Saurashtra also known as ‘Kathiawar’ is a peninsular region covering about 1/3rd of Gujarat which is located on the Arabian Sea coast. The region covers 11 districts of Gujarat and is bounded on the south-west by Arabian Sea, on the north-west by Gulf of Kutch and on the east side by the Gulf of Khambhat. The Saurashtra region comprises the modern day Gujarat and has a huge number of must visit places. Here is a quick listing of 10 best places that you can visit in this south- west region. Read on to know more-
Dwarka once being the home of Lord Krishna is one of the oldest cities and district of Gujarat. It is also regarded as an important pilgrimage site for the Hindus. The Dwarkadhish temple is the most popular temple in Dwarka which is situated near Gomti River. Panchtirth is also present on the other side of Gomti river which is a must visit. Also, you will find one lighthouse near the Gomti Ghat which is one of the oldest lighthouse in Gujarat. You can visit the Rukmini Devi temple and Hanuman temple at Bet Dwarka by hiring a boat from Dwarka. Other important places of visit include the Nageshwar temple, Gopi Talav, Gayatri Shakti Peeth, Geeta Mandir, Siddheshwar Mahadev temple, Bhadrakali Mandir and Bhadkeshwar temple. Dwarka is very well connected to all major cities by road and rail including Ahmedabad. The nearest airports to Dwarka are at Rajkot and Jamnagar. The railway station is located almost 2 kilometres away from the Dwarkadhish temple.
Jamnagar known to be the second Kashi of India and jewel of Kathiawar (Saurashtra) is one of the unexplored destinations in Gujarat. It is located along the coastline under peninsular region. The magnificent Lakhota palace and museum located on an island in Lakhota lake is a must visit here. Darbargadh palace famous for its architecture, historic monument of Bhujiyo Kotho and Positra beach are also worth visiting places here. Likewise, Jamnagar is a place where you will find temples at each corner of the city. Also, in the heart of the city lies Bal- Hanuman temple, Khijadiya bird sanctuary and Ranjit Sagar Dam which are also less explored visiting places. Jamnagar has its own airport lying just 10 kilometres away from the city. Also, the rail and road routes are very well developed.
The city of intricate handicrafts, textiles etc. makes Rajkot a must visiting place in Saurashtra is located south –west of Gujarat. The city has monuments and architecture belonging to the British period. There are great number of tourist destinations like the Jubilee Garden, Watson Museum, Kaba Gandhi No Delo and Rashtriya Shala etc. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi High School, where Mahatma Gandhi took his initial education, museums like Rotary Doll Museum possessing around 1400 dolls from all over the world, are also must visiting places here. The great Swaminarayan Temple which attracts tourists from all over India and world because of its architectural beauty also lies here. Rajkot airport is a domestic airport and is very well connected to cities like Ahmedabad and Vadodara. The city has good road and rail connectivity also.
Best known as the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, Porbandar is one of the most visited coastal cities of Gujarat. This beautiful tourist spot is the land belonging to Sudama also who is called the friend of Lord Krishna. It is another beautiful and well planned city of Gujarat with numerous stone buildings carved with rich artistic designs. There are numerous attractive visiting places like the Kirti Mandir, Porbandar beach and Barda Hills wildlife sanctuary. Porbandar is very well connected to all major cities of Gujarat as well as India by rail, road and air. Nearest airport is the Porbandar airport as well as Ahmedabad airport. The nearest railway station is at Porbandar that connects very well to Ahmedabad.
This small village of Saurashtra region and is only home for the Asiatic lion and that’s why is a must visit place. The village is a well-known wildlife sanctuary with marked and protected large province for the Asiatic lions and various types of vegetation as well as other species of animals like hyena, leopard, panther, Sambar, spotted deer, blue bull, wild boar, jackal and over 250 species of birds like the endangered lesser florican, sarus crane, grey drongo, bush quail, crested hawk eagle etc. The Gir sanctuary has India’s best enormous number of feline creatures and is the ‘Savannah’ of India. The Kamleshwar dam lying in the middle of the sanctuary is a home for marsh crocodiles. Many species of snakes and lizards can also be seen. Sasan Gir is very well connected by rail, road and air to major cities like Rajkot and Junagadh. Nearest airports are located at Diu, Rajkot and Porbandar whereas nearest railway stations are at Somnath and Junagadh.
Somnath being the oldest spiritual city of Gujarat is the house of world famous Somnath temple located in Prabhas Pattan near Veraval, Junagadh district in Saurashtra region, surrounded by the Arabian Sea. The place is an important pilgrimage where Aadi Jyotirlinga Shree Somnath Mahadev is the most adorned deity placed inside the temple which holds the Chalukya style of architecture. It is the first among the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva established all over India. The temple is reconstructed several times in the past after repeated destruction by Muslim and Portuguese invaders. The recent past renovation work was completed by the former prime minister of India, Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel. You can also pay a visit to Kamnath Mahadev Temple, Triveni Mahasangam Ghat or take a walk by the Somnath beach. Somnath is very well connected to all major cities of Gujarat by rail, road and air. Nearest airports to Somnath are at Diu and Porbandar. Many trains and buses also run from Ahmedabad and Porbandar.
Bhavnagar is called the cultural hub of the Saurashtra region and is famous for silver ornaments, snack items, shopping markets etc. but has an architectural side also. Headed upon the hills, lies the Takhteshwar Temple that gives you enlarged view of the city and towards the Gulf of Kutch. There are many other places of visit like Nilambagh Palace, Mangalsinhji Mahal Palace, Bhav Vilas Palace, Palitana Jain Temple, Gandhi Samiti, Barton Library, Gauri Shankar Lake, Victoria Park and many more. Velavadar Blackbuck National Park is the only tropical grassland National Park and is also a must visit. The place lies very near to Gandhinagar and Surat and Bhavnagar airport lies just 3.9 kilometres from the city. It is very well connected to all major cities by rail and road too.
Your tour to Gujarat is incomplete without visiting the modern day Ahmedabad. The Dhandhuka Taluka of the administrative capital lies around the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. It houses many historical sites including the Sabarmati Ashram and the Hutheesing Jain Temple and some lovely lakes. The best part while being in the city is doing shopping of the handloom art of the state. Being a metropolis, Ahmedabad is very good connectivity to major cities of India by rail, road and air. Ahmedabad has its own airport and railway station from where tourists can to and fro any time of the day.
Diu Union Territory
Diu is a small island located near the port of Veraval of the Saurashtra region. The island was earlier a Portuguese colony and is now surrounded by large number of beaches. The visiting places include the Ghogla beach which is a golden sand beach lying around the Arabian Sea, Diu fort which is located on the south- west coast, built by Portuguese during their colonial rule. Then the Naida caves which are located on the periphery of the Diu fort. Nagoa beach which is famous for its pristine beauty is another ideal recommended visiting place for tourists. The beach has a dinosaur park which is a theme park for kids and now quite famous among tourists. Other visiting places include the St. Paul Church, Sunset point, Panikota fort, Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple, Zampa Gateway, and Diu museum. Diu is very well connected to other parts of Gujarat and the country by road, rail and air. The nearest railway station is at Veraval. Diu has its own airport and offers frequent connectivity to Mumbai, Porbandar and Ahmedabad.
Great Rann of Kutch
The Great Rann of Kutch is the largest salt desert in Kutch district of Gujarat. The long stretch of salty marsh is a treat to the eye whenever you visit the place. The barren land that stretches out towards the horizon is surrounded by hills and some small fascinating villages. Dhordo which is few hours north of Bhuj, lies on the edge of the desert and is being developed by the Gujarat government as the ‘Gateway of Rann’. Also, you can visit the famous Wild Ass sanctuary. This place definitely has to be included in your must-see destinations of Saurashtra. The nearest airports are at Ahmedabad and Rajkot. The nearest railway station is at Bhuj.