In geography / geology during our school days, we often learn about different types of stones. It makes us wonder why they call diamond the hardest stone, or if it is a stone at all. It looks so different from all the other stones around it. A few weeks before our Gujarat trip, we saw an old documentary (The Diamond Empire) on diamonds, which spoke about them being artificially priced high due to the monopoly of De Beers. But the monopoly was broken several years ago, and nobody heard of a glut in the diamond market or any significant fall in the prices. It was intriguing. And then there we were in Surat. So after calling a few people in the family who are diamond merchants, they generously arranged for a factory visit for us.
Gujarat is a state that can be covered fairly quickly. In India 360, it took us 20 days to do so. While we did it by car, you can do the same circuit with a state transport bus, railways or shared taxis. A full exploration of Gujarat state, along with two union territories, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, gives you so many sights to see. From the majestic Asiatic lions to a desert of salt. From a city that cuts and polishes diamonds to a city that is home to Mahatma Gandhi. Gujarat has a variety of experiences that can amaze. So let’s get started. Continue reading