ISKCON (International Society on Krishna Consciousness), otherwise known as the Hare Krishna movement, have established a temple in Ahmedabad as well. Sprawling over an area of four acres, the architecture of the temple is a harmonious blend of Gujarati Sompura and Rajasthani Khamira style. Well designed by the expert architects, the temple features the largest temple rooms in India, which can accommodate around 4000 devotees. Intricate marble work, beautiful murals, gorgeous columns, exquisite marble floors and designer walls of the temple are all the testaments to the devotion to this place of divinity.
Inside the temple, one can see idols of Radha-Govinda, Gaura-Nitai, Sita-Rama-Laksman-Hamuman, Sri Nathji, Jagannath Baladeva Subhadraji, as well as statues of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati. The ambience of the temple is very attractive, calm and peaceful.
Built in 1421 AD during the reign of Ahmad Shah, the Juma or the Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India. The mosque is built in a decorative Indian Persian-Muslim architecture and contains the tombs of the Muslim emperor, his wife and his sons.
The structure is built entirely in sandstone with intricate artistic carvings, sandstone meshes (jails) and pillars. According to the inscriptions, the mosque was intented to be used by the Sultans and their family.
Located at the banks of the Sabarmati River, the Ashram was established by the very hands of Mahatama Gandhi who resided here for 12 years. Sabarmati Ashram was known to be the focal point of the non-violent movement against freedom and also served as the base for the famous Salt Satyagrah.
According to the ancient Hindu texts, the ashram is said to be located on the ancient site where sage Dadhich sacrificed his ribcage to make weapons for the Gods.
A museum and exhibition centre dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial is housed in the Moti Shahi Mahal in Shahibagh. The memorial was built somewhere between 1618 and 1622 for the Mughal crown prince Khurram.
This memorial displays the Indian national flag designed by the Indian National Congress in the year 1930 and is one of major attractions of the museum. It also has portraits of Patel and his family and friends during the Indian struggle for freedom.
Ahmedabad’s striking architectural and religious sites are evidence of Hindu, Muslim and Jainism beliefs. Set at the banks of the Sabarmati River, the city of Amdavad proffers a plethora of archaeological sites that stand as a reminder of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
Visitors would admire the grandeur of the sculptures of the historical monuments that have been inspired from mythical creatures. One of the fascinating temples of the city is the revered Swaminarayan Temple. While there are several temples in the city, this is an important holy place as it was the earliest temples of the sect and the headquarters of the NarNarayan Dev Gadi, an administrative division of the Swaminarayan Sampraday.
Get ready to be chauffeured into the vintage era by paying a visit to World Vintage Car Museum. Auto World Vintage Car Museum in Ahmedabad is one of a best car museum in the world which houses a world-class collection of vintage cars, antique vehicles, utility vehicle, motorcycles, and buggies. Formed in the year 1927 by the General Motors India Ltd, the museum is a must visit tourist attraction in Ahmedabad. From the rare marques cars to ceremonial limousines to the romantic convertibles to the sports car, here one can find cars from all over the world of different ages and types.
Even after so many years of its formation, the museum houses has a sizable amount of vintage cars of famous brands like Mercedes, Maybach, Packards, Cadillacs, Cord, Lancias, Lincolns, etc. Also, there is a cafeteria in the museum, where one can see people of same interest chatting about their fetish for cars. These vintage cars contribute a lot to the heritage of India because many of these belong to Indian Maharajas.
Ghogha Beach is a great place for long walks. As this beach is not very developed from the viewpoint of commercial tourism, you won't find too many tourists hanging around the place. So, if you are looking for an offbeat destination where you will be able to unwind in complete isolation, Ghogha beach is the location you should be heading to. One can also visit Hazrat Pir Dargah and Barwada Masjid while in Ghogha. The ancient Barwada Masjid was built in 623 AD and is one of the oldest mosques in India. This mosque, therefore, predates all the other mosques in India whose mihrab faces Mecca. It also bears the oldest Arabic inscriptions in India.
Besides, the beach is famous for Ghogha - Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service. The ferry service takes one and half hour to travel between Ghogha in the Saurashtra region and Dahej in Central Gujarat. If you want to travel on the ferry along with your vehicle, one has to reach around an hour before the departure time as it was crowded all the time. The ferry service will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles (cars, buses, and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two ports.
Perched atop a small hillock, this all-marble temple in Bhavnagar is high enough to provide splendid views of the city and out onto the Gulf of Cambay. It is constructed in a Gujarati style with 18 ornate pillars, and a main hall before the sanctum which houses an idol of Lord Shiva.
Marble stairs offer access to devotees from the bottom of the hillock to the main courtyard of the temple. The temple doubles up as a ‘catch-up’ point for youngsters and regulars in the evenings. The breezy hill-stop offers a quiet oasis from the city’s din below.
Situated on the coast of the island, the Diu Fort was built by the Portuguese Governor Nuno-Da-Cunha between 1535 and 1541 AD. There are three main churches located within the fort- Church of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Paul's Church, and St. Thomas Church. Apart from the churches, there is also the Shiva temple, known as Gangeshwar Mahadev which is a very famous tourist attraction.
Venetian Gothic style bungalows and Havelis (mansions) which used to belong to upscale colonial Portuguese and Indian merchants are seen in the Makata bylanes, near the Zapata Gate of the fort. The fort also provides sea access for trade and commodities with Khambat, Bharuch and Surat in Gujarat.
Situated amidst serenity and scenic beauty, the Gangeshwar Temple is dedicated to the transformer of Hindu trinity, Lord Shiva. This ancient Hindu Temple is located 3 km away from Diu in the Fudam Village of Gujarat. Believed to have been built by the Pandavas, this temple is famous for its five Shiva Lingas, i.e. rocks in the shape of Lord Shiva which are present in the middle of the sea. Only the tip of these rocks can be seen whenever there is a high tide because the sea water submerges them.
Gangeshwar refers to Lord Shiva who is considered to be the Lord of River Ganga since it descended to earth starting from the tresses of Lord Shiva who is also the presiding deity of the Gangeshwar Mahadev Mandir.
INS Khukri Memorial is the memorial site of an Indian Naval Ship that sank during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. The submarine was destroyed on 9th December 1971 when torpedo shots were fired on it, sinking the ship 40 nautical miles off the coast of Diu. At the time of sinking, there were 18 officers and 176 sailors on board.
A memorial was set up to commemorate the brave martyrs in Diu comprising of a scaled model of INS Khukri enclossed in a glass case.
Located outside the city wall of the Diu Fort, the Naida Caves are a group of interlinked caves constructed by the Portuguese. The caves are only a short distance away from the Diu town and they feature a big network of tunnels with square hewn steps that remain completely unexplored. Naida Caves is one of the most underrated tourist attractions of Diu but it is as wholesome for an explorer or a history buff as for a photographer.
Naida Caves got their shape eventually after the Portuguese ruled over Diu and broke down sections of a huge rock formation that they used for construction. Interestingly, these caves were formed due to geological irregularities and natural processes over time. Naida Caves is slowly being recognized as one of the most magnificent attractions since prehistoric times. The caves also have a natural opening that lets in sunlight, making it photogenic. During the 20th century, when the Portuguese were not ready to leave Diu, Operation Vijay was launched to seize control by the Indian Army and several soldiers were stationed at the Naida Caves during that time.
A beautiful hillock located near the Chakritirath beach in Diu, offers its visitors a mesmerizing view of sunset from here. The hillock and the surrounding areas have been beautifully landscaped and illuminated. Chakratirth Beach is centrally located and contiguous to the Diu Town.
Visitors also go to the Khodidhar beach which is another sunset viewpoint.
Located along the Arabian Sea coast, the Dwarka Beach is a refreshing day out in the coastal holy site of Dwarka. Alongside beautiful lines of coral reefs, the Dwarka beach also sites some antique temples from 1100 to the 1200s.
Besides a line of food stalls, there are some colourful shells and beads stalls too.
Located on Devi road, the ISKCON Temple in Dwarka is yet another manifestation of the Krishna Consciousness. Housing idols of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha draped in rich attires and ornated in flowers, this is an entirely stone-built temple.
Although the ISKCON Temple does not stand out as much as the other ISKCON temple around the world, it does possess its own beauty and elegance. Viewable from the terrace of the nearby Dwarkadhish Temple, the Dwarka ISKCON temple hosts a guest house with over 20 rooms.
Located relatively on the outskirts, the Rukmini Mata Temple commemorates Lord Krishna’s queen. The temple is said to be more than 2500 years old but it may have been reconstructed over time. The present temple is said to belong to the 12th century. It is much more modest than Dwarkadhish in structure and sculptures but inspires the same devotional fervour. Carvings of gods and goddesses embellish the exteriors and the main idol of Rukmini is housed in the sanctum. Carved naratharas (human figures) and gajatharas (elephants) feature in the panels at the base of the platform. An interesting legend surrounds the different addresses for the temple of Lord Krishna and his Queen, Rukmini.
It is said that sage Durvasa requested Krishna and Rukmini to pull a chariot to take him to their house for a meal. On the way, when Rukmini asked for water to quench her thirst, Lord Krishna prodded the ground with his tow, and the River Ganges appeared. Rukmini quenched her thirst but forgot to ask the sage if he wanted a drink of water too. Durvasa felt insulted and cursed her that she would live separately from her husband
Considered to be more than 2000 years old, the Dwarkadhish Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and follows the Pushtimarg school that is based of strict guidelines laid down by a renowned devotional philosopher called Vallabhacharya.
It is believed that this temple was built on the grounds of the residence of Lord Krishna by his grandson Vajranabha. Along with Rameswaram, Badrinath and Puri, the temple is part of the famous Char Dham or the four pilgrimages that are considered to be the holiest of all temples in India. The city of Dwarka has become synonymous with Lord Krishna and the temple offers a rare focal point where mythology meets history.
The bridge will be an additional attraction for worshipers and tourists because it will be illuminated by LED lights and will connect the Jagat Mandir Shri Dhwarkadheesh with Panchnad Tirth (Panch Kui). Sudama Setu is dedicated to the name Sant Sudama who is a good friend of Shri Dwarkadhish. This is a new suspension pedestrian bridge built on the Gomti River. Which connects the island to mainland where Shri Dwarkadhish's temple is located. On the other hand the bridge is an extraordinary Dwarka beach with pure blue water. From there you can also have amazing sinquential views about Dwarkadhish Temple and Gomti Ghat along with City. Ride camels and ride a good bicycle to enjoy on the beach.
Throughout Setu this is one of Narayan Laksmi's temple and five Pandagas wells. The sea beach is about 200 hundred meters from this place. For photography, this setu and the surrounding area offers the best opportunities.
Twelve kilometres west of Sasan Gir village at Devalia, within the sanctuary precincts, is the Gir Interpretation Zone, better known as simply Devalia. The 4.12-sq-km fenced-off compound is home to a cross-section of Gir wildlife. Chances of seeing lions and leopards here are guaranteed, with 45-minute bus tours departing along the trails hourly.
You may also see foxes, mongoose and blackbuck – the latter being lion fodder. To reduce the tourist pressure on Gir National Park and to cater to tourists who are unable to get safari permits because of the crowds, the eco-tourism department of Gujarat created a distinct area known as the ‘Gir Interpretation Zone’, or the Devalia Safari Park.
Besides Africa, Gir National Park in Gujarat is the only place in the world where you can spot lions roaming free in the wild. The real discovery channel of India is situated approximately 65 Kms South East of Junagarh District. The Government notified the large geographical extent of Sasan Gir as wildlife sanctuary on 18th September, 1965 in order to conserve the Asiatic Lion. It covers total area of 1412 square kilometers of which 258 Km forms the core area of the National Park. Indiscriminate hunting by the people of Junagarh led to their decrease in population drastically, while they were completely wiped out from the other parts of Asia.
It was the kind effort of Nawabs of Junagarh who protected the queen royalty in his own private hunting grounds. Later in due course of time Department of Forest Officials came forward to protect the world’s most threatened species. From a population of approximately 20 lions in 1913, they have risen to a comfortable 523 according to 2015 census. There are 106 male, 201 female and 213 sub-adult lions in the wilderness of these four districts.
Devoted to Lord Vishnu, Laxmi Narayan Temple is roosted perfectly on the peaceful shores of Somnath. It is notable for its wonderful compositional plan that is loaded with complex carvings on its 18 columns. These carvings portray the holy messages of Krishna which are proliferated in Bhagavad Gita.
Drawing in various lovers consistently, the sanctuary is quite possibly the most well known spots to visit in Somnath. It is prestigious for being a perfect imitation of the Laxmi Narayan Temple which is in Badrinath. When visiting here, remember to savor some serene minutes while watching a splendid dusk on the banks of River Hiren.
The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat.Reconstructed several times in the past after repeated destruction by several Muslim invaders and Portuguese the present temple was reconstructed in Chaulukya style of Hindu temple architecture and completed in May 1951. The reconstruction was completed by Vallabhbhai Patel.
The site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times on account of being a Triveni sangam (the confluence of three rivers — Kapila, Hiran and Sarasvati. SomaMoon god, is believed to have lost his lustre due to a curse, and he bathed in the Sarasvati River at this site to regain it. The result is the waxing and waning of the moon, no doubt an allusion to the waxing and waning of the tides at this sea shore location. The name of the town Prabhas, meaning lustre, as well as the alternative names Someshvar and Somnath (“The lord of the moon” or “the moon god”) arise from this tradition
Suraj Mandir too is situated near the Triveni Ghats and is one of the few temples dedicated to the Sun God. There are depictions of elephants, lions and various other birds and animals in the temple.
This is one of the rare holy sites dedicated to the spirits of nature which are praised in the Hindu heritage and religion.
Refurbished into a corniche-style area for visitors, the Triveni Sangam marks the confluence of rivers Hiran, Kapila and the Saraswati, where they meet the Arabian Sea on the west coast. Triveni Sangam is said to be a place where Hindus can attain moksha or release from the cycle of life and death. One can see a number of people praying or just experiencing the spiritual atmosphere sitting by the stairs.
The fervour is often upstaged by hundreds of gulls that flock at the stepped ghats. The significance of the Triveni Sangam dates back to thousands of years ago when the rivers Hiran, Kapila and the Saraswati met here.