Highlights of Gujarat

18 days from £3495 per person

India's westernmost state, Gujarat is a time-honoured desert land of historic cities and indigenous cultures with a fauna unique to the region. Starting in Ahmedabad, drive to Dasada, via the magnificent sun-temple of Modhera, then bird-watch in the Little Rann of Kutch. Travel on to Bhuj and visit the colourful tribal villages north of the city, explore Raj-era Gondal then continue to Sasan Gir, last remaining abode of the Asiatic lion. End your time in Gujarat at the extraordinary Jain temple complex at Palitana and in Vadodara at the fabulous archaeological remains at Champaner.

Journey Highlights

On the banks of the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad is the largest city in Gujarat and has many fine examples of ancient buildings as well as stunning contemporary architecture.

Next to the Pushpavati River, the Sun Temple at Modhera is dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. The decorative design is unique and the site contains an impressive step-well.

Palitana is a major pilgrimage centre for Jains. Over 3000 exquisitely carved marble temples cover the hills and thousands of stone steps have been cut to help visit the complex.

Day 1 Depart the UK

Today depart the UK on the British Airways flight to Mumbai. (N)

Day 2 Arrive Mumbai

Arrive into Mumbai in the early hours and transfer to the Abode Mumbai or upgrade to the Vivanta by Taj - President Hotel or the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel. One of the world's great cities, later today explore the city with your guide. Close to the hotel is the Gateway of India built to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911 and the excellent Prince of Wales Museum. From here stroll through the historic Colaba district to admire the impressive Gothic Victorian architecture before continuing to Malabar Hill for far-reaching views over the city. End the day at the colourful Dhobi ghats where traditional laundryman collect, wash and return the city's linen. (B)

Day 3 Mumbai to Ahmedabad – by air

This morning fly from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and stay for two nights at the heritage House of MG Hotel. Ahmedabad is a city defined by its architecture and is home to wide range of different styles. From majestic 15th and 16th century mosques and mausoleum complexes, 11th century step-wells, fine havelis and historic Hindu and Jain temples to 18th and 19th century buildings with their European colonial influences, the city is also home to modern masterpieces designed by Charles Correa and Le Corbusier. (B)

Day 4 Ahmedabad

With your guide, today explore Ahmedabad. Places of interest include the excellent Calico Museum of Textiles with its wide range of exhibits and the Sabarmati Ashram which was founded, in his home city, by Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 and was the starting point of his famous 385km Salt March to Dandi in 1930. Also visit the monumental complex of Sarkhej with its 15th century mausoleum and explore the city's old quarter, with its beautiful havelis, on foot. (B)

Day 5 Ahmedabad to Dasada – 260kms
via Adalaj, Modhera and Patan

Leave Ahmedabad to visit the beautiful 15th century Adalaj step well, before continuing to the 11th century Surya ‘Sun’ Temple at Modhera. One of the finest Hindu temples in Gujarat, Modhera has a special atmosphere and is a unique site. Leaving Modhera, drive to Patan which was once the capital of Gujarat before the founding of Ahmedabad. Patan is also the home of the famous Patola silk weavers. Once in Dasada stay for two nights at the Rann Riders Camp located on the edge of the Little Rann of Kutch. (B/L/D)

Day 6 Dasada

Today enter the Little Rann of Kutch. The number and variety of birds here, from plovers and chats to flamingos and storks, is astonishing with the best birding months between October and March. Also visit some of the settlements around Dasada including pastoral Vadiara and the goat-herders of Ambala. (B/L/D)

Day 7 Dasada to Bhuj – 260kms

After a final early morning visit to the Little Rann of Kutch leave Dasada and continue by road to Bhuj stopping en-route to visit the lakeside palace at Halvad. The atmospheric old walled city of Bhuj is the capital of the Kutch region and later wander among the narrow alleyways of the citadel. Stay overnight at Bhuj House. (B)

Day 8 Bhuj to Hodka - 65kms

Today drive north from Bhuj to the small rural hamlet of Hodka for a two nights stay at the Shaam-e-Sarhad Rural Resort. Handicrafts are a living tradition of Kutch region and over the next two days visit the neighbouring Banni villages. These settlements are home to the Hindu tribes of the Ahir and Rabari as well as the Muslim villages of the Muthwas and Jaths. (B/L/D)

Day 9 Hodka

The villages around Hodka have a rich artistic tradition and are renowned for their embroidery, block painting, pottery, leather and silver work. Over the years little has changed in the lives of these semi-nomadic people with trade in sheep, goats, camels, buffaloes and other livestock constituting their other main source of income. (B/L/D)

Day 10 Hodka to Gondal - 300kms

This morning leave Hodka and continue to Gondal where you will stay for two nights at the Gondal Orchard Palace Hotel which is the guesthouse of the Huzoor Palace where the owners—scions of the former rulers—still reside. Surrounded by wheat and cotton fields, Gondal is a fascinating town and was one of the most progressive and affluent states during the period of British rule. (B/D)

Day 11 Gondal

Today explore Gondal. The Naulakha Palace with its stone carvings and museum of princely memorabilia is particularly interesting whilst for those interested in Ayurveda, Gondal's Bhuvaneshwari Pharmacy has been making fine traditional herbal medicines for decades. The current ruling family in Gondal also keeps its collection of vintage and classic cars in the Huzoor Palace estate and it is possible to see around thirty of these vehicles which form arguably one of the finest collections in India. (B/D)

Day 12 Gondal to Sasan Gir – 150kms
via Junagadh

After breakfast visit Junagadh. This is one of India’s most historic cities – ancient artefacts were found on the hilltop citadel and Emperor Ashoka’s edicts were inscribed on rock here during the 3rd century BC. Visit the Uparkot Citadel, Jama Masjid and 11th century Adi Chadi Vav step-well before continuing to Sasan Gir and the Gir Forest National Park, the last remaining home of the Asiatic lion. Stay for two nights at the Lion Safari Camp. (B/L/D)

Day 13 Sasan Gir

An attractive sanctuary, Gir Forest National Park is not only home to the rare Asiatic lion but also has good populations of nilgai, sambar and chital. It is also a very popular reserve for birding and has a rich variety of birdlife. Today explore the unique Sasan Gir with an early morning and evening jeep safaris. (B/L/D)

Day 14 Sasan Gir to Palitana – 225kms

Today drive to the extraordinary Jain temple complex at Palitana and stay overnight at the Vijay Vilas Palace a small and basic heritage guesthouse. 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. (B/L/D)

Day 15 Palitana to Vadodara – 260kms
via Lothal

Early this morning you may wish to join the pilgrims and climb the 4,000 steps to the Palitana temples. Later leave Palitana and drive to Vadodara calling in on the way to see the archaeological site of Lothal which is home to some of the most important Harappan archaeological remains of the subcontinent. After Lothal continue to Vadodara, once the capital of the affluent Baroda Princely State and home to some magnificent 19th century palaces and public buildings. Stay for two nights at the Gateway Hotel or stay closer to Champaner at the Champaner Palace Resort. (B)

Day 16 Vadodara – visit Champaner

Today visit the Pavagadh–Champaner archaeological zone which was Gujarat's first UNESCO approved World Heritage Site. The site encompasses forts, temples, mosques, mausoleum complexes, pavilions, wells and tanks and Champaner's Jami Masjid, built around 1523, is considered the high water mark of 16th century Indo-Saracenic architecture. Later return to Vadodara via the historic citadel of Dabhoi which has a majestic gateway built in the 12th century. (B)

Day 17 Vadodara to Mumbai – by air

This morning transfer to Vadodara Airport in good time to catch the flight to Mumbai. Stay overnight at the Hilton Airport Hotel. (B)

Day 18 Mumbai to the UK

Today transfer back to Mumbai Airport to catch the British Airways flight non-stop to the UK. (B)

KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car with English speaking driver
  • Sightseeing with an accompanying English speaking guide
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request

What To Do Next?

We can design a unique journey to suit you as our tours are totally tailor made. By combining your own ideas with our knowledge and experience we can help you to create your own unique journey tailored exactly to your requirements Once you have formulated your ideas, or if you require some advice, please call us or simply request a quotation

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