Gujarat

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Gujarat is the westernmost state in India. It is home to the Gujarati speaking people of India. The state encompasses major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization such as Lothal and Dholavira. Gujarat played an important role in the economic history of India throughout the history of India. It is home to major ports in India’s ancient and modern history, leading it to become one of the main trade and commerce center of India. Lothal one of the world’s first ports is located in Gujarat. Also Mahatma Gandhi, India’s father of the nation was born in Gujarat and led the Indian Independence Movement against British. Modern Gujarat has one of the fastest growing economies in India.

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Gujarat borders with Pakistan to the north-west, bounded by the Arabian Sea to the southwest, the state of Rajasthan to the northeast, Madhya Pradesh to the east, as well as Maharashtra, Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the south. Historically, the North was known as Anarta, the Kathiawad peninsula, “Saurastra”, and the South as “Lata”. Gujarat was also known as Pratichya and Varuna. The Arabian Sea makes up the state’s western coast. The capital, Gandhinagar is a planned city. Gujarat has an area of 75,686 sq mi (196,077 km²).

Cities

Below is a selection of eight of Gujarat’s most populated cities. Other cities can be found under their specific regions.

* Ahmedabad – Manchester of the East, Commercial Capital of Gujarat, Home of Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram and the World’s Finest and Breathtaking Textile Museum.

* Surat – Diamond city of India, Famous for Mouth Watering Surati Food.

* Vadodara or Baroda – Sanskari Nagari (Cultured City) and Oxford of Gujarat.

* Rajkot – Former capital of the state of Saraushtra.

* Bhavnagar – A busy industrial centre, base for journeys to nearby Shatrunjaya and Velavadar National Park.

* Jamnagar – Home to the world’s largest Grass-Root Refinery complex.

* Gandhinagar – Administrative capital of Gujarat, City of Akshardham Temple and Second planned Green City of India.

* Junagadh – City of ancient the Ashokan Stone Edicts.

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Other Destinations

* Dholavira – Harappan (Indus) Civilization Site.

* Champaner – UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

* Lothal – Well planed Harappan (Indus) Civilization Port.

* Rani ni Vav – A famous stepwell (1304 AD.)

* The Sun Temple Modhera – 1000 years old famous Sun Temple.

* The Somanath- Glory of the Somnath temple attracted Islamic looter (Mahmud of Ghazni). That time temple is so wealthy that it had 1000 priest and 300 musicians. The temple is located on beach of Arabian Sea.

* The Dwarka- The Dwarka is believed to have been built by Lord Krishna himself. The temple must have been erected during the period of Mughal Emperor, Akbar.

Gujarat is a dazzlingly diverse state that shakes up the know-it-all Indophile, and reveals treasures hidden from the tourist hordes. Gujaratis are famous for their entrepreneurship, both India and abroad. Encounter an Indian anywhere, from Wall Street to Wellington, and there’s a good chance they hail from this wealthy, resourceful state. There are many significant sites of God Krishna’s life lie along the coast of Saurashtra.The geographic diversity and strategic location has made Gujarat home to an incredible diversity of people. With 20% of the country’s total industrial output, it is the most industrialized state in India.

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People

About 89% of the population of Gujarat are Hindu. Muslims account for 9% and Jain 1% of the population. Most of the Gujarati people are strict “vegetarians”. Amongst Hindus the deity of Krishna is famously worshipped in His form of Shrinathji throughout Gujarat. Since Gujarat being a heavily industrialized state of India, attracts lots of outsiders from various parts of India.

Weather

The Winters are mild, pleasant, and dry with average daytime temperatures around 83 °F(29 °C) and nights around 53 °F(12 °C) with 100 percent sunny days and clear nights. The Summers are extremely hot and dry with day temperatures around 115 °F(46 °C) and at night no lower than 90 °F(34 °C) with sunshine. The time just before the Monsoon, the temperature are similar to Summer but now there is high humidity which makes the air feel hotter. Relief comes when the monsoon season starts around in mid June. The day temperatures are lower to around 100 °F(38 °C) but humidity is very high and nights are around 80 °F(27 °C). Winter (October to March) is best time to travel in Gujarat.

Beaches

Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach – Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach is situated on the coastline of the state of Gujarat and is one of the finest beaches in India. It is located in Ahemdpur Mandvi, which is the historic port town of Maharao of Kutch.

Chorwad Beach – Chorwad Beach of Gujarat is another splendid beach situated on the west coast of India. It is situated at a distance of 66 km from Junagadh. Chorwad has a high potential of attracting both domestic as well as international tourists. The beach constitutes of rocky hills and presents opportunity for thrilling boat rides.

Diu Beach – Diu beach is situated off the Saurashtra coast and is connected to the state of Gujarat via a causeway. Diu is a secluded island and does not have much population. This makes it the place ideal for a serene vacation, away from the worries of daily life.

Gopnath Beach – Gopnath Beach is situated in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. It comes into Talaja Taluka. It is located on the coast of the Gulf of Kambhat, at a distance of 75 km from the city of Bhavnagar. and 22 km. away from Talaja. Gopnath is a pristine beach known for its natural beauty. There is nice fort of king of Gohilvad in Gopnath.

Kutch Mandvi Beach — Kutch Mandvi is an important beach in Gujarat, situated at Mandvi. Mandvi is the historic port town of Maharao of Kutch, located at a distance of 75 km from Bhuj. Kutch Mandvi was once inhabited by the Maharao of Kutch and was an important seaport.

Umbergam Beach – Umargam is about 6 km from Umargam Road railway station on Mumbai-Surat rail section . This region was part of Thane district prior to creation of Gujarat in 1960.

Umargam is situated on the southern bank of Nargol creek. It was a small village about two centuries ago, serving as a transit point for exporting marine products from the fishing port Nargol on the Northern Bank of the creek.

TITHAL Beach (Valsad) tithal beach 5 km from Valsad. It is only beach of the world which has only temple which is on the shore of Beach

Transportation

Railway

Gujarat comes under Western Railways of Indian Railways. Ahmedabad is the busiest railway station in Gujarat. Indian Railways is planning Delhi-Mumbai dedicated rail freight route passing through the state. Government of India is also planning $100 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project on the lines of this freight corridor. Delhi-Mumbai corridor it has good four lane road and one Ahmedabad-Baroda express way.

Airports

Gujarat has ten airports, the most of any Indian state as per the list of airports in India. All are domestic airports except Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, which also offers international flights.

International Airport

* Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (Ahmedabad)- Many domestic as well as international flights operate from here.

Domestic Airports

* Bhavnagar Airport – Bhavnagar Airport, 9 km from the city of Bhavnagar.

* Bhuj Airport – In the Bhuj city of Gujarat. This airport has been recently been named Shyamji Krishna Verma, Bhuj Airport.

* Jamnagar Airport – 10 km from the City of Jamnagar.

* Kandla Airport (Gandhidham) – situated at Kandla, near Gandhidham, in Kutch district.

* Keshod Airport (Junagadh) – Keshod Airport is found 3 km from Keshod city in Junagadh District.

* Porbandar Airport – is situated 5 km from the city of Porbandar.

* Rajkot Airport – 4 km from the city of Rajkot.

* Surat Airport – This domestic airport of Gujarat was recently inaugurated in Surat, on Magdalla Road.

* Vadodara Airport – Another domestic airport can be found near Vadodara city in Gujarat.

* Zalawad Airport – Future Airport for Surendranagar area.

* Mehsana Airport – Meshana Airport is found 2 km from Meshsana city

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Local transportation

Bus

One of the most popular public transports in Gujarat is the City Bus. The only problem that can surface with the city buses is that the bus numbers and the route information is given in Gujarati. Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) is the primary body responsible for providing these services. It is a public transport corporation providing bus services and public transit within Gujarat and to the other states in India. Apart from this, there are a number of services provided by GSRTC.

* Mofussil Services — It connects major cities, smaller towns and villages within Gujarat.

* Intercity Bus Services — It also connects major cities — Ahmedabad, Vadodara (Baroda) and Rajkot.

* Interstate Bus Services — It connects various cities of Gujarat with the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

* City Services — GSRTC also provides city bus services at Surat, Baroda, Rajkot, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, within the state of Gujarat.

* Parcel Services — This service is used for transporting goods.

Apart from this, the GSRTC provides special bus services for festivals, industrial zones, schools, colleges and pilgrim places.

Auto Rickshaws

Auto rickshaw is an important and frequently used mode of transport in Gujarat. Government is promoting CNG Auto rickshaw to reduce pollution.

Eat

Gujarat is haven for Vegetarian (Lacto-vegetarian) People. Approx. 80% people of Gujarat eat vegetarian foods only. It is very famous for variety of vegetarian and quality food. There are hundreds of Lacto – vegetarian foods verities are offered across Gujarat. Rotli (Chapati/Puri) , Shaak (Subzi/Vegetables/Curries), Mithai (Sweets), Rice and Dal are parts of Standard Gujarati Thali (Meal) in Restaurants. It might be little difficult to find non-vegetarian restaurant in Gujarat.

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District(s)         26

Established       1 May 1960

Capital             Gandhinagar

Largest city       Ahmedabad

Governor          S.C. Jamir (acting)

Chief Minister   Narendra Modi

Legislature (seats)         Unicameral (182)

Language(s)      Gujarati

Time zone         IST (UTC+5:30)

Area     196,024 km2 (75,685 sq mi)

ISO 3166-2     IN-GJ

Website            www.gujaratindia.com