The Gujarat Tour

Tour Length : 12 Days

Day 1 : Ahmedabad
Arrive Ahmedabad. Assistance on arrival by our local representative and transfer to the hotel. Later day free at leisure for local sightseeing visiting Sidi Sayed Mosque – built in 1573, is one of the most famous mosques of Ahmedabad. The mosque is entirely arcaded. The mosque has ten screen windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches. The rear wall is filled with square stone pierced panels in geometrical designs. The two bays flanking the central aisle have reticulated stone slabs carved in designs of intertwined trees and foliage and a palm motif. This intricately carved stone window is called the Sidi Saiyyed Jali. Hate Singh Jain Temple It was built by Seth Hate Singh in 1850. It is easily distinguished by its high carved column, visible from road. Built entirely of white marble embossed with smooth carvings of dancers, musicians, animals & flowers, this serene temple is dedicated to Dharamnath, whose statue stand in the main temple. It has a paved courtyard surrounded by an imposing row of cloisters containing 52 shrines, each with an image of a tirthankara, profusely decorated with rich carvings, one containing the marble image of the 15th tirthankara. The temple is a two-storied structure with elaborate porches on three sides and front porch crowned by a large dome. Sabarmati Ashram – Gandhi Ashram – Harijan Ashram – Satyagraha (Charles Correa designed the memorial at Gandhi Ashram). It’s located on the western bank of the Sabarmati River. Ashram was the residence of Mahatma Gandhi. From this Ashram Gandhi started the Dandi March in 1930. The ashram now has a museum, Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay. The museum building was erected (designed by architect Charles Correa), and memorial activities were then started here. One of the important activities undertaken is the establishment of a Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. Initially started in 'Hriday Kunj,' Gandhi's own cottage in the Ashram, the Sangrahalaya has now shifted to its own well-designed and well-furnished building. Exhibits at the museum includes: Gandhi quotations, letters, and life size oil painting gallery. Other Building can be visits like IIMA (Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad) NID (National Institute of Designing), Mill Owners Association Building, CEPT....  Dada Hari ki vav – Ahmedabad This step well brings us to the early sixteenth century. Bai Harir was the supervisor of the royal harem and she had planned the step well along with her tomb and mosque amidst a sprawling garden mix together with fruit bearing trees. Bai Harir, whose tomb is adjacent to the step well, must be turning in her grave at the fate of her grand complex which has run out of water and the trees have disappeared since long. Her only consolation may be the muezzin’s call to prayer echoing from the mosque. The courtyard of the mosque is worth observing for few of the sealed passages that once gave way to the tunnel underneath were possibly connected to the step well as well with some spacious underground alcoves. The pool at the bottom leads to the shaft of the well, which is divided by an arched doorway. Besides, there is a narrow spiral stairway leading to the well. Being a Moslem monument, it is bereft of figurative decorations, which has been replaced with floral motifs. However Hindu hand or influences are evident from few of the animal figures. This well was built at a place where four roads meet, crowded with good men, who come from four quarters. As long as the moon and sun endure, may be sweet water of the well be drunk by all men”. Over night stay at Ahmedabad.
Notes: For IIMA, NID, CEPT, MOAB needed prior permission

Day 2 : Ahmedabad – Patan – Modhera – Adalaj – Ahmedabad
After breakfast, proceed to visit Rani Ki Vav, Patan Step Well – Architecture It was built by the queen Udaymati, the wife of Bhimdev. It is the best example of such architecture for water wells that is peculiar to Gujarat. There are wonderful carved images in the niches of the walls of this multi storied step well. It was one of the largest and the most sumptuous structures of its type. It became silted up and much of it is not visible now, except for some rows of sculptured panels in the circular part of the well. Among its ruins one pillar still stands which is the proof not only of the elegance of its design, but also excellent example of this period. A part only of the west well is extant from which it appears that the wall had been built of brick and faced with stone. Modhera Sun Temple Modhera Sun Temple is finest example of Hindu architecture in Gujarat. The Sun Temple at Modhera dates back to early 11th century CE and was built by King Bhimdev I in 1026 CE. The sanctum was designed to allow the sunlight to illuminate the main statue, no longer in the temple. The quality & quantity of carvings along its walls describing god, other figures & erotic positions are exceptional. 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 carved steps leading to the bottom. Several miniature shrines adorn the steps of the tank - which is an art gallery in itself. Adalaj Step Well The step well was built in 1499 A.D. by Queen Rudabai. The designs on its walls and pillars include leaves, flowers, birds, fish and other breathtaking ornamental designs. In the past, these step wells were frequented by travellers and caravans as stopovers along trade routes. The five-storied, step-well located in the sleepy village of Adlaj is a marvel of architecture. This unique water work is an excellent blend of Hindu and Islamic styles. The intricately carved monument served religious and utilitarian purposes of the people around though its origin is marred by tragedy. The Indo-Islamic style of architecture, which developed in India in the early centuries of the medieval period, is neither a local variant of Islamic art, nor a modification of Hindu art, but it is an assimilation of both the styles, though not always to an equal degree. The architecture of this well also shows the influence of the earlier Solanki rulers of Gujarat. Built entirely of sandstone, one can enter into this step-well from three sides, which consist of octagonal landings with huge carved colonnades and intricately carved niches. The step-well served both ritualistic as well as utilitarian needs. Over night stay at Ahmedabad.

Day 3 : Ahmedabad – Vadnagar – Taranga – Ahmedabad
After breakfast, proceed to visit Taranga, Taranga Jain temple was constructed by the Solanki family ruler Kumarpal under the advice of his teacher, Acharya Hemachandra. It is considered to be one of India’s most treasured works of architecture. A 2.75m marble status of Lord Adinath is the primary idol. The compound consists of 14 temples in all, five of which are from the Digambar sect. In the centre of the main vast square with the length of 230 feet & the breadth of 230 feet (70m Square), the temple measures 50 feet in length, 100 feet in breadth & 142 feet in height (15m X 30m X 43m). It has a perimeter of 639 feet (195m). The 275m high wooden summit of Taranga temple is magnificently carved. It has seven domes in all. On the right side of the temple there are foot idols of Lord Adinath & the left hand side there is a temple of Gaumukhji.
Vadnagar, Vadnagar is a repository of exquisite specimen of Indian architecture and antiquity. Of the older remains of Vadnagar are two magnificent Kirti-Stambh (triumphal arches) that should have formed a part of the gateways to some great temple whose remain are not traceable. Built of red and yellow sandstone without mortar or other cementing material, the structure derives its stability from dimensions. Considered as one of the best specimens of Indian sculpture, the arch (torana) springs from the bracket capitals of the pillars. Kirti Toran, a 40-ft-high arch possibly meant for a temple, never fails to entrance visitors. Over night stay at Ahmedabad.

Day 4 : Ahmedabad – Champaner – Vadodara [200 Kms 4 to 5 Hrs Drive]
After breakfast, drive to Champaner, the town derives its name from the Champa tree or from Champaraj – founder of the Town. A later visit of Champaner is 47 KMS northwest of Vadodara & 25 KMS from Jambhughoda. The UNESCO listed world heritage site of Champaner is one of Gujarat’s most remarkable archaeological zones. Champaner is famous for its exquisite mosques, of which the Jama Masjid is the most impressive. The sculptural hill of Pavagadh with its ruined fort rises beside Champaner in three levels. The 16th century with mosques that is considered perfect example of the Gujarat Sultanate’s Indo- Saracen architecture. The mosque within the fortified city is called Sharki Masjid. It is noted for its slender minarets with intricately carved basis. The Jami Masjid has intricate latticework screens and a magnificent pavilion at the entrances to the spacious courtyard which is enclosed by domed galleries. The central dome is three storey with an opening that allows light into the prayer hall. The similar Nagina Masjid has exquisite sculptures on the pillars.
Later drives to Vadodara – This city was before known as Baroda. Vadodara name derived from, originally 'Vadpatra' because of the abundance of banyan trees on the banks of the Vishwamitri. From Vadpatra it derived its present name Baroda or Vadodara. Baroda started with the accession of Maharaja Sayajirao III, reigning 1875-1939, is credited with the most significant development of the city and bold socio-economic reforms. He brought in changes to textile and other manufacturing processes that moved Baroda towards the booming industrial center it is now. Visits of Laxmi Vilas Palace, The Laxmi Vilas Palace is a mix of Indo, Islamic and European architecture. The states become prosperous under Sayajirao Gaekwad who is responsible for the building of the Laxmi Vilas Palace. The work of building the palace was commissioned to Major Mant and it was completed after his death by Chisolm in a 720 acre garden landscaped by a designer from Kew. As these architects were known for their ethic style, inside the palace is equally impressive in its profusion of marble, mosaic & work of arts. The palace has a three mosaic covered courtyard filled with palms, European statuary, Italian marble and stained glass. The palace is open for viewing with the permit from the office. Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum - The museum has the royal collection of art treasures and works of old masters like Raphael, Titian and Murillo as well as modern western and Indian paintings, Greco-Roman exhibits, Chinese and Japanese art, and a large collection of contemporary Indian art as well as collections of Raja Ravi Verma. Over night stay at Vadodara.

Day 5 : Vadodara – Lothal – Bhavnagar
After breakfast, drive to Lothal (Friday Closed). Lothal is an important archaeological site was discovered in 1954. Lothal is one of the most significant sites of the Harappan or Indus valley Civilization excavated in INDIA. The city that stood here 4500 years ago is clearly related to Indus valley cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro. The remarkable feature of this ancient city is the dockyard, (Complex lock gate system) which had channels through which ships could wash from the sea and offload their cargo when the gates were locked. The town beside the dockyard includes an upper residential area, probably an acropolis as it had private paved baths, and a lower township which also has remains of factories that produced the famous beads, earthenware and metal ware of the period. The archeological museum can be seen at the site displays further evidence of this well ordered civilization, such as intricate seals, weights and measures, games and jewellery. Later drive to Bhavnagar, Bhavnagar was founded by Bhavsinhji Gohil; finally in 1723 Bhavsinhji established the city of Bhavnagar as his capital. His grandson Takhatsinhji, who came to power in 1878, setup a modern system of civil and criminal justice & other social departments. The districts main link to its maritime past is Asia’s largest ship breaking yard at Alang. Barton Museum & Library It was established in 1882 & open for all from 1885. Barton Museum is located at Gandhi Smriti in Bhavnagar. This is principally an archaeological museum. On display here are coins, weapons, and wood carvings, farming implements, fossils and archaeological finds. Also a very good collection of stamps are here. Gandhi Smriti The little knows fact that Mahatma Gandhi went to the University of Bhavnagar. Established with an objective of keeping Gandhian thought alive, Gandhi Smruti is a living monument to gandhiji. Opened in 1955, the institution houses a Gandhiji picture gallery, Khadi Gramodyog Bhandar. Over night stay at Bhavnagar.

Day 6 : Bhavnagar – Palitana – Diu [56 Kms 2 Hrs Drive]
Morning drives to Palitana, PALITANA is one of the India’s most pilgrim centers. The 600-metre climb to Shatrunjaya is usually on foot. Lift chairs (Dolly’s) are also available. Mount Shatrunjaya hardly a kilometer away from the town, which on both sides by minor temples, include museums. The mountain is associated with Rishabhdev, the first Tirthankar, also known as Adinath. Palitana site is scared to Jains who believe to lord Adinath. There are superb views in all directions. The temple was built in different periods but most of them follow a similar architectural style of shikhara or towers on the rooftop and shrines open on four side. Temples are the Adishvara which is said to have been built in the 12th century but renovated twice since with a tall shikhara made up of many small towers. The three storey vimala sah temple built in the 14th century with the statue towering over all three floors and the motisah temple of the 19th century. On Shatrunjaya hill around 3500 steps are there. A photography permit is available in front of the main entrance. The museum located 400 meter before the start of the steps at the bottom of the hill, displays a collection of Jain arte facts. Later proceed to Diu. Later day free at leisure to visit beach. Over night stay at Diu.

Day 7 : Diu to Somnath [60 Kms 1 to 2 Hrs Drive]
After breakfast, proceed to Somnath. Visits of Somnath Temple – Lord Shiva temple known as Jyotirling built by Moon God. Somnath is one of among 12 jyotirlings. The temple of Somnath itself is believed to have appeared first in gold, at the request of the sun god, next in silver, created by the moon god, a third time in wood at the command of lord Krishna & finally in stone built by Bhimdeva. The temple to the tenth century when it become rich from follower donations, such wealth become to the attention of the Mahmud of Ghazni who destroyed the place of pilgrimage & carried its wealth off to Afghanistan. The current temple was built to traditional designs on the original costal site. Walking distance from the temple is the Prabhas Patan museum housing architectural fragments of the original temple of the Somnath before they were destroyed by invaders. Photography is prohibited. Over Night stay at Somnath.

Day 8 : Somnath to Junagarh [100 Kms 2 to 3 Hrs Drive]
After Breakfast proceed to Junagarh. Junagarh is an ancient fortified city at the foothills of Girnar.  Junagarh name it takes its name from old fort. The fourth century BC to the death of Ashoka, Junagarh was the capital of Gujarat under the Buddhist Mauryas then later Kashatrapas and Guptas etc. Junagarh is well known for Girnar as well as According to the architect. Please find the details for sightseeing places as per below.
Ashoka Edicts – Emperor Ashoka inscribed 14 rock edicts. The Buddhist edicts of Ashoka, Junagarh most famous monarch remains where it was placed in the third century BC. The impact of Ashoka edicts somewhat marred by a modern shelter and concrete platform. The inscriptions are in Brahmi script in Pali language & later added Sanskrit. The 14 edicts are moral lectures while the other inscriptions refer mainly to recurring floods destroying the embankment of a nearby lake, the Sudershan, which no longer exists. Although its historic credentials are irrefutable, the admission charge seems a bit steep.
Uperkot Fort This ancient fort is believed to have been built in 319 BC by Chandragupta. It has been rebuilt and extended many times. Uperkot fort is girdled by a wall that is, in some places, over 20m high and an ornate triple gateway forms the entrance. There are two step wells, Jami Masjid (Mosque) and Buddhist caves in the fort premises. The Jami Masjid (Mosque) inside the fort was built from a demolished Hindu temple. Other spot can be visit in side fort that is Tomb is Nuri Shah, Navaghan Kuva. Ancient Buddhist caves can be seen close hillside close to the mosque.
Mahabat Maqbara - Mahabat Maqbara is one of the popular examples of Indo – Islamic architecture of Gujarat. It’s built for Muslim rulers in the nineteenth century. This stunning mausoleum of a nawab of Junagadh seems to fizz up into the sky. The exclusivity of the wealth of silver at the portals teemed with intricate carvings and the winding staircase surrounding the four minarets attract a lot of tourist to its site. The onion fashioned dome also adds to the entire beauty of the sight. Over night stay at Junagarh.

Day 9 : Junagarh to Gondal [120 Kms 3 hrs drive
After breakfast, proceed to Gondal. Gondal is a testimony to the great visionary ruler Sir Bhagwatsinhiji, who introduced social reforms, planned the development of Gondal town and created a model state of Saurashtra in late 19th and early 20th century. Gondal, the capital of the former princely State of Gondal, was ruled by the Jadeja Rajput clan, till the independence of India. It is a fortified town located on the river Gondali.
Sir Bhagwatsinhji's high education and extensive tours to Europe enhanced his aesthetic taste, which can be seen in the architecture and planning of public buildings, parks, bazaars dn palaces builts during his regime.
One of the oldest and most beautiful of Gondal Palaces, the Navlakha Palace Complex (17th century), is situated on a river bank, on a grand masonary base, rising to the monumental scale of at least 30 meter above the river bed. 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 administrate blocks on height and a grand staircase with balustrade on the extreme left corner leading to the intricately carved pavilions on the open terrace. The grand Darbar Hall, with a series of huge windows opening onto a long balcony supported by intricately carved brackets, overlooks the river. Darbar Hall, with a series of huge windows opening onto a long balcony supported by intricately carved brackets, overlooks the river. Darbar Hall has large chandeliers, stuffed panthers, gilt wooden furniture and anitique Belgian mirrors. The private palace museum displays artifacts, gifts and messages received by Sir Bhagwatsinhji, on his 50th birthday.
Other two Royal Palaces: the Riverside Palace and Orchard Palace are converted into heritage hotels. The Riverside Palace is located at the edge of the Gondali River; built in colonial style of architecture, amidst a garden with huge trees. The living room is decorated in European taste, while the Indian room has brassware, beadwork and paintings in typical Indian style. The series of galleries and terraces ot the palace building bring nature close to the visitors of this heritage hotel.
The Orchard Palace was originally a state guest house, built in colonial style with an arcade of semi circular arches, set in the midst of fruit orchards. The garden in the front, a beautiful fountain with lily pond and marble statues enhances the beauty of the palace. The main sitting room has a collection of paintings, antique furniture, bird eggs and many interesting art objects.
The rulers of Gondal were great lovers of automobiles and one can see several vintage and Classic cars in the royal garage. Two Royal Rail saloons of the Gondal State were renovated, keeping the original decor and are available for accommodation in the Orchard Garden palace. The stay at saloons provides a unique experience nostalgia of the great days of the Indian railways combined with royal grandeur. On arrival check in to the hotel. Over night stay at Gondal.

Day 10 : Gondal to Wankaner [160 Kms 4 hrs drive]
After breakfast, proceed to Wankaner. Wankaner derives its name from the geographical feature related to the location of the town: 'Wanka' means a bend and 'ner' means water stream in Gujarati. Wankaner literally means a bend on the stream and it is located on the bend of the Machchhu River. The Jhala Rajput clan ruled Wankaner, the capital of the former princely State of Wankaner, till Indian independence in 1947 AD. It was one of the four princely states of Jhalawad, other three being- Wadhvan, Limbdi and Dhangadhra. Sartanji founded the princely State of Wankaner in 1605 AD and the town was fortified in the late 18th century for protection against the bandits and neighboring enemies. King Amarsinhji, a noble ruler, who made Wankaner a rich city-state, ruled Wankaner up till 1947 AD.
Under the patronage of Amarsinhji, 5 palaces and many bungalows were built and named after the rulers of the princely States of Kutch, Rajkot, Mayurbhanj and Jamnagar.
Amarsinhji built the Ranjit Vilas Palace on a hill, overlooking Wankaner town. It took seven years to complete (1907-14 AD) and was designed by Amarsinhji himself. It was inaugurated by and named after his dear friend Jam Ranjitsinhji of Jamnagar. The ground of the palace extends to two hundred and twenty five acres. The state guesthouse, Chandra Bhavan is also located in the same campus in the vicinity of the Ranjit Vilas Palace.
Ranjit Vilas Palace is a very eclectic building, a bold attempt to sythesise various architectural styles. The front and back facades are appropriately designed in response to its location. The receding volumes, on the front, creating a series of terraces culminating in two beautifully designed pavilions with gothic arches. The back facade, on the town side, really establishes the palace as an impressive landmark. The seven storied central clock tower capped by a Mughal dome and two five storied high bastions, at both the corners, culminate in hexagonal chhatris. The facade has arcades of arched Victorian windows Italianate pillars, Gothic arches and classical parapets. A massive Dutch roof spans the central wing of the palace. A double staircase is the unique feature of the interior of this palace, where the royal ladies could ascend and descend without being seen by men. A similar double staircase at Chateau de Chambord, Loire, France, dating to the Renaissance period, inspired this staircase.
Ranjit Vilas Palace has a memorable collection of swords, shields and daggers, 95 species of stuffed animals, duelling pistols, pig sticking spears, silver, linen chests, silver-plated howdahs, thrones, paintings and portraits. The palace has magnificent spiraling marble staircase, stained glass galleries, chandeliers and period furniture. The garage, on the grounds of the palace complex, has Vintage cars like the 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, some imposing American cars and horse drawn carriages. The palace also has a stable of Kathiawadi horses. There are large grounds with beautiful Italianate fountains.
Wankaner also has a step well, the last one to be built in Gujarat. In the royal oasis complex, the 3-storied step well, has 2 underground floors with cool subterranean marble rooms, fine sculptures and a fountain.
Wankaner was among the first few royal families of India to convert their palaces into Heritage Hotels, which have guestrooms, maintained in the original royal style. Over night stay at the Wankaner.

Day 11 : Wankaner to Wadhvan [120 Kms 3 hrs drive]
After breakfast, proceed to Wadhvan. It was also the centre of an Indian Princely state of the same name. It was formerly known as Wardhmanpuri, the name given after Jain Tirthankar Bhagwan Vardhman (i.e. Lord Mahavir). It was ruled by the Jhala Rajputs, who also ruled neighboring princely states of Limbdi, Lakhtar, Sayla, Chuda, and Wankaner. A mythological woman named Ranak Devi is reputed to have cursed the river to never have water even when it rained. She was a Sati, and so it is believed that there is no water because of the curse. There is a vave (a step well structure / pit in the ground with steps leading to underground water) that is believed to take away newlyweds and so elders advise new generations to keep their distance from it. There is a high wall (Fort) around most of the old town but now the town has grown and it extends beyond the older wall. There is a large community of Khatris [a community of people involved in coloring clothes] in the city these days. The business of Bandhani [a type of coloring and designing clothes] is one of the major businesses in the city. Over night stay at Wadhvan.

Day 12 : Wadhvan – Ahmedabad [110 Kms 3 hrs drive]
After breakfast, proceed to Ahmedabad. On arrival transfer to Ahmedabad Airport / Railway Station for onward destination.

Kutch - Bhuj

Option 1
Tour Length : 4 Days

Day 1 : Bhuj
Arrive Bhuj transfers to Hotel Prince Bhuj visit Dhamadka, Dhaneti villages known for their embroidery. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Prince Bhuj.

Day 2 : Bhu to Hodka [75 Kms 2 Hrs Drive]
Arrange necessary permitts from DSP office,  visit Aina Mahal, Parag Mahal, Bhuj Museum, later drive down to Shaam E Sarhad { A rural resort } enroute visit to Nirona village which is known for its Rogan art, Jura for copper works, after lunch at Shaam E Sarhad. Visit Hodka village known for its embroidery. Dinner and over night at Hodka.

Day 3 : Hodka
Today you will be visiting villages like Ajrakhpur, Shrujan, Bhujodi, Overnight at Shaam E Sarhad. Over night stay at Hodka.

Day 4 : Hodka to Bhuj [75 Kms 2 Hrs Drive]
After breakfast proceed to bhuj to board the flight for onward destination.

Option 2
Tour Length : 5 Days

Day 1 : Bhuj
Arrive Bhuj transfers to Hotel Prince Bhuj visit Dhamadka, Dhaneti villages known for their embroidery. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Prince Bhuj.

Day 2 : Bhu to Hodka [75 Kms 2 Hrs Drive]
Arrange necessary permitts from DSP office,  visit Aina Mahal, Parag Mahal, Bhuj Museum, later drive down to Shaam E Sarhad { A rural resort } enroute visit to Nirona village which is known for its Rogan art, Jura for copper works, after lunch at Shaam E Sarhad. Visit Hodka village known for its embroidery. Dinner and over night at Hodka.

Day 3 : Hodka
Today you will be visiting villages like Ajrakhpur, Shrujan, Bhujodi, Overnight at Shaam E Sarhad.

Day 4 : Hodka to Madavi [135 Kms 2 to 3 Hrs Drive]
After breakfast proceed to the Banni region. On arrival check in to the tented Accommodation. Later day proceed to visit Mandvi Palace. Evening enjoy at private beach. Over night stay at Mandavi.

Day 5 : Mandvi to Bhuj [60 Kms 1 hrs drive]
After breakfast drive back to Bhuj to board the flight for onward destination


“ Kuala Lumpur, Genting, Singapore and Langkawi entire trip was very good, all transfers were punctual, each supplier of each destination was very co-operative and good. ”

Tejas Parekh :

“ Entire trip was excellent. All hotels good, Australia supplier very co-operative, most hotels had Indian restaurants at walking distance as per what you had informed us, hotel locations excellent! Great Ocean Road ex Melbourne was a highlight, Cairns is most nature oriented and highly recommended. ”

Jayesh Shah : Khushbu Chemicals, Director