The most convenient entry
point into Gujarat is through the metropolis of
Ahmedabad. The city contains some very fine museums,
the Calico Museum of Textiles being considered among the
world?s finest. Ahmedabad?s walled city is a living
testimony to its heritage of crafts as women walk by in
dazzling embroidered garments and flashing ethnic silver
jewellery. Traditional Ahmedabad combines mosques of
inspired workmanship, wooden Jain temples, unique stone
stepwells and houses with ornately carved wooden balconies
and window screens.
Modern Ahmedabad, just across the River Sabarmati spanned
by four bridges, is a showpiece of contemporary
architecture with designs by Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and
the best known Indian architects. Ahmedabad is a
convenient base for a number of excursions, Modhera being
the best known. 106 km away, this is one of the very few
sun temples in the country.
Palitana, 215 km away, is a hilltop place of
pilgrimage for Jains. 863 temples of all sizes
crowd the hilll which has to be approached on foot. Stone and marble
spires with their rich detail of carving make for
Palitana?s very special appeal. Portuguese rule in India
included the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu,
the last two lying within the state of Gujarat.
Gujarat?s loveliest beach ? and the state is well endowed
with them ? is Ahmedpur Mandvi whose chief
attraction is the ethnic beach resort. Cottages modelled
on rural Gujarati architecture look out onto a secluded
beach, one of the state?s chief centres for water sports.