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  Gujarat Introduction

Ahmedabad  Rajkot  Jamnagar Dwarka

Somnath Veraval

Sasan Gir Junagadh

On May 1 1960, as a result of the Bombay reorganization act, 1960, the state of Gujarat was formed from the north and west portion of Bombay.

Gujarat has always been a field for conquering and colonizing races. Ethnic and linguistic movements from the northern plains and the western ocean brought with them their own languages, arts and craft, poetry, thought forms, social practices, historical traditions, religious practices and philosophy.

Gujarat spread itself into the regions of Kutch, Saurashtra and the verdant territories between the rivers Banas and Damanganga. These are fertile land of wheat, cotton, groundnut and banana plantations. A large part of southern border of Gujarat is covered with hills, which are extensions of the Western Ghats lying outside the state.

The Gir Forest, the only place where Asian Lions are found, its recent association with Mahatma Gandhi, its fine Jain temples at Girnar and Patitana, Ahmedabad's rich and elaborate Indo-Serene architecture and colorful cultural scenario, make Gujarat an interesting state from tourists' point of view. 

General information  


50, 596, 992


196,024 sq km



Languages Spoken




People Per Sq. km




Best Season

October - March

Fair and Festivals

Janmashtami at Dwarka  
Dwarka, the abode of Shri Krishna. The temple, towering over the surrounding buildings was built 1400 years ago. It has several floors and is built of sandstone. The interior is simple while the exterior is covered with elaborate carvings. Janmashtami, the birthday of Shri Krishna, is celebrated with great splendour. Rows of lights are lit everywhere, kirtans and bhajans are sung, sermons are delivered and Krishna is worshipped in his infant form. Thousands of people go to Dwarka to visit the temple and participate in the fair. After visiting the main temple, devotees go to Shankhoddhar Beyt. There are some other important temples, both old and new. Among these is the temple of Shank-Narayan, dedicated to the Matsyavatar, the incarnation of Vishnu as a fish. This was constructed over 200 years ago.

Kite Festival  
The International Kite Festival is always held at Ahmedabad on January 14, to coincide with the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. It is a joyous day, with a bright sun, clear skies and breezes strong enough to lift innumerable kites aloft. It is in fact a celebration to mark the end of winter, when the heat of summer is still to come. Kites are flown all over Gujarat, and Ahmedabad and Baroda become cities of kite-flyers, when all other work is forgotten and cares are put aside for the morrow.

Kite-flying starts at dawn and continues without a pause throughout the day. Friends, neighbors and total strangers battle one another for supremacy and cries of triumph rend the air when someone cuts the line of a rival. A tremendous variety of kites is seen and the connoisseur can choose precisely what he wants. 

The Sun Temple, Modhera & Dance Festival
The ruins of the 11th century Sun Temple at Modhera in North Gujarat, are an impressive sight. It stands on a knoll in the village of Modhera, eighteen miles south of Anhilvad, the former Hindu capital of Gujarat. Modhera was evidently a site of great importance at one time. The style in which the temple was built bears a strong resemblance to that of the Jain temples at Mount Abu. The outer walls of the temple are covered with sculptures in which figures of Lord Surya are naturally prominent. The idea of the festival is to present classical dance forms in an atmosphere similar to that in which these were originally presented. The Dance Festival is held during the third week of January every year, after the festival of Uttarayan. 

Dangs Darbar  
One of the most delightful districts of Gujarat is the area known as The Dangs. Located high in the Satpurs hills, adjoining the borders of Maharashtra State.   
The Dangs Darbar is the name of the annual fair held in Ahwa (2000 ft from sea level) every year, a few days before Holi. The name 'Darbar' dates back to the time of the British, when a darbar of Rajas and Naiks of neighboring areas used to assemble there. Today it is also called the Jamabandi Darbar, and the District Collector officiates at it. Thousands of tribal people flock to Ahwa from all over the district, gaily dressed in lively colors, sounding the shehnai and beating their drums.

The Darbar today attracts merchants front as far away as Nasik, Surat and West Khandesh. Folk dances enliven the fair during the few days it lasts. The Education Department organizes folk dances, ras and garba program, songs and dramas. 

Bhadra Purnima  
On full moon days there is a virtual festival at Ambaji, but the full moon of Bhadrapad is one of the four most important festival days of the year, when agriculturists go to the temple in their thousands, along with members of the general public. There is a large fair on this occasion, while in the evening performances of Bhavai are held, and garba programs are organized. The devout attend readings of the Saptashati, the seven hundred verses in praise of the goddess, and visit the temple for an auspicious view, darshan, of her.

Shamlaji Melo (Kartik Purnima Fair)
The Shamlaji Temple is a renowned Vaishnav shrine, and the deity housed therein is known by various names including Gadadhar - bearer of the mace - and Shaksi Gopal. Archaeologically, the temple is of importance, as it was built in the 11th century. This is also called the Kartik Purnima Fair and is held during the month of November, every year. It lasts for about two weeks. During this period, nearly 200,000 people of all communities and castes including the Garasias & Bhils, visit the fair.

Trinetreshwer Mahadev Fair
The Trinetreshwer Mahadev Fair at Tarnetar, near the industrial town of Thangadh, Saurashtra, is one such fair. It is believed that the fair has been held on this ancient site since antiquity. The fair is linked with the story of Draupadi's swayamvar and it is said that it was at this place that the great archer Arjuna performed the difficult task that won him his bride. A pole was erected in the center of the kund and a fish was kept rotating at the top of the pole, at top speed. The contestant was supposed to climb up, balance himself with one foot on each of the two scales suspended there and looking at the reflection of the fish in the kund, pierce its eye with an arrow. 

Over 300 stalls are set up on the fair site, selling numerous objects and offering various types of food and refreshments. There are exhibitions of embroidery, a cattle show, and competitive sports. The famous ras, garba and hudo are features of the fair.  

Bhavnath Mahadev Fair
The fair during Mahashivaratri is held for five days and takes place during February, and the events associated with it are colorful indeed. The mahapuja of Lord Shiva takes place at midnight, in this temple, on the 14th day of the dark half of the month of Magh. When the puja starts, naga bavas (naked sages) living nearby move towards the fair seated on elephants, holding flags, and blowing conch shells, sounding tungis and turis. It is firmly believed that Lord Shiva himself visits the shrine on this occasion. Girnar is said to be the abode of the nine Nathas, who are immortal, and eighty-four siddhas or spiritually elevated souls all of whom also visit the temple, in their invisible spiritual bodies.

Art and Handicraft

Silver Craft  
The silver craft is a specialty of Katch, in which light embossing is done on thin silver plates and is enhanced by etching and scrapping. Attardanis (Perfume pots), gulabdanis (Rose pots), flower-vases, trays, jewelry boxes, powder-boxes, ashtrays and cigarette-boxes are some of the articles of silver craft.

The folk jewelry of excellent designs, characteristic of each village and each community is a typical art of Gujarat. Silver jewelry is always in great demand with Rajkot and Ahmedabad being centers for silver ornaments. For classic chunky tribal jewelry, you should visit Poshina, en route from Ahmedabad to Mt. Abu, where silver and imitation silver ornaments can be brought from the tribal and native artisans for very low prices.

Iron & Brass Works
Gujarat's other paramount craft is Brass and iron works, found nowhere better than in the former princely state of Saurashtra and Katch where descendants of the original court swordsmiths and jewelers, now make fine beetle nut crackers, copper coated iron bells, knives and cutlery.

The brass industry of Jamnagar is one of the largest in India and from Katch and Rajkot come the famous silver engravings and ornaments that are considered so typical of Gujarat. Anjar is a good place to buy brass and iron utensils, cutlery, knives and scissors. You can also watch arrows being crafted here, and pick up knives and daggers with beautiful sheaths and hilts

NORTHERN STATES- Delhi -|- Hariyana  -|- Himachal -|- Jammu- Kashmir -|- Punjab  -|- 
Uttar Pradesh
-|- Uttranchal 
SOUTHERN STATES - Andaman & Nikkobar  -|- Karnataka -|- Kerala -|- Lakshdweep
-|-  Tamilnadu -|-  Andhra Pradesh
WESTERN STATES - Daman and Diu -|- Goa  -|- Gujrat  -|- Rajasthan  -|- Maharastra 
EASTERN STATES - Arunachal -|- Assam -|-  Manipur -|- Meghalaya -|- 
-|- Nagaland  -|- Orissa  -|- Sikkim -|- Tripura -|- West Bengal  -|- Bihar -|- Jharkhand
CENTRAL STATES- Madhya Pradesh -|-   Chattisgarh

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