June 1, 2018

48 hours in Gujarat

Gujarat is a Western Indian state which boasts numerous temples and natural beauty spots. 48 hours might be insufficient to even scratch the surface of this incredible state, but here is a list of some of the most compelling places to go if time is limited.

Day 1 (first half): Ahmedabad

Begin your trip in Ahmedabad, designated as India’s first UNESCO world heritage city, which is steeped in architecture and traditions of the 15th century sultanate period.

To make sure you get the most out of your stay, it is recommended to take a heritage walking tour of this area. You’ll be taken through a maze of narrow streets for a unique insight into the ‘Pols’ or small, self-contained neighbourhoods within the city, each with their own temple, main square, and even secret passages.

Or, if you want to visit a few highlights at your own pace, head straight to the walled old city area and visit Bhadra fort, which was built in 1411 CE by the city’s founder, Sultan Ahmad Shah. Marvel at the ornately carved sandstone edifice.

For an authentic lunch, stop at Rajwadu, an outdoor restaurant set qmidst spacious green surroundings complete with a courtyard temple. Rajwadu serves delicious traditional Gujarati dishes, and all of them vegetarian.

Day 1 (second half): Bajana

In the afternoon, make the one and a half hour drive out of the city to explore the tiny traditional village of Bajana and learn more about the textiles made here.

Bajana is one of the entry points to the Little Rann of Kutch, a fascinating area of salt desert. The nearby wetlands are renowned birding spots.

If you want to stay the night, the recommended place is the Royal Safari Camp's luxurious, air-conditioned cottages in beautiful natural surroundings. The Royal Safari Camp can arrange jeep or camel safaris into the wilderness area. It’s an unmissable experience. They can also arrange cultural tours of the small villages in the Rann, giving you a fascinating perspective on local life.

Day 2 (first half): Lothal Archaeological Site

As you drive back to Ahmedabad a detour to visit the fabulous Lothal, a UNESCO world heritage site, is highly recommended. Here you’ll find the ruins of an ancient city, part of the 4,400-year-old Harappan civilization. Once a small village, Lothal soon became a bustling port, and then fell into decline.

After sauntering around the crumbling remains of this once great city, make sure you visit the attached museum to learn more about its fascinating history and excavation. This will be a fascinating morning of insight into India's unique and colourful past.

Day 2 (second half): Sun Temple

On your final afternoon in Gujarat, take a short drive north of Ahmedabad to visit the Sun Temple in Modhera. This spectacular architectural marvel was built in the 11th century by the Chalukya dynasty, and is devoted to the Sun God, Surya. Spend the afternoon at this beautiful place of worship, set on the banks of the Pushpavati River.

The main temple is supported by 52 intricately carved columns, each one representing a week of the year. As a fun fact, notice how the architecture is structured so that the first rays of sunshine each morning are cast on the image of the Sun God.

Of course, there's so much more to Gujarat than these few places. Check out this handy Expedia guide to the region. Maybe you'll even extend your stay!

P.S.: This is a sponsored post.

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