Gujarat - Tourism

Tourism

Tourism in Gujarat is promoted by Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited. It is one of the most popular state in the country for tourists with annual footfall of 19.81 million tourists in 2010-11. Gujarat offers scenic beauty from Great Rann of Kutch to the hills of Saputara. Gujarat is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions in world. During the Sultanate reign, Hindu craftsmanship mix with Islamic architecture, giving rise to the Indo-Saracenic style. Many structures in the state are built in this fashion. It is also the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the great iconic figures during India's Independence movement. Amitabh Bachchan is currently the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism. ‘Khushboo Gujarat Ki' campaign by megastar Amitabh Bachchan has grown tourism in Gujarat by 14 per cent, twice that of national growth rate.

Museums

Gujarat has a variety of museums on different genres. These museums are run by the state's Department of Museums located at the principal state museum, Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery.

The Kirti Mandir, Porbandar, Sabarmati Ashram, and Kaba Gandhi No Delo are museums related to Mahatma Gandhi. The former being the of him and the latter being two of the places where he lived in his lifetime. All of them are now transformed into museums. Kaba Gandhi No Delo in Rajkot exhibits some of a rare collection of photographs relating to the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Sabarmati Ashram is the place where Gandhiji initiated Dandi March. On 12 March 1930 he vowed that he would not return to the Ashram until India won independence.

Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery and Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum are located in Vadodara. Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery is where state's Department of Museums is located. While the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum is housed within Lakshmi Vilas Palace. It's the palace where Maharaja lived, and now has been turned into museum. Located in Ahmedabad the Calico Museum of Textiles is managed by the Sarabhai Foundation and is one of the most popular tourist spots in Ahmedabad.

The Lakhota Museum or the Lakota Museum is a palace transformed into museum, was residence of the Jhala Rajputs. The collection of the museum includes artifacts spanning from 9th to 18th century, pottery from medieval villages nearby and the skeleton of a whale.

Other famous museums in state include Kutch Museum in Bhuj being the oldest museum in Gujarat founded in 1877, Watson Museum of human history and culture in Rajkot, Gujarat Science City and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial in Ahmedabad.

Religious sites

Religious sites are major part of tourism in Gujarat. Somnath is the first among twelveJyotirlingas, and has been mentioned in Rigveda. The Palitana temples of Jainism on Mount Satrunjaya, Palitana are considered the holiest of all pilgrimage places by the Svetambara and Digambara Jain community. The Sidi Saiyyed Mosque and Jama Masjid are holymosques for Gujarati Muslims. The Sun Temple, Modhera is a ticketed monument, handled by the Archaeological Survey of India. Dwarakadheesh Temple and Dakor holy pilgrimage sites for devotees of Lord Krishna. Other religious sites in state include Mahudi, Shankheshwar, Ambaji, Dakor, Shamlaji, Chotila etc.

Fairs

A five day festival is held during Maha Shivaratri at the fort of Girnar, Junagadh known as Bhavanth Mahadev Fair (Gujarati: ભવનાથ નો મેળો). The Kutch Festival or Rann Festival (Gujarati: કચ્છ or રણ ઉત્સવ) is a festival celebrated at Kutch during Mahashivratri. The Modhra Dance Festival is a festival for classical dance, organized by Government of Gujarat's Cultural Department, to promote tourism in state and to keep traditions and culture alive.

The Tarnetar Fair is held during the first week of Bhadrapad, (September–October according to Gregorian calendar), and mostly servesplace to find a suitable bride for tribal people from Gujarat. The region is believed to be the place where Arjuna did the difficult task of piercing the eye of a fish, rotating at the end of a pole, by looking at its reflection in the pond water, to marry Draupadi. Other fairs in Gujarat include Dang Durbar, Shamlaji Fair,Chitra Vichitra Fair,Dhrang Fair and Vautha Fair.

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