Duration : 13 Nights & 14 Days
Destination : Ahmadabad - Zainabad - Bhuj - Gondal - Sasangir - Diu - Bhavnagar - Uteliya - Ahmadabad
Accommodation : Luxury / Modern / Heritage Hotels.
Best Time to Visit : October to June
Journey Type : Group & Private Journey
Our Vibrant Gujarat Tour takes you on a trip into India's most colorfully vivid, culturally rich and historically relevant state which is teeming with biodiversity and natural wonders. It helps you in tracing the origin, growth and history of Indian textiles, the result of centuries of cultural influences and trade. Gujarat has been known for producing some of the finest handloom woven textiles and block printing fabrics since Egyptian and Roman times. On this tour you will interact with the artisans and the craftsman directly and observe them at work in their workshops and houses. This exciting and colourful journey of Vibrant Gujarat takes you to museums in Ahmedabad, artisans in the desert regions of Bhuj, atmospheric villages in the heart of Kutch, medieval towns, ancient temples with exquisite architecture in Somnath and Palitana and the unspoiled wildlife reserves of Little Rann of Kutch and Gir to see the endangered Asiatic Lion and Wild Ass. Finally, the journey also lets you explore historic ruins of the ancient Indus valley civilization in Lothal.
This is a suggested tour. It can be tailor-made to suit your requirements. Please contact us for a tailor made tour.
You will get a warm welcome at Ahmedabad Airport by our travel counsellor who will then assist you in your hotel transfer and check-in. Ahmedabad is a fast developing metropolis, industrial hub and educational hotspot of Gujarat. The city will win your heart with its local Gujarati food, multi-ethnic culture, traditional shopping and a plethora of temples, making it India's first UNESCO Urban World Heritage Site. .
In the afternoon, you will proceed for city sightseeing. You can trace the history of textiles in the celebrated Calico Textile Museum, located in a charming wooden Gujarati haveli. Pay your respects to Mahatma Gandhi at the famed Sabarmati Ashram, from where he began the famous 'Dandi March.' You can also visit the spectacular Swaminarayan Temple. Embellished with vibrant colours and detailed carvings, it is a great example of 19th century architecture. .
Also, get mesmerized by the architectural grandeur and ornate latticework of the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque built in 1573. You will be intrigued by the unsolved mystery of Jhulta(swinging) Minar wherein if one minaret is shaken, the other shakes within a few seconds.
After breakfast, you will drive to Zainabad en route visiting the spectacular ruins of the sun temple at Modhera (11th century). The intricacies of its structures tell tales of past eras. You will also visit the ancient town of Patan which was the former capital of Gujarat. Today it is famous for the unique Patola and Mashru Silk weaves. .
Zainabad is the entrance to the little Rann of Kutch. The Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of the Asiatic Wild Ass also known as Ghudkhur, a unique animal not found anywhere in the world. Enjoy an evening safari into the Wildlife Sanctuary along with an expert naturalist to see the wild ass. It is also home to 32 other mammals and thousands of birds including some migratory birds as well.
After early breakfast, you will drive 5 hours to reach Bhuj, former capital of the state Kutch. It is a desert city with many unique forts and palaces. This town has played a pivotal role in South Asian history, from remnants of Indus Valley Civilization to links with Mahabharata. The area has a blend of ethnic cultures because of the rule of multiple dynasties in the past. Villages around Bhuj are known far and wide for their traditional arts, handicrafts and embroidery. On arrival, will be assisted with your Hotel check in.
After breakfast, you will visit the quaint little Banni villages suspended in time. It is like stepping into a live museum where you will see master craftsmen creating magic with weaving, embroidery, block printing, tie & die printing and making traditional nut crackers. .
These villages have diverse communities such as Jat, Rabari, Meghwals, Muslim, Sodha and others who have made Kutch their home. You can interact with them and understand their artistic heritage and colourful traditions. The memories of their tribal culture of hospitality will be etched in your hearts forever.
After breakfast you will proceed for sightseeing in Bhuj. You will walk around the town to see the Hall of Mirrors at the Aina Mahal and climb the bell tower of the Prag Mahal. You will be awestruck by 2000 year old inscriptions in Kutch Museum and admire the sculptures at the Ramakund stepwell. In the evening catch a glorious sunset over the Hamirsar Lake and spend overnight at your Hotel in Bhuj.
After breakfast, you will drive 5-6 hours to Gondal en route visiting the Dhamadka village. Dhamadka is one of the most prominent artisan villages of Gujarat famous for Ajrakh, the hundreds of years old traditional art of wooden block printing. Here you will see rolls of colourful fabric covering the arid Kutch landscape. .
Observe uniquely created blocks of wood, dipped in colour and placed symmetrically to create stunning patterns of jail motif's, arches and floral trellises. The art of Ajrakh block printing uses 100% biodegradable and natural dyes made from henna, turmeric, indigo and herbs etc. .
On arrival in Gondal, you will be assisted with your Hotel check in. This quaint city located on the river Gondali, was once the capital of a princely state ruled by the Rajput clan. It still retains its grandeur and sense of royalty with the Naulakha (nine gems) Palace, Riverside palace and the Gondal Palace which are famous tourist attractions.
After breakfast you will take an excursion to the town of Jetpur and its famous workshops of block and screen printing. Textile enthusiasts can experience the unique process of printing and yarn dyeing here. .
Later, you will proceed further to Junagadh, a town which has been ruled by many dynasties in the past. In the partition of 1947 Junagarh was first acceded to Pakistan but later integrated into India by the concerted effort of its citizens and the Indian government. Here, you can visit the Darbar Hall Museum, the former palace of the Nawabs of Junagarh, to see their opulent treasures including gem-encrusted carpets and tapestries. .
You will also get to explore the distinctive architecture of Mohabbat Maqbara, remnants of the 2300 years old Uperkot Fort and Buddhist ruins as old as 3rd century BC. Overnight stay your Hotel in Gondal.
After breakfast, you will drive to Gir National Park where you will be assisted in your Hotel check in on arrival. Gir National Park is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India housing more than 400 Asiatic lions along with a wide variety of flora and fauna. .
Take an evening safari with an expert guide into the semi-arid forests of Gir, the only place apart from the African continent where the Asiatic lions can been seen in all its natural glory. Later, enjoy a leisurely evening in the Hotel. .
You will enjoy exhilarating morning and evening jeep safaris with an expert naturalist in the Gir Forests. Made up of rugged ridges, hills, plateaus and valleys, Gir has a rich biodiversity. It is not only the last abode of the big and regal Asiatic lion but also houses a variety of other animals like leopards, deer, sambhars, cheetals, blue bulls, jackals and hyenas amongst many others. Later, you can unwind in the Hotel.
After breakfast, you will drive to Diu en route visiting Somnath (lord of the moon) Temple located in the shore town of Somnath. One of most celebrated hindu pilgrimage sites, the town is shrouded with mythology and legends. It has an intriguing history of being besieged and rebuilt as many as 17 times. Mahmud of Ghazni plundered the temple repeatedly and took away all its treasures and yet the stunning temple has stood the test of time. .
On your arrival in Diu, you will be assisted with your Hotel check in. Spend the evening exploring Diu, a small island with sea on all sides. Diu was a former Portuguese colony until taken over by India in 1961. The city is still infused with a lot of Portuguese influences in its architecture and culture like the St. Paul's Church. You can also view the magnificent structure of the sea facing Diu Fort.
After breakfast, you will drive 5 hours to reach the port city of Bhavnagar, located at the southern tip of Gujarat peninsula. It has the Gulf of Khambat on one side and one of the busiest ports for trade and commerce on the other. Being an ancient city of trade, Bhavnagar has a lively culture, enchanting architecture and bustling bazaars full of silver and textiles. .
In the evening you can explore the city. Climb up to the beautiful white marble edifice of Takhteshwar Temple on a hill to behold stunning views of the city. You can also visit the Neelambag Palace now restored as a heritage hotel which boasts of a fusion of Indian and colonial architecture.
After breakfast, you will drive to Uteliya en route visiting the Palitana Jain temples. Considered to be the most sacred of all Jain pilgrimages, it has over 900 temples. Starting from the foot of a hill to its peak, the way to the temples is carved out of more than 3800 stone steps. The temples flaunt intricate carvings and exquisite craftsmanship in marble. On arrival in Uteliya, you will be assisted with your hotel check in. In the evening you can explore the town with its traditional houses and picturesque simplicity with your guide.
In the morning you will leave for an excursion to Lothal to see the historical ruins of the spectacular Indus Valley civilization, dating back to 2nd BC. Cradle of the oldest civilization of the subcontinent, it is the most extensively excavated site of the Harappan culture in India. Travel back 4500 years ago in time, when one of the most advanced cultures with precisely planned city, perfect drainage systems, lovely mica pottery and a massive dockyard, tragically vanished due to repeated floods. History enthusiasts would love a visit to Lothal, literally meaning 'Mound of the dead.' After a late lunch you will have a short drive to Ahmedabad where you will be assisted with your Hotel check in.
You will be transferred to the Ahmedabad airport to board a flight to your onward destination.