island_of_dui_building_gujarat.jpg

Highlights of Gujarat

from $2,449.00

Superb Jain, Hindu and Islamic architecture, Asiatic lions and tribal
villages

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Leisurely
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  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 16
All about the Highlights of Gujarat.

A visit to Gujarat is off the well-trodden tourist tracks of northern India and yet it is still a state as richly endowed as its well-known neighbour Rajasthan. The Asiatic lion used to roam from east of the Indus River into central India and as far away as eastern Turkey, Iran and Mesopotamia. Today however the Gir National Park in Gujarat is the last refuge of this endangered big cat.  Our trip includes two safaris in search of this distinct species of lion. We also open up the door to unique tribal villages in Bhuj, the unusual salt marshes of the Great Rann of Kutch, exploration of a marine national park with a naturalist and superb Jain, Hindu and Islamic architecture.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners included
* All accommodation
* Transfer for group flights

  1. Day 1 Sunset at Chowpatty Beach sampling local treats; drive to see Mumbai by night.

    For those on our group flight we will arrive in Mumbai in the morning and transfer to our hotel. Later this afternoon we will take a drive to Chowpatty Beach, stroll along the promenade and enjoy the beautiful sunset over the Arabian Sea.  The beach is a favourite meeting place for locals and visitors alike.  A variety of entertainers will draw our attention and there is a feast of local delicacies to sample.  Your leader will introduce you to freshly prepared local street food including coconut water, pao-bhaji, bada-pao and bhelpuri.  From Chowpatty we head to Kamla Nehru Park – a beautiful garden on the Malabar Hill where the Mumbai Skyline sparkles below. Called the ’Queen’s Necklace’, this is one of the sights in Mumbai not to be missed. From here we will head to the Kala Ghoda or Colaba area to have dinner. After dinner we head back to the hotel.  *Godwin hotel or similar*

  2. Day 2 Mumbai city sightseeing; overnight train to Ahmedabad in Gujarat

    After a leisurely breakfast we will start our city sightseeing visiting the Gateway of India and the Mani Bhawan.  This afternoon is free to explore the city independently and your tour leader will be on hand to suggest activities. In the evening we head to Mumbai Central Railway station to catch our overnight train to Ahmedabad in Gujarat.  On the way to our train we will pass the iconic Gothic-styled Victoria Terminus station which is brightly lit up at night.  There will be time before boarding the train to have dinner.  Snacks can then be purchased on the train during the journey. *Overnight sleeper train*

  3. Day 3 Arrive Ahmedabad and transfer to the hotel; visit Calico Museum and Mahatma Gandhi ashram

    We arrive in Ahmedabad this morning and transfer to our hotel.  Our rooms may not be ready but we can freshen up using the hotel lobby facilities and then have breakfast.  We will start exploring Ahmedabad with a visit to the Calico Textile Museum which will introduce us to the wonderful crafts of Gujarat.  The musuem has a world renowned collection of antique and modern textiles. After marvelling at the artistic beauty we will enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the Sabarmati Ashram – built by Mahatma Gandhi on the banks of the river of the same name.  This served as his place of residence for nearly 13 years and a memorial musuem houses a sizeable collection of Gandhi’s writing during his time here. Later we return to our hotel and check in. This evening we will enjoy a dinner cooking demonstration of Gujarati cuisine by a local family and then share the delicious results. *Lemon Tree Premier Hotel or similar*

  4. Day 4 Heritage walking tour of Ahmedabad, visit Patan then on to Bajana

    After an early breakfast, we’ll depart for a Heritage Walk around old Ahmedabad. This is a city of contrasts with centuries old mosques to cutting-edge contemporary design.  Our walk focuses on the old city which used to be surrounded by a 10km long wall of which little remains except 15 gates.  After exploring we return to hotel to freshen up before our 2 hour drive to Patan.  Here we will visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Rani-Ka-Vav or the Queen’s step-well.  Built in the 11th century this is one of the largest step-wells in India and is an architectural marvel.  Next we will visit the award winning Patola Heritage Museum run by the Salvi family.  This museum showcases the unique embroidery technique of Patola Silk weaving.  From here we drive for around 2.5 hours to Bajana where we check into our lodge. *Royal Safari Camp Lodge or similar*

  5. Day 5 Leaving Bajana we drive to Bhuj 

    Our drive to Bhuj takes around 5 hours and on arrival we will check into our hotel.  This afternoon we visit the Aina Mahal or the ’palace of mirrors’. Built in 1752 it was damaged during the earthquake of 2001 but has been extensively restored.  After our visit the rest of the day is free to explore the area and its market. *Kutch Safari Lodge or similar*

  6. Day 6 Full day excursion to Banni tribal villages to explore their cultures and crafts

    A full day excursion takes us to the fascinating Banni tribal lands.  We will visit villages well-known for their traditional handicrafts, mainly embroidery; block painting, pottery, leather and silver work.  For the rural people these handicrafts are not only their livelyhood but also a creative expression of each area’s cultural identity. The villages we visit include Ludiya, Bhirandiara, Hodko and Dhordo.  Later today we will have light refreshments while we watch the sunset over the vast  salt flats of the Great Rann of Kutch.  After an eventful day we will return to our hotel where our chef provides an optional cooking demonstration of local delicacies followed by dinner. //*Kutch Safari Lodge or similar*

  7. Day 7 Drive from Bhuj to historic Jamnagar 

    Today we will drive around 6 hours through the countryside to the historic town of Jamnagar.  On arrival we will check into our hotel and then stretch our legs with a leisurely late afternoon walk along the banks of Lakhota (also called Ranmal).  We continue on to Adinath Jain Temple in the bustling Chandi Bazaar area.  Walking through these atmospheric old streets and market area is a great way to experience the local life of the town. *Aram Hotel or similar*

  8. Day 8 Drive to Junagadh; explore the Gulf of Kutch Marine Park en route  

    Today we visit the first national marine park in India in the Gulf of Kutch.  Accompanied by a local naturalist we will walk over the exposed beach to explore rock pools and learn about the local marine life including octopus, anemones, puffer fish, sea horses, lobsters, crabs and the various species of migratory birds which visit the area.  The time of our visit depends on when low tide occurs on that day.  After exploring the park we drive for around 2.5 hours to the Junagadh where we wil check into our hotel.  Junagadh, which means old fort, takes its name from Uparkot fort which was built in the 4th century.  This evening we take a stroll through the old alleys of this colonial town and visit the Mahabat Maqbara – an ancient mausoleum showcasing Indo-Euro-Islamic architecture. During our walk your leader will introduce you to various tasty snacks like gathiya, pakodas, bhel,  and dhokla. *Click by Suba or similar*

  9. Day 9 Drive to Sasan Gir N.P. via Uperkot Fort; afternoon jeep safari 

    Our day starts with a visit to the Uperkot Fort with its great views of the Girnar Hills.  Major attractions inside are the 15th century Jama Masjid, 2nd century pillared Buddhist caves and two beautifully carved 15th century step-wells.  From the fort we drive on to Sasan Gir National Park where we will take an exclusive jeep safari in search of the elusive Asiatic lion.  Until the early 1900s this species of lion roamed in vast areas of India.  The National Park is their only remaining habitat in the country.  This evening enjoy the atmosphere back at our forest resort. *Fern Gir Forest Resort or similar*

  10. Day 10 Early morning jeep safari; travel to the Island of Dui

    An early start at 6am for our second jeep safari in the park.  We return to our resort at 9am in time for breakfast before our 2.5 hour drive to the small Island of Dui.  Once known as the ’Gibraltar of the East’ the island was a flourishing Portuguese colony from the 16th century onwards.  It was ceded to India in 1961 and today it is a Union Territory.  As a Union Territory it is not subject to the laws of the rest of Gujarat where the serving of alcohol is restricted.  The rest of today is free for you to relax on the beach or by the hotel pool. *Radhika Beach Resort or similar*

  11. Day 11 Optional early morning visit to Vanakbara fishing village; then drive to Bhavnagar

    For those who would like a very local experience and don’t mind an early start there is the option to visit Vanakbara fishing village to see the catch of the day fresh from the sea. If you prefer a leisurely start or maybe a morning swim you can stay at the hotel until the other guests return from their adventure.  After breakfast we drive on to the town of Bhavnagar. This evening we will go on a walking tour of the old city including its colourful vegetable market.  Bhavnagar is known for its bazaar which is dotted with old merchants’ havelis – elaborate wooden buildings leaning into the narrow laneways.  *The Fern Iscon Club and Resort or similar*

  12. Day 12 Drive to the World Heritage site of Champaner-Pavagadh then overnight in Vadodara

    After breakfast we will drive for around 5 hours to the World Heritage site of Champaner-Pavagadh which was originally the seat of the Rajput Chauhan dynasty. In 1484 it was conquered by the Muslim ruler Mahmud Begada when he began a 23-year building program adding mosques, palaces and tombs within its massive walls.  We will take a packed lunch to eat during our journey to allow teh maximum time to explore the site.  Following our tour of Champaner we travel to the town of Vadodara where we will check in to our hotel.  This evening we will celebrate our time together in Gujarat with our final group dinner.*Fern Residency or similar*

  13. Day 13 Trip ends after breakfast in Vadodara

    Trip ends after breakfast with a transfer to the airport for those guests travelling on our group flight back to London.

Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
January 19, 2021
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
February 16, 2021
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
March 9, 2021
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
March 30, 2021
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
April 13, 2021
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
October 19, 2021
Available
$2,579.00
N/A
November 16, 2021
Available
$2,579.00
N/A