Travel to Gujarat, India – Episode 781

categories: asia travel

Travel to Gujarat, India (Podcast)

Hear about travel to Gujarat, India as the Amateur Traveler talks again to James Schomburgk about festivals, temples and Asiatic lions.

James says, “Gujarat is in the far western central of northern India. Pakistan is its western border. And the southern border is the Arabian Sea. It’s actually close to some of the big hitting states in terms of tourism, but it’s a very different geographically. It’s very different feel to the rest of India. If you’re looking for something that’s remote. If you’re looking for something that is you’ll be, you’ll be certainly be treated like royalty, because everybody will be looking at you bizarrely because they rarely see any tourists. The beauty of it is I think, for me, the wildlife, the wildlife is was quite mind blowing. And I know I’ve spoken to so many people in India, a lot of people associate India with tigers, but what they have in Gujarat is lions, leopards, hyena, and wolf, animals that people would be a bit surprised that are in India. It was the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi so it’s also got a lot of history.”

James starts us in the city of Bhavnagar. He stayed in the Nilambag Palace with the current Maharaja. Half the palace has been turned into a hotel.

He takes us then to one of the most holy sites in Jainism at Shatrunjaya. You can climb the 3,300 steps past a number of temples to a set of ornate temples at the top that are 900 years old. The view from the top of the mountain is also spectacular. If you don’t have the fitness to climb the steps you can get carried up on a litter. 

From there James directs us to Sasan Gir National Park where you can see the last remaining Asiatic Lions in India.  The Asiatic Lion is a close cousin of the African Lion. In addition to lions, they saw the nilgai which are the largest Asian antelope and the dangerous mugger crocodile. Gir National Park is closed from 16 June to 15 October every year.

The nest stop is Junagadh which is known for its old fort (the name literally translates to “Old Fort”). There are also some spectacular mausoleums in Junagadh which were built in the late 1800s in an Indo-Islamic style. They have elaborate carving and minarets with exterior spiral staircases. But the most memorable part of James’ visit to Junagadh was the festival of Bhavnath Mela where throngs of people would climb the nearby holy hill of Girnar wearing their best sari… or in the case of some Naga (holy men) wearing nothing at all.

Somnath temple is a sacred Hindu site that has been built and rebuilt over the centuries after it fell victim to invading Muslim armies from the west.

Gujarat cuisine is vegetarian and you won’t find alcohol either for religious regions so James and his traveling companion enjoyed a visit to the tiny state of Diu which used to be a Portuguese possession. Here you could see the blending of the Indian and Portuguese cultures… and get a cheap beer. They enjoyed a visit to a fishing village and a pick-up game of cricket with locals.

The last stop on our itinerary is Blackbuck National Park for more wildlife viewing including the eponymous Blackbuck antelope, striped hyena and Indian wolf. James highly recommends a stay in the luxurious Blackbuck Safari Lodge.

After you have seen the well-known sites of India, explore some of its hidden gems like Gujarat.

subscribe: rss feed | Apple podcasts

Sponsors

World Nomads travel insurance

When I needed travel insurance quickly I went to World Nomads. It is a brand I know and a brand I trust in travel insurance. Get a quote at WorldNomads.com.

Skylight Frame

This episode is sponsored by Skylight Frame which is an easy to use smart frame. Get it for mom for mother’s day and the whole family can keep it updated with new photos just by sending an email. Get $10 by going to skylightframe.com and using the code traveler.

Zocdoc.com/traveler

This episode is sponsored by Zocdoc. With Zocdoc it is easy to find a highly rated doctor near you, that takes your insurance. NOW is the time to prioritize your health. Go to Zocdoc.com/traveler and download this free app.


right click here to download (mp3)



Booking.com

Show Notes

Gujarat
Ahmedabad
Asiatic lion
Little Rann of Kutch
Bhavnagar
Nilambag Palace
Shatrunjaya
Jainism
India and the Enduro India Motorcycle Rally – Episode 34
Gir National Park
Asiatic Lion Lodge
Nilgai
Mugger crocodile
Junagadh
Bhavnath Mela
Girnar
Uparkot Fort
Chandragupta Maurya
Mahabat Maqbara complex
Maha Shivaratri
Gujarati cuisine
Somnath temple
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Diu, India
Diu Fortress
St. Paul’s Church, Diu
Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar
Blackbuck Safari Lodge
Striped hyena
Indian wolf

Community

Support Amateur Traveler on Patreon

Please take our listener survey

Amateur Traveler Trips

Travel to Gujarat, India (Podcast) | Things to do in Gujarat #travel #trip #vacation #india #gujarat #things-to-do-in #places #temples #mosque Travel to Gujarat, India (Podcast) | Things to do in Gujarat #travel #trip #vacation #india #gujarat #things-to-do-in #places #temples

Share this:

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Tags: , , , ,