GUJ - 02
Want to spend you holidays amid the varied exploration of Gujarat? The 12 nights-13 days trip to Gujarat is an adventurous and exciting tour. It covers the scenic beauty, wildlife adventure, deserts and beaches as well as the temples and monuments of the extended places covered under the tour.
India-tours.com offers a wide range of the most spectacular attractions including breathtaking locations and scenic landscapes. Gujarat is also a melting pot of several civilizations resulting in a vibrant culture and a rich heritage. Gujarat Holiday package is a perfect amalgamation of all the highlights that the state has to offer.
Welcome to Ahmedabad, India. You will be received by the chauffer who would transfer you to the assigned hotel. Check-in at the hotel, get refreshed and get ready for city sightseeing in the afternoon.
Ahmedabad is the largest city of Gujarat and is located at the banks of the Sabarmati River. The modern city has been selected as one of the hundred smart cities under Government of India's flagship Smart Cities Mission. On the other hand, the Historic City of Ahmadabad is declared as India's first UNESCO World Heritage City.
The 600 years old city of Ahmedabad (1411 A.D) has some of the finest Indian-Islamic monuments and exquisite Hindu and Jain temples. Its carved wooden houses are another unique architectural tradition. Worth checking out is the nature of its rich and varied architecture, its art, religious places, its culture and traditions.
Overnight stay at Ahmedabad.
Have your breakfast and get ready for the day visit of Ahmedabad and its twin city Gandhi Nagar. Start with The Heritage Walk arranged by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to travel by the planned old city comprising numerous pols, self-contained neighborhoods, sheltering large numbers of peoples. Some of these virtually small villages, traversed by narrow streets, usually terminating in square with community wells and chabutaras for feeding birds, gates, Cul-de-sacs and secret passages. To experience the glory of Ahmedabad, tourists are taken for this walk through an old quarter to observe the nature of its architecture, its art, religious places, its culture and traditions.
Sidi Saiyyed Mosque and Swaminarayan Temple are the other two spots to visit before heading towards Gandhinagar in afternoon. Sidi Saiyyed Mosque is one of the most famous mosques of Ahmedabad and was built by Sidi Saiyyid in the retinue of Bilal Jhajar Khan. The mosque is entirely arcaded and is known for its ten intricately carved stone latticework windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches.
Swaminarayan Temple is the first temple of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, a Hindu sect. With its architecture based on Burma teak wood, every colored arch and bracket is a bright different shade, something that stands out. The temple resembles a fairytale with all its colours and opulent carvings that profusely embellish every wooden bracket, column and arch.
In the afternoon, you will be driven to Gandhinagar for Akshardham Temples visiting Adalaj Stepwell on the way. It is a step well located in the village of Adalaj, which was built in 1498 in the memory of Rana Veer Singh (the Vaghela dynasty of Dandai Des), by his wife Queen Rudadevi. It is a fine example of Indian architecture work.
Akshardham is a large Hindu temple complex inspired by Yogiji maharaj the fourth spiritual successor of Lord Swaminarayan. The complex was built over 13 years and is a tribute to Lord Swaminarayan and his life and teachings. At the center of the 23-acre complex is the Akshardham Temple, which is built from 6,000 metric tons of pink sandstone from Rajasthan
Return to hotel and stay overnight at Ahmedabad.
After breakfast, get driven to Dasada. On the way, you may visit Modhera & Patan which would take extra 4-5 hours (140 kms). Modhera is famous for its spectacular Sun Temple, built in the early 11th century by the Solanki dynasty. The Sun Temple is unique in that it has three separate but integrated elements, all aligned to a central axis – the Surya Kund, the Sabha Mandap and the Garbha Griha.
Patan is older than Modhera and was founded in 746 AD. In the 13th century Patan fell to invasion by the Delhi Sultanate and was destroyed. Some monuments have survived including the spectacular Rani ni Vav stepwell which lay buried under earth until 1986, when it was cleared and restored. It is entirely an underground structure, with seven storeys, each carved with amazing sculptures of gods and goddesses. As you go lower, it gets cooler and cooler.
Visit the Little Rann of Kutch in the afternoon, which is a salt marsh part of Rann of Kutch. It is famous as the world's last refuge of the Indian wild ass (khur) for the conservation of which it has been declared as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. Though a bleak landscape it is rich in biodiversity and is an ecologically important area for wildlife and many local and migratory waterbirds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sandgrouse, francolins and the Indian bustards.
Experience the night stay at local huts (coobas).
After breakfast, get transferred to Bhuj by car. Upon arrival proceed to DSP/Collector office to obtain the permit. Please note that it is mandatory for all foreign clients to obtain the permit to visit the Banny village. Also, note that DSP/Collector’s office is closed on the 2nd and 4th Saturday and public holidays. Hence, it is suggested that you set the tour dates accordingly.
In the evening, take a trip to the Bhuj city and market. Bhuj was founded by Rao Hamir in 1510 and was made the capital of Kutch by Rao Khengarji I in 1549. The city's walls were built by Rao Godji I in 1723, and the Bhujiya Fort by Devkaran Seth in Rao Deshalji I's time (1718 - 1741).
Main places of interest includes The Fort – The old city was surrounded by a fort wall with five major gates (Mahadev, Patvadi, Sarpat, Bhid and Vaniyavad) and one small gate known as Chhathi Bari (sixth window). The fort wall is 35 feet high and four feet thick, and during its use was armed with fifty-one guns. Other places to visit are the Hamirsar Lake, Prag Mahal, Arina Mahal, Kutch Museum and Tapkeshwari Temple to name a few.
Overnight at Bhuj.
Get ready for a full-day excursion to the Banny villages to check out the various typical villages and their traditional art and culture of Gujarat. You will be delighted to see the artisans and their beautiful work of art of different materials ranging from clothes to wood to paper and textile products.
Return to Bhuj for overnight.
Get driven to Sayla after breakfast. You will be first taken to Rajkot for check-in at hotel. From there, you will be taken to Sayla in the afternoon for a walking tour of the village. Experience rural India while walking or driving through the village of Sayla with its historic buildings, old houses, temples, ashrams and Village Lake. Things of interest are Darbargarh – a historic place occupied by the Sayla ruling family and has carved gateways and overhanging balconies, Chattries (Royal Cenotaphs) – where the memorials of the rulers of Sayla are adorned with stone carving, Mansoravar Lake – a spectacular place for bird watching, and Kathiawadi horse ride.
Come back to Rajkot and stay overnight.
After breakfast, drive to Sasan Gir and check-in at hotel. In the afternoon, you will be taken for a Jeep safari into the Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary. Gir National Park is a forest and wildlife sanctuary, established in 1965 and is fully protected as national park. The Gir ecosystem with its diverse flora and fauna is protected as a result of the efforts of the government forest department, wildlife activists and NGOs.
Overnight at Sasan Gir. Please note that Sasan Gir Sanctuary is closed every year between 15th June and 15th October. If your visit is scheduled during this period, this night would be replaced by Gondal (Deluxe Package) and to Rajkot or Diu (Standard Package).
At 6:00 am, start with Jeep safari or optional payable vehicle for a game view into the Gir National Park. Come back after a 3-hours safari, have your breakfast and get driven to Diu, visiting Somnath on the way.
Somnath is mainly visited for the Somnath Temple which is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat.
Arrive at Diu and check-in at hotel. Your day is at leisure at the mesmerizing and peaceful beach of Diu.
Overnight stay at hotel in Diu.
Spend your morning at beach enjoying the different beach activities. The day visit to Diu is scheduled for a spectacular city sightseeing. You will be amused to see that with no tall buildings except the fort, Diu has a characteristically low skyline. Old Diu is known for its Portuguese architecture. Diu Fort was built in 1535 and maintained an active garrison until 1960. The Diu fort is the most visited landmark in the district, which is built on a hillock next to the sea.
There are three Portugese Baroque churches - St Paul’s Church (completed in 1610, being the only one in use for its original purpose), The Church of St Francis of Assisi (first church built in Diu in 1593, now used as a hospital and St Thomas Church (used as a museum).
Stay overnight at hotel in Diu.
Enjoy your morning at the beach. After lunch get driven t Bhavnagar and check-in at hotel.
Bhavnagar was founded in 1724 by Bhavsinhji Gohil and the city is an important place for trade with many large and small scale industries along with the world's largest ship-breaking yard, Alang located 50 km away. Bhavnagar is also famous for its version of the popular Gujarati snack 'Ganthiya’.
Stay overnight at Bhavnagar.
Have an early breakfast or get it packed for a drive at 6:00 am to Baroda. On the way, visit Palitana for Shatrunjaya Temple where doli-lift chairs are available at extra cost for the travelers.
Palitana is the world’s only mountain that has more than 900 temples. The Palitana temples and whole mountain are considered the most sacred pilgrimage place (tirtha) by the Jain community, and is the world's largest Temple Complex. There are more than 3000 temples located on the Shatrunjaya hills, exquisitely carved in marble. The main temple on top of the hill, is dedicated to the first Tirthankara Rishabhanatha (Rishabhadeva).
After lunch (not included), get driven to Baroda and check-in at hotel for an overnight stay.
This day, you will be taken for a full day city sightseeing of Baroda including palaces like Laxmi Vilas Palace and Makarpura Palace, monuments, museums, and temples.
The city tour would extend to Cambanir and Chhota Udaipur before returning to Baroda for overnight.
This day is at your leisure, for shopping and exploring nearby places, till your scheduled departure flight to Mumbai or Delhi.