Historical Places in Gujarat
Exploration of a land remains superficial if one just traverses its geographic contours and doesn’t concern with the hues of history intricately interwoven into the very existence of everyday life of its people and culture. That is why we take particular heed in ensuring that the tours we lead into the colourful land of Gujarat let you be acquainted with the historical backdrop of its tourist attractions as well. Talking of history, how can we not mention that Lothal and Dholavira in Gujarat still carry remnants of the 4000 year old Harappan Civilization?
The historical and mythical narratives accompanying the major pilgrimage destinations in Gujarat add to their splendor and glory. Be it the Dwarkadheesh Temple which prides itself on having been built over the Hari-Graha of what once had been Lord Krishna’s palace. The Char Dham pilgrimage dating back to the era of Adi Shankaracharya culminates with a visit to the Dwarkadheesh Temple. Archeological studies estimate the age of its main shrine to be 2000-2200 years. Even more ancient roots are traced of the Jyotirlinga at Somnath where Lord Shiva dwells in his beloved form of ‘Lord of Soma(Moon God)’. The temple towers high amidst the spectacular backdrop of ocean, in spite of having been through many cycles of destruction and subsequent restoration. The state bears one more pristine Jyotirlinga of Shiva at Nageshwar. The self-manifested Jyotirlinga is situated in an underground shrine, while a 25 m tall Shiva statue adorns the temple precincts. Ambaji Temple located in Banaskantha district is one of the prime Shakti shrines in India. Legend has it that the temple is built over the sacred spot at which Maa Sati’s heart fell. The Temple worships Shakti not as an image or an idol, but as ‘Shree Visa Yantra’. Well, when so many of the sacred shrines in a land date back to eras where even historical quests can’t reach, it suggests the ancientness of its cultural and religious heritage.
The beautiful Jain Temple of Hutheesing, Ahmedabad (built in1848) and the intricately exquisite Jama Masjid (built in 1424) are two of the other cardinal pilgrimage shrines which history enthusiasts ought to not miss. The ASI protected monument of Sun Temple at Modhera village, built during 1026-27 CE, is a splendidly sculptured sanctuary that adds feather in the crown of Gujarat’s archeological heritage.
No account of Gujarat’s history would be whole without mentioning perhaps the greatest of its contributions to India as well as, perhaps, the whole world – Mahatma Gandhi. Sabarmati Ashram, on the banks of River Sabarmati, in Ahmedabad preserves the holy memories of this great leader who made it his home for over twelve significant years of his spiritually enthused political life.