Gujarat Tour (13 Days / 12 Nights)
Ahmedabad – Patan – Modhera – Dasada – Bhuj – Gondal – Junagarh – Diu – Bhavnagar – Palitana – Jumbhughoda
The tour takes you alongside the footprints of one of the greatest thinkers and world leaders of all times, Mahatma Gandhi. But Gujarat is not just about Gandhi. It is also about the grand palaces of the medieval Maharajahs, Sun Temple of Modhera and the land of majestic Lions in Gir forest. It’s about the amazing White Desert Rann of Kutch and the architectural marvel of temples at Palitana and Girnar. You will also get an opportunity to visit tribal villages in Jumbhughoda before finally returning to Ahmedabad known for Sabarmati Gandhi ashram.
Day 1 Ahmedabad
Arrival at Ahmedabad airport.
Transfer to hotel.
Ahmedabad is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River. The pioneering city once served as the capital of Gujarat, has a strong relationship with India’s struggle for independence. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of The Nation lived here for several years. The city served as the starting point for famous Dandi March. Today, the city is renowned for its mushrooming IT and scientific industries and unconventional design as it is for its primitive architecture. It has built its wealth on the flourishing textile industry, which has earned it the nickname of “the Manchester of the East.” This largest city in Gujarat remains soaked in history and has a wealth of historical attractions.
In the afternoon take a sightseeing tour of the city.
Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram. Located on the west banks of Sabarmati River, this was Gandhi’s dwelling place from 1917-1930 during his battle for India’s independence. The legendary salt march to Dandi on the Gulf of Cambay was started in the year 1913 from here. Here, you will experience the calm ambience of the Ashram and observe Gandhi’s belongings that are on display.
Calico Textile Museum, which is one of the finest textile museums in the world displaying an impressive collection of rare textiles and costumes that date back to the early 17th century. (one needs to take prior permission to enter the textile museum and it is open only in the morning).
Adalaj Step Well. Stepwell or Baori as these are called are man made ponds in which the water is stored and may be reached by descending a set of steps. This was built by Muslim king Mohammed Begda for Queen Rani Roopba in the year 1499. These five stories well is intricately carved and various festivals and sacred rituals are held here. The structure is built in sandstone on carved pillars and is built in Solanki architecture style.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 2 Ahmedabad – Patan – Modhera – Dasada (260 KM – 5 Hours)
In the morning depart for Dasada. En-route and visit Patan.
Patan is an ancient fortified town that was founded by Vanraj Chavda in 745 AD. Patan is a famous for its forts, step wells, lakes and places of worship. The main attractions of the city are the Ran ka Vav and Patola of Patan.
Rani ka Vav was developed during the period of the Solanki dynasty. It is one of the richly sculptured monuments of the region. There is one pillar which still stands as evidence for elegance of design boasted by the largest step well. The site is now UNESCO World Heritage site of the country.
Patola Weaving Center. Patola is one of the difficult forms of weaving in the world. Patola is the specialty of Patan and is known for extremely delicate patterns that are woven with great precision and clarity.
Sun Temple of Modhera. The temple is one of the seven temples that is dedicated to Sun God. Pillars of the temple count ancient stories, scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata are intricately carved. The temple is located 13 km from Patan and was built by Solanki ruler, Bhimdev in the 11th century. The temple features Surajkund, a water tank to perform ceremonial rites; the Sabha mandap, the hall used for religious gatherings, and the gudha mandap which once housed the divine idol. The most interesting fact of the temple is that there was no blue print made before the construction. Rather the mathematical calculations were so precise that the first rays of the sun fell directly on the main Deity of the temple.
Late in the evening, reach Dasada and check in at hotel.
Dasada is the part of Little Rann of Kutch. This small yet beautiful village is surrounded by wetlands and has a long stretch of sandy desert. It provides a great platform for tourists to discover the unique lifestyle and the ecosystem of the region. The region is known for its local handicrafts.
Day 3 Dasada
Enjoy a jeep safari in Little Rann of Kutch. Little Rann of Kutch has a unique landscape which supports a unique wildlife. The place is a home to Asiatic wild ass, the elegant black buck, Nilgai which is India’s largest antelope and Indian gazelle. The place is also a bird watcher’s paradise as one can spot flamingos, pelicans, ducks, cranes and storks.
Day 4 Dasada – Bhuj (300 KM – 6 Hours)
In the morning leave for Bhuj. Upon arrival check in at hotel
Bhuj is a city in Kutch district of Gujarat. This beautiful town was founded by Maharao Hamir in 1510. The little town has a vibrant and rich history. It is an ideal starting point for Rann of Kutch which is a natural reserve. It is an old-walled city with thin, meandering streets. It is a captivating place where you can walk around the elaborate temples, ancient palaces, gateways, and windy lanes.
Overnight stay at hotel
Day 5 Bhuj
Take an excursion to Banni Village.
Banni is a quaint little village that has been suspended in time. Meet the local craftsmen who are masters in their craft and display traditional art. Their ornaments, clothes, utensils, everything they use – will make you feel as if you have stepped into lifestyle museum leaving you spellbound.
Day 6 Bhuj – Gondal (315 KM – 7 Hours)
In the morning visit Gondal.
Gondal is a city in Rajkot district. The city finds its name in Ain – I – Akbar, a book written during the reign of Akbar.
Stop en-route to visit craft villages to see woolen varieties, wooden block printing with natural vegetable dyes and natural colors. Handicrafts are the living traditions of Kutch and they generate a variety of embroided garments.
Morbi, a city with the oscillating pylons of the suspension bridge and the blissful riverfront is a wistful reminder of Victorian London. The city of Morbi is located at the distance of 64 km from Rajkot. The buildings and cobblestone show a strong European influence. The city has high influence of European architecture style. The royal residence Darbargarh overlooks a river and is approached by an imposing gate which has carved façade.
Check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Day 7 Gondal – Junagarh (100 KM, 2 Hours)
In the morning we visit Naulakha Palace. It is one of the oldest palaces in Gondal. The palace dates back to 17th century. The palace features legendary stone carvings with beautiful Jharokas, marvelous pillared courtyard, finely carved arch, and a unique spiral staircase. The palace comprises a large Durbar hall, which is chandelier lit featuring stuffed panthers, antique wooden furniture, and antique mirrors.
Center for Cotton Spinning and Weaving is a center for embroidery, beadwork, handloom weaving, silverware and Brassware.
Private collection of vintage classic cars by Maharaja of Gondal can be witnessed in royal garages of the palace. The collection includes pre 1910 new engine that belonged to Maharaja Bhagwat Sinhji. The Delage D8, Daimler, and the grand 1935 Mercedes seven-seat saloon are examples of supercharged European cars of the 1920s and ’30s known for their wonderfully created bodywork and high performance.
In the afternoon leave for Junagadh. Check in at hotel.
Day 8 Junagarh – Diu (100 KM – 2 Hours)
In the morning visit Maqbaras, commonly known as Mausoleum. Mahabat maqbara is an impressive mausoleum with splendid arches, domes and towering minarets. The structure is known for its opulent and intricately carved architecture. The structure features beautifully carved silver doors and embodies the tomb of Nawab Mahabatkhanji.
The Darbar hall museum is situated in the old palace of Nawab near Diwan Chowk. It comprises of an interesting collection of weapons, silver articles, thrones, costumes, tapestries, and paintings which exhibit the lifestyle of Old palace of Nawab. Earlier it was a palace of Nawab of Junagadh and later it was converted into a museum.
Uparkot Fort is an impressive fort that was built during the Mauryan dynasty. The fort was built by Chandragupta in 319 BC and is situated at the foothills of Girnar Hills. The fort remained buried and undiscovered for more than 300 years and later it was discovered in 976 AD. Over the centuries the fort was rebuilt by many rulers. The impressive entrance of the fort leads your path to the ruins of the fort. The fort features various archeological sites such as Babupyana Caves, Naugham Kuva, Jama Masjid, Buddhist Caves and Adi-Kadi Vav.
Ashoka Rock Edict is located on the way to Mount Girnar. It is a large boulder on which you will explore an inscription with fourteen edicts of emperor Ashoka. The inscription is written in Brahmi script with an iron pen and dates back to 250 BC. On the same rock you observe inscriptions written in Sanskrit which were added in 150 BC by Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I, the ruler of Malwa. Another inscription was added in 450 BC by Skandagupta, the last Gupta emperor. These inscriptions provide knowledge on religion, harmony, tolerance and peace prevailing at that time.
later depart for Diu. En- route visit Somnath.
Somnath is located on the western coast of Gujarat and is the most sacred and oldest temple in the country. The temple stands as the most important landmark in the Indian history. The temple is situated at the distance of 79 km from Junagadh. In the past, Somnath temple was known as the treasure trove of wealth which was stolen away.
Arrive at Diu and check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Diu was the former Portuguese colony and was liberated in 1961. The Diu is an exotic location with beckoning beaches. Diu’s monuments and churches indicate its rich heritage. This calm island has been enriched with many fascinating stories to tell of the bygone era. The island boasts of a perfect blend of sand, sun and sea. You will experience the surreal touch of Portuguese history flowing through the veins of this beautiful island.
Day 9 Diu – Bhavnagar (200 KM – 4 Hours)
In the morning visit the local fish market.
Later visit Fort of Diu with its several canons overlooking the Arabian Sea. The fort was built in 1535 and was known to provide a strategic vantage point against invaders. The fort features a wonderful collection of cannon, engraved tombstone fragments, and small chapels.
Relax and take a leisurely walk on the beach.
Later depart for Bhavnagar. It is the fifth largest city of the Indian state Gujarat. The city was founded in 1724 by Bhavsinhji Gohil. The town was strategically chosen because of its location advantage for maritime trade. The old town of the city is a fortified with several gates which leads to the entrance of various towns of the region.
Upon arrival, check in at hotel.
Later visit a local bazaar of Bhavnagar and overnight stay.
Day 10 Bhavnagar – Palitana – Bhavnagar (120 KM – 3 Hours)
In the morning leave for excursion to Pailtana.
Palitana is one of the most important pilgrimage sites of Jain religion. The city is the gateway to the Shatrunjaya hill. The city is known for 900 small and big Jain temples that are located on the top of the hill. Siddha Kshetra Shri Shatrunjaya Teerth is perched on the top of the hill which is adorned by 3500 temples. It took 900 years for the completion of white marble temples. There are known for their unique architecture and sculpture art. The marble image of the deity is adorned with gold ornaments decorated with precious jewels.
In afternoon return to hotel in Bhavnagar for overnight stay.
Day 11 Bhavnagar – Jambughoda (260 KM – 5 Hours)
In the morning leave for Jambughoda. Jambughoda is a base point to visit Bhilala and Bayaka tribal villages. It is a perfet gateway that allows you to leave your city life behind and be with nature to simply enjoy and rejuvenate.
En-route visit Champaner, a historical city which was built by Sultan Mahmud Begada of Gujarat. UNESCO- protected World Heritage Site, Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is situated here. Champaner is also known for the famous Jama Masjid built by Sultan Begada that ranks amongst the finest architectural edifices in Gujarat.
Continue the journey to Jambughoda. On arrival check in at hotel
Later take an excursion to the tribal villages around the area to experience the primitive lifestyle along with Pithora wall paintings.
Day 12 Jambughoda – Ahmedabad (200 KM – 4 Hours)
In the morning visit the mobile market called haat in the nearby village.
On our way to Ahmedabad, visit Khambhat. In earlier days it was a flourishing city and a centre of extensive trade. The town was famous for its manufacture of agate and carnelian ornaments.
Finally, proceed to Ahmedabad and check in at hotel.
Day 13 Departure
Transfer to airport to board the flight to your onward destination.
END OF TOUR