GUJ - 09
Not many other states can complete with Gujarat when it comes to the massive display of wildlife and birds. Though it is not really possible to cover everything in such a short time, yet our 9 nights – 10 days Gujarat wildlife tour packageis the best curate to allure the nature and animal lovers. The trip begins at Ahmedabad and keeps hopping to different places with sanctuaries and national parks for safaris and game view.
Arrive at Ahmedabad. 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.
The first destination is Gandhi Ashram, also known as the Sabarmati Ashram. The place was the home to Mahatma Gandhi from 1917 to 1930 and was one of the main centers of the Indian freedom struggle. Sabarmati Ashram named for the river on which it sits River Sabarmati. The Bhagavad Gita was recited here daily, as part of the Ashram schedule. The Ashram was built as recognition of Gandhi’s Dandi March (Salt Satyagraha) on 12th March 1930.
The Jama Masjid ofAhmedabad was probably the largest mosque in the subcontinent built in this period. Designed as part of a major plan desired by the Emperor Sultan Ahmed Shah, it is a must visit before heading towards the Mosque of Sidi Saiyyed.
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.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Have breakfast and checkout from the hotel to make you way to the Nal Sarovar Lake for bird-watching.
Nal Sarovar is a Bird Sanctuary, spread in the area of 120.82-sq-km Lake, a serene marshland with shallow waters (4-5 ft),Nal Sarovar is about 60 km from Ahmedabad near Sanand Village. Mainly inhabited by migratory birds as their wintering ground, Nal Sarovar wetland is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat, and one of the largest in India. One can find rosy pelicans, lesser and greater flamingos, crakes, brahminy ducks, purple moorhen, herons, white storks, various species ofbitterns, grebes etc in the lake. Best time to visit Nal sarovar is in winter between November and February.
Depart for Little Rann of Kutch. Reach Little Rann of Kutch 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 water-birds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sand grouse, francolins and the Indian bustards.
Post lunch, you will be taken to the evening safarito see the endangered Wild Ass.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.
Overnight stay at Little Rann of Kutch.
Begin your day with the morning safari at the Little Rann Sanctuary. The stretch of Little Rann of Kutch is spread over almost 5,000 square kilometers. The sanctuary was set up in 1973 to protect the endangered wild ass, though there are several other species to check out. The morning safari would be dedicated to sight MacQueen’s Bustard, Desert Fox and Raptors.
There is another evening safari lined up for this day when you would visit the Nava Talav for sighting of Greylag Geese, Bar Headed Goose, and Water Birds. Nava Talav is one of the few remaining breeding grounds in India for Lesser Flamingoes. These are smallest species of flamingo, though it is still a tall bird by most standards. The Lesser Flamingo is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Water birds (AEWA) applies.
Stay overnight at Little Rann of Kutch.
Drive to Bhuj after having your breakfast. You will be taken to explore palaces, museums and the local market area. The first spot to visit is the Aina Mahal which was built by Rao Lakhpatji in 1761. The chief architect and designer of Aina Mahal was Ram Singh Malam, who was assisted by local builder community (‘Mistris’ of Kutch) in construction. It was constructed with marble walls adorned with bronze lace and glass. The walls of the palace are of white marble and are covered with mirrors separated by gilded ornaments with shades of Venetian glass.
Prag Mahal is designed in the Italian Gothic style and built next to the AinaMahal, Kutch Museum and local market. This is a palace commissioned by King Pragmalji in 1860’s designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins, and it might seem like a construction based in France and not India!
Spend your evening at leisure. Overnight stay at Bhuj.
This day, you will be taken to the Chari-Dhand wetland conservation reserve. Start off at early morning to reach the spot located on the edge of arid Banni grasslands and the marshy salt flats of the Rann of Kutch. It is currently legally protected under the status as a Protected or Reserve Forest in India. Chari means salt affected and Dhand means shallow wetland.
Chari-Dhandis spread over an area of 80 km2and is home to nearly two lakh birds. Thousands of migratory and endangered species of birds flock into the area during monsoon and winters. This is a paradise for the bird watchers and a must-visit for all nature lovers.
You will be served lunch in the village. In the afternoon, visit Chari-Dhand or the White Rann of Kutch for sunset. White Rannof Kutch has a fascinating story to tell. Post-summer, as the monsoon arrives, the waters of the Gulf of Kutch flood into this desert and make the White Rann look like a massive sea. On windless days, perfect mirror reflections of the sky are seen on these “desert waters”. From around July till late October-November, this part of the desert of the Great Rann of Kutch essentially resembles a sea!
As the monsoon ends, this water starts receding and evaporating. The saline water then leaves a thick layer of salt, making the desert the White Rann of Kutch. It is a paradise for the photography lovers.
The White Rann of Kutch isn’t a place you can just walk up to. You need to acquire permission from the BSF. The timings of the visit to the White Rannis also decided by the BSF. Sunrise and sunset is the only time civilians get to enter the White Rann of Kutch.
Return to Bhuj for overnight stay.
Start off in the morning for a visit to the Kutch Bustard Sanctuary. This sanctuary is one of the two great Indian bustard sanctuaries in Gujarat; the other one is in Jamnagar. It was declared as a sanctuary in July 1992, specifically for the conservation of the great Indian bustard, the heaviest flying bird belonging to the avian family of Otididae.
The sanctuary covers a protected area of about 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi) of area (202.86 hectares (501.3 acres) of fenced land only and is the smallest sanctuary in the country. Apart from the Great Indian Bustard, the sanctuary houses 20 other species of birds, namely Mc Queen’s Bustard, Lesser Florican, Stoliczkas, Bushchats, Merlins are some of the species to be spotted here.
In the latter half of the day, visit Mandvi for water birds such as Black Ibis, Red Wattled Lapwing, Black Winged Stilts and Indian Reef Heron.
Return to the hotel for overnight stay at Bhuj.
After breakfast, check out and gear up for a long drive to Sasan Gir. You will be allowed a halt for lunch at Gondal. Reach Sasan Gir by evening, check-in at hotel for overnight stay.
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. The only home of the endangered mighty Asiatic Lion, Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular attractions of Gujarat. The national Park houses around 38 species of mammals, 300 avifauna species, 37 species of reptiles and over 2000 insect species.
Your day will begin with a morning safari at Gir National Park. Another safari is scheduled at the afternoon post lunch.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Have breakfast and start off for a drive towards Velavadar.
The place is famous for Blackbuck National Park, a unique National Park with exclusive grassland habitat, shrub lands, saline plains and mud flats. More than 1,000 blackbucks exist on the open grasslands of Velavadar. The park embraces about over 140 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, 95 species of flowering plants, and many reptiles. Other than blackbucks we can also see Nilgai, wolf, wild cat, jackal, Indian fox and rodents in the park.
The afternoon safari is scheduled after lunch.
Come back to the hotel for overnight stay.
Have your breakfast and check out from the hotel to depart for Ahmedabad for flight to Mumbai or Delhi as per your convenience. Your trip comes to an end.