Gujarat! Where Stories were born…..

More than 600-year-old Walled City of Ahmedabad founded by Ahmed Shah has been declared India’s first World Heritage City, recognizing the heritage value of the walled city’s unique heritage. “For over 600 years, Ahmedabad has stood for peace, as a landmark city where Mahatma Gandhi began India’s freedom struggle. It has stood for unity with its elegant carvings in its Hindu and Jain temples as well as standing as one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture and Hindu Muslim art.

 

Day 01. Arrive at Ahmedabad Airport you will meet our representative here who will hand over your original travel documents and introduce you to the driver. Transfers to the hotel. Post early lunch first you will be visiting the Gandhi Ashram it is located by the banks of River Sabarmati and it has a rich history being the epicentre of Mahatma’s activities during those revolutionary times. Gandhi Ashram still serves as the model of non-violence and echoes Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of simple living and high thinking. The Ashram is now the Gandhi Memorial Museum. Plenty of things to see here, especially Hriday Kunj, Gandhiji’s cottage, Nandini – the guest room where Indian and International visitors were accommodated, Vinoba Kutir – where Vinoba Bhave lived or Mira Kutir – where sister Mira, the daughter of a British Admiral lived.

Later drive towards Gandhinagar visiting Adalaj Stepwell also known as “Adalaj Ni Vav” constructed in 1498. A five-story stepwell was built by Mahmud Begada for his queen Rudabai. Due to this reason, this stepwell is also known as Rudabai Ni Vav. This stepwell has intricately carved designs on stones and pillars, thus giving this step well a rich look. Continue to Gandhinagar to visit the Akshardham Temple {Closed every Monday}. See the main statue of Lords Swami Narayan and at sunset enjoy the SAT CHIT ANAND water show. It is a breathtaking 45-minute presentation, which brings to life an age-old tale from the Kathopanishad. The Sat-Chit-Anand water show instantly captivates you with its 80ft wide x 60ft high water screen, multi-colour lasers, video and light projections, fireballs and underwater flames, water jets, and surround sound symphony. Experience the enlightenment that is the Sat-Chit-Anand Water Show. Transport yourself to the land of death and watch fearless Nachiketa confront Yama, the God of Death, and ultimately receive from him the knowledge of immortality and eternal happiness. Drive back to Ahmedabad, Enjoy a Gujarati Thali in your Dinner at Gordhan Thal or other recommended restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02. Post early breakfast today proceed to Bhuj, your first stop will be at Malaya for fresh n up. Tea Break at Malaya and continue to Kutch - This is a panoramic drive to salt pans and windmills. You may also see some migratory birds at salt pans, you will be visiting Dhaneti village for Embroidery by Ahir community. Ahir embroidery of Gujarat is a rhythmic row of embroidered patterns, circular mirrors encircled with stitches enriching the fabric and material of this kind can be used for home decor, clothing, and other utility. The bright colours of the threads and glittering pieces of mirrors embellish fabric and it is a feeling of grandeur that appeals to every soul and remains in the heart. Later you will be visiting the Block Printers at Ajrakhpur village are known worldwide, for the art of Ajrakh, block-printing uses colours derived from nature, such as indigo, henna, turmeric, pomegranate, iron, and mud. In some cases, the fabrics are washed up to 20 times. The printing blocks are hand-carved. The Khatri’s are a community of block-printers adept in the 3,000-year-old art of Ajrakh. The process is complex and involves 16 different processes. Ismail Mohammed Khatri has gained critical acclaim for his innovative use of natural dyes that include a mixture of camel dung, soda ash and castor oil, waste iron, myrobalan, madder, indigo, pomegranate peel boiled in water, sprays of turmeric water and the root of rhubarb.

 

Further, you will be visiting the most wonderful Textile and Tribal Museum in Ajrakhpur – LLDC Museum “Living and Learning Design Center” - LLDC is much more than a museum. It is envisioned as a multi-dimensional crafts education and resource centre, where craftspeople can meet and learn from one another. We hope that it will help us do for the other crafts of Kutch what we have been able to achieve for hand embroidery. Drive to Bhuj. Dinner and overnight at Bhuj. {LLDC Museum is closed on every Monday and Public Holiday}

 

 

Day 03. Post breakfast you will be visiting Aina Mahal, Prag Mahal and Bhuj Museum and then continue to Banni Region of Kutch visiting Nirona Village - for Rogan arts on a piece of cloth- The word Rogan comes from Persian and means ‘oil-based. The process of making the natural colours used in art gives it such a name. Castor oil is heated on a fire for about 12 hours and then cast into cold water to give a thick residue called the Rogan. This is then mixed with stone pigments to lend it different hues. Next, the artisan uses a six-inch metal stick to paint with a fine thread of Rogan on cloth. Seeing it live made us realize how delicately the Rogan thread has to be led with precision to give shape to one’s imagination. , Copper Crafts - The Luhars in Nirona has been preserving the craft of making copper bells over seven generations. From the 65-year-old head of the family, Luhar Husen Sidhik, to his 18-year-old grandson, Faruk, the Luhars are passionately taking the art forward. Faruk who is pursuing his college education is keen on giving a new spin to the art. As a result, you can see some heart-shaped wind chimes, a xylophone made of bells, and even a few fauna inspired bell pieces. And Lacquer Works on wooden utensils. Continue to Dhordo – Lunch at The Tent City. Evening enjoys the breathtaking views of the White Rann. Return to the Tent City. Dinner and cultural evening. Stay at Rann Utsav.

Day 04. Today very early in the morning drive to White Rann of Kutch to see the sunrise, Return Rann Utsav Post early breakfast visit and Dhordo village – This area which has White Rann, You can see Mutwa Muslim Community herein at Dhordo. Continue to Khavda to see Potters and the Samma tribe. Later leave for Kala Dungar to view the beautiful sunset at the Indo-Pakistan border. Return to the Dhordo – Enjoy the activities at extra cost such as ATV Rides, Camel Safaris. Return to the Tent City – Dinner and overnight.

 

Day 05. Today after Breakfast drive to Mandvi en route visiting Bhuj for shopping at Bhoomi Handicrafts which is opposite to ST Bus Stand. Enjoy a Gujarati Thali in Lunch at Hotel Ilark or Hotel Prince in Bhuj, Continue to Mandvi visiting 72 Jinalaya. Afternoon free at Beach Camp. Post Lunch visit Vijay Vilas Palace and Mandvi Town - Mandvi is known for its 400-year-old shipbuilding centre. The local carpenters still make ocean-going Dhows in much the same way that their ancestors had done a century ago. One can go and visit the men at work, shaping the great vessels with hand tools and coaxing the seasoned timber into shape. The carrying capacity of these boats can vary from 250 tons to 1000 tons. The predecessors of these very same ships had roamed the Indian Ocean and made Kutch a maritime power. Handmade models of these Dhows can also be procured from local artisans at Sagar Ship Model Shop. Rest of the day at leisure on a private beach. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

 

Day 06. Breakfast at the beach camp and drive to Jamnagar en-route visiting Anjar Town - Anjar is claimed to be the oldest town in Kutch. Many earthquakes have devastated the region of Anjar, but with the legendary capacity to overcome hardship and disaster, the people lost no time in rebuilding their lives out of the debris around them. It's impossible to come to Anjar and return home empty-handed as the markets of the city offer an exciting range of metal handicrafts. Do visit Jesal- Total Samadhi n the memory of the famous couple. Continue to Jamnagar. Check into your hotel pre-booked in Jamnagar. Today evening enjoys a drive and a walk through the lovely city of Jamnagar where you will be visiting the famous Bala Hanuman Temple. It is noted for the continuous chanting of the mantra "Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai-Jai Ram". Started on 1 August 1964, the chant continues for 24 hours a day, in shifts, and is continuing. This has earned the temple a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Later visit Jamnagar’s famous Lakhota Lake. The lake is most lively in the evenings when people relax around the lake to enjoy the breeze and a chai, kulfi, or chaat from one of the many foods stands, and at night the lake is beautifully lit. You can go for a 15-minute boat ride around it, or rent a paddleboat. Don’t forget to buy Dry fruit Kachori of Jamnagar. Return to your hotel for Dinner. Overnight in Jamnagar.

 

Day 07. After early breakfast drive to Devbhoomi Dwarka. Check into your hotel pre-booked. After fresh up very first you will be visiting the Nageshwar Jyotirling It is enshrined by one of the 12 swayambhu (self-existent) Jyotirlingas in the world, Nageshwar was believed to be known as ‘Darukavana’, which is an ancient epic name of forests in India. Later drive to Beyt Dwarka which is an island, situated at a distance of 30 km from the main town. This island is surrounded by a few temples, white beaches, and Coral reefs. The main temple at Beyt Dwarka is that of Lord Krishna, which is believed to be located at a site that was once the residence of Lord Krishna and His family. This temple is over 500 years old and was built by Sri Vallabhacharya.

In addition to this, Beyt Dwarka features temples of Vishnu, Radha, Lakshmi, Satyabhama, Devki, and Jambavati. There is a narrow street that leads to these temples that are crowded by vendors selling local crafts, idols, cassettes, coconut, and seashells. Visiting Beyt Dwarka, you have to first reach Okha port Jetty from here, you have to hire a ferry or small boat to visit Beyt Dwarka, which is just 5 km from Okha. Return to Dwarka enroute to visit Rukmani Temple - (Lord Shree Krishna's Patrani), There is a myth. associated with it once Krishna and Rukmani went to 'Durvasha Rishi' to invite him to Dwarka. He agreed on the condition that they (Krishna & Rukmani) have to carry the chariot instead of any animal. Krishna & Rukmani happily agreed to do so. While driving the chariot, Rukmani became thirsty. Lord Krishna then stopped the chariot and made the water of Holy River Ganga. 'Durvasha' annoyed by the action and curse Rukmani to stay away from Shree Krishna Hence Rukmani temple is located 2 km. Away from Dwarka’ s Jagat Mandir.

In the evening you will be visiting Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir located on a hillock in the sea. This Temple is dedicated to Chandra-Mouliswar Shiva. This temple enshrines a Shivling in the sanctum which was found at the confluence of Gomti, Ganga and the Arabian Sea by the Jagatguru Sankaracharya himself.

Late evening you will be free to explore the market area of Dwarka to buy some local and ethnic embroidered handicrafts items, colourfully embellished footwear, graceful Ghagra Choli, and Dress materials beautifully decorated with sequins, mirror chunks, and colourful strings. Dinner and overnight at Hotel in Dwarka.

Day 08. Today early morning attend Mangla aarti at Dwarkadish Temple. Reach the temple by 6.15 Am, Return to your hotel for breakfast and later continue to Somnath via Porbandar {230 km – 5 hrs}. You will be visiting ‘Kirti Mandir’ which is the memorial house kept in memory of Mahatma Gandhi now a museum. Continue to Somnath – Check into your hotel pre-booked – Later you will be visiting Bhalka Teerth - Where Lord Krishna is said to have been mistakenly shot in the foot. Nearby is Dehotsarg, where he succumbed to his mortal wound. The temple at Bhalka Tirth is known as Mahaprabhuji's Bethak, and a tulsi tree has been planted in Lord Krishna's memory. The temple also contains a beautiful tribhangi idol of Lord Krishna playing his flute. Later visit Somnath Temple. Which is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirling shrines of Shiva. Reconstructed several times in the past after repeated destruction by several Muslim invaders and Portuguese the present temple was reconstructed in Chaulukya style of Hindu temple architecture and completed in May 1951. The site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times on account of being a Triveni Sangam (the confluence of three rivers — Kapila, Hiran and Saraswati. Attend the evening aarti at 7.00 pm followed by the Sound and Light show has been planned to highlight all facets of the historic site. The show will weave the three strands of the narrative – mythical, historical and modern – to put together the fabric of the story of Somnath in the most spectacular manner. The shows tell you about the history of the temple that was destroyed and reconstructed several times. Return to your hotel for Dinner. Overnight in Somnath.

 

Day 09. Post breakfast drives to Diu for a short duration to see the Gangeshwar Temple. This temple has five Shivlings, believed to be established by the five Pandavas during their exile from Hastinapur. If the tide is high, you will see only the tip of these rocks, as the seawater tends to submerge them. Continue to Bhavnagar. Depending upon the time of the tide you can visit Nishkalank Mahadev Temple. According to historians, the temple was built by the Pandavas after the Kurukshetra War. The structure remains immersed in the sea and can be seen only during a certain period. One can identify the shrine with the help of a tall flag placed at the shrine. The tide is active especially during no Moon and Full Moon days and devotees eagerly wait for the tide to disappear on these days. Dinner and overnight stay in Bhavnagar.

Day 10. If you have missed the visit to the Nishkalank Mahadev Temple, you can visit this temple today after early breakfast and proceed to Ahmedabad. Half-day is kept free for shopping and in the evening you will be transferred to the Airport in time to board the flight back home taking back wonderful memories of your Gujarat Trip.