Cultural journey of Gujarat

(13 nights/14 days)

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01- Arrive Ahmedabad

Arrive Ahmedabad, meet & greet at Airport and transfer to hotel.

Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. It is located in western India on the banks of the River Sabarmati. The city served as political as well as economical capital of the region since its establishment. After independence, the city was a part of Bombay state. When Gujarat was carved out in 1960, it again became the capital of the state until establishment of Gandhinagar in 1965. Ahmedabad is also the cultural and economical centre of Gujarat and the seventh largest city of India. City will quickly win your heart with incredible architecture, ranging from centuries old mosques and mausoleums to contempory design.

Afternoon half day city tour visiting the beautiful Jama Masjid – one of the most beautiful mosques in the country. Pass by the Shaking Minarets and Hathi Singh temple and Sidi Sayid’s mosques. Later visit Sabarmati Ashram founded by Mahatma Gandhi, where began in 1930, the legendary salt marsh, which ushered in the Indian freedom struggle

Rest of the day will be at leisure

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02- Ahmedabad-Mount Abu (240 kms, 5-6 hrs drive)

Breakfast at hotel

Post breakfast proceed for Mount Abu en-route visiting the five-storey stepwell of Adalaj ,an architectural masterpiece in the Indo – Islamic style.

Later continue drive to Mount Abu.

Mount Abu town, the only hill station in Rajasthan, is located at an elevation of 1,220 m (4,003 ft). It has been a popular retreat from the heat of Rajasthan and neighbouring Gujarat for centuries.

On arrival check in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 03- Mount Abu-Poshina (80 kms, 2-3 hrs drive)

Breakfast at hotel

Morning visit Dilwara temples (pilgrimage center for the Jain’s community) consisting of five Jain temples, built during the early 11th century. The intricate & elaborated ornamental carvings represent the climax in decorative art in stone.

Later in time depart Mount Abu for Palanpur and on arrival check-in at hotel

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 04- Poshina-Dasada (Approx 240 kms, 6-7 hrs drive)

Breakfast at hotel
Morning depart Ahmedabad for Dasada en-route visiting Patan and Modhera

Patan- Visit the amazing Rani ka Vav (The Queen’s Step well). This magnificent east facing step well measures approximately 64m long, 20m wide & 27m deep. A stepped corridor compartmented at regular intervals with pillared multi-storeyed pavilions is a unique feature. The minute and exquisite carving are one of the finest specimens of its kind. Befitting its name, the Rani-Ka-Vav is now considered to be the queen among the step wells of India. They are also part of the structures, under consideration to be put on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Later visit Patola Weavers at Patan. The Double Ikat Patola glorifies India’s rich and ancient heritage in fine textiles. This is one of two or three centres in the world that makes the double Ikat weave. With its unique gem like qualities, gorgeous colours, designs and durability, it’s very appearance lures the connoisseur of fine textiles. Patola is extremely painstaking to produce, silk warps and wefts must both be precisely tied and dyed, and the elements must register in the weaving process. To insure this, the yarns are meticulously teased with fine metal tools after nearly every throw of the shuttle. It has no reverse side. Both the sides have equal intensity of colour and design. Flowers, animals, birds and human figures, form the basic designs for the weave.

Modhera- Visit the Sun Temple. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev Solanki. The Solankis considered themselves descendents of the Sun God. The temple is of a unique architectural style, the temple was designed such, that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of the Sun God, at the time of the equinox. The temple has been partially in ruins after it was destroyed by the Allauddin Khilji. However, enough has remained of the temple to convey its grandeur.

Later continue drive to Dasada and on arrival check-in at hotel

Dasada, a small village occupied mainly by farmers, nomadic cattle herders and artisans. It is situated on the outskirts of the Rann of Kutch, a vast salt marsh that spans 30,000 square kilometres. It is the perfect base from which to explore the Rann of Kutch, the last refuge in India of the Asiatic Wild Ass, an elegant member of the horse family. In winter it is also home to migratory birds such as flamingos, Macqueen’s Bustard, pelicans cranes etc.

Overnight at hotel

Day 05- Dasada-Bhuj (Approx 280 kms, 6-7 hrs drive)

Breakfast at hotel

Morning visit the Little Rann sanctuary to see the Wild Ass and other migratory birds in their natural habitats

Later depart Dasada for Bhuj and short of Bhuj visit the villages Dhamdka to see Ajrak printing and, Dhaneti for its Ahir embroidery.  Later visit Bhujodi- Vanka Kana Rabari– collector of Rabari and other embroideries- there is an excellent collection for sale.

Later continue drive to Bhuj and on arrival check-in at hotel

Overnight at hotel

Day 06- Bhuj

Morning visit the museums and palaces of Royal family of Kutch.

Bhuj Museum – It is the oldest museum in Gujarat, founded in 1877 by Maharao Khengarji, it also houses the largest existing collection of Kshatrapa inscriptions, dating to the 1st century AD, as well as examples of the extinct Kutchi script and an interesting collection of coins. A section of the museum is devoted to tribal cultures, with many examples of ancient artefacts, folk arts and crafts and information about tribal peoples. The museum also has exhibits of embroidery, paintings, arms, musical instruments, sculpture and precious metalwork.

Ainamahal – The Aina Mahal Palace or “Hall of Mirrors” was built during the rule of the flamboyant ruler, Lakhpatji in the middle of the 18th century. Designed in a mixed Indo –European style, he commissioned master craftsman Ramsinh Malam, who had trained as an artisan for 17 years in Europe.

Pragmahal- The Prag Mahal is a 19th-century palace located next to the Aina Mahal. It was commissioned by Rao Pragmalji II, and construction began in 1865. It was designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins, in the Italian Gothic style, and many Italian artisans were involved in its construction. The palace artisans’ wages were paid in gold coins. Construction of the palace, which ultimately cost 3.1 million rupees, was completed in 1879. It was severely damaged in the 2001 earthquake. In 2006, the palace was burglarized; thieves stole antiques worth millions of rupees and damaged many items. Visitors may enter the main palace halls and ascend the bell tower, which offers views of the city.  Spend sometime in the local markets.

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 07- Bhuj

Breakfast at hotel

Morning head north from the city of Bhuj into the Banni grass and desert lands, circumscribed by the great salt marsh of Rann of Kutch and the Arabian Sea.

Visit village for Rogan art, bell and wood craft. ‘Rogan’, a legacy kept alive through generations by a family of ‘ Khatris’, the traditional embellishers on cloth is a hand painted art form. Bell making is still a form of craft in Kutch. Visit a metallurgist, a traditional maker of cow bells. Iron bells enamelled in copper and bronze, are in many shapes and sizes, emitting melodies which are soft yet carry sonorously through the desert air.

Wind your way to the next community, the Vadhas, whose skill lies in coating wooden implements and toys with lacquer in a psychedelic variation of hues. This semi nomadic community harvests the lac resin from the trees, mixing it with different kinds of minerals and pigments to generate a vast array of colourful shades. These are then meticulously applied to a mixed batch of kitchen implements, toys and small utility items. The craftsmen use hand operated lathes to shape the wood, slash in indentations and the artistic application of coloured lacquer in zigzag patterns defying geometric parameters. The men in the community hold the magic of colour creativity in their hands while the women are a visual treat in their beautifully embroidered costumes.

Late evening return back to Bhuj and overnight at hotel

Day 08- Bhuj-Wankaner-Gondal (Approx 280 kms, 6-7 hrs drive)

Breakfast at hotel

Morning depart Bhuj for Gondal en-route visiting Ranjit Vilas Palace a unique mix of various architectural styles from Victorian, Gothic, Mughal, Dutch and even French influences. It has a memorable collection of swords, shields and daggers as well as an amazing collection of vintage cars.

Later continue drive to Gondal and on arrival check-in at hotel

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 09- Gondal-Junagarh-Somnath-Sasangir (Approx 300 kms, 7-8 hrs drive)

Breakfast at hotel

Morning sightseeing of Gondal visiting the Naulakha Palace The Naulakha Palace was built in 1748AD in the Darbargarh or old fort of the Jadeja Rajputs who ruled Gondal from the mid-1600s. A festival of stone carvings, the building now houses a selection from the family’s collection of antiques and princely relics. Also visit the largest vintage car collection of the Maharaja.

Later depart Gondal for Sasangir en-route visiting Junagarh.

In Junagarh visit the Uparkot Fort an ancient citadel located on the higher level of the town, was a stronghold of Mauryans and Gupta Empire and is said to have survived 16 sieges in the last 1000 years due to its strategic location and difficult access. The entrance of Uparkot has a fine specimen of Hindu Toran, leading of flat land dotted with archeological sites. The major sites are Buddhist caves, Baba Pyara Caves (2nd century), Adi-Kadi Vav, Navghan Kuvo and Jami Masjid.

Later continue drive to Sasangir and on arrival check in at hotel

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 10- Sasangir

Breakfast at hotel

Early morning and late afternoon jeep safari to the national park to see the wild life

Gir National Park is the only remaining habitat of the Asiatic lion, which has been confined to this forest, since 1884 (about 239 lions were reported in 1985). The Asiatic lion is slightly smaller than its African cousin, nevertheless, a large male lion of the Gir is quite a sight to behold. The best way to observe the big cats is, of course, in their natural surroundings, at dawn and dusk, when they are on the prowl. The Forest Department does arrange lion shows every Sunday, where the spectators can watch prides of lions on the hunt. There are guided trips available, to watch these magnificent animals from a very close range.

The chinkara, wild boar, striped hyena, jackal, common langur, porcupine, hare, black buck, are the other animals, that can be found in this sanctuary. There are over 200 bird species including the peafowl, grey partridge, Bonelli’s eagle, crested serpent eagle, jungle bush quail, painted sandgrouse, common green pigeon and several species of doves. The Gir is also home to the marsh crocodile, which can be sighted easily in its rivers, particularly in the lake of the Kamaleshwar dam.

Lunch, dinner and overnight at hotel

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 11-Sasangir-Diu (100 kms 2-3 hrs)

Breakfast at hotel

Morning depart Sasangir for Diu and on arrival check-in at hotel

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 12- Diu

Breakfast at hotel

Morning half day sightseeing of Diu visiting Fort of Diu, which occupies a prominent position. It is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD after a defence alliance, concluded by the Bahadurshah, Sultan of Gujarat, and the Portuguese when the former was attacked by Humayun, the Mughal Emperor.

Also visit St. Paul’s Church dedicated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The construction of the church was started in 1601 and was completed in the year 1610. The main facade of the church, perhaps the most elaborates of all Portuguese churches in India, is adorned with curiously treated volutes and shell-like motifs, and immediately attracts visitors. The facade has been illuminated by flood lights adding to the evening city glow.  Also visit old St. Thomas Church has been converted into a museum which houses the antique statues, various stone inscriptions of the earlier rulers, wooden carvings, idols, shadow-clocks and other important artifacts have been collected from various sites and displayed.

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 13- Diu-Bhavnagar (Approx 210 kms, 4-5 hrs drive)

Breakfast at hotel

Morning depart Sasangir for Bhavnagar en-route visit Palitana Jain temples

Palitana Jain temples – The Shatrunjaya Hill in Palitana, a small town in the Indian state of Gujarat, is adorned with the highest concentration of beautifully carved Jain temples to be found anywhere in the world. Palitana is an important pilgrimage for the followers of Jainism but equally important are, the architecture of the temples and the elaborate carvings on them. One has to climb approx 3000 steps to reach the temples

Later continue drive to Bhavnagar and on arrival check-in at hotel

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 14- Bhavnagar-Lothal-Ahmedabad (200 kms, 4-5 hrs)

Breakfast at hotel

Morning Velavadar for Ahmedabad en-route visiting Lothal – now is in the middle of quiet agricultural field, where you can see no inhabitants around the site. But in the ancient time (2000 BCE), it is thought to have been a bustling commercial center with bead factories and dockyard for exporting the products. Four millennia have passed and we can only imagine the full scale of the city and people who lived there, but some artifacts, such as toys and perforated pots, can be viewed in the nearby museum.

Later continue drive to Ahmedabad and on arrival direct transfer to airport to connect flight to onward destination (No accommodation envisaged in Ahmedabad for this night)

End of our services.

All hotels check-in / check-out time 12 Noon.

Flight timings are as per present schedule and are subject to change without notice

Note: Distance/approximate drive time based on Indian Road conditions. Drive time may reduce / exceeds depends on the traffic conditions city to city on that particular date.