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Gujarat: The Jewel of the West

Gujarat: The Jewel of the West


India is a country famous for its culture, temples and food. The ‘Jewel of the West’ i.e., Gujarat, in the North-West coast of India is a major state in India with an area of 196,024 km2 and a population of 60,439,692. Some of the major cities of Gujarat are Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Bhuj, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and many others. It shares its borders with Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east and Arabian Sea and Pakistan’s Sind to the west. It is also the state of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallavbhai Patel and Mohammad Ali Jinnah who played an integral role in India’s independence struggle and very recently Narendra Modi.


However, it is futile to bore the readers with factual details about the beautiful state which on the one hand is home to certain fine cinema personalities like Paresh Raval, Ayesha Jhulka and Himesh Reshammiya while on the other produces a wide variety of delicious food items like dhokla, fafda, khandvi and many others. The Gujarati film industry is said to be one of the largest regional film industries in India. Bhavni Bhavai is one of the most acclaimed gujarati films having won the National Award for best Feature Film on National Integration.


Not only the cinema buffs but the foodies can also have a great time in the state. For the Gujaratis, a typical thali consists of roti or bhakri, dal or kadhi, rice and sabzi, home-made pickle and chhundo in which everything is vegetarian. Many of the dishes have a unique taste which is sweet, salty and spicy at the same time which caters to the tastes of a wide range of people and the mouth begins to water even to think of it. The buttermilk of Saurashtra region is a must have item on a daily basis.


It is a sight to behold to see the Gujarati men and women performing Garba during the Navratri which is a nine-day festival and the Gujarati dandiya and Garba can make even the western people dance to the tune of string instruments such as rktaro, jantar and ravan hattho and percussion instruments such as manjira and zanz pot drum. Chetan Bhagat’s novel The 3 mistakes of my life also centers around Gujarat and shows a wholesome picture of the state.


The festival of Makar sakranti is also celebrated on the occasion of which people fly kites.


The Gujaratis are a colorful people who enjoy life to the fullest, eat a healthy and large amount of food and sing and dance and have many craftworks which are credited to them. The Gujarati lehenga is famous all over India which contains mirror work and beadwork on a lehenga making it look beautiful. Handicrafts are an integral part of the culture of Gujarat. The Gujaratis are spiritual and cooperative.


One finds harmony and a peace of mind in the tranquil environs of Somnath, Dwarka, Junagadh and Sun temple of modhera. It is a religious hub for Hindus as well as Muslims as it also has Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad. The spiritual people can have a time of their life in this state.


Therefore, Gujarat is a cultural hub and attracts lakhs of tourists due to its simplicity and tranquility and also scenic beauty. Gujarat is the only place which houses Asiatic lions in the world in the Gir National park. It also offers beautiful scenic beauty ranging from the Great Rann of Kutch to the hills of Satpura. Many structures of the state are built in an architectural style known as the Indo-Saracenic style which is the fusion of Hindu craftsmanship and Islamic architecture. Currently, Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of tourism in Gujarat. It has a number of museums like the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery in Vadodra or the Porbandar Sabarmati Ashram in Porbandar which is related to Mahatma Gandhi and also Sabarmati Ashram which is central to Gandhi.


Being on the coastline of India Gujarat also has certain beaches like the Mandvi Beach and Tithal beach which is famous for its beautiful sunset. The Taranga hills which is a wildlife sanctuary and a Jain pilgrimage senter and Dholavira which is a site of Harappan civilisation are also some of the tourist destinations.

Beach in Mahabalipuram


Many fairs are also held in Gujarat like the five-day fair during Mahashivratri at the fort of Girnar in Junagadh, the Ambaji fair around August-September and the Tarnetar fair in September-October which is a week-long. All of them help to showcase Gujarati culture in greater light.


Therefore, Gujarat invites many tourists seeking various aspects of nature. Most importantly it is the people’s sincerity to their culture which attracts others to try to experience the same affinity with their culture. It can be easily visited by air, rail, road or sea. Transportation is not a problem in this state. It has 17 airports, many railway stations out of which Vadodra is the busiest, many national highways and most importantly the longest coastline in India which is 1600km. The best time to visit the state is in the winters i.e., from October to March. Indian culture is what is present in the nook and cranny of this state and it invites all those who want to experience an affinity with Indian culture and have a tranquil holiday all to themselves and for knowing this country better.


About Sarthak Johari

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