Best of Gujarat

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Gujarat is the most western state of India. Situated quite remotely at the Arabian Ocean, Gujarat is mostly off the tourist map and therefore even more interesting for us! Birth place of Gandhi, deep rooted history and culture, old tribal areas, religious pilgrimage places and a fascinating landscape including the salty marchland of Kuch and the Gir Nationalpark with it´s Indian lions! What more to wish for a diverse holiday tour?

This tour is great in combination with a Rajasthan Trip or a holiday in Goa or Kerala


DAY 1: Ahmedabad

Early morning arrival at Ahmedabad, meet to greet and transfer to hotel.

Ahmedabad was originally the Karnavati that was founded on the left banks of the Sabarmati river by Karna Solanki between 1063 and 1093 AD. It was re-established by the Ahmed Shah I in 1411 AD on the banks of the Sabarmati river. This city was considered as one of the finest cities of India in the 17th century. But in the 18th century this city went through a period of decline. In the 19th century the industrial strength raised up the city. Ahmedabad’s cotton industry received patronage under its Sultans. The first mill was established by Rancholal Chotalal in 1859, and today there are 80 mills in Ahmedabad. In 1915, Ahmedabad became famous due to the Dandi March started by the Mahatma Gandhi.

After early breakfast Heritage walk of Ahmedabad City (Time 0730 Hrs to 1000 Hrs)

The Heritage Walk of Ahmedabad is a guided walk of two and a half hours. This daily affair by the AMC is extremely well designed in guidance and co-operation with CRUTA and Swaminarayan Trust, being operationalised by a group of young volunteers. There is also a half hour special slide show running through pages of the city’s history unfolding back its birth from a 10th century AD ancient site known as Ashaval to the present walled city re-founded during the period of Ahmedshah and onwards.

The walk begins from the picturesque Swaminarayan Mandir in Kalupur and ends in the most glorious architectural legacies the Jumma Masjid, covering in between the numerous pols, havelis, ornamental facades, workplaces of artisans and number of magnificent Hindu and Jain temples. Our walk effectively anchored by our volunteer Rajesh Gajjar, proceeded from Kavi Dalpatram Chowk – which housed the great 19th century Gujarati poet – in Lambeshwar ni Pole, to the classic reminisces of the city’s textile era – theCalico Dome to the century old Kala Ramji Mandir in the Haja Patel ni Pole with a unique idol of Lord Rama in dark colour and in a sitting posture.

A special feature of Ahmedabad is the plan of the old city, comprising numerous pols, self contained neighbourhoods, sheltering large numbers of people, traversed by narrow streets, usually terminating in squares with community wells and chabutaras for feeding birds.

The walk moving through Doshiwada ni Pol, Zaveri Vad to Chaumukhji ni Pol saw ornate temples with their fascinating wooden carvings hidden under plain exteriors camouflaged beneath the aura of Mughal rule, and lanes punctuated with intriguing chabutras (bird feeders) to a three foot wide alley leading into the110-year old Harkunvar Shethani ni Haveli.

Moving through the historical Fernandez Bridge brought us to Manek Chowk where amidst the deafening traffic and full of parked vehicles Rajesh told us the legend of Manek Baba after whom the chowk was named and the Manek Baba Mandir at the site where he shrank and entered a bottle to show his magical powers to Ahmed Shah, the founder of the City. “Heritage is the soul of the city” remarked Ms.Parker as we walked into the Rani no Hajiro through the Badshah no hajiro to finally culminate at the magnanimous Jama Masjid.

Sidi Sayed mosque, built in 1573, is one of the most famous mosques of Ahmedabad. The mosque is entirely actuated. The mosque has ten screen windows (jails) on the side and rear arches

Gandhi Ashram known as “Harijan Ashram” or “Sabarmati Ashram” because it is situated on Sabarmati River. The beautiful ashram complex of Ahmedabad, with shady trees populated by thousand of parakeets, Beaters, sunbirds, squirrels, offers a refuge from the loud streets of the city and is one of the foremost tourist attractions of Ahmedabad. This ashram was Gandhi’s head quarters during the long struggle for Indian independence. His ashram was founded in 1915 and still makes handicrafts, handmade paper and spinning wheels.

Hathee Singh Jain Temple Hathee Singh Jain Temple is located just outside the Delhi Gate in the north of the old city. This Jain temple was built in 1850 by a rich Jain merchant and is one of the Ahmedabad’s best ornated Jain temples. This temple is dedicated to Dharamanath, the 15th Jain Tirthankar. This temple is built of pure white marble and profusely decorated with rich carvings.

Dada Hari Vav Dada Hari Vav was built in 1499 by a woman of Sultan Begara’s harem. This wav has steps to lower platforms, terminating at a small, octagonal well. The depths are cool, even on a hottest day. Neglected and often borne dry, it is a fascinating place

Adalaj Adalaj is situated about 17 kms. North of Ahmedabad. The baoli or step-well at Adalaj Vav is one of the finest step well in India. Queen Rudabai built this well in 1499 to provide the traveller with a cool and pleasant refuge from the summer heat. A long flight of steps descends to the water. It has three entrances leading to a huge platform that rests on 16 pillars, with corners marked by shrines. Ornately carved pillars and cross beams create open spaces and four storey that are quite striking. The octagonal well is five storeys deep. The baoli is decorated with exquisite stone carvings, subjects range from eroticism to buttermilk. O/n stay at Ahmedabad.

Day 2 : Ahmedabad – Patan – Modhera – Dasada (240 Kms / 5 hrs Approx)

Morning after breakfast drive to Dasada, en-route visit Rani ki Vav (Step well). It was built by the Queen Udaymati the wife of Bhimdev during 11-12th Century. It is the most magnificent and spectacular step well and the best example of such architecture for water wells. The Vav measuring about 64 mts. The stepwell has long stepped corridor descending down to the underground tank, it is having four pillars. The Pillars which support the roof have squire base decorated with Ghat Pallavas. It was one of the largest and the most sumptuous structure of its type.

Later visit Patan Patola of weaving, patan is Famous for patola weaving, Salvi family is one of them who has continued this traditional art and has preserved it even today. Patola silk is often termed as the queen of all silk. The special technique of the handmade silk patola uses the same special technique for weaving from raw silk to the completion of the patola fabric. The weaver makes the special patola loom and colouring from indigenous natural materials. Patola from the area of patan in the north Gujarat region of western India glorifies this heritage with its unique gem like qualities, gorgeous colours, designing & durability.Different colour and pattern matched exactly on horizontal and vertical threads in weaving. The patola was traditionally woven in a sari length of 5 to 9 yards by 45” to 54” width. The range now extends to include tablecloth borders scarves handkerchief.

Later drive to Modhera Sun Temple, Modhera Sun Temple dates bake to early 11th centaury CE and was built by King Bhimdev I in 1026 CE. The temple at modhera is the most important of all sun temples built in the whole Gujarat. The temple is dedicated to the Sun God. The temple is magnificient and the finest example of the Hindus architecture in Gujarat. One of the most striking features of the Modhera Sun Temple that the first ray of the sun falls on the deity at the time of the equinoxes. In front of the temple is a colossal tank, which was once known as Surya Kund or Rama Kund. The tank has a series of the carved steps leading to the bottom. O/n stay Dasada.

DAY 3 : Dasada – Little Rann of Kutch

Enjoy morning safari at Little Rann Of Kutch viewing rarest wild asses in the region followed by village safari in the evening.

Wild ass sanctuary The sanctuary is well known for its group of the stale joke brown Asiatic (Wild ass), which does not live elsewhere in Indian lowlands. We can see with Little Rann of Kutch blackbuck (Indian antelope), nilgai or blue bull (India’s largest antelope) and the graceful chinkara (Indian gazelle) are other mammals. The main carnivores of the Little Rann of Kutch are the endangered Indian wolf, desert fox, Indian fox, jackals, desert and jungle cats, and a few hyenas; also we can see during the visits flamingoes, pelicans, ducks, cranes and storks. 

Village Tour We can do excursion safari tours of pastoral settlements and villages along the Rann of Kutch. The tours visit the rural Vadiara and Kharapat Rabaris of Dasada, known for their embroideries, the silk-weavers colony at Dasada, and Ambala village of the Bharward shepherds and goatherds. The weaving cooperative at Bajana and other artisans’ workshops can also be included in the tours. Other societies near Dasada are Padhars (primarily fishing people), the Siddis and the semi-nomadic Mirs, Jaths (Muslim herders), Bajanias. O/n stay at Dasada.

Day 4 : Dasada – Dhamakada – Ajrakhpur – Dhaneti –Bhuj (300 Kms / 6 hrs Approx)

Morning drive to Hodka, en-route visit Ajrakhpur  to see the block printing by tribe, Dhaneti to observe the embroidery by the Ahir tribe and Bhujodi to view the weavers from the Vankar tribe. These block printing villages are home to the famous Ajrakh craftsmen of the region. The latter is far from Bhuj and was largely destroyed by the earthquake, but there are still some great craftsmen and their workshops to visit there. In Ajrakhpur, not so far from KHAMIR, the famous Dr. Ismail Katri (for most of the practitioners are Katris), and his sons are friendly and make incredibly beautiful prints. But walking around and meeting the other craftmen is a must – there is great diversity in the craft.

Dhamadka – to see the block printing by tribe, Dhaneti to observe the embroidery by the Ahir tribe and Bhujodi to view the weavers from the Vankar tribe. Later visit Ajrakhpur and Dhamarka – These block printing villages are home to the famousAjrakh craftsmen of the region. The latter is far from Bhuj and was largely destroyed by the earthquake, but there are still some great craftsmen and their workshops to visit there. In Ajrakhpur, not so far from KHAMIR, the famous Dr. Ismail Katri (for most of the practitioners are Katris), and his sons are friendly and make incredibly beautiful prints. But walking around and meeting the other craftmen is a must – there is great diversity in the craft.

Dhaneti- The village holds a special place in annals of Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas group of Rajput warriors from Rajasthan first entered Saurashtra inGujrat in early 7th Century AD fighting and repelling attack from North-West. Then a major group entered Kutch and fought a battle on the land of the Dhaneti village in late 12th Century around 1177–78 A.D. (V.S. 1234) and got themselves established and settled at this village. They named the village Dhaneti for the war that was fought on that land. Dhanetu in Gujarati language means “sudden, spontaneous war”. At present, majority of people who live in this village are sorathia, Ahirs and Rabari. Dhaneti today is famous for special Ahir & Rabari embroidery done by women of this community, and has developed as major centre for this art and tourist attraction.

Continue proceeds to Bhuj  and transfer to homestay. O/n stay at Bhuj

Day 5 : Hodka

Morning after breakfast proceeds to Banni village en-route take a permit to visit Banni Tribal area at Bhrindyara check post. (Please all clients to need to obtain the permit)Later proceed to Banni Village to see various people like Jat, Harijan, Meghawal and Mutva etc in various villages like Hodka, Ludiya and Dhordo. Banni means “a cluster of village”. In Banni area of Kutch the Meghwal-Harijans who migrated from Rajasthan use Khambira, Kharek, Kudi Stiches in their embroidery. Also outline and satin stitch embroidery of the area and very minute mirror designs similar to the famous Mutwa embroidery of the area. They make wall hangings, waistcoats and pouches in Kharek Stich and do ‘Moti Bharat’ or beadwork on handheld fans, bracelets, toys and belts. After visit HODKA village – Hodka derives from the Gujarati word ‘Hodi’which means ‘boat’. Since, the villages here are called jheels, where potable water is available. Hodka is famous for its beautiful embroidery and mud work as much as Leather craft. Both men and women are actively involved in developing the art and craft tradition of the region. Visit LUDIYA village- Harijans and Muslims are main communities in this village. The main occupations are: monsoon farming, cattle rearing, intricate wood carving, intricate embroidery work, mud-work and wall painting for decorating homes. Harijan men are involved with wood carving, the women take up embroidery and wall-decoration. Visits to DHORDO to see beautiful traditional mud houses (Bhungas) with mirror work and its fine Mutwa embroidery with tiny mirrors. O/n stay at Hodka.

Day 6 : Hodka

Excursion to the villages of the Fakirani Jats, Meghwals and villages of Kohlis and Pathans. O/n stay at Hodka.

Day 7 : Bhuj – Gondal (325 Kms / 6 to 7 hrs Approx)

Morning after breakfast drive to Gondal and transfer to hotel. Later visit Gondal’s Royal Garages. The Royal Garages have an extensive collection of vintage and classic cars from 1910 to 1955, limousine and sports cars from 1950 and 1960, American cars from 1940 and 1950, and a fleet of four-wheel drive vehicles from the World War II and post-war period. Most of these cars are restored and some bear the original Gondal State number plates.

Naulakha Darbargadh Palace was built during the 17th century. This palace is one of the oldest and the most beautiful palace in Gondal. This palace is situated on the banks of the river on a grand masonry base, rising about 30 meters above the river bed. This palace was built in about nine lakhs and thus named so. The palace is approached by the high gateway with the clock tower from the town side. The entrance leads to a huge open space with administrative blocks on the right and a grand staircase on the extreme left corner leading to the intricately carved pavilions on the open terrace. There are stone carvings with exquisite balconies

Bhuvaneswari Ayurvedics belongs to a family of ayurvedic physicians, who has a traditional history of above 250 years. They also export and manufacture ayurvedic medicines. All the medicines are prepared in traditional method using advanced equipment’s under the supervision of our ayurvedic doctors. O/n stay at Gondal.

Day 8 : Gondal – Junagadh – Sasangir

After breakfast proceed to Junagadh to visit UPERKOT FORT is an ancient fort built by Chandr Gupta. The fort as been rebuilt & extended many times. Later visit of Ashokan Edicts, Mahabat Maqbara. The Ashoka’s Rock edict is on the way of Girnar hill temple. The rock engraved with the Buddhist edicts of Ashoka. The edicts impart moral instruction on dharma, harmony, tolerance and peace.

Later proceed to Sasangir . PM safari at Sasangir

Sasan Gir Lion sanctuary is home of some 300 Asiatic Lions. Sasan Gir is only place in world outside African continent where lion can be seen in its natural habitat. Gir Wild life Sanctuary is the last refuge of Asiatic lions in India and the lion population residing in the park is a little over 300. The whole coverage area of Gir Sanctuary is about 560-square-mile (1,450-sq-kms). Gir is not just about Lions, the second most commonly found predator in the Gir is Leopard. Infect, Gir national park is also home to one of the largest Leopard populations in any park in India, and especially in the hotter season they can sometimes be seen at night close to the lodges. there animal residents of the Gir national park are Sambar Deer, Chital Spotted Deer, Nilgai Antelope, Chowsingha Four-Horned Antelope, Chinkara Gazelle, Wild Boar, Langur Monkey, Jackal, and Hyena and numerous birds like Paradise Flycatcher, Bonneli’s Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Woodpeckers Flamingo etc. bout 10, 000 years ago lions spanned vast sections of the globe, but as the human population started to increase, trees were cut and forests were cleared to make more land for people to live in. Now lions only in small fractions in some parts of the world.  And Asiatic lions, a subspecies that split from African lions perhaps 100,000 years ago, are only found in the Gir wildlife Sanctuary. O/n stay at Sasangir.

Day 9 : Sasangir – Somnath – Diu (130Kms / 3.5 hrs Approx)

Morning Jeep safari @ sasangir – After breakfast checkout from hotel and proceed to Somnath temple

A lord Shiva temple known as Jyotirling built by Moon God.

Continue drive to Diu and transfer to hotel. Later visit Diu: A beautiful blend of sun, sand and sea, Diu is a God’s gift to those in quest of a blessed land where the weary weight of this unintelligible world can, for a while, be lightened and the waking soul can hear the music of the nature. This tiny island of breeze, beauty and serenity situated off the southern tip of the Saurashtra (Kathiawad) peninsula of Gujarat, lapped by the Arabian Sea, is a picture of calmness with superb beaches and a fascinating history. Diu was ruled by many well-known kings and dynasties during the prehistoric, ancient and medieval times. It was a Portuguese colony until 1961. It is now a Union Territory, separated from Goa in 1987.It was an important trading post and naval base from where the rulers controlled the shipping routes in the northern part of the Arabian Sea between the 14-16th centuries

In the late afternoon you will proceed to visit the St. Paul’s church, Diu Fort & markets. St. Paul’s church – St. Paul’s church is dedicated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The construction of the church was started in 1601 and was completed in the year 1610. The main facade of the church is perhaps the most elaborate of all Portuguese churches in India. The façade has been illuminated by flood lights.      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 Portuguese churches in India. St. Paul Church, built in 1691 is consecrated to our Lady 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 craftsmanship

Diu Fort: It is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD. The fort is skirted by the Sea on the three sides. On the fort stands a giant Light House. Several canons still stare menacingly from top. The main front wall is having five huge windows with stone galleries.

The Fort has been creatively lit, which creates a breath taking views at night. 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 stone work which transports you to a bygone era of gallant soldiers where time stands still. O/n stay at Diu.

Day 10 : Diu –  Palitana (170 Kms / 4.5 hrs Approx)

Morning after B/F visit – Fisherman village – Vanank Bara

The western end of diu seems even quieter than the eastern side, and Vanakbara village has a fishing port of endless fascination, near both a forested area and a coconut plantation, with a fort and the Church of Our Lady of Mercy. From here you can see the village of Kotdhla on the coast of Gujarat, and ferries plying between Kotdhla and Vanakbara at frequent intervals, whenever boats fill up. Officially that means six times a day, walking ten minutes and. Urchins run and rummage among the fishing smacks, and ducks dash in between incautious feet. Excited women and children spill up on to the jetty from one end of the little boat, and men wait docilely unit last.

Later drive to Palitana and transfer to homestay.

Day 11 : exc. to Palitana

Very early this morning you may wish to join the pilgrims and climb Palitana .The hills of Palitana are known as the ‘Abode of the Gods’ and are covered with 863 Jain temples spanning a period of over 900 years. Their finely carved spires and towers glisten in the sunlight as pilgrims make the uphill journey on foot. The climb will take about two hours each way so do carry water and a sun hat with you. Photography is prohibited at the temple top. Return back to Home stay

Day 12: Palitana – Lothal – Jambughoda (350 Kms /  7 hrs Approx)

Morning drive to visit Lothal (Closed on Friday & Public Holidays) is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization, located in the Bhāl region of the modern state of Gujarāt and dating from 3700 BCE. Discovered in 1954, Lothal was excavated from 13 February 1955 to 19 May 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the official Indian government agency for the preservation of ancient monuments. Lothal’s dock—the world’s earliest known—connected the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river on the trade route between Harappan cities in Sindh and the peninsula of Saurashtra when the surrounding Kutch desert of today was a part of the Arabian Sea. It was a vital and thriving trade centre in ancient times, with its trade of beads, gems and valuable ornaments reaching the far corners of West Asia and Africa. The techniques and tools they pioneered for bead-making and in metallurgy have stood the test of time for over 4000 years.

Day 13 – Jambughoda – Chota udepur – Jambhugda

Continue drive to Chotta Udepur. Chotta Udepur has a number of hamlets of the Rathwas, Bhils and other tribals, handicrafts like pottery, arrow crafting, bow making , pithora wall painting etc.  Visit Rathwa tribal villages  – weekly markets depending upon the day of the week . Retrun back to Jambughoda

Day 14 : Jambughoda – Champaner – Ahmedabad (180 Kms / 3.5hrs Approx)

Continue proceeds to Champaner & transfer to hotel. Later visit Champaner is an ancient fortified city. There are two stories about the origin of the name of this town. Some believe that is named after Champaraj who was the founder of the city, while others believe that the town was named after the champa tree that is found here. Visit Champaner Fort is an ancient fort located at the foothills of Pavagdh. Mohammed Begada (The famous Muslim King of Gujarat) captured the fort in 15th Centuary after a long siege against the Khichi Chauhan Rajputs. After visit Jami Masjid – This mosque is a finest example of the Sultanate architecture of Gujarat. It has two tall minarets of 30 meters height, 172 pillars and seven mihrabs (Prayer Hall). This mosque belongs to 1513 and took 125 years to build and has a wonderful carved entrance and imposing courtyard. Overnight at Hotel in Ahmedabad

Day 15 : Departure Drive to Airport for Departure


  • Transportation / Drivers allowances /Toll gate / parking /
  • Accommodation on Double sharing basis with breakfast only / full board at dasada & hodko & sasangir
  • English speaking accompanying guide
  • Tribal area permits & entrances / jeep safari x 2 at sasangir / 01 jeep safari at Little kutch
  • All taxes includes
  • personal expenses
  • unmentioned meals
  • Visa
  • tips


Prices and Dates

Best time is from October to April

from 2399 € per person for 2-3 participants

Group from 4 participants: 1999 € per person

600 € single supplement Charge

Tour Info


A cultural trip without great physical requirements. Open-mindedness and flexibility are required!

Further Information

Starting and ending point: Ahmnebad

Hotels provided  :

  • Ahmedabad : farfield by marriot or similar
  • Dasada / Little Rann of Kutch : Royal Safari Camp or similar
  • Bhuj : The Bhuj House or similar (Homestay)
  • Hodko : Mehfeel e Rann resort or similar (homestay)
  • Gondal : Orchard Palace (Homestay)
  • Sasangir : Anil Farmhouse or Similar
  • Diu : Radhika Beach resort or similar
  • Palitanna : Vijay vilas palace (homestay)
  • Jambughoda : home for nature lovers

Best of Gujarat

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