Sun temple, Gujarat
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Gujarat is the westernmost state in India.
Sights and Activities
Gir Forest National Park
The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Sasan-Gir) is the only place where the Asian Lion lives in the wild. It is located in the southern central part of Gujarat and is a great reserve to spot dozens of other Indian animals, including many endemic species.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Listed on UNESCO's World Heritage list Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is a concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties. More information can be found on the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park page.
Events and Festivals
- Holi is quite popular in the Indian sub-continent and is traditionally celebrated on the day after the full moon in the month of Phalguna (early March), according to Hindu calender. Holi is a thanksgiving festival, where people offer prayer to God for good harvest and fertility of the land. Holi is a festival of freedom from social norms and caste inhibitions are shed for a day as people indulge in fun and merry-making. Colors and 'gulal' are showered on the people dressed up for the occasion and the whole community seems to merge into one big family under the guise of colors, without any distinction whatsoever. Children with face smeared with colors run around with 'pichkaris' (big syringes to splash colored water) and play amongst themselves. People exchange good wishes, sweets and gifts. Holi is also marked by vibrant processions which are accompanied by folk songs, dances and drum beating. Parties are also organized where snacks and the traditional milk-based drink “Thandai” is served which is often intoxicated with “Bhang”. Of late, lots of foreigners have started taking interest in this festival and they even enjoy the colors and the intoxicating drink. It is advised to cover your hair with a cap and eyes with sunglasses to avoid the colors splashing the eyes and damaging the hair.
- Republic Day - Republic Day is a national holiday in India every January 26 to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution in 1950 and the declaration of independence in 1930. The capital of New Delhi is the focus of the celebrations, including a flag raising ceremony, wreath laying, 21-gun salute, Presidential speech, and presentation of awards for selflessness and bravery. A massive military parade includes elephants ridden by children who have received national accolades.
- Gandhi Jayanti - Gandhi Jayanti is a national public holiday commemorating the birth of the peaceful activist, Mohandas Gandhi on October 2, 1869. The celebration coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Non-Violence. In India, Gandhi is remembered through statues, flower and candle offerings, prayers and singing the devotional hymn Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram. The Indian government issues special mint rupees and postage stamps bearing his picture.
- Diwali - Diwali is the five-day festival of lights held in India in late October or early November each year. The widely celebrated Hindu event marks Lord Rama’s victory over the demon Ravan. Homes and streets are decorated with lights, candles and small clay lamps, and new clothes are worn and sweets are exchanged.
Gira Falls, Gujarat
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Like much of India, Gujarat is experiencing two significant seasons: the wet from June to October and the dry from November to February. It's not as wet as much of India though. March to May generally is dry, but temperatures during these months can reach well over 40 °C which, combined with the humidity, obviously is not the best time to visit. Instead, choose the months of December and January if you want to avoid the worst conditions. Temperatures are still mostly between 25 and 30 °C but nights are pleasant at an average of 15 °C. It's almost guaranteed dry and sunny.
Note that there are huge differences regarding rainfall: the north is an arid region, bordering the southwestern parts of Rajasthan, whereas the southern region, bordering the Indian Ocean, is much wetter and humidity is high year round.