To cover the entire Gujarat one require more than 10 days by road. The roads are good but distance to be covered is greater than that. Oh and just a heads-up, the best time to visit Gujarat is from November to Mid March. Anyway, on our road-trip we opted for the southern part of Gujarat and decided on the following locations:
- Diu (near but not in Gujarat, a union territory)
Once I moved in Gujarat, the roads made me more comfortable and the journey of 2000kms became more pleasurable. The roads were good atmosphere was ok (too hot in days but being a Rajasthani, we were used to this) specially near the beach.
Ahmedabad, a growing city is near to Gandhinagar the capital of Gujarat state (province). we remained in the outer area called Sarkhej, dotted by various five star hotels and malls it remain overall a good experience. But if you are in Ahmedabad, you cannot miss two things for sure, One is there food and another their ice-cream parlors. Gujaratis are found of food and have various variety to offer specially in the snacks category. Just walking in any store and you have endless option. My favorite is Phaphada with Papaya and the world famous Khaman-Dhokla.
Our next stay was at Dwarka, A religious city where Lord Krishna had ruled. It was his kingdom which sunk at the time of his death. The temple is old and is counted in the four DHAMS spread over the country and is also included in seven gracious temples of ancient. Anyways, It good to be there if you are religious and follower of Hinduism, otherwise the city can be dropped out as there is not much to do and not much to see either.
The next destination thereafter was Porbandar, the city where Mahatma Gandhi was born. His house is still intact and now has been converted into museum. Well we just stayed there for lunch and did not explored the city so not much to say about the city.
From there we moved to Somnath, again a religious city (Lord Shiva) and the best part of the journey was the coastal highway and trust me it gave us some amazing views.
Somnath has a long history of being looted and rebuilt. Many rulers specially Islamic rulers have come and ruined the temple and after some decades it was rebuilt by the kings ruling the area. The temple is good and is located on the shore. a peaceful and relaxing place. The history of the temple can be known by visiting the light and sound show organized at the backyard of the temple every evening. The best place to stay in this city was the VIP guest house of the temple which is built by Kokila Ben Trust (Reliance Group) and is run by the temple authority.
Next day we moved to Gir Forest National Park – the home of the Asiatic Lion. While crossing the countryside we cam across various mango farms and were very lucky to find mangoes on the trees. We halted at one of those garden and ate the raw mangoes. The mango in this area is known for sweetness and is being exported to various countries. They were really amazing.
Gir Forest National Park is always a fantastic wildlife destination known as the only place in the world where you can find Asiatic Lions freely roaming in the jungles. Show Me More!
After Gir we moved to Diu (a union territory not in Gujarat) and relaxed, enjoying the pleasant sunset there. We also entertained ourselves with a few water sports. And debated never returning back home.
After this we returned to Ahmedabad and completed our Loop. On the way we also visited Lothal, one of the ancient cities still rich in culture. The overall experience of Gujarat was good but not great. The goverment is doing well in advertising but still needs to work on the development and execution of increased tourism.