Located on the western coast of India, Gujarat is the most attractive destination both for domestic and International tourists. The state has all types of attractions to make your trip memorable and amazing. Exploring Gujarat will be a rewarding and a great experience as well. A state that recently sets a rich example in industrialization needs to be visited when you have ample of time.
It’s a tough task to shortlist attractions amongst the numerous tourist spots. Yet, here is a serious and modest effort to provide you with a list.
Laxmi Vilas Palace
The Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara, built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in the year 1890 is an extravagant structure of the Indo- Saracenic school. This largest private dwelling spread in an area of 700 acres was built by the architect Major Charles Mant. The main attraction inside the palace is its ornate Darbar Hall where one can find a widespread array of fine European architecture which includes multi-colored marbles, Belgium style stained glass windows and Venetian styled mosaic floors. The palace interiors resemble the large European country house with all the modern amenities like elevators. The flamboyant Darbar Hall sometimes serves as the venue for cultural events and music concerts. Besides this, the palace also houses Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum and Moti Bagh Palace. The museum exhibits rich and vibrant art- works depicting the royal family and Hindu mythology. Converted into a club, the Moti Bagh Palace now has Gaekwad Baroda Golf Club having a gym, sauna and swimming pool facilities. Apart from this, the palace also houses a fine Baoli and a small zoo.
10 am-5 pm (Tue-Sun)
Spread in an area of 45 hectares, the Sayaji Baug is one of the most famous places to visit in Vadodara. The park was built by Maharaja Sayajirao III in the year 1879 and consists of two museums, a zoo, toy train, planetarium and a flower clock. The 3.5 km joy ride on the toy train is the main attraction for children visiting the Baug. Also, known as Kamati Baug, the park attracts a large number of tourists because of its sprawling green lawns and variety of flora. Located on the banks of the River Vishwamitra, the park offers a combination of both enjoyment and education to its visitors. The Baroda museum and a picture gallery within Sayaji Baug preserve a rich collection of art and sculpture. The Egyptian mummy and skeleton of a blue whale are the major attractions of this museum. The picture gallery, opened in the year 1921, portrays artwork of British painters. If all these are encouraging you to explore the garden more, then be prepared for the amazing view of the floral clock whose machinery works from beneath the ground.
All days of the week except Thursday
Garden timings: 5:00 am – 8:00 pm
Train timings: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Zoo timings: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
An important pilgrimage destination, Somnath Temple comprises of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The temple is located in Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval and is easily accessible from any part of Gujarat. The Jyotirlinga is decorated with gold and silver ornaments, flowers and people from far off places come here to worship it. The Somnath Temple completely highlights the Indian Temple architectural style and the splendid glory of the temple continues. The festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated here with huge pomp and show. One should not miss the evocative evening Light and Sound show at Somnath.
Darshan timings: 6.00 am to 9.00 pm
Sound and Light show: 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm
EME Temple in Vadodara is one of the best weekend getaways inside the city. Built by the EME i.e. the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering corps of the Indian Army, the temple features unique geodesic architecture. This unique and modern Dakshinamurti Temple allures tourists in large number. The silvery white tower and the structures made of aluminium will make you think twice before you actually accept the fact that it’s a temple. The temple is run by the Indian Army authorities with holy symbols of all religions in one place as they do not have separate places of worship for different religions. Famous amongst tourists, a visit to this monumental structure will be an experience in itself. So, feel the spiritual vibe as you speculate the amazing architectural marvel of the Indian Army. Photography is strictly prohibited and thus the visitors are not allowed to carry their cameras inside. The EME Temple is easily accessible from anywhere in the city via local transport.
9:30 am – 6:00 pm (All weekdays except Sunday)
The Akshardham temple dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan is an example of fine craftsmanship. Established in the year 1992, the temple is one of the most prominent and the largest temples in the state of Gujarat. Made of pink stones, the Akshardham Temple is one of the most magnificent structures of modern India. This complex carved structure standing amidst green garden measures 108 feet in height, 240 feet in length and 131 feet in width. The temple’s campus has a herbal garden, lake, and waterfall. If you want to relax from the bustling city life then Akshardham Temple is surely a place to be in.
Visiting Hours: 09.30 am- 06.30 pm (Monday Closed)
Palitana lying 51 km south- west of Bhavnagar is well-known for its outstanding cities, beaches, wildlife and temples. The town is well connected by road and rail connecting all the other cities of Gujarat, especially Bhavnagar. Located on Shetrunjaya hills there are 853 Jain Palitana temples in Gujarat superbly carved in marble. Pilgrims climb around 3500 stairs to visit these temples situated at a height of 603 m. No one is allowed to sleep overnight here including the priest, as the temple city has been built as an abode of the God.
Visiting Hours: 06:00 am- 09:00 pm
The list of attractions in Gujarat is pretty long and exhaustive. Take your time to make the most of your visit in Gujarat.