Gujarat abounds in historical places. This is one land that presents us with incredible archaeological monuments dating back to the times of the Indus Valley civilization. There are numerous heritage spots in Gujarat that reflect a unique blend of our rich historic past and vibrant and colorful culture. The many historical places that the state is dotted with show a real intriguing fusion of myriad architectural styles such as those of bygone eras, then the modern architectural styles, then the international architectural styles, then the regional architectural styles and so on. Thus architectural tourism has already gained a strong foothold on the land of Gujarat. Some of the top-rated historical places of Gujarat are listed below.
Lothal – Indus valley civilization
The Lothal ruins belong to the era of Indus Valley Civilization. Lothal projects marvelous town planning and seals excavated from this site indicate that people belonging to this zone of Indus Valley Civilization quite frequently engaged in trading activities with those belonging to other ancient civilizations such as Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Persian. Archaeological research indicates that this port of Lothal came into being somewhere around 1800-2400 BC and was, no doubt the first port of the country. Many seals dating back to as much as 4000 years, ancient bead jewelry, terracotta artefacts excavated from Lothal ruins definitely make history come alive for the many passionate history lovers.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
The travel sites of Champaner and Pavagadh have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. At these destinations you would get to notice the merging of different historical eras. It reflects a clear confluence between the Puranic ages and chivalric Rajput ruling period; also it reflects a vivid historical confluence between the Maratha ruling periods and the era when the Islamic influences started to dawn up. In other words, visiting historical sites of Gujarat is actually a lifetime experience for anyone.
Laxmi Vilas Palace
This highly ornate Laxmi Vilas Palace of Baroda was constructed in the year 1980 by Maharaji Sayaji Rao III. The cost incurred in constructing this lavish palatial 19th century building was about 60 lakhs which is equivalent to 6 crores in this 21st century. The unique Indo Saracenic architectural style of the Laxmi villas palace makes it an immediate attention grabber. The lavish and highly ornate darbar hall of this palace is really something one should never miss. The darbar hall of the Laxmi Vilas palace exhibits a rare fusion of many intricate European architectural styles. The Venetian patterned mosaic flooring, Stained Belgium glass windows, pillars embellished with multi-colored marble chips impart the darbar hall a real breath-taking royal touch
Archaeological Ruins, Dholavira
Dholavira in Kutch falls within the Bhachau Taluka. The Harappan ruins come alive in Dholavira which is why it is also differently referred to as the ‘Harappan city’. Dholavira is counted among the top seven wonders that the country has. J.P Joshi in the year 1967 discovered this exquisite archaeological site. Of the 8 Harappan cities, Dholavira is perhaps the largest one. During Dholavira excavations, a whopping amount of gold, silver, seals, animal bones, reservoirs were found. This ancient rectangular metropolitan city of Dholavira exhibits two different water channels – Mansar in north and Manhar in south. The many brick-made buildings dotting the city, highly sophisticated systems for water conservation and urban planning that you get to visualize at Dholavira will invariably make you feel, as it were you have traversed back in time. In fact your visit to Dholavira would let you learn a lot about the treasures hidden in our valued ancient civilizations.
Rani ki Vav
This palace was constructed by queen Udayamati after her husband, King Bhimdev 1st passed away. The widow queen constructed the palace in memoriam of her king. The step well that the site presents is indeed an architectural masterpiece. Its construction was completed in the year 1063. Soon after its construction, water overflowed the banks of the adjoining River Saraswati and flooded the step well. Today the well is water-less but pulls tourists from different corners of the nation and globe who gather there to marvel at the carvings on the well, on the various subterranean structures abounding the site. The step well often leads one deep down to underground water levels and is no doubt, an engineering and architectural masterpiece.
So these are some of the major must-see historical sites of Gujarat that no tourist should miss.