World’s first seaport Lothal was part of Indus Valley civilisation whose main centre was Gujarat and the docks of ancient Lothal are seen there today as well. Powerful Indian dynasties like the Mauryas, Kshatrapas, Guptas and Chalukyas have invaded Gujarat. The great King Chandragupta Maurya and his grandson Ashoka ruled the state and brought peace, and prosperity.
Muslims replaced the Hindus rule by 1299 and Khiljis Sultans of the Delhi Sultanate were in power. In 16th century, Akbar of Mughal Empire conquered Gujarat. Then in 1612, British gained power over Surat and used it as a trading base.
Present day Gujarat came into being on 1 May 1960.
The state is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east, and the Arabian Sea and the Pakistani province of Sindh to the west.
Fairs And Festivals
In Particular, Gujaratis wait for Navaratri throughout the year to participate in raas-garba, which is a folk-dance. It’s costume is also very traditional and colourful, known as chaniya choli for women and kedia for men.
Makar Sankranti is also celebrated in Gujarat with full enthusiasm. During this festival, people of Gujarat fly kites. In Gujarat, from December through to Makar Sankranti, people start enjoying kite flying. Undhiyu, a special dish made of various vegetables, is a must-have of Gujarati people on Makar Sankranti.
Kutch Mahotsava is a fascinating tour and has been called a ‘great festival’, held in February/March.
Khaman Dhokla, shrikhand, doodh pak, paunk, undhyoo and kadi are some of the delicacies of Gujarat. Many Gujarati dishes are distinctively sweet, salty, and spicy at the same time. They are mainly vegetarian.
Did You Know
The state of Bombay was divided into two states- Maharashtra and Gujarat by the Bombay (Reorganisation) Act 1960.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit it is between October and March.
How To Reach
You can choose to reach Gujarat by air, road or rail. Gujarat has many domestic airports. Superfast trains connect Ahmedabad to Delhi and Mumbai. There are other railway networks as well. The state is known to have the best roads and highways in Western India.
Ahmedabad has some havelis of rich Hindus. The city is also famed for its educational institutions, markets, textile industries and for Gandhi’s ashram on the banks of the Sabarmati River.
Bhavnagar is famous for Jain pilgrims. An ancient city Junagadh is also famous for sightseeing. Cities like Surat and Vadodara are also on the wish list of travellers.
Somnath temple and the Sun temple are also the most visited tourist destinations in Gujarat.