Gujarat is one of the most vibrant states of India, known for its bustling commercial activities, natural splendour and historic significance. Located on the western coast, Gujarat is truly a traveller’s delight with its rich arts & crafts culture, colourful festivals and of course mouth-watering Gujarati food. I had always wanted to visit Gujarat and luckily in 2019, I had the opportunity to travel and explore the state.
Rann of Kutch
One of the largest salt deserts in the world, The Great Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh in the Thar Desert, located in the Kutch district of Gujarat.
How to reach
- The nearest airport to Kutch is in the city of Bhuj, which is around 80 km from the desert. Alternatively, one can also take a flight from Ahmedabad and drive down to Bhuj.
Places to stay
When travelling to Kutch, the experience of staying in a tent is the best. They have luxury tents to budget tents. Head to White Rann Resort to have a great luxury experience. If on a budget trip, check out the budget rooms at Rann Utsav tent city.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Kutch is during the Rann of Kutch festival. It takes place from October to February. The weather is superb during this time and perfect for sightseeing.
Statue of Unity
This magnificent statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel also knows as Iron Man of India is worth seeing. It has become one of India’s significant tourist attraction. It is the tallest statue in India at a height of 182 metres.
How to reach
The nearest airport to Statue of Unity is Vadodara airport which is 90 km from the site. From the airport, one can hire a cab or take the state transport bus to reach the statue.
Place to stay
Since day trip gets hectic, you could book yourself a comfortable tent inside the site. The tent city Narmada offers beautiful accommodation to the tourists to spot the best views of the Sarovar Dam, Statue of Unity and surrounding natural environment.
The monument is closed every Monday. It is open from 8pm – 6am from Tuesday to Sunday.
It takes about 2 Hours to have a complete tour of the statue. You can go up via lift to have a complete view. Visit the valley of flowers, Sardar Sarovar Dam during the day time.
There are 4 types of tickets available at the counter.
- Basic Ticket: This would give access to the Museum, Gallery, Valley of Flowers, Sardar Sarovar view points and bus service ( INR 150 )
- Gallery Ticket: This would give all the basic entry ticket benefits as well as access to Statue of Unity viewing Gallery which offers a full view of the Panoramic view of the Dam and located 500 feet above ground ( INR 380 )
- Express Entry Ticket: it offers the above ticket benefits with priority/no wait time ( INR 1000 )
- Foreigner Express Entry Ticket: This ticket is only for non-Indian guest from abroad and includes all the benefits from the Express Entry Ticket ( INR 1530 )
- You can also get an aerial view of the Statue of Unity with a 10 min helicopter ride priced at INR 2900/person. They also accommodate wheelchair requests.
DWARKA – SOMNATH TOUR
The Dwarka – Somnath Tour is a must when you visit Gujarat. The Somnath temple is believed to be the first among the twelve shrines of Shiva whereas the Dwarkadhish Temple is dedicated to God Krishna.
How to Reach
You could hire a cab/take an overnight train or bus from Ahmedabad and reach Somanth. The distance is around 400 Km. You can stay for the night at Somnath and head for Dwarka the next morning.
Best Time to Visit
September – March are the best months to travel since the weather is pleasant. However if you wish to avoid the crowd, you may visit the Temple during the summer season.
Places to Stay
One of the best hotel to stay at Dwarka is the VITS Devbhumi Hotel, located near Ravla Lake. It offers great accommodation with a terrace. Price would range between INR 3000 – 4000. At Somnath, stay at the beautiful Sarovar Portico, located at Tadla Road. Book a superior room which offers a garden view at a price of INR 3000.