Located in the westernmost part of India, Gujarat is the most vibrant and lively state mainly due to its culture. Its varied terrain, stunning coastline, sacred pilgrimage sites, exotic wildlife, and numerous architectural wonders make it one of the top places to visit in India. Loved by regular travelers as well as honeymooners, the state is also home to numerous heritage sites, and some of them were recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites. This one-stop destination offers ample experiences that one tends to remember throughout their life. Go through this article to know about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Gujarat where you can have a magnificent time together as part of Gujarat tour packages.
Dholavira – A Harrapan City
Situated at Khadir Bet in the Kutch district of Gujarat, Dholavira is an archaeological site of a Harappan-era city that received the UNESCO world heritage site tag on 27th July 2021. Dholavira is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilisation after Rakhigarhi. Found in 1967 and excavated in 1989-90 for the first time, the ancient city of Dholavira is one of the most remarkable and well-preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE. This ancient site is known for its unique characteristics, such as its water management system, multi-layered defensive mechanisms, extensive use of stone in construction, and special burial structures. Managed by the Archaeological Survey of India, it is one of the top places to visit in Kutch, especially for history buffs.
Book Here : Kutch Tour Packages
Champaner – Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Champaner is the capital of Gujarat in the 16th Century and is an almost abandoned town of ruins now. Now the entire area called Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for anyone who loves to explore architecture and history as part of Gujarat tour packages. Covering over an area of 1,329 hectares, this heritage site is studded with prehistoric (chalcolithic) sites, a hill fortress of the early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat. Among the top places to visit in Vadodara, the site also includes other vestiges, fortifications, palaces, Jain and Hindu temples, mosques, residential precincts, agricultural structures, and water installations such as step wells and tanks dating from the 8th to the 14th centuries. Some of the prominent structures inside the park are Jami Masjid, Sahar ki Masjid, Kalika Mata Temple, Tomb of Sikander Shah, Ek Minar ki Masjid, Kevada Masjid, Helical stepped well, Mandvi or Custom House, Nagina Masjid, Pavagadh Hill, and Citadel Walls.
Book Here : Vadodara Tour Packages
Rani Ki Vav, Patan
Rani ki Vav is an intricately carved stepwell located in the fortified town of Patan. Situated on the banks of River Saraswati, it is one of the finest step-wells in India and among the prime places to visit in Patan. Rani ki Vav was built by Rani Udayamati in memory of her husband Bhimdev I (1022 – 1063 AD) of the Solanki dynasty. Declared as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 2014, it is one of the most famous legacies of the ancient capital city of Gujarat and also bagged the title of ‘Cleanest Iconic Place’ in India at the Indian Sanitation Conference 2016 in New Delhi. Built-in Maru-Gurjara architectural style, Rani Ki Vav is divided into seven levels of stairs. With 64 m long, 20 m wide & 27 m deep, every surface of the well and levels are adorned with fine sculptures of Hindu deities including those of Ganesh on the lower levels, preceded by those of Vishnu, Laxmi-Narayan, Uma-Mahesh, etc. The most imposing imagery is Lord Vishnu reclining on the thousand-hooded serpent Shesha at the water level of the Rani ki Vav. Also, there is a small gate below the last step of the stepwell, with a 30-kilometer tunnel that leads to the town of Siddhpur near Patan.
Book Here : Patan Tour Packages
The Historic City of Ahmedabad
Located on the banks of River Sabarmati, Ahmedabad, the erstwhile capital of Gujarat, is one of the biggest cities in India, and among the top Gujarat tourist places. Also known as Amdavad, the city of Ahmedabad is the commercial hub and also the living symbol of the rich cultural heritage of Gujarat state. Popularly called the Land of Gandhi as the city is closely associated with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of the nation. Declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2017, the city is known for its impressive monuments, wonderful museums, magnificent historical palaces, and splendid lakes. Sabarmati Ashram, Kankarai Lake, Jama Masjid, Akshardham Temple, Adalaj Stepwell, Huthee Singh Jain Temple, ISKCON Temple, Vintage Car Museum, Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Swaminarayan Mandir, and Sardar Patel National Memorial are some of the well-known places to visit in Ahmedabad.
Book Here : Ahmedabad Tour Packages
Wild Ass Sanctuary
Wild Ass Sanctuary is located in the Little Rann of Kutch, a salt marsh with sparse vegetation, mostly with xerophytic species. Covers an area of 4954 sq. km, the sanctuary is named after a sub-species of wild ass, the last population of which it harbors. It is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, and among the best places to visit near Ahmedabad for wildlife enthusiasts. Apart from wild ass, the sanctuary is also home to 32 other species of mammals such as chinkara, two types of desert fox, jackals, caracals, nilgais, Indian wolves, blackbucks, and striped hyenas along with 350 different species of birds, including the common crane, pelican and the lesser flamingo. Interestingly, the Little Rann gets a fair number of winged visitors in the winter months. It has been on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 2006.
Must Visit : Tourist Places near Ahmedabad
Lothal – a Harappan Port-Town,
Lothal in Gujarat is one of the legendary lost cities of India. Dating back to 2400 BCE, Lothal is the only explored port-town of the Indus Valley civilization, or Harappan Civilization, from the Bronze Age. This pre-historic site was discovered in the year 1954 and was excavated between 1955 and 1960 by the Archaeological Society of India (ASI). Today, it is one of the oldest places of heritage in India and has been on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 2014. Lothal is also famous for its town planning, architecture, science and engineering, metallurgy, and art. The most architecturally sophisticated part of Lothal was its dockyard, one of the world’s earliest docks. Besides, Lothal was a thriving trade center with its trade of gems, beads, and valuable ornaments in the bygone times. Though floods wiped off the town during that time, structures like wells, dwarfed walls, baths, drains, and paved floors can still be seen.
Also Read : Top Heritage Sites in Gujarat
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.