Popularly believed to have derived its name from Gujjaratta, meaning the land of the Gujjars, a tribe that migrated to India around the 5th century AD, the state of Gujarat is one of the most traveled tourist destinations in India. It actually offers a host sightseeing options that are considered as some of the excellent tourist attractions in Gujarat.
Gujarat's principal city is Ahmedabad (also known as Amdavad) and is one of the major industrial cities in India. Although it retains little evidence of the Raj, it has been called the `Manchester of the East' due to its many textile industries and its smokestacks. Ahmedabad is also very noisy and incredibly polluted; Relief Rd (Tilak Rd) gets the author's votes as one of the most polluted, congested and thoroughly chaotic strips of barely controlled mayhem in the country. It's a real rat race and only on Sunday mornings is there any respite. Visitors in the hot season should bear in mind the derisive title given to Ahmedabad by the Moghul emperor, Jehangir: Gardabad, the City of Dust.
Bhavnagar is a coastal city situated in the state of Gujarat. It is located in the Saurashtra region and is also known as Kathiawar. Bhavnagar was once the capital of a princely state ruled over by the Maharaja of Bhavnagar and still exhibits the age old charm and royalty, which contribute to travel and tourism in the city. It was founded by Bhavsinhji Gohil, near the Gulf of Cambay. He chose the strategic location so that sea trade could be carried out easily from the port. Thereafter, Gohil Rajput ruled over it till independence.
Gandhinagar is the capital city of Gujarat. It is located on the west bank of River Sabarmati, about 32 km from Ahmedabad. The city is named after the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. After the partition of Gujarat and Maharashtra, it was decided to make a new capital for Gujarat. As a result, Gandhinagar was established in the vicinity of Ahmedabad. It is a well organized and architecturally integrated city and is slowly picking up as a tourism destination. Gandhinagar is the administrative headquarter of Gandhinagar District. It is a major center of learning in Gujarat. Many educational institutes have sprung up in the city, which provide knowledge in different fields like science, medicine and engineering.
Rajkot is the administrative headquarter of the Rajkot district in Gujarat. It is situated at a distance of 216 km from Ahmedabad. The tourism in the city is slowly picking up owing to the fact that there are a number of places here that are worth visiting. It was founded by Thakur Saheb Vibhaji Ajoji Jadeja of Jadeja clan in 1612 AD. Since then, it has been the seat of Jadeja rulers of India. Rajkot is also known for the reason that Mahatma Gandhi spent the early days of his life here only. He completed his education in one of the schools here. Apart from this, the city is famous for jewelry, silk embroidery and watch parts. It is also famous for its gold purity. Rajkot has one of the biggest gold markets of Gujarat, called Soni Bazaar.
Junagadh is situated right at the base of the temple-studded Girnar Hill, and is the departure point for visits to the Gir Forest. This interesting and unspoilt town has some exotic old buildings, most in a state of disrepair, and is a fascinating place to explore, but very few tourists come here. The city takes its name from the fort, which enclosed the old city. Dating from 250 BC, the Ashokan edicts near the town testify to the great antiquity of this site. At the time of Partition, the Nawab of Junagadh opted to take his tiny state into Pakistan. However, the inhabitants were predominantly Hindu and the nawab soon found himself in exile, which perhaps explains the sorry state of his former palace and fort.
Vadodara city is the administrative headquarter of the Vadodara district in Gujarat. It is often termed as Baroda and is the industrial capital of the state. The city stands on the bank of River Vishwamitri, flanked by a number of graceful buildings like palaces, parks, temples and museums. This has greatly boosted tourism in Vadodara. The cultural galore of Vadodara impels visitors to travel to this historic city. In the ancient time, it served as the capital city of Gaekwads, the former rulers of Vadodara.