Gujarat, in India, is a land of amazing architecture and historical monuments and it is an ideal travel destination for lovers of architectural and historical monuments. Hence when we got a chance to take a break and unwind, we just jumped at the opportunity.
We started our journey in Ahmedabad by taking a heritage walk from the very captivating and serene Swaminarayan Mandir which is located in Kalupur area which ended with the Jumma Masjid. The path was enticing and spellbinding with pools, havelis and other contemporary ornamental facades which reflected the toil and creativity of the talented and versatile artisans. The pathway is also dotted with many Hindu and Jain temples which are indeed architectural marvels. It was a memorable journey which ended at the Shreyas Folk Museum, a center for folk art collections.
Swaminarayan Mandir in Kalupur, Ahmedabad
We then proceeded to city of Rajkot, and here we witnessed the home of the great legend Mahatma Gandhi, at Kaba Gandhi No Delo, before moving on to Ranjit Vilas Palace. The guide accompanying us explained that the complex has many vintage cars along with horse drawn carriages. Being shopaholics we really let ourselves loose and went berserk buying the colorful fabrics, bangles, bead work at the Bandgi bazaar.
Jumma Masjid in Ahmedabad
Our tour itinerary included the city of Jetpur and Junagadh where we visited the Orchard palace, the palace of the Maharaja of Gondal, and the Riverside palace, the residence of the Prince of Gondal State. At Jetpur we were amazed to watch the screen printing and block printing workshops, yarn dyeing center. It was a great and revealing experience for us and will remain etched in our minds forever.
Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad
In Junagadh we saw gem encrusted carpets, wardrobes, and tapestry of the Nawabs at the museums and then explore the 3rd century BC Buddhist relics, medieval forts, mausoleum complexes and palaces.
It was time to move to the city of Bhuj where we visited the Aina Mahal Museum, the great master piece of Ramsingh. The thing which caught our fancy was the hall which is always lit by elaborate pendant candelabra with shades of Venetian glass and Pragmahal Museum, the Mahal is a spectacular palace designed in the Gothic style build by Italian artists and you can watch the panoramic view from here of the entire Bhuj city from a 45 feet tower. We then winded up our trip by visiting the National award winning artist A. A. Wazir’s textile museum. It was a befitting end to one of the most memorable holidays we had taken in a very long time and we came back with our bags filled with the excellent relics and souvenirs from Gujarat and our hearts filled with the spirit of this vibrant and colorful state.