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Gujarat has been trending lately for hosting the India vs England T20I cricket series. But even besides the cricket, there are innumerable reasons to visit Gujarat. From sports lovers and wildlife aficionados to history buffs and pilgrims, the state offers something to everyone. If you are visiting Gujarat for the first time, here are some tourist places you must include in your travel itinerary.

1. Somnath Temple

Located in Junagadh district, the Somnath Temple is known as much for its architectural magnificence as for its religious significance. The temple is the first among the twelve Aadi Jyotirlings. It boasts a 50-metre high shikhara (spire) adorned with intricate carvings and beautiful silver doors. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple displays the Nandi idol (the bull calf that is Shiva’s gatekeeper and vehicle) and of course, the much-revered Shiv Linga. One can enjoy a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea from the temple.

Top things to do and see at Somnath Temple: 

- Shri Kapardi Vinayak

- Shri Hanuman Temple

- Vallabhghat (a beautiful sunset point).

- Sound & Light Show, “Jay Somnath” conducted from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm every night.

2. Dwarka

Dwarka is among the four holy Hindu pilgrimage sites (Char Dham) in India. It sits on the southwestern tip of Gujarat and is also one of the top seven ancient religious cities in the country. Reckoned to be the place where lord Krishna established his prosperous kingdom, Dwarka is a must-see in Gujarat. And while there, why not stay at the serene Club Mahindra Dwarka resort?

Things to do and see in Dwarka: 

- Witness the celebration of Janmashtami

- Visit the beautiful and ancient Jagat Mandir

Strolling along the Gomti Ghat, the city’s riverside area, savour lip-smacking snacks and tea and buy handmade jewellery. You can also visit the nearby Shivrajpur Beach, which recently received the globally-recognised Blue Flag certification for safety and cleanliness.

3. Sabarmati Ashram

Mahatma Gandhi’s erstwhile home and now a museum, the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad is among Gujarat’s top attractions. The Ashram is steeped in history, as it was the origin for the Satyagraha Movement for independence.

Things to do and see at Sabarmati Ashram: 

- Immerse yourself in the various Gandhian memorabilia and photos

- Find your inner peace by joining meditators in their quest for calm.

- Take home a spinning wheel memento as a souvenir

For those interested in wildlife and nature:

4. Gir National Park

This wildlife reserve is the best place to visit in Gujarat for wildlife lovers for two reasons. First, the Gir Forest is the largest habitat for the Asiatic lion in Asia. Secondly, the local tribal community, Maldhari, lives harmoniously with the Asiatic lions. This unique co-existence is among the most fascinating things to witness in Gir. To make the best of your stay, check out the Club Mahindra Gir resort, which offers activities like aqua-zorbing, archery and magic workshops. 

Top things to do and see at the Gir National Park: 

- Watch Asiatic Lions

- See over 300 species of birds

- Visit the interpretation zone in Devalia

- Go on a jeep safari

5. Velavadar Blackbuck National Park

An hour’s drive north of Bhavnagar brings you to the beautiful Velavadar Blackbuck National Park. This place in Gujarat is an unmatched destination to witness the large local population of blackbucks, a rare, spiral-horned Indian antelope. The tropical grasslands of this park are home to wolves and birds.

Things to do and see at the Velavadar Blackbuck National Park:

- Sight blackbucks, wolves, and other wild species

- Jeep safaris

- Birdwatching

6. The Statue of Unity

The world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity is a colossal statue of statesman Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel situated in Kevadia near the famous Sardar Sarovar Dam. The statue is a recent addition (completed in 2018) to the list of tourist attractions in Gujarat. The 182-metre high statue is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty! A great place to stay on your trip is Club Mahindra Netrang , a 90-acre family vacation paradise located near the Statue of Unity, the Sardar Sarovar Dam, Kayavarohan Shiva Temple, and numerous other attractions. This verdant resort has something for everyone- from places suitable for quiet contemplation, long hikes, cycling trails to finger-licking foods, and organic farm tours.

Things to do and see at the Statue of Unity: 

- Sound and laser show,

- Butterfly and Cactus Garden

- Ayurvedic Wellness Center

- Handicraft stores

- Adventure sports

- Sardar Sarovar Dam

7. Kutch

Popular for its expansive white salt desert, archaeological sites, and wildlife sanctuaries, Kutch has a unique beauty that attracts visitors. The largest district in India, Kutch is also known for ecologically important Banni grasslands with their seasonal marshy wetlands. The region is also rich in architecture and textile art. Kutch embroidery is recognized by its dens motifs and mirrors sewn into the embroidery.  The region’s major highlights are the White Salt Desert and Rann Utsav, held annually between November and February.

Things to do and see in Kutch: 

- Bhuj

- White Salt Desert

- Dholavira

- Mandvi

- Dhordo & Hodka Villages

- Buy handicrafts at the local markets

- Try traditional Kutchi food

8. Vadodara/Baroda

Just 115km from Ahmedabad, Vadodara houses the largest private home in India - that of the royal family of Gaekwad. Known as the Laxmi Vilas Palace, it is set amidst 500 acres of lush greenery and is 4 times the size of Buckingham Palace. For the grand price of Rs. 200, you can get an audio-guided tour of its imposing coronation room, Gaddi hall, Durbar hall and the Royal Armoury.

Things to do and see in Vadodara: 

- Take a tour of Laxmi Vilas Palace

- Visit Sayaji Baug

- Meditate at or explore the Aurobindo Ashram

- Buy handprinted dress materials

- Visit Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery

9. Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium 

With a seating capacity of 132,000 spectators (the largest in the world), watching a cricket match at Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium is a once in a lifetime experience.

10. Kensville Golf & Country Club

Want to hone your golfing skills and meet some of India’s biggest celebs? Then the Kensville Golf Club Resort is the place to be! From Amitabh Bachchan to Narayana Murthy, Sachin Tendulkar and Sadhguru, celebs from the world of business, Bollywood, cricket and spirituality have all taken a swing at this impressive golf course. This course has also put Gujarat on the international golf map by hosting the European Challenge tour in 2011. Other popular tournaments that are held here include the Mercedes Trophy, Audi Quattro Cup and BMW Golf Cup International.

Staying at a Club Mahindra resort in Gujarat is the perfect way to have a comfortable, joyous, and beautiful vacation in this Western Indian state. Your Club Mahindra membership will guarantee a wonderful stay across various stunning family resorts in Gujarat. If you need further proof, do check out the Club Mahindra reviews online!

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