Saurashtra

Saurashtra, "land of one hundred kingdoms", was divided among some 220 princely states before becoming a part of Gujarat. It was popularly known as Kathiawad for the Kathi tribe that migrated to Gujarat around the 7th-8th c. AD. The different theories about their geographic roots unanimously point north of Saurashtra. Most places in the peninsula retain a small town feel, local cadences of Gujarati called Kathiawadi, and a tradition of a daily siesta when everything shuts down. The region abounds in religious shrines, wildlife sanctuaries, palaces and relics of royal legacies. From the Asiatic Lions of Gir and the Jain temples of Palitana to the ancient ruins scattered in the Barda Hills and the laid-back Portuguese-influenced enclave of Diu, the region offers a wide spectrum of fascinating places to visit.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Take a safari into the Gir National Park, the last remaining habitat of the Asiatic lion, and chance a meeting with this King of the Jungle.
  • Relax on the beaches of Diu and delight in the distinctive fusion of Gujarati and Portuguese cultures.
  • Travel through time in the ancient city of Junagadh, where Emperor Ashoka inscribed his edicts, Buddhist monks sculpted caves and the Muslim Nawabs reigned for several centuries.  
  • Visit the omnipotent Somnath Temple, which has been destroyed and rebuilt six times and houses one of India’s 12 sacred jyotirlingas.
  • Excursion into the Wild Ass Sanctuary in the Little Rann of Kachchh for an exciting adventure filled with sightings of the Wild Ass, a drive through salt flats and a glimpse of a unique pastoral culture.
  • Climb 3,000 steps up to the enchanting abode of the Gods at Palitana, which has more than 860 Jain temples.
  • Explore between medieval towns, splendid stepwells, haunting memorial stones and ancient ruins scattered across the vast region of Surendranagar District.
  • Visit Dwarka, steeped in myths of the legendary Krishna and considered one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism.
  • Trek along the hidden treasures of temple ruins tucked away in the rolling landscape of Barda Hills Sanctuary.