With so many travellers veering either to
Gujarat’s northern neighbour Rajasthan or Mumbai to the south, the
temple-topped mountains, rare wildlife and traditional handicrafts of India’s
westernmost state are too often overlooked.
What can I see?
Head to the district of Kutch to see artisans at work on some of India’s most
intricate textiles. The salt plains of the Little Rann of Kutch are the last
refuge of the Indian wild ass and home to breeding flamingos. Visit Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
to see the only Asiatic lions left in the wild.
How safe is it?
Gujarat isn’t immune to natural disasters, and experienced a major earthquake
in 2001. Violence between Hindus and Muslims has flared up sporadically (the
last major riots were in 2002) but underlying tension is unlikely to affect
visitors. This is one of India’s most developed states. It’s where the Tata
Nano – the world’s least expensive new car – is made.
Where’s truly off the beaten track?
Girnar Hill, near the
ancient fortified city of Junagadh. Join pilgrims and porters at dawn to tackle
some or all of the 10,000 steps leading past Jain and Hindu temples.
What should I eat?
The Gujarati vegetarian thali – a dish featuring a selection of curries, curds,
dhal, pickles and rice – is lighter and less spicy than most, and is usually
served with buttermilk.
Gandhi, An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Gandhiji was
born in Gujarat and co-ordinated his struggle for many years from its largest