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Gujarat is situated on the west coast of India and has a long and varied history. According to legend the temple of Somnath which centres around tales and legends of Lord Krishna was itself actually here to witness the creation of the Universe. Excavations at Lothal have revealed a site belonging to the more than 4000-year old Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization. Buddhism too seems to have left its mark in the form of rock edicts near Junagarh.

More recently and closer to our times it was from Gujarat that Mahatma Gandhi started his crusade against the British Raj. He built his Sabarmati Ashram here and it was in the land of Gujarat itself that he led the famous Dandi March against the hated Salt Tax.

Modern Gujarat is a flourishing state and a major business and tourist destination. Its many attractions include numerous historic temples, some superb specimens of Indo-Saracenic architecture, the Sasan Gir forest which houses the last of the Asiatic lions and some beautiful beach resorts.

Gujarat boasts of a rich and unique cultural heritage. There are said to be about fifteen hundred fairs and about two thousand festivals in a year. Some of the more prominent and popular festivals are the International kite festival, the Navratri festival, the Kutch Mahotsav, the Dangs darbar, and the Tarnetar fair - to name a few. The International Kite Festival is celebrated towards the middle of January in Ahmedabad and is marked by great enthusiasm from participants gathered here from all over the world. The sky is dotted with a variety of kites in various shapes, sizes and colours.

Area: 196,024 sq. Km
Population: 64.7 million
Capital: Gandhinagar
Main Language: Gujarati
Best time to visit: October to March

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