What is famous for shopping in Gujarat

Discover India: Gujarat

Gujarat in northwest India likes to call itself the Jewel of the West. Its history goes back to the time of the Harappa civilization in the Indus valley around 6000 BC. BC back. The ancient Greeks, Persians and Romans already had trade relations here. Mahatma Gandhi comes from Gujarat and depending on how this year's parliamentary election in India ends, the new Indian Prime Minister may come here. Because Narendra Modi, Chief Minister (Prime Minister) of Gujarat and top candidate of the BJP, has a good chance of winning the election according to the polls so far.

Gujarat is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east and the Arabian Sea and Pakistan to the west. The largest city is Ahmedabad, but the capital is the smaller Gandhinagar. Economically, Gujarat is one of the strong pillars of India.

The land of legends

As already mentioned, Gujarat is the birthplace of many freedom fighters in India such as Mahatma Gandhi or Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, resistance fighter and statesman, member of Nehru's interim government and organizer of Indian unity, whom Gandhi nicknamed "Sardar" (boss) because of his leadership qualities. But other freedom fighters, who are less known to us, also come from Gujarat.

Gujarat takes its name from the Gujjars, a ruling family that ruled from around 700 to 800. This was followed by the Solanki dynasty, during whose rule Gujarat achieved its greatest expansion in terms of area. After the Solanki Dynasty, there was a very long time when Muslims ruled Gujarat (and India). Ahmed I, the first independent Muslim ruler of Gujarat, founded Ahmedabad in 1411. In the 1570s, Gujarat was conquered by the great Mughal ruler Akbar. The British East India Company first followed in Surat in 1818. After India gained independence, Gujarat, which consisted of several princely states, merged with the Bombay State. On May 1, 1960, Bombay State was then divided into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Ahmedabad initially became the capital of Gujarat until the government moved to Gandhinagar in 1970.

Historic sites and monuments

Gujarat has an extremely interesting mix of historical and archaeological evidence from more than 4,500 years of human history. In Lothal you get incomparably good insights into the Harappan civilization. Ahmedabad is home to examples of Indo-Saracen architecture, there are countless Jain temples in Palitana, Buddhist cave temples can be found in Junagadh and architectural examples of the Rajputs scattered throughout the Indian state. In addition to being important and popular tourist attractions, these structures represent all of Asia's major religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Zoroastrianism (also known as Parsism), and Sikhism.

The oldest historical site in Gujarat is the ruins of Lothal, one of the first Indian ports that dates back to 1800 to 2400 BC. Can be backdated. Here you can still understand very well how far the town planning had progressed back then. Egyptians, Persians and Mesopotanians called at this port. Clay vessels, jewelry made of semi-precious stones and other relics from this period have been found here.

Vadnagar is famous for the Hatkeshwar Temple and its Torans, an ornate, fragile-looking gate from the 12th century. Two thin pillars made of red and yellow sandstone, a little more than 10 m high, support the head of the gate. This Torans is one of the few examples of this architecture that still exists. Perhaps it was once an entrance to a temple complex; However, no remains that confirm this thesis have been found.

Hatkeshwar Temple dates back to the 17th century. It is decorated with ornate stone carvings on the outside. B. show the nine planets, musicians or apsaras dancing.

The Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. It is home to an early Hindu city that has largely not yet been excavated, with a hill fortress, religious buildings, palaces and residential buildings from the 8th to 14th centuries.

There are many other cultural monuments in Gujarat, such as: B. many very well-preserved, beautiful stepwells such as the famous Rani ki vav in Patan and countless forts and palaces. But the nature of Gujarat also has a lot to offer.

Wildlife and nature

Gujarat is the only place in the world where the last wild Asiatic lions live. But in the Gir National Park, home of the proud big cats, the living conditions of the animals are obviously so good that the populations have increased significantly and in 2013 more than 100 young animals were counted for the first time. There are now plans to relocate some of the animals in Madhya Pradesh to national parks, as the lion population in Gir National Park is now a bit too high.

Gujarat has diverse landscapes and a correspondingly varied fauna to offer. There are dry forests, wide grasslands, wetlands and wet rainforests, and then of course the 1600 km long coastal landscape. Worthwhile excursion destinations for nature lovers are the already mentioned Gir National Park, the Little Rann of Kutch, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, which is famous for its wild donkeys, but also for the Indian wolves, desert foxes and Nilgai antelopes, or the underwater paradise Pirotan Island. Pirotan Island is part of Gujarat's Marine National Park, which consists of a total of 42 islands, of which only two are open to visitors to protect the marine flora and fauna. To visit Pirotan Island you need a permit from the Forest Department and the police (best to ask a tour operator).

Art, culture and way of life

Of course, Gujarat also has its very own culture. Art, music and dance, handicrafts and the lifestyle of the Gujarater have their very own touch. The fabric and fabric processing of Gujarat is world famous for its elegance and accuracy. The batik work of this region is said to be the best in India. Some of the most beautiful sari fabrics also come here. Patan's patolas are known for their colorful geometric patterns. Patolas are made using a unique dyeing and weaving technique that creates identical patterns on both sides of the fabric. There are also beautiful traditional jewelry or finely carved woodwork in Gujarat.

alcohol

Gujarat is one of the few Indian states where alcohol is banned. However, this only applies to Indians. With a non-Indian passport or a green card for Gujarat you can get an alcohol permit that is valid for one month. With it you can buy alcohol in the liquor shop in large hotels. As a foreigner, you can also do this by showing your passport, a flight or train ticket with which the trip is documented, and / or proof that you live in a hotel.

Regionally different customs, many festivals, different costumes in the individual regions and very good cuisine make Gujarat a varied travel destination.