Capital: Gandhinagar
Area: 196.077 km²
Population: 56.793.000 (2008)
Altitude: 0 m
Language Gujarati, Bhili, Hindi, Kachchhi, Marathi, Urdu, Konkani, Khandeshi, English

The most convenient entry point into Gujarat is through the metropolis of Ahmedabad. The city contains some very fine museums, the Calico Museum of Textiles being considered among the world’s finest. Ahmedabad’s walled city is a living testimony to its heritage of crafts as women walk by in dazzling embroidered garments and flashing ethnic silver jewellery. Traditional Ahmedabad combines mosques of inspired workmanship, wooden Jain temples, unique stone stepwells and houses with ornately carved wooden balconies and window screens. Modern Ahmedabad, just across the River Sabarmati spanned by four bridges, is a showpiece of contemporary architecture with designs by Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and the best known Indian architects. Ahmedabad is a convenient base for a number of excursions, Modhera being the best known. 106 km away, this is one of the very few sun temples in the country.

Palitana, 215 km away, is a hilltop place of pilgrimage for Jains. 863 temples of all sizes crowd the hilll which has to be approached on foot. Stone and marble spires with their rich detail of carving make for Palitana’s very special appeal. Portuguese rule in India included the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, the last two lying within the state of Gujarat.

Gujarat’s loveliest beach – and the state is well endowed with them – is Ahmedpur Mandvi whose chief attraction is the ethnic beach resort. Cottages modelled on rural Gujarati architecture look out onto a secluded beach, one of the state’s chief centres for water sports.


Udaipur and its environs, easily accessible by air and road from Bombay, are another facet of Rajasthan. Far from being surrounded by flat arid desert, Udaipur is situated in the lap of the thickly wooded Aravalli hills. Three lakes form an attraction of the city whose focal point is the towering cluster of honey coloured palaces that go to make up the complex of the City Palace and other palatial apartments.