Somnath-Temple

Somnath, Gujarat – One of the very ancient temples of India and stands as a famous landmark in the Indian history

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Somnath Temple is one of the very ancient temples of India located in Gujarat and stands as a famous landmark in the Indian history. Somnath Temple is located about 79 kilometers from Junagadh in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval and the most legendary temples of the western coast of India. Somnath Temple is the ideal sacred place of the Hindus that survived the ravages of time. Study of history reveals that the Somnath Temple was invaded by the different conquerors who came to India whereby some looted its wealth and others destroyed some parts of it. Many legends are attached to the Somnath Temple regarding its origin and existence.

The other names of this famous Somnath Temple are Deo Pattan, Prabhas Pattan, or Somnath Pattan. In the past, the Somnath Temple was known as the treasure trove of wealth and goodies, that were looted away by Muslim rulers. The Somnath Temple is an ideal example of the ancient Indian temple architecture. The Somnath Temple is home to one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’, which is considered to be the most sacred lingas in the Hindu pantheon.

It was believed that the Somnath Temple or Somnath Pattan was popular even in the ancient times. Revenues were collected from 10,000 villages to maintain the Somnath Temple. The temple was visited by the people from all parts of the country even in the ancient times.

The Somnath Temple is known as the eternal shrine whose glory and fame are legendary. It is believed that Somraj, the moon god, built the Somnath Temple or the Somnath Pattan out of gold. It was rebuilt by Ravana in silver. Again Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu built it in wood. Further in the 10th century it was rebuilt in stone by King Bhimdev Solanki.

Places to see at Somnath: The site serves as a base for a number of religious places. These include:

Somnath Temple 

The first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the god Shiva, the Somnath Temple is located in the western coast of Gujarat. The temple stands at the shore of the Arabian ocean on the western corner of Indian subcontinent in Gujarat State. This is one of the oldest hindu pilgrimage and finds its reference in the ancient texts like Skandpuran, Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran etc. The  shore  temple of Somnath is  believed  to  have  been  built  in  4  phases-in  gold  by  Lord Soma,  in  silver  by  Ravi,  in wood  by  lord  Krishna  and  in  stone  by  King Bhimadeva. The temple has to withstand the six-repeated attacks by the Muslim invaders. The very existence of this temple is symbol of reconstructive spirit and cultural unity of our society.The seventh existing temple is built in the Kailas Mahameru Prasad style. The Iron man of India Sardar Shri Vallabhbhai Patel is the pioneer of the existing temple. The temple consists of Garbhgruh, Sabhamandap and Nrityamandap with a 150 feet high Shikhar. The Kalash at the top of the Shikhar weighs 10 tons and the Dhwajdand is 27 feet tall and 1 foot in circumference.

Rudresvara Temple

Rudreshvara Temple is a ruined temple located near the Somnath temple. This temple dates from the same time as the SomnathTemple and was laid out in a similar fashion. The sculptures on the walls and doorways give an indication of what the SomnathTemple was like.

Prabas Pata Museum

The Prabas Pata Museum is strikingly laid out in courtyard centered rooms and contains interesting remains of the previous temples, with lots of beautiful fragments, including an elaborate 11th century ceiling.

Bhalka Tirth

Bhalka Tirth is situated halfway between the Veraval and Somnath. At this place, the Lord Krishna was mistaken for a deer and wounded by an arrow. The legendary spot is at the confluence of the three rivers. This place is entered through the small Sangam (confluence gate), known as the Nana. North of this sacred spot is the Suraj Mandir or Sun Temple. This ancient temple was destroyed by the Mahmud of Ghazni. The temple, with a lane of lions with elephant trunks, probably dates from the same time as the Somnath temple.

Treeveni Sangam Snanghat

The holy confluence of three river Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati and their sangam with ocean is very sacred moksha tirtha for Hindus. The bathing facilities are being renovated by Shree Somnath Trust with the assistance of State Government in the fond memory of Shree Morarjibhai Desai, the Ex-Prime Minister and Chairman of Shree Somnath Trust.

Nearby attractions from Somnath: From here you can make excursions to places like:

Shardapith Math

Located within the premises of the Dwarka Temple, Sharda Matha or Peetha (religious seat) is the first amongst the four cardinal mathas. It is also known as the Kalika Matha, and as per the tradition initiated by Adi Shankara, is in charge of the Sama Veda. The wall paintings illustrate incidents from the life of Shankaracharya, while carvings on the inner surface of the dome depict Shiva in various stances. It has the temples of Shardamba and Chandramaulishwer Mahadev nearby. The Matha also runs an educational society, an arts college and a Sanskrit Academy which prepares scholars for doctorates in Sanskrit and Indology.

Hinglaj mataji Mandir

Hinglaj mataji mandir is situated in Hinglajpura village. nearest Mehsana district,Gujarat. This Teerath is famous and old in human history. The devotees from all part of the world used to come for Hinglaj Mataji, even the Hindu’s Ram Avatar.Great Saint Guru Gorakh Nath,  Great Saint Guru Nanak Sahib, Dada Mekhan, Avtar of Laxman, and other great Saints, Rishes and Hindu scholars paid visits to Hinglaj Teerath Hinglajpura. People that experience possessions by the goddess Hinglaj maa are said to sprinkle vermilion (red powder) from their hands. That is believed to be the miracle of Maa Hinglaj. They say that she cures all diseases and relieves the distressed. Hinglaj Mataji, is not very well known of or herd about because of her temple being situated in Hinglajpura, mehsana, gujarat. she has helped many devotees overcome challenges and follow the path of righteousness. There are many myths of Hinglaj Mataji; however one seems most interesting to her personality. it is beautiful temple, nearest my village gambhu, also maguna, motap,   bodla, devinapura, laljinagar, deloli etc.

Lord Krishna charan Paduka

Shri Somnath is Harihar teerth. On one side there’s Shiv Jyotirlinga, and on the other side, just some distance away there’s a place from where Shri Krishna commenced his journey to Golokdham( a place of Shri Krishna’s disappearance, or a place from where Shri Krishna took departure). Shri Krishna’s disappearance took place on the bank of river Hiran in Somnath on Chitra Sud Ekam day in 3102 B.C. Shri Krishna’s Mandir and Charan Paduka(foot print) is even today present at this place. Shri Balramji also converted into Shesh Naag with Shri Krishna at this place only. There’s Dauji ni gufa(cave) and symbol of Shesh Naag present at this place. A day of Shri Krishn’a departer to Golok Dham journey will be marked on Chaitra Sud Ekam ( 4th March) this year.

Sun Temple

The Sun Temple, Modhera is located at Modhera in Gujarat. It is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya and situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. In the present times, prayers are not offered in this temple. The Sun temple is of unique architectural style and comprises of three separate, axially aligned and integrated elements: Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap.

Things to do at Somnath: In this holy land you will enjoy a feeling of ecstasy as if you are nearer to God. Pay homage to the different temples here.

Best time to visit Somnath: The best time for visiting the place is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport to Somnath is Koshed (55 km) and Diu (90 km), but this airport is connected to Mumbai only. Taxi fare from Diu to Somnath is about Rs 2000. International travelers have to get connecting flights from Ahmedabad or Mumbai international airport, which is at a distance of 400 km and 887 km respectively from Somnath. Both Ahmedabad and Mumbai are well linked with all major cities in India and many cities in abroad.

By Train

Veraval in Konkan line is the nearest railhead, which is only just 5 km away and is connect to cities like Mumbai (Vrl Bct Pass Ex), Ahmedabad (Somnath Express) and Vadodra (Mum Rajdhani). Direct trains are not available from Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. You have to Ahmedabad first and then board Somnath Express from there.

By Road

State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect Somnath to various cities in Gujarat and outside.

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Where to stay ?

 The accommodation facilities here are adequate. Some options are:

Hotel Shiv Sadan: +91-02876-245185,  6210000  Website: www.hotelinsomnath.blogspot.in
Hotel Shri Hari : +91-02876 – 232155  Website: www.hotelshreeharisomnath.com
Hotel Ambar, “The Comfort Hotel”: + 91-0 2876- 231358  Website: www.hotelambar.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Dwarka

Dwarka, Gujarat – The land of Lord Krishna, famous for the Dwarkadish temple

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An important Hindu pilgrimage city Dwarka, is also known as the Kingdom of Lord Krishna. Being one of the four major pilgrim places for Hindus, the city is a part of the “Char Dham” Yatra. Many tourists and devotees visit this city throughout the year.

Places to See in Dwarka: The city of Dwarka is famous mainly for its temples as the place is of mythological significance. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Dwarka are:

Somnath Temple

The Somnath Temple represents one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and refers to the protector of Moon God. The temple is situated in Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval. The temple has been destroyed and reconstructed six times and thus, it is known as ‘The Shrine Eternal’.

Dwarka Light House

Dwarka Lighthouse is located at Rupen Creek. In 1866, the 18 m tall square tower was constructed at this site, along with an installation of an oil wick lamp. The present day tower is around 43 metres high and was built between 1960 and 1962. The lighthouse was inaugurated on July 15, 1962. From the lighthouse, people can see the panoramic views and lovely sunsets. The place is open to tourists in the evening from 4:30 pm to 6 pm and the admission fee is free.

Dwarkadish Temple

The Dwarkadish Temple which is also known as the Jagat Temple was built in the 16th century. The original temple was constructed by King Vajranabha, the great grandson of Lord Krishna. The five storied temple is constructed using sand and limestone with a 70.5 metres high spire and has a platform area of 1800 sq. ft. The temple comprises of a shrine and has a temple dome with a 24 m long multi-colored flag, with symbols of sun and moon.

Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple

The Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple is also known as the Nagnath temple and is situated in the outskirts of Dwarka. It’s a famous Lord Shiva Shrine in India and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas mentioned in the Shiva Purana. The lingam enshrined in the temple is of Nageshwara Mahadev, who symbolizes protection from all kinds of poison. The main highlight is the giant statue of Nageshwara Mahadev Shiva Lingam. The temple is unique as the Shiva Lingam faces south and the Gomugam faces east. The Shivaratri festival is celebrated at this temple in grand style at this temple and is attended by thousands of devotees.

Rukshamanee Mandir

The Rukshamanee Mandir is dedicated to Devi Rukmani, the wife of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna had 16,108 wives and Devi Rukmani was his favourite. The temple walls features a variety of paintings from the 12th century. The paintings capture the time spent by Devi Rukmani and Lord Krishna. A marble deity of Devi Rukmani, with four hands or ‘Chaturbhuja’ is placed in the temple. These hands clasp Shanka, Chakra, Gada and Padma, symbolizing her as the reincarnation of Goddess Maha Lakshmi.

Beyt Dwarka

The Beyt Dwarka is an island located around 30 km from the main town of Dwarka. The temple was built by Sri Vallabhacharya and is over 500 years old. The island is enclosed by a few temples, white sand beach and coral reefs. The key temple at the island is of Lord Krishna, which is said to be placed at a site which was once the residence of Lord Krishna and His family. There are addition temples on this island. The street which leads to these temples remain crowded with vendors selling idols, local crafts, etc. The beach is also popular among tourists for its marine life, water sports, sea excursions, camping and picnics.

Gomati Sangam Ghat

The Gomati Sangam Ghat is a sacred place where the river Gomati flows. The ghat can be reached from the Swarga Dwar of the Dwarkadish Temple by climbing down 56 steps. There are more than 12 ghats on the river Gomati and the point where the river meets the ocean is known as the Gomati Sangam. It is considered sacred to take bath at this point. The Ghat has many temples and smaller shrines of Lord Krishna and his friend Sudama. The temples can be reached by hiring a boat.

Gita Mandir

The Gita Mandir temple was built in 1970 by the industrialist family of Birla. The temple is built using marble and protects the values and teachings of ‘Bhagavad Gita’, the religious book of Hindus. The temple walls are carved with hymns from Bhagavad Gita and the temple ceiling is designed in a special way so that every voice in the hall is echoed.

Nearby attractions from Dwarka: Dwarka is a good base to make excursions to a number of places like:

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga

Legend has it that a devotee of Lord Shiva by name Supriya, was attacked by a demon called Daaruka, while in a boat and that the demon imprisoned him along with several others at his capital forest called Daarukaavana, where he resided with his wife Daaruki. Lord Shiva came in the form of a Jyotirlinga and vanquished the demon with the Paasupata   Astra. The Sivalinga is facing south like Mahakaaleshwar Ujjain, with the Gaumukh facing East. There is a legend for this position. Another specialty of this linga is that unlike the other Shivalingas, which are made of black stone and look like a neat circular pillar rounded off at the top, this one is made of a stone known popularly as Dwaraka Shila, which has small chakras on it. The shape of the linga is more or less like a Oval Three mukhi Rudraksha. The place is 20 km from Dwarka.

Okha

Okha is a small port at the head of the Gulf of Kutchand is about 30 kms north of Dwaraka. The island nearby is connected with the legend of Vishnu slaying the demon.

Things to do in Dwarka: Paying homage to the Dwarkadwish temple is the prime activity here.  Besides the Dwarka is the land of Lord Krishna in this serene land just close your eyes and forget about all the problems and think of Lord Krishna.

Best time to visit Dwarka: The best time to visit Dwarka is during the months from October to June.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is located at Ahmedabad which is about 216 kms from Dwaraka and well connected to all major cities in India.

By Rail

Dwarka railway station in the Ahmedabad – Okha rail route is connected to other major railway stations. Tourists can take trains from Ahmedabad (Gorakhpur Exp), Delhi (Uttaranchal Exp), Mumbai (Saurashtra Mail), Kolkata (Okha Howrah Exp) and Bangalore (Vivek Express).

By Road

Dwaraka is easily connected with various cities of Gujarat. It is about 216 kms from Ahmedabad and 798 kms from Mumbai via Ahmedabad.

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Where to stay ?

Dwarka has a wide range of accommodation facility. Some options are:

Toran Tourist Bungalow (TCGL): +91-02892 -234013
Hotel Dwarka Residency:+91- 02892- 235033
Hotel City Palace:  +91-0287-6231451 Website: www.hotelcitypalacedwarka.com
Hotel Nand Nandan: +91-02892 – 235040 Website: www.hotelnandnandan.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kankaria Lake

Ahmedabad, Gujarat – Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, it is a startling metropolis with a long history of India’s freedom struggle

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Ahmedabad, is the largest city and former capital of the western Indian state of Gujarat. Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, it is 30 km from the state capital Gandhinagar. The city was built by Nawab Ahmed Shah in 14th century and hence derives its name.

Places to see at Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad is an ideal base to explore a number of tourist attractions. These includes:

Gandhi Ashram

Gandhi Ashram is established by Mahatma Gandhi on a quiet stretch of the Sabarmati river in 1917. During the lifetime of Mahatma Gandhi it was known as Satyagraha Ashram and was the center of India’s freedom movement. It was from here, in 1930, that the Mahatma began his famous “Dandi March” to the sea to protest against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. ‘Hridaya Kunj’, the simple cottage where he lived, is preserved as a National Monument. A Gandhi Memorial Centre, a Library and a Sound-and-Light spectacle offer an interesting display of the Mahatma’s life and work.

Science City

Located at the Sarkhej Gandhinagar Highway, Science City is an ambitious initiative of the government of Gujarat to trigger an inquiry of science in the mind of a common citizen with the aid of entertainment and experiential knowledge. Covering an area of more than 107 hectares, the idea is to create imaginative exhibits, virtual reality activity corners, and live demonstrations in an easily understandable manner. Currently the 3D Imax theater, musical dancing fountain, energy park and simulation rides interest visitors.

Jumma Masjid

Jumma Masjid of Ahmedabad is one of the most beautiful mosques in India. It was built in the year 1423 by the founder of the city, Sultan Ahmed Shah, and is located in the old city. Built in yellow sandstone, this monument is capable of outshining any other monument of Ahmedabad. Jama Masjid is a fine example of Indo Saracenic architecture, with the special touch of the Sultan himself. It presents an extraordinary blend of Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture.

Rani Roopmati Mosque

Named after the Hindu wife of Sultan Mohmed Beghara, Rani Rupmati’s Masjid in Mirzapur was built between 1430 to 1440 A. D. It has three domes supported by pillars with the central dome slightly elevated so as to allow natural light into the mosque. The mosque has richly carved minarets, balcony windows and perforated stone lattices. Its three domes are linked together by a flat roof. However, the mosque and tomb of Rani Sipri at Astodia surpasses it for its planning, structural arrangement richly carved minarets. Popularly known as Masjid-e-Nagina, this mosque is the most exquisite gem of Ahmedabad.

Jhulta Minara

Known as Shaking Minaret or Jhulta Minar, this is an epitome of historic architecture. When one minarets is shaken the other one begins to vibrate. The mosque was built by master craftsmen and the crucial mechanism that causes the vibration is still a mystery.

Sardar Patel National Memorial

Sardar Patel National Memorial is one of the most important buildings in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat. It is a museum as well as an exhibition center, dedicated to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It is located in the Moti Shahi Mahal, in Shahibag area.

Vaishnodevi Temple

 A popular temple of goddess Vaishno devi located on S.G.Road (Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway). It is modeled based on Vaishno devi temple situated in Jammu & Kashmir. It can be seen crowded everyday, and on weekends devotees from all over the India visits this temple. Located on Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway Vaishno Devi temple boasts of huge crowd round the year that includes devotees and tourists as well. Principle deity being Vaishno Devi the temple is considered to be a true replica of the famous temple in Jammu & Kashmir for what devotees of Goddess Vaishno Devi flocks here round the year. The only difference between the two is that one at Ahmedabad can be visited with in a couple of hours. The Vaishno Devi temple of Ahmedabad also remains flooded with followers during Navaratri and is decorated beautifully when the devotee offers coconut, clothes, fruits, rice etc. The temple draws huge crowds of devotees from all over India.

Hutheesing Jain Temple

This remarkably elegant temple created out of white marble has been sacred to many Jain families, generation after generation. It was built in 1848 A.D. at an estimated cost of 10 lakh rupees by a rich merchant Sheth Hutheesing as a dedication to the 15th Jain tirthankar, Shri Dharmanatha. Traditional artisans working in stone belonged to the Sonpura & Salat communities. The Salat community constructed masterpieces of architecture ranging from forts, palaces to temples. The work of the Hutheesing Jain temple is attributed to Premchand Salat. One scholar has remarked, “Each part goes on increasing in dignity as we approach the sanctuary. Whether looked at from its courts or from the outside, it possesses variety without confusion and an appropriateness of every part to the purpose for which it was intended.”

Kankaria Lake

Kankaria is one of the most popular and favorite tourist attraction in Ahmedabad. It is a circular lake constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutubub-Din. In the center of the lake is an island garden with a summer palace known as Nagina Wadi. The lake is a popular recreation center, surrounded by parks, ‘Bal Vatika’, an aquarium, a boat club, a natural historical museum and a zoo. The local authority has recently done wonderful changes to the surroundings with the whole perimeter blocked for vehicular traffic to make it wholly a walkway for the tourist to enjoy.

Nearby attractions from Ahmedabad: You can organize short trips to places like:

Lothal City

80 km from Ahmedabad, Lothal city is one of the well known cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization and is one of the primary sites of archaeology. Lothal was an important trade destination till 1900 BC. The most interesting sites here is the dockyard famous for maritime architecture of ancient world and the Sabarmati river just before its meeting with the sea in Gulf of Cambay. It is an example of Harrappan town planning.

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary

This sanctuary situated at a distance of 70 kilometers from Ahmedabad represents a pleasant lake with clear blue waters, named Nal Sarovar and a marshy plot which serves as the docking site of an entire caboodle of migratory birds that undertake a sojourn from Siberia to reach this wonderful locale in the winter.

Ranchhodraiji Temple

Dakor, 50 km from Vadodara and halfway to Ahmedabad, is famous for its Temple of Ranchodrai, a manifestation of Lord Krishna, and is a sacred place for the followers of Lord Krishna. The shrine of the Ranchhodraiji Temple has been enclosed in a huge square shaped complex, having four gates to the outer walls. The main door faces the Gomati River of India. The doors to the main Ranchhodraiji shrine remain open throughout the day, except for the afternoon time.

Things to do in Ahmedabad: The sight seeing is the primary activity worth enjoying in Ahmedabad.

Best time to visit Ahmedabad: The best time to visit Ahmedabad is during the winter season.

How to go ?

By Air

Ahmedabad Airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, which is about 14 km from the heart of the city. Airport is connected with all major cities in India and also with many cities in abroad, like Muscat, New York, London and Colombo. Pre-paid taxis are available in Airport.

By Train

Ahmedabad railway station is connected to many major cities including Mumbai and Delhi. It is connected to all major cities in Gujarat.

By Road

The closest metro is Mumbai. Bus services are available from Mumbai and also from all major cities in Gujarat.

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Where to stay ?

There are both budget and luxury hotels in Ahmedabad. Some options are: 

Toran Hotel: +91-079 -2755 9342
Ginger Hotels: +91-079 -6666 3333  Website: www.gingerhotels.com
The Pride Hotel: +91-079 3011 5555  Website: www.pridehotel.com
Hotel Balwas: +91 79 25507135  Website: www.hotelbalwas.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch, Gujarat – The white desert, an enormous stretch of natural salt pan

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Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was once an arm of the Arabian Sea. The land separated from the sea by geological forces and became a vast, featureless salty plain that gets flooded with water during the rains. It is a seasonal salty and marshy land located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat. The place is a blend of sea and desert and spans over an area of 7,505.22 sq.km. This is the largest salt desert in the world. It is said often that without visiting the Rann of Kutch your “Bharat Darshan” remains incomplete. Little Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh located near the Great Rann of Kutch.

Places to see at Little Rann of Kutch: The whitish sandy cracked horizon of little Rann consists mainly pricked cactus bushes. Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary also known as the Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary is primary attraction in the Little Rann of Kutch.  It spans over an area of 4954 km² and is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India. The sanctuary was established in the year 1972. It is the last space in the earth where the endangered wild ass sub-species Indian Wild Ass that belongs to the species of Asiatic Wild Ass Onager can be spotted. The two entrances to this sanctuary are Banjhana and Jhinjwada. Apart from the wild ass the Nil gai and various species of bird can be spotted here. The local and migratory water birds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sandgrouse, francolins and the Indian bustards will be visible to you in this wide area of Rann. The avid bird lovers will be specially attracted by the sight of MacQueen’s bustard and Sociable lapwing. It is also home to various unique mammals apart from wild ass and Nilgai, such as the Indian wolf, desert fox.

Things to do in Little Rann of Kutch: In the little Rann of Kutch you can enjoy the Cross desert horse ride and Camel safari (specially in the mesmerizing moonlit night).The unique handicrafts of Kutch are world famous. These are different types of embroidered cloths. Do carry atleast one specimen with you. The Rann Ustav festival organized by the Gujarat Tourism in mid December is a major attraction here. Hundreds of luxury tents are set up near the Gateway to Rann Resort at Dhordo for visitors, along with rows of food and handicraft stalls. Try to organize your trip during this time to get an authentic touch of the hospitality of Gujrat.

Best time to visit Little Rann of Kutch: The best time to visit this place would be between November and March. Woolen cloths in sufficient numbers are required during the winter months.

How to go ?

By Air

Ahmedabad Airport also called the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport is the nearest airport from the Rann of Kutch. Airport is connected with all major cities in India and also with many cities in abroad. Ahmedabad is only 90km from the Rann of Kutch. Private cars are available on hire from the airport.

By Train

Ahmedabad railway station is connected to many major cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar etc. Ahmedabad is only 90km from the Rann of Kutch. You can hire private cars to reach the destination.

By Road

The closest metro is Mumbai. Bus services are available from Mumbai and also from all major cities in Gujarat.

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Where to stay ?

Very few but luxurious accommodation options are available for staying. Some options are:

Rann Riders: +91-0 2757 280257, 280457 Website: www.rannriders.com
Kutch Rann Resort: www.kutchrannresort.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Jamnagar

Jamnagar, Gujarat – Place of unspoilt Islands & Beaches, Hills, Temples, Palaces, Forest, Bird Sanctuary & Marine National Park

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Jamnagar is the fifth largest city of Gujarat. It is the Jewel of Kathiawar, and is on the coast of Gulf of Kutch. Built by substantially by Maharaja Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji in the 1920s it was known as Nawanagar formerly. The city lies just to the south of the Gulf of Kutch and is 337 km west of the state capital, Gandhinagar.

Places to see in Jamnagar: The places of attractions of Jamnagar include:

Lakhota Palace and Ranmal Lake

The Lakhota Palace is situated on an island in the middle of the Ranmal lake in the shape of the large bastion. The palace once belonged to the Maharaja of Nawanagar. An arched stone bridge with decorative short pillars connects the LakhotaPalace with the town. It was constructed as a famine relief work in 1839-45 AD. This royal entrance gateway with carved jharokhas at upper level, overlooking the lake, with the distinct blank wall at the base, gives it a look of indestructible fortification. This palace now houses a museum and is a striking building with some fine woodcarving, good collection of sculptures, pottery found in the ruined medieval villages, coins, copper plates and inscriptions. The walls are adorned with frescos portraying the scenes of battle fought by Jadeja Rajputs against various enemies. The Renmal lake itself is a scenic breath of fresh air.

Kotha Bastion

The Kotha bastion has an old well used for drawing water by blowing into a small hole in the floor.

Solarium

Jam Ranjit Singhji constructed the Solarium under the supervision of the French Doctor Jean Saidman. The motorized movement was synchronized with the movement of the sun to provide maximum protection to the patients of TB, skin diseases and rheumatism.

Bala Hanuman Temple

At the Bala Hanuman Temple on the south eastern side of the Ranmal lake, there has been continuous chanting of the prayer Shri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram since 1 August, 1964. This devotion has earned the temple a place in the Guiness Book of World Records. Early evening is a good time to visit as the temple and whole lakeside gets busy.

Jain Temples

In the midst of bustling Chandi Bazaar are four beautiful Jain temples. The larger two, Shantinath Mandir and Adinath Mandir, is dedicated to the 16th and first Tirthankaras, in front of the post office near the Darbar Gadh, explode with fine murals, mirrored domes and elaborate chandeliers. The Shantinath Mandir is particularly beautiful, with coloured columns and a gilt-edged dome of concentric circles.

Ayurvedic University

The India’s only AyurvedicUniversity runs many courses in Ayurvedic medicines, including a full time 12 week introductory course teaching basic theory and medicine preparation, as well as diploma and degree courses. These courses are set up for foreign nationals with medical qualifications. Hatha Yoga, Massage, Steam bath and mud therapy can also be had here. It also has a good library and workshop and had been a place of research and international seminars on Ayurveda.

Bardar Sanctuary

Bardar Sanctuary is situated 16 kms. south of Jamnagar. Bardar Sanctuary is a gentle mountain range filled with crumbling temples and ancient town settlements. It makes for a fabulously isolated, out of the way road trip.

Darbargadh

The Darbargadh is the original residence of Jam Sahibs and has evolved over centuries. It reflects the fusion of Rajput and European architectural styles. Jam Rajit Singhji patronized two important urban design projects in front of the Darbargadh, namely Wellingdon Crescent and Chelmsford Market. The market in front of the Darbargadh – Wellingdon Crescent is a two storeyed arcade with semi-circular arches at both levels and decorative plasters terminating in balustrade.

Nearby attractions from Jamnagar: The excursions from Jamnagar is a must to the places like:

Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary

About 18 km northeast of Jamnagar, Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary lies on the Jamnagar coast in Gujarat. Spread over six sq km, the park is a paradise for birds as around 300 varieties of birds, both migratory and resident, are seen here. The small Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary is unique bird sanctuary. Encompassing the salt and fresh-water marshlands, this is a small bird sanctuary.  Lots of cranes come here from September to March. The best time to visit this sanctuary is during sunrise.

Marine National Park

About 55 km west of Jamnagar, Marine National Park has the distinction of being the first marine park in India and is blessed with a great diversity of habitats, coral reefs and mangroves. The park covers 163 sq km and is spread over an archipelago of 42 tropical islands. It is situated along the northern coast of Jamnagar district and southern coast of Kutch. The park area is part of the Marine Wildlife Sanctuary which is spread over 458 sq km.

Things to do in Jamnagar: Make a visit to the bird sanctuary to view different species of birds. Apart from that the place is also dotted with a number of water bodies like lakes, ponds where you can also catch a glimpse of the varied species of birds.

Best time to visit Jamnagar: The best season to visit Jamnagar is from October to January.

How to go ?

By Air

Jamnagar has a major airport that is located at a distance of ten kilometres from the main city. This airport caters to domestic flights, and regular flights will be available to the city of Mumbai.

By Train

Regular trains will be available from the cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore to Jamnagar, as the city has a major railway station.

By Road

Buses will be available from the city of Jamnagar to many other major cities in Gujarat like Surat, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. Both air conditioned and non air conditioned buses will be available to Jamnagar from Ahmedabad.

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Where to stay ?

Jamnagar is loaded with plenty of accommodation facilities. Some options are:

Hotel Regency: +91-0288-2551877, 2551977 Website: www.hotelregencyjamnagar.com
Hotel President: +91-0288 2557491, 2557492, 2558492, 2558493  Website: www.hotelpresident.in
Hotel Celebration: +91-0288-2555523, 2550777, 2662224, 25  Website: www.hotelcelebrationjamnagar.com
Hotel Ashiana: +91 – 0288 – 2559110, 0288 – 2559187 Website: www.ashianahotel.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Gir National Park

Gir Forest National Park, Gujarat – Renowned all over the world for being the only home for the Asiatic Lions

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The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Sasan-Gir) is a renowned wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat. Established in 1965, the park covers a total area of 1412 km². The park is located 43 km in the north-east from Somnath, 65 km to the south-east of Junagadh and 60 km to south west of Amreli. It is the only home of the Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) and is considered to be one of the most important protected area in Asia due to its supported species. It was declared as a national park in 1975. The park’s forested hilly terrain makes it a preferred habitat for the jackals, leopards, antelope, and deer that also live there. It’s home to crocodiles and over 300 species of resident birds as well.

Places to see at Gir Forest National Park: The forest is a home to a number of wild life species. Apart from this there are seven major perennial  rivers of the Gir region namely Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval. There is also a man made dam namely Kamaleshwar Dam which is a home to a large population of crocodiles.

Nearby attractions from Gir Forest National Park: You can easily make a short trip to places like:

Veraval (36 km)

The fishing port of Veraval is known for its dhow-building yard where massive hand-built seaworthy vessels are made. Once a port of the Nawab of Junagadh, it has old gates and historic buildings.

Junagadh (63 km)

Historically, Junagadh is one of the most interesting cities of Gujarat. Emperor Ashoka’s rock edicts here date to the 3rd century BC and there are also ancient Buddhist cave-sites dated to the Mauryan and Gupta Fort. The Uparkot Fort of the Chudasama Rajputs rises from a hilltop and has 11th century monuments inside the imposing battlements. Mystic poet Narsinha Mehta also lived in Junagadh and his monument is in the city. By the 19th century, the Nawabs of Junagadh rose to become affluent rulers and during their reign palaces, colleges, mosques, mausoleum complexes and a quaint railway station came up at Junagadh, all of which are worth seeing specially the palace museum. The city museum has archaeological finds and manuscripts. While in Junagadh, visit Sakkarbagh Zoological Park that is captive-breeding Asiatic lions and you could see ibises and other birds in the park.

Girnar (60 km)

This 3660-ft high hill rises on the outskirts of Junagadh with temples on ridges and on the summit. The 12th century Jain Temples are specially attractive with exquisite carvings.

Jetpur (90 km)

The textile town of Jetpur is known for its block and screen printing workshops and is good for shopping.

Diu Island (95 km)

Diu Island was once ruled by the Portuguese and is now a Union Territory. Popular as a beach destination, the island also has a 16th century Portuguese Fort, the impressive St Paul’s Church, DiuMuseum and old houses. Flamingos, storks and waders can be seen at the creeks of Diu.

Things to do in Gir Forest National Park: The safari trip toboth Gir National Park (known as Gir Jungle Trail) and Gir Interpretation Zone (Devalia Safari Park) is worth. If you miss the glimpse of lion in Gir national Park, don’t worry. You can opt for shorter visits at the Gir Interpretation Zone where you are sure to spot some lions.

Best time to visit Gir Forest National Park: The most popular time to visit Gir is from December to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Keshod, at a distance of 90 km from Sasan Gir; the other airport is Rajkot at a distance of 140 kms which is connected to all major cities in India like, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Bhopal etc.

By Rail

Sasan Gir has a railway station of its own, with train connections to a number of other cities and towns in Gujarat and its neighboring states. The towns of Junagadh, Veraval and Delwada have daily trains to Sasan Gir, from where the park is only about a km away.

By Road

Fairly good roads link the park to the rest of the country. Junagadh itself is only about 60 km from Gir, and there are frequent buses connecting the town to the park.

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Where to stay ?

Decent accommodation facilities are available in Gir National Park. Some options are:

The Fern Gir Forest Resort: +91- 226-739 -7777  Website: www.fernhotels.com
Sasan Gir Guest House: +91-0932-024-0024
Lion Safari Camp: +91-9971231439, +91-8826678881  Website: www.girnationalpark.in
Sukh Sagar Gir Resort, Anil Farmhouse Gir: www.girhotels.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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