WONDERS OF GUJARAT
Situated on the western part of the Indian sub-continent, Gujarat derives its name 'Gujaratta' meaning the land of Gurjars. The Gurjars passed through Punjab and settled in some parts of Western India, which came to be known as Gujarat.
Gujarat today offers a wide range of the most spectacular attractions - which includes breathtaking locations and scenic landscapes. Gujarat is also a melting pot of several civilizations resulting in a vibrant culture and a rich heritage. Gujarat is home to several architectural marvels, witnesses of its glorious history and pilgrim centres for many faiths.
It is also the land of several mythological & historical figures like the legendary Lord Krishna and Mahatma Gandhi the apostle of non-violence.
Gujarat is a home to incredible diversity due to its geographic and strategic location. Its Gujarati pride and rich cultural heritage is reflected in arts, music, literature, religious traditions, cuisine, fairs and festivals of every city and place.
If you have a Passion for Good Living, Gujarat is For You. If you wish for development and growth, Gujarat is For You. Gujarat has witnessed Winds of Change under the leadership of Narendra Modi [The current Prime Minister of India], who believes that "Future of India belongs to Gujarat." With the inherent strength and immense potential, Gujarat is destined to bring glory to the nation.
Barely glimpsed by many travellers scurrying between Mumbai (BOMBAY) and Rajasthan, Gujarat is an easy side-step off the well-beaten tourist trail. While the capital, Ahmedabad, retains some charm amid its chaos, the countryside holds most of this state's treasures. Traditional artisans in tribal villages weave, embroider, dye and print some of India's finest textiles. Pristine parks harbour unique wildlife, including migratory birds, wild asses and the last remaining prides of Asiatic Lions. For the spiritually inclined, sacred Jain and Hindu pilgrimage sites sit atop mountains that rise dramatically from vast flatlands. And colourful festivals burst with a cornucopia of culture.
Gujarat also claims a special relationship to the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi: he was born here, he ignited the satyagraha movement from here, he made his Salt March here – and his legacy remains a vibrant part of public discourse and private lives.
Before Independence, Saurashtra, also known as the Kathiawar Peninsula, was a jumble of over 200 princely states. Today it has a number of hectic industrial cities, but most of them retain a core of narrow old streets crowded with small-scale commerce. Outside the cities it’s still villages, fields, forests and a timeless, almost feudal feel, with farmers and maldhari herders dressed head to toe in white, and rural women as colourful as their sisters in Rajasthan.
Saurashtra is mainly flat and its rare hills are often sacred – including the spectacular, temple-topped Shatrunjay and Girnar. The peninsula is liberally endowed with wildlife sanctuaries, notably Sasan Gir, where Asia’s last wild lions roam. On the south coast lies the very quaint, laid-back ex-Portuguese island enclave of Diu. Saurashtra is also where Mahatma Gandhi was born and raised: you can visit several sites associated with his life. Saurashtra has a reputation for being fond of its sleep, and siesta takes place from at least 1pm to 3pm.
It is the largest city in Gujarat. It is the Seventh largest city in India with population of approximately 6 million. Ahmedabad is the fastest growing city of India, and ranked third as the fastest growing cities worldwide. It is located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, 32 km from the state capital Gandhinagar. The city has witnessed the establishment of scientific and service industries, the expansion of the information Technology sector, and significant improvements in transportation and communications. Ahmedabad's population is growing, which has resulted in a construction and housing boom. From the tourism point of view the city is blessed with Gandhi Ashram – Place where Mahatma Gandhi launched the freedom movement against the British, Syed Sayed Mosque, Stepwells, Jumma Masjid, etc. are some of the famous Tourist Hotspots in Ahmedabad.
Rajkot is a large, hectic commercial and industrial city that isn’t easy to love with its heavy traffic, lack of open spaces, and scant worthwhile sights. But the old city, east of the newer centre, still has plenty of character, with narrow streets, markets, and farmers still selling ghee on street corners. Rajkot was founded in 1612 by Jadeja Rajputs, and in colonial times it became the headquarters of the Western India States Agency, Britain’s administrative centre for some 400 princely states in Saurashtra, Kachchh and northern Gujarat. After Independence Rajkot was capital of the short-lived state of Saurashtra.
Rajkot is famous commercial and industrial city of Saurashtra. Rajkot was once the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra. Rajkot is famous for its jewellery market, handicrafts and bandhani. Mahatma Gandhi spent the early years of his life in Rajkot. For us this is a transit point connecting Kutch & Saurastra.
Gondal is a fortified town and located on the bank of river Gondali. Gondal history starts way before 17th Century. In earlier Raj days Gondal was known as the Paris of Saurashtra. Gondal was capital of the former princely State of Gondal, which was ruled by the kings of Jadeja Rajputs, till the independence of India. Sir Bhagwatsinhji's was highly educated and made extensive tours to Europe to enhance his aesthetic taste, which can be seen in the architecture and planning of public buildings, parks, bazaars, palaces built during his time.
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. SunTemple 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.
The last refuge of the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) is this forested, hilly, 1412-sq-km sanctuary about halfway between Veraval and Junagadh. It feels beguilingly uncommercial, and simply driving through the thick, undisturbed forests would be a joy even if there wasn’t the excitement of lions and other wildlife to spot. The sanctuary was set up in 1965, and a 259-sq-km core area was declared a national park in 1975. Since the late 1960s, lion numbers have increased from under 200 to over 400. The sanctuary’s 37 other mammal species, most of which have also increased in numbers, include the dainty chital (spotted deer), the sambar (a large deer), the nilgai or bluebull (a large antelope), the chousingha (four-horned antelope), the chinkara (a gazelle), crocodiles and rarely seen leopards. Sasan Gir is a great destination for birders too, with over 300 species, most of them resident. While the wildlife has been lucky, more than half the sanctuary’s human community of distinctively dressed maldhari have been resettled elsewhere, ostensibly because their cattle and buffalo were competing for food resources with the antelopes, deer and gazelles, while also being preyed upon by the lions and leopards (maldhari livestock still provides a quarter of the lions’ diet).
The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary– home to Asiatic Lions - was established in 1965, with a total area of 1412 km². The National Park is interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen flora, acacia, scrub jungle, grasslands and rocky hills. Fed by perennial and seasonal rivers and streams, the sanctuary has large water bodies like the kamleshwar Dam that are good for crocodiles and birds.
Somnath’s famous, phoenix-like temple stands in neat gardens above the beach, 6km southeast of Veraval. The sea below gives it a wistful charm. The small town of Somnath is an agglomeration of narrow, interesting market streets with no car traffic, so it's easy to walk around and enjoy. Somnath celebrates Kartik Purnima, marking Shiva’s killing of the demon Tripurasura, with a large colourful fair. It is home to one of the 12 Jyotirlings of India, the temple city of Somnath or PrabhasPatan is situated in the state of Gujarat on the Arabian Sea. It is said that the original temple of Somnath was built by the Moon God and was made of gold. After it was razed to the ground, it was rebuilt with silver by Ravana. When the silver temple was knocked down, it was reconstructed in wood by Krishna. And when this was pulled down, an edifice of stone was erected by Bhimdev. This is the first among the twelve Jyotirlings. Since ancient times, PrabhasPatan has been a pilgrimage, being the confluence of the mythological Saraswati, Hiranya and Kapila. Legend has it that Lord Shiva's Kalbhairavlinga is situated at Prabhas. It is also associated with the moon as the Moon God is also said to have worshipped this Shivling. This is also the reason why this temple is popularly known as Somnath, the one named after the moon.
Located on sea coast near Gujarat also known as an Union Territory, Diu is an erstwhile Portuguese colony and boasts of several historical monuments, church, temple and places of sightseeing. The Island of Diu has chaptered History, having been under the possession of and ruled by many Kings and Dynasties; beginning with the Pauranic period and the last being Portuguese from whom it was liberated along with Goa and Daman on 19th December, 1961. The word 'ISLAND'.(DIU) which was under the Yadavas led by Krishna Vasudeva during Mahabharata period.
VELAVADAR - BLACKBUCK NATIONAL PARK
This small part of Bhal region (34.52 sq.km.), which was declared as Blackbuck National Park in July 1976, is an open grassland. The sanctuary has been declared primarily for Blackbucks. The beauty of the grassland is enhanced by the movements of blackbucks and nilgais, which one can see from long distances. The blackbuck is most conspicuous for its jumping over the levels of grass.
Lothal is one of the most famous sites of Indus Valley (Harappan) Civilization. Lothal is located approximately 80 km southwest of Ahmedabad. Present day Lothal is in the middle of quiet agricultural field, where you can see no inhabitants around the site. But in the ancient time (2000 BC), it is thought to have been a bustling commercial center with bead factories and dockyard for exporting the products. Four millennia have passed and we can only imagine the full scale of the city and people who lived there, but some artifacts, such as toys and perforated pots, can be viewed in the nearby museum. In the rainy season and winter, Lothal is a very comfortable to place to visit, with greenery surrounding the site. You will be able to spend quiet time thinking about the lost civilization.
- Day 1
ARRIVAL AHMEDABAD / HALF DAY LOCAL SIGHTSEEING
Arrival at Ahmedabad, Transfer to Hotel, Later visit Gandhi Ashram, Hutheesing Jain Temples, Akshardham Temple & Stepwells of Adalaj. Later, visit the Utensil Museum followed by Dinner at Vishala [An ethnic Village Theme Restaurant] [optional] serving a variety of delicious Meals. Overnight at Ahmedabad Hotel
- Day 2
AHMEDABAD / RAJKOT (215 Kms)
After breakfast, depart for Rajkot. Later visit Kaba Ganghi's Gate, Watson Museum & Library, Rotary Dolls Museum. Overnight at Rajkot Hotel
- Day 3
RAJKOT / GONDAL / SASAN GIR (155 Kms)
After breakfast, depart for Sasan Gir. Enroute visit Gondal. Continue Drive to Sasan Gir. Overnight at Sasan Hotel
- Day 4
SASAN GIR / SAFARI
After breakfast, proceed for Safari in Gir National Park. It is the only home in India for the Asiatic Lion of which there are nearly 300 in the park. Overnight at Sasan Gir Hotel
- Day 5
SASAN GIR / SOMNATH / DIU (130 Kms)
After breakfast, depart for Diu. Enroute visit Somnath. Proceed for Somnath local Sightseeing like Triveni Sangam, Shardha Math, and Bhalka Teerth, Somnath Temple. Later Continue drive to Diu. Enjoy water sports at Nagoa Beach, Visit Khukri Memorial, Gangeshwar, Diu Fort, Panikotha, Jallandhar beach, Chakratirth beach and Sunset Point etc. Overnight at Diu Hotel
- Day 6
DIU / VELAVADAR (230 Kms)
After breakfast, Depart for Velavadar. On arrival visit Blackbuck Natural Park. The sanctuary has been declared primarily for Blackbucks. The beauty of the grassland is enhanced by the movements of blackbucks and Nilgais, which one can see from long distances. The blackbuck is most conspicuous for its jumping over the levels of grass. Overnight at Velavadar Hotel
- Day 7
VELAVADAR / LOTHAL / AHMEDABAD (145 Kms)
After breakfast, depart for Ahmedabad. Enroute visit Harappan Era site â€“ Lothal [A perfect place to get an insight of the Indus Valley civilization]. After visit of Lothal continue drive to Ahmedabad. Upon arrival at Ahmedabad, evening visit Night Market at Law Garden. Overnight at Ahmedabad
- Day 8
AHMEDABAD HERITAGE WALK & SIGHTSEEING / DEPART AHMEDABAD
After early breakfast at 7.00 am, proceed to Swami Narayan Temple for Heritage Walk Guided Tour of old walled city of Ahmedabad. The walk ends at Jumma Mosque at 10.30 am. Visit Green House for snacks [optional] and visit Siddi Sayed Mosque located right opposite. Later return to hotel & check out. Drop to Ahmedabad airport
Tour Inclusions [WONDERS OF GUJARAT]
Stay at stated or similar hotels on sharing basis as per the itinerary
Chauffer driven AC vehicle for transfers & sightseeing as per itinerary inclusive of fuel, toll, parking, taxes, allowances, etc.
Breakfast at all hotels
Breakfast & dinner at Sasan Gir & Mandvi hotel
One Jungle Safari at Sasan Gir & Velavadar – Blackbuck National Park [On sharing basis as per Jungle Authorities]
Attend Evening Aarti at Somnath (If time & Energy Permits
All currently applicable Taxes
Sightseeing at all locations as mentioned in the itinerary [Entrance fees on direct payment / nominal amount - Rs.5 to Rs.25 per person]
Tour Exclusions [WONDERS OF GUJARAT]
Optional - Theme Dinner at Vishala & Swati @ Ahmedabad
The tour does not include tips, beverages, unstated meals, camera fee, portage & items of personal nature, anything not mentioned under inclusions, etc.
All stated sightseeings in the itinerary are simply suggested and can be covered based on your suitability of interest, time on hand and energy permitting
Entrances to places of sightseeing - Monuments, Parks, Guide charges if any, etc. will be on direct payments basis over the Counter unless stated under inclusions
Camera fees payable separately at the Jungle entry gate
Jungle Safari at Sasan Gir is subject to availability as per local arrangement. This permit can be obtained in person only on direct payment basis. Driver will assist you in getting this.
Anything specifically not mentioned under the name “TOUR INCLUSIONS”
Notes on Hotel Reservations & Tour Bookings
- Indicated tour rates will depend on dates of travel, number of travellers and local conditions at each destination
- All rates are as per current availability / Subject to change at the time of booking
- Rates are not applicable for Event and Exhibition dates
- GST apply as extra
- At most hotels : Check in time is 1400 hrs. / Check out time is 1200 hrs.
- While we make recommendations for hotels all around the world, we do not stand guarantee and are not responsible for the services or the hardware provided by the hotel/s suggested by us. We strongly urge you to do your own research and make an informed choice
- All requests like early check in, smoking / non-smoking rooms, views, floors, king / twin beds, adjoining and/or interconnecting rooms, etc are strictly subject to availability upon arrival and at hotel’s discretion. These cannot be guaranteed prior.
- Any amendment in reservations / itinerary before reconfirmation will attract a charge
- Once the reservation has been reconfirmed and if the booking is cancelled or amended, retention will be applicable.
- All Indian nationals need to present a valid photo ID at the time of check in. This is a mandatory requirement.
- All Foreign nationals need to present a valid passport with VISA at the time of check in. This is a mandatory requirement.
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Notes on itinerary
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