5 reasons why you should visit Gujarat this Diwali

by - 11/03/2021

 I just came back from one of the greatest trips of my life. It was short, crisp and bursting with adventure and novel experiences. Guess what where I have been to? Two and a half eventful days spent exploring the unexplored avenues of Gujarat. This itinerary would be particularly helpful for short breaks like that during this Diwali. Because my dear readers, the Indo Pakistan border would particularly be more festive during this season and so would be the exquisitely lit up Sun Temple of Modhera. 

We landed in Ahmedabad in the morning and after a quick breakfast in the Double Tree by Hilton, we swept off to our resort in Bajana. After lunch and rest, we set of to Modhera in the Mehsana district to watch the Sun Temple, all lit up at night.

1. The Sun Temple at Modhera, Mehsana district of Gujarat is an exemplary work of intricate architecture. The interiors of the temple are shut for public at 6 PM and then the lights are lit and again open for the public. The light show at Sun Temple is a must do activity. 

⛩The Modhera Sun Temple was made by King Bhima I of the Chalukya dynasty in the early 11th century.

⛩It is a temple made to honour the Sun God in Modhera village of Mehsana district on the bank of River Pushpavati.

⛩Modhera finds a mention in the ancient scriptures like Skanda Purana and Brahma Purana. The old texts also refer to Modhera and its surrounding areas as Dharmaranya or the forest of righteousness.

⛩The temple is designed in such a way that during every equinox, the first ray of the rising sun would fall on a diamond placed on the head of the Sun God. This would also light up the shrine with a golden glow.

⛩The Sabha Mandap stands on 52 pillars, signifying the 52 weeks in a year. There are carvings of the sun on the walls to show its unity with air, water, earth and space.

⛩Though it is a Hindu temple, no worship is offered here now.

⛩In 2014, Modhera Sun Temple entered the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

That night we were exhausted from all the travelling and called it a day as we had to go for safari the next day.

2. The Little Rann of Kutch Safari

Things to do in Little Rann of Kutch: Welcome to the Wild Ass Sanctuary. Here you explore the marshland in an open jeep and experience wildlife at its best. The sanctuary is open from 15 October to 15 June as it's the relatively dry season. You can spot a variety of animals: Indian gazelle, black buck, hyena, nilgai, wild boar, wolves, desert fox, etc. The main attraction is the Indian Wild Ass which runs at 70 kmph and is almost endangered. It's a delight for ornithologists as there are three hundred species of birds. The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest member of the animal kingdom (320 kmph). There are Drongos, painted storks, flamingoes, Pelicans, etc. to name a few. You can watch all these members lead their carefree lives in the wild.

Go early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the harsh sun.

After the safari, we came back to our resort in Bajana which was nearby. After breakfast, we left for the Indo Pakistan border at Nadabet.

3. Indo Pakistan border at Nadabet Gujarat:  The International Border between India and Pakistan is made of International Land and Coastal Borders.  We got to experience the life of Border Security Force Jawans deployed across these borders at Nadabet who man these lands and water on foot , jeeps , speedboats and floating BOPs .  These BSF troops battle deadly health challenges while performing their duties ( 24X7 ) on the border with happiness while they are separated from their families . 

The Pakistan border is just 150 metres away while you get to experience the international frontier in full patriotic glory. 

On the way, you get to see the salt deserts on either side of the road. You should definitely halt there to soak up this landform in full glory. It's 360 degrees of salt marsh and nothing else. A spectacular experience.

The Gujarat Tourism Board has done an incredible job in making this visit an affair to remember. The T point at Nadabet is a half day tour which consists of a museum(highly interactive), art gallery(conceptual art gallery based on the lives of BSF) , experience centre(audio visual) and adventure zone(activities like zip lining,bungee jumping,paint ball, giant swing,etc) . 

You are boarded on the special Nadabet bus to visit the Zero point, from where Pakistan is just 150 mtrs away. Get to see the Indian tricolor unhoisted during sunset and the pink colours of the setting sun on the desert. 

The way has 8 watch points with different models of warfare weapons like tank, missile etc. 

After such an adventurous day, you can recharge yourself at the sprawling food court. The place has been developed on a world class level. This entire extravaganza has opened up to the general public from the 1st of November and it is one patriotic and fun experience to cherish for life.

After a highly eventful day, we left for Ahmedabad from Nadabet and reached the beautiful city at midnight.

4. Heritage Walk Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad, the largest city of Gujarat is a melting pot of cultures. 

Situated on the banks of Sabarmati river, it's the first city of India to be declared as UNESCO World Heritage City. The area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashaval. 

Ahmedabad Heritage walk let's you witness the amalgamation of different cultures and religions as you take a walk in the narrow bylanes of Old Ahmedabad. 

You start at Swami Narayan Mandir and proceed to explore the 'pol' or tiny housing complexes. The wobbly wooden houses are still preserved and inhabited in their full glory. You stop to munch some 'Farsan' or namkeen. You spot people putting ground glass on kite strings and females rolling out thepla and fafra. 

Every pol has a different story to tell. The Khara Kuva Ni Pol had a huge salt water well while there are secret tunnel connections between pols. There are parrot holes and bird feeders in every house, emphasising the importance of kindness.

The walk can last from 2 hours to 4 hours, depending how much you want to explore. Start early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowd. Wear comfortable shoes and carry a bottle of water. 

The walk ends in Jama Masjid. Females are not allowed inside and neither is photography. In the end, recharge yourself with a soulful authentic Gujarati thali.

5. Gujarati hospitality and food: The local people of Gujarat are extremely sweet and friendly. We had an incredible time in the village resort at Bajana. The food is to die for, particularly if you are fond of farsan or namkeen or have a sweet tooth as the dal and kadhi are sweet (my absolute favourite).

In all, I plan to explore the other parts of Gujarat very soon but if you are short on time, you can adapt this itinerary and pay a visit in 3 days duration. Believe me, this state will wow you in every posiible way.

A big thank you to Gujarat Tourism for organising this trip so perfectly. An unforgettable trip in my books,

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  1. Would definitely love to visit Gujarat soon! Great itineray!

  2. Perfect post to guide travellers. I had seen your reel of sun temple & it was mesmerising.

    Can’t wait to travel Gujarat as u have given the perfect 5 reasons to visit it.

  3. Gujarat is my favourite state too. The state has so many things to offer especially the food as you mentioned. I loved traveling in that state.

  4. 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Gujarat This Diwali" offers a compelling invitation to explore the vibrant culture and festivities of this Indian state during the auspicious occasion of Diwali. Gujarat is renowned for its rich heritage, delicious cuisine, colorful traditions, and warm hospitality. This article likely highlights key attractions, such as the elaborate Rangoli decorations, mesmerizing Diwali lights, traditional dance performances, and the chance to witness the state's iconic kite festival. 2MD- https://www.mapmydestination.com/