India // Gujarat //



SAURASHTRA, or the Kathiawar Peninsula, forms the bulk of Gujarat state, a large knob of land spreading south from the hills and marshes of the north out to the Arabian Sea, cut into by the Gulf of Cambay to the east and the Gulf of Kutch to the west. This is Gujarat at its most diverse, populated by cattle-rearing tribes and industrialists, with Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Muslim architecture, modern urban centres and traditional bazaars. Saurashtra boasts India’s finest Jain temple city at Shatrunjaya near Palitana, Krishna temples at Dwarka and Somnath, and Ashoka’s Buddhist capital, Junagadh. Lions can still be found in Gir National Park, while northeast of Bhavnagar, India’s largest herd of blackbuck lives in Velavadar National Park. Gandhi’s birthplace is honoured in Porbandar and his former family home in Rajkot has been turned into a museum. For sun, sea and beer, head to the formerly Portuguese island of Diu, just off the south coast.

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