Where in India can you find a vibrant mix of mountains, rivers, and the sea? Which state in India is extensively rich in ancient history and culture and an epitome of modern development at the same time? Which place is home to the majestic city of Dwarka, founded and ruled by the god himself?
If the answers to these questions were to be given in a single word, it would be Gujarat. Grand palaces, expansive seasides, vibrant colors, spellbinding architecture, and delectable cuisines are just some of the things that define the land of Gujarat.
Gujarat has more than enough attractions to offer travelers who want to whet their wanderlust unforgettable experiences worth cherishing for a lifetime.
Be it the beautiful cities of Surat and Rajkot, the breathtaking Rann of Kachchh, the exotic hills, the rejuvenating beaches, or the numerous heritage places that tell stories of an otherwise long-forgotten past, Gujarat can satiate your travel thirst and leave you yearning for more.
The entire state of Gujarat bustles with places worth traveling to, so much so that it is impossible to truly appreciate one place without overlooking another. In the following paragraphs, we discover eight such offbeat places in Gujarat that are often overlooked by people but are worth visiting nevertheless.
Don Hill Station
Nearby places: Waghai, Saputara
Best time to visit: Late Summer and Monsoon (June-October)
Accommodations: There are no places to stay in Don. You can go to Saputara or Waghai and find accommodations there.
Just 51 kilometers from the town of Waghai, nature lives in its full glory in the Hill Station of Don. Don Hill Station offers some of the best scenes of natural beauty in varying varieties. The village of Don is mainly inhabited by the native tribes with a population of over 1200.
At a height of 1000 meters, the village of Don is nestled amid the Sahyadri hills along with the neighboring hilly town of Saputara. Lush green hills, striking sunsets, beautiful lakes, and completely green surroundings await you at Don. Here, you will wake up with birds chirping and go to bed with a deep, satisfying feeling.
Nearby places: Narayan Sarovar (33 km), Bhuj (135 km)
Best time to visit: Winter (December February)
Accommodations: Toran Hotel, Narayan Sarovar
You can’t complete a Gujarat trip without visiting Kachchh, can you? The great Rann of Kachchh should not be the reason. The abandoned town of Lakhpat is located in the Kachchh district of Gujarat. Lakhpat derives its name from the 13th-century ruler Rao Lakha.
The Lakhpat Fort is the most popular attraction in this ghost town. The 7-km-long fort walls have enveloped the town for over two centuries and continue to do so. Though now largely ruined, the fort still stands straight and attracts many tourists.
The 500-year-old Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar is also a popular attraction. Guru Nanak purportedly stopped here twice during his missionary journeys.
Nearby places: Vijaynagar (17 km)
Best time to visit: Monsoon to Winter (July-December)
Accommodations: Look for a wide-ranging variety of accommodations in Vijayanagar.
The Polo Forest is located in the Sabarkantha district of Gujarat, 17 km from the city of Vijayanagar. Residing on the banks of the ancient Harnav River, the forest is rife with hundreds of species of plants and animals, including some rare endangered species such as the Brown-headed Barbet and Grey Hornbill.
The forest has nothing to do with the game of Polo. Pol in Marwari means “gate,” which signifies the forest as it acts as a gateway between Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Want to surround yourself with thousands of other different organisms? Visit this forest for an unforgettable experience.
Nearby places: Dwarkadhish Temple (14 km), Rukmini Devi Temple (12 km)
Best time to visit: Winter and Summer
Accommodations: A wide range of accommodations available in Dwarka
For most people, Dwarka is a religious place, the place where the great Lord Krishna settled and established his kingdom of prosperity and happiness. While Devbhoomi Dwarka is a religious and historical place at its core, it has much more to offer than a pilgrimage.
The Shivrajpur Beach – located just 12 kilometers north of the Rukmini Devi Temple – is where you can appreciate the beauty of the Arabian Sea in its pristine form. Stretched over a long distance across the Shivrajpur village, the white-sand beach is easily accessible via road and rail.
Narala and Pirotan Islands
Nearby Place: Jamnagar
Best time to visit: Winter (December- February)
Accommodations: Can be found in Jamnagar.
These two are the only islands people are allowed to visit. The islands are located 22 km off the coast of Jamnagar district, which is also the jurisdiction area of the islands.
Visiting the islands requires permission from various departments, but once you have reached there, you can enjoy the exotic scenery, marine life, and everything else the islands have to offer.
The islands are pretty small in area, and Pirotan Island has the holy shrine of Khwaja Khizr Rahmatullahialaih.
Nearby place: Junagadh
Best time to visit: November to February
Accommodations: Easily available in Junagadh
Popularly known as the Revatak Parvata, Girnar Hill has rightfully earned a placed on our list of offbeat places in Gujarat. the highest peak in Gujarat. It is so high that you need an entire day to climb to the top. Situated at the end of the 10000 steps are many temples, including the popular Ambaji Temple.
In addition to the spiritual aura here, you get a view and an experience that will stick to your mind forever and remain fresh for years to come.
Traveling with your folks, grandparents, or children? If 10000 steps seem too daunting for you, you can take the Girnar Ropeway instead, which will take you to the top in eight minutes. Quite a relief, right? Whatever you choose, you won’t regret it, we promise!
Nearby Places: Sihor (22 km)
Best time to visit: December-March
Accommodations: Blackbuck Safari Lodge; Hotel Sumeru
Bhavnagar is one of the most culturally-rich towns in Gujarat. The small town of Bhavnagar is not as famous as many other bigger cities but is rich in cultural and natural beauty. Jalebi and Ganthiya are two popular snacks in this city.
The city is also rich in flora and fauna. The Velvadar Bird Sanctuary is a prominent attraction where you can see various exotic species of birds, including some rare migratory birds such as Florican and Harriers.
Rani ki Vav
Nearby places: Mehsana (52 km); Ahmedabad (129 km)
Best time to visit: October to March
Accommodations: Easily available in Patan.
The town of Patan is rich in ancient sites and monuments, and Rani ki Vav is the most popular of them.
The 11th-century stepwell, created by Rani Udayamati in remembrance of her husband Bhimdev I, is known as the finest stepwell. The intricate designs adorn the entire stepwell architecture with expertise and precision.
Less than a decade ago, in 2014, UNESCO recognized this magnificent structure as a world heritage site. The inverted temple is one of its kind and is believed to celebrate the sanctity of water.
If you are interested in cultural significance and ancient architecture, Rani ki Vav is a feast for you.
No matter how long a travel list is, it can never be complete. And this is truer for Gujarat than for other places. So, we have tried to keep the list short. We discussed eight diverse places: mountains and forests, beaches and islands, religious places, and archeological sites.
So, you know better than to wait any longer. Create a bucket list, pack your bags, and start off with all the offbeat places on your Gujarat trip without waiting any longer. Tell us which places you’re going to visit first. We can’t wait to hear from you.
After returning from Gujarat, if you’re ever looking out for a fun idea to visit more lesser-known, offbeat places in Maharashtra, consider giving this blog a read!