Treasures of Gujarat

India

Culture

Villages, temples, salt flats & the world's last Asiatic lions

14 days £2,345 pp (was £2,595 pp) This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Dates & Prices

Intro

SPECIAL OFFER: £250 OFF - MUST BOOK BY 28 FEBRUARY 2019

Gujarat is a treasure trove of history and culture. Begin your journey in Ahmedabad, the hometown of India’s founding father Mahatma Gandhi. Visit ornate marble and jewel studded temples before setting foot on the expansive, bewitching salt marsh in the Rann of Kutch. Make your way to the Banni villages and appreciate the famous art and craftsmanship of its people. Take a game drive in Gir National Park, the last domain of the endangered Asiatic lion. Catch the boat to Diu Island, a former Portuguese colony, before heading back home.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit Mahatma Gandhi's home in Ahmedabad
  • Trek the Rann of Kutch salt marsh
  • Kutch textiles and walled city of Bhuj
  • Spot endangered asiatic lions in Gir
  • Discover Portuguese fort on Diu Island

Places Visited

Ahmedabad - Little Rann of Kutch - Bhuj - Palitana - Gir National Park - Diu - Mumbai

What's Included

Airport pick-up and drop-off
Accommodation
Ground transport
Drivers and guides
Sightseeing & relevant entrance fees
Some meals (refer to itinerary)
Itinerary & Map
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Day 1 : Arrival

Arrive in Ahmedabad, where you will be met by a Travel The Unknown representative and transferred to your hotel. The evening is free to enjoy at your leisure. Overnight in Ahmedabad.

Meal plan: n/a

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Day 2 : Ahmedabad

Today you will be taken on a full day sightseeing tour of Ahmedabad, visiting sites such as Sabarmati Ashram, Hutheesing Jain Temples, Jama Mosque, Sarkez Roza and Dada Hari step well. Overnight in Ahmedabad.

Meal plan: Breakfast

The former capital of the state of Gujarat, Ahmedabad is one of the fastest growing cities of the last decade. It is located on the banks of the Sabarmati river and earned the nickname 'Manchester of the East' while under British rule for its developing textile industry. Ahmedabad is home to a fascinating mix of architecture, ranging from British colonial to early Indo-Saracenic.

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Day 3 : Ahmedabad - Little Rann of Kutch

In the morning you will drive to Little Rann of Kutch, stopping to visit Adalaj step well in village Adalaj, the UNESCO listed monument at Patan called Rani Ki Vav or the Queens step well, the Sun Temple at Modheraen route.  Overnight in Little Rann of Kutch.

Meal plan: Breakfast

The 11th-century Sun Temple at Modhera is easily one of the finest examples of devotion in Western India. Built by King Bhimdev with the aid of donations from the people, the temple features a beautiful domed central portion designed so that sun light falls on a bejewelled statue of the Hindu Sun-God Surya, to whom the temple is dedicated.

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Day 4 : Little Rann of Kutch

Today you will enjoy morning and evening jeep safari rides around Little Rann of Kutch's unique landscape. Overnight in Little Rann of Kutch.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Known as the last sanctuary for the Indian wild ass (Khur or Ghudkar), the Little Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh that was once part of the Arabian Sea. The only other two subspecies of wild asses live in the high arid plateaus of Tibet, making this the most accessible place to visit wild asses in their natural environment. More than a meter tall at the shoulder and two meters in length, wild asses are very agile and can run long distances at a speed of 50 km/h. This ability makes them more similar to wild horses and far more captivating than their domesticated cousins. The Little Rann spreads across nearly 5,000 km sq and plays an important part in the ecology of the Gujarat region. It is home to a variety of wildlife, such as the endangered Indian wolf, jackal, Indian fox, desert fox, chinkara and spiny-tailed lizard. 

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Day 5 : Little Rann of Kutch - Bhuj

Proceed to Bhuj. After checking in at your hotel, the rest of the day is free. Overnight in Bhuj.

Meal plan: Breakfast

The walled city of Bhuj is the headquarters of the Kutch district and is named after the Bhujia Fortress, which overlooks the city from a nearby hill. Bhuj is known for its wide variety of handicrafts, like Kutchi embroidery with mirror work and hand printed textiles. The region is littered with many sites associated with the Indus Valley Civilisation. 

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Day 6 : Bhuj

After breakfast, enjoy a full day excursion to the Banni villages and Dhordo. Return to Bhuj for overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 7 : Bhuj - Gondal

Depart from Bhuj to Gondal, arrive Gondal Check in and lunch. After Lunch proceed to visit the Khadi Plaza, Vintage car collection of the Maharaja of Gondal, also see the Royal salon of the maharaja of Gondal, visit Navlakha Palace which is converted in Museum, also visit the Ayurvedic pharmacy in Gondal, if time permits visit the Stud farm near Gondal. Overnight in Gondal. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 8 : Gondal – Palitana

Continue on to Palitana  and check in at your hotel on arrival.  Rest of the afternoon is at  leisure. Overnight in Palitana. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Palitana is the most sacred pilgrimage centre for Jains, with more than 1300 temples carved in marble. No one is allowed to sleep there overnight, including the priest, because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Gods.

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Day 9 : Palitana

Early Morning leave the hotel to visit the Jain Temples on top of the Mount total 856 jain temples. Return to hotel and relax. Later, you may like to explore the area on your own. Overnight in Palitana. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 10 : Palitana - Gir National Park

Depart for Gir National Park, check in at your hotel on arrival. Rest of the afternoon is at leisure or you can book an optional afternoon safari at Gir National Park (advance booking is recommended). Overnight in Gir National Park.

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

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Day 11 : Gir National Park

Today you will enjoy morning and evening jeep safari rides around Gir National Park and the lion sanctuary. Overnight in Gir National Park.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Home to the rare Asiatic lion, Gir National Park is comprised of 1412 square kilometres of deciduous forest interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen flora, acacia, scrub jungle, grasslands and rocky hills.  Outside of Africa, Gir National Park in Gujarat is the only place in the world where you can spot lions roaming free in the wild.  While there were approximately only 20 lions in the park during 1913, the 2015 census indicates there are now 523 of these magnificent creatures.  Gir Forest also provides homes to the chousingha – the world’s only 4-horned antelope, jackal, striped hyena and India fox.  The park, home to 200 species such as white-backed and long-billed vultures, has also been declared an important area by the Indian Bird Conservation Network.  Keep an eye out for more than 40 species of reptiles and amphibians near Kamleshwar, a large reservoir where you may spot a Marsh crocodile or snakes. 

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Day 12 : Gir - Diu

Optional morning safari at Gir National Park (advance booking is recommended). After breakfast, depart Gir National Park for the beach town of Diu. After check-in and lunch visit  St. Paul's Church, Diu Fort and Diu Museum. the rest of the day is free. Overnight the rest of the day is free. Overnight in Diu.

Meal plan: Breakfast

The tenth least populated district in India, it was the location of the Battle of Diu in 1509 between Portugal and the combined forces of Turkey, Egypt, Venice and the Sultan of Gujarat. Diu was once a city of great commercial activity and was given to the Portuguese as a reward for the military aid they gave the Sultan of Gujarat in 1535. It was in the possession of Portugal until 1961 and the country’s influence can be seen in its architecture with its fort and Baroque churches.

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Day 13 : Diu

Morning.  Visit the Fishing village at Wanakbara and see the fish being off loaded from the fishing boats and also see the market where fish is being auctioned. Return back to hotel where the rest of the day is free to enjoy at your leisure. If you wish to you can proceed to the sun set point in the evening to see the sun set. Overnight in Diu.

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 14 : Departure

You will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Mumbai. In Mumbai, connect with your onward flight.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Extensions

Kolkata & Sunderbans (6 days)

Discover colonial Kolkata and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

Beaches (1-7 days)

After exploring the busy cities, why not relax on one of India's beaches which are as much of a paradise as anywhere.

City Extensions (1-4 days)

Visit the must-see sights and the hidden depths of India's most vibrant cities.

Hill Stations & Mountains

Escape the city and unwind among some of the most breathtaking mountain and hill scapes the world has to offer.

The Golden Triangle (5 days)

Marvel at India's most incredible forts and palaces

Treks & Walks (1-12 days)

Himalayan treks, village walks and more

Himalayan Extension: Ladakh to Kashmir (5 days)

Travel across the spectacular Himalayan Highway

Indian Odyssey (29 days)

Experience the best of North and South India

Wildlife of Madagascar, India & Borneo (29 days)

Spot lemurs, tigers & orangutans

Highlights of the Subcontinent (22 days)

Discover iconic sights of India, Nepal & Bhutan

Wildlife of India & Borneo (21 days)

Get under the skin of Asia's two best wildlife spots.

Monks, Tribes & Rhinos (20 days)

Himalayan mountains, unseen tribes & amazing wildlife

Hill stations to the Himalayas (20 days)

Travel through the Himalayan foothills via Shimla & Amritsar to Ladakh

Classic Bhutan & Assam Cruise (18 days)

Experience Bhutan's rich culture, colonial Kolkata and rural life in Assam

Essential India & China (17 days)

Visit the two most populous countries on Earth.

Glimpse of India & Nepal (16 days)

Golden Triangle and the Himalayas

Essential India & Sri Lanka (16 days)

India's Golden Triangle & the best of Sri Lanka.

Textiles & Artisans of Gujarat & Rajasthan (16 days)

Nomadic tribes, traditional textiles, crafts & Mewar Festival

Nagaland: Festival of the Headhunters (15 days)

Aoling Festival, wildlife in Assam & natural beauty of Manipur

Rajasthan Explorer & Pushkar Camel Fair (15 days)

Fort cities, rural villages & camel fair

Kerala Calling (15 days)

Tropical mountains, tea & spice plantations, and backwaters

Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival (15 days)

Wildlife, tribes & rural life in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur

Taste of South India (15 days)

Experience the flavours and exotic spices of South India

Big Six of India (15 days)

Spot tigers, lions, leopards, buffalo, rhino & elephants

Taj, Tigers & Temples (14 days)

Perfect mix of classic sights and off-beat places for first-timers to India

Spirit of South India (14 days)

Temple towns of Tamil Nadu to backwaters of Kerala

Treasures of Gujarat (14 days)

Villages, temples, salt flats & the world's last Asiatic lions

Hampi and Beyond (14 days)

Discover Karnataka's stone temples, wildlife and coffee farms

Tribes of North East India (14 days)

Remote tribal cultures in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Nagaland

Sacred India (14 days)

Uncover the religious diversity of India

Big Cats of India (14 days)

Experience the thrill of the Indian jungle ...

Delicacies of North India (14 days)

Discover the huge diversity of North India's cuisine

Kashmir, Ladakh & The Hemis Festival (14 days)

Experience dramatic Himalayan scenery, Islamic & Buddhist cultures

Heart of India (14 days)

Lucknow, Varanasi & the wonders of Madhya Pradesh

Kerala & Karnataka Explorer (14 days)

Idyllic backwaters, tropical forests & ancient temple towns

Wildlife of North East India (14 days)

Diverse wildlife in Assam and the Sunderbans

Best of Bengal & Sikkim (14 days)

Colonial Kolkata, Darjeeling toy train & Buddhism

Tribal Orissa & Chhattisgarh (14 days)

Distinct tribal cultures, unique temples & traditional textiles

Kerala - Trekking the Western Ghats (13 days)

Explore this UNESCO biodiversity hotspot on foot

Hidden Rajasthan (13 days)

Rural villages, grand forts & wildlife

Markha Valley Trek (12 days)

Set foot in Ladakh's hidden Himalayan valleys

Glimpse of India (11 days)

Golden Triangle, tigers & exotic Goa

Essential Rajasthan (10 days)

Discover the forts, palaces, villages and desert of Rajasthan

Classic Kerala (10 days)

Tea, spices, backwaters & beaches

Living Bridges of Meghalaya (7 days)

Waterfalls, hills and living bridges in North East India

Reviews

I have been on 3 tailor made trips with Travel The Unknown and have found them to be knowledgeable and reliable. We`ve stayed in some wonderful places and have had some unusual and satisfying experiences that go beyond the standard tours.

Joan Edmunds (USA) , Tailormade India

I would highly recommend Travel the Unknown to anyone visiting India. The service we received both prior to, during and following our travels was always timely and excellent. We were able to customize our trip to our liking and to enjoy a wide variety of activities. The guides in every location were outstanding! Honestly. Having travelled through much of the world I can truly say that we have never been more impressed with the quality of the guides arranged for us in each location, as well as the service we received. Similarly, the hotels were excellent and allowed us to live very comfortably while, at the same time, enjoy an authentic Indian experience. If you haven`t already booked your trip with Travel the Unknown, then either do so now....or at least give them a chance to show you what they can offer.

Tracey & Gary , Tailormade India

A really well planned trip. We experienced life in Northeast India in just the way we wanted to. We loved the game reserves and saw a rock python which thrilled our guides as it is even rarer than the tiger! We visited villages and were able to interact with local people and loved the busy markets in Delhi and Calcutta. A special highlight was the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland; shown to us by our very own Naga guide Kezo. Kezo accompanied us for 15 days of our trip and ensured that we had many very special experiences - even taking us to the home of one of his Aunts where we spent a couple of hours sitting by the bonfire chatting.

Ann Holgate , Tailormade India

Thank you for organising our holiday in Kerala. I certainly wouldn`t have had the time or the knowledge to put together such a trip. Munnar was my favourite and the accommodation throughout was excellent.

Vik , Kerala Calling, India

What an excellent service! Rahul adapted, extended and improved our trip so many times without a qualm and we ended up with the trip of a lifetime. The destinations are unusual and interesting but everything has been checked out by the team and works brilliantly. I can`t wait to do another trip.

Penelope Smith , Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival, India

The tour was an amazing experience for our first visit to India. The country, its people and its cuisine were friendly,delightful, colourful and exceeded all our expectations. Travel the Unknown have put together a superb unique package that we have no hesitation in recommending to anyone with an interest in food and culture.

Elaine & Neil Smith , Delicacies of North India, India

I`m sure I could not have found a better operator for the type of complicated Indian tour I wanted to undertake on a limited budget. India is an intimidating country to visit, and I suspect that some operators look down on the first time visitor, or disparage their requirements. Travel the Unknown, by contrast, helped me all the way, and their local guides were superb.

Andrew Martin , Tailormade North East India

This was a very varied and interesting trip to a forgotten part of India. If you like off the beaten track travel it is definitely worth the effort but go with an open mind and keep a smile on your face.

Richard Williams , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

This was my first experience of using Travel the Unknown having enjoyed small group adventure holidays for many years. I was attracted to the company because it seeks out the more unusual and lesser known areas of a country and I was not disappointed by my visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. There is a clear contrast between the people and the scenery of these two regions and we saw very few western tourists particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. The tour was well organised with plenty to see and do.

Keith Lewis , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

This trip was very well put together and ticked all the boxes that we had requested. The accommodation throughout the tour was of a high standard and our experiences in the national parks was wonderful spotting many different animals including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, lions, jungle cat plus countless number of birds. Thank you Rahul for tailoring this trip to our requirements.

Nigel & Margaret Turner , Tailormade India Wildlife & Birding tour

Another great trip from Travel the Unknown. I would recommend this company to anyone who wants to move outside the boundaries of the usual tourist itinerary.

Catherine Crawford , Kashmir & Ladakh Explorer, India

We went on the Spirit of South India Tour and had a great time on our honeymoon. There was a good variety of places visited and the hotels, drivers and guides were all very good. We would definitely recommend this tour.

Rachel , Spirit of South India, India
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