7 GU­JARAT

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Best Travel 2019 -

Wed­nes­day 2 Oc­to­ber 2019 is go­ing to be a big day in Gu­jarat. In­dian prime min­is­ter and Gu­jarat na­tive Naren­dra Modi has bud­geted 150 crore ru­pees (£16 mil­lion) to cel­e­brate the 150th an­niver­sary of the birth of Ma­hatma Gandhi, Gu­jarat’s best-known son. But even amid all the fan­fare there’ll be room to breathe in Gu­jarat’s calm and quiet cor­ners: back­wa­ter town­ships with skies full of kites; lions, wolves, hye­nas and wild asses wan­der­ing through na­ture re­serves; and tribal com­mu­ni­ties paint­ing the arid western district of Kachchh in rain­bow colours with their mir­rored and em­broi­dered cos­tumes. In this an­niver­sary year, set your sights on Ahmed­abad, where the ‘Great Soul’ founded his ashram be­side the Sabar­mati River and em­barked on the Salt March that proved to be the tiny acorn from which the mighty oak tree of In­dian in­de­pen­dence grew. Gandhi’s Sabar­mati Ashram is the fo­cus of the an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions but the ex­cite­ment will spill over to Gandhi’s birth­place in Por­ban­dar and his fam­ily home in Ra­jkot.

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