COLOURFUL GUJARAT

 

Day 01                 Arrive Mumbai

Meeting assistance on arrival and transfer to the Hotel TAJ PRESIDENT

 

 

 

Mumbai

Afternoon visit Mumbai City : The Prince of Wales Museum, (Closed on Monday’s) The museum houses rare and ancient exhibits of Indian history as well as objects from foreign lands. It also has Indus Valley Civilization artifacts, relics from the times of Gupta's of ancient India and examples of Mauryan art. Victoria Terminus, A major landmark of Mumbai city is the Victoria Terminus, designed in Italian Gothic style by Architect F. W. Stevens. Recently renamed as Mumbai Prince of Wales Museum

Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, it is one of Mumbai's most prominent buildings and architecturallyone of the finest stations in the world. The building construction commenced in 1878 and was completed in 1885. With a frontage of over 15,00 feet, The administrative offices form three sides of are ctangle enclosing an ornamental garden and the entrance gate is guarded by a massive stone Lion and Tiger.  Hanging Gardens :Perched on Malabar Hill, these

Mumbai Marine Driveterraced gardens offer lovely sunset views over the Arabian Sea. The park overlooks the Towers of Silence, a Parsi crematorium. Mani Bhavan. Previously the epicenter of Mahatma Gandhi's freedom movement, this building is now a memorial of Gandhi's life and all that he stood for. You can go down the alleys of history and unravel the man behind the Mahatma. Kamala Nehru Park :Inspired by the children's poem, 'There was an old woman..' this lush green park houses a two storey high shoe. From the walkways, bridges and terraces, one can have an amazing aerial view of the entire city of Mumbai..Kamla Nehru Park and Hanging Gardens situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill, offering a panoramic view of Marine drive & Chowpatty Beach, and drive through the Crawford market, Marine drive & Flora Fountain.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02                 Mumbai / Ahmedabad (Flight)

After breakfast, transfer to airport to board flight to Ahmedabad.
Meeting assistance on arrival and transfer to Hotel MERIDIEN

http://www.goamit.com/Shaking%20Minarets.jpgAfternoon, visit Ahmedabad City :  Ahmedabad was founded in the 15th Century by Ahmed shah, the independent Sultan of Gujarat. It is now the capital of the State of Gujarat and a graceful blend of old and new.  Short City tour of Ahmedabad.  Including, Sabarmati Ashram, established by mahatma Gandhi on the  Sabarmati River in 1915.  This was the nerve centre of India's freedom movement.  In 1930 Gandhiji began his  famous Dandi March from here. . Hatheesing Jain Temple, Built of pure white marble, it has a paved courtyard surrounded by an imposing row of cloisters containing 52 shrines, each with an image of a tirthankara, It was designed by Premchand Salat and is dedicated to
Dharmanath, the fifteenth Jina or Jain apostle. It was built at a cost of Rs 10 Lakhs, a sum unimaginable in those days. The HAVELIS (wooden Mansions ) of Ahmedabad are a window  to the lofty life styles of the rich of early 19th century Ahmedabad. Exquisitely worked wooden facaded Havelis jostle for space in the narrow Pols of walled Ahmedabad. But no sooner do you cross the columned verandahs the Havelis open into the Otlo (courtyards), the divankhanu (formal drawing room), the http://lh6.ggpht.com/sujaykhandge/Rnj6kpmPqNI/AAAAAAAAAEI/CGVJ8yxxfz8/9.jpg?imgmax=512service areas and other rooms. The Shaking Minarets of Sidi Bashir’s Mosque remain a mystery till today.  Shake one minaret and the other resonates in harmony while the interconnecting terrace stands still, Jama Mosque , Located in the centre of the old city, this congregational mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423. Built in yellow sandstone, it combines the best of Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture, standing on 260 pillars supporting 15 domes at varying elevations
Jama Masjid Ahmedabad

 

 

 


Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03                  Ahamedabad  / Patan / Modhera / Balaram (200 kms. / 5 Hrs. around)

Modhera Sun Temple AhmedabadAfter breakfast, drive to Balaram, enroute visiting  Modhera and Patan
 Modhera :   The sun Temple of Modera is one of the finest example of Indian temple architecture of its period.  Built in 1026 A.D. the temple is dedicated to the Sun Goa, Surya and stands high on a plinth overlooking a deep stone- steeped tank. Every inch of the edifice, both inside and outside is magnificently carved with Gods and Goddesses, birds, beasts and flower.

 

NYC - Metropolitan Museum of Art - Architectural Ensemble from a Jain Meeting Hall (mandapa) by wallyg. Patan : Patan has over 100 beautifully carved Jain temples & many attractive traditional carved wooden houses. Rani Ki Vav is the oldest and the grandest stepwell in the state of Gujarat. It is situated at Patan and is believed to have been built during 1022 to 1063 AD. The construction was completed by the widowed queen Udayamati. It is the centre for fine textiles particularly silk patola sarees produced by the characteristic 'ikat' technique.

 

After visit drive to Balaram, on arrival check in at Hotel BALARAM PALACE

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04                  Balaram / Poshina (90 kms. / 3 Hrs.)

 

After breakfast, drive to Poshina, enroute visiting Gandhara village and Rathwas tribals, Gujarat, India by balaveniseGowala & The Garacia Tribal Villages. Tribes that are second cousins to each other, they differ only in the manner of living; the Gowala are more settled, the Garacia are stillprone to roaming, and their women dress is a manner slightly less ostentatious than the Gowala females. Their tribal home is among the hills that separate Gujarat from Rajasthan, and they are primarily sheepherders. One evening we will enjoy a private performance of tribal dances

 

After visit drive to Poshina, on arrival check in at DARBARGARH POSHINA

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05                  Poshina

After breakfast, day excursion to visit Bhawad Tribal Villages : A pastoral people, the Bharwad are shepherds and cattlemen. No longer have wanderers, most Bharwadi lived in villages painting their houses primarily in blues,  greens and white. We visit several, wandering the neat lanes, and perhaps visiting one or two homes. Some Bharwadi have turned their talents to different occupations; the polishing and cutting of diamonds is one, and we will be able to photograph the steps that turn a handful of dull looking opaque lumps into sparkling gems. At a local camel-breeding farm, the business of producing the finest stock of camels is explored.
the jat - a hidden tribe in gujarat by retlaw snellac

 

 

 

Overnight at Hotel.

 

Day 06                  Poshina  / Bajana (220 kms. / 5 Hrs.)

After breakfast, drive to Bajana, on arrival check in at Camp

Afternoon visit Local Tribal villages and  Bajana Tribes : Through this land travel the Bajana, the most nomadic of Gujarat's tribes, constantly searching for better grazing ground for their camels and sheep. Other tribes have settled here, including the Banjara, who make their living from cattle, and whose female members are famous for their embroidery. 

Overnight at ROYAL SAFARI CAMP.

Day 07                  Bajana

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2180/2039202337_0cfecb4baa.jpg?v=082548604, Mitchell Kanashkevich /The Image BankAfter breakfast, excursion to The Little Rann of Kutch :  which covers an area of roughly 5,000  square km, is primarily known as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. The sanctuary was established in 1972 as the last natural habitat of the Indian Wild Ass (Equus Hemionus Khur). One of the three surviving species of the Wild Ass in the world-the other two being found in Central Asia and in and around Tibet-the Khur is high on the list of endangered species. "Little Rann Of kutch" little Rann of Kutch and the  local tribes and the ruins of the Solanki rulers. The Rann is a stunning experience. It is a vast expanse of flat sea bed. The drive through the vast Rann offers many visual delights like the wild ass, blue bull, chinkara, jungle and desert cats and a large variety of birds including cranes. Early morning a Jeep safari through the rann of Kutch to see the rare species of the "Indian Wild Ass" and visit nearby villages to see the local tribes such as Rabari, Koli and Banania who still maintain their rich heritage of lifestyle, clothes, Jewellery and dances

Overnight at ROYAL SAFARI CAMP.

Day 08                  Bajana / Bhuj ( 200 Kms. / 5 Hrs)

http://www.indianetzone.com/20/images/rabari1_9917.jpgAfter breakfast, drive to Bhuj,  enroute visiting local Tribal villages of Rabaris,  Vadiara and Kharapat Rabaris, laths, bajanias, mirs and other semi-nomadic communities in and around the rann.

Upon arrival check in at Hotel

(And transfer to OBTAIN PERMIT from DSP and COLLECTOR office Sunday, Second Saturday’s and Bank Holidays Closed)

Overnight at Hotel ILLARK

Day 09                  Bhuj

http://www.colorsofgujarat.com/images/triballife1.jpgAfter breakfast, drive to Hodka, (65 Kms. from Bhuj), enroute visiting Banny Villages : (North Region)The last village on the border is a Desertland of infinite dimensions, and in its midst, quaint little villages suspended in Time. Here you will come across master craft people' expositioning their traditional art, turning our master pieces everyday. Their ornaments, clothes, utensils, everything they use - will make you feel as if you have stepped into lifestyle museum leaving you spellbound the tribal villages, specializing in different forms of handicraft including ahir embroidery, block printing and tie and dye. Colour and eye for design is the keynote of  Gujarat handicrafts, and is an expression of their rich traditional heritage and personal artistic talent. Visits continue today to villages to see first hand the production of these treasures. Tie and dye using wool and silk is especially popular.

Overnight at Hotel

Day 10                  Bhuj

http://www.oktatabyebye.com/Travel-Ideas/Artist-villages/images/kalamkari-hodka.jpghttp://www.hodka.in/HomeGallery/1919.jpgAfter breakfast, day excursion to visit Hodka Area : Hodka Artists Village -You will explore its typical village houses, meet different artisan families and admire the finest embroidery styles and leather crafts. You will explore the artisans families to see their nicely decorated and painted traditional houses, learn about their livelihoods and customs and admire their fine Embroideries (Pakko, Neran, Kambhiro, Applique, etc) and Leather work which you can also buy directly from artisans. You will also explore Virda or Well where  you learn about the ancient process of water harvesting in the Banni dry-lands, a flat and dry extension of land similar to Rann of Kachchh, to enjoy the particular landscape. Dhordo village - You will see beautiful traditional mud houses (Bhungas) with Mirror Work and fine Mutwa (Community) embroidery with tiny mirrors.Bhirnadiyara Village - a small settlement of Musilim shepherds.
http://www.akshartours.com/images/kutch1.jpgLudia Village - to see their traditionally painted mud houses, Meghwal (Community) Embroidery and wood carving crafts. Khavda - Famous for its beautiful pottery work.India bridge - The last Civilian point of India-Pakistan Border.Karo Dungar (Black Hill) - for the sunset, drive to the "Dattatray Temple" at the top of the karo  dungar, from where you will have the best views of the Great Rann. Chhari Dhand wetlands, home to several species of settled and migratory birds, including the Raptor, Common Crane, Grey Hypocolius, Flamingos among others. Than Monastery and nearby temple set amongst green hills, to enjoy its refined architecture and peaceful atmosphere.

Overnight at Hotel

Day 11                  Bhuj / Wankaner / Gondal (260 Kms. / 5-6 Hrs)

http://rajkotcityguide.com/guide08/images/stories/ranjitvillaspalace.jpgAfter early breakfast, drive to Gondal, enroute visiting Wankener : Ranjit Vilas Palace is a very eclectic building, a bold attempt to synthesize 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

After visit drive to Gondal, on arrival check in at Hotel GONDAL PALACE
http://images.google.co.in/url?q=http://www.indiatourism.com/gujarat-tourism/gifs/naulakha-gondal.jpg&usg=AFQjCNH8r8sQ4IsFsHTicUxvuubN0ZDp4QAfternoon visit Gondal : Gondal, the capital of the former princely State of Gondal, was ruled by the Jadeja Rajput clan, till the independence of India. Visiting the Naulakha Palace built of 17 th cent. By Bhakumbhaj  i the founder of Gondal. Naulakha Palace. Its magnificent architecture will leave you spellbound and the antique furniture, spiral stairways and the chandelier-lit courtyard would take you back to the royal period. Vintage classic cars collection of the Maharaja of Gondal. The palace also has a museum. The next set of royal relics can be found at the Orchard Palace and Huzoor Palace during Gondal tour.  


Overnight at Hotel.

Day 12                  Gondal / Junagarh / Sasangir (110Kms. / 3 Hrs.)

After breakfast, drive to Sasangir, Battlements  of  Uparkot  Fortenroute visiting Junagarh : Uparkot Fort,Uparkot, an ancient citadel located on the higher level of the town, was a stronghold of Mauryans and Gupta Empire and is said to have survived 16 sieges in the last 1000 years due to its strategic location and difficult access. The entrance of Uparkot has a fine  specimen of Hindu Toran, leading of flat land dotted with archeological sites. The major sites are Buddhist caves, Baba Pyara Caves (2nd century), Adi-Kadi Vav, Navghan Kuvo and Jami Masjid. The Buddhist caves are fine examples of rock cut architecture with ornamented pillars, carved entrances, water cisterns, chaitya hall, monastic cells for meditation and chaitya windows. Adi-Kadi Vav and Navghan Kuvo were built by the Chudasama Rajputs and unique water structures among the numerous step wells of Gujarat. The Adi-Kadi Vav (15th century) has a long flight of 120 steps leading to water, while the Navghan Kuvo ( 1026 a.d) is hewn from the soft rock and is 52 meters deep,

After visit drive to Sasangir, on arrival check in at Hotel
http://www.indiawildlifeportal.com/images/sasan-gir/sasan-gir.jpg
Afternoon excursion to Gir Forest by Jeep Safari : Gir Forest is today the only place in the world outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in his natural habitat. The forest also harbours a variety of smaller animals and birds. Other predators are the Panther and the Hyena. The Indian Deer, Sambar, Chital (spotted deer), Nilgai (blue bull), Chinkara and the Chowsingha (four horned antelope) are found here, alongwith the bear and the long tailed langur.

 

Overnight at Hotel GIR LODGE.

Day 13                  Sasangir / Somnath / Diu (120 Kms. / 3 Hrs)

http://www.indiafolder.com/indian-temples/img/somnath%20temple.jpgAfter breakfast, drive to Diu, enroute visitng Somnath  :  It is the seat of the one of the twelve most sacred "Jyotirlingas" of Lord Shiva.  Its origin which can be dated back to the Vedic times, the temple was the object of attack by several Muslim invaders.  The old temple has been rebuilt after a lapse of about 1000 years.  Maintaining the same Chalukyan architectural grandeur that commands excellent view adjoining the sea.  A fair on the day of Kartik Poornima is held here in the month of Kartik (October - November) when over a lakh people congregate.

After visit drive to Diu, on arrival check in at Hotel RADHIKA BEACH RESORT

Afternoon free for beach,/independent activities.

Overnight at Resort

Day 14                  Diu

http://www.diuhotels.net/gifs/diu-beach.jpgBreakfast at Resort

Day free for independent / beach activities.

Overnight at Resort

 

Day 15                  Diu / Bhavnagar (200 Kms. / 5 Hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Bhavnagar, on arrival check in at Hotel NEELAMBAGH PALACE

Takhteshwar Temple, BhavnagarAfternoon visit Bhavnagar : was founded in 1723 A.D. by Bhav Singhji, member of the Gohil Rajput clan which came to the Saurashtra coast from Rajasthan in the 12th century.It grew into one of the 15 richest  princely states in India during the early – 20th century. Takhteshwar Temple is located on a hillock near the city. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is an important pilgrim place for the nearby region. It was built in the year 1893 by Maharaja Takhatsihnji. The temple and the whole complex are made up of white shining marble..The Nilambagh palace hotel was built in 1859 AD as the Yuvraj bunglow (Residence of the crown prince) by a German architect, Mr. Simms and became the royal residence.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 16                  Bhavnagar / Palitana / Bhavnagar

http://lh4.ggpht.com/rohan.aradhya/RsWlGLYKbRI/AAAAAAAAA2Y/JqgDzmtw4j4/DSC_1918.JPG?imgmax=512After breakfast, Day visit to Palitana :  Palitana is one of India's most picturesque pilgrim centres. Lying at the foot of Shatrunjaya Hill, it has 863 exquisitely carved temples and The path is climbed through 3500 steps built in marble over an impressive span of nine hundred years. The architectural appeal of Palitana transcends religious boundaries  and attracts tourists of all faiths. Patlitana is also a living sacred symbol of Jainism.  Palitana is a `must visit' destination for the Jains and all those who would like to witness what the subtle combination of human enterprise, architectural skills, philanthropy and channelised religious fervour can achieve. The mount Shatrunjaya lies hardly a kilometer away from the town, the way, which is now thronged on both the sides by sarais and minor temples, including Kala Bhandars (museums). The mountain is associated with Rishabhdev, the first tirthankar, also known as Adinath. It is believed that all the tirthankars, except Neminath, attained nirvan here. The multitude of temples, half palaces, half fortresses and made of splendid marble,

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 17                                                  Bhavnagar / Mumbai – ( Flight)

After breakfast, transfer to Airport for flight back to Mumbai.

Meeting assistance on arrival and transfer to International Airport for flight back to USA