India Tours: Colors of Gujarat Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Mumbai
Namaste! Welcome to India! Arrive at Mumbai’s International Airport late this evening. After you clear all immigration and customs formalities, our representative will meet you. Depart for your hotel where you will check in for your stay.
Mumbai, the biggest metropolis of India, is a city that virtually never sleeps. In this city of dreams, life never appears dull or boring, especially due to the presence of its interminable chaos and action. Generating the maximum share of the country's revenue, Mumbai houses the country's largest production houses, stock exchanges, seaport and offices of some of the esteemed companies of the world. Not only is Mumbai the capital of Maharashtra, it is also called the Commercial Capital of India
Hotel: Taj Mahal Palace and Towers (Superior City View Tower Room)
Day 2: Mumbai
Today after breakfast, take about an hour ferry ride from Gateway of India to reach Elephanta Island.
Elephanta Island is one of a number of islands in Mumbai Harbor. This island is famous for the cave temples that have been carved out of rock. Known in ancient times as Gharapuri, the present name was given by 17th century Portuguese explorers after seeing a monolithic basalt sculpture of an elephant here. They decided to take it home but ended up dropping it into the sea. Later, this sculpture was moved to the Victoria Museum in Mumbai.
This afternoon, visit the Prince of Wales Museum built in grand Indo Saracenic style and drive past Marine Drive. Visit the Jain temple, Mani Bhawan where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay, and the Dhobi Ghat. Drive past the Flora Fountain, the colorful Crawford Market and Victoria Terminus train station.
Hotel: Taj Mahal Palace and Towers (Superior City View Room)
Day 3: Arrive Ahmedabad
This morning fly to Ahmedabad. Upon arrival you will be met by our representative at the airport and driven to your hotel.
Ahmedabad founded in the year 1411 AD is located on the banks of the river Sabarmati and has been named after Sultan Ahmed Shah who was primarily responsible for building it. Today, this city is known as the ‘Manchester of the East’, one of the highly industrialized cities in India and is also India’s Textile City. Though the capital of Gujarat was shifted from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar, it is still the second largest industrial city in western India. The old city of Ahmedabad is dotted with labyrinth by lanes called ‘polls’. The exquisite carved wooden mansions and havelis are in no manner less beautiful than their stone counterparts in Rajasthan.
Today afternoon you will be taken on the city tour of Ahmedabad that will cover Gandhi Ashram, Huteesinh Jain Temple, Siddi Saiyed Mosque, Sarkhej Roza, Kite Museum and Shreyas Folk Art Museum.
Gandhi Ashram is on a quiet peaceful stretch of the Sabarmati River. Mahatma Gandhi set up this simple retreat in 1915. This was his Satyagrah Ashram and for many years it was the nerve center of India’s freedom movement. Hutheesingh Jain Temple was built outside the Delhi Gate in 1850 by a rich Jain merchant. The Hutheesing Temple is the best known of Ahmedabad’s many ornate Jain temples. In Sidi Sayed Mosque, one part of the wall in the old citadel of the mosque was built by Ahmed Shah’s slave, Sidi Sayed. It is celebrated the world over for its exquisite stone window tracery – a superb and peerless example of delicate carving that transforms stone into filigree. Sarkhej Roza is about 8 kilometers away from the city. It comprises one of the most elegant architectural complexes of Ahmedabad. Grouped around a great stepped tank is the tomb of the saint, Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh, the mosque, the tombs of Muhammad Shah Begada and his queen, the palace and pavilions
Hotel: House of MG (Deluxe Room)
Day 4: Ahmedabad — Modhera — Patan — Dasada (265 kms)
After breakfast drive to Dasada and enroute visit Adalaj, Patan, Modhera.
About 19 kms north of Ahmedabad, this stepwell is an architectural wonder built by Queen Rudabai and is certainly one of the finest monuments of Gujarat. It is a seven-storied structure in the form of a well with chambers one behind the other. The ‘Vays’ or stepped wells of Gujarat were used as meeting and resting places during summer since their cool interiors offered unbelievable respite from the scorching sun outside. In the summer people warmed themselves on the spacious sunny corridors while wide verandahs offered shelter during the rains. Adalaj is a village to the north of Ahmedabad.
The Sun temple of Modhera is one of the finest examples of Indian architecture of its period. Built in 1026 A.D., the temple is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya, and stands high on a plinth overlooking a deep stone-steeped tank. Every inch of the edifice, both inside and outside is magnificently carved with Gods and Goddesses, birds, beasts and flowers. Sun Temple of Modhera was built by King Bhimdev I (1026-27) and bears some resemblance to the later, and far better known, Sun Temple of Konark in the state of Orissa, which it predates by some 200 years. Like that temple, it was designed so that the dawn sun shone on the image of Surya, the sun God, at the time of the equinoxes. The main hall and shrine are reached through a pillared porch and the temple exterior is intricately and delicately carved. As with the temple of Somnath, this fine temple was ruined by Mahumad of Ghazni.
Home of the famous patola silk saris, Patan is a beautiful old town with Jain temples and carved wooden houses. Ranikivav (step well) is an excellent example of subterranean architecture of Gujarat. The exisquisitely carved side - walls, pillars, beams, series of steps & platforms lead to the elaborately carved water well. Every surface is adorned with finely chiseled sculptures of maidens & Hindu deities, religious motifs & geometrical patterns. Rani ki Vav represents the finest of the Indian sculptures and architecture.
Lunch at Patan and afterwards continue to drive to Dasada
The Little Rann of Kutch, which covers an area of roughly 5,000 square km, is primarily known as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. The sanctuary was established in 1972 as the last natural habitat of the Indian Wild Ass (Equus Hemionus Khur). One of the three surviving species of the Wild Ass in the world, the other two being found in Central Asia and in and around Tibet. The Khur is high on the list of endangered species.
Hotel: Rann Riders (Standard Room)
Day 5: Dasada — Bhuj (325 Kms)
After breakfast enjoy a safari at the Wild Ass Sanctuary.
Located near the edge of the Little Rann of Kutch, is the only sanctuary for the Asiatic wild ass in India. The highlight of this sanctuary is the Asiatic wild ass or gudkhur that is endemic to the region and is one of the most endangered species in the world. Other mammals that could be seen are nilgai, black buck antelope, chinkara gazelle, Indian wolf, Indian desert foxes, jackals and lesser cats. Also this is a paradise for bird watchers. The key dryland birds are Mcqueen’s houbara bustard, chestnut bellied and spotted sandgrouse, Indian coursedr, 13 species of larks and sparrow larks, 5 species of quails (including buttonquails), thick-knee, desert warbler, desert and variable wheatear, aquila eagles, short toed snake eagle, six species of falcon and three harriers. Five species of vulture have been recorded. Apart from all these you can hope to see flamingo, three species of pelican, spoonbill, demossille, common cranes, and a number of ducks in flocks of several thousand during winter.
Later continue to drive to 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. You can lose yourself for hours in the intricate maze like streets and alleyways of this fascinating town. There are walls within walls, attractive crenellated gateways, old palaces with intricately carved wooden pavilions, and striking, brightly decorated Hindu temples. Bhuj resembles much of India before the tourist invasion. You’re much more likely to come across that disarming hospitality which was once the hallmark of rural India.
Hotel: Hotel Prince (Standard Room)
Day 6: Bhuj
After breakfast, visit Bhuj.
Aina Mahal Palace
Aina Mahal Palace is the 18th century creation of the extravagant Rao Lakhpatji (1741-1760). He sent a local craftsman Ramsingh Malam to Europe to perfect his skills in glassmaking and iron founding. He commissioned Ram SIngh Malam to construct Aina Mahal with its hall of mirrors of Venetian glass. The hall of Mirror has white marble walls covered with mirrors and gilded ornaments and the floor is a pleasure pool lined with tiles with a platform above it surrounded by a series of fountains operated by an elaborated system of pumps below a Venetian chandelier.
A popular site is the Cenotaphs Complex or Chattardi. These are built of red stones. These tombs were ruined by successive earthquakes since 1819. Of these, the one built for Rao Lakha in 1770, is the largest and finest. It is polygonal in shape, with balconies and an intricately carved roof. Other impressive Cenotaphs are the ones built for Rao Rayadhan, Rao Desai and Rao Pragmal. Essentially the cenotaphs served as memorial grounds for the royal family.
Kutch Museum, formerly known as the Fergusson Museum, is situated in the ancient city of Bhuj, in Kutch District. Founded by Maharac, Khengarji III in 1877, it is the oldest of its kind in Gujarat. The museum, constructed in the Italian Gothic style, is located in the picturesque surroundings on the bank of Harnirsar Lake just opposite to the Nazar Bagh Garden. Kutch Museum has a fabulous collection of Kshatrapa inscriptions, various archaeological objects, weapons, musical instruments and specimens of various crafts of the region of Kutch. Kutch Museum is open from 9:00 to 11:00 and 15:00 to 17:30 everyday except Wednesdays, 2nd and 4th Saturdays and public holidays.
Hotel: Hotel Prince (Standard Room)
Day 7: Bhuj — Banni Villages — Bhuj (180 Kms To & Fro)
After breakfast drive to Banni Villages.
These two days visit Banni Villages (Lodlya, Khavda, Bhirandiyara, Hodka and Dhorado ) to see local tribes and their textiles. Some of the important embriodery work are known as Rabari embroidery, Ahir embroidery, Bavalia embroidery or’Kutchi Bharat’, Sindhi embroidery, Aari work, Soof embroidery also known as ‘Sodha Bharat’, Mutva embroidery in Banni (Dhorodo village) is famous for Gotam stick or Sindhi Kadai. In Banni area the embroidery work is also done on leather shoes or ’Mojdi’, purses bags, belts, wallets etc. Hodko village in Banni is famous for Meghwal embroidery and leatherwork.
Later drive back to Bhuj in evening.
Hotel: Hotel Prince (Standard Room)
Day 8: Bhuj – Wankaner – Gondal (290 Kms)
After breakfast drive to Gondal and enroute visit Wankaner.
Wankaner gets its name from the two words ‘Wanka’ meaning a bend and ‘net’ meaning Gujarati. Literally it is located on the bend of the Machchhu River. Wankaner was a princely state ruled by the Jhala Rajput clan and it was one of the four princely states of Jhalawad.. Wankaner still showcases the heritage from those long gone royal days.
After visiting Wankaner continue to drive to Gondal
The Riverside Palace at Gondal, a govt. of India classified heritage hotel, and the Orchard Palace in the same town, are mansion guest - houses opened as heritage hotels. The interiors of these properties are appointed with period furniture, antiques and artifacts reminiscent of the days of the Raj. The highlight of staying at these properties is that guests can see the royal garages, housing, vintage & classic cars, and the Naulakha Palace which is a festival of stone carvings and houses royal memorabilia including toys of the late 19th & early 20th century, silver caskets that carried messages and gifts for the Maharajah, elephant howdahs and royal portraits. It has a royal saloon suite, which has its own drawing, dining, bedroom & bathroom in a converted railway carriage.
Upon arrival at Gondal visit Gondal Palace.
Hotel: Orchard Palace (Standard Room)
Day 09: Gondal – Junagadh – Sasangir (134 kms)
After early breakfast drive to Sasangir and enroute visit Junagadh.
Junagadh are Buddhist caves that are fine examples of rock cut architecture with ornamented pillars, carved entrances, water cisterns, chaitya hall, monastic cells for meditation and chaltva windows. The Adi-Kadi Vav (15th century) has a long flight of 120 steps leading to water.
3630 ft Girnar Mountain is the major tourist attraction. The beautiful carved Jain Temple is at 600ft. The famous Naminath, 22nd Tirthankara marble temple is also here. Dattatreya temple is on the top of the hill. There is also the goddess Amba Mara temple. Gorakhnath Peak is at 3666ft. Visitors must climb 5,500 steps to reach the top of the hill.
All the Jain temples dedicated to the Tirthankars and are a must see. But the Neminath temple is the main one, made of black marble, and adorned with exquisitely carved sculptures and engravings. This temple attracts the maximum number of devotees.
There is also one of the famous Rock Edicts of King Asoka, belonging to the 3rd century BC, at the foot of one of the hills.
Later continue drive to Sasan Gir.
Gir is the only home in India for the Asiatic Lion of which there are nearly 300 in the park. The Gir National Park lies in the Gujarat peninsula in south - western India. The terrain is rugged with low hills and the vegetation is mixed deciduous with stands of teak, acacia, jamun, tendu and dhak trees, interspersed with large patches of grasslands. The trees on the hills are sparse and stunted.
Reach Sasan Gir by 1300 hrs. Check into the Hotel Lion Safari Camp. Later have an afternoon safari at Gir National park
Hotel: The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest (Standard Room)
Day 10: Sasan Gir
After breakfast enjoy a morning safari of Gir Natioanl Park. Later in the day return to the park for the afternoon safari.
Hotel: The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest (Standard Room)
Day 11: Sasangir – Somnath – Diu (135 kms)
After breakfast drive to Diu and enroute visit Somnath Temple.
The shore temple of Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The temple has imposing architecture and is a beautiful sight facing the blue expanse of the Arabian Sea.
One of the most revered and important centers of culture & nationalism, the legendary temple contains a jyotirlinga. It was looted and destroyed, built and rebuilt several times. It represents the eternal beauty and strength of the Indian society.
Later continue drive to Diu.
Diu is tiny island of 13 kms long and 3 kms wide. A very beautiful town situated off the south coast of Gujarat’s Kathiawar peninsula in the western part of India. It stands severed from the mainland by a tidal creek. Being a coastal town, Diu is host to a number of scenic beaches that seem to mesmerize the visitors with their beauty. The serenity and quietude that the beaches offer add to their attraction amidst the tourists.
Upon arrival at Diu in the afternoon, tour of Diu will include Gangeshwar Temple, Jallandhar Shrine and Nagoa Beach. Evening at leisure on Beach.
Hotel: Radhika Beach Resort (Standard Room)
Day 12: Diu
After breakfast AM visit of Diu Town includes:
St. Thomas Church & Museum
St.Thomas’s Church has now been taken over by the authorities and converted into the Diu Museum. A huge edifice in gothic architecture was built in 1598. A part of it has been converted into a museum. This is an archaeological treasure house. It houses wooden carvings, statues, idols, shadow clocks and other important artifacts collected from various sites.
Diu Fort is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD after the defence alliance concluded between the Sultan of Gujarat and the Portuguese. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. Rugged yet gentle, fierce yet loving, the majestic structure stands on the coast of DIU as a sentinel. Once inside, you are overwhelmed by the gaunt majesty of the ancient stonework that transports you to a bygone era of gallant soldiers where time stands still.
St. Paul’s Church
St. Paul’s Church is the only active church to date. The church adorned with curiously treated volutes and shell - like motifs and the magnificent wood carving is considered to be the most elaborate of all the Portugese churches in India. St. Paul Church, built in 1691 is consecrated to our I,ady of Immaculate Conception. In architectural style, it resembles Bom Jesus Church at Goa. The dominant features are no doubt Gothic. The wood - paneling of the church is rated one of the best in church craftmanship.
Panikotha – Fortirn Do Mar
Legend has it that this ship shape structure was one connected with land by an under sea tunnel. It is a magnificent stone structure in the sea, built right at the mouth of the creek. It can only be reached by a canoe or a motor launch approximately one nautical mile from the Diu jetty. It also has a lighthouse and small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea. The fortress makes for a beautiful view whether seen from the jetty or from the Fort.
Rest of the day at leisure
Hotel: Radhikah Beach Resort (Standard Room)
Day 13: Diu — Bhavnagar (200 Kms)
After breakfast drive to Bhavnagar. Bhavnagar was founded by Bhaysinhji Gohil in 1723 AD. It is near the Gulf of Khambhat on a carefully chosen strategic location to have the potential of maritime trade. Until independence, Bhavnagar State was ruled by the Gohil Rajput clan. The old town of Bhavnagar was a fortified town with gates leading to other important towns of the region. The Darbargadh (royal residence) was located at the center of the town. The rulers of Bhavnagar subsequently shifted to Motibag and Nilambag Palace.
Afternoon visit of Bhavnagar city includes:
Gandhi Smriti Museum
A memorial with photographs and other articles associated with Gandhi.
In the midst of what was formerly a tank stands the temple of Gangadcvi with a chhatri or partition. Made of white marble, designed by Sir John Griffits it was built by Maharaja Takhtsinghji in memory of Maharani Majirajba in 1893 A.D.
In the middle of city on a hill, a temple was built by Maharaja Takhatsihnji in 1893. This temple provides a panoramic city view. The temple and whole compound is made of shining white marble. This is also a wide place to worship Lord Mahadev and also a picnic point.
Hotel: Nilambag Palace (Standard Room)
Day 14: Bhavnagar — Palitana — Bhavnagar (170 Kms)
After early breakfast drive to Palitana.
Palitana is situated about 51 Kms. south west of Bhavnagar. It is about 182m above sea level hill and is the base for the nearby top complex of Shatrunjaya. “SHATRUNJAYA” literally means the place of victory and is Jain’s most sacred pilgrimage site. Local traditions and legends tell the stories about Adinatha, the first Jain tirthankan. His temple is quite notable. Next to it is the Muslim Shrine of “Angar Pir” where women wanting children offer prayers and tiny cradles.
Later after visit the Palitana Jain temples. Lunch at Vijay Vilas Palace in Palitana and drive back to Bhavnagar,
Rest of the day at leisure
Hotel: Nilambag Palace (Standard Room
Day 15: Bhavnagar—Ahmedabad - Mumbai.
After breakfast drive to Ahmedabad and enroute visit Haprrapan Era site in Lothal and lunch at Utelia.
Lothal is a perfect place to get an insight of the Indus Valley civilization. The most dominating site at Lothal is the massive dockyard spanning an area of 37 meters by 22 meters perhaps the greatest work of maritime architecture. Lothal was also famous for its arterial streets, microbes of gold, ivory and coppersmiths’ workshops, potteries and underground sanitary drainage.
Later drive to Ahmedabad airport and fly to Mumbai.
Upon arrival at Mumbai connect to your international departure flight.
*****Tour Ends *****
From $3285/person including below airfare which is strictly subject to change. This quote is valid from October 17, 2012 until June 15, 2013 except from December 22, 2012 – January 5, 2013.
- 14 nights’ accommodation on twin sharing basis at above mentioned hotels or similar
- Daily breakfast at each destinations except at Dasada and Sasangir where there is full board basis (Room + All meals) as per the tour program
- All transfers as per the itinerary shall be provided by air-conditioned Toyota Innova
- Local English speaking guide in Mumbai whereas from Ahmedabad to Ahmedabad (Day 03 till Day 15) will be provided accompanying English speaking escort/guide as per the tour program.
- 3 safaris in the Gir national Park.
- Representative for assistance during arrival & departure transfers.
- Road taxes, parking fee & fuel charges.
- All currently applicable taxes.
Cost Does Not Include:
- Expense of personal nature like tipping, laundry, telephone / fax calls, alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, airport departure tax, any insurance etc.
- Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions.
- Our quote is not valid for any period other than mentioned above.
- Hotels need to be confirmed.
- In case of any amendment in currency & local Government taxes, or any fuel hike, we reserve the right to adjust the tour price accordingly.