Colorful Gujarat and Rajasthan Tour
Ahmedabad – Palitana – Bhavnagar – Sasan Gir – Jamnagar – Bhuj –
Nakhatrana – Ahmedabad – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer –
Bikaner – Jaipur – Agra – Delhi
22 Nights & 23 Days
Day 01 : Arrival Ahmedabad
Meeting and assistance on arrival at the International airport, our representative welcome and escort you by a private car and transfer to the hotel, whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would hand over the documents and brief the tour programme to you. Overnight at the hotel.
Ahmedabad, founded in the year 1411 AD is located on the banks of river Sabarmati. Ahmedabad has been named after Sultan Ahmed Shah, who was primarily responsible for building it. Today, this city is known as the 'Manchester of the East'. One of the highly industrialized cities in India, Ahmedabad is also India's Textile City. The old city of Ahmedabad is dotted with labyrinthine bylanes called 'pols'. The exquisite carved wooden mansions and havelis are in no manner less than their stone counterparts in Rajasthan. The city is full of architectural delights. Though the capital of Gujarat was shifted from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar, it is still the second largest industrial city in western India.
Day 02 : Ahmedabad
After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of Ahmedabad visiting the magnificent Mosque of Siddi Saiyad with its exquisite stone carvings, the beautiful Jama Masjid, white marbled Hathee Singh's Temple, Dada Hari Baoli, Shaking Minarets, Calico Textile Museum and Sabarmati Ashram started by Mahatma Gandhi, Kankaria Lake – The circular lake having an island garden in the middle. Later visit the famous AkshardhamTemple (32 kms: 1 hrs one way) the holy shrine houses not only the 7 feet gold statue of Lord Swaminarayan, but it houses three exhibition halls highlighting the richness of Indian Culture. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 03 : Ahmedabad – Palitana – Bhavnagar (200 kms: 4 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Bhavnagar stopping Enroute visit Palitana– the Place of Victory, Visit the exclusive Jain temples. After visit continue to drive to Diu. On arrival, transfer o the resort. Rest of the evening is free for rest and relaxation. Overnight at the hotel.
Amongst all the Jain temples, Palitana temples are considered to be the most sacred. Located on Shetrunjaya hills there are 863 temples, exquisitely carved in marble. No one is allowed to sleep overnight including the priest, because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Gods. The town is considered by many Jains to be more important than the temple covered hills of Bihar, Gwalior, Mt Abu and Girnar. Palitana was the capital of a princely state of the Gohil Rajput clan. It is also one of the greatest tourist attractions in Gujarat for foreign tourists.
Bhavnagar: An 18th century city, Bhavnagar is a premier cotton-exporting sea-port on the south-eastern Saurashtra coast. Today, Bhavnagar is known for Gandhi Smriti, an institution built in memory of Mahatma Gandhi, the Barton Museum, the Central Salt and Marine Research Institute,Takhteswar temple and Gauri-Shankar lake.
Day 04 : Bhavnagar – Sasan Gir Forest (240 kms: 5 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Sasan Gir. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later take a jeep safari to the park, which is the entrance to the 1412 sq. km Gir National Park and the Wild Life Sanctuary, the last stronghold of the Lion population outside Africa. It also plays home to a large number of Panthers, Hyenas, Deer, the world's only 4-horned Antelope, Blue Bull, Wild Boar and the dangerous Marsh Crocodile. Dinner and Over night at the jungle resort.
Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary, which lies on the southwestern fringes of the Saurashtra Peninsula (west-central India), is the last home of some 300 Asiatic lions. It was created in 1913 to protect the largest surviving groups of the Asiatic lions. It was given a sanctuary status in 1965. The vegetation in the area consists of teak with a mixture of deciduous trees, including sal (Shorea), dhak (Butea frondosa), and thorn forests. A few springs also exist, but their flow is rather eccentric depending upon the season. Gir Forest is today the only place in the world outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in his natural habitat.
Day 05 : Sasan Gir Forest –Jamnagar (240 kms: 5 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Jamnagar. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Rest of the evening is free for individual activities.
Jamnagar, historically called Nawanagar or the new city, was one of the most important princely states of Saurashtra. According to Pauranik literature, Lord Krishna established his kingdom at Dwarka, now in Jamnagar district, after his migration from Mathura and it is to this great Yadava race that the Jams of Nawanagar trace their descent.
Day 06 : Jamnagar – Marine Nature Reserve (30 kms: 1 hr) – Jamnagar
After breakfast, take an excursion to 162.89 Square Kilometers of Marine National Park and 457.92 Square Kilometers of Marine Sanctury in the Gulf of Kutch. This is one of the rare places in the world where one can look at corals without having to dive down into the water. One just has to walk in the water, when the tide ebbs, in about 1 to 2 feet of water and watch this facinating underwater world of corals. One can see, octopus, jelly fish, star fish, colourful corals, exotic marine flowering plants, puffer fish, sea horse, huge green sea turtles, lobsters, dolphins, etc. And if one is very lucky then maybe a dugong which resembles seals. Later drive back to Jamnagar for overnight stay.
Day 07 : Jamnagar – Bhuj – Banni Region (Kutch) 330 kms: 7-8 hrs)
After early breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Bhuj. On arrival visit the District Collector’s office to procure several permissions to visit the prohibited area in Kutch sector. Later check in to the resort. In the evening enjoy the cultural dance and performance at the resort. Overnight at the resort.
Day 08 : Banni Region (Kutch)
Early morning Pick up at the resort and head out by jeep to the wetlands of Chhari Dhand, where you spend the morning with a naturalist guide observing the great variety of resident and migratory birds found in this area, including the Raptor, Common Crane, and Grey Hypocolius among others. Return to the resort. After relaxation head out from the resort by chhakda, a 3 wheel vehicle typical of Kachchh, to visit different hamlets and areas of the Hodka village, accompanied by a local guide or bhomiya. You visit different faliyas or families to see their nicely decorated and painted mud houses, learn about their livelihoods and customs and admire their fine embroideries and leather works which you can also buy directly from them. You are also taken to a virda or well where you learn about the ancient process of water harvesting in the Banni dry-lands and to Sarguvaro Dhand, a flat and dry extension of land similar to the Great Rann of Kachchh, to enjoy the particular landscape.
Day 09 : Banni Region (Kutch) - Great Rann of Kutch – Banni Region (Kutch)
After breakfast, head out by jeep to explore the Paccham region and the proximities of the Great Rann of Kutch. Visit Dhordo to see beautiful traditional mud houses (Bhungas) with mirror work and fine Mutwa embroidery with tiny mirrors; Bhirandiara, a small settlement of Muslim shepherds; Ludia to see their traditional painted mud houses, Meghwal embroidery and wood carving crafts; and Khavda to see its pottery work. A packed lunch is taken under the shade of a tree. After lunch, we drive to India Bridge, the last civilian point before the Pakistani border. Later you undertake a 2-hour camel safari or jeep safari along the edge of the Karo Dungar (Black Hill) and the Great Rann of Kachchh. For sunset, we will drive you to the Dattatray temple at the top of the Karo Dungar (Black Hill), from where you will have the best views of the Great Rann. Return to the resort for overnight.
Day 10 : Banni Region (Kutch) – Ahmedabad (460 kms: 6-7 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Ahmedabad. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Rest of the evening is free for shopping at the local markets. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11 : Ahmedabad – Udaipur (252 kms: 6 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Udaipur. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later in the evening you can take Boat ride at Lake Pichola and also opt for dinner at Lake Palace Hotel, located amidst the Lake. Overnight at the hotel.
Udaipur: On the banks of the shimmering lake Pichola, is one of the most romantic cities of Rajasthan. Nestled among the lush hills of the Aravali, it has inevitably been dubbed the 'Venice of the East'. It is a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carries the flavor of the heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Founded in 1568 A.D by Maharana Udai Singh, the city is a harmonious Indian blend of whitewashed buildings, marble palaces, lakeside gardens, temples and Havelis. According to the legend, Maharana Udai Singh, the founder was hunting one day, when he met a holy man meditating on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichola. Maharana followed the advice of the hermit and founded the city. The marvelous architecture of the palaces is spelled bounding.
Day 12 : Udaipur
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Udaipur, visiting City Palace built in 1559, a small palace over looking at the Lake Pichola, the additions were made to it by successive Kings of Udaipur gradually evolved become the larges place in Rajasthan, Main attraction of Place are Durbar Hall, Crystal Gallery, Palace Museum and Jagdish Temple. Later visit Saheli Ki Bari that is a small ornamental garden built in the honour of Royal Ladies for recreational purpose and visit Lok Kala Mandal collection of folk art items like folk dresses, ornaments, puppets ,masks, dolls folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings. Opened seven days a week, puppet shows and folk dancing are conducted every evening from 1800 to 1900 in an adjacent open air theatre. & Shilpgram to see the village arts & crafts. Followed by visit to Eklingji & Nagda Temples - built in white marble with a double storied porch on the bank of Lake Bageela - 22 kms from Udaipur. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13 : Udaipur – Jodhpur (276 kms: 6 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Jodhpur En route visiting the Jain temples at Ranakpur Temples of 12 Century – The cluster of temples, made of intricately sculpted white marble, built out of marbles with 108 carved pillars each carved differently from others, Come across as a marvellous feat of architecture. One can have lunch at Maharani Bagh Hotel in Ranakpur and visit to local families on the way. After visit continue to drive to Jodhpur on arrival transfer to the hotel. In the evening you may opt to visit On the Rocks a garden restaurant serving ethnic food followed by live music and folk dance, located at Ajit Bhawan. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Jodhpur: The home of Rathors – The awesome princely city of Rajasthan. Founded in 1459 A.D. by Rao Jodha, today Jodhpur is one of the largest city of Rajasthan. Once the capital city of the Marwar State, crowning it is the imposing Mehrangarh Fort. The old city is situated at foothill of a hillock. The city built in a high wall 10kms, long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions. Umaid Bhawan Palace could be defined as Taj Mahal of North India. The city carries rich heritage and culture and flourishing industry of wood, cattle, camels, salt and agricultural crops.
Day 14 : Jodhpur
After breakfast take a sight seeing tour of Jodhpur including Clock Tower, Mehrangarh Fort situated at an altitude of about 125 meters and is spread over an area of 5 sq. km and it has seven gates, Jaswant Thada is a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, followed by visit to Umaid Bhawan Palace which is a majestic Palace building that presently functions as a hotel and museum. Later take an excursion to Bishnoi Village, the villagers known by cast “Bishnois” Protectors of animals, of course they are vegetarians and therefore they have great respect for all living things. Sure they keep buffaloes, sheep and goats but only for the milk, the wool and the manure. Later visit to the local handicrafts viz shoe makers, pottery hand weaving and also men in their traditional attire, women clad with ancestral silver Jewellery, en-route watch and photograph wildlife black buck, chinkaras, peacock etc. freely moving in abundance of care by villagers. After visit drive back to Jodhpur for overnight stay at the hotel.
Bishnoi Village: A survivor of a great famine, which raged in 1485, already thought the principles of the ecology of centuries ago. His name: Jambeshwar or Jambhoji. He observed that the famine was the result of the deforestation in the region (already at that time!). He formulated a list of 29 rules, among other things don't kill any animals, don't cut down green trees, take from the fields only what you need, etc. These 29 rules (Bish-noi means '29' in the Hindi language) form the base of the Bishnoi-philosophy. Of course they are vegetarians and therefore they have great respect for all living things. Sure they keep buffaloes, sheep and goats but only for the milk, the wool and the manure. The last one they use as fuel and as construction material for they houses. The Bishnoi people accordingly expect that the tourist respect their way of life, the nature.
Day 15 : Jodhpur – Jaisalmer (290 kms: 6 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Jaisalmer en route visit to Osian Village, ruins of an ancient city called Osian, an oasis in the desert, A drive to this ancient township takes one past undulating terrain, punctuated by desert stretches and little hamlets. Osian has 15 beautifully sculpted Jain and Brahmanical temples. Of these, the most outstanding ones are the earlier Surya or Sun Temple and the later Kali temple, Sachiya Mata Temple and the main temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. In the evening you can visit Gadisar Lake in the main city or the local market to acclimatize with the city atmosphere. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Jaisalmer, the city of the golden fort is a fantasy in yellow sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. Rawla Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput King, founded the city in the year 1156 A.D. Perched atop the Trikuta Hill; it stands tall against miles of gleaming sand. The sunset has a peculiar glow here. As the night descends, the sky goes up in flames, which fade leaving a few embers, till it becomes black. A breathtaking sight indeed! Every house, here, is exquisitely carved, having filigreed work all over. These houses date back to 12th – 15th century. And hence Jaisalmer is called ’the Museum city’.
Day 16 : Jaisalmer
After breakfast take a sight seeing tour of Jaisalmer covering Jaisalmer Fort - built on the highest point of the Tricuta hill, consisting of 99 bastions. Outstanding features are Megh Durbar & various temples, Salim Singh-Ki-Haveli & Patwon-Ki-Haveli - some of the beautiful mansions with stone carving and latticework of breath taking intricacy. Later after lunch drive to Sam Sand Dunes - 45 kms en route visit the ancient Temple of Lodurwa, Amar Sagar and Mool Sagar Complex, built in 1815 AD, The complex also houses a summer palace where some beautiful paintings and pictures are displayed. On arrival at Sam Sand Dunes and transfer on Camels and enjoy camel safari to discover the various sights and sounds, the ruins and the temples in and around Jaisalmer in an authentic and leisurely fashion with entertainment by folk performers, visits to villages, and chatter from colorful guides thrown in. After safari drive back to Jaisalmer for overnight stay. Overnight at the hotel.
Note: Optionally you can stay overnight at the Sam Sand dunes in luxury tented accommodation, enjoying the starry night with ethnic food, folk dances, bone fire and camel safari in dues in nights hours.
Day 17 : Jaisalmer – Bikaner (330 kms: 7 hrs)
After breakfast checkout & drive to Bikaner, en route visit to the massive Fort Pokharan, the town Pokhran came to the limelight when several nuclear tests were conducted here during the 1970's and the 1990's. Pokharan Fort is Built in 1532-1584 the yellow sandstone Pokhran fort, though not as grand a fort as some of the others in Rajasthan has a few exquisite palaces like the Mangal Niwas, the Rani Mahal and the Phool Niwas or the Flower Palace, visit to Pokhran Museum: housed inside the fort’s premises is fairly small and contains an assortment of weapons, paintings, pottery and the costumes which the Maharajas wore. After visit continues to drive to Bikaner. On arrival transfer to hotel. The evening free for leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Bikaner: This is 500-year-old town standing still in time. The rulers here built beautiful forts that echo of opulence and images of monsoon clouds in this dry land. The wealth of its architectural heritage lies in its forts, palaces and temples– magnificent creations in red and yellow sandstone, are living. Here is a temple where rats are held sacred. Today the city is known for flourishing industries of food, wool and camel breeding .The genesis of Bikaner dates back to 1488A.D, when a Rathors prince, Rao Bikaji, son of Rao Jodhaji of Jodhpur, chose a barren wilderness called ’Jangladesh’ and transformed it to a charming city called ’Bikaner’, after the founder’s name. Not only do the traditions come alive here in colourful bazaars and Havelis, Bikaner is also famous for the best riding camels in the world.
Day 18 : Bikaner – Jaipur (350 kms: 8 hrs)
After breakfast take a sight seeing tour of Bikaner covering Junagadh Fort - constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, fort has a 986 meter long wall with 37 bastions & two entrances, Bhand Sagar Temple - The 16th century Jain temple, is the most important temple of this complex. Later check out the hotel and drive to Jaipur en route visit Deshnok to see the world famous rat Temple of Karnimata - at this temple rats are held sacred & roam freely within the temple complex. After visit continue to drive to Jaipur, if time permit you can take a stop over at Mandawa visiting old havelis. After visit continue to drive to Jaipur, on arrival transfer to the hotel. In the evening visit to Birla Temple, speculator marble temple, glitters in the in the night, later at the time of dinner visit to Chokhi Dhani - an ethnic 5 star resort serving Rajasthani & Continental cuisine with live music, astrology, games, folk dances and music, puppet shows in an ambiance of an ethnic village. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Jaipur, Widely known as the ‘Pink City. This city is color washed pink to welcome Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England who visited India in 1883 A.D. The city was founded in 1727 A.D by one of the greatest ruler Jai Singh II. Jaipur is surrounded by hills on three sides, crowned by formidable forts and majestic palaces, mansions and gardens. Jaipur is the only city in the world, which is sub-divided in to nine rectangular sectors symbolizing nine divisions of universe. Jaipur is the first planned city designed in accordance with ‘Shilpa Shastra’- epochal treatise of Hindu architecture.
Day 19 : Jaipur
Today after breakfast explore the Pink City with an excursion to Amber Fort, situated just outside the city, enjoy the experience of ride on elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated. Afternoon sightseeing tour of City Palace in the heart of Jaipur is known for its blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Not far away is the Central Museum. Jantar Mantar is the largest of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh. The Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds was constructed for the royal ladies to watch the royal processions without being seen, all monuments are located in the vicinity of City Palace Complex of Jaipur. Later late afternoon is kept free to visit the famous Markets of Textiles, Gems, Carpets, and handicrafts. Jaipur is an ideal place for buying souvenirs. In the evening take a cycle rickshaw ride to explore the colourful market of Jaipur city. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 20 : Jaipur – Agra (230 kms: 5 hrs):
After breakfast drive to Agra. En route visit the Old Deserted Town of Mughal Dynasty - Fatehpur Sikri built in red sandstone in honour of Saint Salim Chisti who foretold the birth of 3 sons to Emperor Akbar, is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Each important edifice here represents a type by itself. Notable among them is the Diwan-e-Khas; Punch Mahal, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and the Bulund Darwaza. After visit, continue to proceed to Agra. On arrival transfer to the hotel. In the evening you may visit to the souvenirs market of Agra, one should visit Oswal Emporium where they have built a Mini Taj Mahal inside their showroom and it took 10 years for the artists to complete the mini replica of the Taj. Overnight at the hotel.
Agra is famous as being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World-the Taj Mahal. A pleasant town with comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendant of those who worked under the Mughals. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes. Agra, and the nearby city of Fatehpur Sikri, is conveniently close to Delhi. Besides the Taj Mahal are Agra Fort, Sikandra, Ram Bagh and Itmad-Ud-Daulah.-35 kms away are the imperial ruins of the Mughal city,FatehpurSikri. Agra is an old city and it is said that its name was derived from Agrabanad, a forest that finds mention in the epic Mahabharata.
Day 21 : Agra – Delhi (200 kms: 4 hrs)
Early morning visit to witness incomparable Taj Mahal with its’ speculative view at the time of Sunrise. Taj Mahal, the architectural modern day wonder of the world; this monument is a fine example of the fusion of many architectural styles is one of the wonders of the modern world. Taj, endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world. The tour continues with a visit Agra Fort, designed and built by Akbar in 1565 A.D., built with barricaded wall of red sand stone; it houses the beautiful Pearl Mosque and numerous palaces including the Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, Macchhi Bhawan, Nagina Masjid, Meena Bazar, Moti Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, Musamman Burj where from Taj Mahal is visible in all its beauty from one side of the fort. So very ironically, Emperor Sahahjahan, prisoner of his son Aurangzeb in his old age was put in a cell from where he could gaze at the Taj Mahal at a distance, from his cell in the fort. After visit drive to Delhi. On arrival transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.
Note: Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday.
Day 22 : Delhi
After breakfast take sightseeing tour of historic city visiting Old Delhi: the majestic Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, both built by emperor Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame, Rajghat - memorial of Mahatma Gandhi & a Rickshaw ride past through the silver street in Chandani Chowk, Later New Delhi to include Rashtrapati Bhawan, one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys; the India Gate, a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war; the Laxmi Narayan Temple, built by the Birlas, one of India’s leading industrial families; Humayun’s Tomb, lotus shaped Bhai’s Temple , Qutub Minar , built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty; in the evening you can visit to see light and sound show at Red fort. Return to the hotel for overnight at the hotel. Light and Sound Show: A spectacular sound and light show at the Red Fort. Which makes the 5,000 years old history of the city come alive. Amidst the tranquility of the splendidly panoramic and historic environs of the Red Fort, select episodes from the annals of Delhi's historic and legendary past are vividly brought to life. Special effects combine with the unique ambience to make this show a hauntingly unforgettable experience.
Day 23 : Delhi – Hometown (By Air)
**** Back home with great memories. ****
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