Step off the tourist trail and see beyond the bright lights of Mumbai and discover the unique treasures of Gujarat. Often overlooked, this state is well worth a visit being home to some of the most unique heritage and natural history India has to offer. From the superb Indo-Islamic architecture to the bustling bazaars of Ahmedabad, luna like desert salt pains of the Kutch to the last remaining habitat of the Asiatic Lions at Sasan Gir, this tour will let you explore treasures of Gujarat.
Welcome to India! Arrive in Mumbai where you’ll be greeted by the tour representative who’s waiting in Airport’s arrival hall. After receiving amiable invocation, you’ll be transferred to the pre-booked luxurious hotel your stay in Mumbai. Complete check-in formalities, and relax for the remaining day. Meanwhile, enjoy delicious meals (Dinner) served at the hotel.
Proceed for Mumbai Airport after early breakfast. This morning, you’ll board a flight to Ahmedabad- the most populous city in the state of Gujarat. Popularly known as the legacy of empires, Ahmedabad is home to many historical buildings and monuments of religious importance. On arrival, meet your tour representative who’ll transfer you to the hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
Heritage Walking Hour Time: 2 Hours
At first glance, Ahmedabad, the former capital of Gujarat, is a flourishing commercial hub ruling western India. But tucked within its folds, especially in the ‘walled city’ is an almost 600-year old architectural heritage that won Ahmedabad the coveted World Heritage Site tag from UNESCO. This morning, have breakfast and then proceed for an exclusive Heritage walking tour of the old city to know more about the city and its legacy. Your walk will start from the famous Swaminarayan Mandir in Kalupur and ends in the most glorious architectural legacies, the Jama Masjid.
Explore Some Historic Sites Time: 2-3 Hours
After this heritage walking tour, stop sometime for lunch at the local eatery and then continue to explore Adalaj Vav Step-Well, one of the historic sites in Ahmedabad. Located 19 km north of Ahmedabad, Adalaj Vav Step-Well is among the finest of the Gujarati step-wells. Built by Queen Rudabai in 1498, it has three entrances, leading to a huge platform that rests on 16 pillars, with corners marked by shrines. Afterward, return back to your hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
After breakfast, get ready for the morning drive to Dasada and en route visit Patan, Rani Ki Vav, and Modhera.
Ahmedabad to Patan Time: 3 Hours; 125 km
Patan is a dusty, little visited town, but its narrow streets are lined by the elaborate, faded wooden houses and more than 100 Jain temples, which are worth exploring. The largest of the Jain temple is Panchasara Parasvanath. The major tourist attractions in Patan are Rani ki Vav, Sahastralinga Talav and Khan Sarovar.
Patan to Modhera Time: 1 Hour; 35 km
Later visit Modera an almost deserted hamlet off the beaten track 100km northwest of Ahmedabad. Modera is famous for its Surya Temple, beautifully balanced and intricately carved. After this visit, stop sometime to have lunch at a local eatery.
Modhera to Dasada Time: 1 Hour; 47 km
After lunch, continue to drive back for Dasada. On arrival in Dasada check-in at the hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
Explore Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary Time: 2 Hours
Located 93 km from the Ahmedabad, Rann of Kutch is famous for its white salty desert sand and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. After breakfast at the hotel, set on a jeep safari to explore the Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary (85km; 2 Hours) after breakfast at the hotel. Covering an area of 4950 sq ft, it is famous for its attractive chestnut brown Asiatic (wild ass) and flamingos. Rann is also a part of a few sanctuaries such as the Indian wild ass sanctuary, Kutch desert wildlife sanctuary etc. It is a paradise for wildlife photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.
After this wildlife excursion, go on an excursion to nearby villages to see tribal settlements and lunch. Afterward, return back to your hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
Dasada to Bhuj Time: 6 Hours; 290 km
Today morning drive to Bhuj – known as the Jaisalmer of Gujarat, Bhuj is the most important city in the Kutch region of Gujarat. The city is a maze of alleys with fine examples of Gujarati architecture that can be found in the form of houses and temples. The city of Bhuj is a paradise for tourists who are interested in purchasing handicrafts especially embroidered textiles. On arrival, check-in at the hotel.
In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Bhuj exploring Aina Mahal, bell tower in Prag Mahal, Kshtrapa inscriptions in the Kutch museum, which is believed to be the oldest museum in the region. Engage in some shopping of Bandhani (tie & dye), hand-printed saris, embroidery, needlework and ornaments that are exquisite to this region.Today morning drive to Bhuj – known as the Jaisalmer of Gujarat, Bhuj is the most important city in the Kutch region of Gujarat. The city is a maze of alleys with fine examples of Gujarati architecture that can be found in the form of houses and temples. The city of Bhuj is a paradise for tourists who are interested in purchasing handicrafts especially embroidered textiles. On arrival, check-in at the hotel.
In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Bhuj exploring Aina Mahal, bell tower in Prag Mahal, Kshtrapa inscriptions in the Kutch museum, which is believed to be the oldest museum in the region. Engage in some shopping of Bandhani (tie & dye), hand-printed saris, embroidery, needlework and ornaments that are exquisite to this region.
Trace the tradition of embroidered designs Travel Time: 1.5 Hours; 64 km
The Banni village, like many others across India, once had a bartering system between communities: the Maldhari nomads who herded camels traded milk and clarified butter in exchange for the Khatri tribes’ colorful textiles and clothes. Thus the arid landscape ran amok with colour and design – a tradition that is rapidly dying out with the advent of cheaper readymade fabrics!
After breakfast, leave your hotel to explore the North Banni villages – located between the dry arid Rann and the hinterland. Visit the Banni village in the heart of the white salt pans, to get an insight into the ancient Banni embroidery with its intricate minute designs in gorgeous colours, which is considered to be the most outstanding and among the different types of Kachchhi embroidery. While exploring the site, stop sometime for lunch. Afterward, return back to the hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
Bhuj – Gondal Travel Time: 5.5 Hours; 272 km
After leisure breakfast at the hotel, check-out from your hotel to leave for Gondal. Its small scale and relative tranquility compared to other Gujarati cities make an overnight stay here worthwhile. En-route stops for some time to have lunch. On arrival, transfer to the hotel and relax for some time.
Gondal Quick Sightseeing Time: 1.5 Hour
Afterward, in the afternoon, leave the hotel to visit the famous Naulakha Palace- a 260-year-old riverside palace followed by a quick visit to the Ayurvedic Pharmacy. Later, return back to the hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
Gondal to Sasan Gir (via Junagadh) Time: 2.5 Hours; 130 km
After breakfast, finish checkout formalities to leave for Sasan Gir. Famous for Asiatic lion, Sasan Gir- it is the only place in the world where one can spot Asiatic lions roaming freely in front of you. En-route, visit Junagadh which is famous worldwide for Jetpur screen-printing, and stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Afterward, continue to explore the Uparkot Fort & Museum. After this, continue to drive back to reach Sasan Gir. On arrival, check-in at the camp. Rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.
See Asiatic Lions in Gir National Park Time: 1-2 Hours
After an early breakfast, get ready for early morning game drive at the Gir National Park by a jeep in search of the elusive lion. It is the only place in the world where one can spot Asiatic lions roaming freely in front of you. Home of many majestic but endangered species, Gir National Park also offer an exciting opportunity to spot elusive fauna including panther, jackals, porcupines, and hyenas. Known locally as Sasan Gir, it is the last remaining habitat of Asiatic Lions in the world.
Visit Somnath Temple Time: 1 Hour
Located 67 km from Gir National Park, Somnath temple is one of India's 12 Shiva Jyoti linga (devotional representation of Shiva) shrines. Drive 2 hours to reach Somnath Temple from Gir National Park. Every year, thousands of pilgrims visit the temple to perform puja (a ceremony of offering prayers). After this temple visit, have lunch at the local eatery, and then drive back to reach your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Meanwhile, enjoy delicious dinner at the hotel before going to sleep.
Sasan Gir to Bhavnagar Travel Time: 5.5 Hours; 223 km
This morning is also scheduled for early morning game drive at the Gir National Park. So, wake up early to have your breakfast, and then complete check-out formalities to continue to Gir National Park. In any case, you aren’t able to spot Asiatic lions during your previous visit, then spot big cats today. After this wildlife excursion, transfer by road to Bhavnagar in the afternoon (stop en-route for lunch). On arrival, check-in at the hotel as the rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.
Today morning, have your breakfast and then continue to drive to Palitana. Located 51 km southwest of Bhavnagar, Palitana is famous for beautiful Jain Temples, and among all Palitana Jain Temple is one among the most sacred sites of Jainism that attracts tourist attention. There are approximately 3700 steps to the Shrine. Explore the temple site, and have lunch before leaving for the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast at your leisure, you will be transferred to the Bhavnagar Airport to board your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to the hotel. This entire day is at leisure. So, relax and enjoy delicious dinner served at the hotel before going to bed.
This morning, you’ll be transferred to the Mumbai Airport to catch your next flight for onward journey. So, have your breakfast on time. We also advise you to arrive at the airport at least 3 hrs prior to departure and keep your passport and printout of airline ticket handy to avoid last minute hassles. This itinerary is only a slice of the wonderful diversity and beauty that India has to offer and we hope that you will come back soon to discover more…Namaste!