The history of the west coast state of Gujarat goes back to over 2000 years. Gujarat has been ruled by various kingdoms like the Mauryan, Gupta, Patihara, Chalukyas and others during its long history. During the rule of the Chalukyas, the state witnessed tremendous progress and prosperity. Despite the plunder by Mahmud of Ghazni, the Chalukyan kings were able to maintain the general well being of the state. Gujarat was also a bone of contention between the Mughals and Marathas. The state is also inextricably linked with the life of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, as he was born here, and spent his early years here. He came back from South Africa to Ahmedabad, one of the major cities of Gujarat, to wage his long struggle for independence against the British.

With the reorganisation of the states, the union of the states of Saurashtra and the Union Territory of Kutch along with the former British, Gujarat became a part of the bilingual state of Bombay. The present state of Gujarat came into being on 1st May 1960. The state is bound by the Arabian sea on the west, Pakistan and Rajasthan on the north and north-east respectively, Madhya Pradesh in the south-east and Maharashtra in the south.

Gujarat has always been an important centre for the Jains, and some of its most important sights are the Jain temple complexes like those at Palitana and Girnar Hill. Other places of tourist interest include religious spots like Dwarka, Somnath, Pavagadh, Ambaji, Bhadreshwar, Shamlaji and Taranga; Porbandar, birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, memorable architectural and archaeological monuments in places like Patan, Siddhpur Ghumli, Dabhoi, Vadnagar, Modhera, Lothal and Ahmedabad; beautiful beaches like Ahmedpur-Mandvi, Corwad, Ubharat and Tithal; the hill resort of Satpura, the lion sanctuary of Gir Forest and the Wild Ass sanctuary in the Kutch area.

Gir Forest