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Colours of Gujarat

Code:   GT 01

Colours of Gujarat

Duration : 12 Nights / 13 Days
Destinations Covered : Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Modhera-Patan-Dasada-Rann of Kuchh-Bhuj-Wankaner-Gondal-Junagadh-Sasangir-Somnath-Diu

Day 01 : Arrive Mumbai
Assistance and transfer to the hotel.

Day 02 : Mumbai-Ahmedabad flight : 0825-0925 hours
Transfer to airport.
Meeting on arrival and transfer to the hotel.

Afternoon sightseeing tour.
The historic Swaminarayan Temple, exquisitely carved Jain and Hindu temples, ornate wooden havelies (Mansions), the 15th century Jama Mosque and the mausoleum complexes of the Sultans and Begums of medieval Ahmedabad.  Other prominent places to visit are Hutheesing Jain Temple, Calico Museum, Sidi Sayeed Masjid, Heritage gates, Jama Masjid and Akshardham.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 03 : Ahmedabad-Modhera-Gandhinagar drive, 177 km
After breakfast, drive to Modhera, 99 km
Modhera, a great architectural work known for its 108 temples studded stepwell, 52 finely carved pillars, panels depicting frenzies from the Ramayana and other great Hindu epics images of the Sun Goa,. Traditional erotic sculptures and the imposing sanctum which is designed such that the sunlight fell on the central image during the equinoxes. 

Drive to Gandhinagar and check-in at the hotel.

Day 04 :.Gandhinagar--Patan-Dasada drive, 150 km
After breakfast, drive to Patan.
Patan famous for its textiles, Patola silk saris, also has Jain temples and carved wooden houses.  Once capital of Gujarat from 8 to 15th century, it is most famous for 11th century Ran-ki-van step-well, embellished with intricate carvings and frienzes of the Hindu Gods and Goddess.

Thereafter, proceed to visit Sankeshwar Temple.
The idol of Sankeshwar Parshwanatha is installed in the upper storey of this pinnacle temple. it is nearly 4 feet high. It is one of the important pilgrimage site for Jains.

A short motor ride towards Chanasma and you come to the town of Becharaj and the temple of Bahuchar Mata, an incarnation of the Mother Goddess. Pilgrimages are undertaken to this site for vows fulfilled and boons granted. ‘Bahuchar Mata’ is the patron goddess of the women folk who invoke ‘her’ intervention in domestic violence and problems within the family. The goddess is also principle deity of transvestites and eunuchs who flock here large numbers to seek the blessings of the goddess.

Arrive Dasada and check-in at the resort.

Day 05 : Dasada
Dasada,  located on the periphery of the Little Rann of Kutch is 100 Kms from Ahmedabad. It is the perfect entrance to the Little Rann of Kutch. The culture of Zainabad has a blend of both Saurashtra and Kutch, making it very unique. This is reflected in the architecture, arts and crafts of this region.

The little town of Zainabad is an ideal base to explore the nearby Wild Ass Sanctuary, found here only in Asia. The ruling family of this place came here from Multan around the mid-13th century to settle down in Dasada. The main carnivores of the Little Rann of Kutch are the endangered Indian wolf, desert fox, Indian fox, jackals, desert and jungle cats and hyenas.

Smaller mammals like hares, gerbilles and hedgehogs, and reptiles like spiny tailed lizard, monitor, red and common sand boa, saw-scaled viper, cobra, dhaman (Indian rat snake), etc, could also be seen during the safaris in the Rann.

The Tribes of Gujarat have a large settlement in this area. The pastoral Vadiara and Kharapat Rabaris of Dasada, known for their embroideries, the silk-weavers colony at Dasada, and Ambala village of the Bharward shepherds and goatherds.

Day 06 :  Dasada-Dhrangadhra-Bhuj drive
After early breakfast, leave for Bhuj stopping enroute at Dudhrej for a short visit to the most important temple of the Rabari tribe. Afterwards, drive towards Bhuj. On the way stop at Chobari, May, Midiyara and Kumbhardi, all Rabari villages.  Dhaneti is a village on the outskirts of Bhuj. It’s famous for its exquisite embroidery work. Shrujan has a few home factories in Dhaneti.

Arrive Bhuj and visit Govt. Office to obtain permit for visiting restricted area of Rann of Kutch.

Check-in at the hotel.

Day 07 : Bhuj
Bhuj, the major town of Kutch, is an old walled city- in the past the city gates were locked each night from dusk to dawn. Bhuj is known for its unique heritage and culture with its small, meandering streets, palaces and temples. It not only has numerous places of interest within the city, but villages around it that are very famous for their traditional handicrafts and embroidery. Geographically Bhuj is near the Gulf of Kutch, a part of the Arabian Sea with low hills overlooking the city.  Bhuj is a vibrant place with many legends and historical anecdotes associated with it. 

The day is spent visiting a few tribal villages settlements around Bhuj.

Day 08 : Bhuj-Wankaner-Gondal drive, 267 km
Morning drive to Wankaner.
Ranjit Vilas Palace is a very eclectic building, a bold attempt to synthesise various architectural styles.. The seven storied central clock tower capped by a Mughal dome and two five storied high bastions, at both the corners, culminate in hexagonal chhatris. The facade has arcades of arched Victorian windows Italianate pillars, Gothic arches and classical parapets. A massive Dutch roof spans the central wing of the palace. A double staircase is the unique feature of the interior of this palace, where the royal ladies could ascend and descend without being seen by men. A similar double staircase at Chateau de Chambord, Loire, France, dating to the Renaissance period inspire this staircase.

Ranjit Vilas Palace has a memorable collection of swords, shields and daggers, 95 species of stuffed animals, duelling pistols, pig sticking spears, silver, linen chests, silver-plated howdahs, thrones, paintings and portraits. The palace has magnificent spiralling marble staircase, stained glass galleries, chandeliers and period furniture. The garage, on the grounds of the palace complex, has Vintage cars like the 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, some imposing American cars and horse drawn carriages. The palace also has a stable of Kathiawadi horses. There are large grounds with beautiful Italianate fountains.

Continue to Gondal. One of the oldest and most beautiful of Gondal palaces, the Navlakha palace complex (17th century), is situated on a river bank, on a grand masonry base, rising to the monumental scale of at least 30 meter above the river bed.


Day 09 : Gondal-Mt Girnar-Junagadh drive, 120 km
Morning drive to Junagadh stopping on the outskirts  to visit Mt Girnar, whose 3660 foot high summit is crowned by some of the finest and most religiously important temples in Jain religion. The enclosure is well filled with temples of both Hindu and Jain religions, but only 5 Jain temples are really impressive, though it is also worth looking. The  temple  complex  of  Mt  Girnar  has  been  an  important  place  of  Jain   pilgrimage  from  the  3rd  century  BC. The  900  meter  high peak  itself  has   considerable   religious  significance  for Hindus. There  is  a Muslim  shrine  too  on  the peak.  Mt  Girnar  has  fantastic  views  of  the  surrounding  hills,  forests  and  the  picturesque  city  of Junagadh. 10,000  steps  lead  to  the  temples  on  the  peak.

Arrive Junagadh and check-in at LEO RESORT.
Junagadh was the capital of the Junagadh State under the Muslim rulers of Babi Nawabs. In Gujarati, `Junagadh' literally means an ancient fort. There are two fortifications: the fort walls surrounding the town and Uparkot in the west. Uparkot, 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 to flat land dotted with archaeological sites. The major sites are Buddhist caves, Baba Pyara caves (2nd century), Adi-Kadi Vav, Navghan Kuvo and Jami Masjid.

Day 10 : Junagadh-Sasan Gir drive, 60 km
Short derive to Sasangir, check-in at LION SAFARI CAMP.

Jeep safari in Sasan Gir Forest.
Sasan Gir Forest is today the only place in the world outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in his natural habitat. The forest also harbours a variety of smaller animals and birds. Other predators are the Panther and the Hyena. The Indian Deer, Sambar, Chital (spotted deer), Nilgai (blue bull), Chinkara and the Chowsingha (four horned antelope) are found here, alongwith the bear and the long tailed langur.

Day 11: Sasangir-Veraval-Ahmedpur Mandvi-Diu drive
Drive to Veraval, an exciting fishing port of Gujarat is popular as a seaport on the southern coast of the state; onward to visit one of the holiest Hindus shrine.

Shree Somnath Mahadev and the sacred soil from where Bhagvan Shri Krishna took his last journey to his neejdham.  Somnath temple stands at the shore of the Arabian ocean on the western corner of Indian subcontinent in Gujarat State. This pilgrimage is one of the oldest and finds its reference in the ancient texts like Skandpuran, Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran etc. The hymn from Rig-Veda quoted below mention the Bhagvan Someshwar along with the great pilgrimage like Gangaji, Yamunaji and Eastward Saraswati. This signifies the ancient value of this Tirthdham.

Arrive Diu and check-in at RADHIKA RESORT.

Day 12: Diu
Day to relax.
Diu a former Portuguese enclave, and now a Union Territory, is steeped in history. It was a seaport and naval base of considerable strategic importance from the 14th to 16th Centuries. It was also a vital trade link with the rest of India for traders overseas.

Day 13 : Diu Mumbai flight : 1500-1735 hours
Transfer to airport for flight to Mumbai and onward destination.



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