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Best time to visit Gujarat

Discussion in 'Gujarat' started by KamleshZala, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. KamleshZala

    KamleshZala New Member

    I want to take my kids to Gujarat where we are actually from. I want my kids to see their home country and get to know their roots. As it would be their first time in India I need to make sure they go to India at the right time.

    I would like to know when the best time to visit Gujarat is?
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, welcome to the forum!

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    (Images from Nagarjun Kandukuru, Shovik and Desh Gujarat)

    Overview

    Blessed with the numerous destinations, ranging from beaches, heritage sites, religious sites and natural attractions, Gujarat is an underrated state for tourism in India. It is not very often that you'd hear someone talking about the beaches of Jamnagar, which have white powdery sands and clear turquoise waters. Or how about the Rani Ki Vav? While Rajasthan, just to the northeastern side of Gujarat, stands in the limelight for its heritage sites, this ancient step well is not as well known to many tourists. It was discovered only in the end of the 1900's and boasts of over 1,000 sculptures that can render any history buff speechless. Perhaps we can classify the two most famous sites in Gujarat as the Somnath Temple and the Great Rann of Kutch, which attract the greatest number of tourists in the state. For those who are brave enough to explore other fascinating sites in the region, it would be easier to do so if you know when is the best time to visit the state.

    Best Time to Visit Gujarat

    Gujarat is India's westernmost state, bounded by the Arabian sea to the west, Pakistan to the north, Rajasthan to the northeast, Madhya Pradesh to the east and Maharashtra to the south. Generally, the region has a dry and hot climate, though the sea helps in cooling as well. We can divide Gujarat's climatic conditions into three seasons, namely: the winter season, the summer season and the monsoon season.

    1. The Winter Season - (November to February)

    The winter season extends from the months of November to February. With day time temperatures around 29°C and night time temperatures around 12°C, this is the best season to visit Gujarat. You can indulge in all the sightseeing that you want because the pleasant climate would be suitable for walking and exploring. Days are usually sunny but temperatures remain very manageable. During nights, it can be a bit chilly so it's recommended that you bring light woollens, if you're not used to the cold.

    The seasonal salt marsh of Rann of Kutch, known as the Great Rann of Kutch, also begins to dry up by the end of October. This white sand desert is sure to delight the nature lover in you. On other times of the year, it remains covered in water but when it dries up, the resulting pure white salt marsh is stunning. They say that it's best to view this wonderful phenomenon during full moon, which lo and behold, also occurs during the winter season. The Rann Utsav, a festival revolving around the salt marsh desert, also occurs during the months of December to February.

    If you want to enrich your spiritual side, it's better to do so during the winter season as well. The pleasant climates can make for a peaceful and comfortable darshan. Dwarka, where Lord Krishna resided, is an important part of the Char Dham Yatra, which means it's an ideal place for the devout Hindus to pay tribute to the holy deity. In contrast, Somnath is regarded as part of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, so it's also an important pilgrimage site. Modhera and Palitana both have ancient temples worth visiting, filled with exquisite carvings that can only be explored comfortably during the winter season.

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    Somnath Temple (Image from Nagarjun Kandukuru)

    And finally, Gujarat is known to be a hot spot for migratory bird species. Migratory bird season is also from December to February so you can enjoy bird watching in Gujarat during these months. The Thol Bird Sanctuary in Mehsana is a little known bird watcher's haven. It has about 1.5 kilometres of nature trailing where you can spot bird species such as flamingoes, spot bills, cranes, egrets and pelicans. There's also the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, just about 60 kilometres away from Ahmedabad. Pelicans, flamingoes, herons and storks are the most commonly spotted species of birds here.

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    Thol Bird Sanctuary (Image from Emmanuel Dyan)

    Though the winter season is considered as the peak tourist season in Gujarat, it's still not as crowded as other states in India. This is especially true for other unknown destinations in the state so once you have done the usual tourist circuit, make sure you explore the hidden areas of Gujarat as well.

    2. Summer Season - (March to June)

    The summer season in Gujarat extends from the months of March until June. This is the hottest season of the state, with day time temperatures exceeding 40°C at times. Fortunately, nights are a bit more comfortable at around 30°C or higher. As you might have guessed, this is not the best time to visit Gujarat. The hot temperatures can render one uncomfortable, especially for those coming in from colder areas. If you must visit Gujarat during this time, make sure you stay hydrated, do sightseeing only early in the morning or late in the afternoon and of course, wear sunscreen.

    Gujarat has one main hill station, known as Saputara. It is located on the southern part of the state, on its border with Maharashtra. It is very much a different part of the state, away from the desert and coastal areas, Saputara has lush greenery, a lake and beautiful waterfalls. Its higher elevation means that one can enjoy a mild summer in the region. This is the preferred summer destination of most locals from Gujarat.

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    Saputara (Image from Nahush Barad)

    On the other hand, if you enjoy wildlife spotting, the best time for that is the summer season. Fortunately, there are many wildlife sanctuaries around Gujarat. The Gir National Park is perhaps the most popular one, as it is the sole home of the Asiatic lions, an endangered subspecies of lions. The Vansda National Park is another must visit, as it is home to large mammal species such as leopards, wild boars, hyenas and many more. The Veravadar Blackbuck National Park is home to a sizeable number of blackbucks, easily seen through its open grasslands.

    If you want to have that glorious tan, Gujarat is also home to a number of stunning beaches. As mentioned above, Jamnagar has white sand beaches like Sivrajpur Beach, Beyt Dwarka Beach and Balachari Beach. Junagadh also has a number of beaches like the Madhavapur Beach and Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach. And last but not the least are the beaches of Valsad, like the Tithal Beach, Kalai Beach and Udvada Beach. The Mandvi Beach in Rann of Kutch is also a favourite amongst locals and tourists. Summers can be very hot in Gujarat but frolicking in the beaches can give you some relief and fun.

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    Mandvi Beach (Image from Meena Kadri)

    3. Monsoon Season - (July to October)

    The last season extends from July to October, the monsoon season. This is the wettest season in Gujarat though some areas receive more rainfall than the other. Temperature remain on the high 30°C during day time while it remains around the high 20°C during night time. Humidity would still be high especially from the end of June until the first few weeks of July. Basically, the areas in the south receive more rainfall than the areas of the north like the Rann of Kutch, Ahmedabad, Saurashtra and Jamnagar. This is a good time to visit Gujarat, especially if you want to avail of hotel and tourism-related discounts.

    So what places can you visit in Gujarat during the monsoon season? There's Wilson Hill close to Surat, filled with carpets of lush greenery during monsoon season. It is a very small hill station, which locals usually reach as a picnic getaway. When monsoon season reaches its peak, it lends its hands to make the hill station greener and more beautiful. You can also visit the Polo Forest in the district of Sabarkatha. This is a virgin forest area with scattered ruins of temples all around. There are also water reservoirs that make the forest even more enticing.

    If you're okay with the sudden onsets of rains while sightseeing, you can also visit the cities around Gujarat during this time. Gandhinagar is the capital of the state, bustling and very modern with a few religious sites. Ahmedabad is the largest city of the state and since it receives less rainfall, you can enjoy sightseeing without too much worry about the rain. It has various temples and museums that one can explore.

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    Ahmedabad in Monsoon (Image from Rojnuam Davad)

    Conclusion

    Without a doubt, the best time to visit Gujarat is during the winter season. You can visit the main tourist attractions of the state during this season. Summers are generally avoided by tourists, but it's a great time for wildlife spotting and also visiting the sole hill station of the state. Even visiting the beaches during this season can be fun. Finally, the last season, monsoon, is also a great time for nature trailing, and as a bonus, you can get hefty discounts from hotels and travel agencies. I hope this helps!
     

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