India tour through vibrant Gujarat and Mumbai
Come and experience the magic of vibrant Gujarat. Gujarat is situated at the western coast of India and is famous for its rich heritage, culture and tradition. This great Gujarat tour offers you an opportunity to explore this marvellous state, its people and their folklore,as well as its magnificent temples. Gujarat has always been a centre point of trade between India and other civilizations. That’s why people of Gujarat are very affluent and that reflects in their lifestyle. Their colourful life makes them the most lively community in India. Come immerse yourself in the charm of Gujarat.Read more
Come and experience the magic of vibrant Gujarat. Gujarat is situated at the western coast of India and is famous for its rich heritage, culture and tradition. This great Gujarat tour offers you an opportunity to explore this marvellous state, its people and their folklore,as well as its magnificent temples. Gujarat has always been a centre point of trade between India and other civilizations. That’s why people of Gujarat are very affluent and that reflects in their lifestyle. Their colourful life makes them the most lively community in India. Come immerse yourself in the charm of Gujarat.
Arrival at Ahmedabad and after the custom formalities, meet our representative and transfer to the hotel. Later take a city tour. Visit Siddi Saiyad’s Mosque, Jama Masjid, Hathee Singh's Temple, Dada Hari Baoli, Shaking Minarets and Sabarmati Ashram. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast in the hotel, check out and transfer to Dasada. Enroute visit the Step Well of Adalaj, one of the greatest examples of Hindu architecture in Gujarat, which dates back to 1502. Visit the artistic cities of Modhera and Patan. In Modhera, visit the Surya Temple, the Sun god, which represents one of the greatest masterpieces of Hindu architecture of the Solanki period (XI century.). In Patan, visit the wonderful Step Well Rani-ki-Vav: 65 meters long, 17 meters wide and 28 meters deep; with 7 floors of columns that support the ground pressure on the two main sides. Arrival in Dasada and accommodation at the resort.
Morning dedicated to a safari in the Little Rann of Kutch. Home of rare species of Wild Ass. The region is rich in fauna including antelopes, wild donkeys, gazelles, desert foxes, pelicans, flamingos, cranes and storks. Visit some villages enroute while coming back to the hotel. Breakfast in hotel and transfer to Bhuj. Way to the great Rann of Kutch. This region during the monsoon season is submerged by the water that retires in the dry period, leaving a spectacular desert scenery unique in the world. Visit the tribal villages of Dhamadka, Ajrakhpur and Dhaneti. Arrival and accommodation in the hotel in Bhuj.
After breakfast, proceed to do the excursion in Great Rann of Kutch. Day dedicated to excursions in the Grand Rann of Kutch, the desert expanse from salt marshes, characterized by colorful markets full of artisans' workshops grappling with medieval processing techniques. The villages of Hodka, Ludhia, Bhirandiara, Dhordo and Kavda offer the chance to admire the Jat, Rabari, Harijan, Maldharis and Lohanas tribes and their typical handicrafts. A unique experience to live in contact with local populations still strongly isolated and linked to their traditions. Return to Bhuj and night at the hotel.
Transfer to Rajkot. Afternoon visit of Gondal Palace and Swaminarayan Temple. Dinner and evening in the house of a local family. Return to the hotel and overnight.
After breakfast, proceed to Sasangir. Enroute visit Junagadh and its monuments, the fort and the Mausoleum of Mahabat Khan. Continue to Sasangir. Arrive at Sasangir and check in to the hotel. Afternoon visit the village of Siddhi Badshah Community, tribes of African descent. Night in the hotel.
Morning dedicated to an excursion in the park where you can spot the rare Asiatic Lion. Founded in 1972 to protect the Asian lion from extinction, Sasan Gir is a highly successful experiment in protecting the environment and animal species. In the second half of the twentieth century the Asian lions had become almost extinct (there were about thirty specimens), at the beginning of the twenty-first century the number had risen to three hundred.
Sasan Gir Park is also inhabited by numerous leopards, four-horned antelopes (the only species in the world), wild boar, wolves, hyenas, jackals, buffaloes, crocodiles and various species of birds.
Come back to hotel and after breakfast in the hotel, transfer to Diu (100 km: about 3 hours). Enroute visit the Somnath Temple, built near the beach in 10th century. Somnath is one of the twelve sacred places in India dedicated to Shiva and the legend goes back to the creation of the world and to Somaraj, the god of the Moon.
Destroyed seven times and always rebuilt, the temple was attacked by Muhammed of Gazni in the eleventh century, who sacked his treasure, jewels and golds.
Continue and arrive in Diu. Hotel accommodation and time for relaxation or to visit the Vanakbara fishing district.
Departure for Bhavnagar (200 km: about 5 hours). Arrival and accommodation at the hotel.
The city was founded in 1723 during the reign of the Maratha, and its commercial port was opened in 1743 on the shores of the Gulf of Khambhat in a strategic position of control over the whole region. For nearly two centuries, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the port of Bhavnagar was one of the most important in the region and began significant trade with Africa, Singapore and the Persian Gulf states. Today Bhavnagar is an important market and commercial port for cotton and textiles throughout Gujarat.
In the afternoon visit of the Gandhi Smriti Museum House and the Takhteshwar temple, located on a hill overlooking the whole city and the Bay of Cambay. Time to visit the local bazaars. Overnight in Bhavnagar.
Wake up early in the morning and with packed breakfast, proceed to do the excursion to visit Palitana. If Gujarat is the Indian state with greatest Jainist presence, the followers of the religion founded by Mahavira in the 6th century BC, Palitana is certainly the most sacred place for all the Jainists of the world.
The Jainists built their temples on the tops of the mountains, which they considered sacred dwellings of the Gods, and in inaccessible places to defend them from Muslim invaders.
Built between the tenth and seventeenth centuries, on the sacred hill of Satrunjaya (place of victory), Palitana stands in the place where according to Jainist history, Adinath the first tirthankara of Jainism, used to meditate and where one of his disciples, Pundalika, he obtained enlightenment.
It boasts over seven thousand sacred images of Jainist holy men and 863 temples dedicated to the 24 tirthankara built over a thousand years, which develop on two hills with an impressive staircase of over 3,700 steps (1 hour and a half) trampled on continuously by thousands of faithful, from dawn to dusk every day of the year.
Day dedicated to the visit of the extraordinary religious citadel, reachable through a staircase that winds for about two meters. The main temple dedicated to Shri Adiswara embellished with gold and diamonds is the most sacred for the faithful of the Jain religion. Return back to Bhavanagar and overnight.
After breakfast in hotel, continue to Jambughoda. Enroute visit Champaner, the ancient capital of Gujarat declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city develops around Pavagadh, an 800m-high volcanic hill that looks like a piece of Himalayas in the middle of the plain. Founded as the capital of the Rajputs in the 8th century and located along a commercial route of strategic importance, Champaner was besieged by the Sultan Mahmud Bogara, who managed to conquer it in 1484 and then built many religious structures.
The walls at the base of the hill once ran for 6 km and surrounded military, religious and civil buildings, as well as a complex water collection system. The most fascinating structures are certainly the mosques, in which Islamic and Hindu decorative elements coexist. The most spectacular monument is the Jama Masjid, built in 1513, which required 125 years of work and which has a wonderful carved entrance portal and a very impressive inner courtyard.
After finishing the visit to Champaner archaeological site, continue to Jambughoda. A rich tribal heritage area known for its tribal markets and villages with painted walls. Night in Jambughoda.
After breakfast, visit the villages and local tribal bazaars. These villages are famous for the Rathwa and Dhanka tribes. Continue to Vadodara. Visit the famous Laxhmi Villas Palace and transfer to station to take train to Mumbai. Arrival in Mumbai and night at the hotel.
After breakfast, visit the morning fish market and later take a boat for an excursion to Elefenta Caves (depending on climate, in case of rain it will be difficult to do it). Return to Mumbai and panoramic tour of the city.
Transfer to the international airport to take the international flight. No hotel in Mumbai.