Trip Code: BV16GUJ
Price: from AU$4,820 per person twin share
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and current prices and departure dates.
- Accommodation on twin share basis
- Return Airport transfers
- Meals: 12 breakfasts, dinner at Utelia, Palitana and Gondal, all meals at Gir and Mandvi
- Transport for sightseeing
- Guided excursions and game drives as illustrated in the itinerary – inclusive of entrance fees, park fees, transport and services of an English speaking local guide
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Taxes, Insurance , Gratuities
- Laundry, Alcoholic Beverages, Soft beverages during non-meal hours
- Video and professional Still Camera fees
- International and Domestic air tickets
- Pre and Post tour accommodation and any tour extensions unless specifically mentioned as a part of the journey
- Any expenses of a personal nature eg tips in restaurants or hotels, laundry, drinks, telephone calls, etc
- Any other expense not mentioned as included
- Meals other than specified
Often overlooked by travellers, Gujarat offers the more intrepid a wonderful mix of royal palaces, fascinating wildlife parks, sacred Jain & Hindu pilgrimage sites and traditional artisan villages, as well as being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.
Travelling through this rarely visited state, discover Ahmedabad and visit Gandhi’s ashram, take in the magnificent Utelia Palace and visit Palitana – city of gleaming marble monuments. Go in search for Asiatic lions in Gir, visit historic Gondal, explore the historical walled city of Bhuj and discover the colourful embroidery and fabrics of Kutch. A marvellous tour through the fascinating state of Gujarat.
Day 1 Ahmedabad
You will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel. An intriguing mix of the ancient and the modern, Ahmedabad is home to some of the finest Indo-Saracenic mosques and Jain temples in Gujarat and the elaborate havelis of wealthy Gujarati Sethias are part of the city’s living heritage.
Day 2 Ahmedabad
Begin your exploration of Ahmedabad this morning. Intrinsically linked to India’s independence movement, as it was from here that Mahatma Gandhi launched his famous Salt March. Visit Sabarmati Ashram where you may spend time learning about Gandhi and his work. Visit Siddi Sayed Mosque – renowned for its exquisite stone window tracery. This evening explore the colourful Law Garden night market, packed with stalls selling an array of glittering wares from the regions of Kutch and Saurashtra.
Day 3 Utelia
This morning you will be driven to Utelia. Utelia is a village of picturesque simplicity; modern influences have barely touched it. Rather, the non-descript rustic nature of the little village itself is the most appealing aspect of Utelia.
Day 4 Utelia
Full day will be at leisure to explore the village. Utelia was founded in 1786 by Bhav Sinhji, a member of the Vaghela Rajput clan that once ruled much of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Malwa and Rewa. The Palace Utelia was built around the turn of the century to replace a wooden palace by Nekamdar Thakore Saheb Sur Sinhji. The Palace Utelia is a typical work of the Indo-Saracenic architectural style with European influences, and features 5 domes, pillared galleries, balconies and porticos.
Day 5 Palitana
Drive to Palitana this morning. A city of gleaming marble monuments, Palitana is an essential holy pilgrimage destination for Jains. The extraordinary temple complex was built by generations of Jains over a period of 900 years. The temples range from tiny shrines cut into notches and caves in the hill, to giant edifices topped with golden flagpoles and decorated with coloured glass.
Day 6 Gir
Start the day with an early climb of Shatrunhaya Hill to view the Jain temples. Later, drive to Gir National Park. A peaceful sanctuary spread over 35-sq-kms of savannah type grassland, this park is home to the largest concentration of Black Bucks in the world. Other animals found in the sanctuary include the endangered Indian wolf, fox, jackals, wild cats, hyenas and wild boar. For keen birders there are many rare species to be seen, such as the Houbara Bustard, Common Crane, Sarus White Stork and White Pelican.
Day 7 Gir
Today, take two game drives into the park – one at first light and another mid-afternoon. This is the only place in the world outside Africa, where lions can be seen in their natural habitat. Due to the high density of lions here, chances of spotting them are good. Gir is also home to one of the largest leopard populations in India, making it an excellent place to see these big cats.
Day 8 Gondal
Drive to Gondal, the heart of the small former principality of the same name. The royal family of Gondal, which ruled this area until independence, was committed to education and the modernisation of Gondal. The esteem in which the royal family – particularly Maharajah Bhagwat Sinhji – was and still is held by the local populace is evident throughout the town.
Day 9 Gondal
Visit Naulakha Palace, the oldest extant palace in Gondal. It contains stone carvings with exquisite balconies, a fabulous pillared courtyard, delicately carved arches and a unique spiral staircase. Continue to the centre promoting weaving at Gondal, Khadi Plaza, one of Gujarat’s major handloom weaving units. Time permitting, visit the Bhuvaneswari Ayurveda Pharmacy, where the father of the present owner was said to have bestowed the title “Mahatma” on Gandhi.
Day 10 Bhuj
Depart for the walled city of Bhuj, the headquarters of the Kutch district. Named after its Bhujia fortress, Bhuj is most famous for its wide variety of handicrafts, which includes Kutch embroidery with mirror work. Bhuj has some interesting historical sites with many of these associated with the Indus Valley Civilization. Bhuj is a very relaxed city and there is plenty to see.
Day 11 Bhuj
Spend this morning exploring Bhuj, including visits to Aina Mahal, an 18th century palace, designed in a mixed Indo-European style, and Prag Mahal, a 19th century palace in Italian Gothic style, located next to it. A climb up the stairs of the 45-meter bell tower offers an exhilarating view of the city. Later in the afternoon, you will be driven a short distance to the Kala Raksha Trust Centre to observe and learn more about the Trust and the unique local embroidery for which Kutch is known worldwide.
Day 12 Mandvi
This morning drive to Mandvi. Mandvi was originally a fortified town having a fort wall of about 8m high and 1.2m wide. It is a busy little place with a shipbuilding yard where hundreds of men construct, by hand, wooden boats for faraway Arab merchants. It has a very pleasant climate throughout the year and was a summer retreat of the Kutch Maharaos.
Day 13 Mumbai
Return to Bhuj and fly to Mumbai where your tour concludes.
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