Gujarat is famous for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, for being the land of Garba and also where the Great Rann of Kutch is located. Its history dates back to 4500 years, but Gujarat is much more than its famous places. It hides little known gems which are worthy of attention as well, like:
1- Gopnath Beach
When people think of Gujarat, the first thing they think of are the deserts, but Gujarat tourism encompasses a lot more than just dry dusty sands. One of the examples is the Gopnath Beach, which is a little known place. Situated about 70 km away from the city of Bhavnagar, the beach lies right on the Gulf of Khambat. The beach houses limestone cliffs and a Temple too, but you will also love to witness the biodiversity and natural beauty of the place. This Beach is perfect for relaxing in.
Saputara is a charming hill station and it is also home to the amazing Gira Falls and a botanical garden too. The Gira Falls is an incredible 75 m drop which creates a beautiful white and foaming water body. The view as one can imagine is just spectacular. The weather in Saputara is also different than what is commonly associated with Gujarat- it is foggy and cold. You don’t really have to hire any modes of transportation to explore the town as it is best done on foot. If you want something more to see them the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary and the Vansda National Park will surely keep you busy.
3- Girmal Waterfall
With a thundering drop of 100 feet, this is definitely the highest waterfall present in Gujarat. With such a massive drop, one can imagine that it will be beautiful, awe-inspiring and also surrounded by lush greenery. All of it is shrouded in a light mist which can sometimes result in a rainbow. Come here during the monsoon to see the best it has to offer. You can also enjoy a picnic in the surrounding areas as well. There are also a lot of noteworthy nearby places which you can visit like the Dang Darbar, Gavdahad View Point, Saptashringi Devi Mandir and more.
Lined up with beautiful temples, step walls and lakes; Patan carries a lot of history in its heart. Founded in the year 745 AD, this place served as the capital of the Chandra Rulers. Some of the must-visit places here include the Rani Ki Vav, which has been accredited by UNESCO as an archaeological World Heritage Site. It is a step wall structure that is minutely constructed to lead into a rectangular tank lying at a depth of 24 meters. First constructed in the 11th century, this stepped wall is designed as an inverted temple to pay homage to water whose importance is immense in a parched state. Patan is best visited during the months of October to March.
Located 47 km away from Vadodara, Champaner is a city which has a lot of history. It was founded in the 8th century by King Vanraj Chavda and it was even the capital of Gujarat for a time. Here, you should visit the famous Champaner-Pavagadh archaeological park, which is a UNESCO world heritage site and is an absolute visual treat that lives up to the title. The park houses 11 different styles of buildings, but the most noteworthy is the Kalika Mata Temple and, of course, the Jama Masjid.
6- Narala and Pirotan Island
Spread over 3 sq km, the Narala Island is known for its mangroves like the Rhizophora, Ceriops, and Avicennia. Swimming here is not advised as the high tides make it unsafe to do so. But you can engage yourself in other activities like visiting the shrine of Khwaja Khizer Rahmatullahialaih and the 25-meter high lighthouse. This is also a protected marine area and houses some of the rarest coral reef species like the star coral, brain coral, moon coral and, the finger coral.
7- Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary
A haven for bird watchers, this less frequented place is around 40 km away from Ahmedabad. Here, more than 100 species of birds are witnessed which includes pelicans, flamingoes, geese, spoonbills, egrets, and more. The exotic fauna and the lush flora are very soothing to the soul.