It may be a less-established destination for visitors but this region has a rich culture and history to rival neighboring Mumbai and Rajasthan.
Walk the streets of the city that was home to Mahatma Gandhi and look around the building from where he battled for Indian independence. Visit ancient forts and go on safari in the only place left in the world where you can see the Asiatic lion.
Bordering the country’s west coast, Gujarat combines vast, untouched areas of countryside with sprawling cities. The most prominent of these is Ahmedabad where an old quarter of stone buildings and cobbled streets meets an array of modern hotels and high-quality restaurants. Go to the Calico Museum of Textiles just north of the old town to discover one of the nation’s most impressive collections of intricate dying and weaving.
You can’t come to Ahmedabad without stopping at Sabarmati Ashram, Gandhi’s headquarters between 1917 and 1930. His personal living space has been well preserved and there is a museum that documents the life and teachings of India’s most famous son.
Leave the city behind and head west to the imposing walled shape of Darbargadh. Although heavily damaged by the 2001 earthquake, the remains of the three internal palaces are extremely impressive. Walk around the ghostly Prag Mahal and check out the decaying chandeliers and gold-coated statues.
It is a 6-hour drive south from here to the older but equally sublime Uparkot Fort, close to the city of Junagadh. Constructed around 300 B.C. the 66-feet (20-meter) high walls surround the shell of a circular mosque and some 2,000-year-old caves that were painstakingly carved from stone.
During your trip to Gujarat be sure to take the opportunity to go on a safari. Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 545-square miles (1,412-square kilometers) and is the last home of the Asiatic lion. Book a tour with an experienced guide and you can also glimpse antelope, gazelle and leopards.
The main international airport for Gujarat is in Ahmedabad. From here get around by car or make use of the public transportation in the cities.