A fascinating and unusual route to the discovery of Gujarat, an indian region still unknown and far from mass tourism. The region is very interesting and fascinating both for its art and for the tribal people who live there. A different India with a different charm.
The state is located between the deserts of Sindh and That near the border with Pakistan. Here live people of Hindu and Jain faith, Muslims and Christians, ethnic groups and nomads.
We arrive at Ahmedabad, the capital city, where Mahatma Gandhi founded the Sabarmati Ashram and began his campaign of non-violence and non-cooperation. In Ahmedabad you can still admire temples and mosques of the pre-mughal period and a beautiful fort.
Soon we move to the west of the country to the Run of Kutch, because the authentic Gujarat is the one of different ethnic groups scattered in various villages who live following traditions thousands of years old.
The nomadic Rabari is the largest ethnic group dedicated to breeding of sheep and camels. They move over long distances between Gujarat and Rajastan in search of better pastures.
Their costumes are brightly colored and wear gold and silver jewelry; men have large and colorful turbans.
In their homes prevails white and blu color, the interior is painted lime and inlaid and decorated with many small mirrors.
We continue our trip towards another interesting place: Palitana a place sacre to Jain faith people. But to reach the temple we have to face a long stairway of 3700 steps that leads to the large complex of Jain temples: 836 temples where they worship 11000 deities. The climb is difficult but once arrived we realized that it was worthwhile.
The faithful Jains aspire to visit this place once in their life not only for the sacredness of the place but also to admire the architecture of the temples.
Our trip proceeds and after the visit to Mount Abu and to the Sun God temple, we head to Kumbalghargh to visit the important impressive looking citadel, surrounded by 13 hills. Its fort, once considered impregnable, has inside numerous temples of which the most important is the Badal Mahal, from where you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the valley below.
We have reached the end of our tour in Gujarat, now we will head towards Pushkar in Rajastan for the traditional November fair. But this is another story.