temple is a substantial structure, assembly hall and main shrine. The temple is oriented in a way that it receives the first rays of the moving sun at equinox.
- Rani ki Vav (the queen’s step well), Patan: It is also a UNESCO’s world heritage site. It was constructed during the Solanki dynasty and was made in memory of ruler Bhimdev I, by his widowed wife. This step well was flooded by the nearby Saraswati River and sitted over until the late 1980s. When it was excavated by the archeological survey of India, its carvings were found in pristine condition.
- Kutch Region: It is also known as ‘wild west’. Kutch is one of the country’s largest districts. Much of Kutch consists of seasonal wetlands known as the Great Rann of Kutch which is famous for its salt desert and smaller little Rann of Kutch which is famous for its wild ass sanctuary.
- Gandhi’s Ashram: Also known as Sabarmati Ashram is situated on the banks of the river Sabarmati. It was one of the home of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi lived here for about twelve years along with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi.
5. Dwarka: It was the first capital of Gujarat and was the ancient kingdom of Lord Krishna. The two most important temples of Dwarka are Dwarkadhish Temple built around 200BC and Jagat Mandir. Krishna Janmashtami festival is a major event here.
6. Marine National Park: This national park was established in 1982 and lies along the coast on the way to Dwarka. Marine Park is made up of 42 islands, 33 of which are surrounded by coral reef and is home to diverse marine and bird life. Only one Island is accessible by car i.e. Narara Island. Tourists are only permitted to visit a couple of the Islands though. Local guides are available.
7. Somnath: It is one of the 12 jyotirlinga (shrine of Lord Shiva, where he’s worshipped as a linga of sight). It is an important pilgrimage destination. It is located on the seaside. Its history is fascinating and carvings on its sandstones architecture are superb. Mahashivratri is celebrated in a big way here. The temple was ransacked by Islamic invaders and rebuilt numerous times, with the final reconstruction taking place after India achieved Independence.
8. Gir National Park: It is the only place in the world where the Asiatic Lion can be found and is one of the Top parks to see wildlife in India. Gir is considered to be the largest dry deciduous forest in western India. Best time to visit the Park is from December until March. Safaris are the daily rides.
9. Champaner: Pavagadh Archeological Park: Champaner and Pavagadh are full with historical, architectural and archeological treasures from both Muslim and Hindu traditions, dating back to between the 8th and 14th centuries. It is also UNESCO world heritage site but is little known. Here, one can found a hill fortress, palaces, places of worship, residential areas, reservoirs and step wells. Jama Masjid is one of the most spectacular mosques in Gujarat.
10. Shatrunjaya Hill Temples, Palitana: There are nearly 900 temples in Palitana and it is a principal pilgrim center for Jains. Climb in excess of 3000 steps to the top of the hill and you’ll find an astonishing Jain Temple complex with sensational views. One cannot wear or carry any leather items and must dress conservatively as the hill is considered to be sacred.
11. Saputara: The real meaning of Saputara is “Abode of Serpents.’ This place is situated on a densely forested plateau on top of the Sahyadri range. It is a popular weekend getaway, especially during the monsoon season when it’s misty there. It is developed as a tourist destination with hotels around a Large lake, Boat club, Tripal Museum, Cable Car, Artist Village and other attractions.
Adventure activities to do in Gujarat
1) Camel Safari: Camel safaris can be done in Raan of Kutch which is covered with salt all around.
2) Surfing: Sand beaches of Gujarat are the main places to do this activity. Chorwad Beach and Dumas Beach are the main places where surfing is done.
3) Skiing: Mandvi beach is the place where you can enjoy Skiing, water scooters, deep sea diving, paragliding and snorkeling.
4) Water Scooter: Water Scooter Driving is done in famous beaches.
5) Trekking: Trekking is not so popular in Gujarat.
6) Jeep Safari: Jeep Safaris are available in local zoos and National parks of Gujarat.
Interesting facts about Gujarat
1) Gujarat is ranked 12th among all Indian states in literacy.
2) Gujarat is the first largest producer of cotton.
3) Second largest producer of Tobacco.
4) Gir National Park located in Gujarat is the only place where Asiatic Lions are found.
5) Surat located in Gujarat is the largest hub for diamond trade.
6) Gujarat produces 60% of the salt in India.
7) The unemployment rate in India is least in Gujarat.
Gujarat has variant climatic conditions throughout the year. The state as a whole has hot and dry summers and winters are mild, pleasant and dry. Best time to visit in Gujarat is during winter months, November to February.
Gujarati people love food very much. The cuisine of Gujarat is full of flavors and are very delicious. Some of the main cuisines of Gujarat are:
7) Fafda – Jalebi
8) Lilva Kachori
9) Gujarati Kadhi
10) Sev Tameta nu Shak