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Best Places To Visit Near Rajkot - Weekend Getaways
Rajkot is a serene beautiful city in the northern region of Gujarat. It is the pride of Saurashtra and renowned for its food, palaces, gardens and beaches. But of course, how much can you do in one city every holiday and weekend? Especially the short ones. So here’s a collection of places to visit around Rajkot for a short weekend. From heritage towns to beaches to white deserts, there is much to do and more to see.
Once a princely state, Junagadh has some very interesting stories of accession to India. Today, it is home to some great tourism in the form of historical monuments. Surrounded by Girnar Hills, the fort of Junagadh is more than 2300 years old and primed for your visit. Explore the Sakkabaug Zoo, Wildlife Museum, Uperkot, Damodar Kund, Durbar Hall and Mahabat Maqbara over your short weekend and enjoy the scrumptious spicy thalis with chilled chaas. Junagadh is 103 km from Rajkot and best visited in winters for its delicious kathiawari undhiyu and bajra na rotla.
The town of Gondal is located 35 km from Rajkot, known well for its collection of cars and amazing road network dating back to the British colonial era. From the grand Riverside Palace and Darbargadh to the Akshay Mandir, this is a good town for sightseeing. Darbargadh, also called Navlakka Palace is the star attraction here and brings tourists in flocks into its 17th Century gates. Besides all these places, Gondal’s everyday life on small cute streets gives it a charming vibe. Its markets are good to buy little souvenirs and handicrafts and small eateries perfect to snack in.
The name of Kutch ignites sceneries of white never ending deserts and camels treading across moonlit nights. That’s the Rann of Kutch, around 300 km from Rajkot. This place is perfect for a long weekend away, especially in the winter months when the popular Rann Festival is celebrated. The 7000+ sq. km desert is like a paradise of sunrises and sunsets, dreamy tents and musicians, camels and ATV rides. For other sightseeing and non-winter trips, you can visit the Prag Mahal, Kutch Museum, Dhola Vira, Aina Mahal and more.
Gir National Park
A day spent in the company of Asiatic lions is, any day, a day well spent! The Gir National Park, located 165 km away from Rajkot offers you a weekend of amazing fun in the wilderness. Ensconced in Talala Gir, this national park is home to lions, of course, along with chitals, sambars, blackbucks, porcupines, pangolin and wild boars. Winter and summer safaris are highly coveted while monsoons may lead to closing of the park temporarily.
Daman & Diu
A Beach haven located around 230 km from Rajkot is the UT of Daman Diu. These towns situated on the coast of south Gujarat are highly coveted as they are not dry states, unlike Gujarat itself. So alcohol-thirsty Gujaratis visit Daman and Diu to enjoy the chill, party life and drink to their heart’s content. Some even refer to it as the ‘cheaper Goa.’ With its churches, beaches, Portuguese forts and amusement parks, fun for the whole weekend is guaranteed. Visit the St. Jerome Fort, Jampore beach, Devka beach and Portuguese Fort; and don’t return home hungover.
A town of mataji or goddess, Pavagadh is located in the midst of hills in the Panchmahal district. Known for its religious significance, Pavagadh is best visited for the Mahakali temple, especially during the Navratri festival. Muslims also flock here for the Mazar located on the top floor of the Kali Mandir. There are many waterfalls and hiking trails for leisure seekers, the Pavagadh-Champaner Archaeological Park, and a thrilling ropeway ride awaiting you. Pavagadh is located a good 300 km from from Rajkot but makes for a thrilling long weekend.
“If you haven’t seen beauty in a moment of suffering, then probably you’ve never seen beauty.” Mandvi is a live example of this saying. Known for its ruins, this little port town was once the stronghold of Rajputs of Jadeja. Beaches, coastlines that curve like a serpent, rustic boats going into choppy waters, temples and palaces that rise out of ashes of broken wreckage… such is the scenery of Mandvi. When here, visit Vijay Vilas Palace, Mandvi Beach, the Jain Temples, Topansar Lake and Mandvi Beach Windfarm. The town is around 290 km from Rajkot and makes for a nice summer getaway by the beach.
Known for its dilapidated beach palace and Kathiawadi hospitality, Chorwad is a nice weekend trip from Rajkot. At a distance of 178 km from Rajkot, the Chorwad Beach is perfect to spend a day with your friends and family. Play in the sand, go for horseback rides and bask in the sun. The palace by the beach is a good sight to see. Now ruined, it once belonged to the Nawab of Junagadh, who fled the country right after partition. Although the water of Chorwad beach is not good for swimming, many prefer the beach for sunsets and sunrises.
Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace, Porbandar is a very coveted destination by many around the world. For Rajkot locals, if you haven’t already visited this town, then here’s your chance. Pick a nice winter or early summer weekend, get behind your wheel and drive all the way to the gates of Porbandar — a port town. It is 180 km away. Once a trading hub of the British, today it boasts of a dam, old temples, beaches and Gandhiji’s home. When here, do not miss the Ram Dho, Sudama Mandir, Bharat Mandir, Huzoor Palace, Porbandar Sanctuary and Kirti Mandir.
Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden
Animal lovers of Rajkot, if you are planning a short weekend or day-trip then choose Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden. It is also referred to as Junagadh Zoo and is known for Asiatic Lions, birds of many species, antelopes, panthers and blue bulls. You will find the garden on the Junagadh-Rajkot highway, where a nice little safari and picnic await you. Kids love the surroundings and animals, and adults enjoy some nice downtime too.