Gujarat Adventure

India,

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12 people
14 days
Code: HHSA
Activity and Adventure, Expedition, Tours
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Overview of Gujarat Adventure

Travel across Gujarat, taking in the clash of sights, cities and cultures that make this colourful country famous. Mingle with local communities of the Banni Grasslands outside Bhuj, feast your eyes on magnificent creatures in the Sasan Gir Wildlife Santuary and chill out by the beach in Dwarka, all the while meeting friendly locals and indulging in spicy delights. From the mosques and Jain marvels of Ahmedabad to the perfect lakeside palaces of Udaipur, this adventure will create amazing memories to last a lifetime.

Trip Summary for Gujarat Adventure

Start Location: Ahmedabad,   End Location: New Delhi

Countries Visited: India, 
Meals Included: Breakfast: 6   Lunches: 3   Dinners: 3
Highlights:

    • Immerse yourself in the interchanging chaos and tranquillity of India’s cosmopolitan cities and traditional towns
    • Get up close to nature on safari in Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and Wild Ass Sanctuary, then camp under the stars near the village of Bajana
    • Stay in the charming walled city of Bhuj and meet local communities on a day trip to the Banni Grasslands
    • Explore the incredible City Palace of Udaipur – just one of many drawcards in India’s most romantic town
    • Get a real taste of India by riding the rails like a local on an overnight train trip to Delhi

 

Day 1 - Ahmedabad
Welcome to Ahmedabad, the major city of Gujarat. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you arrive early, perhaps take the option of an Urban Adventure – you’ll see spectacular temples, taste soothing masala chai, ride tuk-tuks through ancient narrow lanes and wander fabulous bazaars.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel. Depending on availability, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Day 2 - Ahmedabad
After breakfast you will visit the famous Sabarmati Ashram, set up by Gandhi in 1915 during the Indian independence movement. Enjoy the view from the Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaja (Triple Gateway) and learn about the Jain way of life at the Hathi Singh Temple. Admire the 15th-century Jama Masjid and the medieval minarets of the graceful Rani Sipri’s Mosque. If you have time, you may also like to visit the Calico Museum of Textiles at Ahmedabad, the Shreyas Folk Museum or the Kite Museum.

Day 3 - Sasan Gir
Depart early for your journey to to Sasan Gir (approximately 6–7 hours). It's a long but often pleasant journey, with scenery of green fields and quaint villages along the way.

Day 4 - Sasan Gir
Head into the Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary for a guided jeep safari this morning. This diverse wildlife area is home to Asia's largest population of wild lions, as well as other big cats, sambar deer, nilgai antelope and crocodiles. A lion sighting, with some luck, is sure to be a thrill. Keep an eye out for one of many different eagle species. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water today, as you'll be exposed to the sun for most of the day while on safari.

Day 5 - Dwarka
Continue to Dwarka (approximately 5–6 hours). This town is located at the far western tip of the Kathiawar peninsula. Visit the Dwarkadhish Temple, one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sights in the country. Then you'll explore the inside of a working lighthouse and meeting its keeper. You’ll also have time while you’re here to either relax or take part in optional water activities on the idyllic beaches of Okhamadhi or Shivrapur. If you do decide to go for a swim, remember to use adequate sun protection as the sun is strong.

Day 6 - Jamnagar
Take a last look around Dwarka in the early morning, then make the drive to Jamnagar (approximately 3–4 hours). Jamnagar is famous for its colourful tie-dyed cloth, produced using a process dating back over 500 years. The city’s bazaars are a great place to pick up something special. If you have the chance, visit Gujarat Ayurved University, the world’s first institution to teach traditional medicine, yoga and naturopathy according to ayurvedic principles. Walk the streets of the old city and discover Jain temples, colonial buildings and markets.

Day 7 - Bhuj
En route to Bhuj (approximately 5.5 hours in total), stop by the old walled citadel of Darbargadh which is still being restored after an earthquake in 2001. Peek into the former royal residences of the 17th and 19th centuries, the highlight being the Aina Mahal (Old Palace). Meet some of the local communities on a day tour out of Bhuj to the Banni grasslands. Depending on the season, you may get the chance to visit Jat, Ahir, Harijan or Rabari villages, which all have strong artisan and handicraft traditions. These are great places to stock up on souvenirs.

Day 8 - Bhuj
In the morning, visit the Kutch Museum to inspect ancient tribal artefacts and the world’s largest collection of Kshatrapa inscriptions. You’ll have the rest of the day to do as you please. Perhaps revisit the past at the Kutch Fossil Park or brave huge crowds for a peek at the Shree Swaminarayan Temple in the heart of Bhuj.

Day 9 - Bhuj
Enjoy a day of free time in Bhuj. Perhaps visit Prag Mahal which, though damaged by the 2001 earthquake, is an interesting place to explore. Here you can check out the eerie Durbar Hall and its broken chandeliers and old statues. Alternatively, visit the Folk Art Museum to see its high-quality displays, including mud huts. For some beautiful street food, head to Shankar Vadapav, which is quite the local institution.

Day 10 - Dasada
Journey into the desert landscape of Little Rann (approximately 6 hours). This is where the world's last remaining population of wild donkeys is. Travel by jeep safari into the Wild Ass Sanctuary to observe them in their natural habitat, and keep an eye out for gazelle, wolves and jackals. In the evening, set up camp near the village of Bajana. It can get quite cold here at night, so make sure you bring base layers and warm sleeping gear.

Day 11 - Udaipur
Settle in for the long drive to to Udaipur (approximately 7 hours). On arrival, take an orientation walk. Your time is then free to explore this stunning city as you please. Located by Lake Pichola, the town is lauded as one of the most romantic spots in India, with palaces, colourful bazaars, narrow alleys and beautiful gardens to discover.

Day 12 - Udaipur
With a free day, you might like to take up one of the many optional activities on offer. Take a boat ride out across Lake Pichola (depending on the season and the water level), a great way to see the marvellous island palaces off Jag Nivas and Jag Mandir. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a traditional concert that combines seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances. For more options, chat to your leader. 

Day 13 - New Delhi
Spend another free day in gorgeous Udaipur. Stroll around town, or perhaps venture further afield and check ot Jagmandir Island. Here you'll see some impressive stone elephants and an grandiose 17th-century tower. Alternatively, Sajjan Garh Wildlife Sanctuary makes a nice day trip for nature-lovers. Around 7pm you will catch an overnight train to Delhi (approximately 12 hours). It's long, but worth it! Train travel in India is an essential experience – a great insight into another side of local life.

Day 14 - New Delhi
Arrive in Delhi nice and early. Day rooms are available until midday, so you can freshen up and take a shower. Farewell your new friends as your trip comes to an end. Outgoing flights are best booked for after 1 pm. If you're staying on, dont forget to check out one of the excellent Urban Adventures on offer in Delhi

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