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Gujarat is one of India’s most developed and progressive States. Over the last two decades, the State has taken great strides in education, public infrastructure, communications, manufacturing, IT and export, among other sectors of business. Historically and culturally rich, with an eye on future development while retaining its roots, Gujarat is a State worth visiting by one and all.

We compile a guide on the best time to visit Gujarat, how to get there, what to see and where to stay.

The Best Time to Visit Gujarat

Gujarat is an all-year-round tourist destination. Most people don’t think twice while booking their travel to Gujarat, especially in terms of which season is better or worse. But if you want a truly memorable holiday, it is important to know the best time to visit Gujarat. This is decided by the seasons, by the festivities in certain parts of the year, and so on. We help you plan your holiday based on the best time to visit Gujarat:

* Visiting Gujarat in the summer: The summer season is a mixed bag in the State. Areas close to the coastline have high humidity during the summer, while other areas like Saurashtra which are located in the desert region are hot and arid at this time of the year.

The summer season spans the months of March to June, sometimes extending up to the first week of July. Gujarat is quite hot during the summer, and you might have to think twice about planning extensive sightseeing tours in the day time. This might not be the best time to visit Gujarat.

We recommend sightseeing in the late noon and evening hours, and trying and visiting indoor attractions like museums and palaces during the day time. Pregnant women, young children and senior citizens might suffer a lot in the heat, with the blazing sunshine also causing sunstroke and heat rashes. Be sure to drink a lot of water when you are out and about, and to sip on buttermilk or fresh fruit juice with your meals. Wear a hat and shades during the day, and don’t step out till you have slathered on a lot of moisturiser.

Since many natives visit their hometowns during this season, ensure that you book your resort and travel tickets well in time before the summer holidays begin.

* Visiting Gujarat in the monsoon season: The monsoon season is quite unpredictable from city to city. The desert areas receive sparse rainfall, while cities like Surat and Ahmedabad receive heavy downpour during the monsoon season. This is the best time to visit Gujarat if you want a respite from the blazing heat of the previous season.

Both day time and night time temperatures drop quite a bit, making it pleasant to move around. However, do hire all-day transport to be able to visit all the tourist spots that you are targeting. This is often the best time to visit Gujarat if you are looking for peace and quiet while sightseeing, and also quick bookings for Gujarat resorts and flight/train/bus tickets. Less tourist footfalls will help you land good travel deals, which makes it one more reason for the best time to visit Gujarat.

During this season, be sure to carry bug and mosquito repellent, and to stay hydrated during your sightseeing jaunts. Hiring a car will help you get around the city quickly and cover all the spots you wish to see.

* Visiting Gujarat in the winter season: Most travellers and even the local residents believe that the best time to visit Gujarat is during the winter season. The day time temperatures remain pleasant but the night time temperatures can drop sharply. Just be sure to bundle up warmly and you are good to go!

The temperatures in certain places can even hover below 10⁰C, so do check on weather apps before you schedule sightseeing in the evening hours. However, campfires and night safaris are pleasant things to do in Gujarat during this season. This is considered the peak tourist season here, so be sure to book your Gujarat resort and travel tickets well in time of your departure.

How to Reach Gujarat

Being one of the most developed States in India, Gujarat is extremely well connected to the rest of the country. You can find travel tickets by all modes of transport and also hotel bookings at all times of the year. There are even special hotel + travel packages that many travel aggregators offer. It is possible to reach Gujarat by flight, train and road networks. However, do consult an updated Gujarat tourism guidebook about the best routes to take from your hometown to reduce travel time.

Travelling Safely In Gujarat: Some Points To Note

Gujarat is largely a safe place for travellers. The local residents are unobtrusive and not likely to harass you or make you uncomfortable for any reason. However, it always helps to stay on top of important points like decorum, state of dress and local customs when travelling to any place. Here are our pointers on what to take care of to travel safely in Gujarat:

* Though Gujaratis enjoy their meals like no other, the breakfast culture that is prevalent in the metro cities is not seen all over the State. Surat, Baroda and Ahmedabad might have a few cafes and restaurants opening early to cater to breakfast, but these are quite few. So, if you want breakfast early, please book a breakfast-inclusive package with your resort or hotel.

* Though the local residents are quite relaxed about most things, they take their traditions, religious symbols and food very seriously. Take care not to disrespect the local customs and way of life. Offending anybody’s sentiments is never a good idea, especially when you are travelling.

* Gujarat is a vegetarian State. It has a self-imposed vegetarian and no-alcohol policy. Despite its large coastline, you will not find seafood being served in any restaurants. Only a few restaurants in Gujarat serve non-vegetarian food, so it is better to do your research properly before you demand the same. Online search engines will help you find the places that serve non-vegetarian food.

* No restaurants will serve alcohol, so don’t even ask for it. Many high-end hotels are liquor-friendly, but is better to get an alcohol permit first (your resort can help with this). Also, there will probably be a cap on how many glasses can be served to you per day.

* It is safe to travel within Gujarat even during the night hours. It is always better to hire your own transport for travel. However, it is recommended to avoid the Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh route during the night – it is notorious for bandits and muggers, so the night travel is best avoided.

* Taxi aggregator services are available in Surat, Baroda and Ahmedabad. In other places, it is better and cheaper to have your resort hire you a car for sightseeing instead of depending on private taxis.

* Dress conservatively and behave with decorum in public places, especially in religious places. Public displays of affection, boisterous behaviour and littering on the streets is frowned upon.

* Past travellers swear by drinking at least one litre of water every day and eating water-rich fruit to avoid sunstroke and heatstroke in Gujarat. Depend on light cotton clothing to see you through, instead of heat-trapping nylons, silk and georgettes.

A List of Places to Visit in Gujarat

The Rann of Kutch.

The most celebrated place to visit in Gujarat, the Rann of Kutch is located between the Great Thar Desert and the Arabian Sea. Composed of salt and sand, the desert has a luminescent quality that most other deserts don’t – check it out on full moon nights, when the sand seems to sparkle like a diamond. Visiting the desert on full moon nights has become a popular thing to do in Gujarat, since cultural programmes are held during the tourist season. Siberian flamingos visit here during winter.

Gir National Park.

The Asiatic Lions have only one natural habitat in India, at the Gir National Park. The Park is one of the most significant places to visit in Gujarat if you want to see this majestic animal up close. You can also look at other animals like hyenas, black buck deer, mongoose and birds like fish owls. It is a huge park spread over 1400 square feet of land, but it has an indigenous community living inside as well. Take a jeep safari through the park to see the animals from a safe distance.

Dwarka.

Credited with being the residence of Lord Krishna, Dwarka is today one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites and a holy ground for Hindus. In the olden days, it was a capital for the region but had more of a cultural significance than an economic one. It is located next to the Gomati River and has a temple next to the beach where sea urchins, turtles and starfish can be seen in the winter season. It is one of the best places to visit in Gujarat during the annual Janmashtami Festival.

Lothal Archaeological Site.

Gujarat has some of the most astounding archaeological sites in the world, dating back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. If you are interested in history, you should visit the ancient sites at Lothal, where ruins dating back to the Indus Valley Civilisation can still be found. It is in relatively good condition, with a museum built here in the last decade. The museum houses relics from an ancient era, with utensils, jewellery, scrolls and many guides on what the lives of people of the time were like.

Bhuj.

Another important place to visit in Gujarat, Bhuj is an old city that can trace its origins as far as the 16th century. It was an independent region then, and full of wondrous monuments like the Cenotaph Complex (still standing here) that had the tombs of the royal families of the time. You should also check out Parag Mahal, Aina Mahal (all its interiors are made up of mirrors!), the Shiva Temple and the Hamirsar Lake close by.

Laxmi Vilas Palace.

This gigantic edifice was once the largest private residence in the whole world! It was built by the Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad the Third, over an area of 700 acres of land with other buildings like the Moti Baug Palace and Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum as part of the complex. There are various sculptures to check out, as well as the marble, bronze and terracotta armours at various points throughout the palace. Today, the royal family of Vadodara stays here but parts of the palace are open to the public.

Porbandar.

This is one of Gujarat’s oldest ports, and it still functions as one. One of the most significant places to visit in Gujarat, it is also a famous beach town known for its cleanliness and serenity. More to the point, it is famous for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. You can spend a day here, visiting the beach and also the many temples here.

Where to Stay In Gujarat

There are so many options for accommodation in Gujarat that you will have a tough time deciding where to book your stay. But do avoid the cheap homestays and rentals – these are unpredictable and may mar the mood of your holiday. Instead, book yourself into a premium Gujarat resort like the Club Mahindra properties such as the Azzaro Resorts and Spa, Diu, Dwarka Resort, Kensville Golf Club Resort near Ahmedabad, and Boulevard 9 Resort in Nadiad. They provide easy access by whichever means of transport you arrive, stunning locations and superb room décor.

You will be happy to book yourself into any of these premium properties featuring the best restaurants in Gujarat, apart from thoughtfully designed recreation spaces for adults and children. When not sightseeing, you can explore the properties on foot and even step out to the local markets to shop and snack.

About Mahindra Holidays

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, the other brands offered by the company are –Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at www.clubmahindra.com

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