In the globe of destinations, some surround magnetism to them, the kind that will carve a special place in your heart, and always give you a reason to come back. Gujarat for me has always been that destination! It could be your first rendezvous with its people, and roads, but trust them to make you feel comfortable and safe, especially for a woman traveller like me.
I began this year with a trip to Gujarat, and it was not my first trip to the State, but I bet like my earlier trips here, it surprised me with undiscovered stories, places, and festivals!
What were these new surprises you ask? Read on to know how there’s always a pleasant surprise in Gujarat…
International Kite Festival
Makar Sankranti has always been a popular Indian festival, but growing up, I had learnt stories that were all praises of the zest and love the people of Gujarat show towards this Kite extravaganza! Marking the onset of longer days is the annual International Kite Festival. This year, the celebration ticked off in Ahmedabad with kite flyers from 45 countries flying colourful kites in the sky, beautifully marking unity in cheer and colour! Witnessing the sky become a host to multiple kites one by one is like watching an artist paint his precious canvas with a masterpiece! Kites from across the globe representing culture, social messages, and peace are a part of this celebration. Canada, Australia, Belgium,Argentina, Mexico, Japan, were among the few of the many participants this year.
The architecture of this temple is bound to mesmerize you, the grandeur of Lord Swaminarayan’s idol surrounds a wave of tranquillity in itself, and as the sun sets, the lights turn on to paint a picturesque evening! Post a visit to the temple, sparing 45 minutes to witness the light, sound, and water show is recommended. The show is presented in an open theatre for the best experience, straight out of a book!
A 45 minutes’ drive away from Ahmedabad, Dandi Kutir is home to Gandhiji’s landmark life events, narrated chronologically using multimedia allowing you to become one with Father of the Nation’s remarkable life journey!
Hathee Singh Temple
This double storied Jain Temple in Ahmedabad is an intriguing sight from the first look. It houses 11 deities, six in the basement and five in three-bay sanctuary. Carvings, Stone Sculptures, and the most mesmerising arches will command your attention and time!
Other places to witness when in Ahmedabad- Siddi Saiyyed Mosque, Sabarmati Ashram
Narmada Tent City
Located in the lap of nature, Narmada tent city is a luxurious tent home in proximity to the Statue of Unity, Sardar Sarovar Dam, and the Valley of Flowers. The cooing of birds, breath-taking view of the sunrise from the outdoor lounge area is designed to allow you the best experience when visiting the renowned sites here!
Statue of Unity
Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world that has garnered all the attention is a surreal sight to witness, and can be spotted from pretty much most corners upon entering Narmada Tent city. The 790 feet tall structure overlooks the Narmada river from its peak viewing area. A glance at the statue is all you need to mark the head to toe details (The shawl, Dhoti, and Sandals are a few examples) of its grandeur. A viewing gallery here tells you all about the Iron Man of India!
Valley of Flowers
It is safe to say that the valley of Flowers is easily a contemporary paradise, as the name suggests, it’s a natural therapy in a sprawling lawn as huge as 32,500 sq.mts. A trail of plantations and flowers takes you to a magnificent view of the Statue of Unity.
P.S: There’s always a pleasant surprise in Gujarat because it never ceases to bring the little-known to intrigue you, and yet be comforting in a familiar way, now that’s a rare combination, isn’t it? Until next time, #StayCurious 😊