Gujarat Culture and Festival Tour

Gujarat with its foggy hill stations, captivating beaches, historical monuments, white desert, pilgrimage sites, rich wildlife, and colourful fairs capture the heart of every tourist. In addition, a variety of festivals, lively markets, vibrant lifestyle, and traditional Indian hospitality will make your experience as “Gujarat truly unforgettable and fantastic” 

 

02nd January 

Day 1. Arrive in Ahmedabad, assist on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon tour of the Sarkhej mausoleum complex and the Vishala Village complex with its superb utensils museum. Stay at House of Mangaldas Girdhardas, a heritage hotel owned by a former textile industrialist family. Visit the nearby mosques.

 

03rd January 

Day 2. Post breakfast drive to Poshina North of Gujarat visiting Modhera Sun temple constructed in 1026-27 AD, the complex has shrine hall, assembly hall and the reservoir. The pillars and exteriors of the halls are intricately carved, there are many beautiful small shrines in & around the reservoir and has numerous steps to go down the bottom. Drive further to visit Patan, Where you can see Patola weavers and Rani Ki Vav ‘Patan-Stepwell’ – one of the nicest monuments of Gujarat. Intricately built Step Well of Patan called Rani Ki Vav was built by Queen Udayamati in the 11th century in memory of her husband Kind Bhimdev. This stepped monument has marvellous sculptures of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Continue to Poshina. Stay at Darbargadh.

 

04th January 

Day 3.  Post breakfast visit the main street of Poshina in front of the hotel to see the Garcia girls carrying the woods from the jungle to sell them in the market. Later visit the Garcia villages as well as the Adivasi (ancient inhabitants) hamlets. Garcia’s reside both in Rajasthan and Gujarat in mountains and are quite colourful, whereas Adivasi are simpler ones but both of these tribes depend on farming and animal husbandry. Visit the terracotta temple dedicated to a local village deity – you can here see the thousands of terracotta horses. The locals believe that the Goddess fulfils their wishes and they offer terracotta horses in return to please her with rituals. Post Lunch trip to Ambaji Temple - Ambaji Temple is Temple Goddess of Power - You will find some good tribal women and girls here selling fruits and vegetables. Return to Hotel. The day at Leisure.

 

05th January 

Day 4. Today you will be visiting some of the beautiful Rabari villages like Babar Unnh and Bhelgav – Stay at Balaram Palace

 

06th January 

Day 5. Post breakfast drive to the Little Rann of Kutch – Check into your hotel pre-booked – Post Lunch visits Little Rann of Kutch for a village safari to see communities like Mir, Bharwad, Rabari, and Bajanias. You will be visiting the Agayari Community-engaged in Salt Farming. Return to the Resort. Dinner and overnight at The Royal Safari Camp.

 

07th January 

Day 6. Breakfast at Hotel and drive to Bhuj - This is a photographic journey where you can see the Banjara communities travelling on camels, Wind Mills, and Salt Pans, You can also visit the Salt Pans. Continue to Bhuj Enroute visit Dhaneti for Ahir Tribes

08th January 

Day 7. After early breakfast, today, visit the tribal village of Jat community where the women wear big nose rings, later visit Pathan community Tribal village and other tribal villages of Banni Region of Kutch. After lunch, continue to Khavda to see Potters and Samma and Sodha tribe. The men hear put Heena on their hair and beards. They are tall like Afghans and wear Salwar and Kurta mostly in yellow, blue, pink and black colours. Later leave for Kala Dungar to view the beautiful sunset at the Indo-Pakistan border. (Last point for no man’s land), one can also see the salt desert. The view from the black mountain is commanding and the landscaping from Khavda to Kala Dungar is so special. Stay at Hodka

 

09th January 

Day 8. Post early breakfast visit Dhordo – The area which has White Rann, You can see Mutwa Muslim Community - They are one of several communities of Maldhari pastoral nomads. Continue to Bhuj en-route visiting Nirona Village to see the Rogan painting by the Khatri family in Nirona village. Rogan Art of Nirona Village is rarest in the world and probably the only place to see it. Visit the copper bell making process by the Lohar tribe and the Vadha tribe who transform wood into a household with bright colours. Evening explores the local markets of the Bhuj area along with your camera, you might get some wonderful clicks of Tribal women near Bhuj State Transport Bus Stand. Stay in Bhuj.

 

10th January 

Day 9. Early breakfast and drive to Gir National Park – This is a very long drive, you will be visiting some beautiful towns of Morbi and Wankaner en route. Arrive at Gir National Park – Stay at Gir.

 

11th January 

Day 10. Morning Safari in Gir National Park in search of Asiatic Lions, Leopards, Spotted Deers, residents, and migratory birds. Return to your Lodge. Post breakfast visiting the surrounding areas of Gir to see the Siddi and Maldhari Tribes. Continue to Diu en route visit Somnath Temple. Day free near the Beach. Stay at Beach Resort in Diu.

 

12th January 

Day 11. Today visit Vanakbara Village - Vanakbara is a fascinating little fishing village to see the Kharwa Community with colourful fishing boats and bustling activity – best from 7.00 Am to 8.00 Am when the fishing fleet returns and sells off its catch. Drive to Palitana.

 

13th January 

Day 12. Post very early breakfast today Ascend the Shatrunjaya Hill near Palitana town to see the huge complex of about 863 temples crowning two ridges of the summit. The city of the same name, known previously as Padliptapur, has been dubbed "The City of Temples". Shatrunjaya means a "place of victory against inner enemies" or "which conquers inner enemies". The stunningly beautiful Temples of Palitana are an important pilgrimage for the Jains. Located on Shatrunjaya hills. The main temple is situated at a height that can be reached by traversing about 3500 steps from the foothills. The main temple is dedicated to the first Tirthankara, Rishabhanath. The temples are believed to have been renovated about sixteen times since then.

It is also the most expensive, and the most beautiful, this, however, is my own opinion. Palitana is the base town, and the temple complex is about a six-kilometre (5000 steps) trek away on Shatrunjaya hill. The complex is believed to house about 3500 Shwetambar Jain temples and one Digambar Jain temple. The temple construction is believed to have started about 900 years ago in the 11th Century AD.

These temples have a unique architectural style. The ornamentation is such that in sunlight their appear to have been made up of ivory. One of the temples, Adishwar is considered to be the holiest one among all. The other temples include Sampriti Raj, Adinath, Kumar pal, and Bimal Shah. The images of the deity are made up of marble and are beautified by gold ornaments studded with precious stones.

 

The Jain temple of the Digambar is one of the ancient temples. It contains nine shrines with several idols of the Tirthankara encrypted on them. The main temple consists of the idol of Bhagwan Shantinath. This idol is 42 inches in height and is made up of pure white marble. In this temple beautiful idols of Bhima, Arjun and Yudhisthir have also been installed.

 

Drive Ahmedabad This is an important evening for you. Where you can see the Amdavadis are all set to celebrate the festival of Kites the next day 14th January 2020. You can see people making a last-minute purchase of Kites, Manja, and other accessories to celebrate the festival of kites. You can also witness in the vegetable market where women are cherry-picking vegetables for making 'Undhiyu'. A Gujarati Mix Vegetable Dish to eat at the festival of Uttarayan. Stay at Mangaldas Ni Haveli.

 

14th January 

Day 13. Today early morning post breakfast reach Swami Narayan Temple by 7.30 Am to enjoy Guided Morning Heritage walk in Ahmedabad. This walking tour offers an opportunity to see the old quarters of Ahmedabad lined with the beautifully carved wooden facades of Havelis. This walk ends at Jumma Mosque by 10.00 am…. Walkthrough the old walled city via the Teen Darwaja area and Bhadrakali Temple. Arrive at GreenHouse for Tea / Coffee and Snacks. Later visit Siddi Sayed Mosque. We shall make special arrangements for you from this afternoon till evening to be a part of the Kite Flying Festival. Stay in Ahmedabad.

 

15th January 

Day 14. Post breakfast today you will be visiting Hutheesingh Jain Temple, Gandhi Ashram and Adalaj Stepwell. Return to your hotel for Rest. Today late evening visit to Bhatiyar Gali in Ahmedabad comes into life in the evening. The narrow lane and adjoining alleyways prepare meaty delights in their stalls. It is famous for its 600-year old tradition of mouth-watering non-vegetarian delicacies and Manek Chowk - This bustling open square near the centre of the city functions as a vegetable market in the morning and a jewellery market in the Afternoon, the second biggest in India, at an apparently 3 million rupees of annual turnover. It is most famous, however, for its food stalls that start to emerge around 8 in the evening, with various local street snacks and goodies. Return to your hotel. Overnight in Ahmedabad.

 

16th January 

Day 15. Post breakfast drive to Vadodara – Check into your hotel pre-booked. Post lunch visit Laxmi Vilas Palace and Museum {Closed On every Monday & Public Holiday}, later visit the Tambekar Wada. It is a three-storied building which is a typical Maratha Mansion, which was once the residence of Bhau Tambekar. Inside of Wada, There are some of the most beautiful but decaying 19th Century murals. The Building is almost 140+ Years Old. Evening free to walk in Vadodara City. Stay at Express Towers.

 

17th January 

Day 16. Today should be Saturday or Monday, Post breakfast drive to Tribal villages in Central Gujarat, in these markets, different tribes of Gujarat gather like Rathwas, Bhils, and Nayaks. Rathwa is a prominent tribe of this area, where the men wear red turban tied in a particular style, whereas the women are seen in a knee-length skirt, colourful blouses, and silver jewellery. These tribes live in small villages and come here to sell the vegetables, grains and other products in the market and buy the grocery items and other daily use things from the weekly Haats. After witnessing the tribal Haat, visit the tribal museum in Chotta Udepur, which has a good collection of tribal items and also the model huts of Rathwas and Nayakas showing their lifestyle. After lunch stop at a Rathwa house to see the wall paintings known as Pithora – it is more a ritual than art performed in Rathwa houses. The family performs this ritualistic art for happiness, wellbeing, to make a wish or to cure the animals or family members. Pithora paintings are on the main walls of the houses where the people sit or enter. In these paintings, you will not find nature but the horses, a bull, elephant, and goats, etc., these figures are the vision of God. Stay at a Home for Nature Lovers.

 

18th January 

Day 17. Post early breakfast visit The World Heritage Site of Champaner – Pavagadh archaeological park, which has magnificent works of Indo-Saracenic architecture, Drive to Ahmedabad. Day free. Dinner on your own – Stay in Ahmedabad.

 

19th January 

Day 18. Early breakfast and later proceed to the Airport for onward journey.