The stalwart of India’s freedom struggle, the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi has left an indelible mark on the minds of all Indians, and in fact people all over the world with his philosophies and methods of achieving freedom for our country. Gandhiji grew up in Porbandar, Gujarat, a coastal administrative center and home to the famous Chowpati Beach. Scattered across Gujarat are many such interesting locations that we look at and celebrate this Independence Day.
- Porbandar Bird Sanctuary: Situated quite unusually for a sanctuary in the heart of the city, the Porbandar Bird Sanctuary is a popular tourist attraction in Gandhiji’s birthplace. With a picturesque lake that attracts migratory birds like flamingos, ibis, teals, fowls and curlews, this sanctuary is a beautiful spot for spending some time with your family and friends in the lap of Mother Nature. Plus, the fact that it’s located inside city limits makes transport super convenient.
- Dwarkadish Temple: Also known as the Jagat Mandir, this temle dedicated to Lord Krishna is one of the four Dhams. Its striking architectural brilliance, which is marked by its 72 pillars that support five storeys, Dwarkadeesh temple has a memorial dedicated to Adi Shankaracharya, an 8th century saint and philosopher, who visited the shrine, making it one of the four Dhams. The charming old-world sights of Dwarka only add to the experience of a pilgrimage to one of India’s most revered temples.
- Sabarmati Ashram: During his life, the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad was Gandhiji’s second, and probably most significant ashrams, from where he planned many of his freedom movements. Now, after the Mahatma’s demise, it stands as a testimony to his monumental life and work. Not only have Gandhiji’s living quarters and other personal effects been preserved perfectly, the ashram also has a museum that depicts quite poignantly, the accounts of his life and philosophies.
- Saputara: A hill station of step gardens, lakes, waterfalls, forests and honey bee centers, Saputara is truly a nature-lover’s paradise. The Sahyadiri Hills provide the perfect backdrop for a laidback vacation in quite a marvelous little hill station.
- Dholavira: A preserved archeological site of the Harappan Civilization, Dholavira, near the Bhuj district, is the only existing evidence of the Harappan civilization from 2900 BC to 1500 BC. Most parts of the town are well preserved, and one can walk among the ancient, long abandoned buildings, stepwell, reservoirs, etc, and have a taste of exactly how ahead of their times our ancestors were.
- Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara: Imagine a palace so colossal, it has its own little zoo with crocodiles. This is exactly the kind of scale of enormity you’ll find at Vadodara’s Laxmi Vilas Palace. The structure, that took 12 years to construct is not only gigantic in size, it’s also quite pleasing to the eye with the beautiful sights it has to offer. A visit here will expose you to some of the grandeur that its original owner, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III lived in, while letting you explore its stepwell, museum, and of course, the crocodile-en-suite zoo.
- Rann of Kutch: One simply cannot come to Gujarat and miss visiting the enigmatic Rann of Kutch no matter how many times you’ve seen it before. The endless expanse of white sand, the quiet, forbidding, peaceful atmosphere, and the magical glow at twilight hours quite fittingly embody the spirit of Gujarat- A state as tranquil in its appearance as it is raucous in its natural beauty, historical significance, and mysterious splendor.