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Info | Cities | Historical | Beaches | Pilgrimage | Hilstations | Adventure | Wildlife

Area : 196,000 sq km
Population : 41 million
Languages : Gujarati, Hindi, English
Capital : Gandhinagar
Accessibility : Talk in general about major airports ,major roads, rail heads etc

Gujarat has always been a popular tourist destination, mainly due to the wildlife sanctuaries, 'The Ranns of Kutch'. The Sasan Gir National Park is yet another popular pastime where one can come across lions. Most cities in this state also give the visitor a good chance to visit India in her rustic flavour.

It's not one of India's most visited regions, but has long been an important centre for Jains. It is one of India's wealthiest states, supporting modern industrial complexes as well as thriving village handicrafts. The last Asiatic lions are here, and the pleasant beaches make for a good evening. The state has also seen many a rulers seize the throne in the past. However, to this day Gujaratis have reached different corners of the world and in most continents have a sizable Gujarati population with its own "Gujarat Association". 'Patel Motels' in the USA are owned by the Patel community from Gujarat which seems to have a monopoly on both American motels and British supermarkets.

Two hundred years of Muslim rule from the 13th century was initially marred by destructive impulses but later led to a fruitful amalgamation of Muslim, Jain and Hindu architecture, giving rise to the unique building styles still apparent in the area today. Surprisingly, the British were the least successful interlopers, the eastern portion of Gujarat surviving British rule as a collection of princely states right up to Independence. In 1960 the current borders of Gujarat were established, creating today's linguistically unified state.

People are divided into three major groups in terms of religion - the Hindus, Jains and the Muslims, with the size of the communities divided in that order. Besides the pure Gujaratis, there are also those from Saurashtra and the people from Kutch, who have distinct cultures and speak in different dialects. There are two distinct dialects of Gujarati, in Saurashtra and Kutch.

Gujarat is especially known for its SarisMany of these are intricately designed with inlaid Zari work. The Patola Silk from Patan is famous and one of the biggest selling fabrics in some of the larger cities. It is famous for Bandhnis, traditional Gagra- Cholis are known to be excellent craftsmen, and there is a rich arsenal of arts and crafts at the government handicraft centres. Jamnagar is famous for its tie-and-dye fabrics and brightly coloured embroidery work.

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