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State of India - Gujrat
QUICK FACTS Climate (Degree C.): Summer - Max: 41, Min: 27. Winter - Max: 29, Min: 14 | Best Season: October - March | Languages Spoken: Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi and English | Capital: Gandhinagar

Gujarat, the state of Mahatma Gandhi, is a land exuberating many colours. With a rich coastline of 1600 kms and abundant natural beauty, Gujarat boasts of some of the finest beaches and amazing variety of wildlife. With a royal and interesting history, it is also home to some important historic monuments and temples. Gujarat is enriched with art, architecture, culture, music, painting, fairs and festivals which mirror the cultural pride of its people.

Geography of Gujarat:
Pakistan and the state of Rajasthan borders Gujarat to the north east, Madhya Pradesh in the east, and Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli in the south. The state is surrounded by the Arabian Sea to the west and the south west.

History of Gujarat:
In the grand epic of Mahabharata, it is believed that Lord Krishna left Mathura to settle on the west coast of Gujarat (Saurashtra) at Dwarka. Gujarat was also home to the Indus Valley and Harappan civilization. The ruins of these sites have been found in several areas of Gujarat like Lothal, Rangpur, Amri, Lakhabaval, Rozdi. The Dravidian tribes were said to be the original inhabitants of Gujarat. Its name however is derived from "Gujjar Rashtra", the land of the Gujjars, a migrant tribe who came to India in the wake of the invading Huns in the 5th century. The strong historical background of Gujarat also owes to the fact that it was ruled by a number of mighty kings, like the Mauryas, the Scythians, the Guptas, the Solankis and the Mughals.

Tourist Places of Gujarat:
Visit Ahmedabad and watch the buildings and other monuments that are an example of excellent Indo-Saracenic style. The Somnath and Akshardham Temples in Gandhinagar are the center of pilgrimage for the Hindus that come here from across the world. Head off to Sabarmati Ashram that gives the minutest details about the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Roam in and around the ancient several palaces of Gujarat that still reverberate with the glory of the past. Famous cities and towns of Gujarat include Ahmedabad, Kutch, Rajkot, Junagadh, Veraval, Somnath, Porbandar, Bhuj, Dwarka.

Fairs & Festivals of Gujarat:
Festivals in Gujarat are celebrated with great passion and religious sentiment. Diwali is one such festival which is famous not only in Gujarat but all over India. Navratri is the festival of nine nights dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine forms. The boys and girls dressed in traditional and colorful attires dance to the tunes of the folk music, enjoying the famous 'dandiya' or 'garba' dance with the sticks. Kite Flying festival also known as Uttarayan in Gujarat is celebrated on the 14th on every January when the colourful kites adorn the sky all over the state. Tarnetar Fair is a 3 day fair held annually at Tarnetar in Saurashtra, Gujarat in the month of August/ September. The fair coincides with the festival at the Trineteshwar temple, celebrating the wedding of the legendary 'Mahabharata' (epic) hero, Arjuna with Draupadi. Other national festivals like Holi and Janmashtami are specially celebrated in Gujarat with great enthusiasm. The Modhera Dance Festival, organized by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat in held every year in January for three days where classical dance forms against the back drop of the Sun Temple in Modhera.

Cuisine in Gujarat:
Being influenced by Gandhiji and religious ideologies, most of the Gujaratis prefer only vegetarian diet and avoid alcohol. Gujarati cuisine is a blend of exquisite flavours and textures. Gujarati cuisine is in many ways unique from other culinary traditions of India. Most recommended is the delectable and attractive Gujarati Thali. It contains all the four major components i.e. Cereal, Pulses, Vegetables, Rice and supplements like pickle, buttermilk, chutney, papad and salad. There is ample use of ginger, garlic, green chilies and jiggery/sugar in various dishes. It is an assortment of some of the most traditional dishes of Gujarat; and is perfect who want to try out new cuisines but in small doses.

Shopping in Gujarat:
Gujarat is famous for its exquisite handwork like inlaid zari, beadwork, embroidered mirrors, tinsels and ammos, tye and dye work etc. This art narrates the excellent needle work of olden times and is evident in its dazzling attires like saris, ghaghra choli, dupattas, salvar kameez etc. The Patola silk saris from Patan are especially great in demand. Some of the major cities involved in the export of fabrics are Surat, Jamnagar, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, and Vadodara where you can find endless shops and emporiums. Gujarat also offers some beautiful home décor artefacts like the wall draperies, embellished appliqué quilts, cribbed outfits, rag playthings, inflated footwear and glossed fixtures which is sure to add some jazz to your home.