Experiential travel stories from India and 31 other countries!

11 Highlights of my first trip to Gujarat

Ekta Cruise in Kevadia

The state of Gujarat is hot in summers. But when I had an opportunity to travel to Ahmedabad and nearby places in the last week of May, I did not let it pass. This was my first trip to Gujarat and I wanted to make the best of it. I chalked out a smart itinerary and planned my outings for mornings and evenings majorly. For the afternoons, I marked out the places where I could spend my time indoors like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel museum, Sabarmati Ashram, mosques and temples. Just when I had finalized my travelling dates, I also learnt that IPL 2023 fever was all set to grip the city of Ahmedabad during that period. The qualifier and finals were slated to take place in the Narendra Modi Stadium, (formerly known as Motera Stadium). Though, hubby and I are not one of those crazy cricket fans, but who doesn’t love cricket in India. Little did we know that a lot of excitement was awaiting us at ITC Narmada- A Luxury Collection Hotel in Ahmedabad. Hint-The CSK Team stayed there for the finals and we couldn’t escape the cricket frenzy and fandom as well. And did I tell you that I was also part of the cake cutting celebrations at the hotel after the team won? Ohhhh ya that was a moment!!

11 highlights of my trip to Gujarat
On the first day, I visited the Teen Darwaza in the historic heart of Ahmedabad. It was just 12 minutes walk from my hotel – Lemon Tree Premier
Modhera Sun Temple in the night
Modhera Sun Temple post sunset

First Impressions

Gujarat is a special and prosperous state in India. It is called the business person’s paradise. It has not only been home to the majestic stepwell at Patan, historic Sun Temple of Modhera, barren salt plains of Rann, world’s tallest statue at Kevadia, the largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, GI tagged Patola sarees but has also witnessed the life-changing journeys of the global leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.  I did not form any preconceived notions before my trip because I wanted to explore the historic facets for myself and make my own first impressions. I was curious to find out more about Ahmedabad, the UNESCO World Heritage City and its thriving cultural traditions and have returned impressed with its gamut of offerings- colourful bazaars, mosques, temples, eateries and old residential quarters (pols). And when it comes to indulging in the local treats like Fafda, Jalebi, Thepla, Gaatiya, Dhokla, Handvo, Khaakra, Khaandvi, Farsaan, Gujarat has no match. Now, I know why Gujaratis are so particular about carrying these snacks with them wherever and whenever they travel.

Read more – My 4 days Itinerary for Odisha

National Expresswat - A part of Golden Quadrilateral
Road tripping in GujaratWe were on the Golden Quadrilateral too

11 highlights of my first trip to Gujarat

The trip to Gujarat once again made me realize that every state of India is unique and has plenty to offer. There is no dearth of stories of kingdoms, hidden gems and their steadfast rulers. Also, there is no greater joy than discovering new places. In this trip, I visited Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Patan, Modhera and Kevadia for the first time. And of course, roadtripping is always fun. We also touched a part of Golden Quadrilateral on our way to Statue of Unity.

  • It was heartening to learn about Ahmedabad, India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City. The city is a bustling cosmopolitan hub, with an abundance of history and tradition. I quite liked the Sabarmati waterfront and all the efforts that have been made to help the locals make use of it. Atal foot-over bridge is the latest addition there. The walking paths, the gardens, children parks, and the activities that take place around it lend a whole new dimension to the city.
  • The stepwells were amazing. While Adalaj is a good one to get introduced to the concept of stepwell, Rani-ni-Vav in Patan is a masterpiece. It is one of the oldest and finest stepwells in India.

Read more – 11 Obvious Things to do in Kerala

Best stepwell of India in Gujarat
Rani Ni Vav in Patan in Gujarat
  • No trip to Gujarat is termed complete without buying Patan Patola silk, a traditional saree, made exclusively in the culture-rich town of Patan. I had the opportunity to see the processes involved in the making of it. I visited the workshop of Patola House in Patan and studied each and every step in detail. It was the most enriching experience to see how it all begins on the raw silk strands. It involves a unique weave, double ikat, combining the techniques of tying, dyeing and weaving, etc.
  • After visiting Konark Sun temple in Odisha in November, I was glad to be at Modhera Temple where it was worth to wait for the Light and Sound show.

This is how Statue of Unity looks
Statue of Unity in Ekta Nagar in Gujarat
  • The experience of going to Kevadia, now Ekta Nagar was also good. The Statue of Unity is magnanimous. Only when you go there, you realize that a lot of effort and planning has gone into its making. I liked the vibe of Narmada river as well. It was very calming. The Sardar Sarovar dam was closed right now. I would have loved to see it functional as well.
  • Watching the second qualifier of IPL 2023 at Narendra Modi stadium will always be memorable. We bought the tickets just 15 minutes before the match began. While the beginning was thrilling, the end was worth it as we saw God of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar on the field.
My visit to Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad
This turned out to be an impromptu but thrilling addition to my trip to Gujarat
  • In the last leg of my trip, I stayed at ITC Narmada hotel for two nights and it took my entire Gujarati experience a few notch higher. It is grand, gorgeous and generous with its hospitality. Why you must visit it? Because it will pamper you to the core and every design element of the hotel gives an ode to the grandeur of Gujarat.
  • I have always been keen to know more about Mahatama Gandhi and thus, I was happy to visit Sabarmati Ashram. Even Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel’s museum gives an insight in his works and teachings. Have you seen the Gujarat club where the two stalwarts of our freedom struggle met each other for the first time? Sabarmati remains the focal point of the Indian Freedom Struggle.

You must not miss Patan Patola on your trip to Gujarat
Making of the Patan Patola on raw silk
  • I have been sharing this story with all my friends. It rained on the final day of the IPL match and how we got to see the CSK team as were in the same hotel. We were also part of the cake cutting celebration when the team returned after the win. It was a rare opportunity to see MS Dhoni.
  • I quite enjoyed exploring the historic heart of the city and walking around Bhadra fort, Bhadrakali temple, Teen Darwaja, Hatheesingh temple, Jama Masjid, Sarkhej Roza, etc. One of the popular things in Ahmedabad is Sidi Saiyyed Mosque.
  • And last but not the least, Gujarati food is delightfully different. It was all about the fresh fafdas, jalebis, khakhras and patras etc. A quick trip to Manek chowk should be on everyone’s list. The Gujarati thali at Royal Vega was a wholesome platter that not only looked mouthwatering but tasted delicious too.
Don't miss Gujarati Thali on your trip to Gujarat
The wholesome Gujarati platter served at Royal Vega at ITC Narmada

I covered all of the above mentioned places in 7 days and 6 nights. If you need my itinerary or a reliable driver, do comment.

Gujarati breakfast plate
My breakfast plate – Lemon Tree Premium, Ahmedabad

Where did I Stay in Gujarat?

  • Lemon tree Premier -The Atrium for 3 nights. It boutique style hotel makes for a good choice if you wish to stay closer to the Sabarmati waterfront and the old part of the city.
  • Ramada encore By Wyndham Statue of Unity for 1 night is perfect if you wish to spend a night at Kevadia.
  • ITC Narmada to indulge in luxury, be pampered and to learn about the grandeur of Gujarat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.