LightRocket via Getty Images

Gujarat & Diu

Unfairly overlooked by many travelers scurrying between Mumbai and Rajasthan, Gujarat is an easy, and highly rewarding, sidestep off the tourist trail. While its major city Ahmedabad can draw you in with its deep sense of culture and remarkable architecture, the countryside holds most of the state’s many treasures. Artisans in tribal villages weave, embroider, dye and print some of India’s finest textiles, and excellent parks harbour unique wildlife, including migratory birds, wild asses and growling prides of Asiatic lions. Sacred Jain and Hindu pilgrimage sites sit atop mountains that rise dramatically from vast flatlands. For lovers of sand and sea, the chilled-out, former Portuguese island enclave of Diu lies just off the state's southeastern coast.

Gujarat also claims a special relationship to Mahatma Gandhi – he was born here, he ignited the satyagraha movement from here, he made his Salt March here – and his legacy remains visible in many places.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Gujarat & Diu.

Featured videos

Lesser-known destinations you need to visit