Anand District is an administrative district of Gujarat state in western India and is popularly known as Charotar. It was carved out of the Kheda district in 1997.  As we all know, Anand is famous because of the dairy co-operative movement of India under the brand name of AMUL (Anand Milk Union Limited). Anand was the centre of the White Revolution. This revolution has ultimately been able to make India one of the largest producers of milk and milk products. Anand is 101 km from the state capital of Gandhinagar and lies in between Vadodara and Ahmedabad in the Western railway. The city of Anand is also known as the milk capital of India and Anand means happiness – what better combination than happiness and chocolate.

Here are 9 of the top tourist attractions to visit in the birthplace of  Amul.

1. Amul Co-operative Museum

Amul Co-operative Museum

The Amul Cooperative Museum takes visitors through the history of AMUL. The prime building of the Dairy Museum, surrounded by a water body is built with red stones. The pathway to the gallery is admired with a number of photographs depicting the gradual evolution of the dairy into the advanced industry of today.  It has a photo gallery and documentaries that take one back to its origins in the 1960s as well as an auditorium with a capacity to seat hundred people, where movies on the history and evolution of the milk movement of India are projected. Walking through the museum takes one on a virtual journey of the history of one of India’s greatest institutions.

2.. Amul Chocolate Factory

Amul Chocolate Factory

A great place to visit for all the chocolate lovers out there, to witness the process that goes behind making chocolate.  A part of the Amul Dairy Factory, the building has a stunning interior design with crystal glass mosaics throughout the corridors. For all those who wish to see what goes on behind making one of the most loved things in the world, Amul allows visitors into its factory at Anand. One can see through all the stages of chocolate production, right from the earliest of stages to packaging. Moreover, the most interesting thing is the free samples visitors can take with them for themselves, their friends and family.

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3. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel & Veer Vithalbhai Patel Memorial

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel & Veer Vithalbhai Patel Memorial

The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Veer Vithalbhai Patel Memorial is located in Karamsad, a memorial dedicated to the great leader and ‘Iron Man of India.’ The site admired with various trees, plants and creepers offer a visual treat to the tourists visiting the place. The site also features a central hall with seating arrangements. The main hall is built with balconies all around, offering an open space for public interaction. There is also a photo gallery featuring paintings, photographs and banners of the lives of Sardar Patel and Veer Vithalbhai.

4. Swaminarayan Mandir

Swaminarayan Mandir

This Hindu temple is famed for its six-storeyed building which draws huge crowds, throughout the year. With five separate shrines, each dedicated to their own idol, you can see the shrines of Harikrishna Maharaj and Narayan Lakshmi in the first and shrines dedicated to Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj and Brahmaswarup Bhagatji, Shastriji, Yogiji and Pramukh Swami Maharaj, in the other shrines, respectively. An iconic landmark of Anand, the temple is a place of fervent devotion and piety, built with an architectural magnificence like no other it is quite soothing to the eyes.

5. Flo Art Gallery

Flo Art Gallery

A popular handicrafts gallery, you can also buy authentic Gujarati handicrafts, here. The Flo Art Gallery is one of the largest art galleries in India dedicated to terracotta artwork and it is an art lover’s paradise! Located in Vallabh Vidhyanagar, the exterior is as beautiful and unique as the art, inside. The handicrafts found in the gallery are available in different shapes, materials, textures and colours. Along with clay work, the tourists will also find works of fibre, metal, wood and cement.

6. Iskcon Temple

Iskcon Temple

The ISKCON Temple is located in Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, and is a big attraction for those visiting the city and a popular stop for tourists and pilgrims from all over India and abroad. It promotes the Vaishnava culture and Vedic learning and it is considered the home of Radha and the Hindu god, Krishna. Pilgrims and devotees claim to feel a lot of tranquillity, beauty, and bliss, here. For all those wanting a heavenly escape from the hustle bustle of life, this temple is a must visit.

7. Air Manzil

Air Manzil

Air Manzil is a site of excavation, showing houses, gardens, custom house, water channels and three Gates, namely, Delhi gate, Halol gate and Godhra gate. The place also houses a number of mosques, including, Jami Masjid, Shehar ki Masjid, Nagina Masjid and Kewada Masjid. The Jami Masjid has a towering height of 30 meters and was built with 172 pillars.

8. Hanumanji Temple

Hanumanji Temple

The Hanumanji Temple is a popular Hindu temple, located in Lambhvel, Anand and it attracts huge crowds from all over the country. Containing the idol of the Hindu deity Hanuman, people flock to the temple, especially on Saturdays to seek blessings, peace and tranquility. A huge festival takes place here during October or November known as Kali Chaudash, which makes this site even busier than usual.

9. Ranchhodrai Dakor Temple

Ranchhodrai Dakor Temple

The main complex of the shrine, encircled by a fort wall, is located near the bank of sacred Gomti River beside the main market of Dakor. The temple features 8 domes and 24 turrets and the central dome of a height of 27 m. The temple is also admired with a white flag and a Kalash and the architecture of the temple displays the Maharashtrian style. Music is played for three hours on drums and shehnai from the tokorkhana, arranged at the upper floor of the entrance gate. Listening to live performance of Champavatiben Tambekar is a very popular activity for the devotees to the temple.

These were our top picks for tourist destinations in this city which is “utterly butterly delicious.” and The best season or months to visit places in Anand are March-June and September- December. So, pack your bags and head off to Anand, Gujarat, where you can see ancient temples, learn about the dairy industry and much more.