Gujarat Pilgrimage

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Gujarat Hotels

Gujarat Hotels

FAQ

1. How to book a tour to Gujarat ?
2.
If I do not want the tour as mentioned in the website how do I make my own tour ?
3.
I am visiting Gujarat for the first time how should I prepare myself ?
4.
How advance should be my travel booking ?
5.
How to experience Gujarat at it's best ?
6.
Can I buy an Air Ticket through you also ?
7.
How will I be picked up from the Airport or Railway Station in Gujarat ?
8.
Can I book the hotels only with you and not the complete tour ?
9.
What to you recommend about hotel reservations. What else should I keep in mind while staying at the hotels in Gujarat ?
10.
If I only want to take the vehicle during my tour and not the complete tour, then what do you suggest ?
11.
Which Vaccination is required before visiting Gujarat in India ?
12.
How do I get medication in Gujarat in case of necessity ?
13.
How can I come in contact with local people during our travel in Gujarat ?
14.
What is the best time to visit Gujarat ?
15.
Are the Visa and passports required before visiting Gujarat ?
16.
Which currency is used in Gujarat ?
17.
Can I pay in Euro, US Dollars or through credit cards in Gujarat ?
18.
What are the timings of the post office and other administrative offices in Gujarat ?
19.
I want to visit the temples, mosques and churches in Gujarat. What are the different options for me ?
20.
Is there any thing important while visiting temples and mosques in Gujarat ?
21.
What should I wear while on my tour to Gujarat ?
22.
What is Saree and how to wear it ?
23.
I want to visit the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Gujarat. Give me some information about them ?
24.
Are there any restrictions for the Photography in Gujarat ? Is there anything I need to consider while doing photography in Gujarat ?
25.
How safe is traveling in Gujarat ?
26.
How is shopping in Gujarat ? Can you provide me some tips for safe and smart shopping in Gujarat ?
27.
What shopping I can do in Gujarat ?
28.
How much should I give as tipping while traveling in Gujarat ?
29.
Are there any restrictions on the export of articles from Gujarat ?
30.
I want to know more about Gujarat Tourism ! Why should I book the tour through Gujarat Tourism ?
31.
What is the guarantee that I would be provided the services which I asked for during my tour? Or how safe is my tour with Gujarat Tourism ?
32.
Where is the office of Gujarat Tourism located ?
33.
Does your company provide any sort of insurance ?
34.
How do we settle the payment? Is there an advance deposit required ?
35.
How can I make the payment ?
36.
What type of information is required in order to confirm the booking ?
37.
I want to learn the native language of Gujarat. What do you advice ?
38.
Do people understand English and other foreign languages in Gujarat ?
39.
Can I drive in Gujarat ?
40.
What are the different greetings used in Gujarat ?
41.
What are the general do’s and don’ts for greeting in Gujarat ?
42.
How do Indians welcome their guests ?
43.
How can I identify people from various religions ?
44.
What about the public facilities in Gujarat ?
45.
What caution should one tourist take – when it comes to legal matter and safety ?
46.
What precautions should I take regarding my health while in India?
47.
What is the general meal plan in Gujarat ? What kind of food is served in the restaurants in Gujarat ?
48.
What are the special dishes one should try on the trip to Gujarat ?
49.
What is advisable to eat and drink in Gujarat ?
50.
Give me general information about local transport available in Gujarat ?
51.
Can you tell me something about train journey in Gujarat ? As a foreign traveler what should I do to make my rail journey in Gujarat safe and comfortable ?
52.
I want to learn the dances of Gujarat. What are the different dances of Gujarat ?
53.
I want to visit the beaches in Gujarat. What are the different beaches of Gujarat ?

1. How to book a tour to Gujarat ?
Firstly we suggest you to visit
"Gujarat Tours" Page on the website, which include various tours of Gujarat. Then select one of the tour. If you intend to make any changes like having a day more or less then in that case you need to inform us so that we make your itinerary accordingly. You can use our online tour booking form or send us an e mail at: info@indovacations.net.

2. If I do not want the tour as mentioned in the website how do I make my own tour ?

If you don’t want those tours which are mentioned on the website then in such a case you need to fill up the
"Enquiry Form" as mentioned on our website. In this form you have to specify the places you want to visit, date of arrival and departure, number of people who are traveling, the hotel category and any other special choice. After having these details from your end we will plan a tour for you and contact you very next day with all the details.

3. I am visiting Gujarat for the first time how should I prepare myself ?
If you are visiting Gujarat for the first time, then you can visit the page
"Gujarat Information" on our website. You may also put up your questions to us regarding any matter if you do not find the answers on our website. Apart from that we suggest you to do some background reading before visiting Gujarat, so that your visit becomes a great experience. During your tour we will also provide you a tourist Guide at the different cities in the language of your choice who will let you know anything you want to know about Gujarat.

4. How advance should be my travel booking ?
Your travel bookings should be made 8 months well in advance, especially if you are traveling between October to March (high tourist season). As Travel infrastructure in Gujarat has its limitation in comparison to the high season demand therefore we highly recommend to book your tour in advance.

5. How to experience Gujarat at it's best ?
While planning your trip we suggest you to consider the festivals which would be taking place in Gujarat during your trip. Upon receiving the information from you we will combine your trip with the Festivals in Gujarat which will make your trip a great experience. Our guides will also tell you about the cultural activities that would be taking place during the festivals. For any further information on Festivals please visit our
Gujarat Festivals page. On this page you will find the dates of the festivals taking place in Gujarat.

6. Can I buy an Air Ticket through you also ?
Yes, you can buy an Air Ticket through us but to be fair we advice you to book your air ticket in your country as air tickets are normally expensive if booked in Gujarat in India to be sent to your country. However even if Air tickets are cheaper here and you happen to change you schedule in that case it is better to have tickets issued at the port of departure. After having booked your Air tickets you can inform us the arrival time and the flight Number to enable us to pick you up from the airport to start with the tour.

7. How will I be picked up from the Airport or Railway Station in Gujarat ?
You will be picked up from the airport or railway station in Gujarat whereever you arrive by Gujarat Tourism representative. Our representative will be holding a name board with your name written on it at the arrival hall of the airport or railway station. If you are coming as a group then the name of the group will be mentioned on the name board. On that name board the arrival date, time, place and flight or train number will also be mentioned. You are requested not to leave the airport or railway station until you meet our representative. If by chance you were not able to find each other then you would also be provided the mobile and telephone number of the representative so that you can find each other at the particular location at the airport.

8. Can I book the hotels only with you and not the complete tour ?
Yes, Gujarat Tourism is having special rates with many hotels all over the Gujarat. We are sure that we will be able to offer you the hotels as per your budget in the various destinations as wished by you. As far as the hotels are concerned we have hotels of every category in Gujarat. Do inform us what kind of hotels you are looking for. We also make arrangements for big conferences and incentive spa packages. For more information on the hotels you can visit the page
Gujarat Hotels on our website. This site provides information about various categories of hotels available in Gujarat. All the hotels that we use in the tour itinerary are mentioned there. If you want to book a particular hotel then a booking form is supplied with the hotel details. You can fill up that particular booking form and send to us or email us at  info@indovacations.net

9. What to you recommend about hotel reservations. What else should I keep in mind while staying at the hotels in Gujarat ?
It is advisable to reserve well in advance for the hotels in Gujarat. All the hotels have air-conditioning and private baths and offer all the modern amenities like telephone, computer, and fax machines. Pay your hotel bill either in cash (rupees) or with a credit card. If you are paying in cash, have with you the receipt of your foreign money into rupees. The hotel clerk may ask to see this to make sure that you have not changed money in the black market. Gujarat Tourism is specialized in hotel bookings which are very good value for your money. Contact us with dates, destinations and wished categories and our Team would be glad to help you.

10. If I only want to take the vehicle during my tour and not the complete tour, then what do you suggest ?
If you want to make arrangements only for the transport then we provide any type of vehicle you require for your tour. With the vehicle you would be provided one experienced and reliable English speaking driver. The car would be at your disposal throughout the tour. The cost of the vehicle includes all the expenses, fuel, driver’s fees, toll taxes and parking.

11. Which Vaccination is required before visiting Gujarat in India ?
Before visiting Gujarat in India, the Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required if a tourist is coming from the Yellow Fever endemic countries. This certificate conforms to the International Health Regulation. The citizens and travelers coming from the United States, Canada or United Kingdom, do not require any vaccination certificate or inoculations. It is highly recommended to get a precautionary measure vaccination against Hepatitis B, if you plan to stay longer in Gujarat. To avoid Malaria and Dengue, carry mosquito repellents, nets or take a course of anti Malaria tablets.

12. How do I get medication in Gujarat in case of necessity ?
It is advised that you bring your own medicines. Most of the medications in Gujarat are available but you may not find it under the same brand name as in your own country. If necessarily of consulting a doctor be assure that we will assist you in this matter. Private hospitals with high standard and qualified doctors are available in Gujarat in India.

13. How can I come in contact with local people during our travel in Gujarat ?

Indians are hospitable and friendly people, Do not consider staring at you as unfriendly. Most of the Indians have not been abroad and therefore foreign tourists are for them a subject of curiosity. Most of the people to whom you will talk will be friendly. Always speak to the people you feel like talking too. Avoid people who are too eager to help you or want you to buy something from them. If you want to enrich your visit to Gujarat by visiting the Gujarati Family or want to stay with the family, ask the team of Gujarat Tourism. We will be happy to make these arrangements for you.

14. What is the best time to visit Gujarat ?

The best time to visit Gujarat is from December to May.

15. Are the Visa and passports required before visiting Gujarat ?
All foreign nationals, including children, require a visa and passport before visiting Gujarat. For visiting Gujarat, please consult the concerned embassies in your area. For clarifications, please contact the Indian High Commission.

16. Which currency is used in Gujarat ?
The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100 Paisa equal 1 Rupee). Paper money is in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of Rupees 1, 2 and 5. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ checks that can be brought by the tourists in Gujarat. However a Declaration form need to be filled (only for the amount which is more than USD 10,000) on the arrival at the Indian airport. By filling up this form you can also get your money exchanged back in the original currency without any problem. The Money should be exchanged only through authorized money changers. You may ask our guides and they will tell you the right center or place to get the money exchanged. Please note that no Indian currency can be imported or exported, except for travelers checks. Travelers checks can be changed into rupees at any bank in India. Be aware that it can take several hours to cash travelers checks in small towns. Try to deal with large banks in large cities. Don’t accept large denomination notes, because they will be difficult to change, and don’t accept damaged or torn notes, because merchants will refuse them, especially in small towns. Keep a supply of small change. Very often taxi drivers and vendors will say that they don’t have change.

17. Can I pay in Euro, US Dollars or through credit cards in Gujarat ?

All the major currencies including Euro, US Dollars and Pounds are accepted in Gujarat. All the major credit cards like Visa, Master Card and American Express are also accepted in the main hotels, restaurants and shopping centres in Gujarat.

18. What are the timings of the post office and other administrative offices in Gujarat ?
The post offices and banks are open from 1000 to 1630 hrs from Monday to Friday and from 0930 to 1230 hrs on Saturdays. The administrative offices are open from Monday to Friday from 0930 to 1700 hrs and 0930 to 1230 hrs on Saturdays. All the offices and banks are closed on holidays.

19. I want to visit the temples, mosques and churches in Gujarat. What are the different options for me ?

There are various places of pilgrimage in Gujarat like Somnath, Dwaraka, Junagadh, Palitana, Modhera. The Mount Girnar in Junagadh and Shatrunjaya Hill in Palitana are the two famous pilgrimage places of the Jain community. While, the Somnath temple in Somnath, Dwarakadhish temple in Dwaraka, Sun Temple in Modhera and Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar are the other famous temples of the Hindus. Ahmedabad is also visited by many tourists for its mosques and temples. Diu in Gujarat is known for the churches like St. Paul's Church and St. Thomas Church. St. Paul's Church was founded by Jesuits in 1600 and then rebuilt in 1807. Inside it is a great barn, filled with heavy dark wood, with a small cloister, next door. St. Thomas Church is a lovely simple building housing the Diu Museum. There is a spooky, evocative collection of worn Catholic statues. Jama Masjid, Ahmed Shah's Mosque, Sidi Saiyad's Mosque, Sidi Bashir Mosque, Rani Sipri's Mosque, Rani Rupmati's Mosque are the various mosques in Ahmedabad. For more information, please visit the
"Gujarat Pilgrimage" page on the website.

20. Is there any thing important while visiting temples and mosques in Gujarat ?
Do remember to remove your shoes and sandals while visiting temple, mosques and churches. Also some temples do not allow leather shoes, belts or handbags in their premises. When visiting temples, women should cover their body with short or long sleeves tops and a long skirt or pants. Women should not wear sleeveless dresses or blouses. They need not cover their face or head. Men should wear long pants and a short-sleeved shirt. The people go to the temple to worship, doing offerings on the statues of the gods and receiving a blessing – sometimes a mark on the forehead. It is customary to leave a small amount of money for the priest after receiving a blessing. Hindu custom dictates that women should not go into temples if they are menstruating. Also be alert for signs indicating that non-Hindus may not visit the inner sanctum of the temple and may see only its outer precincts. If there is no sign, ask a priest. If you are visiting a temple and are offered a portion of sweet or fresh coconut or banana, it’s prasad or sacred food, offered to the gods. Since it’s a great honor to be offered, never refuse it, rather accept it and eat it. If you don’t want it, take it and give it to someone else. In Muslim mosques, do remember that men and women sit in separate areas. You need to cover your head while visiting the main chamber in the mosque. It is compulsory for both men and women to cover their head when visiting Sikh Gurudwaras. Before photographing the inner chamber of sacred temples, be sure to get permission. It is not permitted to have the picture of main deity in some temples. Gujarat Tourism Guides will assist you more on about the behaviour and general customs within the temple premises.

21. What should I wear while on my tour to Gujarat ?

As a Westerner, feel free to wear anything, as long it is not very revealing like extremely tight jeans, low-cut blouses. It is extremely important for women to keep their legs covered as much as possible by wearing long skirts or pants. Shorts are never acceptable, except at beach resorts. Be sure to wear a hat. It is essential protection against the sun. Men should not, however, wear turbans. Cotton outfits, hats, sun glasses and sun screen lotion should be carried while on your tour to Gujarat.

22. What is Saree and how to wear it ?

Saree is considered as most elegant Indian dress for women. In Gujarat, most of the women wear a saree. It is a six feet long piece of material of fine white cotton edged with golden zari, tucked into a slip, pleated, and worn over a very short blouse. The saree tends to pull out of the slip, and the shawl part tends to fall. This saree lends an extraordinary elegance to the person wearing it. Each masterpiece is specially woven on a traditional handloom. The western women should feel free to wear saree, but be aware that they are difficult to put on. If you want to try wearing a saree, ask for the help of an woman, an acquaintance, a hotel chambermaid, or even a shopkeeper. They are usually happy to help for arranging sarees.

23. I want to visit the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Gujarat. Give me some information about them ?
There are about four national parks and twenty one wildlife sanctuaries in Gujarat. Some of the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Gujarat are the Marine National Park, Gir National Park, Indian Wild Ass Wildlife sanctuary, Velavadar National Park. Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Khijadia Bird Sanctuary and the Porbandar Bird sanctuary are the other bird sanctuaries in Gujarat. In the bird sanctuaries, you can watch the egrets, herons, Siberian stork, darters, teals and hundreds of other migratory birds. The best time to visit the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Gujarat is from October to March. The best time to watch the wildlife is in the early morning and evening. For more information on the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Gujarat, please visit the
"Gujarat Wildlife" page on our website.

24. Are there any restrictions for the Photography in Gujarat ? Is there anything I need to consider while doing photography in Gujarat ?
Gujarat offers you great photographing options and it is a great fun while photographing in Gujarat as you will have enough sunlight most of the time. We suggest you to bring enough films with you to catch the endless beauty of Gujarat. In some of the monuments and wildlife sanctuaries you have to pay the fees for the photography. Our guide will suggest you where it is worth to photograph and where not. At some of the locations photography is not allowed. Do not photograph these objects otherwise your film can be confiscated. Always take permission before photographing people. Lower class people are especially sensitive and suspicious as to why they are being photographed. Never photograph airports, railways, railway stations, big bridges, or a military area. It’s good not to photograph Muslim women, women bathing, cremations, slums, or beggars.

25. How safe is traveling in Gujarat ?

Gujarat is comparatively a safe state to travel. Crime rate against foreigners remain low. However specially to our female guests we recommend not be alone on the road after late evening just to be on the safer side. In case you need any help you can call the police at 100 and Ambulance at 102.

26. How is shopping in Gujarat ? Can you provide me some tips for safe and smart shopping in Gujarat ?
Gujarat is a shoppers paradise. There are various shopping places in Gujarat. However, we recommend you to shop from the government approved emporiums. You can bargain everywhere except in government craft emporiums, government textile shops, pharmacies, bookstores, or Western-style grocery stores. Even if a price is written on an object, ask the price and bargain from there. Decide what you are willing to spend for an item. Make this your last offer in a bargaining session. If the shop owner is willing to sell at your price, he will sell you the item without much argument. It is better to buy large and expensive items, such as rugs or jewelry, only from reputable dealers recommended by Indian acquaintances, hotels or your guide and driver. Most of the large stores also ship your purchase. Although, for convenience and to avoid postal delays, it is advisable to carry your purchased items with you or book it as baggage.

27. What shopping I can do in Gujarat ?

Gujarat also has a rich tradition of high quality weaving, unique Kutch embroidery and hand-block printing, the most common are the tie-and-dye fabrics. Gujarat's handicraft centres have an extraordinary collection of handicraft items, wooden items, embroidery and jewellery. Nut-crackers, silver items, wood items, brass items, Patola silk sarees, Silk sarees, Zari or gold thread embroidery cloth, Woolen shawls, blankets, rugs, wooden chest and furniture, sculptures, jewellery boxes, betel boxes, lacquerware, terracotta, wooden toys, dolls and intricate gold jewellery are the perfect showpieces for your drawing rooms and ideal gifts for friends. For more information on the Handicrafts of Gujarat, please visit the page
"Gujarat Handicrafts" on the website.

28. How much should I give as tipping while traveling in Gujarat ?

Tipping is expected by most of the people involved in the tourism in Gujarat. In big hotels service charges are included in the bills so tipping is not necessary otherwise 10% of the amount of the billing is normally provided as tipping. If you are traveling with a group the tipping can be reduced to 5% of the total bill. For the porters in the hotels Rs.20 for a single baggage and in the case of a group Rs.10 per baggage is customary. For tour guides and escorts we recommend 1 to 2 USD per day per person and same is also for the driver accompanying you during your Gujarat tour. However the mentioned amounts are just to give travelers an idea. There is no “must” or “compulsion” of tipping in Gujarat. We advice you to measure the quality of services of particular person or establishment before thinking of tipping !

29. Are there any restrictions on the export of articles from Gujarat ?
The Government has put restrictions on the export of the wild animals from the country. It has also put ban on the export of the articles made from the wild animals like skins, belts, furs, ivory, rhino horns, trophies, etc. Except peacock feathers and handicrafts made from them and various items and shavings of Antler, Cheetals and Sambars are not banned, subject to conditions. Export of exotic birds is also not allowed. However, the items made exclusively out of imported timber are exempted subject to conditions. Also, export of sandalwood in any form like logs, timber, roots bark, chip, powder, dust flakes, pulp and charcoal, excluding finished handicrafts and machine-finished products is prohibited. Export of furs of domestic animals, hides and skins is also prohibited except the Lamb fur. Antiques which include sculpture, painting or other works of art and craft, illustrative works of science and religion and of historical interest which are more than hundred years old may not be exported from India. Manuscripts or other documents of scientific, historical, literary or aesthetic older than seventy five years also can not be exported out of India. Recently Airport taxes are being collected at the time of issuing the tickets to India. Please always confirm with your Airline if the taxes are to paid at the airport at the time of departure from India.

30. I want to know more about Gujarat Tourism ! Why should I book the tour through Gujarat Tourism ?

Gujarat Tourism is a recognized tour operator and holiday planner in Gujarat. We not only organize tours in Gujarat, but also in other parts of India. We not only organize the tours as they are printed in the itinerary but also work out any special tailor made itinerary in any area of the Indian subcontinent. We also organize special interest tours for women only. Gujarat Tourism is associated with a team of Tour Escorts and Guides who are fluent in different languages having long experience and are highly qualified and have also spent many years abroad. To know more about Gujarat Tourism and its team please refer to the page
"About Us" or email us at info@indovacations.net

31. What is the guarantee that I would be provided the services which I asked for during my tour? Or how safe is my tour with Gujarat Tourism ?

Gujarat Tourism provide you a guarantee in the form of certificate which means that your traveling is safe with us. The certificate is attested by the Notary Public. In that certificate it is specified that Gujarat Tourism undertakes the guarantee that it would provide all the services as decided according to the mutual agreement between you and them.

32. Where is the office of Gujarat Tourism located ?

The central office of Gujarat Tourism is located in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is located about 270 kms from Delhi. The office is located in the Raja Park area of Jaipur, which is the famous shopping area in Jaipur.

33. Does your company provide any sort of insurance ?
No, our company does not provide any sort of medical insurance. It is advisable that you get the insurance from your country only.

34. How do we settle the payment? Is there an advance deposit required ?
We need 10% of the total tour cost as an advance at the time of the confirmation of the tour. This is to be sure that your booking is genuine and we can go ahead with the reservations. The rest of the due amount can be paid before your arrival in Gujarat. On special request you can also make the payment after your arrival. This can be agreed upon as per the type of tour and the amount we have to pay in advance to the hotels and our other associate offices for making the reservations.

35. How can I make the payment ?
There are various payment options by which you can make payment to Gujarat Tourism. You can make payment by cash, bank transfer, online credit card payment, Paypal, Cheque, Travelers checks and demand draft. If you have booked the tour through our associate offices then you can make the payment to them and get the confirmation from us. If you wish to use another option of payment suitable to you, then we would assist you. Please send us your queries and specify the country of your residence.

36. What type of information is required in order to confirm the booking ?
In order to confirm the booking with us we require some of the information like
a. Passport no.
b. Date of passport issue
c. Validity of passport
d. Passport issued at
e. Date of Birth
f. Your complete name as in the passport
g. Complete address
h. Your Nationality
i. Your Visa Number, if you already have the visa
j. Your telephone Number
k. Your mobile number if any
l. Your arrival Date, Airline number and time
m. Your departure date, Airline number and time

You can fill up all these information and send it to us so that we will confirm your hotel booking. At the time of check in at the hotel, you need to please handover a copy of such details at the hotel reception so that you do not have to fill up the information forms of the hotel and it also saves the time.

37. I want to learn the native language of Gujarat. What do you advice ?
The main language which is spoken in Gujarat is Gujarati. If you want to learn Gujarati which is the native language of Gujarat then we offer some special Gujarati courses in Gujarat with the help of experienced teachers. The courses are of different time duration that can be designed as per your interest and availability of the teacher. The offered Gujarati Language lessons are given by private teachers thus making the course an individual course for you. Our teachers have experiences in teaching foreign students whose native language is not Gujarati. If you want to learn Gujarati or any other languages and want to have any further more information then please email us at
info@indovacations.net 

38. Do people understand English and other foreign languages in Gujarat ?
English is widely spoken and understood at almost all tourist centers. But we highly recommend you to take qualified and government recognized guides during your sightseeing in Gujarat. We are associated with Guides in Gujarat who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian. Tour guides will help you not only in your sightseeing, but also help you understand Gujarat better and give you useful tips for your Journey to Gujarat !

39. Can I drive in Gujarat ?
Though it is permissible to drive in Gujarat but we strongly recommend you not to drive as the condition of roads and traffic rules do not match with Western countries. Driving here is on the left, as in Japan, Hong Kong, and Britain. There are cyclists, buses, trucks, rickshaws, camels, cows, goats, pigs, countless pedestrians on roads. Chances are more to meet with an accident if you drive on your own. It is always advisable to hire a driver as they are trained and familiar with local traffic sense. For more information on hiring a driver and vehicle contact our team of Gujarat Tourism.


40. What are the different greetings used in Gujarat ?
Gujarat is a land of diversity thus you will notice that different people use different greetings. Like, Hindus say "Namaste", Muslims say, "Salaam al-eikum" (Sah-lahm ah-lay-kuhm) and the Sikhs say "Sat Sri Akal" (Saht shree ah-kahl).

41. What are the general do’s and don’ts for greeting in Gujarat ?
The general greeting is "Namaste" (nah-mahs-tay). You can do this for "Good morning", "Good afternoon" or "Good evening". While saying Namaste hold your palms together at chin level and nod (never bow) your head. In major cities, men usually shake hands, while women use the more traditional greeting. In general, you can shake hands with men and can say Namaste to women. Ji is used following a name as a sign of respect, e.g., Gandhi-ji. Note that a Hindu may greet a man by adding "Sahib" ("Sir" or "Master") to the name (Mr. Jones-sahib) and woman by adding "ji" (Miss Jones-ji) as a sign of respect. Don’t use first names unless you know someone very well. Use "Mr.", "Mrs.", or "Miss". You can also use titles such as "Professor", "Doctor" and also "Sir" or "Madam" with elders. Please note that only people of the same sex can hug one another.

42. How do Indians welcome their guests ?

Indians follow very traditional style to welcome their honored guests. The garlands of flowers are used in formal occasions, such as in the inauguration of building or company, in the receptions of a distinguished visitor, or at the end of a concert. The garlands are draped around the neck of the honored person. If you are a receiver of a garland, wear the flowers for a few minutes, then remove the garland and give it to someone else or else hold on to it. Never leave it behind, except at the foot of a statue in a temple.

43. How can I identify people from various religions ?

Gujarat has people from varied religions and it is sometimes difficult to tell which are Hindus or Muslims or Sikhs, with so many people in Western dress. You can identify the people by their names like Muslim men have as part of their name "Muhammed", "Ali", "Khan" or "Hussein" and Muslim women have "Jan" or "Begum" at the end of their name. Common Hindu names are "Krishna", "Gopal", "Vijay", "Rajendra" and "Prakash". Religious Sikhs can be identified by the turbans that they wear and their first name is usually followed by "Singh" if man and "Kaur" if woman.

44. What about the public facilities in Gujarat ?

The public facilities are rarely good, including all the major cities. You will find Western style toilets in all the standard hotels and restaurants. Be prepared to find them not so clean as you are used to in your country. Indian trains usually have both Indian and Western-style toilets. You will find public bathrooms and toilets in hotels, restaurants, railway stations, bus stations and some shops in big cities. There is usually a picture on the door to indicate which bathroom is for which sex. In some places, there may be a row of stalls with Indian-style “squat” toilets and one that is Western – style. But in small cities or towns where the tourist flow is less facilities are rather poor. Keep toilet paper or tissues, paper soaps or liquid soaps with you for convenience.

45. What caution should one tourist take – when it comes to legal matter and safety ?
Don’t bring guns or pornography into India. Be prepared to declare radios, cameras, and other electronic equipment on a special form. Customs will check to make sure that you take those items out with you when you leave the country. Be aware that the police can be very arbitrary. In case of a small theft, it’s better to forget it than to go to the police. Report any significant theft to the police so that you can have a statement for your insurance company. It’s very unlikely that you will recover the stolen goods. To minimize the possible loss of money, never carry a large amount in cash wish you. ATM's, are meanwhile available in all big and small cities at the bank premises.

46. What precautions should I take regarding my health while in India?
Always take some toilet paper rolls with you since toilet paper may be difficult to obtain outside large cities. Soap, toothpaste, and toiletries are readily available. Tampons are more difficult to find than sanitary napkins, so women who use tampons should bring a supply. Wash you hand as often as you can, avoid eating uncooked and cold food, especially from the street vendors, drink only mineral water. One should take care that the bottles are sealed. Never buy ice cream from a street vendor as stomach may not like the water or milk used in making the ice cream. At the initial start of your tour for first few days avoid spicy food. You can always tell the waiters at the restaurants that you would like to have less spicy food. Avoid mild made drinks unless for first few days at least ! In case of any emergency ask your guide or driver to take you to a doctor. Indian doctors are well experienced and medicines are easily available.

47. What is the general meal plan in Gujarat ? What kind of food is served in the restaurants in Gujarat ?
The general meal plan in Gujarat consist of three main meals in a day with one or two added tea-coffee breaks. The main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner. All standard restaurants and hotels in Gujarat offer a variety of cuisines including Continental, Chinese, Indian and typical Gujarati. The Gujarati food is mostly vegetarian. The dishes of Gujarat are not very spicy and sweet than those of the neighboring states. The typical Gujarati meal is served traditionally on large silver or stainless steel platters or thali that consists of one variety of dal, Kadhi-a curd preparation, two to three vegetables, wide variety of beans and pulses, salad savories, sweets, puri or chappati, rice, coconut, chutneys, pickles, papad and sweetened yoghurt. There are slight differences in the modes of preparation and eating habits in the main three geographical regions of Kutch, Saurashtra (kathiawad) and Surat. The diet of the Gujarati's consists of the rice, chapatis, wide variety of beans and pulses, coconut, pickles and sweetened yoghurt.

48. What are the special dishes one should try on the trip to Gujarat ?

Some of the popular dishes of Gujarat are 'Khaman Dhokla', a salty steamed cake, 'Oondhiya' a vegetarian dish with potato, brinjal, green beans and other vegetables cooked in an earthenware pot in the fire, 'Khichdi' a mixture of lentil and rice, 'Kadhi' a savoury yoghurt curry with chopped vegetables and variety of spices, 'Debra' flour mixed with spinach and yoghurt etc. Surat Paunk is made with tender kernels of millet, sugar balls, savoury twists and garlic chutney. Gujarati 'farsans' or crunchy fried snacks like Chakli, Sev Ganthia prepared from chick-pea and wheat flour is a speciality of the state. Gujarati 'farsans' or crunchy fried snacks like Chakli, Sev Ganthia prepared from chick-pea and wheat flour is a speciality of the state. For more information on the Gujarat Cuisine, please visit the page
"Gujarat Cuisine" on the website.

49. What is advisable to eat and drink in Gujarat ?
We advice our guests to drink bottled water, bottled drinks. The water in the hotels can be used for cleaning the tooth and body but avoid drinking this water. The mineral water is available in sealed bottles which is purified and quite safe to drink. It is not advisable to drink water from slow moving streams, lakes or dams. Avoid eating spicy food. It is suggested to stick to only cooked foods and to eat fresh fruits after removing their skin. After taking the above precautions you will realize that Gujarat has a wonderful cuisine and rarely any other place meet such varieties.

50. Give me general information about local transport available in Gujarat ?

Various means of local transport in Gujarat ranges from cycle-rickshaws to auto-rickshaws, taxis and buses. Local buses are usually over crowded and should be avoided. Auto-rickshaw and taxis are easily available and can be used if necessary. You can ask at information desks at the airport or in hotels to get an idea of the fare. At major airports, there are prepaid booths, where you can pay and then you will be given a receipt to be given to the driver. In small towns, you can look for a cycle-rickshaw, a three-wheel bicycle with seats for two passengers behind the driver.

51. Can you tell me something about train journey in Gujarat ? As a foreign traveler what should I do to make my rail journey in Gujarat safe and comfortable ?

A train journey is considered as an interesting way if you want to explore the natural beauty and village life in Gujarat. From trains you can watch the landscape unfold like pages of a colourful picture book, or acquaint yourself with your fellow travelers who make interesting profiles. Rail journey in Gujarat can be a memorable experience for you if you reserve your seat well in advance, to avoid any inconvenience later on. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance. Before getting in line to arrange for your sleeper, fill out a sleeper reservation form, which you will find in the counters around the reservation hall. Your ticket will indicate your compartment and berth seat number. Allow plenty of time before departing to find your seat. Sleeper and seat numbers are displayed on lists posted on the platform and outside each carriage, along with passenger's name. For further information and booking contact the Team of Gujarat Tourism.

52. I want to learn the dances of Gujarat. What are the different dances of Gujarat ?
Gujarat has a unique distinction of having a legendary origin of folk dances. The costumes and the instruments used during these folk dances are typical costumes which mostly consist of a short coat called Kedia with tight sleeves with embroidered borders and shoulders, tight trousers like the Churidars and colourfully embroidered caps or coloured turbans and a coloured waist band. The most popular and known folk dances of Gujarat are Garba, Garbi, Rasaka, Tippani, Padhar-Nritya, Dangi-Nritya etc. Garba Dance is a popular folk dance of Gujarat. It is a circular form of dance performed by ladies on the Navaratri days, Sharad Purnima, Vasant Panchami, Holi and other festive occasions. The word Garba is derived from the word Garbha Deep meaning a lamp inside a perforated earthen pot. In this folk dance, ladies place the pot with the lamp inside it on their heads and move in circles, with a photograph of the goddess or a lamp in the centre singing and clapping their palms or snapping their fingers, to the accompaniment of folk instruments. The actual performance begins at night after the women finish their household work. Rasa is another form of dance which belongs to Kutch and Suarashtra and is performed all over Gujarat. The main feature of Rasa is dancing in a circle by men and woman, to the accompaniment of musical instruments and keeping time either by clapping or beating of two sticks. The Dandia variety of the Raas Nritya of Gujarat is generally performed by a group of youthful persons, both males and females, who move in circles to measured steps, beating time with small sticks (called dandia) singing to the accompaniment of musical instruments. For more information on the dances of Gujarat, please visit the page
"Gujarat Music and Dance" on the website.

53. I want to visit the beaches in Gujarat. What are the different beaches of Gujarat ?

The most famous beaches in Gujarat are Nagoa Beach, Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach, Chorwad Beach, Somnath Beach, Kutch Mandvi Beach, Gopnath Beach and Dwaraka Beach. Mandvi is one of the finest beaches on the Gujarat shoreline. The beach is white and firm, ideal for walks, and the water perfect for swimming. Seemingly unending, with sands ideal for castle building by kids, and shallow waters for a wading, this is a great spot for a family holiday. A variety of water sports like water scooters, skiing, surfing, para sailing, speed boat trips can be had. Nagoa Beach in Diu, is one of the most beautiful, white sanded, crescent shaped beach, perfect for swimming, wading, relaxing and for water sports like jetskiing, knee board surfing, pony and camel riding. Other beaches here include Jalandhar a pleasant and quiet beach, Chakratirth Beach with sunset point, Goghla Beach, Simmer Beach and Gahirmata beach. For more information on the beaches of Gujarat, please visit the page
"Gujarat Beaches" on the website.

 

 

 
 

 

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